When Nate and I first got married we instantly wanted kids.
Two complete rounds of IVF, that failed, and so many IUI’s that I have lost track of, I finally talked my husband into foster care, in hopes to adopt. Our very first placement was an orange headed little girl. I knew from the moment I met her that she was meant to be our daughter. During the process of adopting her (2.5 LONG years to be exact) I became pregnant. We had 2 perfect daughters and we were happy!
Years later we knew that we really wanted another child. We put the verse 1 Samuel 1:27-28 on the refrigerator and prayed it daily. We were very open to adopting again, but that process isn’t always easy. Many people knew that we were praying for a child, especially the women in my small group at church. Out of the blue a friend in our prayer group called and said that she knew of a baby that might just be the miracle we had been praying for. The next couple of weeks we prayed a lot and spent a lot of time talking to the family of this baby. I met with his mom when he was only a few weeks old. She knew that Children’s Services was planning to take him into custody. I begged and pleaded for her to let us keep him instead of him going into the system. We knew she wasn’t wanting to let him be adopted, but we were praying she might change her mind. A few days after meeting her, she decided that she would let us keep him until she could get things straightened out.
He was the most perfect baby. He had a dark complexion and dark hair….we were all smitten with him! Over the next few weeks we kept him and his biological mom would meet us to visit him. The biological dad was aware of him, but wasn’t really in the picture. I remember them taking him for a couple of days to get a paternity test and thinking it might be the last time we would see him. I went through so many emotions. I was sad, mad, scared, and beside myself worrying the few nights he wasn’t with us. The paternity test did confirm who the biological dad was.
I spent a lot of time doing my best to not ask God to let us keep him forever, because if it didn’t work out I didn’t want a reason to be angry with God. We had gone shopping in St. Louis the week of Thanksgiving and I can clearly remember looking at him in the stroller and begging God to let him stay with us. I can remember the outfit he had on, a little thermal brown onesie, jeans, and tiny shoes that matched. As I was saying it out loud he just kept smiling at me. I know God knew my heart all along, but now I had finally admitted it.
The plan was for his biological mom to take him the day before Thanksgiving
so that her family could see him and we would get him back the next morning. On Thanksgiving Day the biological dad called me and said he was coming to get him. I bawled like a baby and asked him over and over again to let him stay with us. He was adamant that he and his family wanted to raise him. Needless to say I was a basket case. I was so worried and scared, but the only thing I could do was pray that he would be safe wherever and whoever he was with. We still had hope that they would decide to let him stay with us.
On the Saturday after Thanksgiving my phone rang, it was a family member of the baby. She asked if anyone had called us yet and I said no.
“We just received a phone call, Jamie, he’s dead.”
I remember screaming and yelling for my husband. It was the absolute worst day of my life. He had been rolled on to in the night and suffocated. Writing these words brings back so many raw emotions. I was shocked, mad, and broken. The next days are so vivid in my memory. From picking out a funeral outfit for him, getting a picture ready for his obituary, to preparing to go to a funeral for my precious boy was not how this story was supposed to end. I was also dealing with a lot of guilt. I felt guilty that I had wanted a baby so bad that I had put everyone, especially our girls, through a hurt we couldn’t imagine. They loved him so much too.
Fast forward a little while, and the desire to have a baby was something that I wanted filled so desperately. One Sunday morning our good friend and preacher gave a message on how Zechariah had been given the name John for his son. We kind of laughed about if we ever had a boy his name would have to really mean something after all we had been through.
Over Christmas break I was taking the girls to an eye appointment and I was thinking to myself about a baby and what we would name a son. You see, our girls have matching names with double consonants, so if we had another child it would need to follow the pattern (yeah, we are those people). As I was thinking and the name Thaddeus came to me as clear as day. I thought about it the whole way to the appointment. Once we got in, I texted Nate and told him that I had just had a “God Moment”. I told him the story, but I said the name doesn’t start with the right letter. Then of course I realized that it did have double consonants. When I pointed that out his response was, “God knew you wouldn’t do it if he didn’t at least give you double consonants.” On New Year’s Eve we went to the church to play Spoons with our close friends and I told them all the story. The looks I got from some of them when I said “Thaddeus” was not really surprising. I mean, it wasn’t on our list of names either!
We decided to go back to our doctor in St. Louis to do IVF again. This process is expensive and hard on a body, but I knew it would all be worth it when we had a baby that no one could take. We were reading the devotional “Circle Maker” at the time and really felt we were doing what God was leading us to. We had our cycle all set and the medicine ($3066) was in the refrigerator waiting to go. Everything seemed to be going well. I was waiting for my cycle to start so I could start the shots and get that baby we were praying for. On the day I was supposed to start the medicine I knew something wasn’t quite right. My cycle hadn’t started, so the nurse told me to go ahead and take a pregnancy test just to confirm I wasn’t pregnant and then we would talk about what to do next. I wasn’t pleased to say the least about wasting my money on another stupid pregnancy test. I went home that evening and took the test. Well, guess what, it was positive. We found out not too long after that it was a boy (we knew that was coming), and of course we had to name him Thaddeus. I can’t imagine him with any other name now!
God is good all the time, but sometimes things just don’t go the way we planned. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God gave us Thad for being obedient when it was not easy. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of the perfect baby boy that we had for a little while. I wonder what he would look like, or if we would have ever gotten to see him again. I know that he is safe in the arms of Jesus, but the hurt I feel is still so deep. I pray that my testimony can help someone else get through a tough time and know that God will work things out for His glory in the end.