brave as a lion

Brave as a lion

Finding the perfect middle name for our sweet Crew proved to be unbelievably difficult. We wanted a name that sounded right between the names Crew and Thatcher (correct syllables for rhythm, etc.) and a name that had cool meaning. I just couldn’t figure it out.

 We prayed. We flipped through name books. We scoured the internet. Nothing.

Caleb and I generally have the same taste in names but one day, just over a month before Crew would be born, Caleb busted through our front door after work and with all of the excitement in the world told me that he had figured it out! He had the PERFECT middle name for our boy!

 Leonidas.

Leo-what?! Leonidas?!!! What IS that??

I didn’t like it at all and I was sure to let Caleb know it! I asked him what the name meant…..he didn’t know.

Perfect. I thought as I looked it up right there on my phone hoping that this would be my way out; that it would have some horrible meaning so that we couldn’t possibly give this name to our precious baby. I mean, Caleb’s reasons for liking the name were that it sounded awesome, like a warrior, and that it is Greek (to which Caleb loves to own his small sliver of Greek heritage!).

“Brave as a lion”

For the love. Are you serious?!

I wouldn’t even tell Caleb at first knowing that the meaning would only cement the idea in for him. And of course, when I finally did divulge the meaning, he was beyond elated!

The crazy thing is that for the few months before Crew was born, as we were preparing our hearts and home for Crew’s arrival, the word “brave” kept coming to us. Every single time I was creating something for his room, “Be brave little one” would play over and over in my head and it would bring tears to my eyes each time.

In fact, because of this word on our hearts, we ended up giving his room a little “brave” theme although that was not the original intention at all. Previously, as we had been praying for specific traits for our future son, bravery was not one of the top on our list, but apparently, it was on the top of the Lord’s list because He definitely spoke it to us over and over.

“Brave as a lion”. I couldn’t believe it.

Fast forward to the hospital, 2 days after Crew was born, still without a middle name… I had nothing. No other runner-up names. I started to think that maybe I should just let Caleb have this one. The name actually started to grow on me a little (although I didn’t want to admit that to Caleb!) and I spent some time talking to one of our nurses in the NICU about it when Caleb had stepped out for a bit.

This sweet lady encouraged me in my marriage. She explained that sometimes (a lot of times actually) in marriage, we need to lay down ourselves and desires for the needs and wants of our spouse. It’s true. This name was HUGE for Caleb and he is huge to me, so I knew what I needed to do.

When I told Caleb that we could give Crew the middle name Leonidas, he completely lit up! You guys, this sweet man of mine was so excited about this that there were tears and hugs and more tears!

So worth it.

And you know what?…..I actually really like it for our sweet Crew. I think it’s very fitting for him.

And even more importantly, I really like it that Crew Leonidas’ daddy loves it so much!

 

meeting our Crew {part 2}

(See previous post for Part 1)

So we waited, and waited and waited in that room for another hour and 45 minutes after Crew was born until finally a nurse said that we could go back to the NICU to meet him.

Oh my heart. I can’t even describe the excitement, anticipation, wonder and joy as we walked back to get to see our son for the very first time.

© Jess Legaspi // www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // http://www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com

A nurse walked us back and pointed down a row of babies all hooked up to beeping machines. “He’s that one, in the back corner.”

Wild.

That one is ours? He is OUR baby?!

We got to spend the next hour and a half getting to know our sweet Crew. There are just no words to describe the emotion and experience that that was for us. It’s too deep. Too intimate. So, I will just show you a peek inside through the photos that my friend Jess got to take.

Welcome in.

© Jess Legaspi // www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // http://www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // http://www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // http://www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // http://www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // http://www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com

 

© Jess Legaspi // www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
Jess Legaspi // http://www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // http://www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com

crew thatcher-97 copy

© Jess Legaspi // www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // http://www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com

Crew Leonidas Thatcher

May 11. 2016

6 pounds, 1 ounce – 18 inches

 

 

 

meeting our Crew (part 1)

 

I’ve put this post off for 3 months and 7 days. Some of that is just us finding our new routine with a newborn at home, but most of that is just because I wasn’t ready.

You see this day, this very specific day where we finally got to meet our son, has been one of the two most highly anticipated days of my life, sharing the roll with the day I got to marry my sweet Caleb. But this day carries a different weight with it because we didn’t know when this day would actually come. We knew it would come at some point because God promised it would, but we just didn’t have any idea when. That type of waiting is indescribable.

