echo…

September 30, 2009

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there’s my baby.  laying across the table trying to be so brave.  all in all I would say it went pretty well.  she was brave.  the tech didn’t really see anything. 

 oddly enough, these things don’t usually bother me to much.  I’m guessing it is because I’ve been through a fair amount of hospital stuff with my kids.  I’m just not the mom that cries when the baby gets an immunization shot.  it just isn’t that big of a deal… in the grand scheme of things.  the harder part of the day turned out to be, of course, luke stuff.  the whole time I was looking at the sonogram machine all I could think about was the many times we would sit and watch luke’s heart beating.  how we measured every little beat.  how I feared the day I would lay there on the table and there would be no heartbeat.  and of course, gabrielle had a full conversation with the tech about how she has 3 brothers really.  2 in 5th grade and one in heaven.  ‘my mom had a baby this winter, but he died.’

 … … sigh … …  what am I supposed to say? 

 thankfully the tech was a very nice guy and just talked along with her.  he asked what the baby’s name was.  and told her how nice of a name luke is.  he said his family was just like her family.  2 boys and then a girl and 1 more boy.  he handled it well.  I should send a letter.  I probably will.  anyway, he was a blessing for just being normal.  for not clamming up and remaining silent the rest of the time.  for not turning to me and going, ‘ohh… I’m so sorry.  what happened?, if you don’t mind if I ask.’ 

punkin seemed to be better during the day and then about 5 she crashed again.  her fever went up to 103, under her arm.  she couldn’t stay awake.  her eyes are just soo red.  she has a hard time breathing.  I feel so bad for her.  she looks so pitiful.  so little lying there.  I just want to fix it.  I just want an answer.  maybe tomorrow will be the day.  the fever will break.  the doctor will have an answer.  my little sparkler will get some of her fire back.

I’d like to say let’s just pray and she’ll get better.  we just need to have faith.  but I’ve been through the fire with the faith and believing and healing thing a few times and I know that it isn’t that simple.  of course I still pray, but I’m prepared to take whatever comes.  whatever the answer might be, I’m okay with it and I’ve finally come to a place where I know, I KNOW,  her healing or not healing is not dependant on my faith.  that in and of itself is a great blessing and lightens my burden immensely.  I hope that you would know this too.

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’  Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this has happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.’

John 9:1-3

she’s still wondering why the guy rubbed ‘jello’ all over her.  : )

running on empty…

September 29, 2009

so I get a call at 7:30 this morning from a dear friend, who tries to tell me quickly that she nominated me for this ‘running on empty’ contest, and I won, and she’ll be there, and this is her favorite photographer, and how awesome this is, and we’ll learn so much, and this will be such a break and a few other things I’m forgetting.

I don’t function very well at 7:30, so it took some concentration to understand what was going on.  here I sit, on the couch, between cole, whom I am trying to feed an egg, and gabrielle, whom is on day 9 of an unexplainable fever.  I won???  I won what???  I’ve never won anything!  and now I’ve won something so awesome, so substantial.  something that I’ve always wanted to do, but couldn’t afford or find the time for.  and, my friend will be  there too?!?!  this is incredible!

of course I want to do some researching on the photographer, Me Ra Koh.  I want to talk to my friend about all of the plans for the weekend.  I want to make sure my camera is ready to go.  I have to find help for the kids while I’ll be gone … all weekend. : ) all of these exciting things. 

 but… … the reality of the day was a little different.  I spent most of the time on the phone with a variety of doctors and clinics.  brian with his hernia and punkin with her fever.  it looks like bri will be waiting a bit to see of he can heal on his own and gabrielle will be heading downtown tomorrow to have an echo done on her heart to make sure she doesn’t have kawasaki disease. ???  what the heck is that?

over and above all of this though is the one thing that means the most.  the part I am left speechless about.  and that would be that someone was thinking of me.  someone thought I should be nominated.  someone took time from their live and used it for my benefit. … … …  how have I been blessed with such great friends?  could they be any better? 

I did talk with a few close friends today.  one that nominated me.  one that seconded that motion.  one that will come and help with the kids while I’m out. one that wants to bring dinner over for my family while I am gone.  one that wondered if there was anything she could do.  one that wanted to know about the health of my husband and child.  one that brought supper over tonight. oh, and did I mention my closest friend?  my lover?  whose first response was, ‘well.  I’ll just schedule my surgery for next week.’.  really.  that’s what he said.  and he meant it.  and he was happy for me.

here I sit.  soaking in the love…….  feeling very blessed……  I never would have guessed I would win something by running on empty. 

