Letter 11 – An Umbrella Story

Dear Little One,

I have to tell you about something that happened. I will do my best to articulate this, but my words often fail me when trying to communicate the intricate ways God works with me. Here goes…

Back in January of this year, I felt that God was telling me to do something as an act of faith regarding you. I decided to start crocheting a baby blanket. (I wrote about it in Letter 7.) Shortly after I began that project, I felt a little foolish–and crazy–for crocheting a blanket for a child that doesn’t yet exist. Within a couple of days, I happened upon a Facebook post from one of the infertility bloggers I follow. Here’s what it said:

Friends, I have done this before and I think it deserves a repeating. You see, it’s Josiah Day (see link below), but unlike last month when I ventured down the baby aisles, I didn’t go down them this time to just pray. It wasn’t enough for me this time. Because once upon a time I heard that prayer is asking for rain; but faith? Well, faith is after you pray, you carry around an umbrella. It’s having one with you even when you don’t see a cloud in the sky. It’s sticking one in your purse even on the days there isn’t a drop forecasted. And it’s opening one up even when all hope for needing it is lost. Friend, it’s basically being expectant; but not just with words, but in action. And so today, after I prayed I decided to purchase an “umbrella;” however not for me, because I have lots of umbrellas from previous Josiah Day’s. But instead I wanted to purchase one for you…

Because even now before your miracle happens, I want you to have a baby blanket to hold while you pray earnestly for the moment you are wrapping them up tight after a sweet bubble bath. I want you to bathe your scent in these soft cuddly toys for the day they will need them when you are not near. I want you to have a book so that you can start practicing for when the time comes and you are reading to them each night before they sleep. I want you to have these packages of Kleenexes for that moment you see your long awaited answered prayer for the first time and you are finally able to count their tiny fingers and watch them wiggle their tiny toes. And that chocolate? It’s for now. Or later. I’ll let you decide.

Sweet sister, I have prayed for rain and now I am buying you an umbrella for the down pour. Because I have faith to believe that He hears, He knows and He will answer. I don’t know when, or how, or in what way, but isn’t that faith? It’s asking for rain and then carrying around an umbrella…

 

To read more about Josiah Day click here —> https://waitingforbabybird.com/whats-josiah-day/

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I felt validated. I felt encouraged. And I persisted until your blanket was complete.

Fast forward to last week. On Monday, I was randomly thinking about my aunt, Denise. I don’t think I’ve told you about her yet, but she’s Mimi’s youngest sister. Denise and I were very close growing up because she was more like an older sister to me. Anyhow, I sent her a text simply saying, “I love you.” The next morning she replied with an odd story about umbrellas. Her text said:

I love you!! The short version of the story…
A farming town needed rain for their crops, so they decided to have a prayer meeting. The preacher got in front of the crowd and told them to all go home before they even started praying. When the crowd asked why, the preacher told them if they didn’t believe enough to bring their umbrellas, they didn’t need to pray. 

I believe for you. I will continue to pray. I love you super mucho!

I didn’t really “get it”, that is, until Friday. A card showed up in the mail from Florida. When I opened it, she wrote inside explaining that she heard a sermon on “NOW faith” and thought of me and felt convinced she should do something to show her faith in God’s provision of our miracle. (That’s you!) Inside, she included a gift card to Walmart for us to go get an “umbrella”. I linked her story to the Facebook post I remembered. On top of that, early Friday morning, in my prayer time I was praying for God to show his love to me in a new way and was reminded of God’s presence in weather. The Holy Spirit led me to this verse:

God thunders marvelously with his voice; He does great things that we cannot comprehend. (Job 37:5 HCSB)

It was all a little TOO coincidental, for me, to be just a coincidence. That was Friday.