So after 3.5 years of waiting, preparing and praying for our future child, the day that we got to meet him just feels so heavy. Not heavy in a negative way at all, but heavy in how HUGE this day was for us and how does one even begin to put words to something so important? This day was simply incredible and the only word that continued to come into my mind on that very day was just how WILD it was!

We were having a baby!!

Let me back up to that morning, May 11th, 2016.

This day was already so special in our family because our niece Jana and her parents were finalizing her adoption in court that morning. I drove with my mom-in-love to the celebration of that day and on our way back to our side of town, she got a phone call. All I heard on the other end was “Sarah needs to check her phone.” I peeked at it to find text after text and multiple missed calls from Caleb and our representative from our adoption agency.

I knew right away that this was it.

I called Caleb to find out that our birth mom’s water had broken and she was on her way to the hospital via ambulance. This was a direct answer to prayer! We prayed that although she had been refusing any medical care for the past 3-4 months, that when the time was right for Crew to come, that she would get herself to the hospital somehow. Well, she didn’t have a choice because her water broke in a public place and an ambulance was called. God is so cool! Caleb explained that we were on standby and that our agency asked us not to come down to the hospital until they gave us the green light that she was actually going into surgery. One of my favorite parts of this story that I never want to forget is when Caleb mentioned that he was going to the gym to get a quick workout in before we had to go the hospital! I died laughing. Our son was being born, our bag wasn’t packed, there was no car seat placed in our car, and my sweet, (committed) hubby wanted to get a quick workout in. Love him.

To say that I panicked, is an absolute understatement! We parked the car and I reclined (read: threw) my chair back as far as it would go as my mom-in-law and I screamed in excitement, cried together and tried to get our minds calm enough for a moment in order to make a plan. At one point, she was rubbing some sort of oils all over me, and then on herself, to try to soothe us. We were nothing short of a hot mess.

All I could think was “But I haven’t cleaned out the hall closets!!” Seriously. You read that right. You see, I had a well planned “To-Do Before Crew” list with all of the tasks that I felt needed to be done before I became a mommy. And those closets never got the attention they deserved! “How could I bring a baby home to those chaotic closets?!”  I was just sure that there would be absolutely no opportunity in the future to ever clean those closets once we had a baby. and in that moment, that’s where my brain went. The closets.

to do before  crew

Once I caught my bearings, I decided to run home to pack the overnight bag and get the car seat in the car. Praise the Lord that Caleb chose not to go to the gym and so when I got home, he was there already packing. He had gotten a call on his way home that our birth mom was on her way back for the C-Section. We had to go!

Picture a tornado, or a bull in a glass shop, or something else that spins crazily out of control and you can get an accurate idea of me, flying through our house, trying to pack all of the items that I (and my new newborn) would need for the next 3-4 days in the hospital. (We found out in that very moment who in our marriage was the calm, collected one in these moments, and who is……well, not.)

My husband, the ultimate rule follower, went the speed limit, and not 1 mph over the entire 35 minutes that it took to get to the hospital! I wanted to jump out of my seat because I was bound and determined to have my plan and part of that plan was to get to have immediate skin to skin time with Crew as soon as he was born. Our birth mom decided that she didn’t want to see or hold Crew and so she approved letting us receive him right away and I did not want to miss that moment!

We got to the hospital and found the 3 representatives from our agency that were also there and waiting. The hospital staff was trying to find us an open nesting room to settle into and stay for the next few days, but this was a very busy day and there weren’t any rooms available. My heart sank with the realization that we wouldn’t get that immediate skin-to-skin time.

© Jess Legaspi // www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // http://www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // http://www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com

As the hospital staff worked on trying to find us a room on a different floor of the hospital, we stayed in the waiting room anxious to hear the news that our sweet boy was born. Finally, nurses came in with the announcement. I couldn’t believe it….he, our baby was actually here!

© Jess Legaspi // www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // http://www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com

Wild. This is all so wild! Unfortunately, we couldn’t see him yet. Since they didn’t have a room available for us, they took Crew to the NICU to get cleaned up, hooked to monitors and to stay warm.

