Friday, April 11, 2014

URGENT- CANADIAN Family Needed for Healthy Baby Boy with Down Syndrome!PLUS... BABY BOY K HAS HIS FAMILY!!!

Hi friends~

First... I have AMAZING NEWS!!! Not only does our precious Baby Girl V have her family... BUT SO DOES BABY BOY K!... and YOU FOUND THEM BOTH!!!! Can you believe it?!?! GOD IS SO GOOD!!! And you, my friends, continue to amaze me with your passion for these special little ones!

Here is a picture of Baby V heading home with her family! PLEASE remember to pray for them all as they adjust to being a new family of 4... and pray ceasingly for V's precious First Family, as well! While their hearts are sure to be happy for their sweet little one, they're also shattered at this profound loss in their daily lives.





AND... if you've been around here long, you know what's about to happen... again. And you know what I'm going to ask of you... and I can't wait to see God work through all of you, once again on behalf of another of His most precious babies!

Please know that I am always extremely hesitant to share these precious faces with you until I have enough information to feel comfortable asking you for this kind of help... and asking many of you to pray about the future of your family.

The National Down Syndrome Adoption Network contacted me tonight and asked for our help finding a forever family for one of their precious baby boys! This situation is unique for us because this baby is our first that is outside of the US... even more of a reason for you to SHARE his need as much as you can! Even if you don't think you know anyone in Canada... you never know who DOES ;-)

Let me tell you... this sweet baby boy's face will not soon leave your mind.... he's absolutely precious!

Before we continue, I need to lay out a few 'ground-rules', so to speak;

* If you do not have a CURRENT, UP TO DATE home study in CANADA, please do not inquire about this baby at this time. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! DO NOT inquire about this baby unless you LIVE IN and have a HOME STUDY IN Canada. Inquiring about this baby if you DO NOT meet the criteria only lengthens the amount of time it will take to sift through and find his family. NOT OK!

* I am not representing this baby or this situation... I am simply doing what I can do direct anyone who's heart is pulled at this boy's story to the one's who are caring for him.

* The following is ALL of the information I have about this situation. Follow the directions carefully to obtain more info, if it's available.

I'm so excited to share this sweet face with you and ask you to simply hit 'share' as many times as you can to help us spread word of his story. If you're not in a place to adopt, you can help him emmensely by sharing his story and by praying for him and his family.... and if you're his family, please know that you're being prayed for, too!

This baby boy's family is out there... they need their baby, and he desperately needs his family! Let's help them find each other :-) 





Are you ready?!



FOR CANADIAN FAMILIES ONLY: 


Looking for an adoptive family for a 3 month old, healthy, Chinese baby boy with Down syndrome. Located in Southwest Ontario. 

The potential adoptive family must meet the following requirements: 

* Must be a heterosexual, married couple with 2 children or less
* Must be married at least 5 years
* Must be financially stable
* Must be immediately available to adopt

* This will be an agency adoption but the agency has not been identified yet... Fees are unknown at this time.

** Please understand that some of these specific criteria are set in place by Baby Boy's First Family and are non-negotiable at this time **

 Please email Stephanie to inquire about this baby and include an attached copy of your CURRENT, UP TO DATE CANADIAN HOME STUDY... if a copy is not readily available, include the contact information for the person(s) who hold your home study. Stephanie's email address is stephanie (at) ndsan (dot) org.






Thursday, April 3, 2014

Baby Girl V- SHE HAS A FAMILY!!!

I post these updates with shaking hands each and every time... and it never gets old.

It will never get old.

750,000 page views in 72 hours... over 5,000 Facebook 'shares'... and over 275 inquiries....

and....



Baby Girl V has found her forever family!

YOU helped Baby Girl V find her forever family!

And that... is simply amazing.

This family has not been announced yet but I promise you, when and if they are comfortable making themselves known, I promise I'll let you know! I know their hearts are full... I know their arms are full... and I know that they are full of thanks for everything you did to help them find their precious baby girl.

We will also get an update on Baby Boy K soon... very soon :-)

God is so good...

so so good!