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thank you.  thank you.  thank you.

………………………………………………..

to see the nomination and the photographers’ blog go to www.merakohblog.com 

this was the conversation today as we headed to the doctor for punkin’s fever … again.

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mom?  why is smoking bad?

well, it has lots of yucky chemicals in it and when you breathe it in all those chemicals stick to your lungs.  then your lungs get all black and sticky and you might not be able to breathe anymore.  you could die.

long thinking pause …. …. ….

so, maybe if someone wanted to die so that they could go to heaven and see their baby brother, they could start smoking?  maybe I could start smoking?

shock, sadness, bewilderment, amazement from me, with a long pause… … …

well, you have to be 18 to smoke.  you are not old enough.

oh.  well maybe when I am 18 I can start.

……………………

I guess some days she thinks about him more than others too.

9 months later…

September 25, 2009

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I thought of him at 2:30 this morning as I was up giving gabrielle some motrin.

I thought of him this morning as I came across the baby tylenol dosing chart that I had been keeping.  now it is sitting on the counter and I can’t decide if I should throw it or not.

I thought of him about 9:30 as I was trying to find my SS card and came across his…. and his birth certificate and his death certificate and the letters in-between doctors explaining the birth and death.

I thought of him at 11:30 and 11:31 and 11:32 and so on as I ate lunch at the mall with brian and saw all the little babies and pregnant women going about their days.

I thought of him at 12:30 while I was standing in front of the Gap sales rack and came across a little star wars T that I wold have bought in an instant.  I almost got it anyway.  which made me think about how we laughed and laughed about brian saying,  ‘luke… I’m your father.’  which made me really sad.

and so it goes.  everyday.  little things that make me think of him over and over, everyday.  most of time I can hold it together and I guess that is the difference, 9 months later.

I’ll fly away…

September 23, 2009

this morning, after I dropped dawson off at school and was headed home, I heard her singing.  looking in the rear view mirror, there’s my little angel, swinging here bare feet, looking out the window, singing ‘I’ll fly away oh glory.  I’ll fly away.  when I die, hallelujah by and by.  I’ll fly away.’

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of course this makes me tear up.  oh the joy of her innocence.  I just want to hold her and love her.  could this be the way God feels when He catches us singing sweetly, honestly?  when no one is looking and our heart just let’s go?  when we hold the door for the mom with her hands full?  when we pay for the coffee of the person behind us to celebrate random kindness?  when there is no agenda? 

if I love her soo much that hearing her little voice sing sweetly makes me come undone with joy, how much more the joy of my Father when I am ‘caught’ singing?  when my soul pours out the things that I cannot put into words?

Psalm 5:11

But let all you take refuge in you be glad;

let them ever sing for joy.

Spread your protection over them,

that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

I’ll be here in the morning, Lord willing.  and tomorrow and next year and 10 years from now and even 60 years from now I hope, but if I should die would it be so bad.  …

no.

would you be happy for me to finally be at home?  to finally be free of headaches and heartaches?  could you even stop smiling to know that I am where I’ve always longed to be?  to know that I can walk with Him and talk with Him and hear Him call me His own?  wouldn’t it just bless your heart to imagine Jesus handing me luke wrapped in a sky blue, fluffy as the clouds blanket?  or maybe luke would just step out from behind Jesus, fully grown.  a handsome young man … tall and blond, big and strong.  able to pick me up right off my feet and swing me around and say, ‘mama there’s so much to see!  more than you would’ve imagined!’

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I don’t usually cry at funerals.  I didn’t cry at luke’s.  (although I hardly remember it)  if I do cry, it is because of a kind of jealousness.  why do they get to go home?  when is it my turn?  of course, all that being said, the funerals that I have been to have mostly been for people who I know are born again believers, friends and family that I know I will see again.  and of course these are temporary thoughts as I know I have a family that I need and want to take care of here.  I’m sure Jesus is doing just fine with luke, but not so sure this little brood of mine could do without me at the moment. … … … of course, God could take care of them too, if that was His will.

