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Ephie’s Birth Story

Well it’s been a while since I’ve written. I’m happy to say I’ve been busy taking care of the sweetest boy in the world (not biased or anything). Ephie and I have been getting to know each other and enjoying lots of snuggles, kisses and smiles. I’m so thankful for this guy and really blessed to be his momma. It still hits me at times that he is really here and really my son- just doesn’t seem real! I’m definitely in love and can’t wait for some of you to meet him when we make it back to Texas.

Birth Story

Ephraim was due on February 16th but decided to make his grand arrival on the 27th. For those of you who have gone late you can understand how stressful this can be! My doctor wasn’t wanting to wait very long past the due date so we were trying lots of things to get labor going before the doctor’s deadline.  This was a pretty intense time for me and I was really anxious. We kept praying and praying for labor to start on its own and I was discouraged and growing weary. One morning God reminded me of the story of Peter walking on water. I felt like I was in the midst of a big storm – the waves around me seemed so huge and I was sinking. He reminded me to look to Him and have faith. But it was really really hard to do that.

The deadline for waiting came and we went in to start the induction process. Our doctor said we could come anytime after dinner, so Jordan and I went on a date and got some delicious Thai food. After dinner we went back home, got our bags and headed to the hospital. Some friends had their driver pick us up and take us so we didn’t have to use a taxi. We were very thankful for this. Once we got checked in, the on call doctor came in to see us. We got the first round of prostaglandin gel and waited to see if something would happen. And nothing did. After a little sleep, we did another round of gel and waited again. This time contractions started coming but they eventually died off. I was discouraged. I was really hoping to do this thing natural and didn’t want to end up with all sorts of meds and a potential a c-section. The majority of births in India are c-sections and I was one of the few women who had ever tried for a normal delivery at this hospital. I ended up going to sleep and was woken up that morning by the nurse. She wanted me to get up, shower and have some chai. Indian chai wasn’t at the top of my list but I did shower and ate some breakfast. After that we decided to try one last natural method of inducing labor and it worked! Contractions started coming every 2-3 minutes and were pretty strong. It was somewhere in that time that I started to remember Micaiah. Labor felt a lot like it did with him and the same positions helped with my pain. I started to get emotional and told Jordan how I was feeling. He comforted me and prayed for me.

My doctor came in around 11 that morning to see how I was progressing. She told me I was 3cm and that she was going to break my water. After that things REALLY started to pick up. The contractions were pretty intense and getting closer and closer together. Another on call doc was there to monitor me while my doctor went to the OR. He wanted to keep me on my back with the monitor on. I tried as long as I could but after  5 minutes or so I couldn’t take it anymore. I was in some pain and there was no way I could lie still and keep those things on my belly! Jordan was by my side giving me lots of back rubs. I think he rubbed my back for an hour and a half! :) I had two other American friends there who were encouraging me and talking me through the intense contractions. About an hour and a half after she broke my water our sweet little Ephriam was born. He was 8 lbs and 4 oz and 21 inches long. He quickly started crying and they put him up on my belly. Jordan gave out a loud cry when Ephie came out. It was such a sweet moment.

We held and looked at this new little guy who we had waited for for so long. I’ll never forget that day and the joy that has followed since. We are so thankful to God for this gift and for a safe and healthy birth.

Here are a few pics to enjoy:

Headed to hospital!

Working through those contractions.

Ephraim Joshua

Our doctor

Ephie and his good looking Papa

Ephie and his good looking Papa

Trying to eat daddy's arm.

Trying to eat daddy’s arm.

Too dang cute!

Too dang cute!

After his first bath!

After his first bath!

Me and my boy

 

 Me and my boy!

 

 

 

Is this your first?

“Is this your first?”

I’ve been asked this question throughout my pregnancy with Ephraim. I feel kind of bad for people who ask it because they have no idea what kind of answer is coming their way. “No. No, it’s not our first,” I say, “My first son passed away last year after he was born.” Then the awkwardness sets in.

It’s not an easy conversation to have and I understand why it gets a little weird sometimes after I tell people about Micaiah. But I’m ready for the question to be done with. I’m ready for Ephraim to be here so people won’t need to ask if this is my first. I’m ready to be a momma that has her babies here with her instead of in heaven.

The truth is there will always be awkward conversations regarding kids for me. Instead of “is this your first?” people will ask, “how many kids do you have?” And I’ll debate in my mind for a second about if I really want to go there and tell them about Micaiah or even about our other two pregnancies. It’s not that I’m in anyway ashamed of Micaiah or of the other two we have lost to miscarriage. I just might not know the person that well or feel like going that deep or want to make them feel weird. But it is good and right to tell the truth even if it makes people feel a little weird. God has done so much in our lives through the loss we have endured and I’ve been reminded that questions like this bring up huge opportunities to share of His faithfulness to us. So watch out lady in the grocery store line…you just might get more than you asked for when you ask me about my children!

I am sad that Micaiah is not here to be a big brother to Ephraim. He isn’t running around and getting into everything and making me even more tired than I already am. He’s not here and I really really wish he was. Ephraim will know about his big brother though. He will hear a lot about him, see his pictures and learn of God’s faithfulness to us in loss. I look forward to seeing the ways God uses Micaiah’s life in our other children. I look forward to sharing what God has done in this season of loss and pain and know that our future children will be blessed by everything that has happened.

Micaiah will always be apart of our family and we will find ways to keep his memory alive throughout the years. He will always be my firstborn and I’ll always be proud to be his momma. We have a beautiful story and I’m so thankful I get to share it with others. I’m thankful for the ways I’ve been able to connect with others more deeply in their loss and pain because of the suffering we’ve been through. God’s ways are truly different than ours. It’s so hard when we feel like we are in the dark and we just can’t wrap our minds around what He is doing, but if we are patient, we see Him bring beauty and restoration in our pain and brokenness. It’s a continual walk by faith. I know this is cliche but it is something that has become very real to me as we’ve walked through this difficult season. It’s a real battle to choose to believe something that is so completely opposite to what you are feeling or seeing at the moment. But it’s that hope that gets us through the dark days and gives us strength to continue on until our faith is made sight. I’m so looking forward to that day :)

17 Months

Saturday was the 8th. It has been 17 months since we first met Micaiah. 17 months. I can’t believe it has been that long. Time is a weird thing. On one had I feel like time is really cruel because it takes me farther away from Micaiah and from the moments I had with him. On the other hand, I know that in Jesus time is a wonderful blessing because every moment brings me closer to the day when I will see my son again. I’ll see him in all the beauty and wholeness that comes with being in the presence of Jesus. And I cannot wait for that day.

Yesterday I sat down to read and just connect with God. I put on some music and could feel from the first song that a cry was coming. So I just waited for it. I needed to talk to God about Micaiah and about how I miss him and really just want to feel close to him. I told him what I feel about time being cruel because of how it makes me feel so far from my son. And I told him how I know that the passing of time is also good because it’s bringing me closer to seeing Micaiah again. I talked to him about what Micaiah would be doing now if he were still here. And I just cried.

And God reminded me that he is near. He is with me and that is a promise I can cling to. He is near when I am missing Micaiah and long to hold him again. He is near when I feel so tired and when I’m fearful about the future. He is near me when I cry and when I ask him to speak to me. I’m so thankful for the promise that he is with me. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like God is near or that he hears my cries but that is when I must remind myself of what is true and choose to believe it.

Yesterday was also one week from Ephraim’s due date. I was a little nervous of Ephraim being born on the 8th because that is the day we remember Micaiah each month. But he didn’t come on the 8th and even if he did I know I would have been so thankful. It’s just a small example of this tension I’m learning to walk in. The tension of joy and sadness. I’m excited and so so ready to meet Ephraim but I’m also still walking in the pain of missing Micaiah. How do you have both of these emotions in your heart at the same time? Well, I’m not sure, but I am learning to live with it. I’ve been told that it is good to feel both the sadness that comes with remembering Micaiah and the joy that comes with expecting Ephraim. It’s good but it can make you feel a little crazy at times. I start to wonder if I can really do this mom thing well, if I’m going to be able to do it emotionally and if I’m really ready for what it means to be a parent. Hopefully I won’t have to wonder too much longer. One of the hard things about waiting is the anxiety and fear. The unknown is scary and the waiting before the unknown happens is hard. I’m not sure what Ephraim’s birth will be like or how I’ll respond emotionally or how it will be having a baby in India. All these unknowns can work up some anxiety in me. I know that I desperately need him and his strength to fight against the anxiety and fear and lies. I’ve been so blessed to see his faithfulness to us in this difficult season and I know that I can trust him to be faithful in the next few weeks as we, Lord willing, meet Ephraim and begin this crazy transition of being parents.

So I’m waiting for the day we get to meet Ephraim and I’m really excited. I know we have a faithful Father who will give me what I need to wait for his birth and to be his momma. I’m also waiting for the day I get to see Micaiah again. And I’m so thankful that He will continue to give me what I need each day as I wait for that amazing moment.

Thankful for your prayers for us as we continue to walk down this road of joy and pain.

Ephraim Prego Pics

While Jordan and I were back in Texas last November, we were able to get some pregnancy pics made with our friend Cherie. Thankful to have these and hope that you enjoy them!

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Adoption Update

Jordan and I recently got some exciting news about our adoption. Our dossier has finally been finished and sent out to Lesotho! I’ll back up a little here and explain why I said Lesotho and not Ethiopia. A couple months back we got word from our adoption agency that there was another delay with Ethiopia. They had not renewed our agency’s license and without renewal we could not complete our adoption from Ethiopia. Our agency contact was not sure how long this delay could take and he encouraged us to look into switching to another country for our adoption. Jordan and I spent some time praying and asked others to join us in prayer as we sought God in this decision. After some time we felt good with the decision to switch to Lesotho. We are still asking for a child under 1 year of age and since we now know we are expecting Ephraim, we have requested to adopt a little girl. We hope to pick up her up in November of this year (it’s not a date that our agency as promised but one we are hoping and praying for….it is one of our impossible prayer points for this year).

So where is Lesotho? It’s a small country landlocked inside of South Africa. Lesotho is a country of about 2 million people and has a huge orphan problem. They are making great efforts to help get their orphans adopted and have done several things to help make the process easier for waiting parents. We are really thankful for how they are working to get children into families and look forward to bringing our little girl home!