And you, my friends.... you were God's hands and feet on behalf of some of his most precious creations. Thank you for allowing these babies to change your hearts... you have changed so many lives forever... and I'm assuming some of yours have been changed, too ;-)

"You shall receive blessings from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of your salvation!"
~ Psalm 24:5

If you're a family who inquired about Baby Girl V, please don't let this be the end of the adoption process for you... I know how this kind of news feels when there was even a glimmer of hope if your heart to be this sweet girl's mommy or daddy... and I know how hard it is to be so happy for her and so sad for you :-( I firmly believe that God doesn't change hearts only to put them right back where they started. Allow him to continue guiding you... continue learning... and know you're being prayed for as you continue to follow his plan for your family! Growing your family is worth the wait.... worth every single painful, exciting, long, and exhilarating second :-)


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If you or someone you know is in the process of adopting from China, has a log in dossier, and is open to special needs, please email me at OnLoanFromHeaven (at) yahoo (dot) com.

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If you or someone you know (agency or individual) is trying to make an adoption plan for a child with special needs and would like assistance, please email OnLoanFromHeaven (at) yahoo (dot) come to receive our pre-screening form! God has given us this platform and through it, we have found ourselves overwhelmed by the number of hearts for special needs adoption... we are happy to help in any way we can!

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If you haven't met the woman behind the title of our blog yet, be sure you do... her music belongs in your home and I would love nothing more than to bless her in the many ways you have blessed these babies! Plus... it's a great giveaway, too ;-) 




Tuesday, April 1, 2014

On Loan From Heaven... and the woman behind the song (A GIVEAWAY!)

One of the most common comments I get in reference to my blog...

"I LOVE the name of your blog!!"

One of the most common questions...

"Where did you come up with that?!"

The responses, my friends, date back to 2010.... let's flashback;

  I lived with my grandparents for about a month before I started at a new college as a transfer student during my Sophomore year. A woman came to their church for a mini-concert and I joined them. I can't remember her name.... how I wish I could remember her name. She sang a song that has never left my head; I could even sing the chorus to you if you asked me to and I will never forget the words:

"She's on loan from Heaven
And she's mine for just a while.
God I know you love me,
When I look into her eyes."

I'm starting to think that I made these lyrics up... if I did, good for me! I love them! And if you happen to be 'that girl'.. if you wrote this amazing song... I hope you'll reach out to me. You've impacted so many aspects of my life with your song!

What an impact those words had on me when I became a Mom to my sweet Hannah. All I did for the first few days she was home was study her; her long eyelashes, her beautiful blue eyes, her tiny fingers and toes, the way she smiled when she sneezed. And all I could think was "she's all mine!" Then I'd remember these lyrics (wherever they came from... :-/) and I would take comfort and pride in the fact that she wasn't mine, Jesus was just letting me borrow her for a while... and OH! How much He must love me to trust me with His precious child!

I have spent 7 years searching for the beautiful woman who wrote this song... I have Googled the lyrics, searched for the phrase itself, and have spent countless hours rummaging through old boxes of CD's to find the one that I vaguely remember throwing away... because I had literally played it so much that it wouldn't work anymore. I have not heard that amazing song since then... since 2007.

I have had such a burden on my heart for so many years to find this sweet singer.... to let her know how much her music meant to me, how her words have been etched into my heart forever,  that I firmly believe that God spoke those words to her in order that they might change me as a mommy, and how the words have changed so many other lives through this blog.

So you'll understand my complete shock when I received this email a couple weeks ago;

Hi Lindsay ~ 
I was linked to your page through Facebook and noticed your web page name and your wonderful purpose. I wrote a song a long long time ago called just that "on loan from heaven" and if there is any way it would benefit you let me know. 

(The Chorus);

She’s on loan from heaven, 
And she’s mine for just a while
God I know you love me
 when I look into her eyes
Your handiwork has left my heart assured

She’s on loan from heaven

~ Katy

Just listen...


(Excuse my HORRIBLE excuse for a sound clip... I'm working on a better one ;-))

With shaking hands, I immediately copied and pasted my post from October, 2010 into my reply and stood in my kitchen and waited to hear her response....

All she could say was "wow"...

And that echoed my own heart completely.

In a matter of minutes, Katy and I were getting to know each other on the phone... and we've been talking since. Let me tell you, friends... There aren't many people like Katy out there; she is so kind hearted!

