Beauty from Ashes
There was a time in my life that I never really understood what grief felt like. Deep grief. The kind that resides with you. The kind that you believe has finally left you but something, a smell, a song, a picture causes it to well up and it takes your breath away. Losing Jaycob’s little brothers was that type of grief. When I say losing them was like death itself, it’s because to me, it was. (Their story is here and here).
In the midst of that grief God did a beautiful thing. He opened our hearts to love more than we knew we could. He sent us Aydyn and Ezra and they were such gifts. Being their mom and dad was such an immense privilege and I am grateful every day that we were entrusted with their lives.
Even so, the loss was still there. The grief would ebb and flow. At the time, I didn’t know if it would ever leave me. Or if I wanted it to. I didn’t want to forget them. I ached for those babies and I felt so alone. People understand when you have had a loved one pass away, but I don’t think any of our friends, but a select few, really grasped the significant loss we experienced. Even now, I ache for them. An ache I carry very silently. They will always be MY babies.
Without J and J, life was MUCH less chaotic. We went down to 5 children which, to most, might seem like a crazy number. Not for us; by this time, we were pros! We had managed 7 kids, while both of us were working full time, I was running my business, Curt was coaching…and we were doing it! 5 was a piece of cake.
We started the adoption process for Aydyn and Ezra very soon after they were placed with us. Bio mom’s rights were severed and we knew the biological father’s rights would almost certainly be severed because he was facing a very lengthy prison sentence. With this in mind, Curt left for California to pursue a coaching position there and Mike went with him. I kept a small place in Phoenix for me and the 3 Littles so that I could finish up the adoption process for Aydyn and Ezra and the plan was that I would follow Curt to California as soon as we could finalize the adoptions.
If you know anything about our story, you know this….it’s been full of twists and turns and unexpected phone calls that usually end in us getting babies. We should have known to not get comfortable and to always expect the unexpected.
There was another baby. This time when I answered the phone I was alone. Curt was hundreds of miles away. How would we do this? What would it mean? Could I go to California? So many questions. I needed to speak to Curt. Unlike all the other times, I couldn’t just turn to him and know what the answer was. I do know my husband; however, and I suspected that this baby would be no different. The phone call to my husband confirmed it, we were going to be getting another baby! All the questions we had were still not answered but we trusted that it was all going to work out. The case manager was amazing and she gave us the go ahead to travel back and forth with the baby while he was added to the case plan for Aydyn and Ezra.
We got the call about Isaiah on a Wednesday, I brought him home on a Friday; he was two days old. By Friday night, we were in California and I introduced Curt to his youngest son. I’ll never forget it. He said, “that’s my boy.” And he was.
He brought such healing. There was something so special about receiving such a tiny little helpless baby. I was in awe. His bio mom has never seen him since his birth. I will never understand that. Maybe it was too painful for her. I would like to think that is the reason. That somewhere inside her she knew she was making the best choice for HIM. She will never know the amazing little boys each of her sons have become. Each one of them so unique. Aydyn my sensitive protector, and Ezra by bruiser who has a smile that is infectious. Then there is my special little Isaiah. It’s almost as if he is a blanket. He brings me such comfort. A stillness. It’s almost as if God himself said to me, “I know your hurt, I know how hard it was to lose them, and because you have been faithful, I am giving you this gift.” That’s what Isaiah has been to me. Not a replacement, but a treasure, a reward. A sign that my pain served a purpose and in the ashes of that pain – he was preparing a beautiful gift, new life.