Two beautiful surprise packages joined our family last Monday, in the form of tiny little sons that I never thought I would have.

But God knew.

When we moved here six plus years ago, we were buying a different house. A house not quite perfect, but we were willing to overlook the too-small kids bedrooms in order to get the perfect public rooms we were looking for. Alas, the contingency offer fell through when our house didn’t sell in time, and my husband, especially, was disappointed.

God has a plan,’ I assured him, and he mumbled a halfhearted agreement.

So we found ourselves homeless at the holidays, while I was 9 months pregnant, and we had two toddlers to boot. With a limited housing market and even more limited time, we snagged a good enough house and vowed to trade up later. And just as trade up time rolled around, we learned that we were expecting. Twins. And we laughed together about God’s plan – that not only did He surprise us with these babies, but He knew six years ago that we would one day really need these oversized bedrooms way more than we would need a bigger living room.

My sister pinned this on Pinterest a few days ago and it made me smile. This is a lesson we have had so clearly illustrated to us in recent months. And we have that faith.

In all things.

Jackson was born first, and big sister Annabelle was able to assist the doctor. Boldly she pulled on the too-large gloves, confident and anxious to meet her brothers. The brothers she had prayed for and the Lord had answered her prayers. And confidently she delivered him – quickly and carefully suctioning, grinning ear to ear as she cut his cord.

And then came Cooper – slower, more complicated. A hand in the way, a vacuum extraction, and resuscitation required. I looked up at my terrified husband, nearly crying because he was so sure that this baby had not made it. Purple and lifeless he lay, until the doctor helped God, as Annie put it, and he drew his first breath. And then came tears of joy and relief and thanksgiving…and only then did my doctor – my beloved, trusted doctor – share with me that I should know before I see him that there was something. Amniotic Band Syndrome he called it, and I shook my head unknowingly. ‘It happened at conception,’ he assured me. ‘It’s nothing you did or didn’t do.’ He knows my heart.

And so, in the brief moment I was able to hold him before he was whisked off to the nursery, I was able to look at his arm. His left arm, which stops just below the elbow joint. And my honest to God first thought was that he has an adorable dimple on the end of his stump. And I kissed it. And as he left the room, I laughed at the sick sense of humor that runs in my family, which is exactly when Annabelle said that he would make an awesome Captain Hook for Halloween. And Dr. Buck suggested that we start him off with a spork before we go full hook.

These are my people.

We believe in owning it. We won’t be hiding it away or refusing to discuss. He’s gonna rock his stubby little arm, and know without a doubt that he was fearfully and wonderfully made, exactly as he is.

Now I won’t have to worry that my husband will mix the boys up.

I immediately thought of the exchange in Fried Green Tomatoes.

Ruth: I can understand having a funeral for an arm, I just don’t know WHY she insists on calling him Stump.

Sipsey: Miss Idgie says everybody else will be calling him that, we might as well be the first.

I can honestly tell you that we are not upset. Everyone seems to find that hard to believe, but it’s true. We do not want reassurance that he will be ok – we know that already. We don’t need to hear that it could be worse, because we know that too. He is exactly as he should be.

After all that we have been through, with every passing moment it becomes more evident that God has a plan for our lives that we aren’t privy to just yet. And we have faith that even if only in retrospect, we will understand it.

My friend Darcie recently wrote about growing her daughter and it touched me. She grew a perfect Cassidy.

Me, I grew a perfect Cooper. Stump and all.

Cooper newborn

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