To think that I have spent all these years searching for her... and God brought HER to ME.

She has blessed me in more ways than I can describe!

Katy is not only a beautiful, beautiful singer/ song-writer, but her passion for Jesus is undeniable through her music and her sweet spirit. She has spent the past few years growing her precious family and leading worship where and when she can, but has had to put aside her own music ...

And that's just not ok with me. Katy's music needs to be in your home... in your heart...

And I'm determined to see that it gets there :-)

I was finally reunited with Katy's beautiful song last week... the song that touched my heart so long ago...

And it was magical! Hannah and I played that one song over and over and over again... and by the 3rd time, she had it memorized, too ;-)

 Katy generously mailed a copy of BOTH of her CD's and they've quickly become family favorites...

 but she also sent me THREE of her Meadows of Mercy CD's to give away to THREE of YOU!!!



And I can't wait!!

SO... here's how this awesome giveaway will work;

I have THREE Meadows of Mercy CD's to give away to 3 individuals and you will have a few chances to enter to WIN 1 of them;

Basic entry... Just leave a comment!!!
Extra entries; 

Entry #1- Head over to iTunes and purchase the single On Loan From Heaven.... and then listen to it! When you're done crying ;-), head back here and leave a comment quoting your favorite line of the song (chorus doesn't count ;-)).


Entry #2- Leave a written rating on iTunes of one of Katy's albums and leave a comment here letting me know that you did... I will compare names to ratings to be sure you get proper entries for this!



Entry #3-  'Like' On Loan From Heaven on Facebook (if you don't already) and then'Share' this post by using the 'share' button on Facebook, then come back here and leave a comment letting me know that you did (note; it's essential that you use the 'share' button on our Facebook page so that your name shows up and I can verify your 'share' compared to your comment)


Entry #4- Head over to Katy's website and browse around... then come back here and let me know what one thing stands out to you about Katy and/or her music.


EXTRA ENTRY- Purchase Katy's album Meadows of Mercy or Princess in Disguise on iTunes for yourself and forward your receipt to me at onloanfromheaven (at) yahoo (dot) com... then come back and leave me a comment letting me know to look for your email! (And if you win, you'll have a CD to give someone as a gift!!)


That's it! I know I'm asking you to invest some time and effort into this giveaway, but that's how badly I want her music to be in your heart! 

There is a maximum of lots of entries per person and 3 winners of the giveaway... with the possibility of one more giveaway if we have enough entries ;-) Take your time completing each entry... you have a week!

Our drawing for the free CD's will be on Saturday, April 12 at midnight (CST)!

Questions? Don't hesitate to ask!

And thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me support such an amazing woman who uses her beautiful talent to continue growing God's Kingdom... I'm so excited for you to get to know her, too :-)





This is no April Fools joke! .... "Jesus Told Me, Mommy!"

Today marks the anniversary, of sorts, of a day that we will never forget.... a day when our faith in God's plan for our family changed forever... it was stretched and deepened profoundly.

You see, our sweet boy just celebrated his 2nd birthday...

but 2 years ago today, we still didn't know him...

he was lying in a hospital incubator, 10 days old, fighting for his life...

And we were still waiting for our #2....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let's flash- back to April 1, 2012;

Hi friends :-) It's been a while and I sat down tonight to write a long-overdue blog post/ update ... I just can't. To admit that we are 18 months into this second adoption wait, to try and justify why it's been that long, to reminisce about how much time we've 'wasted' waiting on different situations, and to act like it's all ok because God still has a plan.... Feels kind of fake. Since I can't find words, I'll let God choose them for me...


"Love is never tired of waiting."1 Corinthians 13:4

Last week Joey and I admitted that we were both just tired of waiting... and every time we feel that way God shows up to offer a light, some encouragement, and something to look forward to. Today, we are thankful for some light, are feeling encouraged, and are looking forward... We will never grow tired of waiting for our baby :-)
That was my Facebook post earlier this week and you know, it's really true;

We haven't grown tired of waiting... because well, we'd wait a lifetime if that's what it took to bring our next baby home. Just because we aren't tired doesn't mean that we aren't frustrated or confused or even angry sometimes... or a lot of times. We haven't given up and to me, that means that each morning we wake up refreshed and hopeful and 'good-anxious'... and we rejoice in the fact that we made it through one more day that has gotten us closer to our baby. THAT is worth the frustration, confusion, and anger, is it not?

