I have some pretty amazing friends. However, I always doubt my value in their lives. I mean, I know how much I think of them, but do they think the same about me? Do they want me to be closer because I know I tend to remain a bit distant, saves hurt feelings, you know?! And how do you step from friendship to family?
My bestest Aimee and I did that pretty quickly. Her family adopted me freshman year at Elon and they haven't been able to get rid of me since. Being blessed with them in my life is something I dare not attempt to put into words!
I have a friend, Nikki. I met her two years ago when she and her husband, Matt, moved here from Maryland to join our Family Ministry Team at church. I literally met them as they were moving in, I think I beat the moving van. I had picked up some pizzas for the crew to eat so I might as well help them move a few things in. I'm guessing a stranger grabbing your couch cushions connects your hearts for life!
Over the past two years, Nikki and Matt have adopted the boys, even spoiling them with a late night at Krispy Kreme with chocolate milk and sugary doughnuts. Needless to say, our boys were quickly in love with this couple willing to love them and spoil them. They've watched the boys several times and I don't know who has more fun, Nathan and Brady or Matt!!
This weekend I was honored to bring their bags to the hospital for them to welcome their first born, soon to be spoiled rotten, gift from God into the world. I was hopefully optimistic I would get to stay, but completely expected to drop the bags and run on home. When I wasn't kicked out (perhaps offering a back rub won them over) I did the happy dance inside. See, I missed the chance to labor much myself and my sister vetoed anyone being in the room with her. Being in on the action this time was better than being a bridesmaid, I didn't even have to dress up! Sweet Nikki labored all night then had a c-section so Jude could come out right then (yes, I was that impatient and no I didn't tip the docs to do it)! Being there right when he was born and hearing him protest being out of the warm, dark womb was magical. I honestly can't do justice with my words.
Beyond being honored to share in such an amazing moment with this family, I was able to be in Jim's shoes for the deliveries of our children. He had to wait outside the OR for Harris to be born and that was an ugly experience all around for him. He dressed up in a space suit for Nathan and Brady's deliveries and was super-d-duper excited to watch every aspect of their births. He loves to say he's seen me from the inside out. Only he would look that hard!! I felt a large amount of what he must have gone through while he waited to become a father. The hours spent in the hospital waiting and waiting and waiting were tedious. Jim and I were blessed with going in and getting babies out within minutes or an hour for ours. We didn't have to wait, yet I know the moments we were apart and waiting for the babies to come out had to have been the most gut-wrenching in the world.
Coming home Sunday morning to my family made me realize, again, how very priceless they are to me. I relieved pretty much all of my Harris laboring experience that day, but celebrated with a happy ending. Knowing Jim was home praying for me and them as he is always my solid anchor allowed me to get through it. Of course, some special nurses helped, too! As I returned to the land of the living I don't know the last time I've been more thankful for my husband. For what he went through for us to have the boys or as he lifted me up and cared for me all weekend.
I have been honored by friends and blessed by Jim and God. What more could this mom ask for?Oh yeah, Nathan and Brady are in love with Jude already! We're already trying to figure out how to sneak him away!! And we're so ready for him to be able to eat his first Krispy Kreme!