Let me take you back to March of 2007 for a moment if I may. It was a saturday and we had just concluded Ian's 8th birthday party. The house was a mess with wrapping paper and remnants of cake and what not. Ian had received several Target gift cards and was eager to use them. They were burning a hole in his pocket so to say. So, off to Target we go with the birthday boy in tow and his little sister following close behind.
As always, when we go to Target, we have to peruse the aisles checking out clearance items and what not. We are walking back by the pharmacy and I decide to take a detour. Stopping in front of the home pregnancy tests I decide to just plop one of those E.P.T. suckers in the cart (only regret.....I didn't buy the digital test for dummies). Colin remarks "you don't really think you need that do you?" To which I replied with a smile "No, but I will humor myself for a moment." I was really humoring him with that comment in that moment.
We get to the toy department and spend a good amount of time carefully inspecting each and every toy so that we pick just the "right" one. After what seemed like hours we were on our way....gift cards down to balances of zero and that E.P.T. sucker in my bag now in the back seat.
We pull into the garage and the van door bearly open and Ian tears out of the car, his goods in hand. I had hardly set one foot inside the door and there were boxes flying and toys all over the place. You see an 8 year old is very skilled in the destroy and conquor division of life....they can open any toy in a split second, destroying all evidence of a box or packaging with little to no effort.
I casually took off my shoes and took that E.P.T. sucker upstairs with me. Now, infertilty days tell me you should always wait and use first morning urine...yadda yadda.....my head told me, be like your 8 year old son and rip that sucker open.....it was screaming USE ME NOW! Only one other time had I seen a pregnancy test turn positive with evening urine and it was 4 years prior when I bought a test for my friend Jen......so I was optimistic!
I did the deed......and to my amazement the darn thing turned flaming positive before the test was even complete. I had never in my life had a test turn positive so quickly let alone not doing it in the morning.
So here I sit...in utter amazement and the only thing I can utter in that moment is "uh Colin honey, we need to talk" He casually joins me in our bedroom.....glances at the ever so positive test and says well.....it wasn't in the plans but it will all be ok. I was ever so impressed with his casual and calm approach to things in that moment.
After years and years of infertility treatments to conceive both Ian and Brooke. We never for a moment thought that we would ever get pregnant naturally.....let alone 2x naturally in a years time. I had previously lost a baby at 10 weeks in October. We were shocked and my doctor was shocked. We went through all of the traditional high risk preganancy routines as well as a few more because now I was considered advanced maternal age.....because I was 35.
Fast forward to a year ago......Have you ever pondered the fortune cookie? Every day millions of Americans enjoy this dessert experience....many people read the fortunes in them and laugh....some people read them and ponder and others read them and put them in their pocket for safe keeping (Colin loves to keep all of his fortunes). One year ago if I had been sitting in a Chinese restaurant and cracked open my cookie to find a message that said "Something big is going to happen and your life is going to change forever" I would have been one of those people who read and laugh. I would have laughed and said yeah right.....
Little did I know.....Little did we know....Something big was going to happen and it has changed our lives forever......
His name is Gavin and he has taught us so much about life. Personally however, I have learned so much......and have grown so much.
I have truly learned first and foremost that faith is "believing in things unseen" To truly have faith you have to truly let go and let God. Faith to me is the total absence of self control so to say. A time and place where the only control one has is in prayer and believing in things unseen. We are a finite people and God is infinite. To have faith means we sometimes need to "chill" out and as Psalm 46 says "Be still and know that I am God" I will not lie to you and say that my faith has not been tested over the past year. It would be impossible for me to take that stance. They say that the Lord will never give you more than you can handle.....trust me, on many occassions I wondered if he really had me confused with someone else. Someone much stronger...with much more stamina and will power than I.
Colin and I have learned about the importance of family and working together. Our marriage has grown so much in the past year. I have learned what a beautiful husband I have and what a support system he is to me. He was my rock for many many months during that NICU stay and he continues to be my stronghold even today. Many days I am not sure that I would have made it without him. His love and support were never failing. We have learned that LOVE is the root of all happiness and that money really cannot buy you anything. Material wealth is just that...material.
We have learned the importance of friendships. Without the outpouring of love and support from our friends, many days would have been difficult for us. We also learned what true friendships look like. I have personally learned that you should never take a friendship for granted and that, as with all relationships, friendships to, require work. It is true that people come into your life and they go......but a true friend will be by your side through thick and thin. I personally have learned that I want to be that true friend....like the ones who have stood by us for the past year.
We have learned that you should never underestimate the power of God's people. Through our journey we have met so many people along the way. Many shared with us in prayer and many shared their similar stories with us. I received countless emails from complete strangers. To know that our story touched so many......really gets to the heart. When God's people get together in prayer.....watch out....because the outcome is something so beautiful that even I cannot fathom it some days.
So, for those of you who may have wondered, YES we do believe God has big plans for Gavin. They are very big......he is here for a reason. From conception to birth his life is a miracle of God's love and grace. He is going to set this world on fire....one day at a time!
Peace and Love-
Colin, Juanita, Ian, Brooke and Gavin