Nope, Joey and I are doing fine... living one day at a time and doing our best to trust that God's plan is better than our own (but seriously, I CAN'T wait to see HOW and WHEN His plan will be better than my own... because my own is pretty damn good!), ((Sorry I used the 'D' word :-/)), (((Does infertility and/or adoption bring out your dirty mouth? I didn't even know I had one until infertility and adoption!!)

If you're 'waiting' or if you've ever 'waited', you know the magnitude of what I'm going to say... you know that it pierces your heart, makes you sick to your stomach, and gives you goosebumps all at the same time. Mostly, it just makes me more frustrated and confused and angry when I realize that

 we are not the only one's who are hurting through this wait... who are anxious and excited and hopeful. Our children are, too.

We have prepared our sweet girl 3 (T.H.R.E.E) times this year for her role as big sister... as in; "hurry and wash the baby clothes, unpack the car seat, clean the house, and start packing" kind of preparation. One of those times was a slower process but felt just the same when those babies didn't wear the clothes, sit in the car seat, or come home. Because of how difficult this past year has been, Joey and I have been EXTREMELY cautious around Hannah... we simply do not discuss 'baby' anything in her presence. If we get an email from an expectant mom or hear about a situation through an attorney, we wait and discuss it when Hannah's napping or in bed. While we DO pray for Hannah's baby brother or sister some nights at bedtime (it IS important for her to know that when baby comes home, it means that Jesus answered our prayers!), we just want to protect her as much as we can from the possibility of being 'heartbroken'... again.


Well...

Joey and I were getting dressed this morning and Hannah came tearing into our room.... full force yelling, "Mommy Daddy Mommy Daddy!!!! I'm so excited! My baby brother is coming home tonight!!!!"


Now imagine... how do you respond to this?
Well, if you're us, you get immediate goosebumps and stand there like idiots with your mouths hanging open.

I mean, how can you not be a little shocked/freaked out?
When we recovered, we hugged our bouncing 3 year old and moved on... what do you SAY???
Our day was fun; lunch at a fun place since Daddy was home today, puzzles, books, planted a tree, and made sugar cookies. Hannah wasn't into dinner tonight so we said the customary, "You can get down from the table but you don't get any treats until you eat your 5 bites" and she ran to play in the play room.

Joey and I finished eating and about 10 minutes later Hannah came running into the kitchen yelling, "My baby brother is almost here!! He';s on his way, he's almost here! Hurry I have to eat my dinner!  I don't know what car he's in.... let's go watch for him!"
By this time, Joey and I are a little more than confused/freaked out and I finally asked Hannah... "Who told you that your baby brother is coming home tonight?"

Hannah looked sweetly from her Daddy to me and said...

"Jesus told me, Mommy!"

Of course He did....

Ugh.

In the same extremely mature and sophisticated way in which we typically communicate with our daughter...

Joey changed the subject.

(Okay really?!?! Like you wouldn't have done the same thing!)

It was then that I felt sick to my stomach... and guilty... and angry... and confused... and in some strange way...

hopeful.

Here's the thing...

Most moms and dads would hear that from their child, dismiss it, and think, "There's no way that could happen, anyway... a baby showing up on our door step tonight! Ha!"
But... we met Hannah's birth-parents on a Thursday night, and picked up our baby-girl on Friday morning... 13 hours later.

Not so crazy, after all.
Back to the kitchen tonight....  me feeling sick.... my 'inner me' started running her mouth...

"It's Easter weekend.... it's the absolute perfect time to bring our baby home! Maybe she's right... God says that we need to have faith like a child, right? What if we DO bring our baby home this weekend?"

 “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and have faith like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
~Matthew 18:3

But here's what followed...

"What are you talking about?! EVERY SINGLE STINKING DAY FOR THE PAST YEAR HAS BEEN THE PERFECT DAY TO BRING OUR BABY HOME!!!!!"

So much for faith, huh?

Joey and I talked later on about how we should proceed with Hannah since she's obviously very aware, despite our best efforts to protect her, of this long 'wait' to become a big sister. We've learned (the hard way) that Scripture is always the best place to turn when you're at a loss...

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”  
~Matthew 19:14

We will let her dream... we'll even dream with her.
We will let her be excited... and we'll allow ourselves to be excited (once again), too.
We will learn from her flawless and perfect faith... we need it.


And we will pray that God will continue to place His loving and profound words in her heart because I have to be honest... there are days when I listen to my daughter more than I listen to my Heavenly Father and quite frankly, that's not ok.

To me, Easter represents all things 'new'... Jesus rising from the grave, our sins being washed clean, the weather, flowers, trees, fresh fruits and vegetables...

So why not families, too???
We always knew that Hannah was 'advanced' (my dad's word ;-))...



 but today she taught her Mama a much-needed lesson in faith!

I love you, sweet girl and know without a shadow of a doubt that you will be the BEST big sister there ever was.... and hopefully soon!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
That day, April 1, 2012, Hannah was absolutely convinced that her baby brother was on his way. She knew.
How did she know?
"Jesus told me, Mommy!"
Friends...
He did.
April 1, 2012 was the day that Hunter's sweet First Mama relinquished her parental rights... not even knowing if her precious baby would be alive when she could come back and visit him on Easter morning.
By all legal terms, that sweet boy was our's...
we just didn't know.
We wouldn't know for 2 more weeks.
But Hannah knew.
She knew that she was a big sister...
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
~Matthew 19:14
And she was right;
Jesus told her heart.



 So you'll understand when we were eating cake and celebrating our #3's 'birthday/ due date' last week and my heart started pounding, the room spun, and I broke out in a sweat when my sweet girl said sweetly...

"Mommy, I know our new baby will LOVE birthday cake on his birthday next year!"

.............

Faith like Hannah's.



** It is always our prayer that the Lord uses the story He is writing for our family to change lives... please feel free to 'share' His story to help change lives and give Him the glory for the amazing things He has done! **

Friday, March 28, 2014

The 'Special Needs' Parent

I've been a high school teacher...  I've taught English, psychology, creative writing, and everything in between. I've been a special needs teacher.... I've taught precious children who had Autism, Downs Syndrome, and Aspergers... children who were verbal, non-verbal, and everything in between. Those babies taught me so much... more than I could ever have hoped to learn in one lifetime of lessons.

But in the past 2 years, I've learned one of the biggest lessons of my life;

I've spent much of my life working with and loving children who had 'special needs'... children whom the world refers to as 'special needs children'...

And that, my friends, is a huge mistake.


In my short 2 years of parenting a child with 'special needs', I have learned one of the biggest lessons of my life...

There is, in fact, no such thing as a 'special needs child'.

You see, 'special needs' does not refer to the child; in reality, 'special needs' refers to the child's parents.... to us....

to me. 

I went to bed last night feeling disappointed in myself... Defeated. It's so hard not to ask myself sometimes if God made a mistake by trusting me with this gift... This precious, 'special', child of his...

I'm not patient enough... I don't 'know' enough... I haven't been a parent 'long enough' to be what this amazing little boy needs in a Mama!

Hunter 'usually' sleeps until 7 or later, but when he woke up with his 'sad cry' this morning at 5, I knew something was 'off'... 

And I thought it was him.

I brought him into bed with me and as soon as we laid down, he snuggled in with his warm cheek against mine, and slept (and snored) soundly (loudly) until 7:30.

That's heaven, my friends.

Me? I didn't sleep a wink.

Sometime around 6am, with that little squishy cheek against mine, I realized something...

He wasn't 'off'... I was.

I spend so much time dwelling on whether or not I'm good enough for him... whether or not God made some huge mistake in trusting me with him...

that I've missed the true purpose of God's plan;

God did not 'gift' this child with me because I am good enough or knowledgeable enough.... because I'm not....

 this Mama is as 'special needs' as they come. 

My Jesus knew that the only way I could make it through this life.... the only way I could fulfill the purpose HE has for my life.... was if I had this particular, and amazingly 'special', warm cheek against mine at those moments when I am the most 'special needs'.

