On that day, a new level of grief struck me. The would-have-beens illuminated. The emotions of all taken from me magnified. And as I sat in that hospital room just down the hall from the one I had to let Rachel leave me in, I thanked God like I've never thanked Him before and hurt like I had never hurt before - just like with Asa's big sister 11 months earlier. Grief and joy. Happiness and sadness. love and pain. A desire to protect like an animal in the wild. I was Mama. I am Mama. I will always be Mama. And they will always be my children.
I sit here a year later and I know things I didn't know before. I know that your arms can feel full and empty at the same time. I know you can see firsts and remember lasts in the same instance. I know that I was naive to how complicated it would all be. And I know I wouldn't change a thing.
I have been blessed every minute of the past year as I have had the gift of watching this little boy grow. I have smiled each and every time I am given the opportunity to care for him - even at 2 am. I see it as a gift, not an inconvenience or sacrifice to wake with a live baby who needs me. I give of myself joyfully like I never have before. Rachel stripped so much of my selfishness away. Every embrace I give him means more than meets-the-eye. Every kiss I place on his soft, warm face screams to my heart "he's alive!" and every time he cries and I don't know what to do for him, I'm reminded of how sometimes that is how I am before God... a little child with a pain I can't describe, but even when He does nothing, it's not because He doesn't care. He is holding me every step of the way and has nothing but the deepest desire to care for me. Sometimes I wiggle from His arms when I need Him most.
As I write this, Asa just ran up to me, grabbed onto my leg and whined "maaamaaaa". I picked him up and my tears just flowed like they did the day he was born. I just sobbed like a baby as I squeezed him tight, thanking God over and over..... thank You God, thank You God.... thank You God.
We had a party on Saturday for Asa's 1st and Isaiah's 6th (which is coming up). It was a surprise per Isaiah's request - but I'll share about that on his birthday, along with the video of him walking in :o) It was so cute. I didn't plan it on 11/10 on purpose, but noticed when I looked at pictures after that the number looked familiar... it was the time Rachel went to be with the Lord. 11:10am.
We did sharks for Isaiah and fish for Asa (so they went together) and I chose the "Rainbow Fish" for his cake... after all, he is my rainbow baby - reminding me that even in the midst of a dark, heavy storm.... there are still so many vibrant colors. (he gets that from Rachel ♥) He has never served as a replacement for her, or negated the fact that the storm was very real and still very active - but he sure has brought me joy in God's promise. A promise of hope, redemption, provision, and healing. He didn't do these things for me, God has used him in that process - one that will continue for the rest of my life as I mother these amazing children, knowing a piece of me is in heaven. Keeping me focused on an eternal future, while giving me so much to live for here.
Happy Birthday Asa Francisco. We love you so very much and thank God for every minute with you. Now I'm gonna go snuggle with you and love on you!! So happy I can call you mine.