Our little girl, our heaven sent angel, our gift from above has moments where I think this is not my child. My child is sweet and cute and funny and well behaved. She is tantrum free and listens to mom and dad. She goes to bed on time, she doesn't scream and shout like a banshee and she happily devours her vegetables. There's moments when I feel like I need to arrange an excorism instead of a play date. And it's at times like these that I need to remind myself that she is a God send. That she is our blessing and that my journey is to be a part of hers.
Emma's first home, The Lighthouse Baby Shelter is run by Eleanor, a devout born again Christian. The babies and toddlers are raised knowing Jesus loves them and that they are all very special. This seems an odd way to open a post, but it helps to put things into perspective.
I have always believed in something bigger than me. When I'm behaving myself I believe in a heaven. When I fall by the wayside I pray that there's no hell. But this particular day I became a believer and that's when things changed.
It was a Saturday, in 2009. It was Nelson Mandela's 67 minutes of kindness and I was off to visit Emma at the shelter. Situated on a main road and close to Northgate, there are always people popping in to drop off food, nappies, formula, toys or just spend some time kiddies. And this day was no different, except that there were a whole lot of people doing their 67 minutes. I was sitting in the lounge with Emma on my lap while the other kiddies and babies were outside enjoying the sun.
While I sat with my baby girl in my arms the room filled with mist. Like when the washing machine is running and the windows are closed. I walked into the kitchen to see whether the tumble dryer or washing machine was on. I checked plug points to make sure nothing was burning, even though there was no smell. Sitting back down on the couch I waited for Eleanor. I needed to ask her what this mist was. I needed to make sure I wasn't going mad or that it wasn't the onset of a migraine. Eleanor walked in, looked around and said "I see God's visiting today". "Um, what do you mean?" "When we're expecting a lot of people, like today, the mist covers the babies. It's God laying a protective blanket over his special angels. He's keeping them safe!"
I couldn't wait to get home and tell Mark about the mist I had seen. I told him what Eleanor had said about it being a visit from God, or the Holy Spirit and had filled the entire house. Even as a reborn Christian Mark looked at me like I was slightly insane. "Did you drive home with Cheech and Chong?" Still sceptical and not quite believing me he called his oldest and closest friend, also a believer in the BIG book. After a catch up of "Buddy! Buddy? Watzuuuuuuuup!" and small talk around cricket, football and rugby Mark asked what forms the holy spirit could or would take. Mark looked at me, smiled and then put the phone down. "He says a mist...the holy spirit can and often takes on the form of a mist!"
I've only ever seen that mist one other time. The day Mark and I went for our final meeting with Eleanor and Wanita to let them know, that as a couple, we had agreed that Emma would join our family. After quite a grilling and a good once-over we walked into the nursery where Emma was fast asleep. And there just above her cot was the very same mist.
The Lord was keeping her safe until she was safe with us...