I am so blessed... so thankful! God is GOOD (dare I say perfect!) and His provision and faithfulness in ALL THINGS are astounding (really? check out this and this). It is crazy to think that in just a couple of months it will be two years since that September day when we received Maddox's diagnosis of Trisomy 18. So long ago... and yet, somehow just yesterday. Over this time, I've grown quite a bit: spiritually, emotionally and mentally. But I also feel that I have grown in other ways. I have grown in love, compassion, understanding, purpose, and maybe even a bit in where the Lord will be calling me in the future... but the biggest place I have grown is in prayer and friendship.

When we received the diagnosis for our precious second child, the only thing we knew to do was to cry out to God. We cried out for comfort, for peace, for faith, for guidance, for hope and for love. As the Lord began to work in our hearts, we saw Him reveal answers to each of those desperate prayers in incredibly tangible ways... in large part He answered through the love of His people. He brought our families to rally in prayer with us. He brought amazing friends to serve us in unimaginable ways. He brought "strangers" from around the globe to pray for our family and for the life of our child. He brought women who would become precious friends walking a similar road to meet their babies- women of different ages and experiences and backgrounds to share the fear, joy, and praises, and eventual pain, sorrow and longing. AND He brought something so beautiful... He brought us hope through life already being lived. Not "incompatible with life" life, but L-I-F-E!

On Friday, I met face-to-face one of those precious babies, living this life, with Trisomy 18. To see her face, to see her talk and play and sit and interact and study... she is a precious miracle, God's miracle, proving that each child deserves the gift of life! To see Annabel's beautiful face and look into those dark brown eyes... I was flooded with emotion- emotion that I can't even explain. Her sweet presence, just being in our house, somehow confirmed to me what I have always known but haven't been able to fully realize... Annabel proved to me that Maddox's life carried great purpose. His was short, just an instant, and hers in longer than most medical professionals would allow you to believe possible... and yet they are united. Two precious lives united in life, united in Trisomy 18, united in love, and most importantly, united in the purpose and perfection they bring to God's kingdom.

Our short time together, simply put, was amazing. Annabel (with her mama Cathy and her awesome sister Tara) brought an unspeakable sense of hope to my heart... Hope and joy and life... LIFE is such a beautiful gift! How blessed we all are.

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love
him."- James 1:12


Cathy said…
You write so beautiful and your words are straight from your heart! Yes, Maddox's life was so full of meaning. Even though he was on this earth for a short period, he is with you forever. I didn't know you before, but following your journey, you are such a Godly mother. You do exactly as Jesus would ask of you, to love His children. If nothing else, to love! Thank you for the gift of your friendship.
Kathy said…
Praising God for giving you time with Cathy. She is an amazing, Godly woman and I know that the time you had together built you both up. The pictures of the children together are so precious!

Your post today was such a blessing. God is faithful, indeed.
Emily said…
Awesome beyond words!!!
Devin said…
Like I said on FB--awesome!

The look on your face in that last photo just says it all! :-)

Love ya girl. Praying for you daily!
Anonymous said…

James 1:12 was Chuck's favorite verse. I love you so much! Thank you for this post because it is a gift to me to see God's miracles in our precious children. I'm so thankful for you and the love you give my grandchildren and my son. God is faithful.

Melvin said…
wow,great pictures....
thanks for sharing...
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