We have this kind of wacky story of how we ended up with kids…
When I met John he was a widower with a baby girl – his first wife, Joyce, was killed in a truly tragic car accident. Jessica, the beautiful baby girl was 6 months old when her Mom died, and – well, I was in love with her from the moment I met her some time later. Here we are so many years later – heck, she’s turning 17 this summer! – and I honestly forget that she’s not the child of my womb.
What is it about that? The whole child of your womb thing? What thing is it that God knits into our hearts that makes us women have this incredible need to produce a child? That’s a topic for another day – but suffice it to say I experienced it. You see, John and I got married a month before I turned 30. The biological clock was definitely ticking.
So, some months after we married we found I was pregnant. We rejoiced – however, that very pregnancy shortly ended in miscarriage. My Mom had gone through multiple miscarriages, so I’d assumed I’d be a candidate for miscarriage as well. Several months later we learned once again that I was pregnant. This time I carried the baby – a girl that we named Elizabeth – for 23 weeks, at which time she would be born grossly prematurely, and would live for only 4 minutes. She’d be 15 come this October if she’d lived. Hard to imagine our lives with another teenager in the house – but oh, she’d fit right in, I know that for sure.
Time went by and we experienced five more miscarriages. After some time I just didn’t get pregnant any longer – and after over a year of concerted effort – I underwent a procedure to determine if there were scar tissue or blockage. They did find some blockage - the procedure broke it out. That was on June 5th. On June 9th I was pregnant. At 18 weeks gestation – with what we were CONVINCED was a girl – I went into pre-term labor once again. My perinatologist put me on bedrest and appropriate medications, and to bed I went. Jessica was 4 at that point in time… she was so adorable. She’d climb up onto the bed next to me and “read” to the baby, sing to the baby, and try to feel the baby kick. At 36 weeks gestation I went into full blown labor – and hours later, by emergency c-section - 9 pound 9 ounce, 21 inch long William James McBride was born.
Jessica was actually the first one to hold him. See? Aren’t they adorable?!
William was a determined little guy – even with some compromises due to his rough start at birth – he was so laid back and happy. What a blessing! At 10 months he took his first steps. It wasn’t long before he was running. He was known for his love to laugh and adorable smile.
William also had the most interesting trait – a steadfast and deep rooted dislike for God, Jesus, church, and the like. When Jessica was a toddler you could hear her singing, “Trust and Obey” sweetly as she awakened from her nap. If you tried to get William to sing “Jesus loves me” with you – he’d get a very determined look on his face and soundly refuse. I won’t lie to you – it scared the living crap out of me! I’d prayed from the first nanosecond that I knew I was pregnant with that kid that he would grow up to be a Godly man, with a heart that loved to worship God!
When he was 4 years old William came into my room, climbed onto my lap as I sat in the wing chair, with wide eyes and a very solemn spirit he said quietly. “Mom. I need to ask Jesus to forgive me. I want to love Him. I want Him to come into my heart.” And so, that night – he did just that. I know – he was only 4. Gosh, I was 15 when I became a believer. I thought, “Is this real?” But let me tell you something – from that day forward something significant in William changed. His heart. There was a softness and sweetness of spirit that hadn’t been there before. As great and laid back a kid he’d alwasy been before – from that day forward that onery determination against the things of God was gone. All of a sudden he loved the things of God! He loved church! He loved choosing to obey God.
I am completely and 100% serious when I tell you that I wept tears of joy over that!
William - about age 4
So, the kid’s been doing some growing up. He’s nearing that amazing age – he’ll be 12 1/2 in August. He’s so
……self-directed, self-disciplined, longsuffering, an amazing friend, a delightful son. I am so proud to call him my child. His life is marked by the things that I hope to attain at some point in time!
But there are some things about William – er… BiL, I should explain.All the time he was growing up, when you asked him what his name was, he would say “William.” He didn’t want to be Will, Bill, Willy, Billy, or any derivitive thereof. We figured – whatever! We liked the name, if he wants to use it – fine!
This year William moved to Middle School. Yep, he’s a 6th grader now – and juggles multiple classes, lockers (you know, the main one, the PE one), peer pressure, stress, etc – all pretty off-handedly. He’s got it covered. Somewhere fairly early on in the school year in one of his classes, a girl asked him what his name was. He said, “William.” To which she responded, “Oh, BiL.” And it stuck.
You should know you can only call William “BiL” if you spell it right. I.e., don’t call him Bill. Call him BiL. Got it? Apparently even his teachers get it!
Another thing you should know about William is that he wants to be his own person. He wants to be unique and individual. And he’s not afraid to try some different stuff toward that end.
Like – it wouldn’t be all that out of the ordinary for him to get a mohawk.
Or dye his hair blue…
or….. you get the idea.
This year he shaved his head – like yeah – with a shaver. The case of razor burn he got was pretty profound. I felt so bad for him!
And this year – just a couple of weeks ago, he decided to do this:
- BiL’s first piercing
…get his ear pierced!
Okay – so there’s something you need to know about me. I’m into piercings. At one point in my life – oh, gol, nearly 30 years ago – I had 7 earrings on each ear. Three at the cartlidge at the top and four on the lobe on the left ear, and four at the cartlidge at the top, and three on the lobe on the right ear. When I was 20 I had my nose pierced. When I had babies – who thought it was great fun to pull on Mommy’s earrings I let them all close up. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I started getting them back.
So – I know – some of the Moms out there aren’t gonna get this – but I gotta say: I’m just so happy for him! He was so BRAVE! We go to The Black Hole
for this sort of thing – and this ain’t no mall type piercing place. They are as clean and sterile and manual as it gets – no ear piercing gun – they use a big old honking needle and pierce you. (Seriously, the best piercings I’ve ever had!) Not only did he want to get pierced, but he was serious enough about it to save up his own money for it and get it done.
I’m so proud!
Just so you know – I’d much rather my kids be pierced and tatooed and wholehearted followers of Jesus than not and out smoking, drinking, doing drugs, and being sexually promiscuous. That’s just me! I’m a little wierd, I admit it!
So back to BiL (who, by the way, goes by William at home – well, unless you’re talking about BiL’s Farm Fresh Eggs – his egg business).
This kid is SO BRAVE on so many fronts.
When we were in Denver in April for his evaluation and treatment at National Jewish Health
- on the first whole day we were there, he turns to me and says, “We gotta find a church for Sunday. I want to go to youth group.”
Okay – I don’t know about you – but when *I* was his age there was NO WAY I was gonna go waltzing into some foreign youth group – all alone – and make myself at home. But that’s just what the kid did. He’s so stinking brave! Did I mention determined yet?
And – then – about a week and a half ago at youth group here at home an announcement was made that they’d be having a robot dress up contest for the following Wednesday night youth group meeting. In the ensuing week William thought through, designed, and then built this:
Jonathan and BiL
An honest to goodness head to toe (Jonathan duct taped an old pair of tennis shoes for him) robot costume.
And yes, he wore it to youth group last Wednesday.
And yes, he won.
This kid has SPIRIT!
He’s been through so much. He’s got health concerns that are big and daunting and have every right to be depressing. But he chooses not to be. He’s so positive and so proactive and so responsible.
I only dreamed of being half as responsible as he is at that age!
So… I guess this is a brag on William post. I can’t help it. I just gotta.
Just in case you wondered, BiL has determined that he’s going to grow up and be a doctor. I’d kinda hoped he’d grow up and be a farmer. Honestly, he has all of the markings of a good engineer, too. But being a kid whose been through surgeries and myriad doctor’s appointments – and experiencing REALLY great doctors – and some who were really not so much – he thinks he has something to offer to the medical field. He told me last week that he may join the Navy to go to medical school. I said, “Sure, okay. Whatever.” I didn’t tell him they’d make him take his earring out, though.