God has been so gracious to provide for us in this process. We are really thankful for all of you who have given gifts to us to help bring our baby home. We are especially thankful for Jake and Meredith Baskin, who helped to raise over $17,000 through their wedding! They did not register for anything but instead asked people to give towards our adoption. This is a huge blessing and we are so so thankful for their faith and generous hearts. We know they are not after any glory or recognition here but we wanted to share how God has been so faithful to provide for us in this season.  I’m also encouraged by this because I feel like it’s another way He is affirming our steps to adopt. He is for us and our little girl and we definitely see it.

We would love your prayers for us and our little girl as we continue in this process. It’s hard to think about where she is, what she is going through, if she is safe and loved and cared for. We are really ready to have her in our arms. Pray for her physical and spiritual protection, that she would have good caretakers, be physically nourished and well cared for and that God would be so near to her in this time, protecting her and drawing her to Himself. And we would love for you to join us in asking for her to come home this November!

Thanks so much!

Name and Gender Reveal

Jordan and I are really excited to share with you what this little bundle of joy is! We were able to find out the gender in November when we were back in the States for a wedding. We got the results in an envelope (we didn’t look at them) and kept them to reveal at our baby shower the following week. We were really blessed to be able to have family and friends around us to share in this news and also bless us with a baby shower. Our baby BOY got lots of great gifts that we were able to bring back with us to India.

Jordan and I have chosen the name Ephraim Joshua for our son. Ephraim was Joseph’s second son and was born to him after much suffering and affliction. The name means “doubly fruitful” or “increasing.” Joseph named him that because God had made him fruitful in the land of his affliction. Joshua is Jordan’s middle name and it means “Yahweh is salvation.” God is our salvation and our only hope and we pray that Ephraim comes to know and believe this truth one day.

Not long after Micaiah was born I was listening to a sermon about Joseph. Ephraim was mentioned in the sermon and I really liked the meaning of the name. I came back and told Jordan about it and to my surprise he had just heard the meaning of that name from a book he was reading that day. We talked about it and both felt like it should be the name of our next son. In His mercy, God has blessed us and made us “fruitful” in this season of affliction and suffering and we are expecting another son. We are so excited and ready to meet this blessing.

I am about 35 weeks right now. I’m hormonal and emotional (poor Jordan). My belly is growing and I’m getting to where I can’t really bend over any more :) Ephraim loves to move and kick. I’m sure he is going to be like his dad…a little on the crazy side. We love feeling and seeing him move inside me. Thankful for this gift and excited to meet him soon.

We found a doctor here in India that we like. We took a tour of the labor and delivery floor and are making preparations for his arrival. I’ve been getting his room and clothes ready. Already have my hospital bag pretty much packed (ever heard of nesting??). Needless to say we are ready and anxiously waiting his arrival!

We would love your prayers for us as we go into labor and welcome him into this world. I am anxious about going into labor in a foreign place. I’m sad we won’t have friends and family with us at the hospital. I’m nervous about riding in a taxi down the bumpy and crowded roads of India when I’m having contractions. And I’m just not sure how Ephraim’s birth will affect me emotionally as I remember the birth of his big brother Micaiah. I know God will provide everything we need and I’m thankful we can trust Him in this time.

Thanks for your prayers for us and our growing family. Thankful to have you guys behind us on this journey.

Sonogram pic of our little guy :)

Sonogram pic of our little guy :)

We had some great maternity pics done thanks to our friend Cherie!

We had some great maternity pics done thanks to our friend Cherie!

Ephie is going to have a stache like his dad.

Ephie is going to have a stache like his dad.

 

 

Entering Into The Pain

One thing I have learned through all that we have walked through with losing babies is that it is painful. Painful is actually an understatement. It is heart wrenching and sometimes debilitating. The pain affects all of your life. It can feel like a cloud that just looms over you and dulls everything you see. We naturally try to avoid pain. It is normal. Who wants to intentionally put themeselves into painful situations or go through painful things just to feel the pain? So we avoid it and even run from it at times. But when we run from the pain of life we miss out on the tremendous blessing of knowing God in the pain. We miss out on the joy and intimacy that comes from walking with him in the midst of pain. God has allowed me to enter into the pain of losing Micaiah and our other two and through this pain he has showered me with gifts.

On my last post I talked about feeling so tired. It’s been an emotionally, physically and spiritually tiring season. I’m in no way out of it but parts of it are getting better. I recently had some breakthrough with God and it was so encouraging. I spent a week or so reading/journaling/praying through the book of Lamentations and it was so wonderful. It was such a helpful time for processing what I had felt- the pain, anger, questions, longings and frustrations. I saw how the writer really came to God in honesty and asked him to move. It gave me the freedom to do the same. I think it is so important to be honest with God. He knows the pain is there, so why not tell him about it and let him walk you through it. He knows the hurt and anger and fear are there. He knows what is in our hearts and there is a wonderful way in which we can come to him as our Father and share these things and let him answer us in his perfect way. Sometimes just telling him is all we need. The other option is to ignore it and stuff it which doesn’t help you process or heal. We have many examples in his word of people coming to him in their pain and suffering and being completely honest with God. I think we miss out on so much when we don’t come to him in our suffering. It requires honesty and vulnerability and sometimes just lots of tears but it is so beautiful to see him meet you there and just hold you like a good dad. I can’t say I always felt that in the moment but when I look back I definitely see him. He was always there.

As I’ve reflected over this past year, I’ve been so overwhelmed with His mercy and grace on me in this season of life. I’ve had some pretty raw and angry conversations with God. I’m not really proud of how I’ve responded at times. He has been so patient with me in my weakness and in my wrestling and I am so thankful for that. He has poured out grace and mercy on me and allowed me to really process and work through all these different emotions. I can honestly say I am not angry with God for allowing us to walk through all that we have. And it is by his grace I can say that.

I know that many of you are walking through difficult seasons. I hope that you take the time and really go there with God in your suffering. Wrestle with him and hold fast to the promises he has given us. Let him know because he already knows. Let him come and bring healing and joy. Keep pressing in because it is so worth it.

Come for Me

[This post was written on October 4th and since then the Lord has really broken through and moved in my life. I've been so thankful to see how He has worked in my tiredness and plan to share more about it in a future post.]

 

So I go through phases of music. Right now I’m really liking Charlie Hall. When we first came to India it was Shane and Shane, then with losing Micaiah it was David Crowder and now it is Charlie Hall. The other day I was sharing with Jordan how I’ve been feeling and how it’s been connecting with God. After I shared, Jordan brought up the song, Come to Me, by Charlie Hall. He looked up the lyrics and read them. Before he was done reading I was crying. The song described how I felt and how some days I’m just so tired and long to be with Jesus. It’s a beautiful song. I love how real Charlie Hall is with his music.

The song talks about being tired. I (and all of us) have lots of reasons for being tired. One is that we live in a foreign country. Doing the smallest thing can take all your energy out of you (like getting food). Learning a new language is also draining…oh why does it have to take so long! Being in a foreign place is draining, you don’t understand a lot, the food is different, the weather is freaking hot and you just get tired of being stared at, not understood and treated like a kid a times. I’m also tired of being worried about this baby and about losing this one too. I’m tired of being fearful and just want to rest.

But I don’t think the song is just talking about being physically tired. I think he is talking about being spiritually tired. And I am definitely drained on a spiritual level. I don’t really know where I am in the “grief process,” but I can see I’ve been through a few of the phases. Right now I’m just worn out. It feels like it takes so much energy to even come to a place to read the Bible. I’m doing a Beth Moore study on James and I’m seeing sin that I just hate and am ready to stop struggling with. But at the same time I feel like I can’t do anything about it…I’m to tired, it seems to big and I just don’t have it in me.

So right now I don’t know what to do with my tiredness. Lamentations says “O LORD, behold my affliction, for the enemy has triumphed.” I feel that the enemy had triumphed in my tiredness. Sometimes I feel he has triumphed in our loosing babies. I feel like he has triumphed as I see sin in my life. Sometimes it feels like you’re just getting beat up and that’s where I am for the moment (though it doesn’t feel like a moment).

But we do have much to be thankful for and much to remember of God’s faithfulness and goodness to us. I know that I’m not the only one walking through suffering or the only one grieving in the world. But I still feel alone in it and I think that is a lie from the enemy that I believe too often.

So I want God to do something with my tiredness. I want to be able to come to him and just be refreshed and filled. I want to not be overwhelmed by my sin and just rest in his forgiveness and perfect plan for my sanctification and receive strength from him to fight against the strongholds in my life. I want to rest in his perfect plan for this baby and rejoice in the gift that this little one is. I know that he will move in my life and that he is moving in my life. This season of being in the “fire” is hard but I know it is going to have some good results in my life. Hebrews talks about discipline being painful, and it is true, but it also says that without discipline we aren’t true sons. I’m His daughter and I know the work He is doing in my life is good and is proof that I am his. And I’m so so thankful for that.

I’ve been reading from C.S. Lewis recently and in his journal after his wife passed away he talked about God being like a surgeon. A good surgeon won’t stop in the middle of a surgery just because it is painful to the patient. A good doctor finishes the surgery because he knows that is what’s best for the patient. If he stopped, the problem would still be there and the patient would not be any better off than he was before the surgery started. As much as it hurts to lose Micaiah and our other two, I know that I can’t ask Him to stop “in the middle of it.” He is the perfect physician and knows exactly what He is doing in my life and I can trust Him when it hurts and when I don’t understand.

Come for Me
By Charlie Hall

Jesus come take me away, I long to see your face
This world is broken yet beautifully made,
Jesus come take me away
Jesus I’ll patiently wait, till like a vapor I’ll fade
Help me fulfill all your dreams for these days,
Jesus I’ll patiently wait

You’ll come again with a shout,
like a thief in the night you’ll come riding on clouds
Finally the voice I have followed for life
has a glorious face that is lit up with life
And you’ll come for me, no more pain, peace,
No more fear, release
just lost and consumed with my glorious King,

And you’ll come for me

Jesus today I am tired, I need your music to come and inspire
I give myself to be refined in this fire,
but Jesus today I’m so tired

One Year

Sunday we celebrated Micaiah’s one year birthday. It’s hard to believe it has been a year since we met our son. At the same time it seems so long ago. On one hand I’m happy…I’m one year closer to seeing my son again. On the other hand I hate it…I hate that it’s been so long since I’ve held him and kissed him. I fear forgetting him. If we didn’t have pictures I feel like I could forget what he looked like. Our time with him was too short but we know that God has great purposes for Micaiah and in that we rejoice. Right now we can’t see or understand all those purposes but one day we will see and we will understand. I really look forward to that day.

