Friday, August 26, 2016

Love, for the Right Reason

When my husband and I started dating, I was actually worried that I didn't like him as much as I liked his family. His dad was my pastor and, let's face it, I wanted a star on the Hollywood walk of fame or, eventually, a theatre named after me on Broadway. It wasn't beyond the realm of possibility that, at 21, I just wanted a high profile father-in-law. I mean, looking back now, it all seems ridiculous but I wanted to make sure I was dating him for the right reasons. You know, because of him. My other, more pressing, concern was that he had these two adorable nieces and a nephew that I was in love with and wanted as my own. Marrying their uncle wouldn't make them mine in any way, shape, or form, but it would get me a little bit closer. Thirteen years of marriage later, it's pretty evident I liked the guy. I liked him more than his dad and more than his sister's kids, even. I like spending my days with him. I like waking up next to him. I didn't marry him for his family.

I processed through the same feelings when Will's mom was pregnant with him. What if I just wanted him because he would be a little piece of Kate? What if it had nothing to do with Will and everything to do with her? What if he was born and I held him and took him home and just wanted him to be the daughter I lost and not the son I gained? I was afraid. Because nothing in that scenario would be fair to Will.

Even after we were all in and excited about our new little man, I occasionally struggled. I wondered if I would weep the moment I saw him. I didn't wonder if I would cry because I was finally meeting my son. I wondered if I would cry because I was meeting my daughter's brother. (Deep down, I knew I wouldn't cry at all because I'm a robot. I do not cry when I should. Weddings, funerals, births, the first day of kindergarten. Nuh-uh. Not me. Not the unfeeling cyborg.)

As it turned out, I did not cry at the hospital. Not a tear. This was, in part, because he was so tiny that, in my exhausted state, I sort of thought his legs were missing and I was confused. But it was also because of the aforementioned robotics I have going for me. I didn't think, "It's Kate's brother." I just thought about how I got to have him as my own and take him home and love him. I also thought that he was much tinier than I felt equipped to handle and I might actually break him. Tension was high with mourning parents and grandparents and I tried to walk the tightrope of elation mixed with empathy. All of that is a tough balance and it was much later that I began to embrace Will as Kate's brother.

For that, I am so very happy. I'm so relieved that I immediately loved him because he is amazing and not because he shares DNA with the daughter I never knew. But sometimes, I stop and really think about it. Sometimes I imagine what she'd be like. Sometimes I think about the details that were orchestrated, the tears shed, the prayers prayed. When I think about how many times this almost didn't happen and how many mountains the Lord had to move, I know I am standing in the middle of a miracle. 

Now, I look nothing at all like my brother so it's entirely possible that Kate looked 100% different. But, in my mind, she'll always look like the girly version of him. (Side note: EVERYONE thinks this kid is a girl because of his enviable curls. He will be in his BLUE car seat, wearing a BLUE onesie with BASEBALLS on it and someone will straight up say, "OH MY GOODNESS YOUR DAUGHTER IS JUST GORGEOUS HOW OLD IS SHE I LOVE HER BEAUTIFUL CURLS.") See, this is basically exactly how I imagined her. Except I imagined she'd be darker.

The other day, I received a private Instagram message from Cristy, a friend of mine from college. She gave me permission to share it. "I have to tell you that he looks exactly what I always pictured his sister looked like when I would read your posts. When I saw the very first photo of him, I thought, 'Wow, he looks just like his sister.' And then quickly realized that I had never seen his sister. I know that may sound weird, but I just wanted to share and he is just the most handsome boy!!"

We sent a few messages back and forth and then she said, "I thought it was so cool when I noticed it at first and tried to downplay it to myself but honestly believe that God wanted me to share that with you."

Yes. I believe He did.

I am so thankful that I love Will for being Will. But I am also so glad that, in his beautiful face, I see his sister. And, I feel like, with his face printed permanently on my mind, I will know Kate the moment I first see her--as we worship our Lord together in Heaven.



  1. Oh my goodness he is so precious!!! Look at that little bright-eyed face! <3

  2. He's just so adorable! I had been praying for you guys and was overwhelmed with Joy when I saw the first picture of little Will. So happy for you all ♥