Four-Eyed Adi

We somehow knew that one day, Adi would need to wear eyeglasses. My husband and I are both myopic. I started wearing glasses when I was in kindergarten; Aleks when he was in high school. Dominant genes. So hard to fight.

Some two years ago, a doctor friend told us to bring Adi to an ophthalmologist once he reached the age of 3. This was after learning that both Aleks and I are nearsighted. This kind doctor friend said it is for the best interest of Adi that we find out the soonest so an early intervention could be done. We took note of this. Unfortunately, one event after another took over the plan to bring our firstborn to an eye specialist. I had this on my to-do list for months. It took a little accident with Lara that resulted to a minor laceration near her eye to finally have us visit an ophtha.

While waiting for our turn to see the doctor, Aleks said that it might be good to have Adi’s eyes checked too, since we were already there. I agreed. After securing an LOA from our health card provider, the doctor’s secretary also had Adi’s info sheet on queue. Upon checking, the ophtha told us that Lara’s laceration was minor and shallow. Her eyeball didn’t experience trauma from the mishap. A topical ointment was prescribed for her. Thank God. Upon further checking, the ophtha said that Lara might have myopia too. She, however, instructed us to bring Lara back to her after 3 months. She wanted to make sure. Maybe Lara’s pupils did not fully dilate at the time of the check up, thus the initial diagnosis. She will check on our little girl again after 3 months. Whew.

In Adi’s case, the doctor was certain of his myopic condition. When she told us the vision grade, I didn’t want to believe it. Too high for a 4-year old! I held my breath. The doctor said the goal at this point is to provide quality vision, since Adi is young and needs all the help he can get to fully develop his faculties. Quality vision. Yes, I understand that. Because he is still very young, wearing eyeglasses is our best option. LASIK procedure is possible only when he reaches his 18th year (or when his eyeballs stop growing, the ophtha said). That’s still a long way to go.

It took me a while to process all this. (Still processing until now, I guess.) While there was strong suspicion about our kids having myopia too, I was in denial for a time. That night, I cried to my husband. I shared the fears and the worries I started having knowing that Adi has myopia too. The limitations he will begin to have because of poor vision. I know them too well. What of playing soccer or football or other rough sports? The possibility of being bullied because of being four-eyed. How his self-esteem will be affected with this weakness. One fear after the other. I was scared they will not stop.

My husband comforted me with the truth that God knew this beforehand. He is the Creator of our children. We somehow had an idea that this could be, but God knew this. He knew. And we have to trust that even in this, God is working His will in the lives of our children. He loves them the most. He does, doesn’t He?

When Adi finally got fitted with his first pair of eyeglasses last week, I made a mental note that this was big. Our boy was having a milestone. What’s more, I didn’t expect the ways that God showed us He cares for Adi. A loved one covered the fee for the expensive frame. The optical shop staff made special arrangements to accommodate our schedule and order. Family and friends showered us with encouragement and good cheer when Aleks posted a bespectacled Adi on Facebook. Two of our doctor friends echoed precious words of hope — they know of people who wore glasses during childhood that eventually had improved vision; more importantly, that we always have hope, hope eternal.

It was heartwarming to watch Adi the first time he wore his glasses. He was looking at everything with utmost fascination. He was looking at the wide screen TV sets turned on in an appliance store, observing every detail of what was shown. He would stop randomly in front of board ups, seemingly soaking in the letters and pictures. When we asked him how things were with his eyeglasses on, he would exclaim, “Everything is big!” Perhaps that’s his way of describing “clear” ☺️

Aleks said that he’s hoping that one of the things that wearing eyeglasses will teach Adi is compassion for others. He will not be this “perfect” little boy who has everything. He has weaknesses. And recognizing his own weaknesses and limitations will hopefully enable him to extend kindness and compassion to others. What a beautiful thing to pray for and look forward to.

So yes, after a couple of eye check-ups, we have confirmed that Adi has myopia. But God knew this way, way before. Even before Adi was formed in my womb. And He didn’t only know this; He’s got this.

Our Darling Dumpling, Lara

Around this time last year, I was already in labor. Your dad and I were told that second time labor usually progresses swiftly. So I was set on meeting you just maybe few hours after I was admitted in the hospital. But it was not the case. You had your own way, baby. My contractions became intermittent after midnight and it took several more hours before I could finally deliver you. And wow, what a delivery it was! Very quick. Just a couple of minutes before noontime of January 27, 2018, you were finally born.

When you came out, Dr. Menie — my OB, and you and your Kuya Adi’s deliverer — exclaimed that you looked exactly like your Kuya when he was born! The only differences were you are a girl and an exact kilo lighter than he was at birth. Your dad was with us all the way. He tried to cut your umbilical cord and took photos of your first precious hours outside utero. Wow. You were finally here. Lauren Maranatha. Lara.

If I’d be ask what having you in our life has brought us, I would enumerate so many things. But one thing that stands out is how having you is teaching me how to respect the uniqueness of one’s personality. Being our second child, it is always a temptation to compare you with your brother. However, I am continuously learning that you are your own person, the same way that your Kuya Adi is also his own person. You are siblings; you have similarities in facial expressions, reactions, and sometimes, even in preferences. But your characters are distinct. It is a blessing for me to get to know you and witness you grow. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, dear Lara.

It delights (and scares) me to see you take risks — especially when you started being mobile. You have no idea how much courage I always need to muster whenever you attempt to do something new. I remind myself that it is for your own good. You need to explore. And explore you do. You have that determined look every time you try to do something. And the triumphant smile on your face once you succeeded — priceless!

Your dad and I observe how you seem to already know how to charm your way around. You have that smile and that look that always, always make your dad, your Kuya, and your ninangs melt. As you grow, we will try our best to teach you how to use your charm wisely, okay? It will be for your own good 😊

These days, you seem to understand things more and more. And it’s so wonderful how you perfectly fit in our day-to-day grind. Like when Kuya Adi starts to sing, you automatically pay attention and clap your hands when he’s done singing. Or when he’s having a meltdown and you yourself is starting to be fussy, I’ve seen you behave and just stare at Kuya until his issues are resolved. And then you’d resume being fussy (thanks for taking turns, kids!). There are also times when maybe you could feel that your brother doesn’t want to nap yet. And so you’d roll over to him and start doing this play thing that the two of you usually do. Ergo, nap time is postponed to several more minutes. (Your dad and I have to prepare for when the two of you resort to connivance in the near future.)

What a beautiful blessing this past year has been, specifically because of your coming.

You are God’s wonderful gift to us, Lara. As challenging as it is to care for 2 kids, your dad and I couldn’t imagine life without you. You bring joy and delight. You (and your brother) make dad and me want to become godly parents. You draw Kuya Adi out and that helps him to be a kind and loving brother. We are so grateful to God because He gave you to us. And our prayer is that He will preserve you and save you for His purposes and glory.

Happy, happy 1st birthday, dearest Lara! We love you. You will always be our darling dumpling 💕

Photo taken by Aleks