Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Through Humility a Son is Given" - Lesa's & Jamie's Take

--Lesa's take --

The morning came too soon. I was still tired and achy, as well as uncertain but willing to carry out the plan that God had so ingeniously devised. Shifting around in my bed and mentally preparing myself, I couldn't believe how surreal everything was becoming.

My mom was sitting next to my bed and Pax was soon brought to our room. I walked over and picked him up. I had a little outfit for him... But Jamie had the cutest "Hello Ladies" outfit for him... And it was quite appropriate because it was Valentines day! So I asked her if he could wear it. She came in and changed him into it.... He was so precious--so delicate.

After Jamie left the room, about an hour later Ben came in with roses for me. They were beautiful. It helped keep me strong in knowing that they loved Pax and in showing me how much they cared about me... It made it all the more easy to come to a place of peace.

As I was Cuddling his face, and wiping the few tears I had... My mom and I Chatted and shared in the bitter-sweet-glorious moment of relinquishing all doubts and ultimately placing Paxton into the arms of another family.

I took more photos of Pax and talked to him. Gave him all the hugs and kisses I could give him before he became surrendered unto Gods Perfect will. I kept staring at the clock, praying for just a little more time... Just a few more minutes, seconds even... To hold "the treasure" God had unburied in my heart-- Exposing it for me to see, but not for me to have.

Time passed away like it never forgets to and the time for Paxton to go, became minutes away. Jamie came in and sat next to me... She put on his little Sock Monkey hat. She held his hand as I held him and pain held my heart.

Jamie let me know that his car seat was ready... And she walked out of the room to give me my last moments with Paxton. My mom and I cradled him and shared in an embracing group hug. We then began to walk him to Ben and Jamie's room. I was given the honor of placing him in his car seat.

As we entered their room, they stepped out so we could place him in his car seat and say our goodbyes. I held Paxton's tiny fingers and kissed every inch of his face while buckling him in. It was at this moment, that my Mom began to cry... And after trying to hold it together... Tears began to trickle from my eyes. I closed my eyes to keep them from coming out. I wanted to be strong... I wanted my Mom and Ben and Jamie to know that everything was going to be okay. Unfortunately, like a Dam that can't hold back water anymore, tears came bursting out from behind my closed eyelids.

"When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there's no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth. This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain. The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you'll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you. You'll no longer be so full of questions." John 16:21 MSG

Undeniably, I began thinking of how my tears were showing my failure... How could I comfort my mother when I myself am crying? How am I going to let Paxton see me crying? This isn't sad, this is a wonderful blessing that God has chosen me for!! Lesa, get it together. Be strong!

I started to feel anger grab me... And then I see the wheel chair being rolled up the hallway. I leave Paxton after taking one last picture, and walk into the hallway to give Ben and Jamie hugs and blessings. I want to just run out... I don't want to look pitiful and sit in a wheelchair to be rolled out. I wanted to cry... But I didn't want anyone to see me... So I was mad... Mad at myself for being such a baby. Mad that people were surrounding me and I couldn't let myself cry.

"Fools vent their anger,
but the wise quietly hold it back." Proverbs 29:11 NLT

I heavily sat myself down into the wheelchair, flowers in hand. The nurse started to wheel me away... And I couldn't bring myself to look back... I couldn't stop staring forward... As if to suggest to everyone that I was strong and could move on.

As we were wheeling down the hallway, I saw this lady in a wheelchair as well... But unlike me... She was holding her baby... Her tightly bundled up baby.. She was glowing and smiling. Her husband was behind her... He had the same glow on his face. He leaned down to kiss her as we wheeled on past them.
I looked down at my flowers, and wished for more than anything for them to turn into a baby.

Still trying to hold it together, I remained silent. My mom had gone to get the car and I was alone with the nurse that had been pushing me. She was silent for the elevator ride, and I didn't mind. I didn't want to fill the silence. I felt as if everything I loved had just been taken and as the emotion of heartbreak was standing still, so were the sounds of my surroundings... And I wanted to keep it that way. I knew as soon as my mouth opened, my heart would release all the thorns in forms of tears and yelling.

