My youngest son, Isaac, is my youngest son because of baseball.
Sound crazy? Let me explain. We had always wanted another child after Nick was born, but because of his needs, we waited quite a while before even trying again. There is almost a five year gap between Matt and Nick, so we weren’t concerned about a similar gap between Nick and a younger sibling. When Nick was four, we decided we were ready. When I still wasn’t pregnant a year later, I went to the doctor.
Nothing seemed amiss and yet I still wasn’t getting pregnant. We thought maybe we weren’t supposed to have any more children. But the desire was still there. So we prayed.
…and prayed some more.
My eldest son, Matthew, was born an athlete. I say this because from the time he could walk, he turned everything into a game of athletic skill. His first word besides “mama” and “dada” was ball. Not french fries, not bottle….BALL. Any ball he picked up, he could do damage with, whether a basketball, a football or a baseball. Had he liked the sport, he would have been an excellent soccer player.
His first love was basketball. He would shoot dirty socks through a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle laundry basket into the waiting bucket below. He practiced dribbling with a ball that smelled like strawberries when he was 18 months old.
When he was 3 he got a Little Tykes basketball set. The hoop extended from 4 to 6 feet high. The first afternoon it was put together, he was happily shooting the tiny basketball into the 4 foot high hoop. A friend was over and said, “put it up higher and see how he does.” So, I did. First to 5 feet. The first shot sailed in and as I have heard it on ESPN–NOTHING BUT NET. So, I put it up all the way to the top…6 feet. He looked at me and smiled. Shot the ball…SWOOSH! My friend turned to me and said, “He is going to be paying your bills someday!” We laughed but I knew then that he was gifted athletically. God blessed him with incredible hand-eye coordination (something i definitely don’t possess), with speed, with the ability to see something and mimic it when it comes to anything pertaining to sports. He is a sponge. And he loved basketball. So, we tried to get him onto a team anywhere. And, for reasons that are varied and ridiculous…it never really happened.
He was able to play one year with a school league but didn’t enjoy it as much as he thought he would.
And in the meantime we tried to have another child. But it just didn’t happen. And as Nick requires so much of our time, we thought maybe God was telling us we had our hands full. We prayed. We cried. Finally we said if it happens it happens if it doesn’t then we can be thankful for the two boys we already have.
Not yet. God answered our prayers with baseball.
We had just moved and thought Matt needed something to occupy his time. So, we signed him up at the local little league. He is 12 years old. It is opening ceremonies and the day is dragging on and I am sitting next to one of the dads on our team. And I say to this gentleman, “your son looks like his mom.” And he laughs and says he is not sure about that one because his son is his adopted son…his chosen child. So we begin to talk. I had always believed that adoption was a lengthy expensive venture–that only wealthy couples could dream of adopting. He explained to me exactly how the process works and that no…it actually doesn’t cost thousands upon thousands of dollars. It just takes time.
That was when I knew we would have another child. I had always believed that we were promised one more child and that if it was a boy we would name him Isaac because he is the child God promised to us. A little over 2 years later, we brought Isaac Lee home.
And every time I look at Issac I think, thank God for baseball, and thank God that He brought Isaac Lee safely home.