Our house has had quite the excitement in the past few months.
First, join Daniel and I as we ask our eight-year-old daughter, Julia, if we could have a few moments with her in private. Julia had no idea what to expect. I handed a little box to her that was taped shut. “This box is for you to open, yet the contents aren’t exactly for you to keep,” I informed her.
Question marks were written all over her bright eyes. “But Mom, what is it for?”
“It is for you to open, then see if you can figure out what it means, kinda like a guessing game.”
“Will it scare me?” she wanted to know.
“No, it’ll be fine,” I responded, quite excited myself. I couldn’t wait any longer to break the news to her.
Carefully she began removing the tape and cautiously opened the flaps. Inside, she found one pink and one blue baby sleeper along with some baby toys, lotion, and baby bath. “Mom, are we going to get another foster baby?”
“Mom, are we going to have a baby girl of our own?”
“We will have a baby, but we don’t know if it’ll be a boy or girl!”
Pure joy and excitement shone from her eyes. Together we shared special moments, imagining what it will be like to welcome another little one into our hearts and home. Austin and Rayni were all excited to hear about the baby a few weeks later.
My mother’s heart beats with eagerness to think of our children enjoying a new bundle. It does something for a young child to pour love into little ones.
It seems hard to find words to explain this most amazing blessing of a new life. And you know, as I think of having a biological baby, I have to think of our foster children that we will Lord willing be adopting before too long. I can honestly say they are no less special. It just amazes me how love works. I stand in awe.
Julia and Austin could hardly wait to tell others of the upcoming addition. For my sister Keturah, who is 13 years old, we decided to make a treasure hunt to reveal the secret. At the end, for our treasure, we put a note which said, “Surprise! But the treasure isn’t coming until next July.”
You can only imagine how Julia was just bursting at the seams, bubbling with excitement to finally be able to share what she was thinking about all day, every day. Much to the children’s delight, Keturah was as thrilled as could be.
I contemplated how I would tell my mother. I was pleased to find a poem titled “With child,” written by a mother-to-be. That’s it! I made a copy of it and decorated it with exclamation marks, smiles, and blue and pink question marks. At the bottom in large lettering. I wrote, “Thank you, Jesus!”
When she stopped in one Friday morning, I had the perfect opportunity.
“Here is a poem I found that I could so much identify with,” I told her, handing the paper to her. She glanced over it, began reading the poem, then let out a gasp, or would you call it a shriek of delight? She jumped to her feet and gave me the biggest hug ever. Julia and I bubbled with joy.
Before we got to our projects for the day, we sat down and chatted over mugs of steaming tea and talked about baby dear.
We were all much aware that the path ahead won’t be smooth. There’s the usual summer work in July when the baby will, Lord willing, be born, as well as five other little ones to care for and me not having all the energy I used to have before I was expecting. But for the moment, that was none of our worries. God was giving us this marvelous gift we could never deserve. He’s also the one who will make straight paths for our feet.
When my energy wains and the demands of life keep marching before my eyes, I’m encouraged by my go-to verse these days from Psalm 59:17: “Unto thee Oh my strength will I sing.”
Before I wrap up here, I’d like to share our Oh Henry Bar recipe for you to try. My dear grandmother would make these by the big cookie sheet full, cut them in bars, and wrap them individually in plastic wrap. The individually wrapped bars were always a special treat for us grandchildren. I can still feel how important it made me feel to take a bar from her container, all wrapped up, ready for me.
Oh Henry Bars
6 cups oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup Karo
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
Mix all together until well combined then press into a 13 by 18 inch cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool. Melt 1 and 1/8 cup peanut butter and 3 cups chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread over this mixture over bars. Cool and cut into bars. Enjoy! Note: A half batch fits into a 9 by 13 inch pan.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427