When we got off the elevator, I was wheeled to the front door of the Hospital and it was there, that what I wanted was compromised when the nurse began to speak to me.

She told me that she admired me for what I had done... That she thought I was strong and courageous. She said she could never do that... And instead of saying anything, I just thought... Yeah, I could never do it either... But I did.   I stared down and looked at my toes, then my eyes adverted to my tummy...that, unexpectedly, was relatively the same size as it was when I was carrying pax, only it was now hollow and empty... Visually Resembling how I felt inside.

As I sat impatiently waiting for my mom to bring the car around. The testing of my faith was not over. Jamie had come down, and stood right next to me. She put Paxton's car seat right...next... To... Me.

"For you examine us every morning
and test us every moment." Job 7:18 NLT

I had said my goodbye already and seeing him again in this moment, crushed me. I was so happy to see him again, but I wanted to just reach down and pick him up and never let him go. I tried again to be strong and not let her see me upset or sad. I said goodbye to Jamie as my mom pulled up and the nurse wheeled me out. I couldn't bring myself to say goodbye to Paxton again.

As I pulled myself into the car, I said goodbye to the nurse that had showered me with kind words, looked at my mom that had already put on her sunglasses, shut the door, and then automatically sank into my seat.

I was hurting and I was angry. I felt so cold inside and to make it worse... The sun was shining... Making me mad at God. To myself, I began to ask God why he would allow the sun to shine on such a sad day? I felt as though God was happy and it wasn't fair that he would be happy when he knew I was hurting. Trying to position myself so I couldn't see the sun, I began to let the tears fall. I tightened the muscles in my face, as though I was in agony... But it was not my body, rather my soul that felt defeated.

The car ride felt so long. I just wanted to be home. I wanted to hide from the world. I wanted to let my guard down... I wanted to just give it to God... But I couldn't stop my heart from hurting.

When we pulled into the driveway, after a long silent car ride, my mom and I both got out of the car.. Still speechless. My body felt so heavy. I walked slowly, dragging myself into the house. Opening the door was even difficult, I just left it open so my mom could come in...  I was becoming so weak... My legs shuffled along the carpet toward my bedroom. Was I dreaming? Why didn't I have control of my body? I made it to my room just in time... My knees gave out and I found myself falling into my bed. Collapsing in my grief.

Like a volcano... Sobs erupted... Deep, gasping sobs from my core...  I let go...Breaking down, Giving up- I put my broken heart on my sleeve for God to mend.

My mom came in and broke down with me--our broken hearts on display to each other. She held me as I uncontrollably wept. And together, we pushed through the suffering.

"Look upon my suffering and rescue me,
for I have not forgotten your instructions." Psalm 119:153 NLT

After laying in bed all day, I felt as if i would be in distress forever...

However, through my tears I knew what I had to do... Painfully, I completely surrendered the Hole in my heart that Paxton had been filling to God and in no time...God reached down his comforting hand and Picking me up in my brokenness... I began to heal.

"And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” Mark 5:34 NLT

"Through Humility a Son is Given" - Jamie's Take

After an eventful early morning. I awoke at 11 a.m. after falling asleep a few hours earlier with a migraine. It was either a lack of sleep or the stress I felt that had brought it on. I was a million emotions - but was quickly brought to one - when my husband entered the room with roses. It was Valentine's Day. Pax's original due date was today..and we were taking him home today. I was even more proud of Ben because he was coming from Lesa’s room from giving her flowers. He was going to be a great provider - an incredible father. I knew he loved Lesa and this was the only way he was comfortable to tell her. He was grateful, he was in love with her child, he was humbled.

I took some time alone, locking myself in our hospital bathroom - doing a devotion and praying. I wept in my shower, pathetic and broken. I was going to be taking a baby home, while the woman I, we, had fell in love with went home empty handed...

