Dear Littlest Brenner,
You are what they call a Rainbow Baby.
From the moment you were discovered, you have invited your dad and I into believing Big Things. You were a miracle from the get go, just as any other life created and conceived. We weren't sure if we would have the privilege of meeting you this side of Heaven, but we sure hoped.
I had wondered for years if I would ever conceive and carry a baby to term. With diagnoses and promises-of-miscarriage from doctors since age 12, I was unsure. I believe He is healer, but I believe He is in the business of healing hearts, helping us place our hope in the right spaces. Sometimes that means our bodies and physical ailments continue to exist as broken; sometimes healing looks entirely different than we expect or hope. Because we are here, this side of heaven. So, though I hoped and pleaded and prayed to experience a pregnancy for 9+ months...I did know it was likely I wouldn't.
But here you are.
You beat the odds, you proved doctors wrong, you survived the dangers of a high risk pregnancy with clotting disorders.
You are a miracle.
Tomorrow, March 17, you will have been out of the womb as long as you were in the womb: for 41 weeks and 1 day.
Every day together since discovering you we count as a gift.
[Biological] Rainbow Baby, I was scared of losing you and being forced to say goodbye our first 20 weeks together . When 20 weeks hit, something in me changed, and the rainbow that you are was fully embraced and celebrated instead of feared and guilt-ridden.
Your brother joined us and I had less time and energy to worry about losing you, so I used what little head space I had to cherish you and celebrate you. I haven't looked back.
I felt you kicking and twirling around inside, letting me know you were safe. The hormones surging through me, forcing me to throw up what little food I could consume, reminded me that you were growing and developing.
And now you are here, rolly and polly and squishy and delicious. I giggle when I take the time to really look at you (which I always need to do more of), because you are perfect.
The miracle of you astounds me.
As you grow, I will remind you of what a treasure you are. And in knowing what a treasure you are, my hope is that you would see every other human walking this earth as just that: a treasure-miracle. Too many lives are lost before they even begin.
I love watching you watch your brother. I love when you bear crawl, when you find something to sit and study, when you reach out for everything you can because textures intrigue you. I love how your fat cheeks squish your lips together. I love the rolls on all your limbs, the dimples infused in your chub. I love the actual sparkle in your eyes when we kiss you or blow raspberries on your belly or gobble you. I love you.
I am sorry for the times I fail to celebrate you. Which is too often.
I am sorry for the times it feels like I'm only celebrating your brother, especially here on this big wide scary space of the internet. The truth? The truth is that I am afraid people assume I love you more than him, because you grew inside of me, because my blood runs through you. I fear that people watch us, waiting for proof that we love you more because you are the product of our DNA entangled into one human. I fear that people compare the way we treat you two.
I'm sorry for living in fear, all too often. This is not the way I want to raise my babies to live: in fear.
Our society isn't set up to view adoption (or even foster care) as a valid way to make a family, as love being the integral piece rather than blood. Our society says things to our faces about it, makes comments and statements, asks questions, expresses concerns that reveal its true belief about adoption: that it is second best, that biological children are the goal, that children of adoption are damaged, not worth it, bound to be broken.
But I don't want to fail you by living in fear of other people's false-assumptions.
False assumptions that you were our goal, that biological children trump children of adoption or foster care. No, you both were waited for and longed for, prayed for and ached for.
You were a surprise just as much as your brother, but both perfectly timed and timed perfectly, added to our family in jaw-dropping ways. A surprise, because aren't all babies and kids surprises?
I will continue to celebrate you, because you deserve to be celebrated. Celebrating you doesn't detract from your brother's value, celebrating him doesn't detract from your value. You are both miracles, equally loved in fierce ways.
Little man Ira, unpacking your personality is one of the best gifts of my life. Watching you grow into who you are, inquisitive and curious, brings us such joy.
Being your mama is one of my greatest joys and I never want you to feel anything less than that.
It's a real privilege, being mama to you by birth and your brother by adoption. A privilege I don't want to forget or take for granted. An honor I don't want to take lightly or dismiss. You are proof that He is big. You are proof that miracles happen, that my body isn't entirely broken, that a mama can confidently love her children just as fiercely whether they are biologically birthed or not.
You are ours and we are yours, forever and always and no matter what.
You can be confident in that.