And they say God doesn’t do miracles…this might just change your mind.
Let me preface this before you start reading you might just need to pull up a chair—actually I highly recommend that you do, because your legs may go weak reading it. But in a good kind of way…this is a story that I have held in my heart since May 31st. And I can’t believe I got to be a part of it….I’m still reveling in it.
8/11/11 6:33 a.m.
I can’t sleep because I know I need to write about this…this story that has woven itself into the fiber of all that I am and no one can unravel it if they tried. I have been holding this wild,crazy,no one-would-believe-me story bottled up for 2 months…I have felt at times it was going to ooze out of my fingertips and onto this screen without me even doing a thing. It’s the first time in my life I had to tell myself over and over, “Lindsay you can’t write about it yet, not yet. For once in your life keep your mouth- rather your fingers -shut!”
If you are reading this then we made it…the ten days are over-everything is final. I truly believe God will bring to pass what He has so miraculously brought about as I sit here on August 11th,2011 the day before “our big day”.
So get comfy,grab some tissues and get ready to be AMAZED.
Here it is:
On May 31st I when the heat was beginning to say hello(you know one of those days when spring had handed off the baton to summer and the air was starting to get that thick feeling of warmth that you can dollop up with a spoon) I was in Target doing what I do best, getting diverted into perusing the aisles of “ what I don’t need, but really want.” It happens every time. Never been to the dadgum place without spending less than 50 buckaroos. As I was perusing the she sinks she’s sexy lip gloss,when Roman looks up and out of the blue says “ mommy, my ear huwwts.” I was trying to make sure he wasn’t being dramatic because he hadn’t mentioned this all day. I then replied, “are you sure,hun?” And he looked up with his big brown saucer eyes and snuffaluffagus eyelashes and said, “yes, I am for weeeal” ( a term he learned from Nicholas….)
So I pulled out my beat and battered i phone and called my pediatrician to see if she could fit us in as it was already 4:15. She said they had one appointment left before the office closed and she asked if could I come in straightaway. I said, “yes, that’s perfect we just happen to be in the area”( we live 30 minutes from the office from our house). I sorted through our fire engine red, bacteria ridden Target cart and sorted through what we needed and what we wanted and threw in a “Lightening McQueen” that was on sale for $1.99 as a I-feel-sorry-for-you-gift for Roman and headed up interstate 65.
We pulled up to the office–rather wheeled in like we were playing bumper cars with the curb. Roman and I schlepped ourselves out and into the office…my faux gold purse dangling off my right shoulder from its weight, Roman’s goldfish spilling on the hot black asphalt—it was just another day of our abnormally normal routine. I signed in,got called back immediately, saw the doctor and were officially declared with an ear infection. Good thing we were in the area or we wouldn’t have made it, I thought. So the doctor wrote the script and I asked her to call it into Walgreens in Green Hills because that’s near our house and I didn’t want to get stuck in pesky Brentwood traffic at 5 pm. So I headed out the door on a mission to beat rush hour traffic, only to be hollered at by the doctor. “Ms. Jennings, Ms. Jennings( they always call me this—makes me feel way too old!) you should go to Publix,that type of antibiotic is free there, forgot to tell you that. I knew she was right but I didn’t wanted to head home, but for the sake of the almighty dollar I headed to Publix which is right down the street from the office and the complete opposite direction of our house. But I first asked the doctor to call the prescription in so I would not have to wait.
I pulled up to Publix to find the parking lot like a puzzle with too many pieces, packed to the gills. I jimmied myself into some spot and when I got out it definitely looked like a drunk driver had taken over my vehicle. I trekked Roman into the store,hands stained with goldfish and with his bazillion trains and cars nestled in between his chubby fingers like his hands were some kind of temporary car garage. I scurried up to the counter, confident that his prescription would be ready and I would be on my merry way. The woman at the counter, looking quite medicinal, yet friendly, chimed in with a warm, “how may I help you?” I told her I had a prescription called in and she looked at me, kind of chuckled and said, “dear, our computers just crashed. Can you take a walk around the store for a bit, ‘til we get it up and running?” “ Ugh…sure”, I replied, while staring beyond the Cheeze-Itz on sale wishing I would have just headed home. I didn’t really want or needto buy anything as I had to just gone to the store, so Roman and I made it our little track and looped around. Just as I was diverting Roman from the candy aisle, my eyes rolled up and I saw two things: a massive thing of Digiornio pizzas on sale staring me in the face andmy good friend Boothe with her three kids.