Yesterday, I was in my morning quiet time and the Holy Spirit said to me “El Shaddai”. I had heard that term as one of the names of God, but didn’t know what it meant.  My research showed me that the first time El Shaddai is mentioned in the bible, it is referring to “the promise” of Abraham… for fertility and to conceive a child. I felt that that was further confirmation. El Shaddai means “All-Sufficient One” which is interesting because when I received the terrible news from our fertility doctor, God spoke the verse from 2 Corinthians 12:9 to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

So… I sent your dad a message while he was at work and told him I wanted to go to Walmart and spend the gift card we got. He was on board. Last night, your dad and I had dinner and then ventured to the store and picked out a diaper bag. It was the easiest purchase! Haha! I said, “What about a diaper bag?” He said, “Sure.” I picked up one and asked his opinion and your dad said, “No, that’s too small.” So I grabbed another one and he liked it. So we got it. It was so fun to do that together!! I’ve bought other things for you… fabric I like and 1 blanket, but having your dad there with me and contributing input was so special to me. It felt real. A diaper bag is like… REAL. It’s a necessity. It’s obviously a diaper bag so it’s not something I could use for something else. I can’t really explain it, but I am so glad we got it. I’m also so happy that I have people in my life who are helping me to “carry the torch” of faith.

Anyhow, I kept the card to add to your memory box.

I gotta say, kiddo, I’m feeling really good about this. I’m believing that God is going to do something awesome. I’m feeling a little nearer to you after all of this. I’m so looking forward to your arrival!

Until then…

I love you!

MOM
xoxox

 

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Letter 9 – Mother’s Day

Dear Little One,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. It was Mother’s Day last weekend, which naturally made me a little sad and wishing you were here. Oh my goodness, I miss you so much!!

Something wonderful happened in the midst of the whirlwind of emotions last weekend. You aunt, Destiny, gave me my first ever Mother’s Day card. It was such a sweet gesture. She wrote on the inside a special note about “rejoicing in what (& who)” God will be bringing to my life. It was so special. I’m gonna save it for you and put it in a special place because I think you’ll be happy to see it when you’re old enough to understand.

I know I’ve told you before, but, again… you are so loved and so wanted. We are ALL waiting with bated breath for your arrival. What makes things like that card so special is that… I don’t think it’s just me that already feels some sort of spiritual connection with you already. I think Destiny is going to be so in love with you. Maybe you’ll have a connection in that you both will be “miracle babies”. In different ways, but equally special.

Oh, my sweet child, my heart is full of hope for you.

The hardest thing in the world is being patient. I felt ready for you YEARS ago! Now, I’m just waiting for God to send you to me. I really hope it’s soon. Mainly because your cousin, Kaylee, is 3 and a half now. I really hoped you two would be close enough in age that you could play together and be friends. The same thing goes for your Uncle Justin’s boys… Bryce is almost 7 (I think!) and Gavin is 4.

Another thing is… I REALLY want you to know your Grandpa Jeff (Pawpaw). Unfortunately, his health hasn’t been doing too well the last year. He’s spent a lot of time in the hospital in Chicago. He is such a good grandpa to the boys and I know he would be just as loving to you. I hope he is around for a long time to come, but I worry that you won’t have the privilege of knowing him.

I feel like I’m being redundant, but I really can’t wait to meet you. You’ve got two parents; a slew of aunts, uncles, and cousins; and a whole village of other family and friends eagerly waiting for you!

I love you.
XOXOX,

MOM

Letter 8 – A Pause

Dear Little One,

It’s been a little while since my last letter so I wanted to take some time to catch you up.

The last couple of months have been very challenging for your dad and I individually. Your dad lost his job on January 25th due to his position being eliminated by the company employing him. It took him almost a month to start another job. He goes to work every day and it pays the bills, but he really doesn’t feel fulfilled there and it’s taking a toll on him. Still, he does it. I know it’s hard on him, but the man has more work ethic in his pinky than I do in my totality. That’s just how he is. I love and admire him for it. He really is a good man!

So, your dad has had it rough professionally and I’m not working at all. I haven’t worked since November. It’s hard and frustrating because I really expected to be a practicing counselor by now with at least a few consistent clients, but… God apparently had other plans. I’m still looking for work and praying that God opens a door somewhere soon!

