Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Today my Isaac turns double digits. Wow! This child had somewhat of a rough start but is turning out just fine, if I do say so myself.

Isaac is our fourth-born. John was done after Number 3. Actually, he was done after Number 2 but since Numbers 1 and 2 were boys I was able to convince him it'd be nice to try for a girl. Mariana likes to remind him that if he'd had his way, he wouldn't have her. It's something to think about.

But I finally was able to convince John that it'd be nice to add just one more child to the mix. And thankfully God worked things out so that John didn't have time to change his mind before Number 4 was on the way.

The next problem came when I found out that I was due Super Bowl weekend. This is not a problem for me. In fact, it would have given me something to do while the rest of the family members were glued to the set. The problem was my husband. Granted, there's not a lot he could do while I was delivering but it is nice to have him there. And I didn't think it'd be very helpful for the laboring woman, who is not responsible for her actions anyway, to have to listen to, "Why'd you do that?" "Come on, come on, come on. Let's get this moving now." or "Touchdown!" It could get very confusing. And there would be the problem of having to time the ride to the hospital before the pregame show or after after-game interviews. There wouldn't even be a half-time option as the commercials are too much a part of the game. I decided to wait this one out.

Once we got over those hurdles, God sent another interesting twist. I remember crying out to God one day that I didn't quite understand how I had a passion for 13 children (I've since come way down, limiting my dream to 12 as a compromise to my gray-haired husband) when John was adamant that Number 4 would be the last. In my prayer I was willing to be the one who received the heart change but I pleaded for one of us to have a change of heart. At that moment I very clearly sensed God saying that I would know I was finished having children (Note: This applies only to biological children) when I had another girl.

Okay then. Knowing that John was finished, I assumed this pregnancy must be that promised girl that was going to take all large-family desires away. However, I wasn't ready to concede, "You were right," so I didn't tell John what I had heard.

Being a person who needs the surprise of "It's a . . . . ," to get me through that process affectionately known as labor, we have never found out the gender of our baby during pregnancy. And in this case, I assumed I didn't need an ultrasound to tell me what I already knew. We've always had trouble coming up with boys' names that we could agree upon so whenever the discussion would come up I'd tell John that it didn't matter; we didn't need a boy's name because we were having a girl. So, we called "her" Eliza Cynthia for a good 4 months leading up to delivery. (I guess it's a good thing John would never let us share our names ahead of time so poor Isaac was only known as Eliza to the two of us. Otherwise it could have been seriously damaging.)

On January 21 I came down with some type of infection. We never did figure out what it was but my temperature was higher than I've ever known it to be. Concerned for the baby because all the baby books and doctor hand-outs say to call the doctor if you have a fever over a certain amount and I was certainly over, I called the doctor. But he just blew me off. There was a lot of noise in the background so I had a feeling he was enjoying his Sunday night and just didn't want to go into the hospital that night. Okay, he's the professional. But I just felt worse and worse. So I called again and was told the same thing; don't worry about it. Then John's sister called, just to see how I was doing. John and I told her what was going on and immediately she told me that if I was her patient, she'd call me in immediately to see how the baby was faring. Armed with this information I called the doctor one more time and pulled rank. This time he told me to go to the hospital immediately.

Now things got interesting as it became clear the baby was in possible trouble. I was given antibiotics, the fever came down almost immediately, and labor was induced. On January 22, the baby was born and the doctor announced for all to hear, "It's a boy!" I, of course, said, "Are you sure? Check again." Amazingly the doctor was right. I checked for myself and sure enough, it was a boy. Oh dear.

Eliza just wasn't going to work for this one. And where was the girl God promised? And what about naming a child for me? I had done all the work 4 times now and no namesake to show for it. So for the first time in our lives we had to call people with the exciting news that we had a boy, but that he had no name.

Since we decided that all we could do in this situation was to laugh, Isaac (meaning "laughter") seemed like a fitting choice. Christian, for a grandfather and a great-grandfather, seemed like a fitting middle name. Bingo! Problem solved.

Wait. Isaac Christian King would give him the initials ICK. Not exactly a good choice for all those places where you need to initial. Back to the drawing board.

Okay, maybe we can figure out how to name this child after me anyway. Cynthia's out. Sidney just doesn't work for either of us (phew!). Well, my middle name is Joy, if we change one letter we get Jay which is also the middle name of favorite uncle (my apologies to all of my other uncles but none of you spent as my time with me as Uncle Leon Jay and I certainly don't remember any of you taking me to an amusement park and then entertaining me by losing your cookies after one of my favorite rides). Bingo! Problem is now solved.

Isaac Jay King it is. And look, it's helpful when learning your alphabet because the letters go right in order: I - J - K. (Side note: When singing the alphabet song it works really well to sing A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-Isaac-Jay-King-L-M-N-O-P, etc. It's a great song for singing to Baby)

And the only ill effects of my fever were that Isaac had to spend extra time under the warming lights. Apparently a fever in the mother often causes the baby to have a lower-than-normal temp. No problem now. This child is always barefoot and in T-shirts, even in the winter. Or maybe they kept him under the lights too long?

Isaac has lived up to his name because he is such a happy-go-lucky child. He takes life in stride and has a positive attitude through it all. He loves all and serves all. His servant's heart challenges me.

(Isaac and Jesse after Bye, Bye Birdie, Andrew trying to look like he doesn't know them)

We love you, Isaac Jay! Enjoy your day with friends and we're glad you love your new bedroom. It should be a great way to start your year in double digits.

And for any who are concerned about God's promise for a girl: I took it up with God again. And again He clearly said I'd know I was finished when I had another girl. This time He added a little more, "You will know you are finished when you have another girl and her name will be Eden." Oh dear, John's never going to go for this. Another baby? And the name, Eden? He doesn't even like regular names. But that's a story for another day.

Oh, and about that Super Bowl problem: Because Isaac was born on the Monday before the Super Bowl, he was able to go to his first Super Bowl party at less than a week old. I know, I know, for my mother's generation who would have still been in the hospital and for today's mothers who don't leave their houses for a month and who don't let people near their babies for the first half year, this sounds horrific. But he survived. And lived to tell about it. So, Isaac, how was that first Super Bowl, anyway?

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