I was a little stressed about forming some tradition to celebrate Micaiah’s birthday. I want to have something we do each year as a family to remember him and celebrate his life. I’m so thankful that we were able to find some ways to celebrate him and I look forward to doing some of these things each year.

That morning we sang the songs that were sung at his funeral service. Jordan played the guitar and we sang together in our home. It was a sweet time of remembering truth and remembering our son. After that we went to a hotel together and swam and sat by the pool. We talked together about the past year and about all the ways God has blessed us through Micaiah’s life. We have so much to be thankful for. God has done so much in our lives and I know his work is not finished. After some pool time we sat together and read over the message that was spoken at Micaiah’s funeral. So much truth is packed in that message and it is so encouraging to read it. Jordan read the poem that he wrote for Micaiah’s funeral and I read over what I wrote for his service. We looked at pictures of our cute boy and then we prayed together. After that we went and had some dinner and cake to celebrate his birthday. Jordan got lucky and ended up having most of my piece too (it just wasn’t sounding so good to me at the time). After dinner I wrote a letter to Micaiah. I’ve kept a journal of letters I’ve written to him over the past year. It’s my way of connecting to him and keeping him updated on what’s going on in our lives.

His birthday was a really good day. Some days are depressing and sad but his birthday wasn’t like that. Our hearts were full and encouraged. I’m thankful it wasn’t a downer of a day. God really blessed us with a wonderful day of celebrating and remembering Micaiah’s life.

The day after his birthday we went to my language helper’s house and fed the poor together. Jordan ordered a lot of Byriani (common rice dish here) and we bagged it up and gave it to people. My language helper’s brother passed away last year and I asked her what they did on his birthday. Zainab told me they gave food to the poor in his name. So I talked to Jordan about it and we decided to do the same. We were so blessed to serve with her and her mom. It was the best night I’ve had here with a local family.

 

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This is Irfhan. He is the man who made the delicious biryani.

 

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Jordan and Travis bagging some food. Lydia is helping with the bags and Calum is playing in the background.

 

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Bagging more food with my language helper’s mom. Our friends, Hilary and Travis were there serving with us.

 

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Bags of food. Lydia was surprised we were going to give spicy food to the kids :)

 

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We worked out in their courtyard.

 

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People crammed in the back door to get a bag of food.

 

 

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If we hadn’t had Zainab’s help, it would have been pretty chaotic.

 

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A neighbor woman who lives behind my language helper. She spoke a sweet blessing over us after we were done.

Thanks so much for all of you who remembered with us and were praying for us over Micaiah’s birthday. God definitely answered your prayers and really blessed us that day.

 

 

8 Months

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. -Luke 18:1

Today is Micaiah’s 8 month birthday. Eight months ago today we met our sweet son. I think about him often and still miss him so so much. It’s hard to believe it’s been 8 months now. It’s also hard to keep walking with this emptiness and deep longing for children.

Yesterday I woke up and was pretty down about where we are with children. I was not doing very good and I didn’t have a very good attitude. Later that morning Jordan and I read through Luke 18 and I felt like God was speaking directly into my pain and frustration. I felt like I was losing heart, I was struggling and just tired of everything. I was tired of waiting, tired of trying, tired of longing and tired of wondering when this season would be over.

This parable is about a widow who keeps asking for justice. The judge is not a righteous man and does not even fear God, but because she kept coming and asking he gave in and granted her justice. She was persistent and didn’t give up. If this unrighteous man gave this widow justice, how much more will our righteous Father give to us, His children. We have confidence to come to him and to keep coming to him in prayer. I’m encouraged to keep coming to him with my desire for children knowing that He is a righteous judge and a loving Father. This is the truth I have to remember on those days when I feel I’m losing heart.

May we press on in prayer and seek to be like this widow who didn’t give up and kept on asking. He is a good Father and is able to do far more than we could ever ask or imagine.

Micaiah on a blanket his great-grandma made him.

Micaiah on a blanket his great-grandma made him.

Our sweet little boy's feet. His aunt Courtney gave him this blanket :)

Our sweet little boy’s feet. His aunt Courtney gave him this blanket :)

 

Why we are Adopting

God gave us a passion for adoption even before we started trying to get pregnant. We started really talking about it a couple years after we were married, while we were still living in Austin and I was finishing school. Jordan was reading a book by Russel Moore called “Adopted for Life.” This book is mainly about our spiritual adoption but also talks about their adoption process. The more we understood what adoption meant and how we are adopted into God’s family, the more we wanted to bring a child into our home through adoption. It is an amazing picture of the gospel. Although I didn’t read it at the time, I definitely heard Jordan share a lot about it. So we started looking into organizations and even into Ethiopia. But we did not meet some of the requirements to adopt so we decided to delay the process. We were also on track to move to Pennsylvannia and begin preparing to move overseas shortly after that.

Our desire for children still grew and about a year later we were pregnant with our first, Camden. Soon after finding out we were expecting we began miscarrying. This only increased our desires for some babies, but we didn’t seriously consider starting the adoption process until after we had Micaiah. By then it had been close to two years since our first pregnancy and we were really ready to have some children in our home! We knew that we had a long road ahead of us with healing and processing everything we had been through with Micaiah. We also knew that adoption could take up to 2 years so we decided to go ahead and get the process going. We sent in our original application on Micaiah’s 3 month birthday, December 8, 2012.

IMG_6754

But deciding to start the adoption process wasn’t an easy decision for me. I had a really hard time getting to the place where I was ready. I really wanted to be pregnant again and even struggled with the idea of adopting. My heart was aching and fearful, and I wondered how I could do this.

Our church began a series last fall on adoption. It was during one of the adoption sermons, that Aaron Ivey shared about his family’s experience with adoption and the realities and challenges that it brings. It really hit me when he said that adoption is entering into the suffering of another. Something really felt right about this and I wanted to get the process started. I wanted to be able to enter into the suffering of a little child who really needs a family. I think the suffering we have experienced with Micaiah and with our other two has, in some ways, prepared us to adopt. After the service I told Jordan I was ready. We were both so stinking excited to begin the journey.

Since we started the process we have had our ups and downs. It is hard to think about the potential challenges ahead and so hard to wait and have no real timeline of when we will get our baby. It’s hard to be in a place of need and dependence on the Lord and to wait on his timing. But we believe this is what we are supposed to be doing. God has confirmed that over and over and even grown our desire and excitement for out little Ethiopian baby. We cannot wait to meet him or her!

We are asking for your help.

This process is something that God has called us to, and we know that God will be faithful to provide for our needs. However, we can’t do this without the help of family and friends and the larger body of Christ. Adoption is an expensive process, but we believe it’s worth it.

There are three ways you can help: 1) You can pray. 2) You can post this on facebook or twitter and help us get the word out and 3) You can financially help us. Right now we are applying for several grants and raising money through other means. We would love for you to consider helping us with our financial needs and partner with us to bring our baby home. Below is the information on how you can do that. Thanks for considering it!

How To Give Via Mail:

Please make checks out to Small World. On the memo line write: “For the child to be adopted by Jordan and Lauren Tardy.” You can send your tax-deductible gift to:

Small World
P.O. Box 1109
Mt. Juliet, TN 37121

How To Give Online:

You can click on the paypal button on the side bar. Giving through pay-pal is not tax-deductable. It will be used for our adoption expenses and will be a huge help.

Thank you so much!

Being Fathered

I want to be Fathered.

I want Him to really come and show me what it’s like to be fathered in all His goodness and perfection. I want to be free to really receive all that He is as my Father. My own appetites and desires are a hinderance to truly experiencing His satisfying Fathership in my life. I’m so tired of trying to find satisfaction in the things of this world. I long to be free from these things that weigh me down and to really enter into the joy of being Fathered by my creator and savior.

For so long I’ve sought after control, approval, perfection and satisfaction apart from Him. I know it’s useless but I still do it. I don’t like waiting on Him to give me what I think I need. And I don’t always like getting what He knows I need. Sometimes I don’t like His best for me because sometimes its just real hard and painful. I can’t see the fullness of His plan or how it all works out for good. I just see what is in front of me and that’s not always most enjoyable.

But it is a joy when I stop looking to the things of this world to fill me up and instead look to Him. I want to do this more. Jesus did this perfectly. He walked through this life with all of its temptations and empty promises and kept His eyes on the one who truly satisfies. He trusted His Father in times of great testing and He endured. He was victorious over the enemy and chose to trust and obey His Father instead of giving in to the appetites of the flesh.

Would love your prayers as He continues to work in my life. Pray that my heart would be open and free to receive His great love and perfect care for me as my Father. I know He is good and I long to be satisfied in Him. I long to know Him more and what is really means to have Him as my Father. And pray for patience and contentment in this time of waiting to see how He will satisfy our desires for children here on earth.

 

Getting closer to meeting baby Tardy

Our home study is next week! We are getting closer to bringing our baby home and we would love your prayers for us as we prepare this week and as we complete our home study. We are really thankful things are moving along in this process.

Our agency will have a couple people out to see us next Tuesday and Wednesday. Please be praying for them as they travel and for energy and good health. We are thankful that we can actually get a home study done in India!

Thanks to all of you who have helped us to get our paperwork done. We appreciate you being apart of bringing baby Tardy home :)

Love you guys and will keep you posted on how it all goes.

 

Lessons from Micaiah

It’s been 6 months since Micaiah was born. God has taught us so much through the life of our son. Our friend Andy spoke at Micaiah’s service. In his message, Andy spoke of Micaiah being our teacher. As parents we are supposed to be the teachers of our children, but we don’t get to teach Micaiah things. There has been a switch in roles. Micaiah has become our teacher and we are learning so much through his life.

In honor of Micaiah’s 6 month birthday, I’d like to share some of the things he has taught me and ways that he has change my life.

Micaiah has taught me to love Jesus more. Jesus gave me Micaiah and Jesus has made a way for us to be together again. I’m so thankful for the gift of my son and for the work of Jesus to make a way for both me and Micaiah to live for all eternity in His presence. And I love Jesus because of how He has comforted, provided and cared for us in this season. He has been so faithful.

Micaiah has made me less afraid of death. Jesus has surely defeated death and has taken away the sting of it. Before I knew and believed that there was no reason to fear death but loosing Micaiah has made that more real for me. I’m less afraid to breathe my last…Micaiah has made me more ready for that day. I have more to look forward to in leaving this world and that makes me less afraid of it.

