Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

My Choice

My wife (Vicki) and I were gifted with the world’s three greatest kids. I’m not open to debate about that. (Even though I can see your side where your kids are concerned.) I don’t know why we were so blessed though I know the answer lies in God’s wonderful giving nature. Fortunately my kids took after their mother in giftedness, attractiveness and intellect. My part of the deal was to keep all my questionable traits to myself. I can tell you this, for sure, the journey we began the day God gave us our first, has been the richest of our lives. 

I now have two beautiful granddaughters…the most recent being born to Kelly and Doug, Jr. nearly one year ago, named Remi, a beautiful, little, blue-eyed marvel, who is the delight of her parents, and the pride and joy of her Oma and Poppa. Every time I see her I am “Remi-fied” by her. There is a slight problem however. Remi lives in California and we live in Ohio. We are working with that though. Do you know a good travel agency?

My first granddaughter, Skylar, was born to Jenny and Daniel coming up on three and a half years ago. At different times I refer to her as Sky-baby (gift from heaven to us) and Skylar-ella (because she was so taken with the Disney story of Cinderella). Sky-baby is the most beautiful, brown-eyed little pre-schooler in the world. Her excitement over the adventure of life is contagious.

I believe the same thing about our granddaughters that I did about about our children. They are the world’s best of all grandkids! And, I can scarcely contain myself here, we have two more grandchildren on the way…Christi and Matt, due in August and Jenny and Daniel, due in September…praise God!

What I wish to say next will take a little longer…and will find me reaching for kleenexes now and again. When our precious Skylar was born it was immediately clear that problems existed. We never dreamed that she would spend the next 33 days in ICU at Kosair Childrens Hospital in Louisville. She looked so sick…and seemed so weak. She was on oxygen, had low muscle tone in her trunk region and couldn’t nurse. So a feeding tube was inserted through her nose. Because of reflux issues a stomach surgery was suggested and done. Those days were filled with concerns…prayers…tears…family coming together…and hope. Sky-baby got to go home finally with a feeding tube inserted at the top of her stomach, which she has to this day. It would require about 7 months for the family to accept the diagnosis of “Kabuki” syndrome…a rare and random genetic disorder. It took so long partly because of our unwillingness to accept it and partly because this diagnosis comes about as the result of a process of elimination. Many, many tests and procedures were part of Skylar’s early months. Our concerns for Skylar included…head size, hearing, speech, immune system response, ear infections (she has had the tubes installed three times now), walking, eating, reflux, and mental capacity just to name a few. Skylar’s mom and dad were incredibly strong through all of this…through many tears, questions, and waiting without answers.  Because of Skylar’s uniqueness they have had to anticipate and wonder about many concerns that the vast majority of parents never have to think about.

Skylar is now nearly three and a half years old. She is coming tomorrow to visit us during Spring break  with her mother who is also a school teacher. She is the most amazing little girl who gives wonderful hugs and kisses. She dances divinely. She is coming to play with her poppa, swing on our tree swing, watch the birds at our feeders and pet our neighbor’s big white dog we call Ghost. We will watch videos and she will sign “More.” She will tell us in her own creative way about the baby growing inside her momma. But she will insist that she is her momma’s baby too. She will smile and I will forget all about things like taxes, bills and colonoscopies. She will hug me and I will feel on top of the world.

And I was thinking as I considered God’s grace to us in giving us Skylar and seeing us through to this point…what if I could go back? What if I could meet with God before Sky’s coming? What if God made me an offer? For your first grandchild I can give you this little “Kabuki” girl…or, if you prefer, I could give you a baby with perfect health. It’s your choice. Which will it be? My reply would be immediate! I can imagine no other first grandbaby than our Skylar. How would I begin to tell you all that she means to us…all that God has taught and is teaching us through her? Our faith is stronger…our love is purer…our hope is more vibrant…our joy more complete…our ministry more compassionate…our comfort more sweet….because she is here and is ours.

Dear God, I choose what You choose for me and mine. If it breaks our hearts, it will be to make them again more tender and strong. If it tests our faith, it will be to make it more precious. If it makes us weary, it will be to cause us to lean more upon You. If it leaves us wondering why, it will cause us to wait upon You.  If it isolates us, You will be our Companion. If it takes us out of this world, why then…we will get to hear you say, “Welcome home, child!” Yes…that is my choice.

Single Post Navigation

7 thoughts on “My Choice

  1. Anonymous on said:

    Thank you for sharing your story – you sound like a wonderful grandfather/father. As a mother of a little boy with KS – I understand your pain, I also know how a child with special needs can bring a whole new aspect into your life. I look at life and people so differently now and wish I could share my wisdom to those that have never been through the same as us. We have new family members, that are families just like us – who understand who we are now.

