From the second Brynna entered the world, I had to let her go. Ten minutes before she was born, they said she wasn’t breathing well and it was necessary to get her out immediately. I had to let go of that vision I had of holding her and staring at the beautiful person God had created. I had to let go of what it’s “supposed to look like.” I had to open my hands and let her go.
In December of 2008, I watched my sister and her husband as they had to let go. When Zoe was diagnosed with cancer all they wanted to do was hold tight. They couldn’t fathom starting this process of chemo and radiation that would strip Zoe of her hair and what health she had to make her feel worse, all in hopes of making her feel better. But little by little, they did. They let go of the myth that they were in charge. They let go of knowing what tomorrow would look like.
I have friends who have just started this journey of daily thinking your baby belongs to you, only to be reminded you have to open your hands and let it all go. Jason and Katie have let go of fear and false pre-tenses. They have let go of assurance and stability. They are standing on completely shaking ground, holding tight to their Only Hope and letting go.
Two weeks ago, I laid my eyes on and touched this beautiful baby girl we weren’t yet expecting to see. Brandy is my best friend in the entire world and I wanted all the best for her. I prayed she would have an easy pregnancy and easy delivery. I prayed she would experience all those first moments I missed. But God wanted more. He wanted her to learn to let go. She was due to have a baby in October; instead, she had a baby in July. And before she was supposed to, she had to let her go. Brandy’s having to let go of the anger that Hannah is supposed to be safe and secure inside of her. She’s letting go of her ‘whys’.
My point is not to make a laundry list of kids who have faced things before their time. These trials were part of their time. My point is that it was also part of our time as their parents. My heart is heavy for Jason and Katie, for Brandy and Quarter. I have sat in these hospital rooms, laid in the bed next to a hurting baby, sure you are going to wake up at any minute and find it was a bad dream. But as much as I would like to make it all go away and feel better, I know deep down, that’s not what’s best. I learned the day Brynna was born that she is not mine. I am not the parent I would be had her birth been”normal,” and I don’t want to be. I pray I never look at Brynna and forget what it felt like to leave her in the NICU and walk away. I pray I discipline, teach, love and guide her always remembering that she is not mine. God has allowed me the honor of being her mom today. But she belongs to Him. Zeb belongs to Him. Hannah belongs to Him. And thankfully, we, their parents, belong to Him, too.