Burdens

rocks

Image credit: here

So this past weekend I went on a women’s retreat and one of the activities that we did was let go of all the many burdens that we carry around with us each day and give it to God.

Well, those who know me, know how much losing Lamar still hurts and affects me.  I have had this post for 2 years now in my drafts in fear judgement and criticism of others. What I have learned is that I am forgiven, redeemed, and loved by God, and that is why I am able to finally be lifted of the burden I have been carrying around for years and share with you all.

So here is my story of my son Lamar Grant Johnson:

So this has been a long time coming, and let me tell you, some of my best friends don’t even know the real story of what happened with Lamar.  So please if you are a close friend, don’t think this the wrong way that you don’t know the truth, because only a select few do.

On March 26, 2012 the day we found out we were pregnant with Lamar, was probably one of the best days of our lives.  He was our first baby, and we just barely tried for one month and got pregnant! We were imagining our life together, welcoming our first child in November of that year. (I honestly think my due date with him was Rochelle’s birth day)

When we first got our first “abnormal” screening from my blood work around week 16, my Doctor didn’t think much, as I was a young 22 year old that was healthy with no previous history of anything.  He gave us the opportunity to go see a specialist if we would like, or we could just wait another month to get more blood work done and a better view of the baby on the sonogram.  It was this week that we found out we were carrying a boy, and boy were we excited!!

At the specialist on week 19, the doctor stated multiple problems with Lamar (ASD,VSD, Tetrology of Fallot) basically stating that his blood flow is opposite of most people and he would not be “compatible with life”. His entire heart was formed wrong, his hands were inverted, and did not open up correctly and they knew he was having multiple genetic problems, and then offered me the option of getting this brand new blood work done to test for chromosomal abnormalities.  Of course, Shane and I were on board since we did not want to do an amniocentesis unless absolutely necessary.

The blood work came back that everything was fine(no chromosomal abnormality), but the specialist still had her doubts and highly suggested that we get an amniocentesis done.  I was so hesitant, and crying so hard that the amniocentesis felt like the worst pain in the world, and I could feel the long needle going through every.single.layer of my stomach.  On July 6th, 2012 this confirmed our worst fear.  The doctor and counselor both stated that this did not come from Shane or myself and it was called no translocation. The doctor stated that he would be stillborn, or we would have to watch him suffer while taking his first and last breath as I delivered him.  They kept saying and saying over and over again the word “abortion” and some how convinced Shane and I that, that was really the only option we had.

I was right in my finals of my LVN program, and was heading towards my second semester of my RN program the semester after that.  I knew that if school ended in December, and I was due in November, that I would not be okay with having my child pass away and then me having to return to school that next day (the nursing program RARELY lets you miss a day of school–ever).

I was 23 weeks and 6 days, when we made the choice to have an abortion.  We prayed, and our asked for our families for prayers, and we just did not know what the right answer was, and we felt like God was not responding to our prayers at all (little did I know that we were not exactly waiting or being patient enough to hear His response as well).  We were new to the Christian life as a married couple and did not Jesus at the center of it all.

We had a week to make the hardest choice in our life from the moment we found out he had Trisomy 18, to the moment I had to make the hardest appointment in my life. On July 14, 2012 at 9:57am our son was born.  No, he was not the way I pictured him, and he looked exactly like the sonograms, I got to see his hands folded inward, his perfect pale skin, and even though they had to “put him together” for me to see him, I will never forget how perfect he looked. I am so sad that only I got to witness him, in front of a team who could care less about our situation, but I am so glad I did not take a lot of medication and got to feel everything.

While yes, we do think twice about our decision to have an abortion and still have our “what if” moments from time to time but we know we did what we thought would be best at that time.  It does mess you up, physically and emotionally having to end your child’s life knowing that at even given moment his would end on his own (inside of me, or at the delivery).

Because of our choice on July 14, 2012, we knew that if we were ever faced with the same situation, that we would continue the pregnancy.  You want to know why we fought so hard for Rochelle?  It’s because not only were we fighting for her, we were fighting for her brother, who never got that chance at life.  I am so glad God put Rochelle in our lives, and we knew exactly what to do with her, without ever for once thinking we were going to go through what we did with Lamar, again.  No, I will never again have another abortion, but it doesn’t mean we are bad people.  It means we did what we thought was best for us at the time.

I know, so many of you are going to be shocked, mad, hurt, and angry at Shane or I, but please do not express it to us in a rude or hurtful way.  This took so much courage for me to be able to speak about this, and I finally will have nothing more to hide and feel ashamed about.

Thank you to all of our family and friends who were there to support us, in making the hardest decision we have ever had to make in our life.  I am so glad that none of y’all judged us and you tried to put yourself in our situation as much as possible.  If you have ever been in my shoes, know that it is okay to speak about it.  It may take a while, but letting it go will eventually heal so many open wounds.

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

20 weeks and counting!!

halfway

Photo credit: nerdfitness.com

So this past week (Last Thursday 9/14/17) I had my 20 week appointment for the baby! It was a great one because we got to do the full anatomy scan, and I LOVE spending time seeing our precious miracle moving ALL around inside of me!

