My friend Misty, who is neonatal nurse, called me a few weeks ago to tell me about quadruplets who were recently born at her hospital. This couple has a 2 1/2 year old and with the help of artificial insemination, thought they were expecting twins. They moved to Hawaii to be close to family to help out with their growing family. Well, the twins turned into quads and they were forced to relocate back to southern California for medical care. So here they are now, suddenly a family of 7, with their support system in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. That is about the extent of the details that I know. However, I do know how difficult it is to have a newborn let alone four. And I do know what it is like to have a toddler vying for your attention when you seem to be to caught up with the baby (or in this case, babies). And I do know what it is like to have a baby thousands of miles away from your family. Those are things I do know. Misty called me and asked me if I would tell the ladies in my Bible study group and pass the word along to friends and see if they would be willing to help because she was hoping to start a schedule of visitors who could bring a meal, help with feedings, do laundry, etc. I said, “Totally!” and then I hung up the phone and in my head said, “I don’t really want to.”
I take things too personal. If someone didn’t want to help out, I would feel like they didn’t want to help me and weren’t interested in what I had to share with them. I know that what one person is passionate about, others may not be, but I still take things to heart and for that reason I didn’t want to spread the word. And then conviction came and I heard in my head, “Whatever you do unto the least of these you do unto me”. How completely selfish of me! I wasn’t willing to tell people of the very real needs that having quadruplets entails because I didn’t want to get my feelings hurt! Somewhere in the midst I made it about me! And so I went to Bible Study the next morning and told the group of women that I meet with about this family and about the internal battle I had with myself the night before. I have shared in my blog that my goal is to live intentionally. I don’t want to live each and every day for myself, but to live a life that is an example to my kids and to others and here, my friend Misty was doing that, and giving me the opportunity to do so as well.
The local newspaper wrote a story about them and mentioned in there that they would be receiving help from the local churches. Misty told me, “It’s in the paper now, so I hope this all works out!” It hasn’t worked out the way she or I would have liked, a few people showed interest and for every little bit I am sure the family is grateful. But I have decided to continue to use my voice in anyway I can and get the word out there about this family in need. This isn’t about me, this is about Karen and Richard Pata and their four little blessings (and struggles) that just entered this world. I don’t have much to give in the way of finances, or even time since I have my own 2 kids to take care of. In fact, the idea of stepping into someone’s house that I don’t know is intimidating as I don’t consider myself a “baby person”, but I have told Misty to put me down for Tuesday nights for 4 weeks because that is something manageable and feasible for me at this time.
If you would like to help in anyway, either with your physical presence in their house or by sending them a note of encouragement, some clothes, or financially, you can contact the family directly at Patakeikis@yahoo.com
I expect nothing less than for this internal battle I had with myself to be turned into another unexpected joy!