As I sit here, I'm surprised that I ever decided to give this a try. A wonderful friend suggested that this "blogging" thing might be a great way to keep everyone updated on our journey to meeting Maddox, and the more I think about it, the more I know she is right! I am so thankful for each of you reading this and joining us on this path to meet our sweet little boy. I am so thankful for the friends that surround us, our families that love us unconditionally, and most importantly, those of you praying for us as we walk this road. I never imagined that we would be here, but the Lord did. He knew the path He laid out before us, and has somehow given us the strength to walk this winding, rocky, unmarked trail, still allowing us to be confident in His grace, His mercy, and His Son. "For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." Jeremiah 29:11, 12
So how are we... really? you wonder. We are good. We are blessed. We have an almost 2 year-old if that says anything! Deacon has kept us busy with how active he is... He loves to play ball (any kind), play with trains, trucks and anything that has wheels. He loves wrestling with Daddy, reading books, playing outside and talking, talking, talking!! He has been truly wonderful these past 3 weeks with all the chaos and has really helped me to keep my mind focused on the here and now. We have so many things to be thankful for, regardless of the circumstances, and he is at the top of our list!
Of course our little Maddox is there at the top of the list too, right along side his big brother. I am 20 weeks along and he has been moving around a lot lately, ensuring us that he is doing just fine and that there is no need to worry. ~Well what do you say about worry, fear, anxiety, stress... all these things that now come into play. To be honest, I never seemed to fully grasp what real worry was until I was pregnant and now have a child. And I guess that's how it started... It's so strange to be sitting at a doctor's office assuming everything is "normal" and have them tell you that something is very wrong with your child. What do you mean wrong? He's perfect to us, and to the God that created him, and yet according to earthly, living standards, something isn't quite perfect. His head shape and spinal column indicate spina bifida, there is fluid already pooling in his brain, he has a heart defect, and the list seems to go on... His prognosis isn't good, 90% of babies with his condition don't make it to term, he will be considered a long-term survivor of this thing called Trisomy 18 if he makes it to his first birthday... And all of a sudden, in an instant, life is completely different.
Life is different in so many good ways- I'm thankful for each beautiful day with my family, thankful for Deacon's special bedtime routine, thankful for feeling Maddox move and seeing him on ultrasound every two weeks, thankful for Dusty being such a wonderful husband, father and provider for our family, thankful for feeling good, thankful for the people the Lord has put in our path... we are SO thankful. And yet life is different in so many other ways- I'm sad for the losses that I see in our future, sad for decisions we have to make that no parents should ever have to, sad for myself that I won't get to decorate a room, or nurse my child, or celebrate his major milestones, sad for seeing all the beautiful things in Deacon that I won't get to see in Maddox, and just plain sad that I don't get to bring home a healthy, happy baby when it seems like everyone else gets to.
Why is this our journey to walk? How does this fit in with my plan for how life was supposed to go? I don't think that I will ever fully understand those questions, and about a billion more... but I DO KNOW with full confidence that this is ours to walk, they are not my plans, and it IS from the Lord. He has entrusted us with this life to love and protect... and then eventually give back to Him. I am mentally preparing for that... but can you ever be prepared to let your own child go? Would Mary have said to the angel Gabriel "I am the Lord's servant... May it be to me as you have said" if she would have known all that Jesus was going to suffer in his death? It must have been terribly painful to watch, something that shook her to the core... and yet her son saved the world. She understood that although she was entrusted with this child, ultimately, he belonged to the Father, and he would eventually return to Him. Her son died so that mine, my Maddox, will live eternally. What an amazing gift!
...I know that many have walked this road before us, and sadly many will walk it after us, but we are so confident in the Lord and the purpose in all of this. God knew the exact child he was creating for us and He never makes mistakes. When I read Psalm 139, I can't help but think of this sweet boy we are expecting: "For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Although this is the most difficult thing we have done in our lives, and it's just beginning, it seems to be something that is changing us, hopefully to make us more like Christ. We thank you for your prayers and ask specifically for wisdom in decisions that lie ahead, peace in the here-and-now, and confidence that we will walk this road faithfully. We pray that Deacon will constantly feel love, even when we are down, and that the time we spend with him will be very special. We pray that Maddox will continue to thrive and we will enjoy each moment that we get with him to the fullest.
"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1