Happy Birthday!

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Today is my child’s fourteenth birthday.

We were overjoyed when we found out that I was pregnant with our first baby. We had been trying for a long time to have one, and were beginning to think it might never happen. Almost as soon as we had gotten used to the idea, our joy turned to despair when I started spotting. At the hospital a doctor performed an ultrasound and concluded that I was miscarrying when he didn’t find a heartbeat. He offered to do a D & C (dilation and curettage) right then and there to hasten the inevitable. Devastated, I said I just wanted to go home. He told me I would lose the baby naturally in a couple of days and to come back for a checkup.

I spent those days in bed sobbing. When my mother called me from Korea, I told her that I was pregnant and that I was miscarrying all in the same conversation. She called me later that day after consulting medical professionals she knew in Korea. She told me there was still hope. She was deluding herself, I thought. I pitied her, and pitied myself even more. The only thing that kept me calm was repeating Psalm 23 in my head over and over in the rich, archaic language of the King James version. I hadn’t even realized that I knew it by heart until then. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside still waters…Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

When we went back to the hospital, they did another blood test and were surprised by the results. They sent me to get another ultrasound and within seconds the technician casually said, as if she were not announcing something life-changing and miraculous: “There’s the heartbeat.”

The point is: from the very beginning it’s been a bumpy, winding road. These past fourteen years have been full of drama. There have been painful times and searingly beautiful moments when I have felt a love so intense that it literally hurt my heart. The point is: this “Prince of the Silla Dynasty,” as my parents dubbed him at birth, has taught me to have faith and to believe in goodness and mercy and miracles.

Happy birthday to my dear son. My cup overflows.

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