Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just a Glimpse...

(Georgia~ a precious friend from the hospital that was instrumental in our time with Maddox)

Just a glimpse... of the sweet, precious baby Rhyder and his mama and daddy! Continuing to pray for this wonderful family as they trust in God's plan for their son's life and prepare to take him home from the hospital tomorrow. YAY! We are so excited for the way God has been so real and tangible in their lives. I'm in awe!

As you can imagine, the journey I have shared with this family has been such a huge blessing to me. It has been precious and joyful and wonderful... and it has also brought so many dormant memories to the surface. All of my memories with Maddox are beautiful and intimate, but many are also so filled with sorrow. Being at the hospital, seeing my precious nurses, visiting with our doctor... All of these things are so critical to recognizing how far the Lord has brought us since January of last year and yet, all so very difficult. Tears have continued to reemerge over the past few days- not over wishing Maddox were still here, but for simply missing his presence in my life.

God has revealed a plan for our family like none we could have ever imagined... A story of great love, of a marriage, of commitment to our Father... and one of a first child, of a tragic condition, of a second child, of a loss... and still one of much prayer, much comfort, much healing, and much promise... For without him (and HIM) we wouldn't have her... our precious third child. And somehow I know that none of this could ever be a mistake. What a beautiful peace as we ALL place our very lives in His hands.

"Yet something even greater than friendship is ours. Now that we are at peace with God, we will be saved by his Son's life."- Romans 5:10 (CEV)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Update on Baby Rhyder

Thank you for all the inquiries into how baby Rhyder is doing... I'm sorry I didn't update sooner, but I spent a majority of the day with them at the hospital and only updated my facebook.

All of this to say that, praise GOD, baby Rhyder is doing fantastic! He had a tough go in the beginning, but once they got him on some oxygen he really picked up good color and had a stable heart rate. Mom and Dad were able to spend precious time with him (which most of you know isn't customary with a C-section) and then he was taken down to the NICU for assessment with his daddy by his side.

For the last day and a half he has done well maintaining his body temperature, feeding from a syringe and bottle, and has had wet and poopy diapers. For most newborns this isn't a miraculous feat, but for babies with T18, this is absolutely awesome! Often these sweet ones can't coordinate the suck-swallow-and-breathe pattern, but Rhyder has been able to prevent a feeding tube by proving that he can in fact manage that on his own. Also, many babies with T18 have major kidney and bowel issues so from that stance, he is doing remarkable as well.

Mom and Dad continue to remain optimistic about Rhyder's future, yet are clinging to every moment with him and savoring their precious time! As we know with all T18 babies, each day, each moment is independent of the one before it. There is no promise of tomorrow, but there is also no reason not to take hold of the hope and belief that God will continue to pour out His miracles on this family.

They are surrounded by family and friends and while many of their needs are being met, they can never have enough prayer! Please join me as we praise God for the miracle He has brought forth in baby Rhyder's life, and in prayer as we ask for a longevity for him that far exceeds anyone's expectations. Please also pray for Rhyder's little body that is working hard, for Mom and Dad as they try to get a bit of rest amidst the joy and machines, for Rhyder's big brothers to grasp a love far beyond their years, and for all of us that are personally with them to be an encouragement and to serve them as the hands and feet of Christ.

Thank you for your prayers and I will continue to keep you updated on this precious family!

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."- Isaiah 55:12

Monday, August 24, 2009

Prayer Request

Dear friends, I am asking that you join me in prayer tonight and tomorrow as a sweet family that I have come to know is preparing to welcome their third precious baby boy into the world. His name is Rhyder and he has been diagnosed with Trisomy 18. They are scheduled for a C-section at 7am tomorrow morning and are praying for time with their sweet boy... I ask that you pray that the Lord will keep their hearts protected but fully open to the love and experience of their precious child. Please pray for the fabulous doctor (who also delivered Maddox), the staff, nurses, and all assisting in any care for their family. Please pray for their family and friends as they stand beside them, awaiting a miracle, no matter how the day goes.

My heart is very weighted for them right now... for all the anticipation of finally meeting Rhyder, for the joy that they will experience and for God's perfect will to play out in their lives.

Thank you for lifting up other families as they walk this road!

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you; I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."- John 14:27

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rekindled Friendship

I love our Lord! Can I just say that again?... I love our Lord!! I love Him for what He has provided for us in times of need, what He has protected in our tender hearts, what He has blessed us with in times of trial, what He has required of us as we walk in faith, what He has sought from us in times of healing... I just LOVE MY GOD! He has sent some of the most amazing people alongside of us in this journey of growing our family and seeking Him... and of all places, Chick-fil-A was the site of another amazing encounter today.

When Dusty and I first got married and moved to Houston we knew no one. I mean NO ONE! We moved into an apartment and thus began our very difficult first year of marriage. Yes, we had dated for years... we'd actually dated in high school and he was truly my first boyfriend at 14 years old... but everything was suddenly so different. New town without friends or family, new marriage, new job, new church, new car... it was all brand-spanking new. From the outside it looked great, but from the inside, we both had a lot of growing to do- together and in the Lord.

We lived in our "luxury" apartment for a few months and began noticing another couple that looked about our age and "status", recently married. We'd say hi to them as we passed in the halls, but we never really got to know each other well... until we both happened to get new puppies. Just like kids, jobs and the like, puppies can bring people together and that is just what Rudy and Scarlet did. We started hanging out every once in a while, taking care of the other pup when someone had to be out of town, and doing dinner occasionally. Suddenly before we knew it, May had arrived and although we loved these new friends, we definitely didn't love the price, location, or roaches in the apartment. We decided to move further south of town but thankfully we all stayed in touch. We even had them down once to our new apartment...

