New kind of normal. Our normal. Not normal. These are all phrases you hear when you spend time with families with terminally ill children.

Our lives are not “normal.” Letting go of that normal has been very, very hard. I often wish that life was easier. I wish that my two little girls were running around, laughing and playing together. I wish that Lauren and Carmen would grow up together.

For some reason, God chose us for a not-so-normal life. We took the first step by adopting internationally but we had no idea that road would lead us to a terminally ill child. Letting go of my own desire for a normal life has been a painful process and one I continue to struggle with.

I keep going back to Hebrews 11, the faith chapter. Normal is not spending a year in an Ark. Talk about life on hold! Normal is not waiting until you are 90 and 100 years old for a child. Most of us don’t like waiting one day for what we want. Normal is not hiding your child for 3 months from a king intent on killing all baby boys. Normal is not giving that baby boy to the very people enslaving and mistreating your people. I doubt Moses’ mom envisioned this life for her son.

I can’t think of anyone in the Bible who lived a normal life. And yet their lives are awe-inspiring. So perhaps normal is over-rated. I do know that this past year with Carmen has changed us forever. I don’t think we will ever be normal again and I am not sure we would want to be. I hope and pray that for the rest of our lives, we let go of normal. And that we are willing to take the big “risks” that are both painful and rewarding.

Me and Carmen, an amazing little girl who is teaching me so much without ever uttering a word.