As Shawn headed back to work after our difficult ultrasound, I'll never forget sitting slumped in silence on our couch, allowing my mind to slide into dark places of "what if?". I felt so suddenly disconnected from our squirming baby, swallowed up in fear that I wouldn't be able to love him well if he had a disability. I blamed myself, just knowing I had probably done something to cause the defect.
Our gender reveal party with a host of family and friends was later that evening, and I put on a smiling face to try to celebrate. No one really knew there was a problem beside our parents, but even as the ultrasound video played in the background, I couldn't stand to look at it. Past all of our loved ones and a cake with bright blue icing in the center, all I could see that night was our baby's turned left foot.
But when a friend's daughter brought an unexpected gift, my heart changed. I unwrapped a tiny left foot-shaped cookie cutter with the words, "A gift from heaven above!" on a note that came with it. In that moment, the fear and self-pity that had swallowed me whole melted away. In that moment, I felt so lavishly loved and known by Jesus. Two-and-a-half years later, I still do.
Liam's feet were the first part of him I saw when his warm body was quietly delivered into my arms. They were soft and beautiful and not turned in even a bit, so our follow-up appointment with a pediatric orthopedic surgeon was immediately canceled and we reveled in our perfectly healthy boy. God had chosen to work a miracle.
Knowing the power of a mother's love like I do now, I know it wouldn't have mattered. Liam could have arrived with no feet at all and I would've loved him deeply. Had that been the case, we would've experienced God's faithfulness to us as He walked us through that trial, too. But for Liam to have flawless feet felt like an extra gift; an unexpected miracle that we opened on the day of his birth.
Today, we did something I had dreamt of: we pulled out that foot-shaped cookie cutter that has now made three moves with us. I mixed and rolled out smooth gingerbread dough and let Liam cut lots of shapes out of it, including the shape of a left foot. As the cookies baked, I brought him over to the oven to watch them swell and brown and I told him his story. How Mommy was so scared that his feet might not be able to walk or play soccer. How she and Daddy prayed for a miracle and tried to trust God. How God showed up through a little girl's gift of a cookie cutter in the shape of a left foot, and we knew that He was with us and cared for us so much. How, when he came out of Mommy's tummy, the first thing I saw were those beautiful, perfectly formed feet of his. At this point in the story, he yelled, "Yeah Biam! Biam's feet!" as if he somehow understood a little piece of what I was trying to say. Tears welled up in my eyes as they do every time I tell this story, and he hugged me and said, "Wub you, Mommy." More tears.
So if you come by my house this week, you'll see a dozen gingerbread cookies in the shape of a foot. More than that, they're rocks of remembrance of His goodness to us. Sweet reminders of his faithfulness that I hope we never forget.