Despite all their misgivings about having children, Pam and David were terrific parents. They were compassionate yet principled, generous yet disciplined, rational and fun-loving. Jennifer thrived as their child.
When Jennifer was a year and a bit, Pam felt ready to have a second, and she prayed to God that if He wanted them to have another, God would move in David’s life and David would suggest it. That very same day, David mentioned to Pam that they were starting to get older, and if they were going to have any more children, they should start heading in that direction! And so they did. Two years after Jennifer was born, there was another baby. Allison Deborah came along, rounding out their all-American family of four.
Although the couple assumed 2 kids, a dog, and a house was the fulfillment of the American Dream, God seemed to have other ideas.
Early in 1988, despite their normal “prevention” methods, David started to suspect that Pam was pregnant again. She was sure that there was no way she was, but a week later, a positive pregnancy test proved her wrong. Two days after Christmas that year, Daniel Joshua was born. His two older sisters adored him from the start, convinced they knew best for him, and “helping” Pam at every turn.
In the summer of 1990, Pam and David felt led to trust God for a fourth child, if it was His will. On Sunday, January 21, 1991, Allison was in Sunday School and confidently announced to her teacher that her mommy had a baby in her tummy. When the teacher asked Pam about this wonderful event, Pam assured her there was no way she was pregnant. But a few weeks later, Pam came home from shopping, complaining to David that the sales clerk had on such strong perfume in the store.
And that’s how they found out Pam was pregnant with their fourth. Esther Ruth was born on October 20, 1991.
Axel, I could tell you all kinds of stories about growing up as part of the JADE crew. How we built a dozen forts in the woods behind our house. How we raised monarch butterflies every year. How we all played basketball. How we were classmates for all of K-12. How we lived for our annual trip to the Outer Banks. How we formed bonds that can never be broken.
But I need to tell you another story.
I need to tell you how I fell in love with your dad. And how the biggest surprise of my life was how he fell in love with you.