Up until this past June I was a very lucky step-father to four wonderful children. A divorcee myself, I came into my second marriage assuming a couple of things. First, that I was never going to have children of my own and second that I'd never be called dad without a hyphen. A sad state of things but one that I was okay with. I was happily married and my "prefab" kids as I call them were all great.
Sometimes we get so busy worrying about this or that we sometimes forgot to really, truly appreciate the little things all around us. I'm a much different person with the birth of our child. Things have a much different focus. I find myself (again) lamenting the younger stupid me. If I had even a wisp of the wisdom I have today, back then I can tell you my stress level would have been less and I certainly would have been a bit more choosy about who I married. That however, is a lengthy post on how the Church handles/handled my annulment proceedings.
I digress. Having a baby changes things (I can hear the selective "duh" from many of you). Perhaps differently when you are younger than older. The young seem to lament the lack of sleep, the constant messes and the loss of self. I don't want to call it selfish, but certainly not self-less. When you give up on a dream like I had you come to realize the gift that a child actually really is; the blessing that the creation miracle actually is. It's changed my views on several things. I'm no longer okay with abortion on any level. I understand why contraception and sterilization are sinful and wrong. See, it took not only the birth of our baby girl, but months before that, the passing of our baby before her (miscarriage).
I wish I'd been less selfish and allowed the miracle of children earlier in my life. Thankfully, to a certain extent, it didn't thus making my divorce from an awful excuse for a marriage that much easier. That said, it's regretful and just a bit painful when I look at my four step-kids and wonder what "could" have been. Thankfully, the Lord blessed me and literally changed my perspective on this and a great many things. See, the Lord gives us great gifts. It's up to us to figure out how best to use these and understand them. My beautiful daughter is nothing short of our miracle and she has already done more for me and our marriage than she will ever know. As I said, way back when we found out we were having her; I've seen a glimpse of God, and it changes everything.
God is very, very good. Thank you Lord for this glimpse of miracle.