But as it often happens with time and distance, we didn't stay in touch. I have thought of them every now and then since we have moved again and actually it was probably 6 months ago when their names came up in conversation. Dusty and I laughed about Scarlet's first friend... sweet Rudy and his "parents".

Fast forward to lunch today.

A good friend of mine walked into Chick-fil-A with her kids in tow... and not far behind her was a beautiful girl with a precious baby boy, legs wrapped around her waist. She was so familiar yet I had no idea where to place her. While our local Chick-fil-A is normally chaotic at lunch and doesn't offer much sit-and-chat time, today was especially so because it was our Moms @ Second (formally MOPS) Meet and Greet (Y-e-a-h... just think of all the kids). Although I was somewhat distracted with feeding Faith Clare and getting Deacon to finish his fruit, I kept glancing over at this mom. I felt a connection with her, but honestly something else kept drawing my eyes in her direction. I couldn't get past one thing... her precious baby boy. A sweet little guy that I knew in the first instant had Trisomy 21.

As we finished up lunch and began wandering to try and be social, my good friend called me over. She introduced me to her friend and the girl immediately said "I really feel like I know you!" We both threw out places where we could have known one another and then suddenly she said, "Did you live In-town?" The light bulb flashed and I semi-yelled "You're Rudy's mom!" We both started laughing and talking about life 7 years ago and our dogs.

After a few minutes had passed and I looked down at her sweet boy and I said "I wouldn't ask this normally, but... I'm guessing he has Trisomy 21." She said yes and as I looked up, I knew that she knew. I instantly realized that Maddox had come up in the conversation of trying to figure out how she knew me and my friend Kristi had told her a bit of our story. See, Kristi's precious daughter was born the day before Maddox so I always gauge his age by her. In the beginning it was excruciating... now it's just pure joy.

So as I glanced up and looked into this "old" friend's face, the tears had already filled my eyes. There we were in the middle of a crowded, chaotic Chick-fil-A, both with tears streaming as we talked about the stories of our precious babies- one that was sitting there and truly amazing... the other one sitting with the Lord, and also amazing. The beautiful eyes of her 15-month-old baby said it all and I couldn't help but thank God for His awesome timing and divine nature. No, our situations are not the same, but boy, what it is like to be in the presence of another mother who intimately knows so much of your heart simply because she has been there. Her sweet boy is here and mine is not... but we have both experienced fear, joy, worry, gratitude, sorrow, life, and a feeling of lost dreams but deep intimacy with the Lord. It is beautiful to see the way the Lord is using both of our boys' lives for His glory: one as a testimony to healing on this side of eternity, and one to the healing we receive in the presence of God.

My heart is full and thankful... Thankful for this rekindled friendship, for this shared camaraderie, and also for the divine Providence of our faithful God. He is always working and so often in ways that we least expect it! Man, how I LOVE that.

"Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."- John 14:19-21

Thursday, August 13, 2009

9 months

Faith Clare turned 9 months yesterday and her personality is in full bloom! This girl is definitely happy, smiley and a snuggler but she also knows very much what she wants, at such an early age! One of her favorite activities is following after her brother and being wherever he is- pulling up on the couch to touch his feet, trying to play trains on the floor with him (which always ends with a wrecked track and slimy wheels), and laughing uncontrollably when he does everything in his power to make her smile. She loves to be tickled, to read books, to give "fives" and to play on the floor. She is crawling all over, pulling up on anything possible, chewing on the closest thing to her mouth (including her fingers...or yours!) and is just figuring out how to wave hello and goodbye.

I would never pretend to tell anyone that she is an "easy" baby... and in about 2 minutes you would discover it for yourself! She is a mover and is constantly on the go. She is rather demanding and definitely lets you know exactly what she does and does not want in her day. She has a high-pitched scream that she uses to express pure joy (SO fun!) and pure disdain (...NOT so awesome) and it literally makes you cover your ears... or at least open the windows in the 100 degree Houston heat to let the sound escape. She is my precious girl... full of life, laughter and fun and she brings us great joy. I pray for her each night that all of these qualities, some fun, some frustrating, will serve her well and help her clearly discern right and wrong and stand up for what she believes. I also pray they will help her find her place in serving the Lord.

Here are her stats:
16lbs 8oz (10%)
28 inches (75%)
FOC 45cm (75-90%)

(Thank you Christa and Angela for the pictures!)
And my Deacon... well, just a little something funny. As the doctor walked in for Faith Clare's appointment, Deacon asked our pediatrician "...I wanted to know- can you come over to our house and play with me??" Our doctor is A.maaa.zing and smiled and said "I would Deacon, but I hate to commit to that because I am soooo busy! What would we do though if I came to your house?" To which his reply was "You'd play trains and cars with me!" There was a short lull as he chuckled and then D piped up, "and my mommy said you have a little boy." He said he did and showed us a picture of his precious 15 month old. D said "hummm, okay... I guess you can bring him too!"

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."- Hebrews 11:1

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Funny hair

So I walked into Deacon's room last night, just as he and Daddy were praying when I overheard this- "and God, please be with Daaaaddy, so he can get a haircuuuut.... because his hair looks so fuuuuunnny!" as he ran his fingers through Dusty's hair.... simply put, we could barely finish his prayers because we were laughing so hard. That is our big boy!

"A wise son brings joy to his father"- Proverbs 15:20
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