Gina Moore (copy)

Being on COVID quarantine wasn't how we imagined this special time welcoming our precious new grandson, Boone Glenn Moore, and ringing in the new year.

But, I can tell you, it cannot steal the joy we feel!

Sure, my husband, Kelly, and I wish we were able to have been at the hospital right after our first grandchild's birth on the afternoon of Dec. 30. Sure, we wish we could have welcomed them home with dinner and helping hands. Sure, we wish we could hold and smell his sweet newness and be present for some of his firsts. But we're overwhelmingly more thankful than disappointed.

As I sat (and continue to) waiting on phone-call or text updates, pictures, and video chats, I've found myself doing plenty of praying … probably more than I otherwise would have done. And I'm SO thankful for God, who hears our prayers 24/7! I can tell you firsthand, he answers them too!

When I read our son Whitson's “2:33 he's here” text that afternoon, I kind of felt like Gerry Bertier in the “Remember the Titans” hospital scene as he cheered from his bed (recliner for me) watching his team win the championship … pure hands-in-the-air praise!

Thankfully, Whitson and Courtnee are both great storytellers, so, although we've had to be patient, we haven't been left in the dark at this exciting time. Their first child arrived right on the bullseye of his due date. Although plans had been made to check in to the hospital that night to be induced, when we heard their car horn blowing as they passed our house that morning, we smiled, thankful no inducing was needed.

We knew Courtnee would be relieved, as she'd hoped to go into labor naturally — when the time was right. I'd been praying often for that to happen, plus, of course, a smooth, safe, healthy delivery for mama and baby. And I'm quite sure I'm not the only one who had been praying similar for them.

After honking the horn, Whitson called to confirm they were en route, as a few minutes prior Courtnee looked at him and told him it was time. Soon, Whitson texted a picture of Courtnee wearing a hospital gown and said they were immediately given a room upon arrival. With Christmas just past, that meaning wasn't lost on me.

We had heard the labor and delivery floor had been really busy the day or two before, so we were relieved to hear things seemed quiet that morning. As I waited throughout the day for tidbit updates, memories washed over me of those special times 28, 26 and almost 24 years ago when our children were born.

Just as we encountered some outstanding nurses and doctors back then, I prayed for and thanked God for those who would be there that day. I'm not sure those folks realize what an important, supportive role they play in this special time in the life of a young family. Their care and their encouragement are long remembered and cherished.

Even if we hadn't been sick, we still would have waited at home that day because of current hospital safety policies. When you find yourself on the waiting end (wherever you wait), it can seem things move in slow motion. Progress reports came sporadically. Prayer was more constant.

I will never forget the special moments that night, listening to Whitson recount with such awe the details of the birth day. It was precious to hear how proud he was of his wife Courtnee and their new baby. I hope he never forgets the awe of that day.

That said, our families are overjoyed and so thankful to announce the arrival of this first grandchild on both sides. “Boone” means “blessing” and/or “good,” and we praise God for this good, beautiful blessing, indeed! And, although we've enjoyed peeking at him through the window, we sure do look forward to loving on him in person soon!

Yes, the timing of us getting COVID has been a bummer, but we realize we cannot complain. So many have been so much more pained by this pandemic and its associated losses. Thankfully, our cases have been mild, and the light is at the end of our quarantine tunnel.

During this pandemic, I've thought about how different it is for new parents bringing babies home compared with how it was for us. As with many changes forced upon us the past couple of years, we must admit they aren't all bad. And at times, I can't help pondering Jesus' words, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” (John 13:7)

Perhaps fewer visitors has given parents and their new babies time to concentrate on becoming acquainted. Those early days with our newborns are certainly a blur in my memory. People were understandably excited to visit. And we were excited to show off our precious babies. But feeling the need to get ready and not exactly entertain but to at least “be present” for visitors quickly exhausts a new mama.

My hindsight advice to new parents is to keep it simple and not try to accomplish much of anything that first week or so, other than enjoying and getting to know their baby. It's important to rest when the opportunities present. After all, most of the other stuff can wait, as we might say — until due time.

Yes, we ended our year with thankful hearts, looking forward to the many blessings this new year holds. Quarantine or not, I'm not sure we could ask for more.

“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-7)

Gina Moore, a news-editorial journalism major, has operated Marketplace Consignment Sale for 27 years and has worked part-time at Treasures. She also enjoys country cooking, reading and writing about motherhood, life on the farm and how God’s love and lessons surround residents.