The day couldn't go by fast enough. We met with our Pediatrician - who let us know Pax was healthy and ready to go home. All of our hopes (including Lesa's) was that he would be discharged before Lesa. But as the day dragged on and with no bonding time with Pax (I realize this sounds selfish but being honest) and with the constant feeling that if we did get time it would take away from hers, we cuddled on the bed. I would weep in frustration and conviction. With every new hour came with it was a new nurse who had no idea what was going on and would need to be updated on our 'circumstance' only belating the 'release.' Discharges in themselves take seemingly forever, then tack on legal logistics. 

We finally received answers at about 3 p.m. We met with Lesa's lawyer that we provided for her and with the hospital social worker. After many questions and statements, Lesa's lawyer suggested we cover certain costs that we hadn't originally agreed on which we were willing to do - especially after we had already created a bond with Pax - there was not much we wouldn't do. The hospital social worker took Ben and my i.d's - only to question mine after seeing blonde hair on my drivers license and starring into the eyes of a current red head. She had to leave and 'run it through' with Lesa. People sometimes. Honestly I was annoyed - my profession as a hair stylist was coming between us and the swift release of our son. 

Lesa and her mom were getting in their time with Paxton. At this point no one knew that we would see each other as much - all we knew is it was going to be about twice a year, so I was trying to be respectful. They were making trips back and forth to the nursery to get his feet and hand prints. My body ached. I can't take her baby away while at the same time I couldn't wait to get my hands all over him. I couldn't wait to lay him down in our bed and snuggle as a family. But she was so happy - holding him and walking back and forth past our door with him. 

 "being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience" - Colossians 1:11

I felt like the hospital was making it worse and dragging it out. 

Then finally, about 4:45 I entered Lesa's room to say goodbye. We were free to leave.

I wanted to honor her time with him but it was time for him to come home. I realize the rest of what I type may seem heartless, that's not my intent. Lesa knows the Lord directed her to this decision and I knew I had supernaturally birthed Pax from my heart. He was ours. I was his mother and Ben was his father. Lesa meant more to me than any other person in the whole planet. Her faith and obedience is a daily conviction to me. I'm a mother because of her sacrifice.

With the news, Lesa took more pictures with Pax and handed us copies of his foot and hand prints. As her nurse came in with papers it seemed Lesa was now also being released.

We all dreaded this. We had asked all the several nurses we had to talked to that we all (including Lesa) wanted us to be released way before her. Now we were leaving together - making good byes impossible. 

Lesa eventually made it to our room - as Ben was finishing up loading the car. She kissed him tons and then laid him in his carseat that was sitting on our bed. She began to strap him in when he started to cry. She couldn’t handle leaving him with his last moments being ones of tears. I stepped in, with the prompting of Ben’s nudge and began to help her strap him in. My heart sank and my body went cold. We hugged. 
We said good byes. And let Lesa and her mom have some last moments with Pax. As we were headed out the door - Lesa’s nurse showed up at our door with her wheelchair. 

Don’t get me wrong, I was mega grateful to have been so well taking care of at the hospital. Later finding out that our stay was free of the hospital. But the complexities having so many shift changes and some nurses who weren’t willing to understand what was going on only to keep Ben and I aloof in hopes of not breaking HIPA, was frustrating.

Lesa was strolled down before us (against all our requests) - so we stalled to give her time to catch an elevator to the first floor and get their car. However as we left the hospital we ran into her again in the main lobby. She was in her wheel chair waiting for her mother to pull up - holding only the flowers Ben had gave her this morning. Our stomachs fell to the floor and both our hearts broke. We were walking out with a diaper bag, flowers and a baby in a brand new carseat.

We stopped to say one last good bye. But Lesa was colder. She was still sweet - but it was as if she had already begun preparing her heart to seperate from him for a time with every foot of distance she took away from him. Her mother pulled up seconds later. Ben had went to get the car - while Lesa, her nurse and Pax and I waited. I watched her get loaded in her car. She seemed limp and lifeless - only giving a bleek smile at us before shutting the door. 

Ben pulled up right she pulled away. 

