To my daughters…

To my daughters…

20140326-134052.jpg

DSC_0003

I had fallen asleep at school that day. When I told Daddy, he was convinced that our dream was coming true.  I agreed to take a test, and 3 minutes later, we saw those 2 little lines appear. Those lines that meant you were on the way.  Those lines that meant finally, after all the waiting and wondering, we would be parents. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Even though it was 11 at night, we called Mamaw and Papa and Gammy and Granpa right away.  We even jumped in the car and drove to tell our friends. They were excited too after they woke up and got out of bed.  You, our baby, were all Daddy and I could think about.

2639_67886079544_3320177_n

 

DSC_0174We had wanted another baby for so long. My heart was longing to hold a precious little one close, to feel a baby’s soft cheeks brush mine, to cradle a tiny one in my arms.  Daddy and I had talked. We had prayed. We knew God would bring a baby at his time and in his way.  And He put adoption in our hearts.  The day we decided we would adopt, you became real to me.  I knew we would get our baby, and I am so thankful that baby is you. I began to dream of you. I imagined what you would look like and when you would come.  Joy had filled my heart.

 

DSC_0003We went to the doctor for my sonogram and my heart felt like it would burst.  Sitting in the waiting room, I felt like time had stopped.  All I could do was watch the hand ticking slowly around the face of the clock. I couldn’t wait for the official word that you, my child, were real.  When I saw that little morsel on the black and white screen, tears filled my eyes. You were real, and you were coming!

It's_a_baby!!!_005

 

DSC_0174We went to Gladney to begin our journey which would lead us to you.  I was so nervous. I couldn’t decide what to wear. I wanted to look perfect, to act perfect, for everything to be perfect.  It had to be – because this was the first step toward our baby. We learned so much at orientation – what the process would look like, what we needed to complete. And we learned that we would have to wait.  I had no idea then how hard the waiting would be.

460068_475256225858041_2001155995_o

 

DSC_0003When we heard your heartbeat for the first time I couldn’t believe how beautiful it sounded.  A tiny little heart beating inside a tiny little body.  Beating so fast – pumping blood to all your tiny parts. The doctor said your heart sounded perfect – of course I already knew you were.  My days were spent dreaming of you, wondering if you would be Claire or Connor,  planning every little detail of your nursery. I didn’t have a clue how much you would change our lives – how you would fill it up with joy and laughter, and how much I would learn from being your mommy.

4934_105937869544_3500295_n

 

DSC_0174As soon as we got home from Gladney, we started the paperwork.  The huge binder full of papers.  As we answered questions about our jobs, our family, our marriage, our health, our house, all I could think about was you.  Each doctor visit, each fingerprinting session, each interview, was just a stepping stone to our destination.  Spending late evening hours at the kitchen table, with papers spread out in front of us, was a joy – because it meant you were on the way.

229825_460851163965214_1275696225_n-1

 

DSC_0003I couldn’t wait for my stomach to grow. I started wearing maternity clothes out of desire, not need.  With each week that passed, I could see little changes, and they thrilled my heart. As time passed and I felt you move, my love for you grew even more.  I loved the connection that we already had, you living in me. I loved my big stomach, and the promise that it held.

 

DSC_0174I didn’t think our house would ever be clean enough for our home study visit.  I wanted the caseworker to see how much we wanted you.  To see how our hearts already loved you and were planning for you. As we made our profile books, we imagined your birthmom.  We wondered what she would be like, what her story would be.  We wondered what she would think of us as she looked through our book and read our story.  Would she think we were good enough?  We didn’t know then what a beautiful, amazing, strong woman she would be and how much we would connect with her, right from the start.

737812_491857470864583_741999619_o

 

DSC_0003In the final month with me as your home, I got huge. I was achy and swollen and just so ready to see your face.  Every morning in the shower I would pray that today would be the day. Every evening Daddy and I would sit on the couch, poking my swollen calves, and trying to set records for how long it would take for the poking marks to raise back up. I was tired of waiting. I wanted to hold you in my arms and stroke your cheek and kiss your head.  I wanted you.

6133_133965794544_7747863_n

 

DSC_0174The 10 months we waited for you felt like an eternity. Every single day I thought this could be the day.  Every single day for 10 months, it wasn’t.  Every single day we prayed for you.  Every single day we dreamed of you. Every single day we checked our phones over and over, hoping for a call.  There were a few days when the phone did ring, but the calls weren’t about you. It wasn’t time yet. Toward the end I got really anxious. I cried.  I prayed harder.  I wished for you and my heart ached, missing you.  And then, the call came.  Our baby girl had been born, and she was waiting for us.  Finally, it was time.