As a result of our unstable financial situation, we’ve stopped actively trying to get pregnant. It is necessary right now, but also very challenging. Nothing has changed as far as I am concerned and I still want you as much as (if not more than!) before. I still think about you often.

I have started to consider the possibility that you may not be coming to us biologically. This is something I had never really thought much about before now. I still don’t know what God has up his sleeves, so to speak.

I just want you to know, my sweet child, that I haven’t given up on you and I don’t know that I ever could. My heart longs for the day I get to gaze upon your precious face and stare into your lovely eyes and hold you tightly in my arms. That is what I wait for. That expectation is what keeps me holding on through the most trying of times in this journey.

I love you.

XOXOX,
Mom

Letter 6 – Your Dad

Dear Little One,

I wanted to tell you a little about your dear ol’ dad.

First, he’s amazing. I’m sure you already know that though! But he really is.

He is the kind of man that gives 110% in everything. The way he loves me is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. He is soft and sweet and also playful and rough. He is perfect for me in every way that counts. He also works hard… crazy hard! He goes to work even when he is sick and doesn’t feel well. He is such a man of integrity and great character. I can’t wait for you to know him. He is going to be the best dad to you. I believe that with every ounce of my being.

He has like 100 t-shirts. He wears his clothes until they are literally falling apart at the seams and says the holes are for venting purposes. It drives me crazy, but that’s kind of how he is… he likes things “worn in” and comfortable. He doesn’t throw things away when it can still be used. It’s just further evidence of his loving heart and inability to give up.

He loves sweets. You’ll figure that out probably by the time you’re two! Chocolate, cookies, brownies, candy, cake… he loves it all! If it has sprinkles and gobs of icing, even better! I imagine the two of you bonding over ice cream… that’s one of his favorite indulgences.

Your dad is really a big kid at heart! And that’s one of the things I love most about him! He has a really goofy sense of humor and I’m sure you’ve heard his “chipmunk voice”! He loves to wrestle and tickle and just be generally silly. Not many people get to know this side of your dad, so I hope you know how lucky you are that you’ll get to see all of his wonderful dorkiness.

I want you to know that while your dad sometimes gets a little heated, sarcastic and even cynical, he has a really big heart and he’s a major softy! He tries to keep his emotions to himself and be strong, but he worries… a lot. He worries that he won’t live very long due to his FAP disease. He worries that he won’t be successful. He worries that he won’t be able to provide a good life for me (and for you, when you get here)! He worries that he’s not good enough. He’s really really hard on himself–so take it easy on him when you get to that strong-willed teenager phase! This is kind of heart-breaking for me because he really is one of the best people I know and I wish he could feel that.

I can’t wait for your dad to have a child. He’s going to be such a phenomenal father and I hope you appreciate all of his awesome qualities as much as I do. He’s pretty great.

I love you.

Mom

 

Letter 4 – Aunt Destiny

Dear Little One,

Now let me tell you about Aunt Destiny…

Destiny is 9 years younger than me and 5 years younger than Aunt Ashley. Destiny is the only one who was born in Missouri. Ash and I were born in California. An interesting fact about Aunt Destiny–or Dest, as we sometimes call her–is that she was stillborn. In other words, she was technically dead when she was born, but miraculously… she was able to be revived. She’s a real miracle!

Because of the age difference, Destiny and I had a pretty good relationship most of the time. I would say that while we were growing up, Destiny was more like my child than my sister. So, you can thank her for me being an awesome mom because I had some practice with her!