As we left the hospital with Pax and his things all snuggled in, I began to take a million pictures and texting them to everyone. We were on our way home (well our friend’s) with our firsts child. Halfway home I texted Lesa and thanked her. I had so much gratitude for her - I didn't want her to think I was done with her. At the same time it was our time to begin bonding with him.

Immediately after getting to our friend’s, Pax was naked and him and I were doing skin on skin, while Ben unloaded that car. He then joined us on the bed for our first of many family moments.  We layed with him till our friend’s got home and our first visitors arrived a few hours later. I couldn't stop starring at him, smelling him and kissing him. Ben and I were addicted. Our guests would hold him and I would die inside waiting to get my hands back on him. God is good to us. 

The first night was the most beautiful night home ever. He slept every 2-3 hours and wanted to eat and be changed and fall back asleep. It took us a bit to get him situated in his bassinet as I preferred to just hold him.  Ben was great too. He was a bit nervous to pat his back to burp him and was trying to get an idea on the most comfortable way to hold him. We took lots of pictures.

That morning Ben had to work then planned on spending time at our home to work on the water issue. I on the otherhand I had all day with the little guy. Pax slept in his bassinet near the window because he was a little jaundice on his little baby nose and fingers. I couldn't get enough. Pax would lay next to me as I would take picture after picture and listening to worship music on our computer. God was present and more than evident to me. I would send pictures to Ben upon is consistent requests. My heart went out to him. He was working so hard and away from his babes. 

At about 4 in the afternoon I finally heard back from Lesa. I had been texting and sending her pictures all day and sending her scriptures and my prayers for her. She was hurting but assured me it was what she wanted. The mommy in me wanted to comfort her - but the Lord wanted to do that. He wanted to restore her. So I sent my love and let her know I was available to talk whenever she needed. 

"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion.." - Phillippians 2:1

Ben couldn't of got home fast enough - he wanted his hands on that baby so bad. I remember falling even more in love with him as he held his baby in such pride and gratefulness. He wanted the whole evening with him in his arms and me next to him. 

We were a family. 

"Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life." -Proverbs 22:4

God was Good. But it came with a cost. Jesus paid it years ago - and Lesa followed behind - humbling herself and carrying her cross. Her obedience blessed a couple, as well as a son - who was given to a woman ready to have a baby and a father who was desperate to love a son. She made the decision to deny herself because of her love for her Father and for her son. I'm forever grateful and indebted.

"I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing.." - Acts 20:19

The Ward Family est. 2/14/2011

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"The Promise's Cost and it's Spiritual Reality" -Lesa's & Jamie's Take

--Lesa's Take --


Anticipating getting to hold Paxton.

To Hold his tiny fingers, to kiss his tiny nose, to tickle his tiny feet that felt much more than tiny when he had been kicking me.

Medication or not, I was still aching with pain... The IV in my arm making it hard to get comfortable... That and the fact that everything below my waste felt like a million fire ants had just run rampant stinging every inch of where ants should never go.

More than that though, my mind was racing with grim thoughts.
Here I was, in a hospital bed... Awaiting a baby. A baby that was born to me. A baby that I never expected in a million years to be having. A baby that needed more than I could give him.

Negativity settled in, and it was anything but a stranger.
What if he didn't like me? What if he senses that I am going to leave him? What if he looks at me with his innocence and see's impurity? what if I fall even more in love with him and can't let him go?

After a brief moment of skepticism, I sought out my fond affections that I tried my hardest to hold true too.

This was a miracle... Everything about the circumstance was God Breathed.

I began to relax... Jamie poked her head in my room a couple of times to see how I was doing and if I needed anything. I appreciated her concern and her devoted kindness.

Nurses came in and out of my room, while Paxton was snug in Ben and Jamie's... Then, before I knew it... Paxton was in my room... In his little cart... Squirming and looking around. The nurse put him into my arms... And for the first time, I gratefully embraced him with a tender kiss and felt the inseparable bond between mother and son.

A love like no other. A love I wanted to share. So I had visitors in and out of my room whenever Paxton was there.. It was bitter sweet. I loved having visitors, but I couldn't help but to want all the moments with Paxton for myself.