DSC_0083

 

DSC_0003I woke up at 3:45 with heavy contractions that Tuesday morning.  I was sure it was a false alarm and decided to take my time on a shower, doing my hair, and putting on my makeup.  At 5 o’clock we decided it was time to go to the hospital.  After waiting awhile, I got admitted and the journey of labor began. Through the process, through the pain, I knew you were waiting.  You were the reward.  At 1:21 that afternoon, as I held you in my arms for the first time, with tears filling my eyes and joy filling my heart, the journey of the last 9 months came to a close. And a brand new journey began.

IMG_4561

DSC_0174We walked down the hall at Gladney, where we had walked two times before.  This time, though, it was different.  You were waiting at the end of that hallway.  Not just the dream of you, or the hope of you.  You – flesh and bones – were waiting for us.  In just a few minutes, I knew you would be in my arms.  And then, you were.  You were in my arms, with my lips brushing your hair.  You were in my arms, with tears streaming down my face. You were in my arms, and you were perfect.  You were meant to be. You were wanted. You were chosen. You were ours. The long, hard, journey to bring you home had come to a close.  And a brand new journey began.

DSC_0021_2

 

 

Pearl

Last night I lingered in the rocking chair with Lucy held tightly in my arms.  As I gazed at her face I was breath taken with her perfect, tiny features.  The gentle curve of her ears, her dainty pursed lips, her smooth round nose, and her delicate eyelashes.  As my lips brushed against the soft baby skin of her cheeks, my heart was filled to the brim.  This child, this precious child, is mine.  A child that was unknown to me just three months ago is my daughter.  She is so precious, so valued.

Gonzalez096Photo by Delrae Ward (delraesphotos.com)

As I sat there, I was reminded of the story Jesus tells in Matthew.

‘“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.  When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”‘

Chris and I were like the merchant.  We were looking.  We were longing.  We were searching for something of great value.  We completed mounds of paperwork.  We wore out the road between here and Fort Worth.  We didn’t sell everything, but we did make huge financial sacrifices.  We endured lengthy interviews and people perusing our home.    Our world was turned upside down in this search, this journey, to bring our Lucy home.

Lucy is our pearl.

And God has a pearl too.  In fact, he has lots of them.  He didn’t complete mounds of paperwork.  But he did travel the path from heaven to earth.  He gave up everything, the very thing he held most dear, his son.  He endured ridicule, beating, and eventually death.  He turned this world upside down in his journey to bring his pearls home.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—  to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.’ Ephesians 1:3-6

Adoption is our father’s heart.  He longs for his children to be in his arms.  He journeys and searches for each person.  Each person is wanted, desired, valued.  You are wanted.  You are desired.  You are valued.  You’re worth everything to him.

You are his pearl.

pearl blog

Photo Credit

She’s here!

She’s finally here!Image

The baby we’ve been waiting for all these months has arrived.  She’s beautiful and precious and perfect.  Lucy Grace has come to our family at last.

My last post, about a new kind of waiting, detailed the week before we met our Lucy Girl.  That was quite a week – busy, so many emotions, and not much sleep.  We went to Dallas on Friday and on Friday evening met our birth mom in person.  As soon as we walked in the door of the restaurant I spotted her.  I don’t think I stopped staring all night.  She is captivatingly beautiful, with such a sweet spirit.  She’s a delight.  Dinner went beautifully – so comfortable and natural.  We are beyond blessed to be matched with an amazing woman who truly loves our baby.

That night I really couldn’t sleep. Everything felt so official.  Next step : Meet our baby girl!  All night long I lay tossing and turning, sleeping for brief intervals, and thinking, imagining, dreaming of our girl.  What would she look like?  What would tomorrow be like?  What would her name be?  So many emotions, thoughts, and questions, and mostly, so much excitement.  Like Christmas Eve when you’re 7.  Times 900.

At some point in all the tossing and turning, what we needed to name our daughter became clear to me.  We had two name choices going into the weekend, and wanted to wait and see her face before we decided.  The choices were Ava Mae and Lucy Grace.  I had been leaning strongly toward Lucy, and during the night it was decided in my heart that Lucy would be her name (of course, I hoped Chris would agree with me!).  As I lay there thinking, the meaning of the names swirled round and round in my head.  Lucy means light.  A light in dark places.  Someone who shines brightly and boldly.  And then there’s Grace.  Grace which we did not deserve, in being blessed with a child when a child was impossible.  It was perfect.  In the morning I told Chris and he smiled – I knew he agreed – but he still said we had to wait to look at her to decide.

