Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Journey with Ruby

I decided that I wanted to make sure to capture our journey as whole through pictures. I plan on making this blog an album and thought it would be extra sweet to keep a slide show as well. Looking back at these photos it almost feels like our time with her was ages ago and then I have days like today where I feel like it was only yesterday. I miss her today. Knowing she would have been in our arms already. Our life would be consumed with diapers, lack of sleep, cuddles and a general lack of daily hygiene. But that just wasn't what the Lord had for us. Ruby is safe in His arms and I pray they are both in joyful expectation of this new little one in our family. If Ruby was in our arms this new little one would never be. So I rejoice in His perfect plan. I eagerly await this new life and cannot wait to see his or her personality, character and spirit. How, soon we will never imagine life before this babe.
My recent morning sickness with this pregnancy has brought me to a very contemplative state. I remember now what it was like when I was sick with Ruby. What an emotionally exhausting time it was to be ill all day, incapable of doing the normal daily routine, but I have been drawn to my knees (in more ways then one). I have come to praise God during my dry heaves, Thank Him when all I can do is curl in a ball, and rest in Him when my house is just completely out of control. To rejoice in this temporary suffering in hopes of a healthy sweet babe to soon be in our arms.
I am blessed by these photos. Moments captured in time so that even when my memory fades these pictures won't. May I always remember the beautiful, miraculous, breathe taking moments in our Journey with Ruby.
(side note: there is a photo of her in this album. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of seeing a deceased babe please be warned. I felt comfortable enough to share her with you because I find that God is in every detail and the fact the He always knew she would never use this body, yet he formed her. He knit her together and allowed her mother and father to study her every detail)

Press pause the on the music below!
click the button on the bottom right of the screen for a bigger picture

Sunday, January 22, 2012

More details

So for those of you who have just found out about our very exciting and surprising news, we thought we'd give you a little more details on what Gods been doing. Every other week or so John and I will ask eachother, "So whatcha thinkin? You see us trying again or moving forward with adoption?" Every time we come to realize that until our desire for Ruby passes or at least fades a little, we weren't ready to give an answer. But within the last couple of weeks the conversation has come up more and even talks about baby names. I had told John about 3 weeks ago that my desire for another baby was stronger then my desire for adoption. I found it odd only because I have wanted to adopt my whole life! And we still intend to:)
A couple of days later I had spent some much needed time with the Lord. He had revealed to me that I tend to plan my life and wait for the Lord to intervene where He needs. But that I needed to have more of a heart like David's. One who would seek the Lords direction before taking another step. Desiring that the Lord direct our steps. I asked to John to committ to praying with me for a time in hopes that the Lord would reveal to us His desire for our family. I desired complete confirmation. No doubt that this is what the Lord wanted for our family.
It was two days later that we found out we were expecting. CONFIRMATION!
Our new babe will be expected to arrive September of 2012
September 12th 2011 we found out about Rubies diagnosis. September was the month our world was flipped upside down. So how much more beautiful for the Lord to restore that month to us. It will also be the month John and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary.
We are so awestruck by the Lords timing and goodness. His overwhelming presence and all sufficient spirit reminds us that He is active and desires to provide for His children. He cared for our medical expenses, such a dad thing to do, and I believe gave us this new life at a time when we were mourning the loss of another. He is a gracious and loving Father and we are blessed to be His children.

Romans 8:17
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

1 Peter 1: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Due Date...

Read this post in its entirety:

John here. Back in June, the evening before I left for Africa, we found out we were pregnant. What a surprise! And what began, was a journey that we never asked to embark on. We looked forward to January 21, 2012, as the mile marker to welcome our new little one into the world. We dreamed of her. We longed to meet her. We eagerly anticipated the blessed moment when she would emerge from the womb, exercise her fragile lungs for the first time and issue forth the first melting cries of new birth. We looked forward to January 21, 2012 as a day to be remembered and not forgotten, a day of joy and praises, a day of love and tears and laughter and life.

Understandably, most of you who have been following this blog or who are personally involved in our day to day lives, know how we have anticipated and dreaded this day ever since we learned of Ruby's condition back in September. It's amazing to see how a simple date can carry with it so much anticipation and expectant joy. And it's amazing to see how, in a literal skipped heartbeat, that simple date can become something so far removed.

Time marches on and here we are. Looking back on the journey that God has taken us on, we are nothing short of grateful. I didn't know what the tone of this post would be today, but I know that in hindsight, I can vaguely but confidently see the hand of God working a new birth in our hearts.

