For Your Baby Book

8 May

I never saw your first steps, heard your first words, watched you smash your first birthday cake, or saw you off to school that first day of kindergarten, fresh and full of promise.

You came to us with those firsts behind you, and other firsts I wish I could obliterate. First police report, caseworker, first foster home, first heartbreak.

But because I can’t erase them, I tell you the other firsts.

How I called our caseworker crying after meeting 3 other children at the shelter, siblings beautiful and tiny, and told her “we know in our hearts they are not our children.”

And she said, “It’s ok. I met your boy today.”

A week later, we met you, and let you roast marshmallows over candles for s’mores, and use my camera at the zoo, and tucked you into bed in the room we hoped would be yours.

Then, as I tucked your sister in — the one who didn’t want a brother, who was insistent that she needed a little sister for the bottom bunk in her room — she whispered to me, tears in her eyes, “Mom, I think we found our boy.”

So we had, son.

As you well know, it’s not easy every day. Your dad and I are reading Nehemiah together this week, and I think of you as we read about the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall, the exiles sifting through the rubble to find stones strong enough to work with. Sometimes, like them, I wonder if my hands are strong enough for the work.

Then, I remember it is not up to me.

“They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand.” (Neh. 1:10)

So we celebrate the firsts we can. I have missed much, precious boy.

But I was there the first time you dipped your toes in the ocean, the first time you hit a baseball, the first time you got so engrossed in a book you didn’t want to sleep.

And I was there the sunny Saturday afternoon you told your grandpa that yes, you believed with all your heart that Jesus was the Son of God.

And then, with your dad and grandma, waded into the waters of the Guadalupe River and was baptised  into Christ.

And though your baby book is missing plenty, your mother who just does not scrapbook is still saving this day — the one that frames all others in your life. I will cling to it when finding stones in the rubble seems beyond my strength and remember your life is guarded, as it always has been, by the nail-pierced hands of the Son of God.

12 Responses to “For Your Baby Book”

  1. Jim Thornber May 8, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    Marvelous. It is always hard to set the heart on paper, but better that a scrapbook, you have exposed your love for a life so others may have hope.



  2. Bridget May 8, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    Why you gonna go and make me cry?

    I’m glad you guys have each other and are prepared for so many more happy firsts!

  3. Mary May 10, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    Ok, well I’m not a religious person at all but this post brought tears to my eyes because you’ve gone and brought this person into your family, and that’s just awesome. My husband and I have considered eventually adopting, and this story is very uplifting to me.

  4. Terri May 10, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    Amazing-what a great story!

  5. PromoGeorge May 10, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    This is amazing. Yes I’m sharing it with everyone I know.

  6. Kathy May 10, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    I read this, loved it and then didn’t comment. Guilty as charged. CONGRATS MATTHEW!

  7. Trish Beach May 10, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    Thank you for this. My parents adopted me at age 4 and also missed out on many first, but also gave me many things I might not have gotten otherwise. We celebrated our “Adoption Day” as if it was another birthday. Blessings to you and your family!

  8. Aunt Becky May 11, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Just beautiful. Sometimes, you just know.

  9. LizzieB May 11, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Mere words can’t begin to say what’s in my heart right now, so I’ll just say thank you, so so much, for sharing this.

  10. Sandra May 12, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    Well now, I am SO not religiously-inclined, but every now and again, I forget to be cynical about those who are. Dawn, you’ve done it again — thanks. I may never forgive you if you don’t someday collect these blog posts into a book.

  11. Elizabeth May 12, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    I am drawn to thoughts of my sweet angel. So much I did not see, but so much more that I am so blessed to see now. You remind me that each of our families has its own differences, its own strengths and most of all, a whole lot of the love we hold and give from our hearts. Thank you for sharing your words with your son that teach us, remind us of the beauty of family and love in our world.

  12. Patty Vela June 10, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    What a wonderful post. So beautiful… inspiration!

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