Hunter will be fine... He IS MORE than fine... He's a miracle! Don't get me wrong... He works his (you know what) off every day to be who he is and do what he does... but there is nothing that I can do to change the already-perfect plan for his life by being 'good enough' or 'smart enough'.

But me? I'm still learning... I'm catching up...

And even though I might be a slow learner, and even though I sometimes let what's 'typical' blind my faith and trust in the God who not only gave my children life, but gave them to ME... 

My God also knows when I just need a sweet, warm, squishy cheek against mine.

 And sometimes, I need the reminder that what makes ME 'special' is what makes me what's best right now for the babies He's given to me.

And if that's all I learn for a lifetime of lessons? 

That's enough. 

Tonight? I'm going to bed content... even though my parenting day wasn't perfect. 

And I'm hoping with all my heart that one of my babies wakes up at 5am, knowing that his or her Mama needs their warm, squishy cheek against hers because that's the best way a 'special needs' mama can possibly start her day!

~ Here's to wishing that your sleep is filled with warm, squishy cheeks... and the reminder of what makes you 'special needs' in this life that God has perfectly chosen for you.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

This baby boy was born with a fatal heart condition... you'll never believe what happens next (Miracle #5)!

(The title... isn't that 'in' right now?! So sorry... I couldn't resist, but you really won't believe what happens ;-))

If you're new to Hunter's Story;
Miracle #1
Miracle #2
Miracle #3
Miracle #4; Part I  and Part II 


I remember fragments of that first phone call... 

"2 pounds... Hydrops Fetalis... heart anomaly... brain bleed... kidney failure... liver failure... metabolic disorder... Cerebral Palsy..."

and so much more.

The truth? None of it registered.... the only thing I heard?

"He needs a family.... he's your son."

I've mentioned before...

So many people thought we were stupid... how could we voluntarily 'sign up' for a baby who had so little hope for a future? He was broken... and in medical terms, broken beyond repair.

I'd like to say that our faith was strong and we knew, even then, that God would heal him... would give him a future... that he would celebrate turning 1 year old... that he would walk... and run... and talk... that one day, he would even recognize us as his.

His family.

But i'd be lying if I claimed that our faith was strong or that we firmly believed that God's plan for him was greater than the hundreds of pages of death sentences in his medical records.

All we knew was that we were a family that was aching for the one who was missing...

and he was a baby who was fighting for his life... without a family.

And so it made sense to us... and we went.

We walked into that tiny NICU room, blinded by the darkness of the hallways and deafened by the sounds of life support and heart machines. Those sounds represented life... and also death. 

As we neared the very last pod... the one that held a precious, 3 week old baby... what we didn't know was if the sounds that grew louder as we grew closer represented life... or death... for the life struggling within it.

Those moments are nestled in a part of my mind that registers so vividly that I believe it all happened just yesterday.

His primary doctor sat down and asked us to listen carefully as she tried her best to 'explain' the tiny baby who was now staring deeply into my husbands eyes...



She explained about his brain bleed... the discrepancies in the size of his kidneys... the dangerous levels of biliruben in his liver... the damage done to his intestines and muscles by the fetal hydrops... how his prematurity and low muscle tone put him at huge risk for developing CP... how they already believed that he HAD CP... his irregular heartbeat and the measures they had to take moments after birth to fix it... the repercussions of the measures they took to save him... the dozens and dozens of medications he was currently on and would soon be on... how long she believed he would remain in the NICU...

and how she honestly believed that he might never leave.

His heart condition... the one they knew he had in utero... and the reason they were surprised that he made it through delivery at all. How they hadn't really planned to have a baby to revive... to save... after delivery. How the NICU team was in place in the OR "just in case" they had a baby to help. She explained how broken his heart was... that he was facing numerous surgeries by the time he was school age... if he made it that far. How his activity would have to be limited as he got older... how difficult that would be for the parents of a boy... no sports or running. 

It was terrifying.

Only moments before, as Joey held this precious baby boy in his arms, we had exchanged 'the look'. The one that secured this baby's place in our family.... in our hearts. 

It had been decided.

He was ours.

But as her explanations grew longer... as her description of his 'outlook', of the kind of life he would lead, of the number of open heart surgeries he would have and how those surgeries would only buy him time, not a life... it was his heart that caused us to pause...

caused us to rethink.

