Monday, June 12, 2017

Baby Z


I spent the first 4 weeks of Baby Z's life with him... I witnessed his first breath as I wiped down his precious First Mama's forehead with a cold washcloth while she so bravely pushed... I witnessed her very last moments with the life she had so lovingly sustained within her.

I snuggled him daily, I bonded with his nurses and doctors while we all did our best to get to know a seemingly-complicated little guy who was changing our lives without us even knowing... I cried out to Jesus to help me find his family. I prayed for his First Mama who's heart was broken ...I prayed that she would find peace in the life-changing and life-giving decision she made for her son...

 I prayed that I would live up to the profound responsibility she entrusted to me.


I prayed for his Forever Family, wherever they were. I knew Jesus was preparing their hearts for this precious miracle... I prayed that the magnitude of the story of his life would be evident to them... I prayed that they would take comfort in knowing that he was loved from day 1... that he never went a single second without a family...

In fact, his family grew daily as myself, Ms. Allison and Mrs. Dana took turns spending time with this precious life... as we did our best to pour love into him... not realizing that HE was the one changing US with every second that passed by.

Baby Boy's First Mama made a beautiful plan for his life and his arrival was anticipated by so many! God took a little time to reveal the intricate details of His plan for this little boy and so we patiently waited, honored to be his official snugglers until it was time to tell the world the story of one of God's most precious creations....

about a little boy who we lovingly named 'Baby Z'.

We shared Baby Z's story with you on June 2, 2017 and asked you for a few simple favors...

Read. Pray. Share.


But let's take it back a few days to May 24, 2017 when Anita Miron posted a viral photo of her, her sweet girl Scarlett, and her precious son Jack on Facebook. The Miron family lost their son at 32 weeks on May 24, 2016. Shortly after losing Jack, the Mirons lost their second sweet boy, William at 20 weeks. Their open hearts, passion for special needs, and decision to grow their family through adoption while carrying on the legacy of their 2 boys caught the attention of ABC who posted their story on June 2, 2017.


Baby Z's First Mama entrusted her future and the future of her son to Colores Adoptions. My role as Family Services Manager for Colores Adoptions and the influence YOU all have when you share these special babies on this blog joined forces on June 2, 2017 when Baby Z's story went live in your hearts and computers.

10,000 shares. 350,000 views. 72 inquiries to date.

But that first one.

That first email;

"In a nutshell we have lost two babies in utero. Both were lost by a chord accident. Our first who we lost at 32 weeks had Down syndrome. We had prepared ourselves for him. We had opened our hearts to special needs. We were ready. So we have decided to extend that love to someone who needs it. ~ Anita"

Anita woke up on June 2, 2017 to a frantic message from her sweet friend, Cate who shared with her Ms. Allison's post about Baby Z that linked back here to his story...

Isn't that just like our God?!

A moment to read... a heartfelt prayer... a simple share.

You, my precious friends once again faithfully and obediently allowed yourselves to be used in one of the most profound and miraculous stories that Jesus has ever written.

It is my greatest joy and honor to introduce you to Baby Z... now and forever named Baby Warren Miron.

He is a life-changer. He is a world-changer. He has forever changed me.

His Forever Family is blessed beyond measure.



"He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will."
Ephesians 1:5


"And whoever welcomes one such child in my name also welcomes me."
Matthews 18:5



"For you created my inmost being; your knitted me together in my mother's womb."
Psalm 139:13


"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made!"
Psalm 139:14


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

Dozens of inquiries have been received from families who are genuinely ready to welcome a special needs baby into their hearts and home. It has proven to be a huge and difficult task to respond to each inquiry, however all home studies and contact information has been saved for future special needs babies who need a family. If you or someone you know are home study approved, please email BabyZ2017@yahoo.com and we will include you in our new special needs database.

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

If you are an expecting mama who is considering if adoption could be the right choice for you and your baby, please email OnLoanFromHeaven@yahoo.com

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

Baby Z's representing adoption agency; Colores Adoptions

Baby Z's North Carolina attorney; The Micosky Law Group

On Loan From Heaven Facebook page

Photo Credit; Allison Fowler Photography

Anita Miron's Facebook Page




Thursday, June 1, 2017

URGENT- Baby Z Needs A Family

UPDATE; PLEASE CLICK AND READ



Baby Z

* This is a SPECIAL NEEDS placement... I have done my best to start this research for you and have linked to most pertinent information within this post, however Baby Boy's needs are extensive and much will remain unknown until he is older and has a chance to 'prove' himself; PLEASE do your own research before inquiring about him. Educate yourself... no one has time to do it for you ;-)


* If you do not have a CURRENT, VALID HOME STUDY, and are NOT ready to travel quickly, DO NOT INQUIRE about this situation.


