Monday, March 30, 2009

just some photos

The cousins

Family all around to hold our newest bundle

Our babysitter and family friend Jordan who just loves newborns

Jasper's buddy, Graham, and Aunt Mandy and Uncle Kyle

Grandpa helped Brad put up the crib. It felt wonderful to be ready for the crib to go up. I just love looking in the room and seeing it (even though Jasper probably won't sleep there for a while still).

Grandma and Grandpa

Big brother Zane

Big sister Ella

Letting go...

I have been trying to explain this "shifting" to friends as they ask how I am. I have been sorting through and trying to figure out exactly what it is. I know I am a jumble of emotions and many of the things we are experiencing now and over the past year will take a lifetime to sort out. But, I think part of this "shifting" has been described so very clearly by a recitation instructor of mine from a course I took at the beginning of this pregnancy. She describes it this way:

"There is this tension that is inside that you have from the moment you know you are pregnant until the next baby is actually born. Until the baby is born you can’t relax or let go completely even though you are trusting God all the way. You know deep inside that bad things do happen and that there is real pain in this broken world. I get it and I think what happened is the letting go of that tension- it isn’t necessarily worry or fear but a somewhat tense “can I hope?” anticipatory waiting to see the outcome. Now you can relax and enjoy the fruit of your labors!"

She goes on to speak of the pain experienced that causes the blessings to be enjoyed even more. And this is so true. I have never felt so grateful and blessed to hold a healthy baby as I do now. I have never found such joy and contentment in being up in the night just holding my baby. I am so thankful and my heart feels such a sense of fullness and gratitude. This past year has held so many struggles that it felt like the only truth hitting home was the reality of the pain and suffering of this life. But, as my former instructor and holding my strong and healthy Jasper reminds me, "not all of life on earth is hard and sad. God does grace us with glimpses of the world being recreated in His image - heaven." These are days of great joy and relief for me, days of enjoying a sweetness on this earth, of basking in the sunshine of restoration, of relishing a taste of what heaven must be like.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A shifting world

Brad and I were up and down all night for our first night home with Jasper. He is most content in our arms, and I have no problem at all giving in to his demands. He did manage to find himself in the bassinet a few times and it didn't take him long to fuss about it. His lusty cry sounded like music in my ears. I may find myself tired for many weeks to come but I don't think I could ever complain about it. My heart is just so thankful.

The moment Jasper was born and I held him on my chest, the world shifted. It was so subtle and yet so monumental all at the same time. The images in my head are of a knocked over plant being set upright again, a spilled glass set back in place so it can be filled up once again, or a crooked painting carefully shifted back just so. Nothing is perfect. The story we have been given is still the same. I still lost my Sully. There is no replacement for a lost child. But, somehow, in ways I don't even think I know how to explain just yet, everything does feel so very different.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A long awaited baby

He's here, he's finally here! Jasper Keats Anderson was born on Tuesday, March 24th, 2009 at 10:47 p.m. He weighed 9lbs and 1/2oz and was 21 1/2 inches long! He is healthy and strong and feels so good in our arms! Here are some pictures and a video that Brad made is at the very bottom.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Squeaky Shoes

A very dear group of women gathered together this past week to celebrate the impending arrival of this little one I’m carrying now. It was such a lovely evening down to the very last detail: a beautiful home filled with fresh flowers, a delicious and savory dinner, choices of wine, decadent desserts and best of all, the dearest of friends each of whom over this past year have loved me in their own special way through one of the hardest seasons of my life.

And they brought gifts, oh so many sweet little gifts for this baby boy! Out of one pastel blue bag I pulled a pair of shoes that will squeak when walked on. My friend shouted out that they would fit him next summer. Next summer. We will have a next summer with this baby. All the way home her words played through my head. Do I dare believe we will really have a next summer? And the oh so fun bright green Christmas overalls, will he really be with us this next Christmas to wear them? Hope is pressing forward, pushing me onward and I want to embrace it, and yet it feels so very dangerous still. But I can’t help but fall into it, to want to embrace it. How compelling hope is.

I have been regularly meeting with a couple of my friends for a few years and lately we have been reading the Francis Schaeffer book, Affliction, together. We discussed this past week the topic she brings up of our asking the “why” questions. My friend gave the example of her 11 year old daughter asking her father (a highly intelligent surgeon) a question and then doubting his answer as if she really knew more than him. It is so easy to see how she doesn’t even have the fundamental knowledge to be able to grasp the true answer which her father could try to explain to her. How very like her I am to demand an answer and think that I am capable enough to judge whether it is the right answer or not.
I forget or don’t want to accept that I am the created being, not the Creator. Then I think on how very patient this father is with his daughter, how caring, and how bright and delightful this little girl truly is, and it makes me wonder if despite my questioning and doubting that perhaps I could be loved in that way by a “father”, too.

I see that I will never understand the why of what has happened in our lives. I see that as this little boy comes to us I will always think of Sully as well. They are so connected. I don’t know why this little boy has the hope of staying with us for a lifetime and our last didn’t. It’s very strange to think that if all had been normal last time this little life wouldn’t even be here growing in my belly. And yet, this is our story. As Brad keeps reminding me lately, we each have to live our own story. Everyone has suffering and heartache. No one can escape it in this life. But then there is the hope that pushes above it all in the gift of squeaky shoes, there are the friends who gather around you to cushion your fall and to pick you back up and help you celebrate life despite the loss and the tears. This, too, is part of my story.