    All the best,

    feel free to email me privately, petal@sakks.org.

    Peta.
    PETA,
    THANKS FOR CHECKING IN HERE. I AM FORWARDING YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS TO MY DAUGHTER. PERHAPS SHE CAN WRITE TO YOU AND YOU ALL CAN SHARE INFO ON KS. MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR SON. I HOPE YOU WILL HAVE MORE AND MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE YOUR WISDOM ON KS FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES. IN SO MANY WAYS THE CHILDREN ARE OUR TEACHERS, AREN’T THEY?
    SINCERELY, DOUG OAKES, (POPPA OAKES)

  2. Your heart astounds me. In the last paragraph you really sum up your outlook and attitude about this life you are living for HIM. Basically telling Him that whatever He has in mind for you … you will accept … because you know that He is a good father and would not be giving you something to harm you … only help. You have learned Paul’s secret of being content … all your strength is in the Lord, and with strength like that you can do anything.

    I worked with students with disabilities for about 7 years. I know all children are unique … and wonderful … and amazing. But there is something about the innocence that comes with a mind like Skylar’s. A mind that God gave her that may protect her from so much evil in this world. I thank God that He put her in a family where she will be loved beyond measure. I also pray that one day Skylar will be able to realize how much she has been blessed by that family … and the One who placed her there. How great is your love … how great is His love.

    SKYLAR IS SO AWESOME. WATCHING HER JOY IN LIFE…HER LOVE OF MUSIC, ANIMALS, AND BABY EINSTEIN VIDEOS MAKES ME FEEL THAT I AM THE ONE MISSING OUT. SKYLAR IS THE NORMAL ONE. I AM THE ONE WHO MISSES SO MUCH OF THE BEAUTY OF THIS LIFE BECAUSE OF WORRY, OR DEPRESSION, DOUBT, OR WHATEVER. SHE LIGHTS UP OUR LIVES. THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU SAID, PAIGE. I WISH YOU COULD MEET HER. I KNOW SHE WOULD LOVE YOU. KEEP WRITING.

  3. Rex Boyles on said:

    Oh, how I would love to be there … to steal a hug … to teach her another sign – shaking her finger at finger at Poppa … take a turn a pushing her in the tree swing … listen to her stories … watch in wonder at the love of God reflected in your face for your Sky-Baby, love that I have experienced by being your friend. I love you, friend. My love to J and V … and especially to beautiful – beloved – blessed Skylar. Papa Rex

    I WISH YOU HAD BEEN HERE TOO, MY FRIEND. SKYLAR WOULD FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU QUICKLY AND DEEPLY AS ALL MY CHILDREN DID. IT HAS BEEN ONE OF GOD’S SWEETEST GRACES ON MY LIFE FOR ME TO WATCH MY FAMILY GROW IN FAITH UNDER YOUR INFLUENCE. MAN, I HATE WITH A PASSION THE DISTANCE THAT KEEPS THEM AND ME FROM YOU NOW. I LOVE YOU.

  4. Doug, isn’t it true that after God has brought what some would consider “trouble” into our lives….and helped us begin to learn His lessons from that trouble….that we wouldn’t have it any other way?! My children were born into a less than perfect home setting (my own stupidity) but God gave each of them to me at just the right time. And delivered us from that setting at just the right time. I would not change those things because they made us stronger…they shaped our convictions and fine-tuned our beliefs. I’m just beginning to see all the good God is working from the bad…and it is mind-blowing already.

    Now your Sky-baby is a whole different situation from mine….but still a blessing from the Father! She has the ability to touch you and yours in a way that no one else will ever be able to. God is showing you things He wants you to know through His precious gift named Skylar. WOW!

    I love your last paragraph. You teach me and inspire me to be better…to try harder…to reach farther…to take one more step following Jesus. Thank you.

    YES, SHERRY, I DO THINK IT IS TRUE THAT GOD’S LESSONS TO US THROUGH OUR TROUBLES ARE MOST AMAZING. TEARS SOMETIMES BRING A SPECIAL FOCUS TO OUR VISION, DON’T THEY? WE SEE WHAT WE COULD NOT SEE BEFORE. SUCH TIMES PREPARE US FOR THE TIMES WHEN THE TRIAL MAY BE SO SEVERE THAT WE CAN SEE NO LESSON THAT JUSTIFIES IT. BUT WE WILL NOT ALLOW OUR LIMITED VISION TO CONVINCE US THAT GOD IS DOING US WRONG.
    SHERRY, YOU HAVE BECOME A SOURCE OF GOD’S ENCOURAGEMENT TO ME THAT I RELY ON REGULARLY. I KNOW YOU ARE THAT FOR ALL WHO ENJOY YOUR PRESENCE IN THEIR LIVES. MAY HE STRENGTHEN YOU DAILY FOR THE MISSIONS OF MERCY THAT COMPRISE YOUR LIFE FOR HIM.