A selfish attitude crept in and clenched tightly to my heart... I knew I only had a small amount of time with Paxton and internally, I had a hard time letting anyone hold him... Thinking it would rob me of my time with him... I wanted every second. I smiled with my lips, but felt the pain of immense sorrow.

" I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT

I didn't want to fall asleep, but my eyes were so heavy. I would have to swallow my fear... close my eyes and simply drift off...

Jan 13th-- As soon as i woke up I knew The day would be full of visitors! Many of my friends and a few Family members came to see me and meet baby Paxton. A few sent flowers and even though they couldn't be there, I could feel their loving support.

The day soon came to a close, Susan was the last one left by my side.. Softly tickling little Paxton's feet. I was getting so tired but I knew Pax was going to get to stay the night in my room with me! I willed myself to stay awake, no matter what.. I would fight for the time I got to have with him alone.

Susan said her goodbyes, and was worried about me being by myself... But I had wanted everyone to go home and get some sleep--especially my mom who had been there all day... And had no where to sleep... I understood that they should just go home and sleep in their own beds-- I would be fine... Or so I thought.

I was finally alone. Alone with Pax. I picked him up and laid down in my hospital bed. I put him in the middle of my legs, knees bent so his face would be looking at me. I held his hands and stared, mesmerized.

I grabbed my phone and began taking pictures of him. Every move he made I wanted to document. Every hand motion, every sleeping face, every leg kick... I wanted frozen in time.


I picked him up and put his head on my shoulder and held him tight. Having this moment, alone with him... Just listening to him breathe... Making his little baby coos as he slept... I began to cry.

"Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy." Psalm 126:5 NLT

I started singing softly to him, in prayer and in praise... Asking God to watch over him... Asking Pax to not forget me if I didn't get to see him often... Asking for guidance and peace for both Paxton, his new family, and I.

A rocking chair looked at me from the corner of the room. I stood up and held Paxton tightly, rubbing his back... We made our way to the rocking chair. Sitting, rocking, a feeling began to fill the room... Not any ordinary feeling. It was an uneasy, unhappy, fearful feeling.

"But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one." 2 Thessalonians 3:3 NLT

I sat Paxton on my lap.. And he was looking at me.. Wide eyed. I looked back at him.. And this fear washed over me. Paxton scared me.. He was looking so much deeper into my eyes than I have ever experienced... But then, I heard something.. Behind the curtain that hid the bathroom.

Was this the medication? Why was I so scared? Why was the silence so loud? What are the voices filling this room?

Feeling like a crazy person and as if I was ruining the only night I would spend with Paxton, I shakily grabbed the curtains and slung them back. No one. Nothing was there. I was losing it.  A dark presence was there... It was threatening Paxton and I.

Scared and alone, I crawled back into my bed and tried to play a little music to calm my nerves. Cradling Pax, I began to feel so tired again. I needed Jamie... The presence wasn't leaving and I could not fight it.. I felt so unprotected.

It was then that a knock shot me straight up and I became wide eyed. It made me jump, but when I saw who it was... I was relieved. It was Jamie. I wanted her to stay with me. I wanted her to hold Paxton. I knew that since she was there... It was safe for me to do the very thing I was refusing to do... Sleep.

Waking up momentarily, I saw Jamie Holding Paxton in the large Chair across from my bed. I felt as though he was safe in her arms.

Light radiated from them as they bonded, and the darkness that I had felt vanished.

"People sitting out their lives in the dark saw a huge light; Sitting in that dark, dark country of death, they watched the sun come up." Matthew 4:16 MSG

I fell asleep, sound asleep... After I couldn't fight it anymore... Knowing that in the morning I would be saying my tear filled goodbyes to my saving grace.

"And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you." 2 Corinthians 9:14 MSG

God gives grace to those who have received and accepted his sacrifice... The sacrifice of his Son Jesus. In acceptance, we can embrace grace and give sacrifices of our own, just as He did for us.

"The Promise's Cost and it's Spiritual Reality" - Jamie's Take

Our son was born. Yet he had two mothers. The reality of adoption was becoming so real. 