I talk to Boothe all the time, but in the 17 years of knowing her, I have never,ever run into her. We live on different ends of town so I was a bit surprised as this store wasn’t really close to either one of us. “Hey,there I chimed in…what are you doing?” She got this big smile, yet it was on the canvas of a heavy face and before I could say a thing she said this to me:
“ I am so glad I ran into you, I have been meaning to tell call you. I need to talk to you about something. I know the grocery store is an odd place to tell you this…but, my aunt has been mentoring a young woman at church that is pregnant. She has yet to find a family for the child because she really wants to pick the family herself, not off paper. I really thought she’d find a couple by now. I know you weren’t looking to adopt right now, but I cannot get you and Seth’s names off my heart.”
As our kids ran up and down aisle #12, past all frozen items, I myself was frozen in time, thinking to myself, “wow, neat story..not really sure what to think, and I thought maybe I’d hear more,maybe I wouldn’t. I considered the facts, “ Boothe and I can barely get together for dinner without rescheduling 4 times much less her work out the details of an adoption. Besides, I didn’t want the details to work out…I was scared. Scared to get hurt.
The only reason I listened to her was because in battling this whole infertility thing we have fasted and prayed, and IVF seems to be the last option, yet in my inner most being I couldn’t find the peace to push the “go” button—and I have learned all too hard to act without God’s peace is foolishness and unwanted heartache. Seth and I agreed it was what we rather do over adoption right now as we both aren’t details people and the idea of writing papers and having someone inspect your house to deem you good “enough” at being a parent…a role which I felt confident in, overwhelmed me, and to be honest made me a little peeved. And to be truthful, our plan had always been that we would adopt later on in life. Because I feared I’d do all this emotional work and the birth mother would reject me, change her mind, and I just couldn’t reckon with it for lack of better terms. I just wasn’t willing to “go there.”
But the one thing I wrote in my journal time and time again, was “God if you want me to adopt you are going to have to chase me down. I mean CHASE me down, you hear me?!” So, when Boothe said all this, I felt a little whisper with a big voice that crying out like gentle thunder, “listen”. But once again I knew with Boothe’s schedule and mine, this was just going to boil down to a nice little conversation in the grocery store on a sizzling, steamy Tuesday afternoon. No more than that…
Once I finally got Roman’s prescription, I headed to the car, buckled Roman’s sweaty self in, then jumped in my my 105 degree oven of a car and then looked down at my phone, which I left in the car(shocker, I know!). There was voicemail from Boothe saying to call her that she had talked to her aunt and that she had also talked to “Annie”,the birth mom. And then she said, Annie cannot find a family she likes and she would like for you to call her as soon as you can. I got kind of nervous and called Boothe back and said I would have to talk to Seth first before I did anything.
Seth’s personality, is one to mull over things and think about them for days before making a decision, like those people that over chew their food, so is Seth with making in major verdict. I knew if I asked him about it his response would be my way out of this whole thing. The door would be closed, I would be done…I would not have to risk putting my heart on the line.
Later that night I told Seth about the whole encounter with Boothe, and to my surprise “He said,” wow..I really haven’t thought of adopting right now, but call her. Yes, call her.”
So, on June 1st the day after I talked to Boothe, I called Annie, and she answered. I didn’t know what to expect but for the first time in a long time, I bowed my head and prayed, “Jesus, whatever you want for my life, Whatever. I’m so over me. My plans. My agenda.” As I raised my head, I felt my spirit lifted. Liberated from a weight that was invisible but heavy—the weight of I’m- gonna- make- life -work -on -my own.
And with that I picked up the phone and I just knew there was nothing I could or could not say that was wrong or right because it was in God’s hands. We talked for about 45 minutes. I basically told her I wasn’t calling to convince her or sell her, because I wasn’t. I just felt like God was leading me somewhere. Where that was…I did not know. I believe God opens doors all the time, but sometimes we are not meant to walk down the hallway. So I didn’t really know what to do with all this. She was so nice,normal, and very bright…. I felt like I was talking to one of my friends at 26.
