There’s going to be a baby

(Maybe.)

*****

I do not know if you will be a boy or a girl.

I do not know if your skin will be black or white, or something in between.

I do not know if you will be an infant or already grown into a toddler.

I do not know if you will come alone, or in a set of two.

I do not know when you will arrive.

All I know is, I cannot wait to meet you.

*

Someday you will want to know why we wanted you—why we opted for this route instead of conceiving one of ‘our own.’ I cannot say. I confess that at times the distinction eludes me. People cannot be owned exactly no matter who conceives them and so I am not sure what is signified except deep love; and I promise that will be yours.

We wanted you always, but especially after learning to know in person so many littles who desperately needed safety, love, and adequate care. We wanted to open our hearts to a child already born, to draw you in and warm you and make you one of us. We chose to make space in our family—for you.

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*

I would like to comfort you when you cry.

I would like to rock you to sleep.

I would like to sew something soft in which to wrap you. I have spent a lot of time this fall sewing soft things in which to wrap other babies, and only when I was nearly done did I realize why—I was dreaming of you.

I would like to introduce you to some new relatives: a good, strong daddy and three very excited brothers and sisters; two grandpas, two grandmas, and a whole lot of cousins.

I would like to take your pain into my own chest and let you pummel me when you are angry. I would like to carry your anguish to the One who carries the world.

I would like to make you laugh.

I would like to take you to the zoo and sing you a lullaby and watch you grow and tell you how much I love you.

I would like to make you a birthday cake and a garden plot and a home, forever.

*

I know that Jesus is already taking good care of you.

I ask Him to hold you every time you are sad, to protect you every time you are in danger, and to bring you to us when the time is right.

I love you!

-Mommy

*

Last week Ryan and I had our first home visit from a foster-to-adopt agency called Child to Family Connections. CFC works to link families with local children removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. We have a boatload of paperwork and a lot of work ahead; at any point we may encounter a roadblock making it clear this is not to be. But we have begun, and we pray Jesus for grace to take each step as it comes, knowing that each is no longer the first, and not likely the last…

Joy!

Owning home

Confession: I can’t help but wonder if it is this way for everyone—
if the sound of singing at your own church on a Sunday morning
is deep comfort
and healing
like the smell of your own home
and the feel of your favorite blanket.

We returned to sorrow and joy interwoven: birth and healing, loss and death.

Three of my dearest friends have given birth this summer to beautiful baby girls. Welcome to the world, Frieda Rebekah Cassandra. May you each become as lovely as your mother.

It is so good to be home.

*****

I posted a family picture from our week on my About Me page, and updated Current Reading.

Receiving a child

Confession:

I find ladies’ parties irresistible, especially when they celebrate life. This week I hosted one to celebrate the coming of an unborn baby, first child of my friend Kayla.

Sherry adds the finishing touches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some things I am (slowly) learning about the hosting bit:

  1. Ask for help!

* My new friend Sherry (who worked in a bakery for lots of years) brainstormed and helped with food. She had super ideas, and decorated the sweetest cut-out cookies in baby shapes.

 

 

stuffing diapers with people's notes

* My friend Renee did a smash-up job being in charge of activities. We played an alphabet game and a guessing game with each other’s baby pictures, had time for spontaneous prayers of blessing for the expectant mom, and wrote notes of encouragement or advice to put inside newborn-size pampers as a gift for Mommy.

* My sis-in-law April planned lovely decorations. More below…

* My friend Carla brought a tray of food so I’d have less to purchase and prepare.

* The day of the party, my friend Alma offered to watch my two preschoolers for the morning, then surprised me by an invitation to stay for lunch so I’d have less work and cleanup at home.

* My friend Shaunda agreed to be informal photographer, so the guest of honor could get a CD of pictures later without having to snap them herself.

It was lovely to watch everyone doing what they are good at, and the teamwork was thrilling.

2. Work with fresh as much as you can.

blackberry-lemon tarts and chocolate covered strawberries

 

springtime. lavender and pale yellow. violets. jewel-bright fruits and vegetables. lemons. berries. tortilla pinwheels with cold-cuts and lettuce. garnishes of parsley, kale, and real flowers.

 

 

3. Decorate with what you have. (April is good at this!)

hosta leaves. tree branches. tissue paper pompons. an indoor clothesline hung with baby outfits. pansies planted in paper party boxes or second-hand teacups—they doubled as prizes for the games. dandelions floating in crystal goblets. baby shoes scattered here and there.

 

4. Borrow rather than buy.

a beverage server. six tiki torches to line my lane. (the party was supposed to be out of doors!) an extra tablecloth.

 

 

 

5. It’s okay that it won’t be perfect.

Truly, it wasn’t: the weather didn’t cooperate, the store-bought corsage was quite ugly, i forgot to plug in the coffee maker in time, a little boy puked, and my house was crowded.

Hurray for humble pie, and the generous flexibility of guests!

I hope someday this baby will look through his (or her) Mommy’s pictures and know again how loved and anticipated he was, even before his birth.

Whoever receives a little child in my name receives Me.

A party is an easy way of receiving. Harder is the moment at which my own “little child” is dancing on the couch, snatching items off the decorative clothesline. Oh Lord…