“Have you ever had moments in your life that leave you completely speechless, in a good way? The types of moments that are surrounded by pure love, but total shock. The ones that you could absolutely never recreate the emotions for. For some, that may be a proposal they never saw coming. Or maybe it’s getting accepted into a school they thought was untouchable.
For me, it happened on May 2nd of this year when we welcomed our baby boy, Bowie, into the world.
We had waited all pregnancy to be surprised by the gender of this baby. He was our sixth, and we had waited once before with our second. So we knew how special that moment is when you meet your child for the first time and find out whether you’ve been growing a boy or a girl for the last nine months. The magnitude of that specific moment is impossible to describe, but believe me when I say – it’s completely magical.
Bowie being a boy was a lot more significant for our family than a baby boy may be for others.
My husband Tim and I had birthed four biological daughters prior to Bowie. Two of them being identical twins, which was probably another one of my most speechless moments in life. When our twins were born, we had zero plans of ever having more children. Little did we know that just a few months after their birth, we’d adopt my brother Easton.
My father was dying of stage 4 pancreatic cancer and Easton had just lost his mom. I don’t know what got into me, but I knew I had to step up and raise Easton as my son. Call it what you will; divine timing, crazy intuition, or just a daughter trying to answer her dying father’s wishes. But Tim and I accepted this little boy into our lives just days before my dad’s final breaths. He moved in with us and our four very young daughters to become a part of our family. We were, in that moment, juggling life as parents of five under 4. Honestly, I’m not sure how we did it. Survival, mostly. (insert nervous laughing emoji)
Over the last three years, Easton has been immersed in a world of girls. While he has a huge affinity to trains and cars, he also loves nail polish and baby dolls. Or maybe he’s just always suckered into playing what his sisters want because he’s quite outnumbered by them. Tim takes him out to do ‘boy things,’ but 95% of his world is surrounded by tons of estrogen.
He’s repeatedly asked to share a room with someone just like his sisters have always done. Ever since Easton came into our lives, he’s consistently been a very loving, affectionate child. While his sisters all have someone close by to sleep with, Easton has yearned for that same closeness.
When we do family pictures, I tend to have the girls’ outfits either match or coordinate. Easton would often ask why nobody would match with him. I think after a few years, he started to feel like the outcast. Not because he was ever left out of anything on purpose, but because he realized he was the only boy. We’ve always been very open with him about his situation and I think the older he gets, the more he understands about being the only child that didn’t grow in my belly. He’s 5, he’s never said any of this because I don’t think he can fully comprehend all of his feelings yet. But as his mom, I can just sense it.
I desperately wanted to give Easton a brother. Someone to play trains with. Someone he could teach the difference between Chevy, Ford, GMC, and all of the other car signs of the world. Someone who would play catch with him. Someone he could confide in when mom and dad were being too strict. Someone he could relate to…really relate to.
The odds of us having a boy biologically were pretty slim after having four girls. We threw around the idea of adoption again, but the process of adopting a child that isn’t biologically related to you is a lot more complicated. So we decided to take the chance to have a boy ourselves. We just assumed the whole pregnancy that the baby was a girl.
But this time it was a boy. A beautiful, 8-pound baby boy.
Seconds after Bowie was born, the amount of love that radiated all around that room was so tangible. It’s so hard to describe. It’s one of the few moments I can say I completely felt my dad there. He, no doubt, had a hand in this.
He sent us a son. He sent Easton a brother. A BROTHER!
The beauty of that realization was overwhelming. I still honestly can’t wrap my head around how perfectly orchestrated this whole thing has been. You watch these types of stories play out in Lifetime movies. But this was actually happening to us. Even more, it was happening FOR us.
I was going to be happy with either a boy or a girl. But Easton? Our dad in Heaven knew he needed a little brother. Our father can’t be present in Easton’s life anymore, so he gave him the next best thing. He hand-picked the little soul that would make the best fit for him. He gave him the best gift that he possibly could.
My dad sent us hints for 2 years about having another baby. We ignored them for so long. But he was persistent in showing us that there was a little one missing from our family. He knew better than we did. He could see how perfect this last addition would be for us, even when it didn’t make sense in our minds. He knew. He had Bowie ready to go for us and sent him at the ideal moment.
I picture my dad holding that little boy, telling him all about the family he was about to join and how monumental his life would be for us. I imagine him singing him all of his soon-to-be siblings’ favorite songs so that when they sang those songs to him, he would be comforted by the sound. I suspect he never set that baby down until it was our turn to hold him.
When the kids came to the hospital, they were instantly infatuated with Bowie. My husband Tim said to them, ‘Okay, any last guesses? What do you think the baby is? A boy or a girl?’ The four girls shouted, ‘GIRL!’ and Easton just looked up smiling. He didn’t even guess, he just patiently waited for us to announce it. The anticipation was slowly killing him (and me!). I held Bowie in my arms as I told them, ‘You all got a… baby… BROTHER!’
Easton jumped up and yelled, ‘YES! I knew it! I knew it was a baby brother! I knew it, mama! I just knew it! Now I get to share a room!’ The pure joy that radiated from him is something I hope he never forgets. I hope he always remembers the moment I told him that he got a little brother. I hope he always remembers how exciting it was for him to hear those words.
We let Easton hold him first. Tim laid him in his arms and the very first thing he did was sing, ‘You are my sunshine’ to him. Nobody prompted him to do it, it was just naturally what he came up with in the moment. It’s like he knew this whole time that his little brother would light up his life. His sisters joined in to sing with him. He just smiled and smiled at Bowie the whole time he held him. He couldn’t get over the fact that this little boy was real. None of us could, honestly.
Easton had a brother. It was something none of us ever thought would actually happen. But there he was, the little boy Easton dreamed of having in his life. A playmate. A best friend. A potential best man in his wedding. The one missing piece in his world.
Sons. Plural. All because our sweet dad was lovingly looking out for us from heaven.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Molly Schultz of Tried and True Mama. You can follow her on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
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