The drive to Gladney took 7 years.  Seriously, every time I am in DFW I am reminded of how much I love Amarillo “traffic”.  The drive really did take about an hour, and it felt like an eternity.  When we got there, we met with our transitional care mom, who had taken amazing care of our sweet girl and gave us all of her information and medical records, hand and foot prints, pictures of her first week, and a beautiful blanket she made.  Then we signed papers to make everything official (Eek!).  Finally it was time to meet our daughter.  Placement was a very emotional time for all of us – Chris and I, as well as our birth mom and her family.  In order to preserve our birth mom’s privacy and Lucy’s story as her own to tell, I am going to gloss over the details of this part.

We met our beautiful daughter and I cried and cried, saying, “She’s perfect”, over and over again.  Thinking back now, those are the exact words I spoke when I saw Claire for the first time.  I know for every adoptive mom it’s different – feeling close and bonded right away, or it being a process.  There is no right or wrong in this, just different ways of loving.  For me though, it was instant.  When I saw her, she was mine.  No questions, no doubts.  She was my girl.  Chris was smitten too, and of course Claire was so excited.

DSC_0021_2

During Placement we decided on our little girl’s name.  Lucy Grace – a light into the darkness and a picture of God’s grace to us.  Also, in my research of the name Lucy, I learned that the first African American woman to win a major sports title was named Lucy Slowe.  Since we are a sports family and our birth mom is an athlete, this made the name seem even more perfect.

Being at Gladney and leaving with OUR DAUGHTER seemed surreal.  It was almost exactly a year ago that we first went to Gladney for our orientation.  Walking through the building last October our hearts were lit with excitement thinking of the baby that would someday be ours.  And now she really was.

DSC_0064

We took Lucy back to Chris’ sister’s apartment and loved her up.  The whole drive home I just stared at her sweet face.  Some friends of ours who live in DFW came by to meet our girl and it was so nice sharing our excitement with Chris’ sister, Chelsea, and our friends.

We drove back to Amarillo that night, and can I just say that doing things with two children does not take twice as long.  It takes six times as long.  We stopped to pick up food at Burger King on the road and it took 45 minutes.  45 minutes, people.  We finally made it home and came in the house to a beautiful welcome from our dear friends.  I’m pretty sure we have the best friends on the planet.

DSC_0083

The next day was spent admiring Lucy and showing her off.  Claire is absolutely in awe of her little sister.  I was so worried about how she would respond and she has blown us out of the water with her caring, nurturing spirit and willingness to help.  I am so thankful for her and her tender heart.

DSC_0070

And sweet Lucy.  She is a joy and she is already a light.  She is an answer to so many prayers.  Not just ours, but a whole army who prayed for us along this journey.  And now she is home.

Waiting – Part 2

Waiting is hard to do.

Waiting on a reply to an important e-mail.  Waiting in line to use the restroom.  Waiting for Christmas morning (even though I’m 30).

Know what’s really hard to do?  Wait for a baby.  I’d venture to say it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

To say that we had become impatient in waiting for our baby would be accurate.  To say that we had entered the begging/bargaining stage in our prayers wouldn’t be a stretch.

Last Monday evening at bedtime, Claire was close to tears saying she missed our baby and wondering when the little one would be coming along.  Chris suggested that we pray about it, and he asked God to give us dreams about our baby and speak to us as we slept.

The next morning – Tuesday – Claire reminded us of our bedtime conversation.  “Well, do you guys want to hear my dream?”  We were a little surprised that she remembered, and of course, curious.  “I had a dream that our baby is now.”  Chris and I exchanged a glance, silently asking, What does that mean?  We asked for more information and heard matter of factly, “Oh, and our baby is a girl.”  I felt a thrill run through me and a fresh burst of excitement fill my heart.  But Tuesday passed without a word.

Wednesday and Thursday came and went.  Thursday evening I posted something on facebook saying how very anxious we were feeling to get our baby.

