A LETTER TO JOHN LUKE


I can’t wait to meet you. It won’t be long now, just 12 days until my due date. Your dad and I are so excited, we have been getting ready for your arrival for some time now. Today we put up the Christmas tree, your very first, so it would be here when we bring you home. I put your Baby’s First Ornament on the tree that your grandmother, Babo, bought you.

I picture your face everyday. Your sweet, sweet face. I’ve come to know you through ultrasound pictures. I can’t wait to hold you. To touch you. I still can’t believe you will be mine. Will you know my voice? Will you know that I am your mom? Will you know how long I’ve waited for you?

What can I tell you, to let you know, how much you are loved and wanted. My heart ached for you, wondering when you would come into my life. Who would you be?

This week, while preparing for your arrival; I came across some prayer journals that I had written, some time ago, while praying to God for you.

Jan 16, 2008

Lord, I thank You that Josh is through with school and that we made it. We are now more than a year over graduation, and we praise You for that.

Lord, we thank You for bringing us to Tennessee. We love it here and are meeting a community of friends. We thank You for our health and our family. We pray for a child of our own, and pray You will show us Your will in this.

We praise You for who You are, and for the sacrifice of Your Son, so that we may be free to live in Christ.

Aug 1, 2008

Thank You Lord for Joshua, my dearest husband. I don’t need to be everything to everybody, because I am everything to him. Thank You for the security and stability he gives me. Thank You for him loving me so much.

Thank You for Your love for me. For dying on the cross for me. For loving me, even when I don’t give You the praise You deserve. I blame You for things in my life, like not having a child. Help me to trust, even when I do not understand. Help me to have faith in things I cannot see. To trust in the future and to trust in Your will. To be patient and wait on Your answer. Guide us, oh Lord, to have a child on our own, or if it is your will for us to adopt, guide us, Oh Lord, because we don’t know which way to go.

Send us a child to love. To love and protect, and to watch grow. For a child to teach to love You, oh Lord, as we do. Even though we may not always show it, in the ways we need to.

Aug 18, 2008

Lord, thank you, for my house and family. Thank You for our church family, and the friends we have met here. I know You have brought us here. Thank You for the peace You have given me. I pray You keep restoring my peace, and helping me to focus on all the wonderful blessings I have.

Our mind is full of what we focus on. Lord, help me to focus on all the positive blessings in my life. Things can bother or deter us if we focus our minds on the wrong things.

We pray for a child of our own, and pray that You will show us Your will in this. We praise You for who You are, and the sacrifice of Your Son, so that we may be free to live in Christ.

My sweet child, these are just some random thoughts that I wrote down, when I didn’t know how much longer my heart would feel emptiness without you. When I didn’t know when you would come, or how we would find you.

And now, you will be here so soon. I can’t wait to meet you, to hold you in my arms.
Until then, my dear sweet son, my heart still longs for you.

I love you precious one,

Mommy

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A NAME SHOULD HAVE MEANING

I’ve always loved playing the “name the baby” game. With every procedure we did during our 6 years of infertility, there was always the anticipation of becoming pregnant. So coming up with different combinations of first and middle names has been one of my favorite pastimes.

We have always had our girl name set. It would be Katherine Ruth. Josh’s mother’s name is Kathryn, and my grandmother’s name is Katherine. Since I’ve always been a little old fashioned, I prefer to spell it like my grandmother’s. Ruth is my mother’s middle name, and his grandmother’s first name. So there you have it, Katherine Ruth. For short we would call her Katie Ruth.

Boy names didn’t come as easy, it required some soul searching. I would come up with different combinations, but none that stuck. A name should have meaning, Josh would say.

One day out of the blue, Josh asked if I liked the name John Luke. It’s okay, I said. I didn’t think much else about the name. Then while reading a magazine one afternoon, I noticed the guy’s name in an article was Luke John. I had thought to myself, I might like it better, if it were John Luke.

Thinking it was such a coincidence, I phoned Josh to ask if John Luke was the name he liked. He said it was. I told him my thought when I saw the article, then we hung up the phone.

We didn’t think much more about the name until the night before our embryo transfer in March of 2011. We were watching TV in our hotel room in Knoxville. We’d been out to eat for a celebratory dinner (and my last glass of wine for 9 months) to relax and enjoy the evening; then we headed back to the room for an early nights rest before our 9:00 am transfer.

Settling in, we started watching a TV show, and lo and behold, the guy’s name was John Luke. There it is again. That name. I told Josh if we got pregnant, and it was a boy, this could be a sign.

Two weeks later, our pregnancy was confirmed, PTL! Since we had our girl name set, it had become my mission to find a good boy’s name. From my first ultrasound picture at 6 weeks, I instinctively felt like it would be a boy.

