The Japanese repair broken pottery with gold- the art of Kintsugi. An ordinary bowl or vase suddenly becomes a magnificent piece of art because of repaired cracks filled with gold running through the design.
When it comes to our children, I think it can be easy to expect a certain product going into it without even realizing or admitting out loud that we do.
We put in our order, and then wait for our Ikea delivery of a mass produced vase to arrive. We dream of displaying it perfectly in our house where all can see and comment on the beautiful symmetry, gloriously detailed color, and smartly polished exterior. We beam at the perfection of our art. Look at what we have done.
We expect one thing, and if our order arrives cracked, broken, smudged, or defective- we label it as such. A birth defect, a mistake.
The problem is- the one who is creating our children- the Master Artist behind all of human kind- he doesn't make mistakes. There is no such thing as a "cracked, broken, smudged, or defective" work when it comes to God's creation.
When I received Addison's diagnosis, I thought my baby was broken because I was waiting for the vase I ordered from the picture catalog- the vase with a perfectly smooth exterior. But what I didn't realize was that God deliberately made her vase with certain cracks so that he could have a place to add in gold and make her beauty and worth ten times what I had expected.
She isn't broken. She was made perfectly this way.
These cracks didn't happen because of something we did or because of a mistake made. These cracks were God's deliberate gift to us. A gift of unique beauty. A way to make something great even better. A way to create extra place holders for some brilliantly colored gold.
I have three children- all different- all made that way for a reason. My "orders" have come to me entirely different than what I expected. They are better than my mind could have ever dreamed up on its own.
None of them are perfect, but they were each designed perfectly just the way they were meant to be from the very beginning.
Truth be told, when it comes to children- they all have their own unique design, their own individual swirl of colors, their own scratches and cracks adding character to their vase. There are no two children designed alike. There is no such thing as an Ikea mass produced model of a child. And thank God for that.
The Master Artist doesn't stare at the finished product that is my daughter's life and bemoan mistakes. He beams with pride over his perfectly unique creation that was sent to add beauty to a fallen world.
The Master Artist isn't up in his studio scratching his head over all the labels floating around these days wondering how the scratches and cracks came to be in his art. He made those scratches- deliberately. He planned for them and executed them perfectly into a unique being full of beauty all his own- liberally pouring gold into the extra spaces.
"Oh if only Addison was the little girl I was supposed to have instead of one with an extra chromosome!"
She is exactly the little girl I was meant to have. She was created perfectly- with many flecks of gold proving worth far beyond what I deserve. There was no "oopsie" here. There was only an "It is good" as he stared at his creation.
I see where Addison is so very different from other girls her age. I get frustrated with her at times. I question why she has to work so hard for certain things. But then as I look closer- as I lean in to truly study the pottery that was gifted to me- I see the much deeper cracks and scratches than are on Carter's or Eli's pottery. I see where extra space was created on her vase- extra long scratches. And as I truly take the time to examine this- I see the extra gold that was poured into all that extra space. Extra gold that was supposed to go there from the very beginning as part of her design- not to fix a mistake. Extra gold that is so pure and startlingly beautiful that it takes over the look of the entire vase. A vase that isn't broken- but a vase with so many glorious lines of gold designed into it that the beauty is truly breathtaking.
My children were all designed perfectly. I pray that I can teach them as they grow to embrace their uniqueness. I pray that I can teach the boys that Addison is the perfect sister for them. I pray that I can show them through example how to accept the sovereign Creator's plan as the best plan. The most beautiful plan. The plan with absolutely no mistakes.