* I will filter all inquiries about Baby Z. If your INITIAL EMAIL does NOT include your attached, valid, and special needs-approved Home Study AND a PDF of your profile, your email will NOT be returned.  Current and redacted records for Baby Z will be available to any email containing all of the requested information... it will be the responsibility of the Home Study approved family to consult with practitioners and specialists regarding information contained in Baby Z's records. Specific information about Baby Z's location, name, or photos will not be shared until his FOREVER FAMILY is in place from a legal standpoint.


Got it?!? Good. 

NOW... let me introduce you to a little man who has my entire heart. He is already a life-changer... a world-changer.


All of the following information is based on Baby Z's medical records provided to us by his physicians;


* Based on the information we have, Baby Z was a full-term 38 week Hispanic male baby who is now 3 weeks old and is in North Carolina. He was 5 pounds 11 ounces at birth and has gained about 2 pounds since birth.

* Baby Z's initial apgar scores were 7 & 9.

* Baby Z exhibited poor feeding skills (poor suck) and dysmorphic features (low-set ears, wide spaced eyes, flattened nasal bridge, rocker bottom feet), which led his Care Team to transfer him from the infant nursery to the NICU.

* A second examination of Baby Z's physical features was performed at 4 days old and the practitioner noted no dysmorphic features other than slightly posteriorly located but normally formed ears and slight rocker bottom feet.


* A full Macro Genetic panel was completed after birth and all Macro results were NORMAL for a typical XY male. Micro Genetic testing was also done and those results are still pending. These could take another 3 weeks to arrive and he will need a family before then.

* An MRI of Baby Z's brain was done at 3 days old and showed an Absent Septum Pellucidum, Hypoplastic Corpus Callosum, Hypomyelination, and a premature-looking Cortical Brain Convolution. The Cerebellum looked small and there is a cyctic dilation of the posterior fossa with a possible vermis hypoplasia, and small volume intraventricular hemorrhage without hydrocephalus. Baby Z's radiologist noted that the abnormalities in his MRI indicate possible neurological complications, including seizures, learning disabilities, speech delays, and feeding challenges. A follow-up brain MRI will be suggested at 6 months of age to gauge the growth of the brain and confirm original results or determine any changes.

* So far, his heart ultra-sound showed a healthy heart.

* A Physical Therapy consult showed age-appropriate reflexes.

* So far, his ophthalmology consult as well as the brain MRI showed a healthy optic nerve, indicating healthy vision.

* After working with Speech/ Feeding Therapists and his GI doctor, Baby Z's team decided that it would be most beneficial for Baby Z to have a temporary PEG Gastronomy Tube so he could move forward and find his Forever Family outside of the hospital setting. This tube was recently placed in hopes that Baby Z's family will find him soon and be able to take him home quickly where they can work diligently with him and his therapists on his feeding so his mouth muscles get stronger and the tube can be removed.

* MUCH of Baby Z's future is unknown... not unlike any of ours. He will need as much love and attention as any child and he will surely thrive with a family who is dedicated to helping him reach his potential. This little guy will show us who he is as he grows and his family will need to say YES to loving him regardless of those unknowns.

* Fees; $21,000  (these fees include agency fees and NC attorney fees. They do not include post placement visits in the families home state or finalization)


* Baby Z's First Mom had a very specific plan in place for her son. She is determined to see him with a family who can provide for him, invest in him, and love him as he grows! She does not want contact with Baby Z's Forever Family, at this time but has asked for us to inform her when he is settled in his forever family.

FOR INTERESTED AND QUALIFIED FAMILIES;  A PDF of  a state approved Home Study and a PDF of a potential Adoptive Families profile should be emailed to babyz2017@yahoo.com . Your initial email should include a PDF of your special needs approved Home Study and a PDF of your adoption profile as well as the following information;


* Names

* Primary contact info, including email address, home address, and phone numbers

* State of Residence

* Date Home Study Expires

* Reasons for considering a special needs placement


 Any email received that does not contain all of the above WILL NOT BE RESPONDED TO. Any qualified email will be responded to; response will include a redacted copy of Baby Z's records for your practitioner and/or specialist's review. The hospital has expressed that Baby Z will be ready for discharge within 2 weeks (if not sooner) and a family should be prepared to give their full YES and be ready to travel within that time period upon agency and attorney approval. 





In short; This sweet little man is a Leap of Faith, as many of our precious babies have been. We've managed to unite them ALL with their Forever Families and I know we can do it again.
If you believe you could be the family this sweet little man has been waiting for, please email babyz2017@yahoo.com as soon as possible with all required information!

And if not... you will do him a enormous favor by simply clicking 'share'... as many times as it takes. And pray. Please pray for this precious life. I know firsthand that these sweet babies... some of God's more precious creations... grow and change and prove themselves best when they're nurtured and loved the way God nurtures and loves all of us. YOU can be that person who leads him to his FOREVER.

Consider... Pray... Share.

That's it.

Let's change some lives, friends.