Micaiah is teaching me to be a better mom. I’ll never be a perfect mom but I do think that I will be a better mom now that I have had Micaiah. God is refining me through this process and freeing me to love my children in ways that honor Him more.

Micaiah is teaching me that God’s love is constant no matter what my circumstances are. Whether I am walking through difficulty or ease, His love is sure and always the same.

Micaiah has brought me and Jordan closer. We are better friends than we were before, have a stronger marriage and are both more confident in who we are as a couple and as individuals. I’m really thankful for all that God has done in our marriage through this little guy.

Micaiah has given me a greater appreciation for the cross. Without the cross I would not be able to join my son at the feet of Jesus. I’m really looking forward to the day when Micaiah, Jordan, and I will worship Jesus side by side.

Micaiah has taught me that it’s ok to wrestle with God. At times I have felt like Jacob, who wrestled with God until He blessed him. I don’t think I’ve ever been more honest and real with God than I have in the past year. In pouring out my heart to Him, God has been so gracious to speak truth to me and to calm my heart. He has blessed me in my wrestling and continues take me deeper in knowing and loving Him.

Micaiah has made me a better daughter…not of my earthy parents but of my Heavenly Father. God is doing some painful work in my life but I believe it is fruitful work that will continue to strengthen my faith and bring Him glory. I am His child and I am thankful that I can trust my Father as He moves and works in my life.

There have been so many things we’ve learned in this difficult season and I know there will be many more lessons that Micaiah will teach us. These are just a few. Even though it seems backwards, God is using the life of our son to teach us. I’m so thankful for Micaiah. He is a good teacher and a dang cute little boy :)

Happy birthday sweet boy. I love you.

Just after he arrived!

From the day I dressed Micaiah.

 

 

Trust

It has been hard at times to trust God. I like to be in control. By now I should have learned that control is an illusion and that I’ll never be in control. Sometimes we think we are in control only to end up seeing that the thing or person we believe we are controlling is really controlling us. It’s a weird and destructive cycle and I think it stems out of not trusting Him…the One who truly is in control.

I want to trust Him. Piper has said that the greatest danger is not trusting God. The enemy would love it if I didn’t trust God. I don’t want to walk in unbelief. A common prayer of mine is “I believe, help my unbelief.” I believe, but sometimes I have a real hard time believing. I’m thankful for the grace He gives us when we are weak and struggling. I’m thankful that He responds to faith even if it’s only as small as a mustard seed.

I want to trust Him when I don’t understand His ways. I want to trust Him when I’m scared and struggling. I want to trust Him when I miss my son. I want to trust Him with our future. I want to trust Him to continue the work that He has begun in me. I want to trust Him with having more children.

But trusting is not easy. It’s a battle at times. Im so glad that He remembers we are but dust. He knows we are weak and that we need Him. I would love your prayers for me in trusting Him. He is an everlasting rock and I want to rest in Him.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he TRUSTS in you. TRUST in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4

 

Buying Land

We would like to invite you into a new journey with us, a journey that God is leading us on. But before I share, let me explain a little about why I titled this post “buying land.”

A friend encouraged us with Jeremiah 32 after we had shared the news of this new journey we are on. It really resonated with me as I considered this difficult season we have been in and looked to restoration ahead. In this passage the people of God are about to be attacked and taken captive because of their sin against the Lord. But just before the siege, God tells Jeremiah to go and buy land. Even though the city will be destroyed, Jeremiah is to purchase land in faith, as a sign that God will again restore the land and make it a place for His people. Restoration was coming, but not before a time of trial.

We have been walking through a time of trial and are by no means fully healed or restored, but we know that He is working to do just that. In this time we are looking ahead to restoration. And, in a similar way, we are purchasing land – by starting the adoption process. We are so excited to be adopting and see this little one as a sign to us of His restoration. We are not putting our hope in children but we are believing that He wants to restore and we see adoption as part of His plan to do just that.

Jordan and I sent in our initial application on Micaiah’s 3 month birthday (December 8th). We are currently working on getting paperwork finished so we can get our home study done. Once we are approved it will take anywhere from 12-18 months until we have our baby. We have chosen to adopt from Ethiopia and are hoping to get a child under the age of 1.

We are excited to share this news with you and will keep you updated along the way. I am looking forward to seeing how He knits our family together. I know that He already has a baby picked out for us and I can’t wait to bring him or her into our home. Please be praying for His favor in this process and for us to quickly bring home our little one. We can’t wait!!!!!

Psalm 113

Psalm 113

Who is like the Lord our God?

“Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD! Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praise! The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people. He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!”

Two different people have sent us Psalm 113:9 as a promise to claim over our lives. Jordan’s aunt Betsy sent it to me and a mentor of ours sent it to jordan…pretty much around the same time. The other day I spent some time reading it and really felt blessed by the Lord from this passage.

First of all the title of the passage is “Who is like the Lord our God?” I was shocked that this was the title of the passage because that is basically what Micaiah’s name means. I felt even more like this passage was for me.

The reference to the rising sun is like that in Lamentations 3, which is the passage we read at Micaiah’s service. It is a hopeful reminder to me of His mercies that are new every morning.

The nations are mentioned here. I know that He has a purpose for us being in India. And I know that He will use all that we are going through to be a blessing to families here. He will be praised among the nations and we hope to see new praise spring up here in India.

Raising the poor from the dust and the needy from ashes resonates with me as well. I long for Him to raise me up out of these ashes. He is raising me up but it’s not a quick and easy process. Jordan and I are both ready for restoration and we are hoping that it will come soon.

And lastly there is the reference to making the barren woman the joyful mother of children. I’m not barren but I have lost 3 children. There is an emptiness in me like that of the barren woman. I’m looking forward to the day when I’m overwhelmed with joy because my house is full of children – even if they are all crazy like their daddy :)

So I’m waiting to see how He moves. I’m hopeful…but at times it is a struggle to have hope. He is good and is strong and I’m thankful I can fall on Him when I’m weak. There truly is no one like our God. I’m so thankful to be His.

 

Loss upon loss

We aren’t sharing this to make you feel bad for us. In fact, I really don’t want people to feel bad for us. I want love and care and comfort but I don’t want you to feel bad. We are sharing this because we believe that God moves through prayer and we want you to be praying for us and for the future of our family. Thanks for walking with us in this difficult time.

A little over a week ago we started miscarrying our third baby.

Jordan and I found out we were pregnant again on December 20th. It was hard for us to believe. Jordan usually has a hard time believing home pregnancy tests, so he took me to get my blood work done and we found out that we were expecting!

We waited until Christmas Eve to tell our families. They were happy and excited for us. It was a nice early Christmas gift.

I was nervous about telling them because of fear of having a miscarriage. We had our first miscarriage back in May of 2011. About nine months later we got pregnant with Micaiah. A little over 3 months after his birth and death we found out we were expecting again. I really thought this one was going to be it…that we were finally going to have a baby to raise and enjoy here. We now know that God has a different plan. And it is definitely a plan that has been a struggle to accept.

The day we found out about this baby my friend sent me a verse from the book of Job. Chapter 42 verse 2 says, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” This is a bittersweet truth for me. I know He can give us healthy children through pregnancy but that hasn’t been His purpose in our pregnancies. But He is in control and is carrying out His good plans and good purposes for us.

This has been a trying season. One of suffering and loss and pain. God is refining us and it is not an easy process. But we know He is a good Father and that He never leaves or forsakes us…even when we don’t understand and are struggling to trust Him.

I want my heart to be like Job, who after learning of the loss of his children and fortune blessed God. He praised God saying, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord (my paraphrase).” Please pray that we would trust God like Job did and worship Him in this time. Pray for our hearts to rest in Him and seek Him in this difficult time. Only He can heal our hearts. Please pray for us to walk through all this in a way that honors Him. Pray that we would have faith and not give up. And please pray that He would soon give us the blessing of being pregnant and having another baby. We know that He is more than able.

His Everlasting Arms

Listened to a sermon the other morning…it was actually the second time I had listened to it. Our pastor preached about Jesus calming the storm.

Here are some points to remember and truths to fill my mind with:

  • The storm is good because it reveals our lack of faith
  • Jesus is the sender of the storm and is good for sending it to us because it reveals our lack of faith
  • Without the storm our faith wouldn’t be strengthened
  • We can trust Him to use storms for our good and to strengthen our faith
  • Jesus has power to calm our storms
  • Jesus is powerful and we can trust Him
  • It is good to cry out to Jesus in the storm even if all you can cry out is “Jesus do you care?

 

Storm, trial, wrestling, darkness, pain, hopelessness, fear, anxiety, depressed, longing, waiting, missing, alone, and desperate. This is what my life has felt like at various times over the past couple years. Whether it’s been related to India, pregnancy, my children, family, community or my marriage, I’ve felt these feelings and emotions.  They’ve stuck around for quite a while.

Peace, joy, laughter, hope, a righteous anger, passion, strength, love, rest, beauty, refreshment, healing, being held by His grace. - I’ve felt these emotions and feelings at the same time over the past couple years. Let’s just say my emotions have swung to both sides of the pendulum…and they continue to swing. I’ve experienced some intense emotions and most of the time it’s not just one emotion I’m feeling.

At times the waves have felt like they were crashing over my head and I was about to drown. Other times I’ve felt like I’m just resting in the sweet sun listening to the beautiful waves crash against the shore. But the one thing that is constant in this storm is God. He is in control of the storm and He is with me in the storm. As my emotions run to and fro, I can rest on a firm foundation of truth…the truths I wrote above.

“There is none like God, O Jeshurun, who rides through the heavens to your help, through the skies in his majesty. The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deut 33:26-27

Underneath me holding me up are His everlasting arms. No matter how hard it gets He is with me. There is no way I could do this without Him. I’m so thankful that He holds me up. He doesn’t let me drown. I’m protected and I’m safe. There is no way I’m slipping out of His hands; I’m His daughter and He won’t let me go.

Seeing His Face

One of the most exciting things about having a baby is finally getting to see their face…finally getting to meet them and hold them. Ultrasounds don’t do our babies justice…they are a whole lot cuter in person. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so thankful for ultrasounds and that I got to see Micaiah and spend time with him (on the big screen :) ) before he was born but they really can’t give you the full effect.

