Tuesday, August 23, 2011
the best birthday present
This is a picture of Courtney and his little brother Wyatt. Wyatt was born on Courtney's tenth birthday, the first day of fifth grade. He remembers that he didn't know his brother would be coming that day until after he had gone to school. Pretty exciting news for the birthday boy. Wyatt was born with Downs Syndrome, in addition to a heart defect. Obviously, he was a pretty special little boy and from all accounts was the sunshine of the house. Courtney's mom remembers how the kids would come home from school and the first thing they would ask was, "Where's Wyatt?"
As a result of his health problems, Wyatt didn't live very long, but his short life made a big impact on Courtney. For as long as I've known Courtney, he has told me that he wanted to name his first son Wyatt. Obviously, after four (perfect for us!) girls, we were a little unsure that we'd ever have a son! However, everyone in the family knew that if it ever happened, we would have a Wyatt.
When we first started dating and Courtney told me about Wyatt and his hope to name a son after him, the name wasn't very common. In fact, I didn't know any Wyatt's at all. The last few years, though, it has become really common. It seems like everywhere we go we meet a little Wyatt! Courtney started to say that he didn't know if he would use it after all (but like I said, we didn't think we'd have to worry about it anyway!) I felt a little bad about this because I knew how much it meant to him.
When we found out I was pregnant, Courtney was sure it was another girl. What's more, he insisted he was great with that! "I love my girls," he would tell me over and over. I've never been one to have a feeling one way or another, and this pregnancy was the same way. Up until the night before our ultrasound, I had no idea if it would be a boy or girl! However, that night as I was doing some reading about the Old Testament story of Hannah and her son Samuel, I had a strong impression that our baby was a boy and that we should name him Samuel. The whole process of getting this baby here had so far been filled with spiritual experiences, and so I shouldn't have been surprised by this, but still I felt a little afraid of trusting my impression. That night, I didn't say a word to Courtney about what I had felt.
Probably because I was doubting the impression I had received, I felt super nervous the whole drive to our ultrasound! Courtney, however, seemed steady as a rock. After all, he was sure it was another girl! You can imagine his surprise when the technician pulled up the screen and immediately said, "Well, there you go! It's a boy!" We looked at each other, started laughing, and then asked her over and over if she was really sure. It was soon apparent that she was, but Courtney wasn't!
On the way home, we hardly dared believe the news. We would have been thrilled with a girl, but a boy? We never thought it would happen. When we timidly ventured into a name discussion, I was hesitant to tell Courtney about the impression I had received regarding the name Samuel. It wasn't until after he repeated his worry about using the name Wyatt that I told him about my experience, although I still didn't tell him I felt we should use that name. I was surprised when as soon as I told him what had happened, he replied with, "I think we should name him Samuel."
Immediately it felt like that was exactly the right name for our baby. From that point on, we never discussed naming the baby anything else- it was obvious to both of us that Samuel was the right name. It wasn't until a few days later that I learned that Wyatt's middle name is Samuel.
Through the process of bringing this baby into our family, and even since that first experience with his name, I have had several sacred experiences that have taught me that Heavenly Father knows this baby. This has been a lesson to me that each of our children come to us, having already experienced great things. They each come with unique spirits and a special mission only they can perform. They have a Father in Heaven who knows them and has a very distinct plan for them. I am absolutely sure of this.
And so, in just a few days we are going to get to meet little Samuel. We can't wait. His room is all decorated and his closet is filled with little tiny diapers, clothes, and shoes. Blue clothes! On his dresser and shelves sit boy things- a vintage bulldozer, airplanes, and a little football. Along side these items sits a frame filled with this picture of Courtney and Wyatt. To us, it all seems a little hard to believe. In fact, last week we set up the nursery (thanks to Aunt Alyssa and his Grandmas!) while Courtney was away working in Blanding. He didn't get home 3:00 am, Friday morning. I was awake waiting for him to arrive and when, after a few minutes I still hadn't seen him, I went in search. As I walked into the kitchen, I could see the light on in the nursery and sure enough, I found him quietly standing there looking around in disbelief. I loved it when he looked at me with his cute grin and whispered, "A boy!" That's all he needed to say.
What makes this story even better is that we are going to have the baby on Courtney's birthday. His and Wyatt's. A pretty special day for all of us. Somehow, I don't think that's a coincidence.
Just a few more days now. We can't wait to meet you, little Samuel.