* This is a placement through Colores Adoptions; a licensed agency that Baby Z's First Mama trusted to help her fulfill her wishes for her baby boy. If you or someone you know is considering adoption for a child or wanting to know more about growing a family through adoption, please email info@coloresadoptions.com * 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

FAMILY NEEDED ASAP- Special Needs Baby Boy

UPDATE on Baby W;

Baby W's post has gone VIRAL with over 75,000 views as well as over 12.000 shares... watching God's army literally BE His hands and feet has overwhelmed so many people!!! Those who are caring for him, his care team of doctor's, his representing agency, as well as many others are simply blown away by the outpouring of love for this sweet boy!

As I have said in every case like this that comes up; I am not representing any agency and I have limited information on each case. I DO spend SO much time researching and asking questions before I bring these situations to you;

With that being said...

Many of you are home study ready, approved for special needs, are ready to travel, and ready to pay, have inquired about this baby boy, but have not heard back from Children's Connections (baby boy's agency who asked for our help finding his family). I know how this feels and I'm so sorry! The response was overwhelming and while I can understand that part, the agency has asked me to take my post down while they sort through inquiries and narrow them down to the VERY BEST FAMILY for this boy. I'm more than happy to oblige.


PLEASE show grace and patience. PLEASE keep praying. And if you truly think you are HIS FAMILY, don't give up. Keep calling. Drive those people insane.... you'll never regret it! 

And I'll be right behind you!

I'm thankful for each one of you; for your unconditional love, for your simple obedience, and for those fingers that click 'share' or type 'praying'... you are changing lives. 

I can't wait to see what's next!!!


Friday, February 17, 2017

Family Needed NOW for Special Needs Baby Girl!

UPDATE;

This precious baby girl is currently WITH HER FOREVER FAMILY!!!!! Friends, this is entirely thanks to you..... to the 15,000+ of you who gave her story your time and read it.... to the 6,000+ of you who shared her story on Facebook, Instagram, and on your own blogs... and to the hundreds of thousands who simply saw her story and prayed....

to all of you, on behalf of this sweet baby girl, her First Family, her Forever Family, and those who have dedicated countless hours to seeing that they united as soon as possible...

THANK YOU.

You always have been, are, and always will be HIS HANDS AND FEET for these precious little ones and you never cease to amaze me. 



** TIME IS RUNNING OUT... PLEASE PLEASE SHARE**

* This is a SPECIAL NEEDS placement... I have done my best to start this research for you and have inked to all pertinent information within this post, however Baby Girl's needs are extensive and much is unknown; PLEASE do your own research before inquiring about her. Educate yourself... no one has time to do it for you ;-)



* If you do not have a CURRENT, VALID HOME STUDY, are not approved for special needs, and are not ready to travel quickly, DO NOT APPLY for this situation.



* 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 baby's story to the one's who are caring for her. Comments questioning issues around fees or First Parents will be deleted.



* The following is ALL of the information I have about this situation.

A special family is desperately needed for a precious 6 week old Korean baby girl who suffered a traumatic birth. Baby Girl has been diagnosed with HIE (Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy). Baby Girl's future holds SO many unknowns, but one thing is FOR CERTAIN.... she needs a family... and quickly; She is being released MONDAY and will come home with a feeding tube.

REQUIREMENTS;

* Family MUST BE HOME STUDY READY
* Family MUST BE READY TO TRAVEL
* It is preferred that this family lives in an East Coast State to make travel and transport safe and fast

This precious baby girl is in need of lifelong care, a family who will devote themselves to helping her reach her very highest potential, and who believe with everything in them that she does, in fact have enormous potential. Because she does.


Fees are $8,300 and have already been reduced as much as possible. Fees include birth-mother counseling, ICPC, legals, and the work it takes to acquire adoption subsidies for the baby. Fees do not include finalization in the adoptive parent's home state or travel and travel expenses.

If you would like to know more about bringing this precious girl into your family, please email your home study to Sara@SpecialAngelsAdoption.org .

If this sweet girl isn't the right fit for your family right now, PLEASE click 'share' so we can continue searching for her forever family! They're out there... and I so strongly believe that we will find them! We are running out of time and I know how you guys work... if anyone can find this baby's family, it's YOU! 

Thank you for being HIS hands and feet on behalf of this most precious creation!

Monday, August 15, 2016

URGENT~ Family DESPERATELY Needed for Baby Boy



* This is a SPECIAL NEEDS placement... I have done my best to start this research for you and have inked to all pertinent information within this post, however Baby Boy's needs are extensive; PLEASE do your own research before inquiring about her. Educate yourself... no one has time to do it for you ;-)



* If you do not have a CURRENT, VALID HOME STUDY, are not approved for special needs, and are not ready to travel quickly, DO NOT APPLY for this situation.



* 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 baby's story to the one's who are caring for her. Comments questioning issues around fees or First Parents will be deleted.



* The following is ALL of the information I have about this situation.