I was unsure how Lesa was doing and was told by the nurse that she was resting. Paxton was born at 7:58 at night and was brought to our room throughout the night and early morning to be feed. He had many visitors from our church family and one of my girlfriends that worked at the hospital stopped to see the little miracle. The next morning, Paxton’s first morning was going to be with Lesa, until then (minus his vitals in the nursery) Ben and I were going to have him. 

I did not carry him in my womb but he was undeniably mine. My love for him was unreal. The fear that we wouldn't connect vanished the very moment I held him and kissed his little head. He was my son given from the Lord. 

At nine in the morning he was taken to Lesa. As I heard the baby nursery crib being wheeled into her room and not mine my heart sank. I was devastated. I had spent the whole night with him and was in love. His nearness to me was supernatural. God's presence was in our room. I felt the piece that was missing - filled - overflowing. Now she would have him for the next few days - as we agreed - as we wanted, for her.  

But I feared. 

I feared he was going to forget me and be drawn to her. The one who loved him and nourished him for months. The one who was familiar. 

And I feared more. 

She carried him for nine months and she was gonna fall even more in love and she's gonna change her mind. 

The whole night we had him, it was as if all my worries and fears, now that he was here, had arrived. I kept telling Ben faithlessly  - "She is gonna change her mind, you saw him, he's perfect - she isn't going to want to give him to us." 

Ben was tender and comforting. We were at our most humble. We were undeniably broken. 

I kept thinking I must of felt like Abraham. He was given his heir, Isaac, finally after years. And then God asked him to sacrifice him. 

I had to remember the Word said, “Early the next morning, Abraham set out...”-Genesis 22:3

He was prompt and complete in his obedience. 

He bound his son - the one he loved and prepared to kill him - to honor God’s request. 

But in Abraham’s full obedience, right before he strikes Isaac, God stops him. In Abraham’s obedience, God was honored. God honored Abraham’s faith with a ram. God gave Abraham something else to sacrifice. 

He goes on to say in verse 17 and 18, “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”(see full story in Genesis 22:1-18)

I wanted to honor God. He was my reward, not Pax. I realigned my focus and my faith and I put my trust in the Almighty. 

We were able to see him a bit the next few days and had family visit. My parents were in love. Ben's close relatives that lived in town visited and got to meet him briefly. We did not want to over step and take Lesa's time with him. 

I was able to spend time with Lesa. I just wanted to hang out with her - but I didn't want her to think I was coming to just oversee her time with Pax. I genuinely wanted to see her. We also got our online gift in the mail - a necklace with a brass shoe and a blue pearl and a "C" for Charlie engraved on a small medallion. Lesa had set her mind and connection with him - as baby Charlie. 

As much as I wanted to see her and make sure she was okay - I wanted to hold and be with Pax more. It was different now. The Promise had come. It was no longer about Lesa or us - it was about him. 

I just remember I never left the hospital. I didn't want to miss any chance to see Pax or any news of him and his 'check-ups'. The first morning our Pediatrician that we picked got to see him and was so incredible with our needs, as his soon to be full-time parents. He let us know Pax was healthy and really strong. He actually lifted his head up the first morning of life while on his belly when getting checked. We were so proud. At the same time we were so nervous and emotional. I would find myself crying, in gratefulness but also in wakes of fear and in impatience. I just wanted to bond with him. I also cried at the thought of what I was doing - I was taking a baby from a woman.  

More than all the details of the next few days - what I remember most was spiritual heaviness that was happening. I KNEW Pax was God's gift to us. I had to remain faithful that Lesa would stay faithful and obedient in giving us Paxton. The first night in the hospital there was some serious spiritual stuff going on. Ben and I could feel it. As much as I felt the Lord's presence - we both felt a battle. We knew God had something huge in store for this little baby. Ben and I didn't doubt it...nor do I think the enemy was oblivious to it. 

