Monday, October 29, 2007

To New Moms and One Day Moms


Time goes by so quickly.

like bubbles

here

shiny

precious

gone

How many times can we hear that said? How many ways can that truth be told?

And yet Anson is 8. My baby is 4. Time has floated by...and disappeared.

A new little one

is on it's way to stay

one day

soon.

I will do some things different

because now I know

that wind gently lures bubbles far

away

babies stretch out

they turn 8

and learn proper sentence structure.

So I will

hold this new baby more.

An 8 year old has taught me

that there are less things

than I once thought

more important

than holding my bubbles close.

I will

clear my schedule when the new baby is three

just so

I can sit down,

ask him questions

and

listen

to all the funny things

floating around inside his head.

If I was growing another life

instead of adopting

I would

not run from cameras

because I felt fat

and ready

for that bubble to burst

oh no

I would want plenty of proof that life grew

inside this stomach that now is

flat

empty

vacant

it's hard to believe it once held

life

limbs

lungs

There would be more pictures

of me and my belly

and my boobs

yes, it's true

shy away if you must

but it won't keep me from wishing

that I had more pictures

of me

nursing

rocking

my babies so snug

so close

fleshy fingers

squeezing

my skin

I wish I had a picture

of those sweet times

just for me

on the days

when I need to sit

gather

sift through all the bubbles

and remember

gently touching them

marveling

at how fast bubbles blow away

at how quickly you go from

growing life

from nursing babies

to listening to them read

Charlotte's web.

13 comments:

Hendrick Family said...

I was talking to some girls at my house awhile back about some things that will be different once we adopt our next child.

Having an 8 year old, and with Ashton being 4 has caused me to sit and think through the things I wish I would have known when they were little.

I know that the bubbles of life will still keep on blowing, blowing away...but I do know that after seeing how fast babies grow up, I'm going to try harder to sit and watch those bubbles drift away...keeping my eyes on them as long as I can before they melt away.

I do wish I had taken more pictures of myself when I was pregnant.

I hated being pregnant then, but now...I could sit and stare at my big belly in those pictures for hours.

I also have no pictures of myself nursing my kids. And yet...that was my favorite thing about being a mommy!! It makes me sad that I can't pull those moments out and look at them, remembering one of the most precious times of my life.

Anything else you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself when you were a new mom?

I bet all the new mommies who read this blog (and the one day moms) will love hearing what you have to say!

Heather

The Kramer Family said...

I so agree with all of this.

However, I don't quite see how a prego could actually take a picture of herself. It might be kind of difficult! Just kidding.

There are so many tender moments being pregnant and once the life that was inside of you comes out. I see so many people shy away from the camera not wanting any pictures of them right after they just had their baby. Or even months after they've delivered their baby just because they still need to lose a few pounds and get back into their pants before they are ready. Don't do it!

You will regret it and every single picture you are lacking to document those most tender moments. I have pictures of me nursing my babies for the first time they came into the world. Sure, they are tucked away only for me to look upon, but they are there and I treasure them.

Good thoughts.
Lyns

Hendrick Family said...

Ha! Lynsey.

That made me laugh.

I didn't know what you were talking about at first, but then I read what I wrote in that comment...

Yes...I highly recommend you let someone ELSE take more pictures of you when you're pregnant.

Funny.

Heather

Kathryn, Michael & Alex said...

It does go by so fast.

I just had a rare moment of just Alex and me in his room reading a book (my baby can read!!) and then then when he finished, he laid his head down in my lap and I rubbed his back until he fell asleep.

There was nothing more important for me to do at that moment than rub my babies back, no dishes, no laundry or anything. There is nothing like a child falling asleep on you no matter what age they are.

Treasure it!!!

Mindi said...

Oh, Heather, how beautiful.

This is what I say and think of every day. I try to explain to others with little ones how quickly it goes, just as others tried to tell me when mine were little.

The problem is that however old, they are, we long for the years that are gone like a vapor. You look at your 8 year old Anson and long to see the newborn Anson, the 2 year old Anson, the 4 year old Anson again. And you think . . . How?? How can he be 8??

I know because I look at all 6 of mine and think the same thing!

But what you are not doing, perhaps, is being GLAD that he is only 8.

You see, I have a 15 year old. Do you know what I would give for an 8 year old Monica??? An 11 year old Monica? And I know I need to treasure the 15 year old Monica, because in 2.5 short years. She will be GONE!

Matt and I are planning our next 2.5 years of vacations and things we want to do with "our whole family" before part of our family has a different address.

Luckily, I have pictures of nursing Monica. I treasure them.

But I know, no matter how I tell you, that 15 seem ancient to you, and that a 15 year old Anson is in the far, far, distant future.

I wish there was a pause button. Just to freeze them for a little while, until we are finished with this stage and ready to see the next one.