Aunt Destiny is a lot like your mom. Destiny used to call herself my “younger twin” because everyone said we looked and acted so much alike. She was my mini-me for some time. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we have similar taste in clothes, décor, food, music, and hobbies. Although, Aunt Destiny is far more introverted than me! I still don’t know how that happened! No one else in the family is an introvert…

Aunt Destiny is very reflective and analytical by nature. She is a strong Christian woman and she practices what she preaches. She may not be “the life of the party” but don’t let that fool you! She is a lot of fun! She loves to joke and be sarcastic. She is crazy smart and always has good insight. If you need someone to go to with questions about the major issues in life, she’s your girl. If she doesn’t know the answer, she’ll help you find it. Her love may be less affectionate than Aunt Ashley’s, but don’t ever think she loves you any less. I promise!

Some memories of your Aunt Destiny…

  • Giving her all my broccoli because she loved it and I didn’t.
  • Sleepovers with me and Derek and cooking her favorite foods.
  • Playing truth or dare with her and Ashley and trying to make Destiny drink toilet water.
  • Late nights with her at Mimi’s watching Degrassi.
  • Staying up until well after midnight talking about our faith and deepest hopes, dreams, fears, and our love for each other. (This usually went on until one or both of us were in tears.)
  • COUNTLESS inside jokes with her and Aunt Ashley…
    • “Destiny, have you been kissing the parrot?!” (aka the red cupcake incident)
    • Lakweefsha Poo and Farticus Stinch (trip to Boston)
    • This is true. But of course! You don’t say! Well, I never…
    • “For the love of God, woman! Learn how to drive!”
  • Late night phone conversations usually surrounding dream interpretations and psychoanalysis.

I want you to know that your Aunt Destiny may seem a little crunchy on the outside sometimes, but she’s really a big softy! I really hope you and her have the opportunity to spend lots of time together because I think you’d love her and I know she’ll love you. If you ever need prayer or answers and you can’t come to me or your dad, call her.

Love,

Mom

Letter 3 – Aunt Ashley

Dear Little One,

I want to tell you a little about your aunts. First, let’s start with Ashley…

She is 4 years younger than your mom. Your mom likes to “occasionally” remind her that she only exists because your mom asked Mimi and Paw Paw for a little sister. It’s all in good fun now! When we were growing up, she and I had a very bipolar relationship. (If you’ve been around me enough, you know what that means already, but otherwise… look it up.) Basically, we disagreed on one fundamental thing… that she was the spawn of Satan. I thought she was; she did not. I’m kidding, of course, but back then… we just didn’t mix very well.

These days, we’re grown up and have a very different relationship. We get along great. Sure she does things that drive me crazy at times and I know I drive her crazy too, but overall, things are really good!

So, about her…

She’s my middle sister. She’s very fun-loving and outgoing. She’s a real social butterfly! She loves to throw parties and have big get-togethers. She’s really silly and sometimes can be a little ditzy, but she’s smarter than you think! She’s very kind and loving and generous. She’s also very sentimental. It doesn’t take much to make her cry (happy tears, of course). She also has a weak bladder, so don’t make her laugh too hard unless you want to see your Aunt pee her pants! (She’s done it a several times…) She likes to dance and sing in the car. We used to sing Disney songs in the car  and still do sometimes! Her favorite Disney princess will probably ALWAYS be Jasmine. She likes things that are pink and girly. You probably think she is a HUGE girly girl… and she is! But she also used to be in the Army reserves. So she could kick some butt if she needs to! We didn’t used to call her “Sassy Ashy” for nothing!!

One thing that is important for you to know is that, while we fought a lot as kids, underneath it… we loved each other very much! Ashley got bullied quite a lot for her teeth–they weren’t always straight and pretty! Ash seemed to get herself in a lot of predicaments, but I always had her back when it came down to it. I got in a couple of fist fights with the neighbors for picking on her.