"A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." -Ephesians 6:10-12

I believe in demons. I believe in the Devil. I believe he doesn't desire goodness and for us to have hope. He is a liar and a cheat. Jesus came to set things straight. He died for us to have POWER of everything the enemy throws our way. Jesus went as radical as death because of the reality of spiritual warfare. 

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." -John 10:10

I say all that to share and document the next few paragraphs. 

Ben and I were spurred to pray many times throughout the day. For Paxton, for Lesa, for the adoption but also for Paxton's life - what God was calling him to do. We saught God on direction, guidance and wisdom on how to raise him up. A battle was raging and all we could find ourselves doing was pray. As we waited, while Lesa got her time with him, we prepared ourselves in prayer. 

And we weren’t off from our senses. A very real battle happened.

The second night in the hospital, the plans were made, baby Paxton would stay with Lesa. I was broken. I yearned for him. She would have visitors - they would hold my baby and share in his first days of life and we didn't know them.  We would hear him cry and I would weep. Ben would hold me close and we'd snuggle on the hospital bed in our room. 

We were able to give Paxton good night kisses and tell Lesa sweet dreams and we went in our room, shut the door and snuggled on the bed - that was really intended for one. We eventually fell asleep. We were restless. I was waking up often - sweating and crying and praying. Something wasn't right. I fell back asleep only to be woken up by Ben saying, 

"Jamie, Jamie...go check on Lesa and Pax. Go into her room." 

He was serious. This was real. This was urgent. 

We could feel it. There was something spiritually happening in her room. 

I knocked on her door and peeked in with her "come in"...She was on her bed, sitting erect and alert. She looked exhausted. She was holding Pax closely. Some thing was in her room. I knew she hadn't slept since the night before. By her very appearance, she was very much aware of what I was feeling. But I didn't know where she stood with the reality of spiritual warfare and such.  
At this moment, it became clear to me why the Lord had called me to fast. I mumbled prayers under my breath as I sat down in her rocker. It was warm - she had been here recently. I peered at her and we talked for a moment. She began to relax. She showed me pictures of her and pax and was messing with her computer. I prayed lightly. Whatever was in here was moving. I rebuked it..then... it was like... the room got silent...even though it sort of was..Pax asleep and Lesa on her computer and phone..and I on the rocker. I can't explain it but it was loud, uneasy and "busy"..then it all went away. 

I looked at Lesa as she was blasting worship music from her gadget. She set her computer up near the sink and continued to hold Pax. I asked her if she needed anything. She just wanted me to stay. So I stayed. She relaxed in her bed and laid her head back. Still holding Pax she asked me how we were. I began to tell her - when she dozed off. I kind of giggled because it was instant. She was exhausted. I said "Lesa" a few times loudly as I got up and walked towards the bed - then making sure Pax was okay - I prayed. I touched her hand and her shoulder and I prayed. Outloud, I prayed. I sat back down and just watched her and him sleep. A few moments later Pax began to cry. I waited to see if Lesa would wake up. She never moved yet he continued to cry harder. She obviously was exhausted. So I took Pax from her chest and changed him. I was unsure when he had ate last but from his serious sucking gestures I made the decision to feed him. 

Lesa woke up when the nurse came in to check on her. We chatted a moment and she dozed back to sleep. I stayed in the rocker just holding him. It was the first time I was able to have a moment alone with him without visitors since our first night. 

"And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." - Exodus 33:19

It was about five in the morning at this time and my best friend, April, was working in the hospital. I walked Pax to our room and April was able to snuggle him a bit. I left Lesa and my door open in hopes that if I hear her wake up I can bring him back in. I felt guilty having him in our room so at about 6 or 7 I put him back with her and headed to the cafeteria with April to eat. I had the worst migraine and hadn't left the maternity floor since Pax's birth but I needed to get away and just process. April was so timely and in this moment I was reminded why I loved her so much. She didn't do anything extraordinary - she merely stayed with me and talked. She rubbed my back and fed me pain medicine. I was an emotional basket case and she was unfazed, encouraging and nurturing. 

I headed back to the room. The day had started. I needed a nap...so I napped..in hopes that when I woke - we would be given our discharge papers.