Yes, treasure those baby moments. When I see you I will tell you how I decided to fix forever my little baby Marshall. I had already watched three little girls grow up way too fast, and like you, decided to appreciate the fourth one a little more. I decided to memorize every single thing about that moment. The wrinkles in his foot. The shape of his fingernails. The feel of his silky hair, and how it smelled. Instead of putting him down for that nap, I held my sleeping boy for two hours, determined to memorize him and have that moment vivid forever.

All I can remember about that afternoon is trying to remember. I don't remember the wrinkles in his foot, or what his hair smelled like or looked like. Isn't taht SAD?!!

So I learned that trying harder, harder to remember does not work. At all. It goes, if anything, even faster and faster with every child.

So with my 5th child Miranda, late one night after nursing her to sleep, I rocked her while a silent stream of tears poured down my face and even soaked her little tiny head. Matt looked over and asked, "What is wrong?"

I said, "I wish I could keep this little baby forever. Like a puppy, or a goldfish, except forever. I love having a baby in the house and I wish this one would just stay a baby. But not only will I not get to "keep" her, I won't even remember her. How she feels right now, the weight of her sleeping body against mine, and how it feels for her to nurse while she is asleep. And it's just too sad for me to fathom."

And today, indeed, I don't remember. It's awful. So if you ever hold a tiny baby in your arms again and get to call that baby your very own, TREASURE that time. Don't mourn that it will soemday be over, or try to make it last longer by remembering things better.

With my 6th I just appreciated every moment. When she woke up in the night, I went to her with joy. When it was bathtime, I happily assembled the towels and baby shampoo. And when she woke up from her naps too soon, I thanked God for extra time with her. I feel that it took me six children to really be able to just understand that the time will pass all too quickly and enjoy it.

Sorry, that was really long! Just a "hot topic" with me -

Mindi

Hendrick Family said...

Mindi!

Crud. I'm crying and crying.

Thank you!

WSexton2000 said...

WOW!!!

Mindi!!

I got a lump in my throat from Heather, but you pushed the tears right from my eyes.

I have a lot of regrets, and one of the biggest I have is not being there to hold and caress Alex. I was there for Michael and he will always hold a special place in my heart for that. I mean, the doctor actually let me deliver him! But Alex....... I was unsaved and selfish. I never thought of anyone but my self and my own desires. I left him as an infant and never got to do the things I did with Michael. I never got to see his "firsts". I never got to hold him in my lap as a baby and feel his breath on my cheek as he dozed. That thought haunts me, even today. I know that, as a new creation, the deeds of my past are forgiven in God's eyes, but forgiving myself is a whole different matter. I'm slowly learning that, as I grow spritually, these things will pass. But there are always consequences to sin, and the consequences of that sin will haunt me forever. I am so blessed that God opened my eyes sooner rather than later to my fallacies, and allowed me to reenter my childrens lives once more. I pray to God that I never allow my selfishness to interfere with my time with my children and that, in time, I can forgive myself as both God and my children have forgiven me.

The faith and love of a child.

It is so easy to see why Jesus used this as a way to teach us what real love and faith can be.

I see Alex and I see me.

I see Michael and I see who I wished I was.

My children are my life, and I hope that all who read this blog and it's comments take the time to really think about what it is to have children. I write this from the perspective of both having them, and forsaking them. It's a hard row to hoe and I hope that anyone reading this takes to heart the hard lessons learned from a poor sinner that has finally seen the light. That light is Jesus Christ, and he brought my children back to me. I love him, and will praise his name forever.

Will
Son
Brother
Father
DAD

(Dad....that one word makes me cry again)

Jana said...

All of these stories made me cry....I know how all of you feel with a fammily that is GROWING....So TRUE!!!

Hendrick Family said...

That was incredible, Will.

God will redeem the time.

Mindi's words touched me. I got up thinking how silly it is to think the time has gone by. Anson is only 8. I still have so much time! I need to savor the days. Alex is so young!

God is healing your family. Those precious boys will one day, find it hard to remember...and even harder to believe that there was a season of their life that you were not a part of.

Listen to Mindi! The time goes by too fast. There's not enough time to wallow around in unforgiveness AND be who God has called us all to be in the lives of our children.

Praise God for all the great things He does.

Praise God for older, wiser people in my life who I can listen to...who challenge me to make adjustments in my thinking.

Heather

the lewisi female said...

wow, you all are so wise and making me cry! I do not have children yet and I am so thankful that you all share your lives so that one day when I have children I will have all these little lessons stored up. Thanks.

Melodi said...

Oh my. I hadn't read this post until today - Tuesday. I'm not sure I can even write just one comment. It would take a book.

I'll stick to the topic of bonding. Maybe. :)

It took five LONG years to get pregnant. Finally. John Mark arrived. Emergency c-section. Not breathing. Blue. Scored a TWO on the Apgar, people. TWO! They had to revive him. Then a complicated recovery leading to five long days in the hospital. It was on that last day in the hospital that I looked down and said, "Oh my goodness. We have a baby. He's ours! We're taking him to our house!" I bawled all day. We went home to a cat that we'd had for years, who was "my baby." It was the weirdest sensation that overtook me. I became like this possessive mother hen! I wouldn't let the cat near John Mark! We eventually gave the cat away because I was so protective of John Mark that I couldn't even enjoy the cat anymore. Isn't that awful and weird??

