We thought we had it all figured out with three of the quads home. It was easier than we thought. We even had a workable schedule that we could live with. Then Samantha came home.
Her oxygen requirements make her a full-time job. Fortunately, Samantha is easy-going, like Landon. She doesn’t fuss or demand attention. She does, however, rip out her nasal cannula every five seconds. Without it, her oxygen levels drop and the alarms go off. We have to keep track of her heart rate. We have to make sure her oxygen tanks are full, hydrated and correctly attached. We have to keep her oxygen sensor in the right place and move it each day so her skin won't get irritated. Although we are glad she is home, Samantha is a lot of work. Basically, we just moved her little NICU cubicle home. The oxygen guy came to set things up, and now we do the nursing.
At night, Sarah takes three babies. I get Samantha. Neither one of us gets more than an hour or two of sleep at a time. I am not a napper, but lately, I could fall asleep anytime, anywhere. There are some advantages to no sleep. First, it doesn’t really matter when I go to bed, since I don’t sleep long anyway. My bedtime is fluid. Second, closing my eyes for five minutes while I hold a baby gives me enough energy to keep going for hours. If only I could get five of hours of sleep at one time, I would be invincible!
My mom is a work horse. She cooks, cleans, babysits and does windows. Sometimes I just stare at her energizer-bunny ways and wonder how she managed to be born caffeinated.
The quads are oblivious to our sleep-deprivation. They sleep all day and wake up at night. They do better if we put them together. Two per swing works out comfortably.
Tom surprised me with roses! They are so beautiful. He has been a big help since the quads came-- doing the grocery shopping, entertaining Callie and holding babies. He cheers me on when the alarms go off all through the night, thanks very much.
When Tom and I got married, I never dreamed that one day we would be the grandparents of quadruplets. I had no idea what the future would hold. I knew it wouldn't always be easy, but I did know without a doubt that Tom was right for me.
My parents and grandparents gave me a precious gift when I was born. They began praying that I would marry the right person and that God would be with my future husband. It made sense to me. God has a plan for my life. His plan is best. He must have someone picked out for me to fulfill that plan. So I purposed to marry only if I had the blessing of my parents.
I decided to be proactive. I told the Lord that I wanted to have some input. I tore a piece of paper out of my notebook and made a list of ten items that I wanted in my future husband. It looked like this:
What I Want in a Husband:
1. Someone who loves God. (I wanted to marry a Christian.)
2. Someone who loves kids. (I wanted someone who enjoyed working with kids and spending time with our children.)
3. Someone who loves music. (I always had a thing for musicians.)
4. Someone who loves my family. (My family is very important to me.)
5. Someone who has a sense of humor. (I love to laugh.)
6. Someone who is strong. (So he could help me rearrange the
7. Someone who is generous. (So we could help others.)
8. Someone who is tall. (So I could wear high heels.)
9. Someone who is stronger willed than I am. (I come from a line of strong women. We need boundaries or we will take over the world!)
10. Someone with brown hair and blue eyes. (I explained to God that this request was totally optional because it was almost ridiculous to be so picky. If a guy has the first nine, then I shouldn't care what he looks like. But I asked anyway.)
I folded my list in half, stuck it in my Bible, and went on with my life.
Time passed. Believe it or not, I had a couple of marriage offers. But I was waiting for someone. I wasn't sure who he was or where he lived, but I knew he was meant for me.
My junior year of college, I transferred to Miami University and was busy with classes. One cold, snowy night as I was walking to the library, I saw a young man coming toward me. He was broad shouldered and ruggedly handsome. He reminded me of someone I had gone to elementary school with. My heart skipped a beat when the Lord spoke to my heart: "That is the man you are going to marry.” Was I losing my mind? I had heard that too much studying can make a person go crazy. I decided not to tell anyone and forget about it.
My brothers and sisters came up for the weekend, and we all went to the Christian Coffee House. When we walked in, I stared in disbelief when I realized that the guy running the sound board was the same person I was trying to forget. My brother noticed my interest, walked right up to the guy, and blurted, "I think my sister likes you." WOW. Can brothers be any more annoying? I was mortified.
During a break in the music, the good-looking/broad-shouldered/I think we went to elementary school together/I'm hearing voices about you/running the sound guy CAME RIGHT OVER TO ME! He introduced himself. It was the boy from elementary school and he remembered me. He said, "Hi! Your brother told me your were here. Your name is Sondra, right? What’s your major?"
Embarrassed, I replied, "Education."
He smiled and said, "Hey, I am in the Big Brother/Sister Program, and it would look good on your resume if you got involved. If you want to give me your number, I will call you to tell you more about it." So I gave him my number and we left.
One week later, Tom called me. We talked for hours, but he never once mentioned the Big Brother/Sister Program.
We were rarely apart from that day on. I called my parents to tell them that I was falling for a boy at school. My mom said, "That’s funny! Your dad and I have been praying and we feel like he is the one that God has for you."
When Tom asked me to marry him, I remembered The List. I went home and pulled it out of my Bible, curious how Tom would measure up to my childish requests. It was almost unbelievable.
1. He loved God and was raised in the same faith.
2. He loved kids. His younger sister accompanied us everywhere.
3. He loved music. He played piano and sang in church.
4. He loved my family and spent a lot of time at my house.
5. He had great a sense of humor and kept me smiling.
6. He was strong! If I annoyed him, he would pick me up, move me to the other side of the room, and leave me there.
7. He was generous, more so than anyone I had ever met.
8. He was 6'3" tall, a basketball player, and a good one!
9. He was definitely stronger willed than I. (Why on earth did I put that on the list?)
Now, all of these items were pretty incredible, if you ask me. It was as if the list had floated up to Heaven and God used it to create a custom-made man. But the first nine things were not what really "wowed" me. It was number 10 that brought tears to my eyes.
You see, Tom has a full head of brown hair. But that’s not all. He has the most gorgeous blue eyes I have ever seen. He won a contest with those eyes. They are what is called "broken blue," an unusual color that looks like broken blue glass.
After all these years, I am still humbled by the fact that the Creator of the Universe took the time to hear and answer my prayers. God not only honored my practical requests, but He gave me the desires of my heart--just because I asked.
We married the week after I graduated.
Thanks for praying, and if you think of it, please pray for the spouses of Callie and the quadruplets. I can’t wait to see what God does next.
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.