So our sweet little Samuel just had one swirl. This might not be anything most people notice. But I am one of those moms that loves to take in all of the detail of her babies. When Louis was a baby our pediatrician told me that Louis had a double swirl...meaning 2 on the back of his head. Then I was told that only 5% of people have a double swirl. The funny thing is Jojo has a double swirl too. So 40% of our kids have it. The beautiful, wonderful, crazy part of having the double swirl is that when you have your hair cut super short and you let it grow out, it come to the point where it sticks straight up in the air for at least a good month until it grows long enough to lay flat. Maybe I will be able to find some good pictures of Jojo or Louis' crazy hair to post. I am sure they hope I will refrain from doing that. So that is just another tid bit I noticed about our Samuel in the precious 5 hours we spent with him.
What I wouldn't give for 5 more... or 5,000 more:)
Ok, so when we were at the hospital on October 29th after they finally gave us some answers about our baby... nothing like making you wait over an hour and a half to get an ultrasound to confirm what you already know in your heart. And even then the ultrasound techs not being able to tell us anything that they are seeing or aren't seeing. Once I was induced I was blessed with very sensitive, caring nurses, but prior to that point it wasn't pretty. You would think that if they HIGHLY suspect a baby has died in utero that they would get someone in there who can do the ultrasound and read it right then and there and give the parents some answers not just more waiting.... anyways, I can get revved up just thinking about it. Sorry!
My main point is this, once Greg and I knew, then we had to tell the kids. They were worried in the morning but felt reassured after we went to the Dr. and thought they had heard Samuel's heartbeat (which was really mine). So Greg gracefully told Louis, Caleb, Anna, and Jojo that the baby was already in Heaven. Of course they were all so sad and we just sat on the bed and cried. It is amazing how you can remember the details of all that happened that day and the next so clearly. Yet when I think about the weeks that followed it is almost a complete blur, so hazy. I think I lived in a fog that first month... sometimes I still feel like I am in the fog.
So one of the first things that Caleb, our baby lover (who am I kidding, they are all baby lovers:) said was, " Can we please have another baby or can we adopt one?" In no way was he forgetting about Samuel, it was just so disappointing for all of us to not experience all that we had planned to experience with him. Especially our 3 older kids couldn't wait to hold, feed, play with, snuggle with that new little one.
Just the other night, when I was in bed with a migraine my oldest crawled in bed and just started crying. That was one of the things I really grieved in the hospital was just the loss of innocence and joy for my children. I knew at that point they would be different too from the experience of losing a brother. Louis recalled that morning in October in my room kneeling and praying and asking God for the baby to be ok. What a precious boy he is. He said he just missed Samuel so much.
So back to Caleb's question... Can we have another baby or adopt one? Greg and I have had adoption on our heart for a long while. I won't ever forget talking to him again about it shortly after we moved here last summer. He said, "You're pregnant, lets take it one at a time:)" Little did we know at that time that the sweet baby I was carrying wasn't going to stay here with us. We have dear friends from the seminary...The Boggs Bunch... that have a beautiful family with 3 biological children and 3 adopted children. Their youngest is our godson, Asher... just a precious little guy. Being around them just kind of pushed adoption to the forefront of our minds. (Thanks Boggs Bunch:)
We would love to have another child biologically, now this may be too much information for some of you, but that just doesn't happen easily for us. Many people are shocked to find that out and think that it must be easy for us since we have had 5 children, but that is definitely not the case. We prayed for little Samuel for 15 months before I was finally pregnant. It was pretty much the same or worse with the rest of the kids. I won't get into the details of it all. Caleb was the only one that came quickly. Now that we know him, we laugh, he was destined to be here, one way or another he was going to make it here... that tough, little, persistent fella.
So we have decided to open the door to adoption. There is one thing that has been made abundantly clear in the last 3 months. That is, that our plans are certainly not always the same as the Lords. So we are opening that door and we will see what the Lord does with it. We have been accepted by Crisis Pregnancy Outreach here in town. They are amazing and really want to give the girls who choose life for their baby some options. We know it will have to take just the right girl to choose us for her child being that we already have 4 kids. But this family is so ready to shower a little one with lots of love and care. I have a real sense of peace about it. If it doesn't work out this way then this is not the way God has in store for us to grow our family. But, we are excited about the possibilities.
So we have our home study interview tomorrow and then we meet with the director on Thursday for lunch. After that, they could place a baby with us. When I asked the director how long it could take... she said between 2 months and 2 years. I guess it partially depends on the birth mom and partially on what we are looking for. The funny thing is that when Greg and I talked about adopting we initially thought we would do an international adoption, so we never pictured our adopted child to really look like us. So we are open to see what the Lord has for us down this road.
I am sure some people will think that it is too soon. But Greg and I talked about it right away in the hospital, we just knew that we couldn't end our childbearing years with such a tragedy. No new child, however that child may come to us, could EVER replace Samuel. He will always be our fifth child, precious, celebrated, prayed for and longed for. He was uniquely himself, no other child will ever be like him. He is our seminary baby. When I think of how God knit him together in my womb with everything from his single swirl to having his father's toes, I am in awe of God's perfect creation in making Samuel. We will always miss him. We will always imagine what he would be like or be doing at this stage or that. We will always have a place in each of our hearts uniquely for Samuel and no one else.
At the same time we are excited to see what the Lord will do. I remember last year going down to the planned parenthood in St. Louis with my good friends Becky and Leigh and praying for the girls and the workers. I will never forget a very young girl coming in, she must have been around 14 years old. My heart broke for her. Her parents drove her there. I just wanted to yell out to her that I would take her baby. I have especially been convicted lately, especially with the FOCA (freedom of Choice Act) that President Obama wants to pass, that as Christians if we are Pro-Life we need to do something. Precious babies lives are at stake. If we don't want women to choose abortion we need to give them some other options and support them in that. Greg and I are excited to get involved with Crisis Pregnancy Outreach and their efforts here in Tulsa.
So we have added the birth mother and her baby, whoever she may be, to our family prayer board. Please pray with us.