His will. … His will. … have you thought about His will as you drive along to the next stop?  will you make it there safely?  will you get broadsided by the car that didn’t even slow down at that red light?  are you thankful for His providence?  the providence that held you back 2 seconds to get the little one’s seatbelt on so that when the car did blow the light it would be right in front of you instead of right into you?

where was I going with all of this?  why am I rambling?  just to get it out of my head so I can sleep a little easier, so I can get up in the morning to grace anew and blessings fresh. … … … … Lord willing.

peace…

September 16, 2009

so, here’s what is going on. … … nothing.

we contacted the adoption agency.  we contacted the person who sent the email.  now we wait.  and wait.  nothing is happening at all.  we can’t do anything else now unless the mother of the baby would specifically say, ‘ I want brian and jenifer matthews to have this baby.’ and we aren’t hearing that.

oddly enough.  I am completely  fine with that.  it seems odd for me to even say it, but it is exactly true.  I am at peace.  a deep peace.  a contentment that I haven’t felt for awhile.

I’m wondering if all of this happened just so that I could realize how content I am….  this is my family.  this is my story.  I don’t have a baby. ……. and I am okay with that.

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when peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

when sorrows like sea billows roll;

whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say

it is well, it is well with my soul.

the week in review…

September 13, 2009

wow! … it has been crazy at the matthews this week.  all I can really say about it is … wow.  a little head shaking in there and just amazement at how God just sits you down sometimes.

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let me start with the first day of school.  the boys did great.  on the bus for cole and a ride from mom for dawson.  I always take a picture of the kids in the morning as they are getting ready to head off.  a little tradition for us.  I took gabrielle’s too even though she officially starts kindergarten the following day.  of course this is a little bittersweet.  I should be taking a first day of school '09 017picture of luke too.  even though he wouldn’t be going to school, I still like to have a ‘where were you’ kind of picture for everyone.  and of course, my sweet baby girl is headed off for the first time!  it was a little tough, but I did hold it together. 

so, that was the first day of school.  the second day for the boys was tfirst day of school '09 026he first for punkin.  she was so excited and did just great.  brian and I stood at the bus stop for 45 minutes waiting for her bus to come around the corner to drop her off.  here comes the bus around the corner with her beautiful smiling face looking right out the front window just as proud as punch!!  it was a very memorable moment.  some pretty great days.

 

now let me tell you about the ‘God sitting me right down’ moment….

after I dropped gabrielle off wednesday morning I didn’t rally want to come home.  the house would be empty and it just shouldn’t be.  I was so looking forward to the fall and being able to spend the mornings with luke and luke alone.  I should have a baby boy at home.  I haven’t been alone in this house ever.  I haven’t been alone in my life  ever!  I went straight from my parents to married to brian to cole and then dawson and then gabrielle.  12 years of being a mom.  I sat at the stop light crying, not wanting to make the turn into my neighborhood and go home to the empty, quiet house.

obviously I had to and did.  I came in and went right to the computer and checked email.  the first and only email that was there was from a good friend.  she had forwarded it from a friend of hers.  it was asking if there is anyone who would like to adopt a baby that is due in november. … … … … … … … … I just stared.  could this be real?!?!  I forwarded it to brian and called the friend.  it was true and brian said go ahead and respond. 

I fell to the floor crying and asking the holy spirit to intercede for me because I was at a COMPLETE loss for words.

after gathering myself, I did respond.  I do not have much more info to pass along about it at this point, but the events leading up to the email are so bizarre that it seems as if it would have to be something of God.  let  me tell you a couple of them.

I’ve been dreaming that I have a baby.  not like pregnant have a baby, like in the dream I just have a baby with me.  I’ve been telling brian for the last 6 weeks to be prepared when someone drops a baby off at our door.  I had told my bible study group over the summer that I was hoping that somehow we would just get a baby.  the mother of the baby cried when she got the response from us.  the contact name at the adoption agency is a friend of one of my closest friends.  the list goes on.  really.

I’ve been pretty speechless this week.

now, I don’t know where this will lead.  I know that you can twist things when you really want something.  I’m trying to stay as centered as possible.  I’m trying to pray often.  I have many friends praying too.  maybe this little baby ends up in our home.  maybe this is just something that happens to tell us to get our things in order so that we are able to adopt.  I don’t know.  anyway, I just wanted to update everyone and let you know where I’ve been and why I am short on words at the moment.

thanks for thinking of me.  thanks for your prayers.  thanks for your kindness and caring. 