A sweet, young family is desperately needed for a precious 4 month old, bi-racial baby boy who was born 2 months early. A traumatic delivery caused a brain bleed, which in turn caused Hydrocephalus. Baby Boy received a shunt soon after birth and shortly after receiving the shunt, he started having infant spasms. These were caught quickly and they are being controlled by medication. Baby boy has movement in all of his limbs and opens his fingers, but doctor's suspect that he may have Spastic Quad Cerebral Palsy and there's a possibility that it could be severe. 

Sweet Boy's First Mama and Daddy would love to have an open relationship with their son's adoptive parents so they will also have the honor of watching their son grow. 

This precious baby boy is in need of lifelong care, a family who will devote themselves to helping him reach his very highest potential, and who believe with everything in them that he does, in fact have enormous potential. Because he does.


Fees are $8,300 and have already been reduced as much as possible. Fees include birth-mother counseling, ICPC, legals, and the work it takes to acquire adoption subsidies for the baby. Fees do not include finalization in the adoptive parent's home state, unless the family lives in Ohio). Fees also do not include travel and travel expenses.

If you would like to know more about bringing this precious boy into your family, please email your home study to Sara@SpecialAngelsAdoption.org .

If this sweet boy isn't the right fit for your family right now, PLEASE click 'share' so we can continue searching for his forever family! They're out there... and I so strongly believe that we will find them! 

Thank you for being HIS hands and feet on behalf of this most precious creation!


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

URGENT; Family Needed For Baby Girl



* This is a SPECIAL NEEDS placement... I have done my best to start this research for you and have inked to all pertinent information within this post, however Baby Girl's needs are extensive; PLEASE do your own research before inquiring about her. Educate yourself... no one has time to do it for you ;-)



* If you do not have a CURRENT, VALID HOME STUDY, are not approved for special needs, and are not ready to travel quickly, DO NOT APPLY for this situation.



* 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 baby's story to the one's who are caring for her. Comments questioning issues around fees or First Parents will be deleted.



* The following is ALL of the information I have about this situation.


A family is desperately needed for a precious 2 week old baby girl who was born in Florida with a cranial facial disorder and potential hearing loss. Baby girl's First Parents would like yearly visits.

Fees are $28,000 and have already been reduced as much as possible. 

If you would like to know more about bringing this precious girl into your family, please email your home study to Sara@SpecialAngelsAdoption.org .

If this sweet girl isn't the right fit for your family right now, PLEASE click 'share' so we can continue searching for her forever family! They're out there... and I so strongly believe that we will find them! 

Thank you for being HIS hands and feet on behalf of this most precious creation!



Tuesday, October 20, 2015

URGENT~ Baby Girl Needs Her Family!


* This is a SPECIAL NEEDS placement... I have done my best to start this research for you and have inked to all pertinent information within this post, however Baby Girl's needs are extensive; PLEASE do your own research before inquiring about her. Educate yourself... no one has time to do it for you ;-)



* If you do not have a CURRENT, VALID HOME STUDY, are not approved for special needs, and are not ready to travel quickly, DO NOT APPLY for this situation.



* 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 baby's story to the one's who are caring for her.


* The following is ALL of the information I have about this situation.


A home study ready, special needs approved family is needed for a precious 3 month old baby girl who has been diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome (read more about Prader Willi here).

A few things to know:

* Baby Girl is presently on Oxygen and is in a specialized therapy facility to try and help her core improve to the point where she will not need a g-tube. A g-tube is still a possibility, but there is hope that therapy can strengthen her enough to not need it.

* Fees will be, at most $13,000

* Baby Girl's First Family would like an open adoption and would like to find a family for their baby girl who will love and keep her name (name will be told to prospective, home study approved families.... but it's SUPER cute!)



If you're ready to commit to this precious girl, or learn more about her, please email Sara (at) specialangelsadoption (dot) org


If you're not in a place to welcome this sweet girl, please pray... for her incredible Mama and Daddy who love her so much and for her forever Mama and Daddy who are missing her, even if they don't know it yet.


And please share. Her needs are extremely special... and her family has been through so much already in their quest to find her Forever Family... PLEASE share and help us unite them!

Remember our Hunter? He wasn't supposed to walk or talk or live. And he is. God is good... and when WE faithfully allow ourselves to be His hands and feet for these precious creations, HE SHOWS UP. Let's do this, friends... we're SO good at it!




Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Girl on the Bridge

It's not a story my husband would tell many people... but it's not one that's easily forgotten.

And in light of Suicide Awareness Month, he has given me permission to tell you what happened that day;

He wouldn't want to be called a hero or guardian angel...

but that's what he was...

When he saw the girl on the bridge.

He drives over the same bridge every day, never really giving a second thought to what lies below.

That Tuesday was the same...

but a few short seconds changed everything about that every-day-drive over that bridge from then on;

She was standing on the wrong side of the guard rail...

a car was parked not far from her and a woman was standing on the sidewalk dozens of steps behind her...

talking her down... begging her to turn around.