With babies 2, 3, and 4 the bonding was practically instant. I was relaxed, not scared, and ready to nurture another precious life.

Then came Camille. We had just been licensed as foster parents and we got this phone call one evening when we were bone-tired. I had even said, "This would be the worst night to get a call for our first foster child placement." ha! I was wide awake after that call, readying the house for a newborn baby girl coming the next day from Houston!

I can pinpoint the day it happened. The third day she was here. I was changing her diaper and went, "Oh no. OH NO!!!! I don't want to feel this!!! She's not mine! No!!!!!!!!!" It was too late and it was inevitable. Now look what God has done with it! She will officially be a Henry in about a month! She is now 20 months old!

And then...Andre. Sweet, sweet Andre. Born way too early, lived 3 weeks in the hospital with no visitors, and then wham! We picked him up from the hospital, 4 lbs. 11 oz., and he had the most pained look about him. He was miserable. For 3 months. I can assure you that no baby has ever been held as much as Andre in this house. Many, many hours of holding, pacing, bouncing, singing, cuddling, begging him to stop crying! :) I told people that I just hadn't felt about him the way I felt about Camille. And then the most unexpected thing happened. We went out of town for a weekend and left Andre with another foster family. He hated his car seat at the time, so the thought of a 4 hour drive with a screaming baby did not appeal to us. I drove him to that family's house and on the way there, I lost it. I absolutely lost. I bawled on the way there, as I dropped him off, on the way home, on the way out of town, and when we returned to get him two days later, the family was not home! I was desperate. "Where are they? Where is Andre??? Where is he?" It hit me. That was the reason for our trip. I needed to see what God had done. God had made him a part of our family. I hadn't even realized it amidst the loss of sleep and the hours of colic.

For those of you wondering, it looks very likely that Andre will become a Henry as well. We go to court on Monday, Nov. 5, where the permanent plan for him will be changed to adoption. There are no guarantees, but he is already completely in our hearts. Even if he leaves here, he's still our son.

Bonding has nothing to do with biology. It's all God. Children are a reward from Him.

Wish I had done anything differently? Sure. We were not plugged into a church until JM was a year old. We were not plugged into a life-changing church body until Hannah was almost 2. Lots of lost years of training them up in the righteousness of the Lord. Lots of consequences for that.

Pray for your children. Pray for the guidance God would have you give them every single day. Pray that they see the WORD as essential to daily life, not a prop in their hand as their walk into church on Sunday.

Debi Stoll said...

GOODNESS! I haven't read the Hendrick Blog since my infamous appearing from the Dead BOB Show and I am crying. I am always remembering how short time is now that Matt is going to graduate in 1.5 years..I cry everytime I think about him leaving. PRAISE THE LORD he likes to hang with his momma and daddy. Like all babies we cuddled and snuggled and just this week I was sitting on my big red chair and he came and crammed himself into that chair with me and put his arms around me and fell asleep, all 6 feet 170 pounds! I couldn't even think of moving I just thought of all the times when he was little and how when he would wake up he would come right to me and want to be held and I would say "MATT we are running late let's get going"...OOHH how time flies! Now Corey comes when he wakes up and pours himself into my lap as I'm drinking coffee and all I wanna do is snuggle. There's 5 years between them and it probably would have taken me another child or 2 to realize how important the little stuff is, THANKFULLY God had them 5 years apart because he knows what a bonehead I am and I would have kept up the rushing around with more children! Now I treasure things with Corey that I missed with Matt, like going on field trips, having ice cream together after school, chasing water moccassins through the yard with a shot gun, we did that this week :-) GREAT FUN! Those of you that have boys, if they don't have their momma to hang with they will find some other female.

Also, Heather I just read the Poo blog...AWESOME! Hayden is an exact clone of Matt! I have tons of stories like that of Matt. One I will share...it was show-n-tell day at Matt's preschool and Mike and I got a frantic call from the Director to come and pick up Matt @ school, so we met up there the Director took us to her office and began explaining in a serious matter that his show-n-tell was not what a 4 year should have for show-n-tell and we are looking at each "like I don't remember him bringing anything for today"... WELL when asked what he brought today, because we didn't remember. She told us he got up in front of the class turned around and MOONED EVERYONE!!!! We had to keep from bursting out laughing we were both so red! Mike had to get up and leave and I just kept apologizing to her and told her we would talk to Matt...Well he is 17 and still pulling pranks like that! It never ends they just keep getting funnier and more creative..ENJOY ALL OF IT! I am reminded that this boy (man) will be eligible to vote in the next presidential election...put your thinking cap on for Hayden with that...HA! ;)

Debi

Hendrick Family said...

Oh that was awesome, Debi!

Yes, Hayden would TOTALLY moon his class.

And how sweet that your boys still climb up in your lap and fall asleep. I want that to be true years from now too.

Heather