At the end of the conversation she asked if she could meet us for dinner I said, “ well, let me talk to Seth.” Seth was my out, as again this was fast, and Seth moves slowwww…he ponders and ponders. So I asked him and he sat there and he said, “I feel this nudging in my spirit that we should, even though this is all so fast.” I mean who meets with a normal,intelligent girl that is pregnant and wanting to do a stateside adoption without first seeking it, and second doing heaps of paperwork and waiting 2 years. This was just TWO days.”
That was June 1st, on June 2nd that night I went on an hour and half run….me,God, and my running shoes. My mind ran faster than my heart. I was scared and mad. Mad at God. Mad that I felt cornered. Mad that I felt He was up to something. Scared my heart would be let down one more time. Scared I’d give it my all and find myself with an empty womb and heart all over again.
My plan was one more biological child then adopt later when I was older, when it made sense. But the more I walked the anger and fear just oozed out with each step. I was just thinking that the most blessed times in my life are when I am in the center of His will, when I lay down my plans for His. And I had just finished this book “Counterfeit Gods” by Tim Keller. And I distinctly felt God say to may as I approached 42nd avenue, “Lindsay you think idols are things,stuff,posessions. Well, man’s biggest idol is holding on too tightly to what he thinks his life should look like.” And in that moment, I just felt peace run through my veins. How could I not see that idol wedged in my heart?
After that revelation, I didn’t feel God was “screwing” me over, or not listening to my cries, I felt like He was saying “yes, I know you are frightened and afraid of one more disappointment…I so know it. I just need you to put ME first, not your plans. I’m theultimate storyteller, lay down your pen—do you want a boring safe story or an adventure, Lindsay?.”
I finished up my run with sweat on my brow and peace on my heart. A solid peace that where God leads He provides. And there is no sweeter or better place than to be in His will. The weekend continued, and we prayed more and more. I wasn’t stressed, I just said once again, “God, I don’t know what you are up to but seriously if you want this for us, if you truly want this for us, MAKE IT OBVIOUS…so obvious that if we weren’t to obey we would feel we were being sheer disobedient.”
So we met Annie for dinner around 6 pm on June 6th—Seth and I got there first, as she was held up in traffic. We took a booth in the corner and I informed the waitress what was going on so there wouldn’t be a lot of interruptions as this was something I had never done before—talk about my potential child while ordering crab cakes and ice tea—most people have sex to contemplate a child, nope not us, we were ordering food. I felt like I was about to meet someone famous and I don’t even get impressed with renowned people, it’s just that I felt like what Annie was doing was so brave, so sacrificial that I was in awe of her. I stared at the menu, but was not reading it, my eyes closed and the ears of my heart opened to whatever God had to say and I prayed, “Jesus, be at this table, literally eat with us. Be here and pour out your peace and wisdom on this dinner”…and with that a very cute, pregnant woman in a yellow shirt came up to the table. I didn’t know whether to get her autograph or to hug her, but I reigned myself in and I greeted her with the most sincere hello I knew how. We chit chatted as much as one can chit chat in these bizarre circumstances, Seth prayed before we ate, and I once again I said , “Jesus, whatever you want for my life…half petrified, half full of great freedom in just saying that because I knew it wasn’t up to me.”
Seth told Annie he wanted her to ask us anything she wanted as we were an open book, she had felt all the other parents had only asked her questions, trying to pick the “perfect” child. We decided on the way there that this was her dinner—she was doing something so valiant, so selfless that we wanted her to feel freedom to ask whatever came to her mind. We had nothing to lose, so we said “ask away…”
Annie leaned back, rubbing her hands on her napkin and finishing a swig of her ice cold water and contemplated for a second. Then she leaned forward casually, but firmly and her first question was, “what was your relationship with your parents like growing up…your home?” Seth laughed and said, “ let Lindsay go first her childhood–she loved her childhood so much its kinda comical.” I laughed and replied, “well, I am not lying but I can’t really say anything bad about my childhood or parents, I have the best, most loving parents in the world. My mom and dad aren’t perfect, but they are perfectly imperfect to me. They are a true example of God’s unconditional love. And then I told her what was just waiting to surface, I was just not sure if once it surfaced I could keep my tear ducts from going into over drive…and this is what came out of the deepest part of my heart.