If you know my husband, you know he's not one to interfere. This time was different. 

It wasn't curiosity or nosiness... panic? fear?

It doesn't matter... he turned his car around.

He pulled into a nearby parking lot and walked across the bridge...

the lady continued talking to the girl but said nothing to Joey as he passed her by; her phone was in her hand, signaling to Joey that the police were on their way...

but how long had it been... and how long would it be?

He walked slowly up behind the girl... realizing just now that she was probably 16 years old...

maybe 16 years old?

As he approached the guard rail, he glanced over the side...

80 feet down to a concrete sidewalk. Maybe more.

She was going to die.

He guessed that she didn't know that he was behind her yet and as he walked closer, he silently and slowly reached over and placed his arm around her waist...

a risky move, maybe... but if you know my husband, you also know that this young girl was safe the second he touched her.

She was shaking uncontrollably. Paralyzed.

"I'm not going to let you jump. You're safe. But I am going to pick you up."

And he did.

Up and over the guard rail... and as her body got closer to his, she melted...

relief? 

I don't know. I hope so. I can only imagine.

He tried to set her down so she could sit on the sidewalk but the best he could do was lay her against the street-side... the safe side... of the guard rail. She collapsed on the ground, head down... sobbing.

The lady approached her and put her arm around the young girl...

"You're ok. You're going to be ok."

Joey stepped back.

A police officer approached and nodded his thanks before Joey walked back to his car.

As he pulled away, he could hear the ambulance sirens approaching in the distance...

She would be ok....

for now. For today.

Joey came home early from work that afternoon and as he relayed the story to me, I could see in him the fear he felt for that young girl. I could sense the panic... but I could only imagine the emotions and thoughts running through his mind...

about his own daughter. The 'why's'. The 'what if's'. 

But I know my husband.

I know how safe his strong arm around your waist makes you feel...

I know that the sound of his deep voice is calming, even under the most stressful of situations...

I know the control you feel when you can sense his presence standing next to you...

I know that when he says something... "You're safe"... you believe him.

What we don't know is what happened... what will happen... to that precious girl on the bridge.

I don't know what events took place in her life that morning... Who had she spoken to? Where had she been? Had no one tried to help her... Or had many? Where had her hurt come from? Where had her hopelessness come from?


What I do know is that depression puts you in places where you don't truly want to be... it changes parts of you that you once truly loved... it places blame where it doesn't belong...


and it robs you of what you've always known... what you've always believed.


And your control? There is none when depression takes the reigns. You... the 'you' you always knew, is gone.


In the aftermath of losing our Precious #3, I found myself in a dark place that I can only describe as the closest to Hell that I ever care to be. That I never cared to be.

I was surrounded by people who loved me... my arms were full of the sweet babies that Jesus had given to me... and from the outside, my life was rich and busy and full of every blessing that some people never receive...

but where I was, was dark... and lonely... and empty... and scary...

and as much as I wanted to be present and whole for the babies I did have...

I desperately wanted the one I had lost.

And this is a hard reality for a Mama who became a Mama the way I did...

and it's an even harder reality to admit out loud... or in writing.

But also... aside from missing my baby...

I had let my husband down... My body had. Over and over and over again...

we had let him down.

So guilt set in...

I missed the baby I lost when both of the precious ones I still had were standing right in front of me...

and how could my husband still love me... want me... when my body had failed him time and time again?

And guilt led to shame...

and shame led to feeling worthless...

and worthlessness led to joylessness...

and joylessness led to hopelessness...

and that's where I was stuck.

Where I was sinking.

Those closest to me worried about me... they did their very very best to be sure that I knew every second of every day that I was loved, that our Precious #3 wouldn't be forgotten, and that Jesus loved me.

Because if Jesus loves you, everything will be ok.

My husband did everything he could to reassure me; he wasn't disappointed... he was sad... he was worried about me... he loved me.

As the weeks and months went on, I felt that my depression became a nuisance to those who cared about me...

In my mind, their faces told me to get over it.

In my heart, I knew they wanted to help... but how?

But their faces... that's all I could see. Their hearts were as lost to me as my own.

And one day, in a desperate attempt at helping me climb out of the dark place I was in, someone so precious to me... one of the most solid, encouraging, Godly women I know...

told me to "choose joy".

And within those 2 words, the dark hole I was in became a bottomless pit that I knew I would never be able to climb out of on my own.

I didn't see it coming.

Those simple words screamed at me...

"You can fix this if you'd just CHOOSE to be happy!"

"You're the only one who can fix this... so fix it."

And I couldn't.

I was saved... I knew Jesus and how much He loved me... how much He sacrificed for me... how faithful He had been...

I knew that if this... this Hell on Earth didn't work... if I never climbed out... if I couldn't find a way to live in it...

I would be in Heaven with my #3. 

I knew that.... and that's all I knew.

The only place to go from there....

is unspeakable.

