A helpless little bundle, I cuddled her in my arms. The thrill that warmed my heart was incomparable to anything I had ever known.
Marrying the man of my dreams–or better than my dreams–nine months, one week and one day (and three hours, to be exact) before that moment when I held our daughter, was the most outstanding miracle in my life. Until that moment, when I held our little girl, the living, breathing manifestation of the love Tim & I shared. Alicia was uniquely herself, yet miraculously part of each of us, carrying our DNA.
It was a rainy October night, that Sunday night into Monday after giving birth. I stood a long while by the window, crying happy tears. That God would bless me so soon with a baby was overwhelming to me.
Only a bit more than a year earlier, while sitting in the Olan Mills photo studio, waiting to have our engagement pictures taken, I had asked Tim, “If I can never get pregnant, do you think we could adopt a few babies, just like those?” I pointed to the portrait of several little black babies, on the opposite wall.
A bit taken off guard, Tim paused, “Ummm… I guess.. maybe.” Smart man….
Tim wasn’t taken off guard because we had never talked about it before. It was the timing that took him off guard, and the way I worded the question. Early in our courtship I shared my story with him. It was a ‘take me or leave me, but you need to know what life was’ conversation. I couldn’t risk having him discover things down the road, after my heart was lost in love, or after marriage.
I had dated a guy for three years, who had treated me well. At least until I told him everything I knew about my past, particularly the childhood sexual abuse. I don’t know what that did to him, but it changed our relationship very abruptly. Suddenly the commitment to not kiss before engagement, and to avoid any intimate physical contact, seemed to mean nothing.
The night I told him those details, he broke that commitment, kissing me intimately, when I felt most vulnerable. I withdrew from him, confused and feeling used, and cowered in the front corner of his car. I don’t think he ever understood what happened to me in that moment. He was one of the first people to know about my childhood, and to make a move that even hinted of sexual intimacy, immediately after that revelation, as I was still coming to terms with the truth, took me to a very dark place.
Over the next few months our relationship deteriorated before I finally broke up with him. We simply could not work through these issues.
Not willing to go through that twice, I decided to tell Tim all early on, and if he couldn’t handle it, we would part ways and move on while I still had some grip on my heart.
Part of the ‘telling all’ included sharing that I had lived common-law as an unbeliever and, even though I had never used birth control, I had not gotten pregnant. On one visit to my doctor, I was told that I had a tipped uterus and would potentially have difficulty conceiving. I resigned myself to that, and shared this with Tim prior to our engagement, so he would know we may never have a family.
On our honeymoon in Mexico, Tim & I prayed that God would bless our home with children, and by the time we landed in Toronto a week later, I was throwing up, and within weeks discovered I was pregnant. (And, no, it didn’t happen before our honeymoon. We waited.)
Standing by the window that night in the hospital, happy tears trickling down my face, I was filled with awe that God had given us this little life to hold, to nurture, to love and release. It was overwhelming, and it was good. I wanted to be the perfect Mommy to this little one. I wanted her to grow up, strong and tender, in love with Jesus, a woman of faith. Did I have what she would need from me, to become that woman?
I wrote a poem for her, a poem filled with wonder and promises, a poem filled with love for my little girl, and thankfulness to God, who trusted her into our care. His little girl, in my arms.
And then we took her home, in her wee diapers, cuddly sleepers, and teeny-tiny fingers, to give her the best life we knew how. In those early days of fascination, a bond formed and a relationship started. I held her a lot. I talked to her, played with her, fed her and changed her, just to see another outfit on her.
Life had meaning it had never had before. I was crazy in love with my new life, my new world and the beautiful little girl, whose blue eyes gazed at me with the same contented wonder that I felt for her. It was almost as if heaven had stepped into our home, and God was watching me, through her eyes, loving me, through her sweetness.
Little did we know how this little girl, and the four children after her, would transform us. Little did we know that through them, God would prepare us for ministry, that in parenting them and teaching them about their bodies, He would equip us. And in protecting them by speaking truth over them, He would teach us to walk adults through their broken stories.
It started with one shocking moment, when our first daughter was only a bit past two. Seeing her in a position of potential risk impacted every day of motherhood, from that day forward, and shaped the way I trained my children.
© Trudy Metzger
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