  5. Anonymous on said:

    Skylar is a wonderful little girl. She Thanks You a lot with her signing and it is so sweet to see her do it. She gets excited with some things she really likes and her smile is so big and it stills your heart to see her so happy, and she is so happy. Skylar has a lot of people who Love her so much and she knows it. My answer to prayer.

    I remember when Skylar was born and we found out there was some problems and Skylar could not stay with Jenny & Daniel and grandparents at the hospital where she was born. It tore them up and it tore me up just knowing how they must have felt. She had to be taken to Louisville Hospital. Daniel and Jenny got there as soon as they could. I want you to know that I got down on my knees and prayed fervently that God would let Skylar be able to stay with all of us who loved her and she would grow up and know how much people around her Loved Her. I prayed with tears and just wanted this so much for her. I wanted this for Jenny & Daniel and Oma and Poppa because I did not want them to have to feel this sadness. God answered my prayers most certain and I did get down on my knees again to Thank Him. I know others were praying also.

    We have had times to be with Skylar and we have enjoyed her so much.
    I was told by Doug once that she loved Cinderella and she liked getting the broom at home and dancing around, and around like Cinderella did.
    And singing also.

    My brothers and I went up to Doug’s home after Christmas and Skylar was going to be there with Doug & Vicki and we got to spend a few hours with her. It was such a delight to see the fun she was having and showing off for all of us paying attention to her. We could not keep our eyes off of her.
    Such a memorable time. Skylar’s smiles was so big and filled with such pleasure. You know like smiling as big as you mouth will stretch type of smile. That was it.

    I just wanted you to know this which I am sure you do not know. When Doug’s Mother had him Doug could not stay with his Mom either. They had to take him to another part of the hospital and Mom could not see Doug for a few days. I forget what it was all about now. But Mom wanted to see him and hold him so badly that my Aunt got a wheelchair and got her over to where Doug was. Mom did not belong to the Church then and just depended on people in the family more. So God still brought her thru this so we could have the pleasurable things we know connected with Doug.
    Doug probably don’t want me to say all this but God has a plan for us all if we will. Doug has been brought to many people who have helped mold and make him to Love God First. Doug Loves People and always will because of things he as been thru and things he has learned.

    Yes I know I sound like a Sister who loves him very much and I DO VERY MUCH. He has shared his children with me and he tries his best to share his grandchildren with us also. They are not as close as his children was but I will try to stay connected the best I can. The Grandchildren are not as close to him and Vicki either but they will get there to see them, I know it because of the Great Love they have for their Children and Grandchildren. I pray Doug and Vicki will enjoy their time with the children all the days of their lives and in eternity also. No more long distance away from each other.

    Gail
    TO MY BIG SISTER,
    YES…YOU ARE PREJUDICED…BUT IT’S OKAY WITH ME. YOUR INFLUENCE IN OUR CHILDREN’S LIVES HAS BEEN SO GOOD. YOUR FAITH, HOPE AND, MOST OF ALL, LOVE, HAS BLESSED THEM RICHLY AND SERVED THEM WELL. THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND WORDS. ONE OF THESE DAYS WE WILL BE FREE OF THE RESTRAINTS OF TIME AND DISTANCE…ONE OF THESE DAYS OUR FAMILY WILL BE TOGETHER FOREVER…TO THAT END WE SERVE ON AND KEEP THE FAITH. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU MEAN TO ME AND MINE…TO MY MOM AND TO OUR BROTHERS. GOD BLESS YOU, SIS.

  6. Anonymous on said:

    When I said not close I am talking about distance keeping us apart some.
    Always close in heart and the love we know with each other.

    Gail

  7. Brent Askins on said:

    Doug and Vicki…I always enjoyed spending time with you and your family and pray that time in the future can be spent with your grandkids as well. Your heart is pure and days filled with grace. Our paths crossed but for an instant but the tracks will last forever. May God continue to bless you and your new family. Brent

    BRENT,
    GREAT TO HEAR FROM YOU, YOUNG MAN. I’D LOVE YOU TO E-MAIL ME AT OAKESCLAN@SBCGLOBAL.NET AND CATCH ME UP ON YOUR LIFE…YOUR FAMILY…YOUR WORK.
    THANKS FOR WHAT YOU SAID HERE. THOSE WERE SOME GOOD DAYS BACK AT MID-COUNTY…THAT’S FOR SURE. GOD BLESS YOU AS WELL. WRITE IF YOU CAN. DOUG, THE OLD

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: