Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday Kathryne.

Dear Kathryne,

I am 12 days late writing this.  But honestly, I am more than 12 days late for a lot of things.  On January 19th we celebrated your 5th birthday.  And in all of the craziness that is our lives right now, I think that I managed to make it special for you.  Some of your favorite people were there and I made you the exact cup cakes you wanted.  Your daddy took you and bought you a new birthday outfit with a perfect pink sparkly purse to go along with it. 

My sweet girl, I fear I have let you down a lot over the last few months.  I pray every night that the Lord will make up for where I am failing as I do my very best to be your mama in the middle of the hardest days of our lives.  All the time reassuring you that I will in fact bring home your baby sister and one day I will be your mama, all day, every day, again.   And you, in your own Kathryne way are so forgiving and so understanding.  And I am again blown away by the gift that you are to us.

At five you are more than I ever dreamed you would be.  You are smart but you still have fun. You are emotional but hilarious.  You are sweet but tough.  You are more kind than most your age and thoughtful unlike any other child I know.  You are beautiful and that is an understatement.  You love music and art and games and dance.  You are your daddy all day long with just a smidgen of your mama. Just enough to make you mean enough to get through your teens and tough enough to get through your twenties.  You are right, most of the time and you know it.  You have a sense of style that makes us grin and you are more bossy than we would like.  I watch you and I see you thinking through everything happening in this house and it worries me.  It makes me wonder if you will forgive us for the chaos we have put you through since we moved to Franklin TN.  It makes me wonder if you will remember me as strong or as weak. It makes me pray harder.

You my sweet baby in pink are your daddy's. Period. You live and breathe that man and any extra minute he has for you.  You sit on his lap and your profiles match perfectly.  His heart beats because you breathe.  And that my baby girl will make a tough match for a man that wants your heart one day.  I tell you all of the time "marry a man like your daddy", I have no doubt that will be exactly what your heart desires. 

Happy Birthday Kathryne Elaine.  Your daddy and I, now more than ever, realize what an absolute miracle you are.  We ask, no we beg Jesus to watch over you, to keep you safe, to keep you healthy.  We are trying our very best to be the mama and daddy he wants us to be and we know that when we fail He is perfect and unfailing and will be your guide.

We love you Doodle.
Mama and Daddy

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Job 1:21 Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Tonight as I lay in bed someone that I love very much is preparing to deliver a baby girl.  A perfect baby girl that she has carried for 32 weeks.  A baby girl that would make her family a family of five, that has a name and a room and two sisters.  A baby girl that will go straight to Jesus.  I do not pretend to understand babies that go straight to Jesus.  It is hard for me to grasp their purpose at times and even harder to understand when you are in the thick of it.  I realize that they all serve a purpose in some way. That their death before they lived on this earth glorifies His kingdom in ways that we may never understand.  I trust that. However, explaining that to a mother that is going to have to deliver a baby that will never breathe is a whole different ballgame.

Until we lost Bennett I was pretty good with everything that I understood: life, death, and the in-between. Sin, forgiveness, love, hate.  And then I delivered a perfect baby boy that never cried, or breathed, or moved and all of the sudden I had a question. All of the sudden I realized that I did not in fact understand everything.  That I did not trust His plan 100% if this was part of it.  I imagined myself many times standing before the Lord when it is my turn and saying "Excuse me Father, before I go in I have a question".  Sounds ridiculous yes, but their is a little bit of crazy that comes with burying your baby.  I realize of course that when it is my time, the Glory of the Lord will shine so brightly and be so incredibly beautiful that stopping at the gate to ask a question is never going to happen.  But let's just say if there is a box for unanswered questions, I am dropping mine in. 

So tonight, unlike many since March 4, 2010, I am grateful that the Lord trusted me to take that baby boy and keep on loving Him.  Because today when my sweet, sweet girl called me and needed direction, advice, help, support, I was able to give it to her.  I was able to tell her that I understood exactly how she felt. I was able to tell her what I wished I would have done, hopefully making her experience a little more bearable and special.  I was able to cry with her and prepare her for the hardest part, and yes there is a hardest part.  And when I hung up the phone, I cried and I said thank you to my Mighty Mighty Lord for allowing me the privilege to have suffered a great loss so that I could hold the hand of someone I loved and ease her suffering even just a bit. 