“My mom was pregnant as a teenager, sent off in the middle of the night amongst the many saddening details… and had to keep it secret from everyone except her parents—it’s a dark story drenched in a lot of shame and sorrow. So maybe the rockiest part of my childhood was seeing her hurt and deal with secrets and see my dad hurt as well….but I never felt insecure, I just felt God was making all of us stronger, purging our family of past generational sins. And then I said, “you know despite my mom dealing with a lot of pain and heartache, she somehow loved us so well, she never took out her hurt on us. Ever. I would dare say, God protected that bond between us and allowed her to love so well, that it had to be God’s grace. In fact I told my mom that very thing just the other night while talking on the phone,which I really did.” Seth chimed in and said, “yes, she has incredible parents, she is not making this up—I have known Lindsay since she was 14—it’s like God redeemed her mom’s pain through her daughters… and they both (jack and I) have the most loving, big hearted dad.T hen Seth said this, “it’s like so much of her mom’s pain was redeemed through the relationship with her daughters because a lot of mom/daughter relationships can be toxic. They truly love their parents.”
All that kind of seeped out my mouth, I didn’t even know that that was what was really buried in my heart of hearts—as if it had been covered in layers of blankets while I slept on it for years and all of a sudden it just popped out of bed. But as l looked up great emotion had taken over Annie’s eyes and she said, “ I so needed to hear that, generationally, the mother/daughter relationship has not been so great and I have almost lost hope that it could ever be healthy, ever be even close to good.
And with that I knew God was just as much a part of this dinner as the three of us. If nothing else occurred but for me to say that to her and for me to be blessed by her courage then that was enough. I realized, after saying all that, that this whole thing was not what I thought it was. It’s like God gave me this “stool” and I was thought it was to sit on and God said, “yes, my child it’s a stool…but you need to stand on it, not sit—look out…see that I am doing something for greater than just connecting lives, I am weaving redemption—I have been weaving this moment for 40 years…40 years since your mom gave away her own child in secrecy. That is what I do—I REDEEM. I need you to listen at this dinner, I am up to something much bigger than you.”
I felt like the universe was spinning around me—I was the earth taking a trip around the sun—except in this instance the sun was this dinner,this encounter, that had somehow become much bigger, and more layered than I could have ever imagined and the holy spirit was giving me a ride that had my mind whirling. I sat back and let Seth do the talking as I was lost in my own orbit of thought…a bit taken back by the fact that God was using my mom’s pain to bless her with hope. Who would have thought? It’s like I gave her this great gift in telling her “yes, God can heal you and not only can he heal you ..He can restore you! That is what He does best… seeking us… calling us back to Him even when it looks like He doesn’t care.”
We talked more,there was so much more said, that was incredible but I will save you the time. But before we left I said, “oh, one thing, I just want to be honest, I am hear truly because when I heard your name in the grocery store from Boothe, I felt that I needed to listen up.”
Annie put her fork down, and replied, “really, I have been hearing your name for months…you need to meet Lindsay and her husband is all I have heard from Boothe’s aunt, Pat.” Now, keep in mind I don’t even know Boothe’s aunt!!! I just was a bit taken back…thinking inside ,”WHAT?!!!”
When she said that I realized that all those time when I felt God was silent when Seth and I prayed and fasted over direction we always came up with nothing…as if God just was asking us to sit still. At times it felt like He was just not listening, but as she said that, I realized He was actually speaking on my behalf. LITERALLY speaking on my behalf.
Seth prayed one more time at the end of dinner, we asked Annie, “where do we go from here as the baby is due in August!?” She said she just needed to pray and she’d get back with us. We said we would pray too and seek wise counsel. Then I joked and said, “hey could you let us know by July…hahaha!” She chuckled and said , “of course!” What was a heavy and emotional dinner now felt a bit lighter with the laughter echoing off the walls of a soon to be made colossal decision.
There is one thing we all had in common at that night at dinner: We all had made plans for our lives, only to find disappointment within our own foiled attempts and mistakes. Our surrender was the engine that drove us all to this night…it may have been on different tracks but the destination was the same.
And as we arrived at that destination, there was one element that tied us together with strings that only the heart can feel: The love of a child. While I have not carried a child physically in four years, I have loved one in my heart. One thing was for certain we were all here for the LOVE of this unborn child.