Josh and I started talking names again, and thought about how ironic it was we heard that name, the very night before our transfer. John and Luke are both common names, but it’s not often you hear them together. It was as if God was speaking to us through circumstances…and we started paying attention. Especially when we found out we were indeed having a boy!

I have said how our church family had been praying for us to have a child throughout our 6 years of waiting. One year at Christmas, we were asked to light the advent candle.

After the service, our friend Barbara came up to us shaking and almost in tears. She said that as Josh was reading the scripture, and I was lighthing the advent candle she was praying for us. That God had spoke to her while praying and said we would have a child. Sue, another friend had overheard this, and with tears in her eyes said, “God spoke to me too.”

That was December 6 th, 2009. We are due with our baby boy December 7 th, 2012, almost 3 years to the date of that event. I’m convinced God used them as intercessors to give us hope. Believing that God speaks through His people, Josh and I held on to that claim, and it kept us going in times of doubt.

Thinking how that experience helped us to persevere, we went back and re-read the scripture from that day. Part of the scripture was from Luke 1:13 and reads, “But the angel said unto him, fear not Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.”

I recently asked Josh where he came up with the name John Luke. He said, I don’t know, it just came to me. I believe just as God spoke to Barbara and Sue, one day before our due date 3 years earlier; I feel God placed that name on Josh’s heart, he placed that magazine in my hands, and put circumstances in place for us to hear that name the night before our transfer. Coincidence?

I am not Elisabeth and Josh is not Zacharias. However, we believe God gave us this scripture, and the name John Luke as a sign of His Provision; and just like with Zacharias, our prayer had been heard. The fact that the scripture is from Luke, and reads, “and thou shalt call his name John”, is more than a mere coincidence to us.

In our prayers and along our journey, He had answered, “Trust Me”, when we would pray whether to keep trying to have a child. We trusted, and God was true to His Word. A name should have meaning Josh says. For us and our baby boy, the name John Luke does.

SHOWERED WITH LOVE

Our church family threw me and Josh a baby shower last Sunday, and we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love shown to us. It was the most beautiful and special baby shower we could have ever imagined. We were filled with gratitude by amount of people who took the time to come share in our joy.

We received many, many wonderful gifts. I think about the many hand-made gifts we received. Hand-made receiving blankets, burp clothes, a hand-knit babies first stocking, crocheted baby booties. As much as the gifts mean to us, the time it took for friends to go out and hand pick something or hand make something for our little tot is very special.

As I type this, Josh is busy painting the baby’s room a soft baby blue. We have the bedding and crib ordered, but it will not arrive until about 2-3 weeks. As I was unloading the bags and sorting the baby gifts, I started to become anxious at all we have left to do before the baby arrives. As I looked around the room, I thought to myself and laughed. A year ago, I never would’ve been able to believe this could be happening. I just need to be grateful for all that I have, and the best gift of all we have received. This growing baby due in just 4 weeks, and how are lives are going to change forever.

Many of our close friends call our baby the church baby because of all the prayers that have been poured out for us over the past 6 years since we have lived here. So when I say, I was completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, I was literally brought to me knees in gratitude after the shower. I came home and had go to my bedroom and just close the door behind me.

Almost feeling undeserving, it was as if gravity was pulling me down to the ground. I just had to get on my knees and thank God. Thank God for our church and the friends he has placed in our life, for our family who have supported us all along the way, and for this incredible journey we are about to experience.

32 DAYS

Thirty-two is the number of days my countdown app on my phone tells me I have until my due date. Ahhhh! I feel excitement mixed with a little, dare I say, panic. I have been in nesting mode since the pregnancy was confirmed, but it’s like everything around the house that has been needed to be done in the last couple of years, suddenly feels like it needs to be completed in 32 days.

Late summer we re-built our deck, which we have not finished staining. We had to let the wood cure, then after starting the staining process, ran in to some rain delays before finishing. This week, we had new carpet installed in the nursery and the master bedroom. We have not been able to start on the nursery until the carpet was installed, so now the fun begins picking out paint colors to match the crib bedding and start painting. Tomorrow we will order the baby’s iron crib bed. This is all exciting and fun stuff, but a little overwhelming considering the short amount of time we have left.

Last week, we had our first baby shower given to us by Josh’s co-workers. Josh built us a new shelf in the basement to hold everything until we can get the nursery ready and get the new baby gear sorted out.

I just want everything to be perfect for my little guys arrival, so I can feel relaxed and ready. I have to realize my whole world is about to turn upside down (for the better) and my to-do list is only going to get more demanding. I remind myself that this is what I wanted, prayed for, yearned for until it was often unbearable.

A scripture I have held close to my heart throughout my pregnancy is 1 Samuel 1:27, “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of him.”

I know that in about 32 days all that will matter is seeing his precious little face. The life Josh and I imagined, the family we wanted, the dreams we have shared. It makes everything else seem meaningless when you put it in perspective.