We had more than one person tell us we should terminate Micaiah’s life. I can get real angry just thinking about that. I can speak from experience that no matter what the diagnosis is, it is worth it to carry your unborn baby. Oh it is so so worth it, even if you just get a few minutes with them.

I’m not writing this to make anyone feel bad. I’m writing this because I want people to know that it is very worth it to carry your child no matter what the outcome may be. I’ve struggled with guilt because I remember thinking that it would be easier to just end the pregnancy. I wanted relief from the pain I felt. But ending his life would not bring the relief I was wanting.

Carrying Micaiah was difficult, not because it was hard being pregnant, it was difficult because it was hard to bear the thought of him not making it. How could God do this? How could I do this? Oh I begged and prayed that God would do a miracle and give Micaiah kidneys. I did not want to lose my son. But we did lose him.

We lost our son but I got to see his face. I got to see his sweet face. I got to hold him and kiss him and love him. I got to help give him a bath, I got to dress him, I got to see my husband hold him and I got to see my family hold him. The time we had with Micaiah is priceless. The joy of meeting him far outweighs the pain of carrying him. And we are told that these light and momentary afflictions are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory. This affliction doesn’t seem very light at times. But I do know it will be worth it. I know that the glory Paul is talking about is mainly related to when we get to be in the presence of our King and Savior but I do think that part of this “eternal weight of glory” involves seeing my son’s face again. When we look back on our lives this suffering will seem light compared to the glory of seeing and knowing Jesus in His fullness. I’m looking forward to that glorious day…to the day when I can stand by my son and together enjoy seeing our Father’s sweet face.

 

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

“For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us and eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Hopeful Christmas Video from John Piper

This sure got me (jordan). Thankful for Jesus, his life, his love and compassion for us and his love for Micaiah. And thankful for how Piper has helped me love Jesus more.

Open Hands

“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

-Luke 11:11-13

 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Of if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

-Matthew 7:7-11

We asked many times for God to heal Micaiah. We and others prayed for healing but our Father did not give us what we asked for. Doesn’t healing our son sound like a good gift? It sounded like a good gift to me and sometimes it still feels like that would have been the best gift. But this is where we have to trust Him and His definition of good. Good to me does not always mean what is good to Him. I truly believe that if it were better for us, Micaiah would still be here. But he isn’t.

God’s view of things is so much higher and greater than ours. In His eyes, taking Micaiah home was best. Losing Micaiah has been a gift…a gift in more ways than one. It hasn’t always felt like a good gift but I believe that Micaiah’s life and death is and will always be a gift to us.

Jordan and I will never be the same and neither will our marriage. God has done so much in our relationship and I am so so thankful for that. Jordan and I are so much closer and stronger. We also have a the gift of being able to relate to others who walk through difficult pregnancies and experience loss. No matter where we are or how old we get we will be able to love and serve others who walk through similar sitautions. I’m so thankful for that.

So even though we did not get what we asked for we have received some really great gifts. It’s easy to see these gifts looking back but it’s real hard to see them in the middle of the pain. I’m thankful that He has given us eyes to see some of the gifts He has given us in this time of suffering and loss. I know there will be more…just have to wait and see.

Would you join in praying for me to continue to trust Him and His goodness as we continue to walk down this road? We are hoping and longing for more children and we still miss our sweet Micaiah. It is hard to see this time of waiting as being good. Would you pray for our hearts to rest in Him and to trust His timing and plan for us? Pray for us to open our hands to the good gifts He wants to give us in this time. Thanks for your prayers.

True Tragedy

I’ve been reading a book by Nancy Guthrie. She has lost two of her children and wrote a devotional to help others who walk through suffering. It has really helped me in this time and I’m grateful for it. Thank you Jenifer for recommending it to me. This is some of what I’ve been processing as I’ve been reading her book. Hope you enjoy.

Luke 13:1-5
“There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

I’m not saying this to minimize anyone’s suffering…mine included. I’m writing this because it helps put our suffering into perspective. Jesus cares about us in our suffering. He cares when tragedy happens. In fact, part of the reason He came was to put an end to tragedy and suffering. Because of Him there will be a day when there are no more tears. For those of us who believe in and follow Him; it’s what we are looking forward to.

But Jesus isn’t just about ending suffering and tragedy. He is about saving us from the ultimate tragedy…life apart from Him. He came to make a way for us to be made right with God. Because of Him we have a sure hope that we will be welcomed in to glory. We have hope now in this life and in the life to come.

When His children walk through tragedy and suffering here on earth they don’t have to walk through it without hope. But not everyone has that hope. Jordan and I have this hope in the midst of this suffering. We have hope that one day we will see our son again. We have hope that we will be welcomed in to eternity. We have hope that makes those dark and hard days worth living. And we want to share that hope with those who don’t have it. This is ultimately why we are going back to India. We believe God wants people in India to hear about the hope we have in Jesus. And we believe that God will bring some (hopefully many) to see and receive the hope He has provided through Jesus.

This passage in Luke is comforting because it shows us that not all suffering is a result of our sin. We did not lose Micaiah because of our sin. God chose us to be Micaiah’s parents and He chose to take Micaiah home. He did both for His glory. But losing Micaiah is not the greatest tragedy. Jesus says that unless we repent we will all perish. And to perish without Jesus is the greatest tragedy. I really hope you hear my heart. Losing our son is a great tragedy. I love and miss him so much. But to live with out knowing Jesus as your hope is an even greater one.

Happy 2 Month Birthday Micaiah

Today is Micaiah’s 2 month birthday. I love him and I miss him. We are now 2 months closer to seeing our son again. Oh what a joy that is.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.”

I love the confidence Paul has. He knows that his hope is unshaken…when we suffer we will be comforted. God comforts us in our afflictions and also uses us to comfort others in ANY affliction. We don’t have to experience the exact same suffering as others to comfort them. If we have suffered at all and have experienced God’s comfort, then we are able to comfort others.

God has comforted us in this time of suffering. He has comforted us through text messages, emails and facebook messages. He has comforted us through the Kampmans and the Miles (people who have walked through this same road as us). He has comforted us through each other, through His word, through music, through prayer. He comforted us on the day Micaiah was born and throughout that week until his service. He comforted us as we buried our son. He has comforted us through hugs. He has comforted us through counseling and through doctors and nurses. He has comforted us through others sharing their losses. He has comforted us through other children. He has comforted us through community. We have been comforted through rest, through nature and through the generosity of others. I’m so thankful for His comfort and know that it will continue to be poured out on us as we walk through the days ahead.

We as His children have a sure hope. I love knowing that I have a sure hope. It is unshaken. It is a solid foundation in times of suffering. I’m so thankful for a Father who comforts us, for a God who knows what it is like to suffer because He Himself suffered. I’m so thankful for my faithful Savior who walks with me through suffering and who comforts me. And I’m thankful that one day there will be no need for anymore comforting. Looking forward and longing for that day when there will be no more suffering and when He will wipe away all our tears.

18 Ways Micaiah has changed my life

Howdy blogosphere, jordan here.

There are probably closer to 1800 ways that Micaiah has changed my life. As time goes on I am sure that number will only grow, but for now I will give you 18 (in no particular order).

  1. Greater appreciations for life – Its precious, it just is.
  2. Greater amazement of how God creates life – As I sought to understand Micaiah’s complications, I was amazed at all that happens as a baby is developing. I am convinced that it is a miracle any baby is born at all. God truly is knitting each baby in the womb as the scriptures say.
  3. Heaven is much closer – I can almost taste it and feel it and touch it. I try to imagine what Micaiah knows and is experiencing. It usually leaves me with more questions, but the reality of heaven is so much more real today than its ever been.
  4. Passion for the unborn – They are real people, even when they are in the womb, and even with fatal conditions. Walking through this past 9 months stirs me to fight for the unborn, to speak up when I can, and find any way that will help women choose life. I look forward to the day when I can lovingly, but very sternly, look into a young lady’s eyes and tell her about Micaiah and plead with her to spare her child. I pray that day comes soon.
  5. Mustard is better than Ketchup – This was one of the only food cravings that Lauren had while she was pregnant. I guess it wore off on me some, and it makes me think of Micaiah.
  6. ‘Jesus will make all things new’ has a very tangible meaning for me – I don’t know what all this will entail, but I do know this: Micaiah will be given new life, no more lacking, no more complications, no more tears and he’s gonna call me Dad.
  7. I want to help anyone who has lost a baby, or could lose a baby – Just this past week I talked with one couple who’s baby has a heart defect and also tried to be there for some other friends who lost their baby. I know the pain, the worry, the confusion and I would gladly do anything for these families. I think this will be part of our life-time ministry wherever we live.
  8. I want Jesus to return – This ties in with number 6, but it is when he returns that he will make all things right and new.
  9. I want to spend my life taking the news of Jesus to those who have never heard – Since this has to happen before Jesus returns, Micaiah is more fuel to the flame to share Jesus’s hope with all peoples.
  10. I feel closer to my wife – Though we have had a rough week or so, I still see how God has brought us closer through the last 9 months, and I am stinking proud of how she has walked through this.
  11. I want 15 children – Not really, but going through this has only increased my desire for ninos. Holding Micaiah was precious beyond words.
  12. I have a biblical understanding of why Babies are saved (eternally)
  13. I am much more aware that life is short - Micaiah’s life was three minutes long (at least outside the womb). James says that our life is but a vapor. I’m not guaranteed three more minutes or even three seconds, so I want this life to count.
  14. I can do all things through Christ – even walk through such great suffering. Before Micaiah was born, that verse seemed sunday-schoolized. It was so overly used I think the meaning was somewhat lost for me. I remember thinking during the week between Micaiah’s birth and his celebration: “how in the world are we able to do this?” God had given us such strength that was not our own to actually walk through it all. Grief had not completely crippled us. Depression had not defeated us. God was so clearly with us. I can’t imagine going through anything much worse than these last couple months. It has given me confidence, that whatever God has in store for us down the road, through Christ we can walk through it.
  15. I love seeing my wife with a big belly – that was how we spent most of our time with Micaiah, and I miss it.
  16. I can better comfort others – at least I hope I can. Going through this I have realized what is helpful and what isn’t. In the future, I hope to be a comfort to others in greater ways.
  17. Counseling is super helpful - Before Micaiah came into our lives, I had never gone to a counselor. Now we are doing it at least once a week, and it is soooo helpful. I have learned more about myself, seen weaknesses in our marriage, seen my sin, and been greatly helped through this grieving process because of counseling. I recommend it.
  18. The 8th and 17th are no ordinary days in September - The former is Micaiah’s birthday and the latter is the day we celebrated his life. Both mean a whole lot more today than in previous years.