My heart longed and ached for this baby boy that I had never met, but who was already somehow mine. But we had to wait…

© Jess Legaspi // www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
 Jess Legaspi // http://www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com
© Jess Legaspi // http://www.jesslegaspi.com //jess@jesslegaspi.com

(Part 2 coming soon!)

 

 

we have a name!

saying yes to Crew
This was the moment we were signing the papers saying that we were saying “yes” to this baby….just 2 days after we got the phone call that the birth-mom chose us.

 

Before we get into this; why didn’t anyone tell me how much pressure there is in naming a baby?! I mean, it was fun to think and dream about names for my future children as I was growing up and with Caleb but when you are naming an actual child that will be stuck with that name FOREVER….that’s a huge deal!

He's a boy!
This is from the day that we found out that we were having a boy! I got the phone call and then got a blue onesie that says “handsome like daddy” on it and gave it to Caleb to tell him he was having a son!

 

Luckily, our soon-to-be son’s first name came to us pretty easily and we agreed immediately, however we are still thinking and praying about a middle name (so if you have any ideas….chime in with them in the comments below!).

His name is Crew…. Crew Thatcher! Crew __?___ Thatcher!

Crew is a name that we have loved for years but the interesting thing is that when we were naming the twins last fall, the name Crew just didn’t feel right for that baby boy so we named him something different. However, when we found out about this little guy, Caleb actually brought up the name Crew again and I immediately agreed. It just felt right. He is our little Crew.

When I looked up what his name means initially, all I found was “a group of people”. The thing I loved about that was that it definitely is taking a group of people to bring this little guy home! For the past 3+ years we have felt so incredibly loved and supported and so I liked that I would always think about that when I thought about his name meaning. But the day after we found out the tough news about our birth mom and her drug abuse, etc., my sister-in-law Emily dug deeper into the meaning of his name and sent me the following in a text and it rocked my world:

“Praying for Crew. This little guy is the Lord’s even before He is yours and I believe that God has GREAT plans for him in your family!

“I (Emily) looked up the name Crew and it means ‘Chariot’ in the Latin. What a powerful word because the Lord uses the word chariot again and again in the Bible as to describe a way to get to a holy place. The chariots were the people’s most prized possessions of all throughout the Old Testament. And even when the Lord is describing riding up to heaven, he didn’t choose to ride on a horse, or fly, or use anything else… He chose a chariot of fire. His best chariot. I believe that your little boy will be a power house for the Lord. And He is and will be such a TREASURE. A hold place, one of the Lord’s most prized possessions. He has a purpose. There’s a reason you chose a name that represents such biblical power (without even realizing it). Your boy will be a servant, and a tool in bringing people to know the Lord.”

“In French, Crew means to ‘grow’. I believe that not only will your little boy grow into an amazing man of God – he is also going to be used strategically by God for your growth. He will cause beautiful growth in your marriage as you work together to care 0f him. Beautiful growth in your faith as you learn to trust the Lord with him every step of the way . And beautiful growth in your heart as you fall in love with him from the moment you meet him.”

“The Lord is so faithful and LIFE and BIRTH is orchestrated directly from Him. There’s a reason he is trusting this little boy to you. He works ALL THINGS for good for those who love Him.”

Wow.

Such incredible truth spoken over our sweet boy. That text completely broke me in the best way possible. My mama heart already loves our Crew so deeply and it would be my greatest joy for him to not only know the Lord but to also be a tool in bringing others to know Him!

Ok so now we need a middle name friends! Any ideas???

eeeekkkkk!!!

adoption announcement - side by side

Oh my heart!!!

Just over a week ago, I got a life-changing call from the Match Coordinator at our adoption agency. “We presented your profile to (the birth-mom) and she chose you!”

I almost didn’t believe her at first and kept asking questions like “Are you sure?”, “So this is IT? Like really IT?”. The last birth-mom that chose us was  through a private connection and not through our agency so I wasn’t sure how this process worked. “Is the birth-mom sure that she wants to go through with this?”

We had chosen to present our profile to a couple of other birth-moms through our agency in the last couple months but never heard anything back from each one so this call was a huge surprise. I remember looking at this particular birth-mom’s info and we knew that this one was a special one. We didn’t get a lot of info but we do know that she is 22 years old and has had two other babies, neither which are in her care. We knew we wanted to present to this birth-mom as soon as we read about her.

