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Miracles happen when you least expect themcomment (0)

April 6, 2006

By Betty Baggott

I’ve visited my daughter and her family in Minnesota many times. But each time my daughter Autumn picks me up at the airport and I climb into the back with my little grandson Kevin — almost 2 years old — I give thanks to God for the blessing of this little angel.

He kicks his small feet up and down and smiles now and then. I squeeze him with a bear hug and start singing my favorite silly songs to him. I see my daughter peering at us in the rearview mirror. She has a look of love on her face for precious little Kevin and me.

A special child, Kevin was born with spina bifida, a neural tube defect that occurs in the first month of pregnancy when the spinal column doesn’t close completely, according to the Spina Bifida Association. Many of you have wanted to know of his progress since I first mentioned his condition when he was born.

So far, he moves all his limbs. He is not sitting up yet but working very hard on it. According to the doctors, he will be able to sit, crawl and walk. Time will tell and this is our prayer. I am always so pleased at the progress he has made. Having been born premature, he is right on target, according to the doctors.

Before I left for Minnesota the last time I visited, knowing that Autumn; her husband, Chris; and the therapist spend a lot of time working on the coordination of balance for him, I prayed. “God, please let the little fellow be sitting up before I leave to come home.”

It was one of those fleeting prayers that you pray over and over. As I closed my eyes on the airplane, I breathed the same words again. “Please let my little angel sit up.”

It was quiet around the house. Chris was still at work, and one reason I came at this particular time was to allow Autumn time for the extra rehearsals of “ Honk!,” a musical she was directing for Wayzata Community Church, where she is a member. Autumn was at the church, so little Kevin and I were in the floor playing. One toy after the other I would place in his lap as he leaned with his back up against me. I would steady him and he would fall over. For a brief span, I turned my attention to a toy I was trying to put together for him.    

It struck me that I did not feel his little body against mine. I looked at him and he was sitting up, straight as an arrow. Those chubby hands were playing with his musical ball. I did not move, afraid to break the spell of the moment. I decided to count and I reached 15. I sat him up again and this time, I counted to 20 … over and over. I got so excited that I had a few tears falling down my cheeks. It was my special miracle, and he sat up just for me. That night, his parents had him sitting up much longer, and today, as I have talked to Autumn by phone, she shared that he had sat up for 10 minutes. God is so good.

In the Minnesota paper, there was a story promoting the musical. The reporter quoted Autumn. “This musical is about tolerance and acceptance of differences that are apparent ... I saw the musical five years ago but really began seeing it in a different light after learning Kevin’s diagnosis. I really began to identify with the story and its simple, yet strong message of tolerance and acceptance. It is a show that truly etched a place in my heart. Kevin is the swan in my life.”

In the musical, a version of “The Ugly Duckling,” which I saw twice, the audience roars at the end when the so-called “ugly duckling” turns into a beautiful swan and has accomplished so much in his life.

Likewise little Kevin is the swan in my life. He has taught me in these brief months about courage, about laughter at the smallest things.

He is a bundle of joy with a bright future ahead of him. Miracles do happen and they will continue.

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