There you go. One day I will get to share all of this with my son, and much more.

Desperate

I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place like this before in life. I’ve never been so desperate in so many different areas. In marriage…in wanting to start a family…in my relationship with God…in my calling. But in the midst of this valley there are many things to be thankful for. We are gaining supporters and have been really blessed by His provision for us. We’ve had about half of the expenses for Micaiah covered by friends and family. We are both healthy and have a wonderful place to live right now. We have access to great food and great coffee (we are food and coffee people). We have lots of people that care for us, love us, and cook meals for us. We have free counseling at our church that has been so helpful in this time. There are some really good things going on- things to be thankful for and to rejoice in.

But I’ve really been brought to a place of desperation…to a place where the Lord has to move. He has to move because I don’t have the strength to do it on my own. I keep trying to do it on my own but it’s not working. God has brought me to a place of greater dependence on Him. I’m much more aware of my inability to do things on my own now. I can’t make myself more patient and gracious with jordan. I can’t heal my heart or give myself faith. I can’t make us get pregnant again or bring back Micaiah. I can’t change the fact that we are moving back to India. I’ve never felt so desperate for Him in so many different ways. The week we found out about Micaiah’s condition I felt a real shift in my dependence on the Lord. And since then the reality of my need has only deepened. He is taking me to a new place of relying on Him. It is hard but I’m sure it will be worth it. I’ve said that I wouldn’t wish that anyone would have to go through what we have been through but in some way that is not true. We have known our Savior in so many new ways…in deeper and richer ways. And honestly I would wish that on everyone. To know God in and through suffering is a rich blessing and I do hope (in a loving and non-lighthearted kind of way) that you get to experience and know Him in that way. I’m saying all this not from the other side of suffering but from being in the middle of it. I’m still in the middle of it and it is real hard. I’m not saying this lightly. I’m struggling and having a difficult time but I have hope because of Jesus and I want you to know that hope too. And a funny thing is…I’m not just saying this for you, I’m saying it for myself too. I need to hear this and I need to remember that my hope is in Jesus. This is the truth I have to hold on to when those dark and hard moments come. And oh do they come…

I feel like I have a long way to go before I’m actually doing what I want to do as far as calling. And that just sucks right now. I’m in a place where I can hardly communicate, where I don’t fully understand anything, where I feel alone and where it is physically really challenging. I would love to use my passions to bless the people I’m around- whether that is here or India. I just want to be able to bless women and children- physically and spiritually. I want to be apart of seeing the unborn saved. I want to see women’s hearts changed, to see families’ hearts changed to where they too love the unborn and see them like Jesus sees them. I want to see people come into the Kingdom. I want to see people’s hearts and bodies healed. I want to be a part of the restoration of brokenness but right now I feel so broken and very limited in my ability to help. Of course my inability doesn’t matter to my King. He is without limits- He is an endless source and I am His daughter so I have access to that endlessness. But India feels like the 5000+ people who were hungry and were fed by 5 loaves and 2 fish. That was a lot of people to feed…an overwhelming task for any normal person…but Jesus isn’t any normal person. I feel overwhelmed (and I’ve heard that is a good thing…what we need to feel) and powerless to help or make a change there. I feel very limited in my ability to feed anyone (in the sense that it will make a difference) or lead them to the source of lasting joy and satisfaction. I know I can share and pray and that is good, but I know He has to be the one to change their hearts and open their eyes. There are millions of people and it feels like all I could ever do would be a drop in the ocean when it comes to India. Plus some days I’m not sure that I could do any more than just survive in India. Surviving is a task in itself but actually thriving there?? Now that seems like a long way off at times. How am I going to have anything to give in this brokenness and pain? I have to keep reminding myself that even though I am just a small fish in the hands of Jesus I am still in the hands of Jesus and He is more than able to multiply the effects of my little life and of Micaiah’s little life. I would love to see Jesus multiply our little efforts like He multiplied the fish and bread.

I want my son back. I want Micaiah. I know that will never happen but that doesn’t mean I don’t think it. I would love to meet his little brothers and sisters soon. I would love to adopt and bring home my son or daughter from afar. I would love to have a family. I do have a family…have to correct myself here… I do have a family and I do have a son and I am a mom and that will never change. Oh I’m so thankful for Micaiah. Just wish I could hold him again. There is an emptiness I feel and it is real. I will have it until the day I die. And that will be such a joyous day because that’s the day when I will hold him again. The emptiness is temporary but very real. My sister made a really good point. When I was pregnant with Micaiah we were all waiting for him. We didn’t know him- his personality or what he would look like…he was like an idea to us. And now that he has been born and is at home with the Lord it’s like I’m still pregnant with him. We still don’t really know him- don’t know his personality or what he looks like when he smiles, but we will one day. Yes, we will one day. So in a way I’m not the only one pregnant now…we are all pregnant- waiting to meet him again in heaven, waiting to see and know him and enjoy him for all eternity. I love Micaiah and I know it will be worth the wait to see him again…just like it was worth the wait the first time. And God will give us the grace to wait…

I can’t make myself be more like Jesus. In God’s wisdom and grace He is doing that in my life. Hebrews tells us it’s called discipline and that it’s also called love. Doesn’t always feel like love but that’s what His word says and I believe that. I have to believe that. When I don’t feel like His discipline is loving I have to believe His word that says He disciplines those He loves. I am His child – He has adopted me and has lots of work to do in my life. And even though I don’t understand why He is doing what He is doing I have to trust Him – it’s really all I’ve got to hold on to. I have to believe what is true because the lies only leave me empty and hurting. His truth gives me hope. I know He is working in my life for my good and for His glory. I know He is my loving Father. Right now, I don’t understand His ways but I can and must trust His heart. He is good and will always be good. He is my Father and will always be my Father. He loves me and His love will never fail. His grace is sufficient and I must receive it today and every day because I am one weak girl. I’m glad He doesn’t need me to be strong and do this all on my own. I know there is plenty of room for Him to be glorified in my life because there is plenty of weakness in me. “But he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Marriage is a blessing. I’m so thankful for jordan and the husband he is to me. I think God knew what He was doing when He gave me a really goofy husband who makes me laugh. He knew I would need someone to make me laugh in this hard time and jordan has definitely done that. Jordan and I have not had a really hard marriage. Sure, we have our issues but I know it could have been a lot harder. I believe our marriage has never been as stressed as it has been this past year or so. Marriage is hard because you and your spouse are two different people. Jordan is not like me and does not feel what I feel. He reacts differently to things and thinks differently than I do. Needless to say he also grieves differently than I do. We have had some hard things come to surface in our marriage recently. Hard things that take working through and giving each other lots of grace. God is really bringing us to a point of desperation in multiple areas and that includes our marriage. He is the only one who will be able to get us through this. We will come out stronger and more in love with each other because of His grace and work in our lives…not because we in ourselves are anything great. Marriage is wonderful and I’m so thankful for it and I’m thankful for a faithful God who will give us the grace to walk with each other in this trying time.

Being desperate is a bittersweet place to be. I’m sure many of you can relate. May we keep fighting to trust Him who is caring for and protecting us in the valley…who sees the fruit of walking through it and who even walks with us in it.

Meet Eli and Laura

This is my friend Laura (see picture below). She is pregnant with her son Eli and from the pictures I have seen he is one cute baby boy. We first got introduced in February when Laura came to India. Jordan and I had just found out we were pregnant with Micaiah. Laura and I really didn’t get to know each other on her trip. We started talking more over facebook after Jordan and I returned to the States. I found out that she was pregnant and that she was in a similar situation I was in. Little Eli has been diagnosed with a condition called Body Wall Complex. Doctors are not expecting little Eli to live after he is born, but we all know that our God is more than able to give him what he needs to live.

Laura has been a blessing to me. It’s like I don’t even need to tell her how I have felt or how hard its been because she knows exactly how I feel. God is so good to bless me with someone who I can relate with in this time. I wouldn’t wish that anyone would have to go through what we have been through. But I am so thankful that others have gone through this. You are blessed by those relationships and comforted in knowing that you are not alone. There is a special bond in shared suffering and I definitely have a special place in my heart for Laura.

Laura is about 34 weeks now. Eli could come any day. I am asking that you would join in praying for her, her husband Joe and little Eli. Please pray that God would do a miracle and heal Eli. Please pray for peace and joy as they wait for him to come. Pray that her labor would be peaceful and have no complications. Pray that God’s presence would be so evident in the delivery room to everyone there. Pray that God would comfort their families and protect them from the enemy and his lies. Pray that the doctors and hospital staff would know exactly what to do when Eli comes and know how to love and serve this family. Pray that God would continue to be glorified in this family and that they would continue to walk in faith during this difficult time.

Thanks for praying. May He do so much more than we could ever ask or imagine.

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Happy Birthday Micaiah

Today is Micaiah’s one month birthday. Jordan and I went out to his grave site on Saturday. We got some coffee and flowers and spent some time out there. We cried and talked, read scripture and prayed. It was hard going out there but really good for us to do. I was anxious before we went and kinda emotional. It just makes it all more real going out there. But I think going helps with the healing process. I’m glad we went and did that together.

That was Saturday. We went on Saturday because we were in Arlington for the weekend. But now we are back in Austin and today is his actual birthday. I went on a walk this morning and listened to a sermon. The sermon was about the story of Joseph and how Joseph believed that God was in control over all the bad that had happened in his life. Joseph suffered a lot and didn’t see the fruit of it until later. He eventually was able to see God use his suffering to save many from a famine. I’m really hoping God uses Micaiah’s life in a Joseph kind of way. That his life and the suffering we have been through will be used in big ways for good and for God’s glory.

We have already been encouraged by the many people who have told us how they have been blessed by Micaiah’s life. I hope that we never stop hearing people say that. And I hope that through Micaiah’s life God reveals Himself in new ways to people and that many come to know and love Him as their Father.

Jordan and I celebrated tonight with a wonderful piece of pumpkin pie from a bakery down the street. We got some candles and lit one in honor of our son. I’m sure that our pumpkin pie doesn’t even compare with all the wonderful food Micaiah has tasted in heaven this past month and I can’t wait to get up there and enjoy some of it with him.