This time it started with the ultrasound (which we normally do this after I have given them my current weight and a urine sample) so it was a nice surprise to start with seeing the baby first!

This appointment the sonographer measures EVERYTHING about the baby thoroughly (especially given our past) and lets us know if anything appears abnormal (in which the doctor would have to run further tests to determine any abnormalities), and everything she measured and looked at turned out great! Shane got to attend this appointment with me and every time she said “that looks good” after measuring something, Shane gave a sigh of relief and had a smile on his face.

This baby is already 14 oz. and apparently has long legs and arms (just like Brielle did when she was in utero) and is looking great (and very healthy).

She did ask us to turn and look the other way when she had to measure the lower extremities, or at any point when she baby was rolling around and turning over, that it may expose the gender to us on the sonogram (we are still going to wait until we deliver to find out the gender–and yes, we already have names picked out for both genders).

After checking out the baby from the top, they then did this new (at least to me) procedure where they measure your cervix from a wand that they insert inside of you, to make sure that you are not showing early signs of labor, and they also check to see where your placenta is located to see the likelihood of your having a c-section vs. having a vaginal birth.  It was amazing to see! (Oh and everything panned out well for me, they said it is a definitely a go to try to have another vaginal birth)! 🙂

I then talked to my doctor about a few concerns, and he was proud of my vitals, and wanted to see me back in 4 weeks.

I also made an appointment to register at the hospital that I will be delivering at after my next appointment as well, which will definitely makes things real!

We know January will be here before we know it, and we will meet our newest addition to the Johnson family before we know it! But for now, we will enjoy the rest of the pregnancy spending time with our 5 precious kiddos who make our life whole!

I will definitely leave you with some pictures of the precious baby, and will keep all of you great followers up to date with how things are going! ♥

 

 


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©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

4 months

4

ANOTHER wild, busy, crazy month has passed by and now our foster baby girl is 4 months old!

Height: I swear I keep telling myself I will find my tape measure.. but every month I fail to do so! So I will def. get it on the 12th at her 4 month appointment!

Weight: 13 pounds taken at home scale.

Likes:

-To grab her feet! It’s the absolute favorite thing of hers at the moment!
-To play with her sisters! She LOVES Brielle and our 17 month foster baby girl SO much!
-To eat, I swear she is going through a growth spurt, because this girl can eat a lot! She is up to 4 oz. every 2-3 hours (sometimes every 1-2)!
-To sleep! She loves to nap, and is great at sleeping at night.
-Her mouth! Well, she has been teething like crazy!
-To be outside. I remember it used to be one of our “tools” to keep Brielle happy!

Dislikes:
– Still only a fan of the “perfect temperature” bath.
– Hates when she is trying to feed herself her own bottle and it falls out and she can’t quite grasp it to pick it back up to put in her mouth.

Teeth: She FINALLY has a tooth!! About a week and a half ago! Her second one will be here one day soon as well!

Language:
She is cooing and interacting so much lately, it is adorable!

Milestones: She is SO close to rolling over, that I am sure she will accomplish this any day now!

Upcoming:

Family visit (1 hour every week on Tuesdays)

MD appt: 4 month appt sept. 12th

monthly visits with ECI team

Monthly visits with team (now just legal worker and case worker)

I will leave you with some CUTE (but blurry due to her being in foster care) pictures! We just love this baby girl so much!💓

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

Still in shock.

hope-hero

♥ 379 days

♥3 hearings

♥ 1 trial

♥A LOT of ups and downs.

♥LOTS of hugs, cuddles, and kisses.

♥Sadness/heartache/pain when we had to say goodbye.

♥HOPE for the future once she returned to us after 2 weeks.

♥ Finally 1 answered prayer (that was prayed many times during this journey).

Today August 31, 2017 marks a day in history for the Johnson family. Today was the day of the trial for OUR baby girl (well our 17th month baby girl). Today God answered our prayers and led us to a place where we never in a million thought we would be this early in the journey of foster/adoption(because this usually takes years to get to).

The trial was set for 1:00p.m. in San Antonio.  I received a text message at 10:00a.m. from baby girls attorney saying that both the parents were already in the court room and both of them were agreeing to relinquishing their rights as baby girls parents. 10:17a.m The next text stated that it was official and the judge signed off, and they were no longer their parents and that baby girl would go straight to adoptions and be up for adoption within the next couple of months.

While this is never what we pictured happening, or even thought it was possible, it touches my heart so much that they are choosing to do what’s best for their baby girl and give her the best possible life with us.

I literally want to shout from a roof top with all of my excitement right now, but I have 3 kids napping at the moment.

I am hoping and praying for not only baby girl, but for her parents who are losing such a big piece of their life today.

I agreed with the biological mom that pictures and updates would be sent of baby girl and that Shane and I would see in the future about meeting up once a year around her birthday to get together. It isn’t official but I definitely want to keep my word as much as possible, because baby girl is our world and Shane and I are FOREVER grateful that they brought her into it.

I can’t wait to share the next journey of our lives with you all, and I am so ready to be babys girls forever mommy!

Image credit: here

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.