September 17, 2008

Blessings...



Dear Friends,

Tomorrow marks what would have been Christian's 1 month birthday. It's hard to believe a month has already passed since I gave birth to my son.

It's hard to put into words how I feel... I suppose I should start by telling you that I am so Thankful that God blessed Ryan and me with our son, Christian! Our little boy really was more than we could have ever hoped for.

After years of trying to have children and even after our attempts to adopt a little girl from China...Ryan and I started thinking perhaps we weren't meant to have kids of our own. My heart hurts as I write these words because I remember how desperately we wanted to fill our home with many children and how hopeless we felt because we had none.

But we didn't give up ... we kept trying ... until finally, with the help of our fertility specialist we conceived Christian. Actually, initially, we were pregnant with twins!

When we lost Christian's twin at 8.5 weeks, all our hopes and dreams for a family rested on the birth of our son... our precious Christian. In April, when we learned Christian had Trisomy 18, an always fatal chromosomal defect, we knew he would never be well here on Earth. There was nothing we could do to help our son and we knew he would die from T18. All our hopes and dreams were shattered and we were devastated. But we loved our son so much...we still couldn't wait to meet him!

It would have been so easy to be angry and turn away from God because of our circumstances. Especially considering that Ryan and I were what I call, "convenient Christians"... we only prayed when we were in trouble... and it went something like, "Lord, if you help get me out of this mess, I promise I'll be a better person." We never had a relationship with God... and we never realized how one sided our meager relationship was... we always asked him for help, but we never gave anything back.

When Ryan and I learned about Christian, we RAN to God... we needed him to help us get through the most difficult time of our lives. This time though, we placed all our trust and faith in Him and we knew He would take care of us. In the midst of the worst news we could possibly receive and after all that we had gone through to conceive Christian, our faith was tested far beyond anything Ryan and I were prepared for.

But we remained faithful... we prayed everyday for God to let us have a birthday with our son. We embraced every day we had Christian in our lives with utter joy and anticipation. Each day I carried him in my womb was a wonderful experience... and I celebrated every ultrasound...kick, hiccup...and even gas pain (although, I don't think Ryan was as thrilled about the gas)... The bottom line is that we truly felt BLESSED by the experience.

God chose us to be Christian's parents and we knew our son would be nothing short of a miracle!

After months of praying for a birthday and remaining faithful to God's plans for our son, we were blessed with a birthday and our son was absolutely beautiful! He had a strong cry the moment he was born and he showed such personality during the 4 days and 3 hours he lived.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is that God never turned his back on us. He gave us a birthday...in fact, he gave us more than we asked for...we got 4 incredible days to be with our son. God has also put people in our lives who have helped us through our grieving process... so many of you have touched our lives with stories of loss and hope... your constant prayers for our family have truly lifted our spirits when they have been at their lowest.

Yes, I am struggling with my grief... I'm sad.. .and I miss my boy so much... But I also want you to know that I am so happy to have had the opportunity to know my son. I loved holding him and telling him that I love him... I kissed him a thousand times before he died and I held him as he took his last breath. I will always treasure this experience for the rest of my life.

Love,

Leah

12 comments:

Deb D. said...

Dear Leah ~ what a testimony you share. It shows the beauty of your and Ryan's spirits in how you chose to perservere through your longings for children to your celebration in the gift of Christian. It is moving to hear you share the joy he brought (brings!) you. The picture of you gazing into his face speaks volumes of the love and adoration you have for him. There is nothing more beautiful and moving to me than the love of a mother expressed toward her child. You demonstrate it all. What a lovely mother you are. I pray many more will be blessed to call you theirs.
It sounds like the garden you and Ryan are working on is already serving one of its purposes - that of being a calming place where one can reflect. I can picture Ryan pouring himself out on the project - - - like a father pouring his love, protection, and provision out for his child.
Your spirit sounds as though some of the crushing weight has perhaps eased a bit where your spirit can catch its breath. May you feel some strength return to you as you continue down this difficult, draining, journey. Blessings and peace.