Image

Then on Saturday my phone rang.  I was doing my hair (after finally changing out of my pjs and showering at 4 pm), so I let it go to voicemail.  It was Melissa.  After all these months of waiting, all these moments awaiting this phone call, all the days checking my phone 10, 20, 30 times a day, THE CALL went to voicemail.  I quickly called back and Melissa filled us in.  A birth mom had chosen us and her baby had been born on TUESDAY .  Yes, on Tuesday.  The morning of the “Our Baby is Now” dream.

This was going to – most likely – be our baby.  A baby girl, weighing 5 lbs 15 oz, and 19 inches long.  Healthy and staying in transitional care – with a volunteer family – working for our agency.  But, it wasn’t a done deal yet.  The birth mom, “D”, wanted to talk with us on the phone Sunday evening.

So many questions, thoughts, and emotions were swirling through me.  What does she look like?  When can we see her?  What if…D doesn’t like us?  Something goes wrong?  What if, what if, what if?  And also, Wahoo!!!  Our baby girl is here at last!

Sunday night finally rolled around.  To say we were a huge ball of nerves would be entirely true.  I pressed three wrong buttons before being able to properly answer the phone.  Within the first minute of our conversation, we – Chris, me, D, and her mom – all confessed how nervous we were and shared a good, jittery laugh.  From there, our conversation went beautifully.  All I can say is that D is a delight.  We share so many things in common – from playing basketball, to being homebodies, to our dogs being similar.  After fearing this phone call for so long, we were unbelievably relieved with how it went.  We talked for 45 minutes and soon afterward heard from Melissa that D loved us as much as we loved her.  On Monday D met with her caseworker and at 11:44 we go the official word – this baby girl will be ours!

We will travel to Dallas to have dinner with D and her mom on Friday evening.  Then on Saturday we will meet OUR DAUGHTER for the first time  and get to bring her home.

One of my friends said to me, “Shannon, it’s like you guys have all the emotions of finding out you’re pregnant and having your baby jammed into the same week.”  That pretty much hits the nail on the head.

Life right now is a whirlwind – buying a car seat, bottles, and diapers.  Taking care of paperwork.  Celebrating with friends – and our friends have been over the top amazing – offering meals, making plans to care for Logan while we’re gone, setting up a fundraiser for us.  Calling the doctor.  Planning family visits.  And trying to remember how to take care of a baby.

To say that we are excited would be correct.  To say that we are happy would be perfectly true.  But to say that we are thankful – that just won’t do.  “Thankful” does not do justice to what we feel in our hearts.

I just don’t think there are words strong enough.

Image

July 2nd

I woke up on July 2nd thinking it would be a monumental day we would never forget.  At 1:00  that afternoon I found out it wasn’t.  But then late that night I found out that I was wrong again.

Let me explain.

We have been waiting for 6 months now.  Waiting for the call that will change everything – the call to inform us of who our baby will be.  I feel like we’ve done a good job waiting.  At first it was all I could think about.  I would check my phone about 100 times a day, hoping against hope for a call from our caseworker.  Not too far into the waiting phase I had to force myself to chill out.  There is no way I could have kept going with that level of intensity for very long.  I came to a place where I was able to really trust God with it and it changed everything for me.  I decided to just forget about it and trust God to do the right thing in his timing.  When I say forget about it, what I mean is that it’s not consuming my every thought.  Instead of sitting in the front of my brain and zapping me of all other thoughts and draining my emotions, it’s now in the back of my brain.  Never gone – definitely always there.  But contained.  We’re happy.  We’re enjoying our lives – living each day in the present while still looking with excitement to the future.

Last Thursday while driving up a mountain road in Estes Park to my cousin’s wedding, I noticed that I had missed a call.  From a Dallas area code.  And there was a voicemail.  To say I had a minor heart attack would not be an exaggeration.  So, as we pulled into the parking lot at Della Terra Mountain Chateau (very fancy place), we heard our first ever voicemail from our caseworker, Melissa.  (Eek!)  I quickly called her back and found out that a birth mom had seen our profile book (Eek again!) and was very interested in us (Eek once more!).  This is what we’d been waiting for!  It wasn’t a done deal though.  The birth mom had some questions about what level of contact we’d be comfortable with.  We always knew we wanted to have contact with our child’s birth mom, so that wasn’t a problem.  It was difficult though, to set out specific guidelines when we had no idea what the birth mom was interested in.  I had been expecting a call saying, “We have a baby for you!”, not “We might have a baby for you if…”.  Anyway, we came up with what sort of contact arrangements we would be comfortable with and let Melissa know.  She said she would get back with us as soon as she heard anything.  (Side note, Melissa has been amazing – always so prompt with getting back with us, replying to e-mails, etc.  We had full confidence that she would let us know as soon as she knew.)  Thursday evening passed by in a flurry.  Before we went into the wedding we told my parents the news, called Chris’ parents to tell them, and of course my mom spread the news around to our twenty-some relatives that were at the wedding.  It was so fun being with my family during such an exciting time.  We thought surely we would hear back from Melissa on Friday, but we were wrong.  After about 9:00 Friday evening I resigned myself to the fact that we would have to wait all. weekend. long. before we heard anything.  Waiting when you know that someday you will get a baby is one thing, but waiting when you know that you could get word of your baby any possible second is a whole different ball of wax.  We were thankful to be staying in Estes Park for a family reunion all weekend so we could stay busy.  Monday we were back at my parents’ house getting things together for my mom’s surprise 60th birthday party (so fun!).  Still no call from Melissa.