I couldn't choose joy... because I didn't have any to choose from. I was sad... and lost... and broken... and depressed...

and society doesn't allow Christians to be depressed.

"Consider it pure joy when you face trials of any kind..." James 1:3-4

"Rejoice in the Lord, always!" Philippians 4:4

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!" Psalm 118:24

His Word screams it... demands it! CHOOSE JOY!

But friends, we make a huge mistake when we throw these verses at someone who has found themselves in the pit of depression.

We mean well... and we love them... and often times we just don't know what else to say, so we assume that peace and healing can be found in these sacred words.

In God's Word, joy is a common theme... as it should be! Those who know Him are gifted HIS joy...

but those who know Him also know how to use His joy as a platform ...

because what else can you do?!

"Jesus can fix it," we say.

Do you know someone in the throws of depression?! Do you know someone who is standing on that bridge?! Who is facing a bridge of their own?!

They can't choose joy.

They are sick.

No.

Actually... they WISH they were sick. Because being sick means you have a diagnosis and having a diagnosis means there is hope... hope for a cure or for help or at the very least, for understanding.

How do we help the girl on the bridge? How do we talk her down?

The young woman, recently graduated, with so much in front of her... who just moved for her first job and doesn't know a soul.

The newly married woman who desperately wants to have a baby... but her husband isn't ready.

The couple who has been trying for months and can't get pregnant... but everyone around them is.

The woman who got pregnant so easily and imagined incredible plans for her future with their first child... and lost her baby.

The adoptive Mama who knows every single day how blessed she is that Jesus let her be a Mama... but stifles the deep desire within her to still experience pregnancy.

The friend who's husband just walked out... making her a single mom.

The ones who dreamt of retirement and years of enjoying each other... but her husband went first and way too early.

They're there... they're here. They're you ... and they're me.

This month... right now... I want you to know something...

you cannot save her with Jesus.

Yes, Jesus saves... yes, Jesus loves her... yes, Jesus has plans for her and hope for her future...

Jesus does.

Not you.

Depression has a way of sucking every ounce of joy from a life that is otherwise joyful...

it can steal your joy. Your happiness.

And it will.

But...

it cannot steal your hope.

Joy; a feeling of great happiness

Hope; a feeling of expectation and desire
(dictionary.com)


You can breathe HOPE into them.

Because we can choose HOPE.... we can touch it and feel it...

and as long as there is a future...

there is hope.

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

"Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off."
Proverbs 24:14

"You will be secure because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid."
Job 11; 18-19

"The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his love."
Psalm 147:11

That last one;

our hope... gives Him joy.

Choosing hope forces us to look forward to what CAN BE.

While JOY makes us feel guilty for what is not.

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."
Romans 12:12

That last one...

Rejoice in the fact that you have hope...

Be patient when things are hard...

And pray.... talk to Jesus.

When you're on the bridge and you're face to face with Hell... with the joy that you know you're called to have, but that you can't find even if it would save your life...

friend, you can't choose joy.

But you can choose hope.

I lost my #3. In this life, I will never know him or her. 

And there is no joy in that. There will never be ANY joy in that. 

And I thought I would spend forever feeling guilty for the simple fact that I could not choose joy... like I was supposed to.

The charge to me to 'choose joy' pushed me to take a step that I was certain only proved that I was weak...

I made an appointment with a therapist.

She listened to me... she questioned me... she made me cry and forced me to be honest... 

and then she asked me...

".. and what do you hope for?"

And in those simple words, I realized that Jesus' plan for me is good.

It might hurt...and it might make me sad... and it might be everything I wished it wasn't...

but beauty comes from ashes...





and from the ashes of some of the most terrible things we go through that are within His plan for us...

comes hope.

Are you hurting? Are you the girl on the bridge... or the one who lost her baby... or her husband... or just her joy?

There is hope. 


The girl on the bridge... Is she your friend? 

Show her what she CAN do... because there is so so much that she can't.

She can dream... and she can talk to you... she can feel your strong arms around her and know that she is loved and she is safe...

and she can hope.

And it's not beyond me that this ending... this hope-filled ending... isn't always the outcome for those who are hurting;

The girl on the bridge... I don't know where she is... or is she has found hope...

Because I do know that beauty can come from ashes...

and hope comes from hurt.

Let's be hope-givers.


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

National Suicide Hotline; (800) 273-8255

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

He would be dead.




He was 3 weeks old when we met him... just a little over 3 pounds.


"Do you want to hold him?" She asked Joey...

"You'll be the first to hold him besides us..." 

and as she handed him to Joey....

"He has such wise eyes... he looks right into your heart."



"He's been through so much... he's such a fighter...." 



And she stood to the side as we got to know our new son.


In those 6 weeks, countless women and men loved on our tiny, precious boy...

 they loved on us, too.

