This morning John and I had a short date, our first with a babysitter for Joshua. In January, when my mom was here we sneaked out for a dinner date after Joshua was in bed. It was wonderful! But we haven't felt ready to try a babysitter.
For the first 4 months home we didn't leave Joshua at all. At 4 months home when we switched churches, we decided to give church nursery a try. I know some people would be of the opinion that this is a little early to leave your child and others have probably already left their child in someone else's care by this point. Obviously, every child is different and everyone has different circumstances. Some people have to return to work. Others, like us, live in a place where they have no family and few friends. Our new church meets in a high school, so it really doesn't have a true cry room, just a space in the back of the auditorium which really only works for little babies. The choice was either continue to miss church as I had been doing to stay with Joshua or give it a try. Spiritually, I felt like I was in desperate need of this time to worship the Lord with my husband. Our church has a number of other adoptive moms and after asking their opinions we decided to go for it. My gut told me Joshua was ready for it, but I was so nervous. In the end, Joshua didn't cry at all. The same can't be said for me. I think he was a little anxious, but no more than any other child his age going to the nursery. The other thing I really watched for was any disturbances in his sleep. I knew if there was an issue it would come out in his sleep, either by lots of wake-ups with crying as it was in the beginning or a night terror. Thankfully, neither occurred. We were also invited to join a small group. One of the coolest things about this group is that every family in the group except one has adopted a child or is in the process of adopting. There are actually two other families with kids from Korea in the group! We meet on Sunday evenings and young lady named Imani from our church watches the kids in the family room while the adults have our study in the front room. It couldn't be a more perfect situation for our family. We are so grateful for the Lord's provision in this because we were so desperate for fellowship with other believers. We are finally feeling connected here in Tucson.
Imani has been watching Joshua on Sunday evenings for almost 3 months now and he has gotten quite comfortable with her. We have had a number of people offer to babysit for us when we were ready, but it was really hard for me to take anyone up on their offer. I just wasn't ready to take the plunge. Finally, last Sunday we ran into Imani after church service. This never has never happened before and it was as if the Lord orchestrated it. I felt His gentle nudge and knew it was time to ask her. She came over this morning and John and I went out for just over 2 hours. This way we would be home in time to put Joshua down for his nap. We went for bagels and coffee which we took to a nearby National Park. We climbed up on some rocks overlooking the park and just ate and talked. Then we went for a drive and stopped by a farmer's market. It was truly wonderful.
It got me thinking though. Sometimes I hear people say to couples dealing with infertility that you just have to enjoy the extra time you have together as a couple, and that is true to a certain extent. But something about that statement has never fully sat well with me. This morning I realized why. It is hard to enjoy that time when there is a huge gaping wound in your heart. That hole is ever present. For us, it was there for such a long time that it is hard to remember a time when it wasn't there. But this morning I got to feel what it feels like to go out with your husband and not have that hole present. And it was glorious.
The Lord has healed my heart and made me a joyful mother (Psalm 113:9). Thank you Lord!