Ruby's diagnosis was complete surprise which we were not prepared for. Yet we tangibly saw and felt the Fathering hand of our loving Heavenly Father from beginning to end. As we watched Ruby's heart slowly fail and fade away, we felt our hearts being strengthened by Holy Spirit's work of comfort and help. As we learned of all the many inadequacies of Ruby's little body under Trisomy 18, we learned of the all-surpassing power and all-sufficient grace of our Lord Jesus Christ...that He is enough to carry our broken bodies. We were never blessed to hear Ruby's voice or her first cries, yet God has indeed placed a new song in our hearts and countless more reasons to sing. And even though Ruby never got to use her fragile lungs, we can see how He has breathed new life into us, preparing us to breathe the sweet atmosphere of Heaven, for the first time.

January 21, 2012, God has done a new birth and breathed new life into our hearts. In wonder and awe and with worshipful abandon...we are eternally grateful.

How surpassingly great it is to know Christ Jesus my Lord, and to be found in Him! For on this January 21, 2012, we are celebrating all the more...

We are five weeks along...and eagerly expecting greater things from the Giver of Life. September 21, 2012...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Change of Plans

I am awe struck how God not only has answered John and my prayers through this journey of losing our sweet baby girl but He goes above and beyond!
Since I have lost Ruby I have been told of several other women who have been diagnosed with Trisomy 18. It breaks my heart to hear that others will experience the heartache of knowing, that the plans they once had for their unborn babes future would be forever changed. That they may never watch their little one take their first step or say their first word. But I praise Jesus for those who, although terrified, choose life and continue with their pregnancy, uncertain of the outcome of their unborn child. For so many who do not choose life they may have missed an opportunity to actually meet & experience life with the baby that was knit together in their womb. It may be for a short time but to actually meet your sweet babe would be something no one should ever trade in!
God's perfect plan for Ruby Jean was to take her before she ever opened her eyes, breathed her first breathe, or said her first cry in this world. But Gods perfect plan was different for Rosalie.
I met Rosalie's Mommy, Maria, through my blog. She found my blog somehow after recently finding out, in her 8th month, that Rosalie had Trisomy 18. She left a comment on one of my posts, and being the creepy internet stalker that I am, I found that she had also started a blog to record her thoughts and experiences. Rosalie was due at the end of November. So I checked her blog almost everyday through the month of December waiting to hear anything. I had heard through the grapevine that a woman who delivered at CMH gave birth to a beautiful baby girl with Trisomy 18 and that she was doing amazing. That they had even sent her home!! I prayed that that would be Maria. I hoped that she would have the chance to meet her sweet baby girl and spend days watching her learn and, God willing, grow! A few days ago I checked her blog to find out that Rosalie is alive and well! Maria was blessed with the chance to love, snuggle, and cherish her sweet Rosalie. It brought such unexplainable emotions to my hearts and tears to my eyes to see Rosalie's face. To be honest, I saw so much of Ruby in her, but I also saw a PICTURE PERFECT BABY. I didn't see any signs of trisomy on Rosalie. They may be all internal but externally she looks nothing short of perfect. I praise the Lord that He continues to use our story and allows it to trickle into the lives of others. I may never meet Maria in person or Rosalie for that matter but I know that we will forever be connected through the stories of our sweet baby girls.
To read Rosalie's story please visit : Change of Plans

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Praise Him from whom all blessings flow

Our Holidays were fabulous! Our family was blessed to be able to travel to Alabama to spend time with family for Christmas and New Years. It was a beautiful time to laugh, play, rest and relax. We cannot thank our families enough for getting us out there. We could not have done it without you all or should I say "Ya'll".

Biggest Praise of ALL
I write this with tears in my eyes:
Due to two fundraisers and AMAZING friends and family we have been able to payoff all of our medical bills so far!!! GOD IS SO GOOD!! He has used present & past church family, close friends, cousins, aunts and uncles, parents, siblings, friends I haven't spoken to in years, and complete strangers to provide everything we need!!
We realize bills may continue to trickle in in the next couple months but we trust that God will take care of even that! I am completely humbled by the outpouring of love we have been shown. I cannot thank everyone enough for the weight that has been lifted off our shoulders. We are truly in awe of those who so willingly followed God's leading and gave.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Ramblings and Updates

This will not be an eloquent post by any means, just the randomness in my heart and the updates that some have not yet heard!

