Today I am thankful for the youngest of our (living) children. Let me tell you why Anna is such a blessing to me.
Anna Grace McMoil was born in August 1995. She was the biggest of our children, weighing in at 8 lbs. 15 oz. My pregnancy with her was during one of the hottest summers on record in Buffalo, NY. We lived in a tiny (900 sq. ft.) house, one level, no air conditioning, windows that didn’t open all the way, and no attic to absorb the heat. The pregnancy was not an easy one–we almost lost her early on and health problems such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure plagued the entire pregnancy.To say I was miserable would be an understatement! Labor with Anna was unpredictable, starting then stopping. We finally left for the hospital about midnight. Nothing major was happening but my doctor, after experiencing the quick birth of our previous child, refused to allow me to go home. Labor restarted around 10:00 AM the next morning and Anna was born at 11:31. One thing unique about our Anna is she found one way to soothe herself was by rocking. She would wake up, pull her knees under her, put her head on the crib mattress, and rock back and forth. She did this so hard that by the time we moved her into a toddler bed, we threw the crib away–the frame was actually bent! This also made it difficult to comb her hair. Pictures of Anna in her younger years reveals that mom cut her hair very short to avoid the screams of getting a comb or brush through the knots! At preschool screening, it was discovered that Anna had an issue with her eyes not working together. At 4 years old, she underwent her first of two eye surgeries to correct the problem. The second surgery would take place when she was eight. To this day she still struggles with eye problems, but by God’s grace, has been able to obtain a driver’s license–something we were told she may never be able to do. Anna’s best friend was actually a lady old enough to be her grandma. Our next door neighbor while Anna was little was a retired lady named Connie. She lived alone since her husband had passed away suddenly. She had a cute little dog named Trixie. Connie loved Anna very much and nicknamed her Muffin. If I was ever looking for Anna, I knew to go next door first. She was usually there, playing with Trixie and chatting away with Connie. We all loved her and were devastated when Connie passed away in 2007. Anna developed a love for music and we found she was gifted with the ability to pick up on musical things quickly. Sports were not her thing, although she did try soccer, volleyball and basketball. She was actually a pretty good basketball player, but didn’t enjoy the competitive part of the sports world. Anna was homeschooled from 3rd grade through the end of high school, attending public school only for music. She started with the violin in 5th grade and switched to choir in 9th grade. She still loves to sing and sometimes serves on the worship team with her youth group. Anna has a special gift of patience with little ones and decided a while back that early childhood education was the career for her. She also has a gift for photography and has done several photo sessions for senior pictures and families. She has a love for Jesus that is beautiful and faith that is amazing. She is one who always sees the glass as half full–probably why she and mom hit heads so much as mom is a glass half empty kind of person! I prayed that God would bless us with one more child and, after a scary start to the pregnancy, God answered my prayer with a “Yes.” It is why her middle name is Grace. I am so thankful that God gave us this beautiful baby who has grown into a beautiful young woman–inside and out!