Steve and I were getting excited as we were nearing the birth of Joshua. I was finishing up work, getting the baby bag ready for the hospital, getting ready for my family to arrive from Iloilo and Manila… Lots of exciting stuff were happening.
Suddenly, about a week before Joshua’s delivery, we got news that my father-in-law got confined in the hospital. This time around it was serious. My father-in-law who we all fondly call “dad” is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Our joy about Joshua’s arrival felt sort of bitter sweet. We were expecting our first baby, and at the same time we knew that dad would have very little time with all of us.
Steve would be tearing in the room and really felt sad about this. I found myself crying too because dad prayed for this little one. He looked forward to meet Joshua. He was so excited for us to have our own family. I remember I would get calls from dad checking on my pregnancy and asking I give birth in Manila. But we stuck our guns on giving birth in Gensan because I was not ready to be apart from Steve on my last trimester. My husband works in Sarangani and to give birth in Manila it meant on my 30th week I have to be based in Manila. So we decided Gensan would be the best option.
With that decision, the natural consequence was for us to stay in the province for Christmas and rejoin my husband’s family after Christmas. Although in my heart, I prayed to God to allow us to spend Christmas in Manila. This was the Christmas that my husband’s siblings who lived abroad would come home as well. All the more I desired for Steve and the newest member of the family to be together with the rest during the holidays.
After the delivery and bringing home the baby, I began checking the airlines and found that the youngest traveler should be at least 16 days old. Any younger than that the airlines refrained a child from traveling. I began counting, 16 days old meant after Christmas. I began to pray and claimed God will permit us to go before that.
I tried my luck booking tickets for us and the airlines were really strict about the age. So I called a friend who worked in the airline and ask if we can be given an exception. After explaining to her in tears that we needed to show our little one to dad. She still told me that rules are rules and there would repercussions flying a baby that early. Nonetheless she would try to ask. I was asked to draft a letter stating our concern to the head of their medical services unit. I continued to pray and believe God would do something as I drafted a letter pleading the allowance of our newborn to take the flight. However, I also trusted that if God will not allow us to go, we would stay in the province and it would still be good for us.
After sending the letter, I spoke to my friend and thanked her for helping. I also told her I was willing to submit to the result of the request whether it was negative or positive.
In about a couple hours I received a call giving us a go signal to book our flight and to fly with us a doctor or nurse as an insurance in case we may have complications with the baby on flight. The very next day, Joshua’s 10th day from birth, he became the youngest passenger on that flight. My heart was overjoyed and moments on that flight my eyes were flooded with tears for God has once again answered our prayers. Joshua was such a good boy and a very quiet baby on that flight.
When we got to manila we sneaked the baby in the hospital. It would be the first time for Joshua and his grandfather to meet. When they finally did, there was not a dry eye in that hospital room. It was a blessed day for the family.
Looking back that December we celebrated my son’s very first Christmas and it was his grandfather’s last. Trully, God’s timing for everything is perfect and we feel blessed and favored to have this quality time as a family.