“And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” Genesis 9:1
Josh and I are coming up to a crossroads on our journey. A fork in the road if you will. Highway 96 goes into Baby City. Highway 54 goes to Adoption Town. And Highway 99 goes to Continuance.
Logan is six and a half months old this week. I imagine he is a beautiful soul. If he is anything like his big brother, I can see him with little ringlet curls gathered at the nape of his neck. Wispy and blonde. Giggling and laughing with his grandparents while looking down on us with overwhelming pride. I don’t imagine him sitting upon Jesus lap, but rather running alongside him playing. Down here, he sits upon my dresser surrounded by things that are important to us in regards to Logan. His bedroom, no longer holds the significance it once did. It used to be my place to go to see Logan. It was a sanctuary. His funeral flowers still sit in the corner, although wilted and long without life now. The Pack N Play still perched against the wall, but no longer set up for an infant. It’s still Logan’s room, as Wyatt so very well noted on a sheet of paper taped to the wall outside his room ❤ From the moment I set this room up shortly after Logan’s death, I left the door open. Instead of this room becoming an addition to the house, it became a part of the house. Everyone was allowed to go in. Leaving the door open gave permission to make Logan apart of our everyday lives. Not just the sad parts.
We have friends, whose little boy just turned one. We’ve been apart of his life since he was born. Through my troubles in my pregnancy, this little boy still came to our home. He was the only little boy who came to see Logan at the hospital. In my mind, they will forever be friends. Even though Hudson will not remember Logan, I will remember. His mother and father will remember. And I will always remember Hudson as Logan’s friend. They were best buds and didn’t even know it. This little boy, has just a beautiful sweet heart. There is this instant connection between him and me, and him and my husband. I’ve loved this little boy since he was in his momma’s belly. And while babies have not been an issue for me since Logan’s passing, they have been for Josh. And this little boy, this one year old child, has been healing my husbands heart. A one year old. Can you believe that? What power does this little child hold? Would you believe it if I told you his power was from God? I whole heartedly believe children are innocents from God. This little boy, God is using him to heal my husband. One of Josh’s “homework” tasks from our therapist was to hold a baby, and guess which one came right to him? Hudson. Just when Josh thought he couldn’t hold Hudson any longer, he followed Josh into the house. He was not going to escape this little child. Fast forward to last weekend — our friends went on a date night, and Hudson spent from about 5pm-1am with us. Enough time to get do a nightly routine with him. To feel what it would’ve been like had Logan still been here. We went on a walk around the neighborhood. We ate dinner and watched a movie. I listened to Wyatt telling Hudson what he could and couldn’t touch in his bedroom, which ironically was music to my ears, I couldn’t help but to smile. We watched him roam around our house like he belonged here. Giggling, smiling, stumbling over himself and teaching me how unprepared my house is for a toddler. When it came time for bed, we placed him in Logan’s room. I didn’t think twice about it. It seemed only natural to place him in the nursery to sleep. He fussed and squealed. Understanding that this was his first night in our house, it was a different environment from his home and he was surely a little unsure and scared, I picked him up and rocked him in Logan’s chair. After placing him back in the Pack N Play, I sat there and rocked in the chair. Watching him; looking at the stars splayed out across the ceiling; listening to the lullaby music being drowned out by Hudson’s “I’m not going to bed” squeals. And as I sat there, taking in all these different sensors, I kept thinking, this is what it could’ve been like. This is what I want it to be like.
Now don’t get me wrong, I by no means am angry that Logan is not here anymore. Yes, I would love to have my child growing up with me. But I am happy he is in Heaven. The only thing that makes me sad is how I had to watch Logan fade away while he was here on earth. That was very painful, and still is to this day. But nothing literally brings me greater joy than knowing he is playing in Heaven. I know that sounds so odd, but once you come to peace with something and you fully understand the grander purpose of life, it’s so simple. I won’t be here on earth for ever. This is just a temporary life I’ve been given. I hope to do great things with it. But I will inevitably be going to Heaven to spend eternity. And guess who is there waiting for me, untainted? I will never be able to give my children a better life than the one Logan is enjoying right now.
When I think about what I want in life, as we are going through our daily routines, I always see a child with us. In what form, I’m not sure yet. Which is why Josh and I are at a crossroads in our life.
We agreed that once Logan turned 6 months old, we would have “the talk”. Baby or no baby? Try or not try again? We would love to have a child of our own. To watch my belly grow and move. The baby shower and the joys of buying new little things. The ultrasounds and smells of a newborn.
We recently went on a trip to NOLA. A gracious trip given to us by some amazing people. A trip that I believe God planned to use to prepare my heart.
