I’m honored to have my friend, Jessica, sharing her story with you today. She is also an adoptive mom, has had a miracle pregnancy, and is also mama to a child with special needs . When things have been really hard with Micah, I’ve reached out the her, simply to know I’m not alone. Our boys came home to us within weeks of each other. They both are the strongest boys I know, and have taught their mamas truly what it looks like to be brave.
Today was a hard day for you, sweet boy. Therapy can be really stressful for you. We ask so much of your tiny body. We push you hard. But this day was really tough. You have to deal with more than a two year old should have to endure. Day in and day out, you work hard and do what we ask. You are stronger and braver than most adults I know. But this day was different.
You hate those stairs. You’re afraid of them. We coach you to walk up and down them, begging you to trust that we will catch you if you fall. Sometimes you scream. Sometimes you lay down and kick your feet. You are two, after all. But not this day. After a half hour of coaxing, you scooted your little bottom to the edge of the stairs. And then you sat there, your bottom lip trembling. Big, silent tears were rolling down your cheeks. You didn’t cry out. You didn’t pitch a fit. You just sat there, afraid of what was before you. How far away was I? How far would you fall? Would I catch you? I know these thoughts must run through your mind, but your little mouth can’t even express them yet. I watched you sit and silently cry, and it broke me.
Baby boy, I’ve been on those steps. I understand. And I was scared, just like you. For me, those steps were our journey to you. It was 2015, and I had just awakened from my third surgery for infertility. My mom and dad sat at the end of the bed, trying to figure out who would be the one to break the news. “There will be no baby,” my sweet daddy said as he choked back tears. My mom and dad cradled me, reassuring me that it would all be ok but I could hear the doubt in their voices. My mind couldn’t process what they were saying. I had come here today just to have my one remaining fallopian tube cleared so we could continue infertility treatment. It was supposed to be a simple fix. I didn’t even have my husband take a day off from work. But here we were, getting the unexpected news that my body would never carry a child. I was broken.
The next few days were a blur. I sat for hours staring at the walls, wondering how I could ever go back to work as a labor and delivery nurse. Baby boy, I sat at the top of those stairs. Paralyzed. Desperate. Afraid. And then we took a step, we began to pray. Your daddy and I prayed for clarity. For guidance. We prayed to just become parents, in whatever way God saw fit for us. We moved forward despite the fear. And that, sweet boy, is what led us to you. In faith, I went back to work to serve other women as they gave birth. My heart ached with every first breath, every newborn cry. Where were you? Where was my baby? Then one night, my whole life changed. Your birth mom came in to our hospital to deliver. She was also on the steps, my sweet boy. Your original adoptive family had changed their mind. She was alone with you, afraid and uncertain. But God knew you were my son. At 4am on a Thursday morning, we met. Your birth mom handed you to me and asked, “What do we do next?” And we took that step together. You were everything we had ever asked for.
The months passed and daddy and I were so in love! We had settled in nicely, this little family of three. We thought our story was complete. But God is so much bigger than that. One year to the very day from when I heard those words, “There will be no baby,” I was at work and having abdominal pain. I asked for a quick ultrasound, assuming my body had made another tumor or cyst. When they placed the probe on my belly, my eyes welled up with tears. There she was, baby boy- your sister! What man had said was impossible, God had done with ease. A tiny, perfect miracle.
The next nine months were so hard. I found myself on the top of those steps once again. Carrying your sister was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I had a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum and your sister and I were both starving. This miracle pregnancy was complicated by preterm labor, a new diagnosis of lupus for me, and a month-long stay in the hospital. I’m so grateful that you were too little to remember that, sweet boy. We could only visit for a few hours a day and I couldn’t even pick you up. I was so scared, but I kept moving forward, trusting that God would see us through the hard parts.
And then, my precious baby boy, the unthinkable happened. It was a beautiful day as we drove to the doctor’s office. I was taking you to a specialist because you weren’t meeting some milestones and your eyes seemed to move in an odd way. I thought maybe you needed glasses, or maybe a small surgery. But the doctor’s words took my breath away. You had a rare brain defect. You were blind. You would never drive. You would never see my face. There I was, back on that step again. But this time was different. No hospital, no doctor could fix this. So we took that step with all we had left and laid it all at Jesus’s feet. We made a decision the day we found out you were blind to never dwell in sadness. Your ophthalmologist told me that very first day that your perspective on life would be a reflection of our attitude. So we don’t complain. We don’t cry. We just thank God for the gift of being your parents. But this day was hard.
Sometimes I wonder if we’re doing the right thing? Are we doing enough? Do you have any idea how much we love you, little one? Do you know that I would take this burden from you if I could? But I can’t. Sometimes, baby boy, you just have to keep moving forward even when you don’t know how. And that’s why I sat there at the bottom of the stairs, waiting with tears rolling down my own face, for you to reach out and take my hand. I want to scoop you up. I want to carry you.
But I can’t. Because the only way you’ll ever learn is if I make you take that step. And after what seemed like an eternity, you did it. You reached for me, stepped down, and then tumbled into my arms. And I held you so tight and cried quietly so that you wouldn’t know. Because I want you to be brave, to keep trying. We are so proud of you. There are just no words to describe how much we love you, sweet Sailor. And I promise I will be there to catch you every time, for as long as I am able.