We got in the truck and Seth said, “wow, I’m speechless, that was surreal…I am in awe of her courage. “ I agreed and chimed in, “ I don’t know what all this means and I am not even going to try to figure it out. I just know I had more peace than I had in a long time sitting at the table. And that if God wanted this He again would make it obvious because again I was terrified of getting hurt—of putting my heart out there to get it stomped on. I needed Him to continue to make it apparent as if this was to happen I needed to go back to that place…that place of “this was my plan all along, Lindsay.” Accept it and live fully, or run like Jonah trying to live out what you think is best.
We drove and I just whispered to myself while looking at the half eaten moon, “Lord, I’m nervous, but I know you are in control, I will do whatever you want, I just want to be in Your will. Not because I feel I am cornered into it, not because I am conceding. My will is comfort…a comfort that actually ends up killing me. Yours …well, yours Lord, is a vulnerable place, but in that place You are there and that is all I need…Your presence. There is no greater place to be. Lord, this was not my plan. But, I don’t want my plan. I want yours. ”
The next day after lunch, I was running around packing Roman up for the pool when I looked down at my phone and saw a text from Annie, reading “call me please”. I got really nervous as we just had dinner with her the night before and she wasn’t supposed to be in contact until she had finally decided. “ I wiped the sweat from my sun kissed brow and with shaky hands I called her back.
In a casual, but thoughtful voice she said, “hey, do you have a minute?”
I said, “sure, what ‘s up?”
She said this:
“I want you to be the parents….i know that i know that I know I do. I knew it from the time I heard your name from Boothe, I just did. I asked God some time ago, to literally bring me a family, as I did not want to pick someone off a sheet of paper…I knew it was a big request but i kept on praying it. I’ve met with so many couples and as I watched yall last night and heard all you were saying –all things I needed to hear on so many levels–I just knew. I didn’t want to tell you last night and weird you out, but as I prayed today, I just thought, there is no reason not to tell them. God answered me, Lindsay, he did. He really did.”
Needless to say, I was breathless. In seven days God did what most people pay booocoodles of money for and wait years for. Here I was SEVEN days later! Was this really happening?? I mean I am a good story teller, but I would be hard pressed to make this up.
Annie also added that she had talked to the birth father, as she wanted to talk to him when she decided on the family. He said that was fine, he is quite angry about it all and went on and on about how this child didn’t exist or matter and that he was done. He said he didn’t want to go through their current agency because he didn’t like his counseling experience there. He wanted to just go through attorneys and be done with it. So essentially his foolishness was our gain—it had boiled the process down to a simple legal exchange of minimal amount. Once again, God removing all barriers.
You know, I never got the story of Jonah, in fact I struggle to believe it’s real at times, but in this instance I got what it feels like to be Jonah…wanting to go a million miles the other way because you are petrified out of your mind—even when God is calling you to do a good thing.
Am I scared? Hell ya.
Am I overwhelmed? YES
Is God in control? YES
Am I thrilled out of my mind? ABSOLUTELY!!!!
This is just a glimpse…there are so many more miracles in this story. One being Annie’s first ultrasound was January 7th, the same day Seth and I fasted and prayed all day and cancelled IVF…not because we think it’s wrong but because I just couldn’t come to peace with it. It’s like I was forcing myself into a dress that didn’t fit. January 7th was one of the hardest days of my life, I wanted to do IVF, I wanted another child so badly—any woman knows the desire to have a child is a very raw one. It’s like I was ravenous and someone told me you will never eat again…that’s how it feels—it sucker punches your soul. We all have our battles and this was mine, and I was tired of fighting with a knife when my infertility was fighting with a sword. I remember sitting on the couch January 7th with Seth balling my eyes out until I was shaking… finding myself in this downward spiral of, “what’s wrong with me as a woman? I am not enough. I have failed my family. I have flunked womanhood.” So this is how I felt on this bitter cold Friday when the salty tears ate at my skin because I felt hopeless. I was mad at God, “just give me peace about IVF! God..why are you holding back..why do you always hold out on me,God?” I try to be good enough and this is what I get? “
I pulled myself out of my pity party and went to the computer and emailed the nurse that we would be foregoing our round of IVF. Little did I know, God was forming our child in the womb as I lay breathless and angry in my flannel-I-give-up-on-life pajamas.
