Saturday, March 28, 2009

28 Days

Dear Matthew,

You are not one month old already. It's impossible. I mean, sure, you were born in February so you were technically cheated out of two or three days but still. You cannot possibly be 28 days old. See because that would mean that I've spent 28 whole days feeling like I'm trying not to drown. In some ways, I think you've been a part of this family for much, much longer than a month but, in other ways, I know that it was mere moments ago that I first laid on eyes on that head of hair as it emerged from within your mother.

In the hospital, on the day we were discharged, she was holding you and you started to fuss. She said that it sounded like you wanted your mom and she handed you to me. And you stopped. Just like that. Maybe I mentioned that before but it made my heart swell.

Matthew, I hate that it's hard for me to think about all the adorable things you've done in the past month because all I focus on is please, God, let me have a lifetime with him. You look at me with the deepest chocolate eyes and you trust me. You smile in your sleep and melt my already mushy and emotional heart. You coo and I wonder if it's the only voice I'll ever get to hear. And so I contemplate fleeing to Canada. Your father says we'd be safer in Ireland and it really makes no difference to me, as long as we're together. I won't do it, of course, even though the mother in me wants to stop at nothing to keep you here with us. In some ways, I'm angry that I'll never get the last 28 days back. I'll never get to snuggle you, fresh from the womb, without worry about what tomorrow might bring. But, if these are the only days I have with you, I'll be thankful that I had them. I'll be glad I pulled you into bed with me and breathed you--you smell like baking bread, don't ask me why--into my nostrils. I'll be thankful that I kissed your chubby cheeks two thousand times. I'll be so proud to have called you my son and to have felt you grip my fingers tightly in your fists.

Today the church gave us a baby shower--or, as your brother called it, a baby bath--and it was wonderful. I was truly dreading it on account of the fact that I burst into tears at extremely random times these days. But, buddy, you deserved to be showered upon. Your little life is worth something more than a giant custody battle. Hoards of people showed up to celebrate you and it was perfect. I wore regular mascara just so I wouldn't be tempted to cry. I certainly couldn't walk around the church with raccoon eyes. I am happy to report that I did not cry a single tear, though Allison did choke me me up once during her devotional. It was completely unintentional because it was a part that I certainly wasn't supposed to cry over. As she talked about hearing her son's deep belly laugh for the first time on account of dancing around the living room with him instead of doing the dishes, I couldn't help but wonder if I'll be privileged enough to hear your own laugh ring through my ears.

You will always be mine. Even if they take you, not a day will go by when I won't wonder how you are and what you're doing. Not an hour will pass where I don't love you. But, through it all, I want nothing more than to stand firm. If I were to leave you anything from our 28 days together, I would want it to be an unshakable faith. People have said that they're finding it hard not to be angry or upset with God because this just doesn't make sense. They've said that if they are feeling that way, surely I am. Matthew, I'm not. I've been there. The road that finally led us to your brother was painful and I questioned God more than a few times. I shook my fist at the heavens on several occasions. But I lived to tell about it and I regret that it showed me what a pathetic lack of faith I had. My heart ached but it did not break. God did not give me more than I could handle. We were blessed immeasurably with your brother and I wouldn't trade a second of our pain for that spirited toddler who is obsessed with touching your nose. How, on earth, can I be upset or angry at a God who allowed me these past 28 days and may, very well, allow me your life. Sure, the days have been filled with anxiety and stress, but he could have not given you to me at all. I am confident that's not what I would have wanted.

So I'm sorry that your first month has been full of turmoil, but at least you can know that we are loving you fiercely and standing firm in our faith. It's been a tough month but the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, tangled, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. How few of us ever emerge from such beginning! How many souls perish in its tumult! That's Kate Chopin and, if you live with me long enough, you'll be introduced to her again--if I have anything to say about it. I took that quote completely out of context and I don't even care. I'm not even going to apologize.

I love you, Matthew. Happy 1 month.


  1. Ditto to what Christy said, followed by about ten "Wows!"

    Your words speak volumes in sentences.

  2. ditto, ditto, ditto

    thank you for sharing your heart with us...and Matthew's sweet 28 days, so far.

  3. ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto... :)

    Couldn't not agree with Christy.

    You are an amazing strong Christian woman and your faith is inspiring. Praying for you all daily.

  4. Lori, that was a beautiful post in general, and you already know what my favorite part was! The moment I read the words "but the beginning of things," I caught my breath. An unexpected Kate Chopin quotation! Like a little ray of sunshine. :) (Not that I would generally describe her work as sunny...) Anyway, good work on finding a way to include her! Of course, you're a much better mother than Edna; you'd never, ever walk away from your children. But, still, I find that that particular quotation has so much meaning for so many circumstances in life! Here's to hoping for a happier ending to your story than hers.

  5. Lori,
    I hope you are keeping a journal for Matthew. He'd love to see all your feelings and thoughts when he's older. I believe in my heart, that God brought him to your family for a reason -- You are such a strong woman!! Keep on kissing and hugging him as much as you can....he's your son!!!

    The most precious part of the story was when the birthmom handed him to you and said "he wants his mommy." AGHH that's special.