After spending a week 6 hours away from home, getting to know our son, Joey had to go back to work... 

and most weekdays, I was alone;

My day would start and end at the Ronald McDonald House and every hour in between was spent with him... with them...

his first caregivers... some of the very first ones to love him... the first ones to pray over him... 

the first ones to pray for us...

the first ones to acknowledge us as his Mommy and Daddy.




They were the first to hold him... change him... talk to him...

the first to teach us how to care for him...

for this precious, tiny miracle...

they never left our side.

They helped us keep our heads above water... juggling the time we knew we had with our sweet girl...

and the time we had with him... 

not knowing how much of that time we had left.



As the weeks went by, we became family... I trusted them... and they trusted me.

I knew their stories...

and they were now part of mine.

The long shifts with short breaks... 

I was there for hundreds of them.

Take a walk... eat... get some fresh air... call their mom or their husband or their friend... read... listen to music that might break up the deafening sound of beeping monitors and crying babies...

they could have... should have... done anything with those short breaks....

but most days, they would sit with me.

I had held him for hours... skin to skin... begging Jesus to save him, to give him strength, to equip us to be his Mama and Daddy... watching monitors religiously as they put numbers on his life... terrified that today might be my last day with him, while it was really only one of my first...

and they would sit with me... making the horrifying sounds disappear within the soft words of our conversation.

They gave me purpose...

 and peace.

They gave me permission to love him... they placed him in my arms... 

they made me his Mama.



The doctors blew me off because I wasn't his 'real' mom... and she fought for me.

He needed to gain 3 ounces in order to start bottle feeds... and she knew he was ready so she added .5 ounces to his midnight weigh-in.

He needed to eat 30 cc's in order to keep the ng-tube out and be able to go home... she let me sleep and didn't stop feeding him until he had eaten it all.

He coded... and she saved him.



But they weren't just there for him....

I was cold... so she brought me a warm blanket.

I didn't want to spend another night alone... so she arranged to let me room in with him.

I couldn't do it on my own anymore... she let me cry and told me I wasn't doing it alone; that she was there with me.

I needed Joey to get there in time for rounds, but he was 30 minutes away and rounds had already started... so she changed the attending's schedule.

She trusted my Mommy instinct... she trusted that I knew him best... she trusted that my heart knew him... even though he didn't come from my body. 

The doctors told us he was going to die.... and none of them let him.


Lindsay.... Jackie.... Betsy.... Ellie.... Melissa.... Jennifer.... Rob.... and so many more.

They saved him.

I don't watch The View OR the Miss America Pageant...

I hate them both...

but since they're all clogging my news feed... and since so many of our friends and family have dedicated their lives to a profession as difficult as nursing...

this is the perfect opportunity for us to say "thank you" to every one of them...

but especially to the ones who saved our son.

And when this is your son... your precious miracle... your fighter...


the reality of who he is, of where he's been, of what could have been, and of where he is going...

 is never very far from your mind.

And without them...

without his nurses...

he would be dead.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Droopy Eyelids, Small Kidneys, & Stiff Muscles... Parenting the Child With Special Needs

Droopy eyelids, small kidneys, & stiff muscles.

A *very* basic summary of the past few weeks in our house.

There's a definite ebb and flow to life as the parent to a child who has special needs...

it seems as if weeks and weeks go by when your *normal* is just that... normal... manageable....

When the 'disorders' and 'delays' somehow disappear in the *normal* that is your day to day...

your errands, and meal times, and play dates, and nap-times, and car-time sing-a-longs.

And then the flow.

The flow....

is never a flow.

It's more like a dam bursts....

literally...

One routine follow-up... one check-up... one meeting...

it bursts your bubble of *normal* and throws off everything you *think* you know.

Our ebb is over.

Hello flow.

Three years old is tough, friends...

in the world of every toddler, it's difficult... but in the world of a child who has special needs....

it's a turning point.

The past few weeks have been full of our *normal*, routine check-ups with various specialists (we have 17), a few new follow-ups, regular therapy sessions, as well as yearly evaluations, and pre-school testing and IEP meetings.

Our flow.

Hunter is a trooper... he works hard through every therapy session, patiently follows directions for whatever specialist is examining him, and keeps himself occupied while we discuss *findings* and *recommendations*.

And those things... we discuss them as if he's not there... as if he's not listening and comprehending.

As if.

Lately, my head spends most of the day analyzing and dissecting my son's movements and actions and sounds... It's impossible not to let the words of his team of professionals slither their way in to our *normal*....

and interrupt our ebb.

So we flow...

my mind flows daily... and nightly, too... my anxiety is high as I anticipate the next meeting or evaluation, the next appointment or set of labs....

it's all consuming, this flow.

And it's so easy to think that this... this flow... is only affecting us... mommy and daddy. We're the ones who understand the implications of every diagnosis and ever recommendation... we're the ones who handle the follow ups and make arrangements for the other kids who can't come to certain appointments... we're the ones who consider what the future looks like for him and for our family while we juggle the necessary therapies and schedules to make sure he is receiving every possible resource that's available to him.

