My absolute favorite doctor in the whole world had a baby in February (well, his wife had the baby, but he contributed his part).
Last Sunday, on Father's Day, I met him.
After church (have I mentioned we attend the same church?), I made a quick escape to the bathroom to, well, escape, but instead I ran into Dr. Wonderful in the lobby. When he spotted me, he started to run towards me. I am not kidding when I tell you that the man picked me up and gave the biggest bear hug I've possibly ever gotten from someone besides my dear husband.
I still think he may have mistaken me for someone else. ;)
Anyways, he asked me what was new and we chatted for a bit. Then I spot his wife behind him, who is standing beside a tiny car seat.
Hmm....the wheels are turning and suddenly it clicks into place.
I must meet his son.
I walked over to the car seat and peeked inside. I got as close as I dared (a safe three feet away) and took in the sweet perfection of his chubby face. He was awake and kicking his little legs with fierce determination. His mommy was talking to a friend and when he heard her voice, he squeaked with as much force as he could and stared intently in her direction. He knew her. He loved her.
My heart melted and broke at the same time. How is this possible?
I long for Owen. I long for the pain of our separation to be over. I long for life with my son in Heaven. I know I can't have Owen back here with me, but my heart still hopes and wishes, and breaks.
In the same breath, my heart hopes and wishes, and aches for more children. Children to raise and watch grow up; to show them God's great love and forgiveness as they learn to trust our Lord and grow in him. I know I can't replace Owen. I wouldn't dare try. Owen is his own person and will hold a place in our family forever.
My meeting, albeit short, with sweet little baby J. has healed the divide between desire for Owen and desire for more children. It is not polarized. It never was. They are connected.
In the same way a woman with two living children longs for a third, I long for a fourth and fifth and sixth. The woman with living children doesn't feel her love divide when the third enters. She is not patching a hole that was left unfilled by the other two. Her heart grows with each child conceived.
Owen's death did not increase or decrease my desire for children. On the contrary, his life increased my desire for children exponentially. My heart grew with him.
I can embrace both desires. Both good. Both right. And both point to a Savior who brings life.
*edited to add*
Thirty minutes after I wrote this post, I am running, running, RUNNING away as fast as I can from a baby and his happy mom. I have no shame in this. I do what I can. And today, right now, I can't be near such a spectacle.