There are so many things I’d love to say to you, but I don’t really know that I can find the right words. Your story is much different from your brother’s, but just as special. Just as in your brother’s case, there were many emotions all of which involved a combination of joy and pain, but this time, instead of your mother having to grieve a loss, it was I who was the recipient.
The day you were born was a beautiful fall day. I remember the drive to the hospital, but I can’t recall as many of the details as I do from when James was born. Ben and I were nervous about how things would go and how I would “hold up” in being a support for your mom, but we believed God would prove himself faithful, and He did. James was excited to meet “baby sister” even though she wasn’t coming home with us. After your mother was “suited up” in her little johnny shirt in preparation for your arrival, she was allowed to walk around with her IV pole. It was rather humorous to watch. She, your Uncle Matt, and the rest of us all went to relax in the Ronald McDonald room until it was time to get ready for your birth.
When they took your mother into the room to prepare her for the C-section, I was sitting all by myself on a chair waiting to go in. I remembered thinking how different things were. I didn’t feel the same type of nervous energy I felt the day your brother was born, but I was still nervous. When the doctor walked by me to go in with your mom, he put a hand on my shoulder and squeezed it as if to say, “As for you Sarah – You’re going to be just fine.”
One thing that your mother probably doesn’t remember very well is the anesthesiologist. He really was a comical man with a thick English accent. He stayed in during the surgery because your mother had been sick from the anesthetics. During the surgery he was conversing with her about what your name was going to be. When she said, “Charlie” he thought you were going to be a boy. When she told him you were a girl, he couldn’t believe it. “Charlie for a girl?!” was his response, “Why not some nice sensible name for a girl like Kendra or a name such as yours – Wendy?” Your mother retorted, “Wendy? That’s an old person’s name!” I grinned at him and said, “Well I know you’ll love the middle name – it’s Sarah.” That seemed to appease him for the time being. Shortly there after you were born – your first cries were heard, and you, a perfect little bundle was placed upon your mother. I cried just as I did when your brother was born. I thanked God for you. You were perfect. I knew you would be.
Ben, James, and I stayed with you and your mom the entire day until your Grampy and Grammy Nutter were able to arrive that evening. Your Uncle Matt was there too, and he was going to help out in the hospital. I got in lots of cuddles and made sure you were cozy. It was hard to say good-bye. The drive home was quiet. Reality had sunk in. I didn’t have a daughter. You were never ours to begin with. You were always God’s, and you were meant to be with your mother Wendy.
I want you to know that you will always have a special place in my heart, but it’s time for me to let go. You probably won’t see very many photos of us together during your first year of life, and it wasn’t because I didn’t care, but because I just needed time: the same thing your mother needed when she had to let go of James. I did look after you a few times here and there, particularly after you were born, and I marvelled at the similarities and differences between you and James.
It really isn’t for me to tell you your story. That is between you and your mother. This post will long be archived and gone by the time you are old enough to understand, but someday when you are grown, if all is revealed and you want to sit down over a cup of tea, I will hand you some letters that were written to you before you were born and perhaps a letter written here or there as you grew to let you know just how special you are and how much I will have prayed for you over the years.
I hope that you and your brother James will become the very best of friends. And just as I wrote to James when he turned one, I will now write the same words to you:
Someday, you will better understand. The decisions your mother Wendy made. The decisions we have made. It was all for you. We want you to know how much you’re loved.
The circumstances surrounding your birth into this world are all a part of an intricate plan that God weaved together. He took what was a complicated circumstance for Wendy’s family and for ours, and he wove it into something beautiful. Something unique.
May you grow up knowing that the world doesn’t revolve around you, dear Charlie, but that you were meant to make a difference in the world. May you grow up with a heart to serve others, as others had to serve in preparation for your arrival. May you grow up knowing God had a purpose for you, as He does for every baby born no matter how easy or how difficult the circumstances concerning their arrival is. May you grow up knowing that your purpose doesn’t involve living for you, but living for God, for you are covered with His fingerprints. Every time I look at you I see them: the fingerprints of God.
I love you Charlie Sarah. I always will.
And as for you and your mom – you’re going to be just fine.