The flow.

A few weeks ago we posted a private plea for prayer on our personal Facebook pages... we were feeling desperate as we awaited lab results that would tell us if our son was in the middle stages of kidney failure. All labs we had received at that time led us to believe that his one healthy, growing kidney was failing... and when you have one kidney and that kidney fails...

the flow.

A few days later, Hunter was released from Physical Therapy for a much-deserved break... until the Fall when it will be necessary to cast his legs in order to break some bad habits he has developed that are causing his muscles to tighten...

the flow.

Two days later we sat in his Opthamologists office and heard about how his vision is excellent.... except that his moderate far-sightedness and his droopy eyelids will needs to be addressed at some time in the future...

the flow.

And then his IEP meetings with the special school district. Hunter was amazing through 3 hours of 'play' which being observed by a team of 6... OT's, SLP's, child psychologists, PT's, and special needs teachers who would ultimately determine the level of his developmental, speech, and physical delays in order to determine what resources he qualifies for in next year's pre-school program...

the flow.

In all of these meetings and evals and appointments, Hunter plays and listens and does what he's asked and does it all with such an amazing attitude.

He's 3.... so this flow.... he's not aware of it...

he can't be.

He's 3.

Hearing loss, Global Developmental Delays, operates on a 15-24 month level, non-verbal...

he can't understand... can't know...

Right?!

While Joey makes it to every appointment he can, this ebb and flow of appointments and diagnoses and testing is 'our thing'... mine and Hunter's. We do it all together... every time. We do it all together and I carry it all on my shoulders... that's my job... my privilege. And it's not easy... but it's an honor to be 'that' for him.

A few nights ago, the kids had been in bed for almost 2 hours... the house was quiet....

and then I heard Hunter cry...

it was his sad cry.

Do you know the one?

The one that starts as a sob and slowly turns into a sound that rips your heart at the seams ...

it isn't angry... or manipulative... or hungry... or 'wet'.....

it's so sad.

Before I could even respond, Joey went upstairs and held him for a while... he loves that time with his babies... he rocked him, sang to him...

"Are you ready to lay back down and go ni-night?'

"Yeah", he said.

Joey went to the gym shortly after and again the house was quiet...

the flow.

His cry was worse... it was high-pitch and gut-wrenching.

It was my turn....

and As I walked upstairs, 'slightly' annoyed that my 'job' was not yet done for the day... 'slightly' irritated that someone needed me, yet again... and more than slightly angry that Joey had gone to the gym when he did (even though he more than deserved his time!)... my irritation grew as I climbed the stairs to his room and I was prepared to pat his butt a few times, tell him he's ok and that I would see him in the morning, "I love you, goodnight".

He was standing in his crib when I opened the door and his arms went out for me immediately...

"Ok fine", I thought... "Just for a minute."

I picked him up and he clung to me as if his life depended on my strength and solitude to save him... to sustain him.

His sobs shook me to my core...

this wasn't sadness...

this was defeat.

My precious 3 year old... the one who recently consumed my every thought, whom I have lost so much sleep over, who's future I worry about daily, whom I invest so much of my time and energy into, the one who I carry all of this for....

the one whom I thought I had been feeling all of these feelings FOR over the past few weeks...

He was defeated, too.

And as I held him, the flow flooded over me...

Droopy eyelids, small kidneys, stiff muscles, casts, blood work, talking devices, 15-24 months, and on and on and on...

he had heard it all... he had felt it all...

and he was done.

He was drowning in the flow.

And so I layed down with him on my chest and I rubbed his back...

I cried as I did my best to speak life back into him...

"Hunter, you are strong."

"You are brave."

"Your life matters."

"You are so loved."

"You are not alone... you'll never be alone."

"We do this together, baby boy."

"We'll always do this together."

And I prayed over him...

"Thank you for Hunter's joy... for his life... thank you for choosing him for me. Jesus, he is so strong... please keep him strong. He is so brave and some of our days are so hard... please protect his spirit. Let Hunter feel you. Amen."

We sang 'his' song and I laid him back down...

he grabbed his blanky, rolled over, and went to sleep.

Some of our days are really hard... and it's easy for me to get caught up in dividing my time between all of my babies, managing invoices and bills, scheduling appointments, reminding children to use the words they know, trying to understand cues from those who don't have spoken words, making our days fun and playful, practicing patience, and finding time for myself and my marriage...

there are days when finding a balance is almost impossible...

And it's so easy to make these things about me....About keeping myself afloat in our flow.

My son reminded me in the most precious way that he knows... he feels... he hears (a miracle for this boy!)... he understands...

And he reminded me that we all need those words... affirmative, life-speaking words that sustain us and keep us going when that sad cry threatens to break through...

and I'm thankful for the sad cry that allowed me to speak life back into him...

because of the One who breathed life into us both.

Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them."

John 7:38

Another thing....

Hunter's kidney is strong... in fact, it's perfect.

And God is so so good!