So tonight I lay my head down and I pray for my sweet girl and what she will go through over the next 24 hours. And I pray for her heart as her entire world changes.  And I PRAISE Jesus for allowing me to be able to walk with her whenever she needs me.  And then....then I think of Josie and I am quickly reminded that yes the Lord takes away, but when He gives, boy does He give 100%.  For I have witnessed a great loss yes, but it has been followed by a GREAT MIRACLE.
Please pray for me sweet girl and her family. And PRAISE for my Josie Hope. 
Love and Blessings,

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mama and Daddy, meet Jesus.

There are times during this fight for the life of my fourth that I realize what I have learned over the last 5 years.  Yes 5.  Perhaps it is even more clear as the birthday of my first born quickly approaches.  I look at this beautiful, blue eyed, little girl and I remember when she was born.  I remember the first few months of her life and how hard they seemed and I smile.  Not to discount the difficulty of first time parenting, because I am well aware of that difficulty.  Sleepless nights, breast infections, endless crying.  Not realizing then in the moments of utter frustration, what an absolute miracle a healthy, crying, pooping, burping, spitting up, fussy, no napping baby is!!  Oh my goodness have I learned, just as I learn everything, the hard way. 

I must say I think of the things that I complained about and I shake my head.  Not that I knew any better then.  Not that I was complaining just for the sake of hearing myself.  But still, it was complaining.  And now that I am on this side of parenting that I never imagined myself on, honestly I am a little embarrassed. So many parents like we are now, that were tired beyond my wildest dreams, fighting for the life of one of theirs or even worse, begging Jesus for one to fight for and I was complaining about sleepless nights and runny noses.  The Lord sure knows how to teach me tough lessons.  But this one I am grateful for.  You see my friends I never knew.  I honestly took for granted my first two babies.  Are they a miracle? Yes.  Did I have a clue what a miracle really was? Nope. 

But now I see them completely different.  The way they talk, the way they sleep, the way they walk and move and dance.  I think about that little boy that I buried and imagine what he would have been like and it makes me smile and then I cry and then I see Josie.  It's like the Lord brought Josie early as a gift. No it isn't LIKE that, it IS that.  He gave her to us so that we would have a glimpse of exactly what He can do in His time, His way.  And we have watched her, day after day, hour after hour, sometimes minute after minute as He has held her in His hand and given her breath, health, life.  I have seen His ways in full force like I never imagined I would get to.  I have witnessed His presence in a way that I only thought was possible when I stand before Him one day. And now what that will be like is beyond more than I can comprehend.  Because what this is like was beyond more than I could imagine, until it was here, until she was here. 

And so I run myself ragged from here to there.  Driving, pumping, caring for my girls that reside at Golden Meadow Lane while anticipating the next time I am with the one that lives at Centennial Medical Center.  I run myself ragged and I smile and I pray and I praise because I know.  I know that there are parents that don't have what I have.  I know there are parents that have lost the fight in the NICU on the 7th floor of the Women's Center.  I know that the parents of  Daniel would give anything to be as tired as I am.  That his mama would love to be worrying about IF she would have enough milk WHEN he comes home.  I know that Gavin's daddy wishes he was as tired as Josie's daddy.  He wishes that he was still sleeping with his phone by the bed just in case Gavin needed him in the middle of the night.  I know that Gavin's mama wishes that her baby weight was worth every pound she was trying desperately to hold onto because Gavin was growing and healthy like Josie and maybe just maybe one day would be able to nurse. 

I realize now, more than ever, that all of the things that are frustrating about being a mommy to healthy kids and to one that you are fighting for are gifts.  Nothing but grace and mercy at it's finest my friends.  And so I will be tired and I will smile.  I will be sore and I will pump.  I will drive everyday and I will sing and rejoice at what He has done for me and the gifts He has graced me with knowing that they are precious and realizing that they are not necessarily forever. 

We are nine weeks deep in the fight of our lives, in the fight for hers.  And we know, we know we are not through.  We know that is it still not a guarantee that she will live with us on Golden Meadow Lane.  We are grateful for every single moment of the last nine weeks.  We have both soaked up the time with her.  We have held her and sang to her and read to her and prayed over her and told her what we know: Jesus loves her, mama and daddy love her and she is amazing.  And for the next seven or eight or ten weeks we will tell her that, everyday. We will love her as much as you can possibly love a person, with everything we have and every moment that we can give her will be hers.  And maybe, just maybe He will let us keep her.  Maybe she will grow up with these two beautiful miracles He has already let us have.  But either way, she will be the single most amazing person we have ever touched.  She will be the greatest miracle we have ever seen.  She will be the one who showed us who Jesus really is, almost as if she introduced us to Him herself. 

Thank you for continuing to pray for our miracle.