I quickly realized how funny it wasn't as the contractions became stronger. I had been reading books and watching documentaries all to prepare me for this moment, and somehow none of it mattered. Lila was on her way, and that was all I could think about!
She arrived at 10:58, a little over two hours after my water broke. What a whirlwind!
She was tiny, dark and beautiful. I couldn't believe I was her mom. As I held her close and stared at her, all I could think about was how miraculous of an experience this all was.
Then an overwhelming peace came. She belongs to God. He is in control. He will take care of her. And if He decides to call her home, she will come, whether I am ready or not. Acknowledging that truth early on allowed me to fully love her without overwhelming fear. (*I am human, so not completely without fear.) To care for her and raise her with the attitude that she belongs to God. Now, I know she has only been here for 3 months, and the reality is that as time passes and she grows, it will be challenging to remain in this mindset. However, by choosing to raise her in this way, I will take it day by day. Daily I will choose to lift her up to the Lord. Daily I will love her like the miraculous gift she is.
Like I said, early on in my pregnancy, I was able to train my thoughts and come to grips with the truth that Lila belonged to God. Although Phillip knows this in his mind, it was still sinking into his heart. Phillip became anxious about foster care and its role in our family's life. He was fearful of what could happen to her once we welcomed other children into our home--children who come from a broken past and who have experienced violence and abuse. Through many prayers and discussions, we finally agreed that foster care is the path that our family is called to. That meeting these broken children where they are and loving them like Jesus does is the life we want to live.
" He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” " Genesis 22:2
Take your son, your only son, whom you love...and offer him there as a burnt offering. (If you have never read this story, or it's been a while since you have, read it now! )
Wow. If this story didn't get to me before, it certainly does now that I am a parent. Abraham, being the faithful servant he was, obeyed. He didn't question God. He didn't bargain with God. He was obedient. Was he so full of faith that he knew the Lord would provide a lamb? Or was he acknowledging the truth that Isaac belonged to God? Or both?
I sat, with tear-filled eyes, and thought to myself--I love Lila, but God loves her more.
Lila Monroe Smith is a pure JOY. She is the sweetest-natured baby and loves everyone she meets. She looks just like her daddy, but might have her mama's eyes. She is the best snuggler and loves to chat. She loves being outside and reading books. Lila is the best gift--and we are so excited to be her mom and dad.