So, when I woke up on Tuesday, July 2nd, I knew this would be the day.  It had to be.  We had been waiting for so, so long.  Just after noon my phone rang.  It was Melissa.  She said she was calling to tell us that the birth mom had selected another family.  I said thank you and hung up the phone.  It didn’t seem real.  My eyes filled with tears but I didn’t cry.  I just felt a sinking feeling in my stomach.  Kind of like a hollow place inside.  The closest thing I can relate it to is hoping and praying that you’re pregnant but the test reading negative.  You thought a baby was coming, but you were wrong.  I sat and thought for awhile and slowly it sank in.  This baby I thought would be ours won’t be.  I decided to call Melissa back.  I wanted to know why.  She didn’t know why the birth mom decided to pick the other family, and I guess it doesn’t really matter.  Her baby wasn’t meant to be ours.

As the day went on, I felt better about things.  My heart began listening to my head, or maybe it was the other way around.  I remembered what I had learned at the very beginning – God’s timing is perfect and my life is better when I trust him.  So I decided to try.  Even though this day wouldn’t change our lives forever, it was still a good day.  God is still in control and he still loves me.  So the day passed.

As we were putting Claire to bed that night, I read her a Berenstain Bears book.  Claire asked if the bears have Jesus in their hearts.  Then she asked me if I have Jesus in my heart and asked Chris if he has Jesus in his heart.  Then she asked if she has Jesus in her heart.  Chris explained that she could have Jesus in her heart if she wanted to ask him.  She said she did and we prayed with her to accept Christ.  It was such a sweet, beautiful moment as Claire asked in her 3 year old voice for Jesus to be her friend forever and ever.  So, July 2nd did turn out to be a monumental day we will never forget.  It didn’t go exactly the way I had planned, and we were disappointed  in the midst of it.  And although we didn’t add another child to our family, our sweet child was added to the family of God.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

Mother’s Day

As I’ve mentioned before, I am not an artistic or craftsy person.  Most of the time when I try a new project with Claire that I’ve seen someone else do or seen on Pinterest (evil, evil Pinterest), they turn out with me swiftly exiting the kitchen into the laundry room to do some deep breathing and get myself under control.  (I try to ensure that Claire’s proximity to my wall punching and yelling is at least one room away.)  I tend to plan crafts that look very simple but are not.   Plus, Claire is 3 and I’m pretty sure that most of the pinned projects that claim they’re done by children are actually performed by said children’s mothers.  Just my opinion, of course.

I am happy to say that for Mother’s Day this year I successfully completed a pinterest project with 20 first graders AND completed 2 projects with Claire.  All of this, and only one trip to the laundry room!  I am growing.  Please, be impressed.

For my mom and my MIL, Claire painted canvases.  This was actually not inspired by Pinterest, but inspired by my recent trip to Pinot’s Palette.  Imagine that – real life inspiring a craft!  How strange.  Anyway, we bought a two-pack of canvases at Wal-Mart for $5 and let Claire do her thing.  We used Tempera paint, little paint brushes, and a paper plate – easy peasy!  She decided to paint a rainbow for Mamaw (my mom), and 3 sunshines for Gammy (my MIL).  As we began, Claire scribbled with a pencil on one canvas and I simultaneously dropped a huge glob of green paint onto it.  (Cue trip to laundry room while Chris tries to clean up the mess.)  The canvas cleaned up very nicely, and after the painting was finished, I can barely make out one of the pencil marks.  I loved just watching Claire go to town on her paintings.  She did such a good job, and  her grandmothers love them!

