Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Happy Birthday, Boy!
"It will take a miracle."
I remember the words vividly as the reproductive endocrinologist spoke them to my wife and I many years ago.
Dawna had just undergone multiple tests in regards to infertility. The results were conclusive. There are many reasons couples are infertile. Ours had a particular name: polycystic ovarian syndrome. Basically, my wife has a major chemical imbalance in her body which prevents it from releasing an egg during ovulation. Instead, the egg becomes stuck and forms a mini-cyst on her ovary: hence poly (many) cystic (cysts) ovarian syndrome.
"Your testosterone levels are among the highest I've ever seen. You can try injections, but there is no guarantee."
I am a pastor. I am not made of money, and spending close to $10,000 (at the time) was beyond my financial capability for a chance. Insurance didn't cover the procedures. We made the choice shortly after to adopt.
It took several years after that point, but we did adopt two wonderful little girls. We were happy. We were content. We were satisfied as a family of four.
Then, something happened.
"I'm having to go to the restroom all the time, and parts of my body are swelling that haven't swelled since puberty. I've done some research, and either I have cancer or I'm pregnant."
"Well," I replied, "Either way, you have to go to the doctor, so we might as well check on one."
Pregnancy test: positive.
"It will take a miracle." So be it, and it came to pass. Today, that miracle brings all sorts of joy, frustration, laughter, and amazement to our lives.
I do not know why we experienced this little bundle of joy. I will gladly say that it wasn't because my wife and I did anything extraordinary. We are not extraordinary or super Christians. We don't have a special kind of faith. We weren't doing the right things, saying the right prayers, or having hundreds upon hundreds of people praying for us. It wasn't anything we did or were doing. In fact, we had given up. There was a glimmer of hope that maybe, possibly something could happen, but we surely didn't expect it.
One could say, "Well, that's the key then, just don't expect a miracle, and then it will happen." No. I don't think that works either. It's not about what works. It's about God's action and not our own.
Sure. I know that may make some folks uncomfortable because then all those uncomfortable questions arise: Why does God do something here and not over here? Why does God act for this person and not that one? Does God go so far as give people prime parking at grocery stores when they ask for it? O.K. maybe that last one isn't too uncomfortable, but I've heard non-believers ridicule believers over that one.
The uncomfortableness can easily be solved by saying that there is no supernatural intervention in this world. There is a definite scientific explanation for all events. In my case, a egg just happend to break loose, and my wife and I just happened to time things just right that the egg became fertilized. (For those who know anything about polycystic ovarian syndrome, you already know there is no such thing as timing on these things. There is no such thing as a regular cycle. You literally are shooting in the dark and hoping to hit a moving target. Try that sometime and see how "lucky" you are.) One big cosmic accident? Sure. You could think that. It solves the uncomfortable God question, but puts you at odds with simple mathematics and probability.
I come back to the scientifically trained, highly specialized person who told us, "It will take a miracle."
It did. I'll live with the uncomfortable questions. I don't have good answers to them at all. I'm o.k. with that. I don't mind ambiguity.
Joy overshadows it.
Every day when I look at my son.
And especially today.
Happy birthday, Kevin, Jr!