For years after Wyatt was born, I have occasionally brought up the idea of adopting another child. I have such guilt about bringing another life into this dying world. But I could save the life of a child already living here. I’ve been in the system before, every child needs love. While we were in NOLA, I was struck by the level of poverty that was all around me. The children on Bourbon Street performing to collect money while their parents stood on the sidelines with their attention glued to their phones. And my heart ached. I thought about Logan, and what I had given him. Love. How he would never have to understand this kind of life. How all he knew was love. And I became angry with these parents. Tough times call for tough measures, but how tough are they if you have this fully equipped smart phone? I wanted to take every single one of those children and smother them in hugs and love. To take them around town in a different light instead of one that only makes money.
On our drive home (it was 14 hours so we got loads of time to talk) I brought up adoption once again. I have my reserves about it, I know what I don’t want for our family. Josh has his reserves as well. But we agreed to meet with some sweet friends of ours who recently finiazlied their adoptions (plural!) after fostering for a little over a year. They shared with us the struggles they went through, but the reward you get in return is worth the work. You provide a child with a stable loving home. Instead of them being tossed around. It doesn’t scare me. If anything the idea makes my heart swell. I have loads of love to give. I love my friends children as if they were my own. I think of the beautiful things it would teach my son. The joy he could have with a sibling old enough to play with him. The understanding that we love people, no matter where they come from. To teach him to love others even if they weren’t born into our family. To teach him to spread and share his love. I mean the reward is never ending.
Highway 99 to Continuance… well this Highway holds a beautiful paradise as well. Josh and I got married young, 19 and 20 to be exact. We found out we were pregnant 6 months llater. We never got to grow up, our mature in our marriage before starting a family. That took a blundering toll on our marriage, on our individual selves and in a sense on our parenting. We have overcome amazing obstacles. The enemy was there at every turn trying to demolish our marriage. And while he never succeeded in his demolition he definitely took us down. We have spent the last many years focusing on being parents and maturing into our individual selves. Continuance would be just that. To continue our lives without any new editions. To continue to help Wyatt grow into a Godly young man and once he goes off to college to start enjoying our life together, just Josh and me. To be young, fun and hip grandparents who spoil the heck out of our grandchildren. To be the grandparents we have often want for Wyatt to have.
Each Highway leads to a beautiful place. A place of happiness and sorrow. For every journey in life comes with both. Our church family recently lost an 11 year old girl to a drowning accident. And while I don’t know the family at all, my heart aches for them. To lose a child at any age is devastating. It is the most devastating thing you will ever go through as an individual. I’m disgusted by the media’s frequent segments and the outpouring of negative and parent shaming comments from people around our community. It is a true testament to show they have not been through just distress. This week at church our sermon was over Finding Joy in Tragedy. A part of me wished they could have covered that when we lost Logan, but we would have never heard it, since we took a break from our church for awhile. But I loved that he was teaching from Job. Which happens to be the independent Bible study Josh and I are currently doing together — Suffering and Sovereignty. From what I understand this family was well known in the church and many people were effected by the situation. As he was explaining how his week had played out, and how he was beside this family as they found the body and went the funeral home. His emotions he felt as this family was planning the funeral. It all resonated with me. I got very emotional. But then he began to read Job. And I remembered what an amazing thing death can be. While it means the end for us here on earth, it means eternity in Heaven. Everyone dies, there is no escaping death. But I’ve learned that’s how you view death that can make or break you. If you allow death to be final, it will break you. But if you allow death to be temporary, it will take you places you never knew existed. This little girl, while tragic her death is, is soaring in Heaven right now. She is comforting her parents as Logan does us. She is full of knowledge and understanding and peace about life, death and Heaven. While it is still hard for us here, we can take comfort in knowing the peaceful side of death.
The pastor said something yesterday that stuck with me — God does not do sinful things to us for he is not sinful. But instead God allows sinful things to happen to us because sin entered this world. He allows them to happen to mature us. He allows tragedy to happen to us so that we can help others through their tragedy like he helped us. Listening to this young girls death I have the understanding that I cannot protect my children from death. If tragedy should strike my home again, I remind myself what the winning goal is: Heaven. How we get there may not be peaceful or beautiful, but as long as we get there, that is all that matters. Logan’s life was not a tragedy in my mind. But instead a beautiful journey with a huge legacy. He left me with knowledge and the strength to grow in who my God is. He left me with a heart full of love, hope and servanthood. I want to help others that perhaps might travel our Highway or one similar. I volunteer with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS) for this specific reason.
Highway 96, 54, 99 — whichever one God sends us down, we are more prepared today, then we were yesterday.