Christmas is a time for focusing on new Birth, the birth of a King. Our savior. Jesus Christ. Immanuel. The Redeemer. God Made Flesh, Incarnate Deity. So when babies are born into our own earthly families in December, we mothers feel like there is something extra-holy about a Christmas-time baby. We feel a little Mary-like. And when it happens twice, it gives us pause and an overflow of extravagant thanksgiving praise. It can send you to your knees. Weeping with joy, a hope-filled joy. A new life-joy. A Christmas-time joy.
Our story has many twists and turns, and as a writer and poet it is difficult to self-edit when the story is so deeply rooted in the folds of your soul. But when my friend Diana asked me if I would contribute to her series with a Christmas story, I knew it would be this one. This story of babies and birth. This story of God’s will come down at Christmas.
After years of infertility struggles and pain, my husband and I were lead into an adoption journey. Though we had been blessed with a beautiful son, one born biologically to us, we now painfully faced what doctors called “secondary infertility.” Secondary infertility comes with it its own mysterious emptiness.
Lead to adopt, we withstood the rigorous strain of mountains of paperwork and background checks. We built a file about our life and family for the international Christian adoption agency. We cautiously and slowly identified a baby’s room in our home. It can be difficult to walk past an empty, waiting, room. But hope and trust made a nursery.
And we waited. And this momma wept, wallowed and wept some more. I may have even wailed. And we prayed, watched, waited.
We struggled with trust and timing. Wrestled with the longing to have more children. To grow our family.
The heart has a way of rewriting painful periods. But I do know this. We completed our file and went about living our lives, all the while waiting, an expectant and pregnant waiting
As we pressed into living, we chose to celebrate life and Christmas with friends and family in our newly built home. One designed for raising children. The tree was up, the invitations were sent, and preparations were underway for a large party, our first in this special new place.
One dark December night I sat staring into the white lights of our tree which reached toward the cathedral ceiling’s tip top. My husband walked in from work to find me blinking back tears. Miracle tears. My eyes puddled and blurred my sight, as I had just received the news from our contact at the agency.
Your son has been born.
I was shocked. I knew we could have waited years. It had only been nine months.
I am no Mary, but I could feel deep in my soul the emotions that Mary must have felt- the trust and confidence God placed in the folds of her heart.
It was nineteen years ago, this year, that our miracle child came to us.
How could we focus on a party when we needed to focus on meeting, holding, knowing and loving our new son. Getting to know our new son. Though we were tempted to throw open the doors and invite everyone in to meet the baby boy. The party was cancelled.
Amazing gratitude flooded my heart, thinking that though we could have waited years, we instead waited the “normal” waiting period for babies.
This merciful detail was not lost on us.
And soon our joy would be added to, again. We were blessed the next December, with the birth of our daughter. Our biological daughter was born on December 19th.
Friends placed a huge pink bow on our mailbox, instead of the traditional red.
From want to plenty.
From grief to joy.
From emptiness to overflowing pink flesh and baby cries.
From tears to laughter, to Amazing Grace.
Christmas is a time for miracles and mercy, generosity and grace, silence and voice lifting rejoicing. Peace and preparation.
All of this found in the birth of Christ and all of this unfolding in our growing family.
And some years, Christmas is the time for surprises from the generous arms of a very young mother who gave us the gift of a child that year. Releasing the newborn son into my arms on December 2; and I felt the miracle of motherhood poured out over me, washing me and blessing me.
Christmas is a time for new birth and unfathomable gifts.
Life changing gifts. Mary knew. The whole world knew.
And somehow we Christmastime momma’s know in a special sort of way, the joy of Christmas in our Christmas babies.
And this birth mother, she bore life and gift and love came down at Christmas.
Precious, sacred, new-life love.
Elizabeth is a curious noticer who lives by the sea as an introverted extrovert. Poetry wakes her up and rocks her to sleep. She loves the word “and” and contradictions. Elizabeth writes poetry and prose on a blog which bears her name. Visit her at wynnegraceappears dot com where she sees the world through a lens of grace. Her poetry appears at Burnside Writers Collective where she is a Contributing Writer. She is honored to have her work appear at Tweetspeak Poetry where she is a Guest Writer. She finds the South, where she was born, raised and lives suits her to a sweet tea. Find her on twitter @graceappears or visit her Facebook page. Married for 25 years, she is the momma to three growing up children.
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