The Baby Bank

Let me start by saying. . . God is good!!
He knows the plans He has for me.
With Him ALL things are possible!!

If you follow our blog much,
you know it’s been a struggle for us to add to our family.
You can read more about that here. . .

When I say God is good,
I’m not just blowing smoke.
Or saying it to make myself fell better…
(although, somedays that is true).
It’s what I believe with all my heart!

My best friend and I are both traveling on unexpected paths
when it comes to expanding our families.
It’s such a comfort to know there’s someone out there…
who knows what it’s like to yearn for something you can’t have!

One of the MANY things I’ve learned this year
is that whatever option you choose. . .
adoption or fertility treatments
. . . it’s not a walk in the park!!

We were so blessed with Mercedes.
One procedure and we accomplished our goal.
This time not so much!!

Not only does it (your family expansion option) take it’s toll emotionally…
(which I can honestly I have experienced and am seeing a counsler for)
Someday I can share that with you. . . but not just yet.
I haven’t processed it all myself.

Anyway. . .

Not only does it take it’s toll emotionally…
but financially too!

Again God is good!
Jim and I both have a brain.
and a pretty smart one at that!

Jim is blessed with a GREAT job.
Which pays for the lifestyle we choose.
We both have insurance.
Which helps pay for things to keep us healthy.
what I didn’t know is that it doesn’t cover “difficult family expansion”.
There’s no clause for that!

So for the plan we’re on each month…
at least 3 ultrasounds
at least 3 lab draws
at least 4 doctors visits
…we pay it all out of pocket!!

I’m explaining all of this, so that you know…
when you purchase Tastefully Simple Products
or bags from Thirty One Gifts
You’re not just buying stuff…
You’re helping buy us a baby!!

Thank you for your continued prayers of support!

Thank you for your words of encouragement!

Thank you for not asking “how’s it going”!

And I’ll close with a reminder. . .
God is good!!
He knows the plans He has for me.
With Him ALL things are possible!!

Bedtime Prayers

Tis Dad again…typically every night when we tuck Mercedes into bed, we make sure that we say prayers, thanking God for many things.  The past few nights she has reminded me before we start praying to make sure we tell Jesus that we miss Baby Peek-a-Boo and that we love her and to please give her hugs and kisses for us.  What amazes me is we haven’t talked about Baby Peek-a-Boo lately but she still remembers her and prays for her.  Remember – to Mercedes Baby Peek-a-Boo was a girl, hence the “her.”  Even a couple weeks ago Mercedes told me she was sad about Baby Peek-a-Boo and it was because she missed her.  I explained that it was OK to be sad because Mommy and Daddy were sad too and missed Baby Peek-a-Boo.  See, while Mercedes is 3 1/2, she’s experienced her first big “loss” and she understands and is grieving in her own special way.  Being a father has opened my eyes to how much little kids really understand and experience…I’m amazed everyday by what she says and does.  It’s helped me realize to never discount anything she says.  Mercedes, I don’t know how I got so lucky to be chosen as your Daddy but I’m glad I did.  You teach me new things and help me see the world through a whole new lens.  Thank you for sharing with me your feelings and grieving with me.  I love you more than you will ever know.

Daddy and Mercedes Porch Talk

Mercedes and I (Daddy) had dinner on the porch tonight, grubbin away on Cars mac-and-cheese.  I offered it up as something fun for the two of us to do as Mommy was gone for the evening.  Of course Mercedes said yes!  We sat down and began to eat and I realized we hadn’t prayed so we stopped to pray.  She was cute because she asked God to give Rukshani (our sponsor child through World Vision) food – a completely random prayer that is so very important.  It was a great teaching opportunity for me to discuss how what she prayed for was so very important to Rukshani because Rukshani doesn’t get to eat a lot of food, for example, mac-and-cheese like we do. 

After we prayed, I asked Mercedes if she was still sad that Baby Peek-a-Boo Peanut was in Heaven with Jesus instead of in Mommy’s belly; it was two months ago yesterday we found out we lost BPaBP.  She said she was sad and I told her that it was ok to be sad and to miss her because I do, but that we can also be happy knowing Jesus is taking good care of BPaBP and that someday we’ll get to see her (we say “her” because Mercedes wanted a sister).  Mercedes talked about getting to each mac-and-cheese with BPaBP and getting to hold her and rock her like a baby.  I told Mercedes to never, ever forget that she is and will always be a Big Sister.  She said she wouldn’t.  I also told her that BPaBP was sitting in Heaven looking down on her telling everyone about her Big Sister; Mercedes asked where BPaBP’s eyes were cause she couldn’t see them looking at her.  I explained that we can’t see Heaven yet but will someday.  I then asked if she wanted Mommy and Daddy to have another baby and she said YES and that it would be a baby for her and Mommy and Daddy.  Then she said “how about three or five or 10 babies” which I know will make Mandy smile. 

It was such an incredible moment with Mercedes…see, while she is almost three and a half, I am continually amazed at what she comprehends.  I know with all my heart that she understands the loss of BPaBP and that in her own way has grieved like we have.  She will still talk about BPaBP at the most random times and even told Other Grandma the name of one of her baby dolls was BPaBP.  She understands that Mommy doesn’t have BPaBP in her belly anymore.  I will never regret for one second that we told her (she was the first person we told after all).  I am so proud of my daughter and how much she teaches me every single day.  Thank you Mercedes for a wonderfully fun evening and for letting Daddy talk about and grieve with you about BPaBP.  I just needed to talk to you and know that you are doing ok.  I love you Baby Rice!

My Children

Hi – Daddy again here to share something that’s been on his mind since before Mercedes was born but just never got around to sharing.

