Writing Your Silent Night

A few weeks ago I watched as Elliana braved the microphone to sing her first solo effort in front of a crowd of about a thousand church goers for the school Christmas performance. I was astonished by her 12-year-old courage—she’d only begun singing over the summer, and to make it more challenging the solo was in Castilian Spanish.

After eight years of competitive dance she’d changed her plan, and is now writing the chapters of new ambitions and dreams of her future.

What a change from the life I was leading 13 years ago.

We had just failed our cross country fresh IVF to St Barnabas in New Jersey, having put all of our financial, emotional and spiritual cards on the table.

Christmas was bittersweet, and the song Silent Night was always the most painful for me. The vision of that sleeping baby tore at my heart as I wondered if we would ever hear that song played in the background while rocking our own miracle child to its soothing melody.

The last song of Elliana’s Christmas show happened to be Silent Night.

Her music teacher talked about the history of the song, as they prepared to sing it in the original German it was written.

Apparently one of the authors of the song,  Franz Gruber,  was preparing for midnight mass, only to find mice had eaten through the bellows of the organ. He had a couple of options—cancel the midnight procession, go without music, or compose a new song.

He chose to compose a new song, and it has become one of the most loved and recognized standards of Christmas music ever.

Our plan to go to St. Barnabas originated from the bellows of all of our previous IVF efforts having been eaten by the mice of failure. However, our Silent Night was still waiting in the freezer of St Barnabas, if we had the courage to change our plans yet again, brave a New Jersey January and take a chance that our future was about to be changed forever, and the music of a life with a child was going to begin.

A few weeks after Christmas 2001, we got on that plane to New Jersey.

A few weeks later, on January 22nd, 2002, we transferred two poor quality embryos, the last we had, into Lisa.

On February 1st, 2002, we got the news that our Silent Night had begun.

The Christmas of 2002, I watched in wonder, as Silent Night played in the background, and I held this tiny little girl against my chest, hearing the music of her breathing, and marveling at the sound of her cries. She has written lyrics to a parenting song that has filled every moment of our lives for 12 years now.

Your Silent Night is waiting to be written.

Dust off your pen and paper.

Scrap the old plan, the old song, the old lyrics.

Write your new song.

By next year, you could very well be ‘sleeping in heavenly peace’ with your dream baby.

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