Here is the story (so far) of our sweet little boy: Lewis Alexander Tinklepaugh. A vibrant, passionate, loving, caring, deeply emotional and perceptive little boy. He loves deeply, he cares deeply, he is full of FIRE, and full of life!!!
I went into labor with him at 33 weeks- my water spontaneously ruptured (quite a rupture I might say…there was no mistaking it!). My sweet husband was in Korea and I was in VA at the time finishing out my time in the Army. I was ambulanced over to Bethesda, MD and out came little Lewis at 33 weeks, 56 1/2 hours later…but he was 5 1/2 pounds!!!! Would you believe that Brian made it 7 hours before his birth? Good thing I was in labor so long 🙂 12 days later, Lewis was released from the NICU and we were so happy to bring him home. Unfortunately, he had to come back to the hospital with RSV about a month later for a few more days right up to Christmas Day. Thankfully, those were the last days he had to spend overnight in the hospital since then.
It is amazing to me how BIG Lewis is with how EARLY he came out!!! THAT is God’s REDEMPTION for you. Let me tell you, NICU babies have an amazing story to tell. I have yet to meet one that isn’t a giant for their age! God is the God of the suffering, the oppressed, the fatherless, the sick, the widowed, and the poor. He is the God of the humble and contrite in heart. He LOVES to come to their aid. He NEVER ceases to amaze me. There are times when I don’t quite understand His ways (they are higher than my ways)….BUT, HE NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE ME. He is simply an AWESOME God.
The rest of his life, up until 2, besides having fun in Korea once our family was reunited, was spent catching up developmentally…and blowing our minds with how smart, strong, and capable he was. Every child is so impressive with their ability to learn so fast and to absorb so much. It is really a miracle and every parent, I think, loves watching that miracle growth happen with their children! Korea was a FUN place for our family. We had a great time there!!!
Upon turning two, shortly after, we returned to the states from Korea, this time to the desert in California. It was a tough move for all of us. It involved a LOT of change, especially with a brand new sibling who just arrived before we left. We’ve been here almost a year now. What a year this has been! Lewis has learned so much and changed so much.
Right now, at 3, we are still in the throes of parenting- the “fire of parenthood” as a sweet friend put it. Perfectly said 🙂 Right now, it is “my way or the highway” as one teacher also put it. Here and there (these moments are getting more frequent each week now, praise the Lord!), we see glimpses of the incredible little spirit God has given Lewis. The Lord is refining him (and us!!!) in this parenting process. He is growing closer and closer to Jesus and it is BEAUTIFUL to see. We are so proud of Lewis. We are so thankful to have the gift of parenthood to watch him grow and to submit unto the Lord in parenting him. It is so very hard. It is so very worth every moment. Of course, I need reminders of the fruit of our labor every now and then, but, over and over, the Lord has proven to me (through others’ experiences and our own limited experience in parenting right now) that IT works. The Lord’s way works!!! If you train them up in the way they ought to go, when they are old, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). I am clinging to this verse right now!!!
My favorite thing about Lewis right now is what an incredible big brother he is to Hannah. His every waking moment is concerned with her–what she is playing with, if she is hungry, why she is sad, being with her, teaching her things, and taking care of her. Mind you, he went through a pretty intense “bopping” stage, but came out on the other side a transformed big brother. We truly hope this side never fades!!! Hannah has brought out a GENTLE side of Lewis, one in which we started to think we would never see! Even today, for his birthday party, when it was time for Hannah’s nap, he pleaded with me that she be able to stay awake with him for his birthday party. How could I say no to that???
Happy Birthday Big 3. You are not so little anymore. You are getting to be a big boy now. We couldn’t be more proud of you. We know Jesus is so proud of you too. We all love you.