1.)The Holidays have hit with full force and we have dove right in.
Christmas parties, cookie/ginger bread house decorating, Christmas light drives through town, crafting, baking, Christmas books each night, parade of lights, wrapping, shopping, Christmas play at church...the list goes on.
I have been asked if the Holidays have been hard and my response is "No". Don't get me wrong, the mourning process isn't easy. Like John just previously posted, we have our days and moments that are incredibly difficult. But the Christmas season doesn't make it harder or more difficult. In fact, I am grateful that we have this "season" to keep our thoughts and lives a little busier and more distracted. I have chosen to remember that if Ruby was good and healthy she wouldn't be here yet anyway. I would just be super uncomfortable and probably a little cranky.
But we do dwell on her. We have tokens of her all over our home. Small things to remind us that she is a part of our family and holds a huge place in our day to day lives. A reminder of what God has and continues to do in our lives.
2.)Since Ruby has passed I have been contacted about 3 different women with Trisomy 18. They have either randomly found my blog or a friend of a friend. God continues to lay it on my heart that this may not be the end of Ruby's journey but only the beginning. That He may have something greater in mind for her journey and that if I listen closely and hold tight to His word that He will lead me to a greater ministry. I don't want to jump ahead of Him, so as I wait I will continue to be on my knees for so many out there who have or will lose their unborn babe.
3.) Since Rubys passing (8 weeks ago) I have also had 7 different friends give birth to healthy baby girls!! 7!!
BUT I PRAISE GOD! As crazy as it sounds there has not been one ounce of bitterness, sadness, anger or mourning through the announcements of these brand new baby girls. I can only chalk that up to a Gracious Father who has equipped me for everything I need during this time. He has given me an eternal perspective and a mind that has allowed me to comprehend that this is HIS perfect will for our lives and His perfect will for theirs.
4.) We have never been more blessed by the outpouring of friends and family this last month!! Financial help has POURED in and we are awestruck, especially during the holiday season! We can never thank you all enough for your love, prayers, friendship, gifts, and support through this time.
We are super close to paying off ALL of our medical bills!! I can not even begin to tell you how good that feels. The mountain seemed to high to climb but with all of your hands pulling us up we are a few more steps to the very peak.
5.) We leave for Alabama on Monday and we could not be more excited! With the help of our family, they are flying the 4 of us out to celebrate the Holidays together. A much needed trip for us to get away and enjoy family. And maybe a time for us to get new perspectives, new hopes, new dreams for our future!

6.) Our God is faithful, Good, True to His Word, Kind, Compassionate, the list could go on FOREVER..I just pray I never forget that!

When the LORD brought back the captive ones of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter
And our tongue with joyful shouting;
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
3 The LORD has done great things for us;
We are glad.

4 Restore our captivity, O LORD,
As the streams in the South.
5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Psalm 126

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Confess...

John here...

I confess that I don't really know what to write about. I guess this is therapy. All I know is that the boys are in bed, Cristin is in bed, and having done the dishes, I'm wide awake and restless...again. Overwhelmingly, I'm scared. I can't quite figure out the reason. I mean, this past Monday was a huge show of support and love from hundreds of faces we recognized and met for the first time. All this week, we have been checking the mail to find bills and gifts and Christmas cards and letters of love and comfort and joy. We even got to celebrate with dear friends at the birth of their little girl as we prepare to celebrate another new birth this week. So much happening, so much love and so much joy. So where is this feeling of fear coming from?

I remember as a preteen, camping with my family at Carpenteria State Beach. I remember it well because that was the time I got acquainted with the Amtrak railway system. I woke up in my tent in the dead of night, reeling and straining to catch my bearings as a midnight train came barreling down the tracks just yards from our campsite. Having never been close to a moving locomotive before and having not known that we were camping so close to the train tracks, the terrible harmony of hardened steel and unstoppable power woke me from my slumber and sent me into a state of confusion and fear.

Funny thing is that what I remember most about that experience wasn't just the rude awakening or the fear and confusion in the midst of the calamity...but the deafening silence after.

I think I have feared this period of grief above all others, even from the beginning. I confess, it feels as though a freight train has come barreling through our home rudely unannounced. It has come and gone, and now all is quiet. I feel it when the boys go days without mentioning it. I feel it when the romance between Cristin and I dissipates literally overnight. I feel it when there are moments when we simply don't have words for one another. We knew the world would keep it should. But now comes the awful season of continuing, one day at a time. And the 'how' in all of it, is quite murky.

I want to glorify God. I want to boldly lead my family through the fog, up the bleak side of the hill, with all the confidence and wisdom Holy Spirit so lavishly imparts. But I confess, all is quiet. And I confess...I'm scared.

But I guess that's what courage is all about. I guess courage carries the obvious truth that you are scared, but you move anyway. And, as stated in an earlier post, going up the bleak side of the hill may be difficult and scary at times, but take heart. Your Great Companion will not fail. He will not leave you. He will never forsake you. He has walked the hill before, and He knows the way to glory.

I want Ruby so badly. As much as I may try and prove to myself that all is well, in my heart, there are these moments of longing. Listening to the sound of hardened steel and unstoppable power fade away in the distance, I am left in silence. But my Lord, He beckons, calling me to press on. Put one foot in front of the other and walk with Him.

"All the way my Savior leads me / Cheers each winding path I tread / Gives me grace for every trial / Feeds me with the Living Bread"