You guys, SHE CHOSE US!!!!

That is still crazy to me! There has to be such weight to that. To choosing a forever family to raise your child. Wow! What an incredible honor for someone to choose us!

I sat on that phone call with the Match Coordinator and I remember feeling like I wanted to be so excited, but at the same time, an equal amount of fear kept creeping in. What if? What if she changes her mind? What if this doesn’t work out….again?

I got off of the phone and just felt so torn until I spent time praying and here is what I realized:  I do NOT want to be crippled by fear! THIS is our time of preparation, our ‘pregnancy’ and I do not want to miss any part of the joy in it because I’m afraid! So I made a choice right then and there, that I would walk forward in confidence that this is the baby that God has planned for us until I hear anything different!

Could she change her mind? Sure! In the state of Arizona, birth moms have up to 72 hours after the baby is born to change their mind and take the baby back. It’s a risk, yes, but it’s a risk that we are jumping into with our whole hearts so that we don’t miss one bit of it.

And here is the safety net….if she does change her mind, it will hurt like hell, again, BUT GOD. The same God who held us as we grieved the loss of the twins and healed our aching hearts, would do the same thing again and we would make it through with deeper intimacy with Jesus.

All of that to say, we are beyond excited to announce that WE ARE HAVING A BABY BOY, DUE JUNE 2ND!!!!

More details to come, but for now, we are celebrating hard core over here!

xoxo

saying goodbye to “our” twins

I wish that each of you reading this could be sitting on my couch with me, curled up with some coffee because that would make this a whole lot more comfortable!

The cool thing is, I actually feel completely comfortable talking about this now because The Lord has done tremendous healing in my heart since it all happened, but typing it out on a document can feel pretty sterile to be honest with you. But, this blog not only serves as a great way of communicating our story with those that care for us, but it also is a memoir for our family to hopefully always have to look back on and see God’s story played out in our little lives. So here we go….

A couple months ago, we were buzzing around like crazy getting ready for “our” twins to arrive. Since we announced that we were getting the twins, we were absolutely showered with hand-me-downs and gifts from so many generous people and in the meantime, we were getting to build a relationship with our birth mom. We adore her. It was amazing to me how quickly she had a place in our hearts and felt like part of our family. We were excited about the possibility of an open adoption with her, if she decided that was what she wanted. However, after our first doctor’s visit with her, where we got to hear the two little heartbeats, our birth mom told us that she was having a tough time with the whole situation. She said that she wasn’t changing her mind but asked for space.

That was a rough text to receive and fear and panic washed over me as I read it over and over again. I was so worried that she was going to change her mind and that these babies wouldn’t be ours anymore. That very morning I remember praying and asking the Lord to refine me more before I became a mommy. Little did I know how quickly he would answer!

I was a hot mess for a few days and had to continually hand the fear I was feeling over the The Lord because I just couldn’t handle it on my own. I wanted to trust her (our birth mom) when she said that she wasn’t changing her mind. I wanted to trust what I saw in her situation when it looked impossible for her to keep these twins. I wanted to trust God that He had it all under control with my best in mind but it was a struggle!

There were about 2 weeks where we didn’t do much with the adoption or for the twins. We reached out to our birth mom a few times with no response and each time, I reverted back to fear and just stood still.

But then there was one weekend where I really felt that God was telling me to prepare, to get ready for these babies. Along with that, came a sense of urgency to get their room ready (which I hadn’t done anything to!).

We started immediately and spent the next 2 weeks decorating their sweet little room and washing and organizing all of their clothes and baby items. I was in my happy place because I got to get crafty and as I sewed, glued and designed, I would just pray for “our” twins and imagine them in our little red house.

nursery
(sorry for the horrible quality in the pic ….. iPhone)

We had been debating over names for a few weeks but in this time of preparation, their names became clear to us. Once we named them, our prayers became more specific for each of them and their futures.

This season of preparation was such a sweet one. Fear had left and excitement jumped in.

But then….

This one particular morning I woke up and was finally able to emotionally hand the twins over to the Lord and really let go of control. (I didn’t really have any anyway, but I tried to)! I was in a constant internal battle, trying to release control and this one morning, I was finally able to.

That same morning, I found out from our lawyer that we needed some information from the birth mom and birth dad and that I had to be the one to obtain it. So I texted the birth mom and for the first time in a month, she responded. But her response sent me to the floor.