Image

Image

Image

The best part is that Chris saw how excited I got over these and secretly bought more supplies so that Claire could paint one for me.  They also sent me for a pedicure.  So sweet, those two.

My first graders made their moms the sweetest cards.  They each wrote a letter to glue inside, and then we painted the front of the card.  We tried the ‘painting flowers with the bottoms of soda bottles’ idea, and it was simple and successful.  (We also did this at home for Claire’s teacher appreciation cards, and they looked pretty cute too.)  I cannot tell you how triumphant I felt on the day we worked on these.  Really, when you’re a non-crafter like me, you have to celebrate these small victories!

Here’s how the front of my kids’ cards turned out.

Image

And here’s one of the letters that I thought was so sweet.  The translation is below if needed.

Image

Dear Mom,
Happy Mother’s Day!  Thank you for everything I have.  You’re the best. You’re so sweet.  You are so helpful.  You are the most kind person I know.  You are so awesome!  There’s no way I can make it without you.
From,
<Student>

Image

Dear Mommy,
Happy Mother’s day.  You are a blessing to me.  Have a good Mother’s day!  You are the best Mommy in the world!  I love your smoothies.  You are loving.  You are caring!  I love you with all my heart and bones.
Love,
<Student>

I love you with all my heart and bones???  Can you get more precious?

Then there’s this letter.

Image

Dear Mom
I miss you a lot infinity and beyond and you live in <City> and it is a long time to get there.  I miss you infinity and beyond.  Mom you are nice a lot cuz I never see you in a long time ago.
Love,
<Student>

My heart breaks for sweet babies like this.  I just want to take this child home with me and make the world right for him.  I want to love him so much that all the pain in his life turns to joy.  Kids shouldn’t have to miss their moms to infinity and beyond.  They shouldn’t have to say they’ve never seen them since a long time ago.  These precious children are carrying burdens that would break an adult’s heart.  Lord, help us.

I am so very blessed.  I have an incredible mom.  Throughout my life she has been a constant source of love, support, and encouragement.  She loves her family fiercely and always pushed us to be the best we could be.  Everything I learned about being a mom I learned from her example, and I am thankful beyond words that God made me her daughter.

IMG_3979

I’m also blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law who has welcomed me into her family and made me feel so loved.  She is such a godly woman – always lifting us up in prayer.  She is full of joy and shares it with everyone around her.  I am so grateful for her!

DSC_0145

Of course you know how I feel about Claire.  I don’t even know how to express how deep my love is for this sweet girl.  Every single day she makes me laugh, makes me proud, makes my heart feel like it’s just too full of love.  I never knew how strongly, fiercely, passionately I would love as a mother, but now I do, and I love how much I love her.

DSC_0202

This Mother’s Day there was another special woman on my heart.  I’ve never met her and I don’t know what she looks like.  I don’t even know her name, but soon she will change our family more than anyone else ever has.  She is our birthmom.  When I think of her, I pray for courage and wisdom for her, and strength as she makes the decision she will.  Most of all, I pray a prayer of thanks for the love that she has for the child that will someday be mine.

Missing Out

I loved being pregnant.  I loved knowing that there was another tiny being growing inside of me.  I loved counting the weeks.  I loved watching my belly grow and wearing maternity clothes.  I loved Chris laying his hand on my belly and feeling the baby move.  I loved reading the books about what should be happening and what I should be doing.  I loved the doctor visits and hearing the incredible sound of my baby’s heart.  I loved the excitement of people asking how far along I was and if we had found out the gender and what our name choices were.

IMG_4540

I even loved labor and delivery.  (Yes, I know.  I was one of THOSE crazy people.)  I loved bringing our baby into the world.  I loved Chris yelling, “It’s a girl!  It’s a girl!” with tears in his eyes.  I loved holding our sweet baby within minutes of her birth and giving her a name.  I loved drawing her close and nursing her.  I loved all our family and friends visiting us in the hospital.

IMG_4557

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_4573

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When people tell me they’re sorry that I can’t get pregnant again, or say that they feel badly for me because of what I’ll miss out on, that’s what I think about. I’ll miss the process.  I’ll miss the growing belly and the ultrasounds and the kicking feet.

But I know this…
I won’t miss out on motherhood.  I won’t miss out on holding our precious baby close and breathing him in.  I won’t miss out on loving another child so fiercely that sometimes I think my heart might explode. No, I won’t miss out on family.  I won’t miss out on love.

43Photo courtesy of Delrae Ward.