Cathy said...

Leah, What a beautiful post and honest post! I have to say I am such a better Christian when the times get tough. Of course, I don't mean that is how I should be. I take so much for granted. You didn't take anything concerning Christian for granted. You gave him everything possible. You did what God wanted you and Ryan to do. Give him LIFE! What more can a mother do. Blessing to you, Leah & Ryan.

Susan said...

Dear Leah, Christian is so lucky to have parents like you & Ryan that made the very brave choice to give him those 4 days & 3 hours to feel your kisses on his face&the warmth of your loving arms.I like others are praying for you through this journey. I also pray that God will bless you someday with more children.My niece is a mother of 2 through Nighlight Christian Adoption-her son was adopted as a frozen embryo and her daughter from China.If you are ever interested in hearing her story, I would be happy to share it with you.As for now, continue to pray, allow yourself to greive and be good to yourself.With love & prayer, susan from CA sueboo54@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Dear Leah, Christian is so lucky to have parents like you & Ryan that made the very brave choice to give him those 4 days & 3 hours to feel your kisses on his face&the warmth of your loving arms.I like others are praying for you through this journey. I also pray that God will bless you someday with more children.My niece is a mother of 2 through Nighlight Christian Adoption-her son was adopted as a frozen embryo and her daughter from China.If you are ever interested in hearing her story, I would be happy to share it with you.As for now, continue to pray, allow yourself to greive and be good to yourself.With love & prayer, susan from CA sueboo54@aol.com

Becky said...

Sweet Leah. How amazing that God used Christian to draw you closer to Him and now you can share and be a blessing to others. Christian touched not only your life, but now you are allowing him to touch ours as you share what you have learned and continue to learn through this experience.
I don't know what plans the Lord has for you as far as adding to your family, but His Word tells us that He does have plans for you. They are plans to prosper you. They are plans that perhaps you do not understand, but ultimately are the best ones for you. Remember, you can always Trust His heart - even when answers He does not impart.

Lady-in-the-Making said...

Leah, I agree with Deb. It *is* a beautiful testimony. I am so grateful that you had the birthday and special time with your precious Christian. How blessed he was to have you as his parents!

What a gorgeous post. You and Ryan will make it, Leah. I know it. Treasure your memories. Christian is real. He was here and now he is in Heaven with Jesus. God will honor your obedience and your faithfulness.

Love,
Lady in the Making

Jennifer Burgett said...

Leah,
Thank you so much for your honesty and openness.
I continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Julie Christopher said...

Leah, I have followed you since you started blogging. I was overjoyed to know that Christian made it through birth..that you guys got more and more time w/ him and then my heart broke when I heard that he passed, but yet, I rejoiced for him, knowing that he now knew what we long for-to know our Savior face to face.
please know that you have a friend in texas and if you need any sort of prayer req..email me..we'd love to add you to our prayer board.

Kathy said...

Dear Leah,

Thank you so much for sharing your testimony so beautifully with all of us.

I pray with all my heart that in God's timing and in His way He will bestow children for you and Ryan to love, teach and raise up in the Lord.

Christian knew total unconditional love from you and Ryan before he returned Home to Our Father. God will bless you immeasureably.
Kathy

Gabbin' with Giff said...

Sheer joy is shown in this picture. What a moment to cherish. Praying often for you!

cojlisa16 said...

Pure love is so beautiful and that is what I saw in this post. Absolutely breathtaking. You are still in my prayers as you are missing your beautiful boy. I know Christian cannot be replaced and that you will always grieve as well as rejoice for him, but I pray that you will be the parents to more children. You have so much love to give that any child of yours will be so very blessed.

Verna said...

Thankfully the Lord never turns His back on us and always forgives even when we 'feel' that we have it all together on our own.
My daughters comment has often been, "how do people do it that don't believe in the Lord?"