My little boy crawled today for the first time. Sure, there's been movement prior to this and at points I wondered if he would ever get the forward motion rather than continue to scoot himself backward until he was bent in half underneath the coffee table. I am raising a boy, therefore I LET him scoot under the coffee table and give him a second to realize his situation before I run to his rescue. He's figured it out now and as I watched him stretch out his legs until only his toes were touching the floor, palms flat in front of him on the carpet I couldn't help but tear up. I've been WAITING for him to finally put the pieces together and it was the coolest thing to see it happen. Even though I had been showing him exactly what he needed to do with his arms and legs, set countless enticements in front of him, he didn't move forward until he realized that going backwards wasn't getting him where he wanted to go. Could that be any more applicable to my life?? It's amazing how much I'm learning about following God through parenting my 9 month old son.
It's been a very busy summer, starting with our finalization hearing on June 2nd! Jeremiah is legally a GEAR and I now have his birth certificate to prove it! It was a bit of a melancholy day for me, bittersweet almost. As great as it was, it almost felt unnecessary- like I was finalizing something that was already done. It was interesting to sit behind the big wooden desk and respond to questions from the judge sitting miles away from us in her lofty roost. She was incredibly sweet, an adoptive parent herself, and was genuinely happy to officiate the adoption. None of the information she spoke of was new to me (except for sharing the name Marisol gave to Jeremiah), but somehow when she was talking I began to feel morose. It was the strangest thing. Both Lee and I talked about it afterward because we left the courthouse going, "Okay- that's done." No particular extreme significance was attached to the process because Jeremiah was ALWAYS ours, officially, since he was placed in our arms at 6 minutes old. I didn't expect to feel that way that day, since it was special, but nothing changed for me on June 2nd other than to complete the process. We probably will celebrate it every year, however, just to have another reason to rejoice over Jeremiah. And who doesn't want another reason to party and engorge themselves on ice cream?
I've had numerous opportunities this summer to share Jeremiah's story. It's something I've been praying about since October, knowing that it's one to be shared but not knowing how to share it. A few weeks back as I was driving I contemplated about running to a few stores before I headed home, desperately wanting to find a new rug for Jeremiah's room. Friends of ours bought this adorable rug at Shopko which peaked my interest as to what they just might have for me. I don't know why it was something that caused such deliberation in my mind but I went back and forth: Should I go to Shopko? Should I just go home? Should I go to Shopko? Should I just go home? Back and forth, back and forth. It was kind of annoying.
"Go to Shopko."
Umm.....what was that?
"Go to Shopko."
Really? Ok............I'll go to Shopko....wow....
There have been a few times in my life where it seems like God is speaking audibly, and this strange instruction left me baffled, to be completely honest. I was thinking, 'What rug could possibly be this important that God himself would direct me to it?'
I veered onto the exit that would take me up to the mall area and maneuvered my way into the Shopko parking lot. Jeremiah had fallen asleep during the drive and I thought, 'Great! He'll just snooze while I meander through the store and I won't have to entertain him.' I had no sooner walked inside when Jeremiah opened his eyes and grinned at me. Little squirt. I made a beeline for the rug department and was frustrated to find that there was no rug shining light from Heaven upon me. Deciding to look at shoes I made my way to the other side of the store, found two adorable pairs of shoes for under $17 and decided to kill a little more time before I headed home. I pushed my cart into the lotion aisle and bummed around there for a few minutes until I saw a female employee turn into the same aisle, gathering randomly stashed items from careless, lazy customers (of which I am guiltily included) and placing them in her cart. I smiled the obligatory we-now-occupy-the-same-space-so-I'll-smile-hello at her and continued with my business until I heard her say, "Oh, I've got to come see that baby!" Not a surprise, for Jeremiah creates a following wherever he goes.
"Who's got the cutest little toesies? Hmmm?" And so on and so forth like most women do. Jeremiah just stared at her, and I could tell he was trying to figure out what in the world this woman was doing. He's incredibly observant, studies people almost making them uncomfortable.
"Come on sweetheart," I said, "smile and say hello!"
Say his name.
'What? Why?' I thought.
Say his name.
'Ok, I'll say his name...'
"Say hello, Jeremiah." After which the woman looked up at me, seemingly surprised.
"Jeremiah?!? That's a big, strong name little boy. Are you going to grow up to be a prophet too?" Aha.....a believer. 'Where are you going with this Lord?'
"Maybe." I replied, "He sure does have a story to tell. You've got to hear his story."
I proceeded to tell her the story of Jeremiah, starting with our failed adoptions and then how Marisol met Cristina. When I got to the point in the story where I tell of how Cristina and my mom met, her eyes widened, she gasped "Ohhhhhh......" and started to weep. Right there in the middle of the lotion aisle at Shopko. "We've got to pray over this baby boy right now," she said once she composed herself, and she prayed a beautiful prayer of protection over my son and thanking God for crossing our paths.
"You'll never believe this, " she said. "God has been bringing young women across my path lately that are either dealing with unwanted pregnancies or abortions and I have absolutely no experience in either of those areas, (thank God), but I have had nothing to share with them. Now I do! Now I can share the story of your beautiful family with these women to show them hope. And I heard it in the lotion aisle at Shopko of all places! Wait 'till I share this with my family tonight, they'll all be cryin'."
We hugged, we encouraged each other and I walked away thinking, 'That's why you wanted me to come to Shopko. Thank you Lord for that.' That and two cute pairs of shoes!
So it just went to show me that God has His plan for how this story will all come about (still....duh, Tiffany) and if I would just pay attention to what He's showing me instead of scooting myself backwards under the proverbial coffee table, I might just connect the dots a bit sooner.
Now my face is like the desert sands because I've left this crazy mask on for far too long and I'm realizing that if I don't go to bed straight-away I just might not have energy to face that active little boy at the ridiculous waking hour of 6am. But this time, this moment, was awesome.