Because that's the thing about adoption, friends... it's so nice to think that your baby has been chosen for you and that you really don't have a 'choice'... but you do. You do get to 'choose'... sometimes, you get to say 'yes' or 'no'.

She walked out of that tiny corner room and left us to 'discuss' what we would do...

but we didn't discuss anything.

We started at him... memorized him. We marveled at how such a tiny baby could be stronger than either of us could ever hope to be. We watched him breathe... realizing what strength and effort it takes for our bodies to just breathe. We noticed that his eyebrows and eyelashes hadn't grown in yet, he didn't even have nose hairs, his fingernails and toenails were there but they were different... they were too new, his movements were mechanical... not intentional, his eyes...


his eyes.

They were wise. They knew something that we didn't...

and that's when we knew;

We wanted to be the one's who were around long enough to find out what.

For however long that might be.

We knew that we would never be 'ok' with knowing that his life would be short... never knowing how much longer we had with him. But we also knew that we would love every second we did have with him... and if we had learned THIS much in the few minutes we had spent with him, then we couldn't even imagine what more we were going to learn from him.

And all he needed from us... was love.

And we could do that... so we said 'yes'.

But that heart...

It was the one thing that was definite... they could transplant a kidney or a liver, vigorous PT could help with the CP, hearing aids could help with hearing loss, surgeries or medicine could help the brain bleed, an apnea machine could help us at home... 

but the heart; surgery could buy him some time... but it was the one thing that couldn't be fixed.

It was definite... but it was a ticking time bomb.

Literally.


(If you're unfamiliar with Hunter's Story, now is the time to catch up... 
Miracle #1
Miracle #2
Miracle #3
Miracle #4; Part I  and Part II )



Especially Miracle #2.



But then, last year our baby boy turned 1...


And he wasn't supposed to.


Hunter's cardiologist follows him closely....

his irregular heartbeat, a displaced tricuspid valve, a leaky valve...

they're all there.

They've been there.

Never cause for immediate alarm...

still, haunting.

I took Hunter to his usual, routine check-up with his Cardiologist last week....

It was business, as usual....


These appointments always go the same way; EEG, heart ultra-sound, physical exam, discussion of the day's findings, 24 hour holster monitor is put on him, and we go home.

This visit...

was different.

After Hunter's EEG, the nurse left the room... without a word.

My heart started to pound... I was sweating...

the walls were closing in.

Hunter's doctor walked in... finally.

She listened to his heart... with him standing up... and then laying down.

She walked to the computer and pulled up his EEG...

she wrote something down.

I felt the walls closing in...

something was wrong.

"Is something wrong? I'm getting nervous..."

She sat down and wheeled her chair closer to the table where Hunter and I were sitting...


"I'm so sorry... It's not my intention to scare you."

She was quiet... gentle.

"I wanted to be sure I had all of the information I needed before talking to you..."

Here it comes...

"I looked over Hunter's EEG and compared it to the one we did a few months ago... I considered doing another ultra-sound, but after listening to his heart myself, I am confident when I tell you that....

Hunter has...

completely normal cardiac function."

.......

"He has .... what?"

.......

"I know it's hard to understand... it's hard for me to understand, too but this is Hunter, after all. I want you to know that I would never say something like this if I wasn't 100% certain of what I was telling you. And I am 100% certain that Hunter's heart is functioning just as well as yours or mine."

......

"His heart... it's... normal?! What about his tricuspid valve and heart surgeries? The leak? Sports? He wasn't supposed to live and...."

.....

"I know. And you're right... those things were all true. From a medical standpoint, this is a phenomenon. Impossible. But we know Hunter... and we know the miracle that he is. His heart is normal, Mrs. Smith. That's all I know for today. I'll see him again in a year. Enjoy your son, Mrs. Smith... he's going to be 2 years old next week! And he'll have so many more after that."

.....

She hugged both of us... but held onto Hunter for just a little longer. She smiled as we walked out and as the door closed behind us, I heard her whisper to the nurse...

"He amazes me."

And though I knew that the doctor in her was referring to my precious boy, our miracle..

I knew that the real her was talking about our Jesus.

........