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some pregnancy pics

Here are some preggo pics taken by Cherie Marie Photography. We like em.

 

Two days to remember (part 2)

Monday, September 17th was the day we had our service for Micaiah. I don’t like to call it a funeral because that seems so down and depressing. So I call it a service. We had a hard time deciding when to have it. We were going to do it on Friday or Saturday but the weather didn’t look so good so we went for Monday. It turned out to be a beautiful day. My brother was out of town the week after Micaiah was born. Monday was a good choice because he could be there too.

The week leading up to the service was pretty packed. We had to pick out where we wanted Micaiah to be buried, plan the service and get things we would need for that day. We spent lots of time in the car driving back and forth from Rockwall to Arlington. It was a good time for us to talk and to cry. It was also a good time for us to just listen to lighthearted music and be distracted from it all.

After looking at some different cemeteries, we decided on one in Mansfield (near Arlington). It has a country feel to it and is family owned. We chose a spot in a newly cleared area. We ended up getting three plots – one for me, one for Jordan and one for Micaiah. I felt really good about getting all three plots. I wanted our family to be together and I’m so thankful that it worked out that way. I never thought I would buy my own burial plot. It’s just not something you think about. But we bought ours and we will be able to be laid right next to Micaiah.

Jordan designed the program that we used at the service. It was perfect. Micaiahs little footprints were on the back of it. We both prepared something to say at the service. Jordan wrote an amazing poem (you can read it on the blog) and I wrote out my own little thing. We chose songs and scripture for the service. We talked about what we wanted Andy to speak about. Andy gave the message at our service, he did an amazing job as well. He based his message off of a message John Piper gave at another little baby’s service. You can find the original message here. The truth spoken in that message is powerful and comforting. I encourage you to read it.

Andy would speak directly to me and Jordan at different times during the message. He encouraged us with the truth from the Word of God – truth that blessed us and gave us hope. Truth that continues to bless us and give us hope. One of the things he said is that Micaiah is happier than the happiest person on earth. Micaiah is satisfied in the presence of God. He isn’t longing to be back here on earth. I can’t even imagine the things he is getting to see and experience. I deeply long to have him here with me but there is a peace knowing that he is in the best place, he is whole and satisfied and worshipping our King. I long for the day when I’m up there with him. Can’t wait for him to show me around :)

One of the best days of that week in between his birth and his service was Saturday. Saturday was the day I got to see Micaiah again. Jordan and I went shopping that week and bought the cutest clothes for him to wear for his service. And Saturday was the day we went to get him ready for the service. He was laid in a room at the funeral home, still wrapped up in his hospital blankets. I got him dressed and we took some pictures together. The clothes were too big, especially the pants, but he looked so good in them. It did my heart so good to see him again. Seeing him that day just confirmed that he wasn’t there, that he was in heaven. It brought some closure for me and I’m so thankful that we did that. I wanted to be the one to dress him. I’m his momma and I wanted to take care of him in that way.

The service was so beautiful. It was a grave side service. We had people standing, sitting in chairs and even on the grass. Little kids were there running around and other people were there we hadn’t seen in a long time. We had pictures of Micaiah and some of Jordan and I when I was pregnant with him. It was a day I will never forget. And it was a day I am really proud of. I’m proud of all that we did for the service. I really felt like we honored Micaiah and I’m thankful for that.

At the end of the service everyone left…everyone but our family and a few others. We stayed for a bit longer. Jordan had told me earlier that he wanted to cover Micaiah’s grave. At first I didn’t think I would be able to do that. But something seemed right about it. Jordan started and eventually our whole family joined in and helped to cover Micaiah’s casket. After we finished we covered his grave with flowers and we circled around it and prayed. It was a beautiful time. We felt like we were able to see things through to the end, that we were able to take care of our son and honor him. And that is something I’m proud of and thankful for.

Thanks for following us on this journey. Our God is faithful and we have been so blessed to be Micaiah’s parents. I pray that you would know and believe that there is truly no one like our God.

A Poem for My Son

I wrote the following poem and read it at Micaiah’s service.

Not the End
This is not how we planned it
Nor how we thought it would be
When we found out the news
Expecting were we

Though it took three tests for me to finally believe
I came around and was convinced, and was excited to see
What my child would look like and one day to be
Holding my son in my arms, excited were we

And God was at work in ways we couldn’t see
Knitting and forming and shaping was He

And all of this with great care and attention
And even deep affection
You see there was no mistake
Not even in Micaiah’s condition

But when we first heard the news and concerns
It hit us like a blow to the gut with no where to turn

Tearful and fearful and anxious indeed
Thinking of the loss and the grief that might be

But God was at work in ways we couldn’t see
Knitting and forming and shaping was he

Wanting all of our hope to be fully in him
Not in some doctor, or procedure or plan
But in our creator, the ruler of all
Who speaks and it is, this is our god

So our prayers began to change
Reflecting our hearts
Not just for healing
We wanted God’s heart

Five weeks early
Our son couldn’t wait
We finally met him
On September Eight

The tears filled our eyes
As we came to realize
Micaiah’s time on earth
Would end right after birth

But this is not the end
Here, let me begin

Today his body will lay
Like a seed in the ground
And there it will stay
Until the trumpet sound
When all who are in Christ
With ecstatic joy will rise
And be made whole
And be given new life

And like a flower he will bloom
Bursting forth, no more gloom
When God makes every wrong right
And every tear – dry
And we behold him, our God
What a breath-taking sight.

Until that day our hope remains
That from a short life, great glory be displayed
From friends to family, to india and vietnam
May Micaiah’s life impact much more than our own.
So that in the coming ages
There might be pages and pages
Full of the stories of God’s glory
Because of the life of my son.

I’ve said it before and ill say it once more
That God has the pen, he wrote the intro and will write the end.
Our God will get his glory in and through Micaiah’s story.

Two days to remember (part 1)

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Saturday September 8th and Monday September 17th are two days I will never ever forget. Saturday was the day I got to meet my son. He was born at 8:53 AM and lived for a few minutes before Jesus took him home. I started having contractions early friday morning. I wasn’t sure if it was for real yet so i just went about my day. I went to my brother-in-law’s football game that night and then tried to get some sleep. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep that night. Contractions kept coming and I was in some pain. I was timing my contractions on jordan’s iphone. There is an app that keeps track of them for you. I kept waiting for them to get in a consistent pattern but that never seemed to happen. They did get more painful and i was looking forward to some relief. I remember feeling micaiah move around in between contractions. I loved feeling him move around inside me. Jordan was also trying to sleep that night. I wanted him to try and sleep because I figured I would need his help the next day dealing with labor. Neither one of us realized that it would be over shortly after getting to the hospital. Jordan kept asking me if we needed to go to the hospital. I kept saying no. I wanted to wait. (to be honest i was nervous about getting an IV…I knew that was coming and didn’t want it). But I finally had to give in and tell him it was time. We got up and got things ready to go. By then my back was killing me. I was definitely “in the zone” so to speak.

We got in the car and Jordan got us to the hospital around 7:30. We went to our room and I laid down on the bed. People were coming in and asking all sorts of questions…”did you have chicken pox as a kid,” “can we have your insurance and drivers license,” “what is your phone number?” I wasn’t really in the mood to answer those questions. Jordan did a great job getting those things answered and taken care of. He also did great at rubbing my back and telling me i was doing a good job. He was so amazing throughout my labor and after Micaiah was born. I’m so thankful for him :) Then it came time to get my IV…the nurse did a great job and i survived :) All the while contractions were coming and i was feeling little micaiah getting ready to come out. A resident doctor came in and told me i was already 10cm. I wasn’t expecting that news. I had thought that I would go on ahead and get that epidural once we got there but when I found out we were already that far i decided to wait. At one point i asked if i could push. My nurse told me yes and not long after that he was on his way. People were still coming in and asking questions and the resident had left. I was worried Micaiah would come and there would be no doctor there. But it all worked out. They figured out that Micaiah was coming and called the doctor in. The lady who delivered him was the on-call doctor and not the one we had been seeing for prenatal care. That doctor was on his way and made it just after micaiah was born.

I guess the little guy just couldn’t wait any longer. Micaiah was born breech. He did an amazing job. There were no complications. After he was born they set him up on me. There he was…our son was here! The nurse listened for a heartbeat and found a faint one. We aren’t sure when exactly he went home but the nurse said he lived about 3 minutes. It is such a surreal moment when you first get to see your baby. I will never ever forget that. soon after he was born our photographer arrived. we are so thankful to have pictures from that day…they are absolutely priceless. Jordan and I gave little Micaiah a bath and then jordan helped get him all dressed. We had a little onsie with a lion on it. It was so cute. Even though it was a preemie size it was still too big. Our little guy just didn’t quite fill it out. After he was dressed our photographer took some pictures. After a while we had our families come in and meet micaiah. Our siblings drove up from Austin and College Station to see him. We were told we could take as much time as we needed with him. We loved every moment we spent with Micaiah. We held and hugged and kissed him. He was absolutely perfect. I am so thankful for him. And I cannot wait to hold him again in heaven. Even though we didn’t get the miracle we were hoping for, we were blessed with so many other miracles that day. God was so faithful to us and was just pouring out His grace and mercy on us that day. He continues to do that each day. I would not be able to do this without Him. He is our strength, our provider, our comforter and our Father. I’m so thankful for how He has poured out His love on us through Micaiah’s life. And im so thankful that He is taking such good care of our son right now.

Part two will come later…this post was long enough :) hope you enjoyed

Come Celebrate Micaiah’s Life

In case we don’t have your email… here is your official invitation:

Who: Friends, family and any who would like to celebrate this precious life. Kids are welcome as well.
When: Monday September 17, 2012 at 11am
Where: SkyVue Memorial Gardens
7220 Rendon Bloodworth Rd.
Mansfield, TX 76063
What: Come join us outside for a casual celebration of Micaiah’s life. Seating will be limited and mostly reserved for family, so please bring a lawn chair or camping chair if you would like to sit. Dress will be casual, so no pressure to wear a suit and tie or even black, Jordan won’t be wearing either.

Afterwards, please join us for a barbecue at the Tardy’s house. We will have hamburgers, chicken and the fixins. It will be mouth-watering delicious. We would love to see you there.

Some have asked about giving to a charity instead of giving flowers. If this is something you would like to do, we would suggest giving to Lost Orphans International. This organization is helping save babies’ lives in Vietnam. We are excited about what they are doing and would suggest you give to their cause.

