On July 10, 2013, at approximately 3:24 p.m. our baby girl had finally arrived. Although my wife was pregnant with her for 9 months, we had been expecting her for several years. Let me take you back about 6.5 years ago. You see, I was convinced that God would give us a daughter first. Both my brother and my sister had little girls and we had several friends who were having girls. Thus, I thought, “Why not me?” So my wife and I talked about potential names. We had some solid ideas like Madeline Jayne, Savannah Jayne, and Jacqueline Marie. Although we loved these names, we weren’t completely sold. Then we stumbled across a book series by Francine Rivers called The Mark of Lion Trilogy. One of the main characters in this Christian fiction series went by the name Hadassah. She was characterized as God-fearing, strong, and faithful, much like the Hadassah (Esther) that we read about in the Old Testament. Esther is a fascinating book and she was an amazing woman. Just like the book trilogy, the Hadassah we read about in the Old Testament is one you can’t help to admire and love. As my wife and I discussed this character from the book series as well as the inspired true story we have in our Bibles, we thought, “What about ‘Hadassah?’” We were immediately SOLD! We chose “Jayne” as the middle name to carry on the legacy of another great woman – my wife and her mother, Amanda Jayne.
Although we were expecting a little girl, God had other plans. About halfway through our first pregnancy, we discovered we were having a little boy instead. We were thrilled about bringing a little boy into our family, but we’d have to put our plans for a little girl on hold. Therefore, the name, Hadassah “Haddie” Jayne, went into the vault until God decided it was time for her to join our family. Twenty-three months after our first born, with open arms and hearts we welcomed our second boy into our family. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time with our boys over the last several years, but what about our daughter? What about Haddie? Would God bring her into our lives as part of His plan, or were we victims of the disheartening concept known as “wishful thinking?”
In November of 2011, we were met with devastation as God took a child of ours home only 5 weeks after life was formed. For months, Amanda and I grieved the loss our unborn little one, then, toward the end of October 2012, we discovered life was growing in the womb once again. We were excited, but scared at the same time. Our anxiety eased little by little as the weeks went by and our baby received good reports of health from the doctor. However, the question still on lingered, was this Hadassah? Was this the little girl we had been expecting for over half a decade? Several weeks into the pregnancy, which felt like years, it was revealed to us – it was her!
Yesterday, after a long wait and much anticipation, I observed as Hadassah Jayne entered into this world. As always, it was such an amazing experience! And just like the births of my two boys, Haddie’s was unique in its own. The moment we arrived to the hospital, I felt nervous. But this was a different kind of nervousness than I had felt with my boys. These weren’t the nerves of excitement and fear of being a first time father, nor were these the nerves that go along with wondering if you’ll be able to love your second child as much as you do the first. These were nerves of anticipation. These were nerves of finally getting to meet someone that has existed for years in spirit and in your heart – “Today, we are finally going to meet our daughter, Hadassah.”
She arrived at 3:24 p.m., and when I heard her cries for the first time, my heart filled with joy and my eyes filled with tears. She was beautiful, but boy was she mad! She screamed and cried, but it was still, nonetheless, amazing! As she laid on her mama’s chest, I said a much anticipated “hello” to my daughter, Hadassah Jayne. It was so surreal. I could not take my eyes off of her. After I cut the cord, I followed the nurses as they took Haddie from the arms of her mother to perform all the “necessary” evaluations on a separate table. She was still screaming and hollering and her limbs were flailing. My heart broke for her as the nurses poked and prodded her. So in effort to comfort her I stuck out my index finger, and to my surprise she took hold of it then pulled my hand to her cheek. As I felt the warmth of her face and softness of her skin, my heart began to melt. I know it was probably only for a moment, but that is one moment I will cherish for a lifetime. Although she had her little hand tightly gripped around my finger, I think it was evident to everyone in the room that it was me that was wrapped around hers.
Although she has existed for years, she was only minutes old; but she held my hand as if she had been waiting to see me too. This is my daughter, my little girl, my Hadassah Jayne.
“And who knows, maybe you have been chosen to be the queen for such a time as this.” ~ Esther 4:14