Some other memories of your Aunt Ashley…

  • Playing Barbies (a lot) and making huge houses out of the bunk beds, hot tubs in the bathroom sink, and beach parties in the tub.
  • Practicing my skills as a hair dresser and cutting the hair off Ashley’s Barbies. (She never forgave me for it!)
  • Teaching Ash how to sneak her veggies from her plate so we wouldn’t have to eat them.
  • Playing photographer by dressing her in my clothes, doing her hair and makeup, then having a photoshoot.
  • Playing hide-and-seek, then scaring her so bad she wet herself!
  • “Hit me baby one more time!” (Dorothy, get the Prilosec, my hip went out again!)
  • Jamming to Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. We used to put together dance routines too!
  • Rushing Ashley to the hospital after her bad bike wreck and Mimi wasn’t there so I had to hold her hand.
  • Recording a radio show with our friends Amanda and Tiffany. We made stage names and everything!
  • Playing obstacle course in the front yard.
  • Seeing Ashley for the first time after Basic Training and crying like a baby when we had to leave.
  • Spending an awesome summer day with her and my friend, Steffany. We walked the Osage Trail in Cape and got SUPER sunburnt. Then, we went to Ashley and her boyfriend’s apartment to play washers.
  • Jumping on the trampoline with Aunt Ashley, Mimi and Aunt Destiny until late in the evenings and laughing til we cried!
  • Driving up to see Uncle Matt when him and Ashley were just dating… Ashley got pulled over for running over the median!!
  • Ashley and Uncle Matt’s wedding day… so much fun and so many happy tears.
  • When she told me she was pregnant with Kaylee.

Ashley is the person you can talk to about anything. She is never judgmental and will listen to you when you have a problem… just be careful what advice you take from her! I hope you two are as close as I am with Kaylee. Ashley was been waiting for you almost as long as I have. I know she’s looking forward to being an aunt.

Love,

Mom

Letter 1 – Intro

Dear Little One,

It’s been just short of two years since your father and I started this journey. I know your dad had his reservations about having babies. I know he has always wanted you, but with his FAP disease he wasn’t sure if he wanted to take the risk that he could pass it on to you. After many talks between me, your dad, and Nana and Papa… we decided to go for it. (Mainly, I know that God is in control and whatever will happen, will happen, but your dad is much more cautious than me, I guess.) Even though your dad has FAP, it doesn’t seem to hold him back from much… other than binging on pizza and popcorn. Haha! And the same thing goes for your Papa and Uncle Justin. Although, your uncle does have a more severe case than your dad does.

Anyhow… every month since September 2014, when we started this journey, our anticipation and eagerness to become parents has only increased. (Especially mine!) Your dad talks about you and his hopes for you. He’s so ready to be a daddy and you are SO lucky because he is going to be a great one! I admit, this process has been hard for me. I have been waiting and praying for you since I was a little girl myself! I can’t wait to become your mom! Sometimes I get impatient and frustrated that you’re not here yet, but I know that God’s timing is perfect. And he’ll send you into our lives at just the right time.

I don’t know how it’s possible, but I already love you so much. I dream about you. In most of my dreams, you’re a girl. (Only once were you a boy!) Even your dad –who NEVER remembers his dreams– had a dream about you once and you were a girl in his dream too! That was the only time in the 5 years I’ve been with your dad that he ever remembered a dream and shared it with me. So that should say something!

One of the things I am most excited for is telling all of the family and our friends that you are on your way. If nothing else, I want you to know how deeply and immensely loved you will be. Of course your dad and I will love you, but our family and friends talk about how they can’t wait for us to have a baby. Your Papa teases me about it regularly. Him and Nana love Gavin and Bryce so much and they are beyond ready for another grandbaby. Mimi and Pawpaw ask about you a lot too. And I know your Aunt Ashley can’t wait for Kaylee to have a cousin to play with. And by the way, I think you are going to love your cousins! Bryce is kind of quiet sometimes, but he can also be really fun and goofy. Gavin is the same way, but he’s definitely much more active and playful. You’ll have your hands full with those boys! Kaylee is fun and spirited and such a character! I have no doubt you’ll be close. Hopefully, she doesn’t take after Aunt Ashley when she’s a teenager… You’ll find out why when you’re older!

Anyhow, I need to get going to work now. I hope whenever and wherever you read this that you’re having a wonderful day.

I love you.

Mom