I am so incredibly thankful Heather is willing to share her view points too. Below you will find her response to the previous blog post regarding the day we filmed our video (check out the last post if you didn’t see it yet!!) I am even more thankful she has these pictures. What a memory to treasure forever!
First, it’s funny reading about how Jessica had anxiety about me coming to their house and was worried about the cleanliness of it, etc.. The reason why that’s so funny to me is because I totally went through the same exact feelings the first time they came to my home. I was worried they were going to think my house was messy or they would think I’m weird for using my dining room as a bedroom for my baby. I was worried and had anxiety about things I didn’t need to be worried about, just like Jessica.. We really are similar in a lot of ways. The truth is, I don’t care if I walked into their home and witnessed a big mess, clothes laying there waiting to be folded or put away, dishes needing to be done, etc. I don’t care about any of that stuff at all… & I know they don’t either. The thing about Jessica and JJ is that I am almost 100% positive that I am always going to see the best in them, no matter what. They’re just the GREATEST in my eyes. They always have been, and they always will be.
I remember playing music the whole drive up to their home, because I was SO nervous and I was thinking way too much. When I got there and saw them, my heart was overflowing with joy and happiness to be in their presence. They always welcome me with love, and sometimes it just feels like a dream. Like a little piece of heaven on earth. Jackson was walking! He was so happy, so big, and wow, he looked just like my baby pictures.. Neither Marvell, nor Mya ever really looked like me as babies to the point where I could compare my baby pictures with theirs and see a resemblance. To look at this little boy and see so much of myself, it was new to me. It was overwhelming & for a couple minutes, I didn’t even focus on what we were about to do. A video shoot? Really? I totally was not ready for a video shoot. I didn’t know what to expect, and I didn’t know what type of questions they would be asking me. During my interview for the photo shoot, I was nervous, I kept stuttering, wasn’t feeling very confident, but I did my best at that time. It was all a learning experience for me, a stepping stone.. Ultimately, I hoped that our story would help both birth parents and adoptive parents in their own journey.
When Jessica and JJ did their interview for the video, I got to hang with Jackson! Our social worker was there as well. We hung out in Jackson’s room with his toys and books. Definitely a time I will always cherish. The first thing we did was read a book. To my surprise, he sat there nicely with the book and turned the pages all by himself while I sat behind him and read to him. Not even 1 years old, yet!!! I thought, wow, they are doing an AMAZING job and he is SO smart! Then we played with some toys and we were having a great ol’ time. I was SO enjoying his smile and laugh. He started to get a little fussy. Well, I figured out he was hungry so I held him and fed him his bottle just staring into his beautiful eyes, thanking God for that opportunity. When he was done, we played a little more, but he started to get fussy again. I wasn’t sure what was wrong at first. I might be his birth mom, but Jackson isn’t my child. I can’t differentiate his cries, and I didn’t have that special supermom power for him, to be able to tell what he needed, because, well, I’m not his mom – Jessica is.. He started to reach for the door handle in his room, so it made it clear he just wanted his parents! & he wanted his parents really bad! That didn’t hurt my feelings, I just wanted to do everything possible to make sure he was comfortable until they were done. I tried to do my best at distracting him. We played airplane, and he liked that. I made sounds and faces and lifted him up into the air. If there was even a couple of seconds without some really cool interaction, he would start crying again. He REALLY wanted his parents. This went on for quite a while, then, relief! JJ and Jessica were done with their interview, and Jackson was comforted right away. He just wanted them. That made me happy, and relieved. Jackson was so in love with his parents, and they were so in love with him. & that’s everything I could have hoped for him to have.. That whole experience in Jackson’s room was just God’s grace pouring down on me – every single part.
We did some more video shots altogether. We walked outside, and we took some personal photos before it was time to go. As we were getting ready to say goodbye, I was holding Jackson and he gently grabbed the “J” necklace I was wearing – the necklace his mommy and daddy got for me while he was in my tummy.. His parents caught that moment in a picture, and I just LOVE that picture of me and him!
I’ve mentioned this before, but God made me a TRUE believer while I was pregnant with Jackson. (That was HUGE for me – at age 24 – to finally believe in my heart God was real with no doubt)…. Since becoming a believer, I have struggled. I have struggled with my identity, I have struggled with my faith, and I have struggled with my obedience in the Lord. I have struggled many times with so many things. Looking back on these last couple of years, it amazes me how these meetings with Jackson and his family impacted my life so much for the better.. Let me explain…
When I was pregnant with Jackson, I was the most faithful, obedient, and graceful lady I have ever been in my whole life. After Jackson was born, even though I was emotional, that fire inside me was still strong and burning. I kept my head in the word. I attended bible study classes for the first time in my life, I was becoming a better mother to my children, I started going to a prayer group, and learned how to pray and I just started learning so much. A couple of months before this video shoot though, the fire was fading and I was allowing bad thoughts and situations to take over the light. At that point in my life, I didn’t know anything about “God’s armor” and I wasn’t equipped….
So, after this video shoot with them, I got back in the word, started praying again and seeking fellowship. I even volunteered to be a Vacation Bible School teacher for a week, something I never thought I could do. It’s hard to explain, but it’s just so beautiful how these three lead me back “home” just with their presence.. & that wouldn’t be the last time, either..
Anyways, when I saw this video for the first time, 3 things stuck out to me the most. One, seeing Jessica cry explaining how she experienced something she never thought she would, because of me. Two, JJ saying “it’s all about Jackson….. it’s all about Love”….. & 3, the whole video is just real moving & I am honored to be a part of it.