Sunday, February 3, 2013
Welcoming Will. (A guest post from Donnie)
There are days in your life that leave a permanent mark on your memory and you are constantly reminded of those moments. The Birth of Baby Will Wesley Hayes has been one of those moments. Although the birth wasn’t specifically memorable in the sense that it is more special than any of the other children’s births but in a way it was. This young man has been waiting for a while to come to our family. I know he has because I met him a few years ago.
A few years ago I went to spend a few days in Denver for the International Sportsmen’s Expo. Since I live so far away from an LDS Temple I have made it a goal of mine that anytime I traveled I would find the nearest one and spend a day in communion with my Savior. These special moments of contemplation and prayer in a holy place can’t be duplicated for me. They have become more and more important for me to find peace and joy in my life.
So I planned on going but as the day to leave Petersburg arrived I found myself packing quickly and running out of the house. Little did I realize that not only did I forget my dress clothes but I also forgot my temple recommend that says I am worthy to enter the House of the Lord. I got off the flight in Seattle and realized what I had done. I made a few phone calls and was told that if I met the temple president he would call my Stake President and confirm that I was worthy to enter. See me going was really important to me. My family and I had just made some big changes in our lives with the move to Petersburg 6 months previous and I really wanted to keep myself as close to the spirit of the Lord as I could. I needed to communicate openly with my Savior and not have any distractions.
When I arrived in Denver I went to stay at the Grover’s home (great friends of ours from college) and began making plans on purchasing some clothes so I could feel like I was somewhat prepared to attend. I bought a new white shirt, some slacks, a tie, and a new pair of shoes. Not having very much money with starting a new business and all I knew this would put a dent in our budget but I couldn’t see myself being prepared spiritually if I didn’t make sure I was prepared physically.
I then grabbed directions to the Temple and hopped in the car. Sometimes in life you can literally feel like something is trying to make choosing the right difficult and my personality has a hard time not being upset when things are not going as I had planned. It is difficult for me to keep a clear mind and focus on those things of importance instead of dwelling on those things that are going wrong. Yup, thats right I got lost! After a few deep breaths and a simple prayer asking for help I finally made my way to the doors of one of the most peaceful and glorious buildings that I had seen in months. I entered and met with the Temple President, who after a few phone calls welcomed me into the Temple. After a wonderful Temple session I sat quietly by myself contemplating the changes in our family and our life. The peace that began to dwell in my heart was just what I was looking for.
As I sat there A young man appeared to me and introduced himself to me as Will and I knew he would shortly become a member of my family. I knew he was one of God’s most precious souls and he was waiting for us to be ready for him. I will admit at this point we had 4 wonderful children who I loved more than anything else in my life, but I was pretty sure that 4 children was more than I could bear as it was. How was I supposed to care for, protect, and teach 5 children? I wasn’t so sure that Heavenly Father knew who he was sending another child to. Was I capable of being that kind of Father? Could I find the patience and love to give to another incredible soul? Were all of these thoughts just my selfishness getting the better of me? At that moment in time though these thoughts were far away as I knew I would love and care for him because he would be mine. He would love me no matter how imperfect I was. He would teach and protect me better than I would him. I knew then and there that the Savior loved me and trusted me with a precious soul to guide through the trials of our mortal life.
That little boy stayed with me all weekend and when I returned home I shared with Meggan what I had experienced. I have an incredible wife because she trusts in the Lord and believes in me. She made the decision to have another child easy and supported me in this decision. 10 months later Maggie Mae Hayes was born and all I could do was cuddle her and love her and laugh knowing that we would need to have one more child.
6 children! If 5 scared me 6 was half a dozen! Needless to say I wondered if this was Heavenly Father and Will’s way of making sure that Maggie came here to Earth to a good family. I wonder if she was so important that Will made sure she came first. Maggie is a true gift to me and I love her adorable little kisses, but I still looked forward to meeting this young man in the flesh and holding him in my arms.
When Meg was ready to try again I was worried about what Heaven had in store for me. Would they send me another beautiful girl and make sure that I kept trying until I had a full dozen or would this finally be Baby Will? Meggan knew that I was so stressed by this that she didn’t even tell me that she was going to have her ultrasound. She didn’t want to see me depressed and scared, because this is really how I felt. Scared! More like Frightened that I wouldn’t be able to fulfill my responsibilities as father and husband. What if I failed miserably? What if they don’t love me? What if I disappointed them?
When Meggan showed up at my office with a present I was so perplexed beacuse it wasn’t my birthday or any other special day that I knew of. As I opened the bag and saw a pair of blue socks from Rexall Drug I knew that she had gone without me. I cried because he was finally going to make our family whole. He was going to fill our home with laughter and joy like we had never had before. He didn’t have to wait any more and neither did I.
When my Beautiful wife delivered Will Wesley on Thursday I knew that I would do the best I knew how, and I knew that even though we will have a few rough days Will would love me and be a precious part of our family. I’m so glad my Savior and Heavenly father deemed me to be the Father of such precious souls. Each one of my children are special in their own right and make me smile in their own unique way. I have a testimony that God speaks to man and shares with us important things to help us make righteous choices. I know he loves me and Meggan so much that he would trust us with 6 gorgeous individuals to love and cherish forever. I love you Mandy, McKenzie, Donnie, Melyssa, Maggie, and Will! You are the bright points in my life.