Once Upon A Prayer

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Two Year Gotcha Day - and a VERY exciting announcement!

Two years ago today,
I was handed a terrified and hollow little girl
that we would name Mackenzie Ty. 
We met in a HOT Civil Affairs office in Shanghai, China.

Mackenzie had just been released from the hospital,
and I would soon discover that she had a 104.5 fever.

A few hours later,
in a hotel lobby of Hohhot, Inner Mongolia 
Jacques was handed a petrified and obstinate Lily Grace.

Lily's fight or flight instinct kicked in.
Before Jacques could even figure out what happened,
Lily Grace took off running out of the hotel 
away from Jacques, 
with her nanny tailing closely behind.

These two precious girls have come so far in the past two years.
Our family definitely hit the jackpot!

All because we said, "Yes lord, send us."

On this very special anniversary - 
Mackenzie and Lily would like to share an exciting announcement!

I prayed for this child,
 and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.
1 Samuel 1:27

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Addy Hope - 1 year home

One year ago today,
our sweet Addy Hope silently entered this world.  
Although she never experienced life outside of my womb, 
her little 7lb 15oz self has forever changed our lives.  

 We never had the privilege of hearing her cry, 
smelling her newborn fragrance, 
or snuggling her gently into the crook of our necks.  

Our past year did not include lullabies in the middle of the night, 
experiencing first smiles, or seeing the miracle of baby's first steps.

Instead, this past year would contain more grief and saddness
than our human hearts have ever endured.

A little over a year and a half ago, I remember vividly the flash of peace that surged across my soul when I thought I had God all figured out.  The moment that I felt I had put together the puzzle pieces of my life, and finally understood where I had been and where my journey was going.  In my shallow understanding of our omnipotent God I thought I discovered His purpose for my life.  I concluded that God brought Mackenzie into our lives to give us confidence in caring for a severely developmentally delayed child.  It was Lily who was strategically placed in our home to help us navigate through the terrifying world of congenital heart disease.  The precious baby that was growing inside of my belly would be a perfect combination of the two children we were already  confidently raising.  None of that could have been farther from the truth.

At 10am, on May 6th 2013 
that false sense of security I had 
would be striped away when my OBGYN 
couldn't find our baby's heartbeat (here).

What our sweet daughter Addy Hope has taught me is that it is not my place to figure out God's plan for my life.  I do not need to find my security in looking for signs or trying to piece together the complex puzzle of this life.  Jesus told us to "take up your cross and follow me".  It's easy to misinterpret this text and presume that the "cross" Jesus is referring to is some burden in our lives.  What Jesus intended was that we must literally be willing to die to ourselves in order to follow Him.  The call to death of self is then beautifully followed by the call to life in Christ - “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it” (Mathew 16:25-26).  I've learned that it is easy to follow Jesus when life is smooth and going well.  My true commitment to Him is revealed during times of trial.  This past year has allowed me to test drive my commitment to Jesus at a whole new level.  And I am here to encourage you that God's grace abounds in deepest water.

The eucharisteo -thanksgivng- always proceeds the miracle!
Ann Voskamp - one Thousand Gifts