I beam inside and out right now for many reasons. One being, that this story restores what I doubt on most days and believe on some…that our pain isn’t pointless. I mean it took FORTY years for God to bring my mom’s story full circle. I can barely sit still to watch a move much less wait FORTY years. But one thing I am learning is God doesn’t do anything grand swiftly. As annoying as it is He is not concerned with time. He’s weaving something so beautiful…literally bringing us joy for mourning, beauty for ashes. Problem is to us…toyou and me the process is knotty, painful, it makes no sense. In fact it’s a mess at best, senseless chaos at worst.
But what I am learning is one day, some day; He will turn over those knots and weavings and reveal to us the most majestic beautiful blanket. It’s just that most of us unravel and bail before he can finish. So I say this to YOU…whether your mom is dying, your husband is cheating on you, you have lost someone you love, you are infertile, you aren’t married and pushing 40, you are pregnant and 19….or you have just given your own baby up for adoption. This is true for ALL of us:
You can’t quit in the middle. He’s not done yet. The story isn’t over.
We all love grand, majestic stories…just look at us, we buy books, we pay a gazillion dollars for a movie and some over processed popcorn. Not to experience some safe, boring story…quite the contrary, to experience the power of beautiful story woven with love,pain,heartache,healing and redemption. But problem is pain is the only door that leads to triumph—there is not victory unless something has been conquered. It’s like this invisible code got set into motion when this world went from perfect to broken: you can’t feel true love without pain, the sun without the rain.
The only way to make a beautiful mosaic like this story is to have a handful of broken glass. But that is what Jesus does best. He redeems. He takes what seems senseless and cruel and makes it whole…and not only does He make it whole but he takes what was meant to harm us and tear us apart to heal us…to heal others. If we let Him.
It is so rare to taste redemption this side of heaven…truly it is. So to experience this has left me paralyzed in awe of God’s goodness. Yes the world is mean, cruel and ridden with heartache. But that doesn’t mean God is sitting in the corner with His feet propped up, re-reading the Ten commandments for fun, while categorizing who is good and who is not—He doesn’t care about our goodness. No,no,no…., it just means that it breaks His heart too—so much so that He laid his life down to make all that was wrong right, to make every tear turn to laughter, every loss turn to gain, every sacrifice turn into a gift—even His own sacrifice. He chases us all down each day…whether through a sunset, a friend, a book, or bringing a baby that you didn’t know was yours into your life. As if to say, “I see your hurt, and not only do I see it, I feel it. I AM the only one that takes what the world deems hopeless and breathe life into it again.” Just try me.
As I sit here and revel in what I have always hoped to be true and is now a reality, I ask you to do what I have learned the hard way to do…put your pen down, let Him take those smudging and mishaps, those moments of what the hell is going on and use them as the very key that unshackles you…heart and soul.
It might take 40 years to turn the lock, to see what lies behinds that door of heart wrenching pain and suffering. But once opened, the scars fade, the light overwhelms you. The wounds are still there but they no longer hurt you, they are now what is used to help you—to help others. You point to your wounds, saying, “see, look, I’ve been there—you can see my abrasions. I’ve walked that road. How can I help you?”
I have to be honest I am a bit riled at how I missed this whole thing…how did I not see this coming?? Like when you watch a movie with a twist at the end that you didn’t expect at all, but at the same time you wonder how you missed it since everything was pointing towards it. So that is how I feel even now. God, how could I be so blind?
This is just a small,small piece of this story, like a sliver of pie that has been nibbled on. There is so much more…I want I to tell you—to let you feast on with me. And as the days pass I will—I think I could do a year’s worth of blogs on the miracles that have occurred starting 40 years ago to today August 30,2011. But for now, one brave, unselfish young woman’s sacrifice is our gift. And to Annie, we are eternally indebted as she literally laid her life down for the good of our sweet little girl that is now our daughter. Dear Annie, we love you not just for what you gave us but for who you are. Always and forever you are a part of us.
As I sit here and look at my daughter, that I am so in love with… I realize I would walk a thousand miles on hot coals, to taste God’s goodness like I have the last 2 months.I wish I could knock on everyone’s door and wake them up out of their complacency, their cold religion, their ditched faith, their hopelessness and tell them that what He did for our family…He can do for you.
Please meet who God has working on for 4 decades…our ashes have been replaced with a bouquet of flowers. May I introduce you to Josephine Boothe Jennings…”Posey” born August 12th (nickname for Josephine–meaning bouquet of wildflowers).