Saturday, January 26, 2013

Our Sweet Girl


There is a sadness looming today. I hate it, just like I always do. I miss you. I miss you so much there are tears and there haven't been tears in a very long time. I live life every day and you pop in my mind at some point but it is always with gladness. I always smile when I look up at the sky; I think of you and all your princessness. I think of how you are running and playing and enjoying heaven with all of your friends and with Jesus. But today... oh, today.

Perhaps, it is because this is the time of year you started hanging around. Perhaps, it is because tomorrow we will have a party and celebrate your brother. Perhaps, it's because I was cleaning your room today. Perhaps, it is just because I'm about to start my period. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps... Whatever it is, it's here and well...I must admit that I wish it would just leave.

I don't have time for grief today. I am getting ready for a celebration tomorrow. A celebration of Epic proportions. A celebration that I have been waiting to have for a long, long time. A celebration that many people have been waiting for. A celebration of life. A celebration of love. A celebration of our blessing. A celebration of Jesus. Maybe my heart is so heavy because there is one thing this celebration is not; it is not a celebration of you.

I longed to celebrate you and the amazing blessing that you were. We prepared and we bought all the decorations and we planned out how it would go. We had the prettiest pink picked out and princess wands and pink ribbon everywhere... The invitations were sent and some of the gifts had been bought. Everyone was ready to celebrate at Miss Elle's Party; celebrate the journey it took to get to you, celebrate the life you were, celebrate the blessing we had been given, celebrate all your princessness.

You came two weeks before that day and oh the sadness when August 28th came. We visited your spot at the cemetery that day and the tears flowed for the celebration that was not happening. Elle, I just want you to know that even though we did not celebrate at that party we have tried to celebrate your life every day since August 13th, 2011. Tomorrow we will celebrate the life of your baby brother. We will celebrate like no celebration ever. We will revel in the joy and the blessing that God has given. We will revel in the miracle that he is and the miraculous things God keeps doing for us and for him every single day.

We will remember that sweet girl that brought us straight to his NICU door. You may not be here to celebrate with us but you will always be a part of his story. You will be a huge part and he will always know that. You and Jesus led us to him. I love you, sweet girl. Today, there is sadness but tomorrow there will only be room for joy. Tomorrow I will look up at the sky again and there you will be; dancing away, running and laughing, calling to Daddy and Bubby and I to come join you. We can't wait for that day...cannot wait. My heart beats the greatest love for you Ellersley and your Daddy and I will die someday celebrating the life, joy and change you brought to so many people.

We love you big girl to the moon and back again... 

Mommy and Daddy

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 14th, 2013

Silly Chili Pepper,
Today is the day that you were supposed to make an appearance in this world. We cannot believe that you came so early but we are so very happy that you did, you have impeccable timing my son. You were born on November 18th, 2012; almost 2 months to the day before this world intended for you to arrive. Thirty-one weeks was enough time for you to spend in your birth mama's womb. You came out via c-section at 1:07 am on a Sunday morning and you were a strong and healthy baby boy. You were all of 3lbs 10oz and 16.5 inches long and you were a passive yet fighting machine! You were on the 2nd floor NICU at St. Joseph's Women's Center for only 3 days and then you were moved to the big boy NICU on the 3rd floor with no breathing assistance at all.



Every nurse loved you. They always smiled at you and talked to you; they told us how sweet and laid back you were. One day when Daddy and I were walking into the NICU the nurse at the lobby desk told us that all the other nurses were talking about you and telling her that she had to come back and see you because you were so cute and handsome. She agreed that you were the most handsome baby boy on the floor! :)
Your stay in the NICU lasted a month and 1 day and we are so grateful for every single second of it. Daddy and I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Tampa and we were blessed to be able to come visit you each and every day. We usually came in the morning and left for lunch and then came back in the afternoon and evening. We loved spending time with you, we snuggled and fed you and tried not to rock you in the rocking chair. You were so little that the nurses said rocking was too much stimulation for your little body to handle, it was nearly impossible to do! Daddy loved watching Iron Chef with you and reading you bedtime stories. I loved our skin to skin time and taking thousands of pictures of your cute little face.

Once you started taking a bottle Daddy was the best at burping you. He was the only one that could get those burps to come up, he was kind of proud of that. Crying was a rare occasion; you cried every once in a while when you were getting your diaper changed and you screamed the entire time we gave you your first bath but that was pretty much it. You were more interested in what was going on around you. You slept a lot but when you were awake you were very awake! You had your eyes wide open and looked all around. You studied our faces like you remembered us from a distant dream. Your smiles started coming fairly quickly after you arrived. I know everyone says they are just gas or dreams or whatever but we still loved them and knew they were special; just for us.