“We have decided to keep the babies…..”.

She continued on to explain that her situation had changed and therefore, they were going to keep them.

Here is the thing, I have hit the floor before. I have spent time on the floor writhing in pain, unable to control my emotions, body or thoughts and THAT is the very place I found true intimacy with Jesus. I grew up knowing who Jesus was but it wasn’t until I was on the floor, alone, at 25 years old that I first really met Him and felt Him. And because of His closeness in my life, from that very place years ago, the floor is actually a sweet place of rest for me.

I have prayed over and over again in the last 9 years to be able experience that same intimacy without the grief that brought me there and the truth is, I always get in my own way. So as I laid in the middle of the floor in my living room, although I was overcome with sadness and grief, I felt peace because there He was, my Father, holding me.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel the grief any less, I just wasn’t alone in it. Caleb came home from work soon after that and we just held each other as we tried to comprehend what this meant for our family.

I got to see the birth mom the following day and that helped me, and I think her too, so much. I still love her. I still love those twins because I’m invested in them. But I knew I had to fully let them go.

It’s been just over a month since we lost “our” twins. It has been so interesting to see how Caleb and I both grieve this so differently but I am getting to know my husband on an even deeper level through it and I’m so grateful for that. God is completely healing our hearts and we finally got to the point recently where we don’t think about the twins every day and mourn them which feels like a big step. God is the ultimate healer.

So what’s next for us and our adoption?

Just last week we contacted our agency again and told them that we are available to meet new birth moms. We also are still praying that we get pregnant and are working through that at the same time since my clock is ticking!

For now, the baby room is still there, all decorated and ready for when the time is right. (I had so much fun creating it all so I will be doing some future posts for some of the DIY projects that we did in there.)

Thank you so, so much for all of the love, prayers and support. We have been once again, overwhelmed by it all.

1 peter

lessons from a white couch

There I was, vacuuming our white couch, again.

white couch
isn’t this adorable of a few of our nieces and nephews?! Check out little Rocky peeking up at the bottom of the pic!

Don’t get me wrong, I love our white couch and how it looks in our little house. God has literally answered prayers on this very couch. This is the couch that we sat on with our birth mom when she told us that she chose us to be the parents to her babies. On this couch we have laughed (hard) with dear friends of ours and cried with others. This is a place of comfort and gathering in our home. We love it.

Trust me, I have actually heard many opinions from many people about how crazy we are to have a white couch with a black dog and now twins coming. And this day, as I was reluctantly cleaning it yet again, I agreed with each of them for the first time. Until…..

it occurred to me, vacuum still in hand, that this white couch, and the fact that I have to clean it ALL THE TIME, is actually a blessing! (what?!) Before you think that I’ve totally lost it, let me explain.

We all have dirty couches! Whether we have pets, kids, or even just us cuddling and kicking our feet up, we’ve got junk. The difference with my white couch is that it’s visible! And because the junk is visible, I address it and take care of it.

As I realized this, it started to freak me out how little I cleaned our last couch! I would vacuum it, but only once a month or so or when we had special company coming over and yet, we had the same amount of junk on it,  it was hidden, and therefore ignored! Yuck right?! (Before you run off to clean your own couch, stick with me for the best part.)

Isn’t this the same in our own life? If we keep all of the junk, tough stuff, yucky parts of who we are in our flesh hidden, then we don’t have the opportunity to deal with it, or better yet, let God deal with it. But, if we become like white couches, revealing to our owner (God), ALL of us, even the deepest parts that are attached to guilt and shame, then, he can clean us up!

The amazing thing is that He is not afraid or appalled by our worst stuff. He is the master cleaner and restorer!

So who’s with me? Who is going to choose today to allow him into those deep, hairy, dirty crevices and let Him do His magic?

Note: IF you are thinking about purchasing a white couch, I do highly recommend this one! It is the Ektorp sofa from Ikea. It is inexpensive (for a couch!), comfortable, and the white is actually a washable cover so you can remove the covers from each cushion, and the entire base of the couch, and just throw it in your washing machine! I do vacuum it for weekly (sometimes daily) maintenance, and then wash it only when needed.

2nd note:  Look on Craigslist! We purchased this one for $300 (normally $1000) AND we are now friends with the sweet lady who sold it to us!

couch