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,

and in his word I put my hope.

My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning,

more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Psalm 130:5-6

more running…

September 8, 2009

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again with the running.  maybe it was because they played jesus loves me at church.  (which we sang at luke’s funeral)  maybe it was because there will be no 1st birthday party at our house.  maybe it is because I was the only one who didn’t walk into the party with a baby carrier.  maybe it was just all of it.

so I came home, put on my tennies and headed out.  again, let me tell you how much I don’t like to run.  anyway, I wasn’t to far into the run when I started replaying all of this in my head.  why do I get this crazy ‘gotta run’ sensation when I am stressed?  maybe… maybe…  maybe this is God’s answer to my stress.  rather than sit at the bar and drink my self into oblivion, or shop until there is no tomorrow, or become an addict of prescription drugs… I guess God says, ‘go!’  ‘this is how I designed you to handle the tough situations.’ 

it could be.  I mean, we all know that any form of exercise naturally releases endorphins and serotonin.  who else knows the whole scientific explanation of it all, but in general you feel better if you are out there doing something.  so, for now, I am going to just go with it.  I’ll head out.  go for a run.

punkin…

September 4, 2009

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a girl after my own heart…

oh how long I prayed for this child.  4 years actually.  please God, could I just have a blue eyed girl with curly hair like her mama.  I got what I asked for… and then some.

a little more about punkin.  born september 4,  2003 by scheduled cesarean in the late morning.  beautiful.  absolutely beautiful.  a full head of hair, that never fell out.  big blue eyes.  not an easy child… ever.  never napped.  like the other babies who have a nice morning nap and then the 2 or 3 hour afternoon nap.  never.  she didn’t want to miss anything.  she would catnap here and there when it was convenient for her.  she didn’t ever really learn to sit, she didn’t have time.  walking by 9 months, not cruising along furniture, walking!  looking so odd at just 15 lbs.  and honestly, I don’t remember her ever not talking.  trying to sit on the potty by herself at 15 months.  we were afraid she’d fall in.  determined.  very determined.

as she is growing up, her character traits only get stronger.  she’s a pistol, a firecracker, a handful.  her good looks are balanced out by her mischievousness.  people tell her constantly how pretty she is, we try to tell her she is smart.  she is passionate and causes those around her to feel passionately too.  whatever the emotion she is evoking at the time, it is usually a pretty strong one.

she is turning into a good little helper.  she does things around the house for me.  she loves to be right by my side.  mostly  she likes to make stuff in the kitchen, especially jello.  she also loves to crack eggs.  she is a great help with cole.  better than dawson.  I’m not sure if it is just easier for the female to be an aid or what.  she copies what she sees our helpers do.  she reads to cole and plays with him and says kind things.  this morning as I was getting ready in the bathroom I heard her talking with cole and she was telling him thank you for the little brush he gave her to comb her dolls hair.  then she said to him, ‘that was  my favorite present cole.’.  : )  I’m pretty sure the doll was her actual favorite, but she tries to make him feel good and special.

what will she be, where will she go?  I have no idea.  I just pray that God harnesses all her will power and determination for good.  she could do mighty things out there in this big world as long as her heart stays true to Jesus.

I love her.  I just love her.

these are the 3…

September 1, 2009

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I seem to pick up little things that seem to be appropriate to my life here and there.  today as I was talking with a friend who has also lost a baby, who knows the despair of walking out the hospital trying to hold  yourself together instead of holding  that new beautiful baby boy, she said something that I may start to say myself.

as you know, one of the harder things to deal with is the question, ‘how many kids do you have?’.  her answer, when it fits, is … ‘these are the 2 that we have here.’

yes.  that is a good way to say it.  these are the 3 I have here.  the other 1 is in heaven all ready.  I can’t wait to see him.  I will go to him.

this of course opens the door to speak about the other HIM in my life.  the other HIM that I wait to see.  oh how I love HIM.  I wouldn’t have made it this far without HIM.  I thank God for giving up His Son … … give me the grace and the strength and the courage to be able to speak up and say as much when the opportunity is presented.