Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
March has arrived, and our family is almost done celebrating what we like to call "birthday row". All four of our kids have birthdays in the first 3 months of the year, and by March 31th, we are so happy to be done jubilating. Don't get me wrong, I'm always so grateful our kids have been given another year of life, however, the parties, the expense, the finding time to make a big deal of it all…it's not easy! Last year I began a new tradition. I paid Jack $100.00 to NOT have a party. It was amazing. And quite expensive. So that tradition ended up being a one time gig. Don't tell him, or his friends, but it was worth every penny.
Faith, my second child, is last on the birthday ladder and her big day will be in a few weeks. We've been talking for weeks about what to do to celebrate. She wanted to go see Carrie Underwood in concert, however I did not. Not to mention it's even more expensive than my favorite one time birthday tradition for Jack. I like Carrie and all, and sometimes I do need a Smokebreak, but I just don't have the energy for the Pepsi Center at this point in my life. I'm tired at night. I am around people every day all day long, and being surrounded by a gajillion people in a giant stadium makes me want to crawl under my bed and hide. Without my phone. Sweet Faith understands, so please don't tell her you feel sorry she got stuck with a loser mom like me.
Faith is turning 13 this year. I can barely even type that without feeling butterflies in my stomach. How 13 years have flown by I have no idea. Words cannot even begin to express how much this girl means to me and the gift she has been every single day of these wonderful years. Faith represents the amazing way God shows His love for me. She is beautiful. She is forbearing and merciful. She is strength in hardship. She is human and makes mistakes, but she knows she's not perfect and needs help to become the person God is calling her to be. She amazes me.
The first time we heard about Faith was the night we met her birth mom. She was 30 weeks along, and adorable. We met this wonderful person when she was 21 years old and making the bravest and most selfless decision of her life. As we sat and listened to her story at the adoption agency, she told us about the baby girl growing in her tummy and why she felt adoption was right for her. She explained that she wanted this girl to have both a mom and dad, and she couldn't give her that right then, and she was even honest about not being ready to be a mom. I loved how real she was and how honest she spoke about the decision she was going to make. And when it came time to hand Faith to me, she did. I will never know the pain she felt in her loss, but I pray it will never be lost on me.
The other day at work my boss asked me why I named Faith "Faith". Truth? There is no denying that the gift of Faith is more than just God giving me the daughter I longed for. Her arrival into our family sealed any doubts or questions I ever had about whether or not did God really love me and want what is best for me. The second she was in my arms, I knew God not only had a purpose for me, but He delighted in me. Billy and I did not earn Faith by praying hard and living right. We did not get to be her parents because we go to church and know all the right things to say. Nothing we did on our own procured us the rights to become her mom and dad. It was all grace. Complete and undeserved goodness showered on two broken people and one 3 year old little boy who has taken the role of big brother very seriously from day 1.
I love to ponder on the meaningful things of life this time of year. The fact that Faith's birthday is always close to Easter feels appropriate to me. In a very small way, I can understand the gift of Jesus' death more clearly when I think of the loss our sweet birth mom felt the morning she walked out of the hospital without her baby girl. She understands what sacrifice means in a way most of us never will. She experienced loss so that someone else could experience a rich and full life. She gave Faith to us so that Faith would not only have a mom, but a dad who would be there for every heartache and every victory along the way. She taught me what it means to love well.
So as I honor my sweet daughter this month I turn to my source of hope. Psalm 139 has always been special to me as a mom, but for Faith in particular I have prayed through this chapter of the Bible more than any other. For God knows she was fearfully and wonderfully made. His thoughts toward her are precious. Every single day of her life has been ordained by Him. Thank the Lord for my Faith! Oh He is so good!