I've been talking to a couple of bloggy buddies about the pending births of their potential babies. In sharing our experience (and Ty's approaching birthday), I have been living in a state of reflection. The day Tyrus was born seems like ions ago, yet its memory is burned into the yesterdays of my mind.
The day screamed celebration.
My best moment was the second they set Ty's flailing, screaming body on Rebekah's tummy. She instinctively cradled his head, looked at me, and said, "Oh, Rebekah, touch him...he's beautiful." Our faces were all close, taking in the wonder that became our baby boy.
If there was ever a day that was not about me, it was that day. It was all about sweet Tyrus. As we rejoiced on earth, God was singing over his creation. We were just proud witnesses to the spectacular. It was amazing and emotional and life changing.
It was my favorite day.
One of the bloggy friends I've been writing, asked me how we best showed love to Rebekah. I gave her a detailed account of our day and the ways we preferred Rebekah at every step. One of my favorite things about sharing our experience, with others, is the equal opportunity to share our regret...even if it's just one. My hope is that those trailing our adoption will think about it going into theirs.
Our case worker was wonderful and gave such hearty advice that we were careful to follow. I remember her telling us that we had a lifetime with Rebekah's son; she only had 24 hours.
We were happy to give her the firsts - holding, feeding, diapering. I loved all those minutes with Ty; it didn't matter who was holding or rocking. I had spent a lifetime loving this boy I had never met. Soaking him in from across the room was as filling as snuggling him myself. He was truly God's love manifest.
Rebekah later (much later) told me how much she wished she had spent more time alone with Ty. Enter regret. We were, literally, only in the hospital for 24 hours. Ty was born at 6:18pm and we were driving back to our rented cottage by 7pm, the next day. Most of that time was spent in group celebration with Rebekah and her family. Rebekah only had maybe two of those 24 hours alone with her son. At the time, we were all having so much fun talking, getting to know each other, and gushing over the baby, that we didn't think about it. Even though we had 3 weeks, after the birth, of family get-togethers and parties, it wasn't the same.
In the short time Rebekah had with Ty, she took amazing photos and video we'll cherish forever. Watching them together is enough to make you sob. I wish I had given her more time. I wish I had taken more pictures. I wish I had better video. I wish I had insisted, the day he was born, that we needed to go. I wish, I wish, I wish. Knowing Rebekah wishes for the same makes it that much harder.
Thankfully, God's love, and our closeness with Rebekah, does not require us to live in past days. Watching her kiss on Ty, this past Easter, will stay in my heart for years to come. I cherish our friendship and love that our pre-birth dreams of raising kids together have become reality. [Remember those conversations, Rebekah?]
All of this reflection makes part of my heart sad. Sad that we may never know the joy of a hospital experience again. Sad that future newborn snuggles won't be with my children. Sad that the super-awesome, 10 foot stork that my sister made for our yard will never be staked, again.
I know that God is stirring my heart for foster adoption. I know that his plan is better than mine and I am 100% okay with adopting children that are not babies.
My sadness doesn't take anything away from those truths.
It just is what it is.
This time around, however, it does not cripple me. It does not consume my every thought. I have one shining boy that lifts my heart high. No amount of sadness could ever drag it down.
This one year celebration of his life is big. The party will be great, the families that come to love on him even better, but the spark in our hearts is beyond what could ever be expressed.
Thank you for sharing Ty's year with us. You are so much a part of this story. In the coming days, look for many photos and videos and special posts, including a giveaway, and Ben's blog-world debut...