In 2006 Three Cord Wonder released their final album, “The Jesus Rock Show.”  The final track titled “Etc.” is a 25+ minute montage of thank yous, song, and other zaniness.  As part of “Etc.”, a song is included that was written by the lead singer Joe and his wife about their daughter, Anna, before she was born.  The lyrics have stuck with me since the moment Mandy became pregnant with Mercedes and have resurfaced since the conception and loss of Baby Peek-A-Boo.  I didn’t realize how much love I had for our unborn child until Peek-A-Boo was gone and it gave me a glimpse into how much love I have for Mercedes.  I’m sharing this song here because it expresses the deep love I have and will always have for my children.  Thank you Joe and Three Cord Wonder for recording this beautiful song and thank you followers of this blog for listening to/putting up with a grieving Dad.  I love you very much Mercedes and Baby Peek-A-Boo!

Whoever you are little one

Whoever you will become

You already changed my heart

You already changed my world

Whoever you are little one

Whoever you will become

You’re already loved

Whoever you are

The knowledge of you

Has inspired me to do

All the things that I was once afraid of

God’s given me courage

And I’m taking all the risk

To be the man to which you can look up

Whoever you are little one

Whoever you will become

You already changed my heart

You already changed my world

Whoever you are little one

Whoever you will become

You’re already loved

Whoever you are

The world I now see through completely different eyes

I can’t wait to find out what you’re made of

Never before

Have I wanted more

To live out what is right

So you will see the light

Whoever you are little one

Whoever you will become

You already changed my heart

You already changed my world

Whoever you are little one

Whoever you will become

You’re already loved

Whoever you are

I loved you before you were born

I loved you before you existed yeah

I loved you before you were born

And now

Here you are

Whoever you are little one

Whoever you will become

You already changed my heart

You already changed my world

Whoever you are little one

Whoever you will become

You’re already loved

Whoever you are

You’re already loved

Whoever you are

Not Where I Belong

Life has been unsettling for many reasons lately.

Have I mentioned that my hard working hubby is traveling weekly right now?

Have I mentioned that I find myself lost in the direction for which my job was created?

Have I mentioned that my gift from above includes teaching. . . and I’m not doing that right now?

Conflicted!  Unsettling! Grasping at straws for meaning and purpose.

Then I hear this song. . .

And suddenly life is back to perspective!

Memories

Memories help get you through the tough times.

We’re holding tight to LOTS of memories right now.

I spent the afternoon looking through Mercedes’ first year scrapbook. . .

(I haven’t finished any other year)

and reading from her “Quote book”.

We are so blessed with such a vibrant, smart, creative little girl!!

*****************************

I thought I would share with you her latest Quote Book Entry. . .

It’s truly a picture of how my girl processes life, faith, and things unseen!

Enjoy!

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Last Friday night at dinner we were talking about taking Peek-A-Boo on a Boat Ride.

Mercedes says: I introduce Peek-a-Boo to all the Princesses.

Daddy says: What if Peek-A-Boo is a boy and doesn’t like Princesses?

Mercedes says. . . very determined: I want a Baby Sister!

Mommy says: We don’t get to choose.  Do you know who picks for us?

Mercedes: Yes!

Mommy: Who?

Now this is normally where she will shrugs her shoulders and says “I no know”,
but this time she replied very confidently. . .

“ME AND JESUS!”

She then proceeded to look to the sky and say:

“I want a baby sister.”

Now who can argue with that!  🙂

****************************************

One of the ways we’ve explained this to ourselves is that

Jesus knew this baby was a boy and didn’t want to deal with Mercedes’ wrath. . .

So Peek-A-Boo got to go “home” early!  🙂

Sometimes that’s what it takes to get you through the day. . . LAUGHTER and Memories!!

Peek-A-Boo Peanut

There’s no other way to start this, other than to just come right out and say it. . .

Baby Peek-a-Boo Peanut is with Jesus.

Jim and I had our third ultrasound this week and the doctor was unable to find a heartbeat.  While there are many emotions we are feeling, the one keeping us upright is that of peacePeace that God has a plan.  Peace that Peek-A-Boo is playing hide-n-seek with Jesus.  Peace that God’s timing is perfect.

Jim received a text from a dear friend that has been at the forefront of my mind as we deal with this unexpected loss. . .
“It is hard to know what to say other than your baby will be loved by Jesus. “Let the little children come to me for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them”. Although this is comforting to know, there is no way to ease your and Mandy’s sadness right now. My great Aunt Millie used to say that God calls souls when he wants them for a higher purpose and that when he takes away he gives back.  (Thanks Kim!)

We are clinging to the promises of our Father in Heaven. . .
The KINGDOM belongs to the children. . .
God has a HIGHER purpose for us all! . . .
and when He takes away, He GIVES BACK!

Yes, we’ve told Mercedes.  She is confused, sad, and happy all at the same time.  (Sounds like what I’m feeling).  She and Jesus are tight! So I’m sure she’s also jealous of her “Baby sister” getting to play with Jesus.

If it wasn’t for our faith, I’m not sure how we would have been able to explain to our daughter what has happened.  Some would criticize us for telling her about the baby so soon. . . but we won’t regret it for one minute as long as we live.  What a BIG lesson in faith and God and where our eternal home truly is!  Nope, it’s not fair that she’s learning this lesson so early, but life sucks!  It’s hard!  And the sooner we can learn how to cope the better off we are.

Please pray for healing as our hearts are broken.
Please pray for continued peace that passes all understanding!

There are many more stories to share and thoughts to write.
But for now, it’s time to. . . take a nap!  🙂

We love you all!!
Thank you for your unending support!!