The past 2 years have been a roller-coaster of ups and downs... unknowns, mixed in with the promises and truths that Jesus has planted firmly in our hearts.

These 2 years have consisted of emergency room visits, moments when we all needed reminders to breathe, therapies of every kind, CPR, Heimlich Maneuvers, asthma treatments, ear tubes, hearing aids, viruses we thought would never end...

first steps, climbing in drawers, throwing balls, running, tantrums, eating sheet rock, eating dog food, eating... everything, wrestling, learning to talk....

And last weekend we celebrated Hunter's 2nd birthday...

another one that never 'should' have been.

With his 2nd birthday, we are reminded that the miracles that explain Hunter's life are no longer what define him...

because he craves human touch, relaxes when a warm cheek touches his, thrives on routine and predictability, loves doing everything that he shouldn't, thinks that no one can see him if his eyes are tightly shut, loves to walk sideways or backwards or in circles, can pin his daddy on the floor, thinks that the word 'meatball' is hilarious, idolizes his big sister and craves her attention, does something silly and looks to her for the first laugh, always makes sure mommy and daddy know when he does something well, thinks that Princess Sophia is cute, has the most contagious laugh, and has a smile that can brighten anyones day.

That... is our son.

Hunter.

Our fighter.





No miracles would have been fine... the boy with heart and liver and kidney and hearing and muscle and speech and brain challenges... would have been a blessing.

This boy? These miracles?

We are honored that God chose us to be this boy's forever Mommy and Daddy.... we are underserving... and more than thankful.

And regardless of how God chose us to be his Mommy and Daddy, I'm convinced that the real match was made between a big sister and her little brother... 

His protector from day 1...



Happy birthday, precious boy... you have stolen our hearts and have changed lives! 

You are truly On Loan From Heaven.. we're just glad we get to keep you for a little longer than a while ;-)


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Just a few things....

I just want to say 'hi' to all of our new friends!

Baby Girl V's story has spanned continents in the past 2 days and has in turn, brought us quite a few new friends ... and while our only purpose was to be God's hands and feet and help one of his most precious angels find her forever family, we're more than ok with new friends, too :-) 

We're hoping for news that she's found her family soon... if you happen to be a family who inquired about her and continue in the process of finding out if you're right for her, please keep me posted; I'd love to know how I can pray for you (or Baby K whom we posted about previously!)!

We have been overwhelmingly amazed at how God has used every one of you to change lives over these couple days, alone... baby V's life, our lives, and so many others! There is such a love and compassion for special needs adoption and I can't tell you how refreshing it has been to see just how many people love these precious babies!

 I have received hundreds (literally) of emails, comments, and messages in the past couple days from people who had questions about Baby V, questions about us or about adoption in general, and people who just wanted to share their story with us. I have read every single note ... I've cried over many of them and have prayed for the authors of every single one.

Thank you for sharing your hearts with me... that you would share some of the most intimate parts of you with me means more than you will ever know!

Our days are busy and I wish with all my heart that I could reply to every one of you who have written to me, but I just can't :-(

I do, however, want to mention a few things that will (hopefully) answer many of the questions and address some of the emails/messages/comments we've received;

* Our names are Lindsay ( me :-) ), Joey, Hannah (5), and Hunter (2)... and we're just a family with a blog :-) God has written (and continues to write) an amazing story for our family that has taken us through infertility, adoption, special needs adoption, failed adoptions, miscarriage, and everything in between. He writes it and we share it with complete honesty (more on us here.)

* We aren't an agency .... there are times however, when one agency or another will recognize the platform God has given us and our hearts for special needs adoption, and they will ask us to help them find a family for their special ones... and we are honored that they ask! We don't do anything but write a post stating the need and share it where we can... and ask you to do the same. It's our readers and our Jesus who do the rest! We have been amazed at how many babies have found families through all of you and feel overwhelmingly grateful that God sees us fit to be used in this way for His glory. We are never compensated in any way, shape, or form.

* We love comments here and on Facebook and are always looking for topics to write/vent about :-)

* Our blog is a safe haven and our biggest hope is that everything we write will glorify God... he is the Author of our story, after all! 

* We're really really really happy that you're here... leave a comment and introduce yourself; don't be a stranger!