We have been home now for almost a month and it has been extra surreal. You are such a gift, each and every day holds more joy than the previous one. We have been able to do with you what we never thought we would get to do. We brought you home via airplane on December 21st, 2012. You stayed all snug in the MobyWrap almost the entire plane ride. You did not cry one time and you ate your bottle like a champ! You were so tiny and so sweet. You were met by your adoring fans; Gramma, GramMarcia and Grandpa Dan, Aunt Gib and baby Liam and Uncle Rob. They were all so excited to see you again and Aunt Gib, baby Liam and Uncle Rob were excited to meet you for the first time. It was a great day!
You have had your first day at church, your first bath at home, your first night in your co-sleeper, you met the dogs, you met your cousins (that was heavenly for mommy and daddy and all of us), you saw your room that is not done yet (or even started really) and you peed all over your face for the first time. Each one of these moments brought joy to our hearts. You are the sweetest little guy. You are almost two months old and you are growing and changing with each passing day. You enjoy tummy time, you can move your head from side to side while on your tummy and your back, you can do the superman while on your tummy, you can cry very loudly to let us know what you do not like, you love the MobyWrap, you love music, you still love sleeping, you hate getting your diaper changed, you hate putting new clothes on, you love being warm while getting a bath and you HATE being cold while getting a I'm talking hate it so much that your entire body turns red or purple and you start shaking and screaming and your head starts spinning and green puke comes out...Oh, sorry...You have recently started following a toy if we hold it in front of your face and you also recently started smiling intentionally at us when we talk to you. Our hearts melt instantly, just so you know.
You are getting so big Isaiah and mama and daddy are so happy to get to watch you grow. It's an amazing experience and we hope that we NEVER take it for granted. Life was forever changed the day they called about you; we will never be the same. We love you and we will cherish these days forever, our sweet son. We are so happy that you came on November 18th, 2012. It was the perfect day that God chose for you and the perfect day that God chose for us. He knew exactly when you would be born and that it would line up with all that it needed to line up with. God, he's pretty smart like that. :) We love you little boy blue, chili pepper, Peruvian Prince, squishy, saiah and are ours and we are so full of joy because of all you mean to us and our family and friends...
We love you to the moon and back a million times over,

Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Tragedy of Adoption

Sometimes our Isaiah's face fills with pain and sadness...his lip pouts out and he begins to cry. As a momma I pull him close and sing to him softly. I tell him it will all be ok and that he doesn't have to be sad. My heart aches when I think about anything making him sad; in those moments I can't help but remember the tragedy this sweet, tiny 7 pounder has already endured in his 2 months of life.

Adoption is beautiful, adoption is Godly, adoption is all about choosing life but adoption begins with tragedy. Isaiah has a birth mother and a birth father; two people who loved him and in my imaginings I imagine they still do, very much so. Two people who chose not to parent their son. Two people who chose to give him a better life than the one they could offer. When I look at Isaiah I see the gift we have been given and when that look comes across his face I wonder if he is remembering them. Is he remembering the awful way he came into the world? Is he remembering looking into his birth mama's face? Is he remembering hearing her voice? Is he remembering her touch? Is he remembering her? Is he remembering her tears?

Adoption is tragedy at it's finest; adoption is born out of loss.

I laugh at all that God has done with our life. Oh, the places he has taken us. God knew the timeline of our entire life, from beginning to end. He knew that Isaiah and all of the loss he endured would require parents who know what loss is all about. He knew that Elle's death would begin a process that would change our lives forever. He knew that it would open our hearts up to his plan of adoption. He knew that Wesley, Isaiah and I would walk this road of loss together. He knows that we will all be able to teach each other what life after loss looks like. Our losses have brought us together, people say that all the time but it is oh so true in our case. The loss had to happen in order for the joy to begin. Oh, has the joy begun...I cannot explain it all to you in words.

Isaiah is so many things to us; I write in a journal for him and I wrote this on December 14th 2012:

We know that out of our heartache came a beautiful picture and we know that your life will be the same. The heartache that brought you into this world has been and will be made beautiful, my sweet Isaiah. I promise. God has such a HUGE plan for you and your big life! Every time I look at you I will be reminded of the incredible plan that God has for each life. I will be reminded of the humor, the joy and the LOVE of our Jesus; you will always be that reminder our precious son...

Something had to be lost in order for us to have him...something for him and something for us. For him it was his birth mama and his birth daddy and for us it was our sweet Ellersley. The Lord is making that more and more evident with each passing day. We will tell him all about his birth parents and how the loss of them brought him to us. We will allow him to grieve that loss in whatever way he chooses to do so. We will show him all that God has given out of the loss he has endured and we will make sure that he knows that joy is always available to grab. We will tell him all about Ellersley and that because of the path Jesus chose for her, we were led straight to him. He will know that loss does not always mean sadness. He will know that mourning only lasts for a night...

Jesus, thank you for adoption. Thank you that you have adopted us into your family. Thank you for the loss we endure because of that, loss of our sin and loss of this life. Thank you for Isaiah and the reminder that he is of your humor, your joy and your love. You are in every smile and every cry...Thank you for loss and that it brings more than just sadness. Help Wesley and I as we teach Isaiah all about sadness and all about joy and how to dance gracefully in between. You have given so many gifts in one tiny little boy...great is your faithfulness...

Elle and Isaiah's Mommy