Thanks for the prayers, encouragements, calls, emails and texts. We haven’t been able to respond to you all, but know that it has encouraged us in these tough days. We hope to see you Monday.

It is with great joy and sadness that we share with you this news:

Yesterday around 9am Micaiah was born weighing 3 lbs. 15 oz  and measuring 16 3/4″ tall. He had a faint heartbeat for a few minutes before the Lord took him. We got to spend precious time with him that we will treasure all of our days. God was so good to us in countless ways. We look forward to sharing more with you in the days to come. We are so, so thankful for the gift God has given us in Micaiah. We are now resting and will let you know of service plans for Micaiah.

Thanks for your prayers, encouragement and the love you showed to us. It means so much to us.

a father’s love

Well, my firstborn child will be a boy, and that’s pretty dang exciting. Even with all the complications and the current reality we are facing, I am still unbelievably proud to be Micaiah’s Father. God has chosen me, to be the Father of this child. There is definitely a weightiness that comes with knowing that. Micaiah has done nothing but kick his mom’s belly, hang out for the last seven months and occasionally give me a high-five. Yet there is something in the fact that he is my son that causes my heart to burst with love for him. And to think that God loves me as his son is mind boggling. He doesn’t love me because of my funny jokes or good behavior or all the great things I have done. No, he loves me simply because I am his child.

This love for my son has also brought pain. And quite frankly it looks like we will be walking through a lot of pain in just a matter of weeks (unless God wants to bust through the doors which he has all the power to do). Deep love causes deep pain when there is loss. I don’t think I realized the pain that God must have experienced. God loved his son for all eternity and his son loved him perfectly. Yet there was a problem, we sinners were the problem. We had sinned and rebelled against God. Yet God was willing to crush his son, willing to be separated, willing to watch his son be tortured and ridiculed, spit upon and even die. God was willing to kill his only son, his perfect son, so that he could then call us rebels his sons. He was willing to bruise his perfect son so that all the imperfect ones who would call upon him could be healed, made whole and gathered into the family. God was willing to go through the pain and loss because he saw that there was something greater; a greater story, a greater glory and a greater joy to be had, but it was only through the pain. As we look ahead and think about what pain the coming weeks may hold, we will dream about the glory, because there will be glory. No matter the outcome it will be God’s story. He has the pen, he began it and will write the end. Our God will get his glory in Micaiah’s story.

Artwork from our shower

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We were surprised with these at our shower. Thankful to have them :)

Left side: Jordan took this picture of me a while back. Courtney’s roommate put it on canvas and added some special touch to make it artsy cool.

Top right: The tree was made for us by a friend and the leaves are the fingerprints of people who were at the shower. Each person signed their name in their fingerprint.

Bottom right: This was also made by Courtney’s roommate and has the meaning of Micaiah’s name on it. My sweet husband took the picture that she used to make the painting.

Micaiah is a…

Last week at our doctors appointment we had another sonogram done. It was great to be able to see Micaiah again. We haven’t been able to tell on past sonograms if Micaiah is a boy or a girl but this time we were definitely able to tell!! We are excited to share with you that our little Micaiah is a boy!!!!!! We are looking forward to meeting him sometime in the next 6 weeks. I am officially due on October 16th but he could come at any time now.

We also had a baby shower this past weekend in Austin. It was a sweet time of celebrating Micaiah’s life with friends and family. We felt really loved and blessed through it all. We are thankful for those who helped put it all together.

Please continue to pray for us and our families as we wait for Micaiah to come. We are thankful for your love and prayers in this time.

Five Ways to Pray for Us

Hey friends, Jordan and I are thankful for all your love and prayers in this time. As we get closer to meeting Micaiah we thought we would share some specific ways you can be praying for us (and the pic to the right…which I was quite excited to get to use!)

Peace: it is getting more real that we are actually going to have a baby. This is kinda scary since neither one of us have ever done this before :) We would love your prayers for His peace over our hearts and minds as we anticipate this day and wonder about how it will go. Also for peace on that day…that we will trust Him, His timing and plan in all of this.

Micaiah: we are still feeling Micaiah move and love every little kick. Next Tuesday (the 28th) we have a doctor’s appointment and are going to get a sonogram. We are excited to see the little guy or girl. We would love you to continue asking the Lord for a miracle. We know He is able and would love to see Him move to heal our baby.

Our families: please keep our parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters in your prayers. We are thankful to be with them in this time. Pray for His peace and comfort to dwell in their hearts and minds and that we would all trust Him in this.

Faith: this has been a difficult thing for us. Some days are better than others. Please keep praying for us, that we would fight to trust Him and believe truth.

Labor: please be praying for Micaiah to be in a good position for labor and that i won’t have to have surgery to deliver this little one. I’d really love to deliver without surgery. I know it’s not the end of the world or anything, but this is what I would like. Pray that whatever happens we would be able to have really good time with Micaiah after the birth.

We appreciate you guys. Thanks for joining us in prayer.

Not For a Moment

We sang this song last night at the Village church. It was encouraging truth for us to sing on this journey with Micaiah. Through all of this we can say that God is only good and He has not forsaken us or Micaiah. This truth is the solid ground we can stand on in the days to come.

chorus:
After all, you are constant
After all, you are only good
After all, you are sovereign
not for a moment will you forsake me
not for a moment will you forsake me

Baby Clothes!

So we have officially bought some baby clothes for Micaiah. We went shopping last week and picked out some girl and boy outfits. Jordan picked out the boy stuff and I chose some girly things. I’m hoping to get a little bag ready for when Micaiah decides to come out and meet us so these clothes will be great to have. Hope you enjoy the pics…we are thankful for all your prayers and comments.

Baby T’s name is…

Before we found out our baby’s condition we had already decided on a girl name and a boy name. In India it is illegal to find out the sex of your baby so we were thinking of names for both a girl and boy. Jordan really wanted to know if we were having a boy or a girl but i was content in waiting until he or she was here. We still don’t know if we are having a boy or a girl, but we have decided on a name. The name we have chosen is Micaiah and it means “who is like God.” The name comes from 1 kings 22 (the same story is also found in 2 chronicles 18). Micaiah was a prophet who spoke the word of the Lord to the king of Israel when all the other prophets (400 of them) did not. I like what the name means but I also like what Micaiah did. He was bold and spoke the truth. And if you read the story you will see that Micaiah’s first response to the king was not really the truth. Some believe he was being sarcastic. The king seems to pick up on that and tells Micaiah to tell him the truth. So Micaiah does and the king does not like what he hears. I’m not sure why Micaiah did it that way. Maybe he didn’t like the king that much and was just being a stinker…who knows. But i like to think he was being a little ornery and that makes me smile.

The week after we found out about Micaiah’s condition I was reminded of the name and what it meant. I felt like it was an appropriate name for this little one and the situation. It continues to give me hope…there is no one like our God. Our God is mighty and able to save. Not only is He able to save Micaiah but He is able to carry us through this hard time and He has been so faithful to carry us. There is no one like our God – He is our comforter, our provider, our helper, our healer, our good shepherd, our sovereign king, and our loving father. He is the creator and sustainer of life and He has created this little life for His glory. We are so thankful for Micaiah’s life and pray that God chooses to continue to sustain it.

Some pics of our little one!

Our favorite is the first one with his foot up by his head. As you can see, there is not a lot of water around our baby. But he/she is still able to move and kick a lot. These were taken around 18 or 19 weeks.

Our journey with Baby T

It has been quite a journey over the last three or four months, walking this road with our little one. Here is an update for those who might not have heard or want to hear more (it is a little long, I know). In May we were still living in India and about 16 weeks pregnant. Excited and a little nervous, we went to a doctor in India for a routine check up. During the sonogram she made a comment about the water being low around the baby. This concerned us, I mean, we are pretty new to this whole having a baby thing. She finished the sonogram and sent us to a specialist where the news got worse. The specialist confirmed that the water levels were low and told us, “there is something seriously wrong.” Gosh, that was hard to swallow. Something was seriously wrong with my child?! We tried to hold it together as we walked back to our personal doctor a mile down the dusty, overcrowded streets. When we reached our doctor’s office, she looked at us and uncompassionately (i know that’s not a word) told us there were serious complications and we should terminate the pregnancy. It was apparently a clear decision in her eyes. It felt like one blow to the gut after another. We were talking about a living being growing in my wife’s belly! A person the God of creation was knitting together. We tried to ask for further details. We wanted to understand what was wrong. The doctor hardly gave us any information, but kept blankly staring and insisting that we see a genetic counselor. My wife frustratedly spoke up and said, “ending the pregnancy is not an option for us, we are going to keep the baby no matter what,” only for our doctor to reply, “I know that is how you feel, but you really need to see a genetic specialist and then you can decide.” Arrrrgghhh! We wanted to scream and cry and yell! Needless to say we weren’t thrilled with our doctor nor the situation we were in. We calmed down and tried to process the information. Then several days later we got a second opinion in India. We were met with a little more compassion but still encouraged to end the pregnancy. We decided it would be best to come back to the states to seek the counsel and wisdom from several other doctors and to be around our family. Since our return, the doctors here in the states have confirmed the serious condition. Currently the doctors are pretty confident our baby doesn’t have kidneys, which leads to other complications like lung development to name one. We are told that apart from a miracle our baby isn’t expected to live long after birth.

We ran into a friend the other day and were really encouraged by what she said. She told us “we don’t always understand God’s ways, but we can trust him because we know his heart and we know his heart is good.” So in all of this we keep reminding, or try to keep reminding ourselves that God is completely in control as he forms this precious child and that God is completely good. He is good to us in our sufferings, trials and the storms of this life. AND in all of this he is good to our little one, even if he doesn’t heal him or her. He loves our little one deeply, more than we do. Through this all we have seen and understood more of God’s heart and more of his love, and I am sure that regardless of what happens God will use this in big ways.

Alright, that’s it for today. Tomorrow my wife is going to post some sonogram pics of our belly kicking machine and we will let you know the name of baby T… so you should come back tomorrow. – and we will keep it lighter ;) because tomorrow is friday –  jt

Why another blog?

Well, recently we have been somewhat inspired to start a blog. There is a lot that has happened and is happening in our lives, so we wanted our friends and family to be able to peek in a little more to understand more about our baby, and what God is doing with His story. We love you guys and hope this is insightful, encouraging and everything else your heart desires in a blog.