I remember the hallway I feigned courage in, moments before Rebekah opened the door to our lives for the first time; sitting in the adjacent hospital room, listening to her muffled sobs as she signed her son over; the small cottage we brought Ty "home" to; the doctor's office we visited after nights of sleeplessness (he smiled at our certainty that something was wrong); the Mexican restaurant we ate at for the first time as a family of three; every corner 7-Eleven (we were giddy over our new technology and its ability to find slurpees); the day we said goodbye to our Colorado family, unsure if we'd ever meet, again; and all the hugs and hellos that came with each trip back.
The wonder of the Rockies match the awe in my heart for this incredible adventure.
Every homecoming picks up at the other's end.
And watching Rebekah share in motherhood moments is beyond beautiful.
Our favorite day was a relaxed one at the zoo; we enjoyed mountain views as much as we did petting the giraffes.
I marveled at how happy Rebekah is. She is still the same bubbly, vivacious friend, I've always known, but there is a new joy in her spirit. She has lost a considerable amount of weight, runs a profitable maintenance company with her husband, and is in the beginning stages of launching her own weight loss coaching business.
It means so much to see her, genuinely, happy and living in peace.
I have never met anyone braver. The strength she mustered to push through horrific times is immeasurable. I would have cowered in the corner after the second or third disappointment, but Rebekah just kept on pushing. She pushed and pushed and pushed until she overcame.
Instead of nursing regret, she embraces today and laughs at the days to come (Proverbs 31:25).
No one would blame Rebekah for keeping all of her time with Ty to herself, but she lives in a state of sacrifice and finds joy in sharing him with her family.
Nearly six years later, Rebekah told me she never regrets her decision. Her words, instead, are always overflowing with thankfulness for our family and the life we've given her Tyrus.
To be honest, I don't understand it.
And if my experience wasn't firsthand, I might not believe it. Second only to the Father's love, her heart for her son is a treasure in my life and I know Ty will one day realize it, too.
Our reunions are special in every way, but I would be lying if I said they didn't come at a cost. When we left, Rebekah later expressed how emotional saying goodbye was and couldn't help but compare it to the day we drove back to Michigan.
The reminder is necessary, but difficult for me to stomach. All the joy and love in the world don't erase the brokenness in our story. Redeemable paths aren't God's intent, but an overflow of his grace.
The tear of separation will always be shadowed in Rebekah's love for Tyrus. A good indicator that natural emotions exist in supernatural connections.
And she loved a little boy very, very much -
even more than she loved herself.
The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein