Actually he has been a father for 3 years now. A lot of people don't know that Todd and I actually have 2 children. Both are with the Lord. Three years ago we found out we were pregnant after going through a long road to get there. Todd and I fell in love with our child immediately. We began making plans and dreams for our life. Unfortunately, too soon, we discovered the baby wasn't developing and I would have a miscarriage. We were heartbroken. We never knew if our child was a boy or a girl. So we gave our child the name Avery. I always liked that name for both boys and girls. I then decided his or her middle name would be Lynn, like me. Our oldest child is with the Lord right now with his or her younger sibling, Gideon. I am so glad they are there waiting for us!
After we lost Avery, we started to try again for another baby, it would be a very long, hard 2 and a half years before the Lord would allow us to conceive Gideon. He was a miracle from the start. His existence was a miracle because we didn't think we would be able to get pregnant without fertility medicine. My hubby became a daddy again. We were thrilled as can be and would tell anyone who would listen about the miracle God had done.
Immediately, Todd began to change from a husband into a husband and daddy. Lots of men don't really connect with their unborn children, but Todd did. I think it is because we went so long trying to have a baby and we knew that this could be our only child, so Todd dove in head first and loved our son without abandon. From October 23 last year, the day I found out we were pregnant, Todd started to change into a stronger man. Into a father. I saw an amazing transformation is happening in my husband in the weeks I was pregnant. Every single day, Todd's love for our child and his excitement grew.
Todd was interested in my endless updates telling him how the baby was developing that week. "Oh, the baby is growing fingernails this week" or "The babys heart has developed this week" or whatever. He would listen to everything I had to say about Gideon (and trust me, I talked about Gideon A LOT! I still do). Anytime Gideon started to move, Todd would put his hand on my belly in the hopes that he would be able to feel his son. He would talk to Gideon all the time. When Gideon would kick my bladder or my back would hurt, Todd would joke and say "No more Icees for you Gideon until you are nicer to mommy." That made me laugh. We talked endlessly about the plans we had for Gideon. Todd made his own plans for our son, special things Todd wanted to do with our son. He planned to teach Gideon to play golf. Todd wanted to teach Gideon a love for sports. We planned on taking Gideon to an Astros game for his 1st birthday. Todd wanted to teach Gideon about the love of the Lord. He wanted to teach him how to grow into a man of God and into a husband and a father. Todd dreamed and wanted so many things for Gideon way before he was due to arrive.
Todd has changed exponentially since we found out Gideon had passed away. He has always been strong, has always been a caring man and has always done what is best for our family. The moment Gideon was born, the moment Todd laid eyes on him, Todd instantly changed. And over the last month, my husband has transformed into this extremely strong, even more loving, and I think more brave man. Todd is so brave. He is a wonderful father, the most loving father I have ever seen.
I know that because of Gideon, he will be an even better father to our future children. Todd told me that he doesn’t think he would have changed like this so much if it weren’t for Gideon. And that if God used Gideon’s death to bring about that change, then he will praise the Lord for the work he is doing. He would rather have Gideon here, but that cannot be. Gideon changed his daddy, for the good.
Todd's love for me and my love for him has transformed and morphed into something new. We loved each other before with everything we had, but because of our son, our capacity to love each other grew. Also. our love for our son multiplied on the day he was born. When we laid our eyes on our son our hearts grew. I think of the story of the "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" when it says that the Grinch's heart grew three sizes that day. That is how we feel. It feels as if our hearts literally grew when we saw our son.
Thank you, Gideon. Thank you for everything you have done for your family. Thank you for showing us how deep love can reach. Because of you, your daddy is closer to the Lord. Because of the impact you made on us, your daddy is more passionate for Jesus. I can see that your daddy has become more compassionate and more loving towards others and he loves God more. Gideon, because you came into our lives, your daddy has more faith in the Father.We didn't go to church today because Todd didnt know if he could handle it. It has been an incredibly emotional day for us. Gideon's absence is a huge emptiness in our life and the celebration of father's day amplifies that emptiness. What do you do when your son is not with you to celebrate Father's day? How do you wrap your mind around the fact that your son will never be there hug you on this day? Gideon will never tell his daddy "Happy Father's day, I love you Daddy." He will never give Todd an ugly tie or some goofy golf paraphernalia. We will never see Gideon make his daddy a card for this day. When everyone celebrates on this day, Todd grieves. Really, words cannot describe the pain.
Todd is a daddy. You have to be a strong and loving father to survive what we have gone through. Some people might not recognize Todd as a father because our children are not alive. But, when you are filled with terror as you hear the words, "I am so sorry", you are a father. When you grasp your wife's hand as she is in labor to deliver your child who is stillborn, you are a father. When you hold your son's body and weep over him, you are a father. When you kiss your son's forehead and feel his cold skin on your lips, you are a father. When you have to pick out what clothes you want your son to be buried in, you are a father. When you cradle your wife every day as she cries because she misses your son, you are a father. When you go to work even though you are experiencing indescribable pain, you are a father. When you pray and cry out to God to heal your broken heart and give you peace, you are a father.
When You heal the brokenhearted and lift up those crushed, You are the Father.
I wonder what our kids are up to right now. Do they talk about their mom and dad? Are they anxiously and excitedly waiting for us to get there? I bet they are wishing their daddy a happy father's day. I know that even though we cry with emptiness today, they are joyful. And I know they are worshiping the Heavenly Father on this day and every day.