Wednesday, January 16, 2008

" is your time of grief, but i will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy."
john 16:22

i feel compelled to write something.

when i was in high school i knew that some kids were christians. in my finite teenage mind i guess i thought i knew what that meant. years later when i became a christian myself, i thought back to those high school days and really longed to interface with some of those kids. the last ten years has allowed me to connect with quite a few. most of these interactions have been brief, but silently powerful knowing that the connection we have now is in fact eternal.
one such person is kristen borland. i first ran into her at a mom's group soon after our first kids were born. we would talk briefly, acknowledging our new common thread. after the mom's group ended i ran into her a handful of times, and again our interaction was brief.
about 6 months ago as i was blog stalking, i happened upon her blog. i was surprised to see that she now had two boys and was in the process of adoption. since adoption is something that God has continually placed on brandon and myself heart, i was really interested to hear of her experience. i only had a second, so all i saw was that they were waiting to adopt a little girl from guatemala. i vowed to go back to and read more about the process. it took me a few weeks before i got a chance to follow up. when i finally did,i went back to read the previous posts and was astounded to discover that not only were they adopting a little girl from guatemala, but that they were adopting a little girl with down syndrome. i was floored. the first thing that came to my mind was, "that is the heart of God." we all know how God feels about adoption, and thousands of people adopt, but to adopt a kid with special needs is truly a selfless and significant act that not many are capable of, or dare to undertake.

as i considered the severity and awe of their decision, i started to feel ashamed.

many of you stood along side us in prayer when we were pregnant with oliver. when we were told at our 20 wk ultrasound that we were having a baby boy, we were so excited. only to get a call from the doctor the next week saying that he had bilateral choroid plexus cysts. not knowing anything about cpc's, we were just sick about it- i mean anything with the word cyst causes terror. after doing some research online, i found that cpc's are really nothing to be frightened of, it's the very slight chance that they can be a soft marker for trisomy 18 (edward's sydrome) -which is fatal. anyway, after the triple test (which i highly do not recommend) it came back saying oliver had a 1 in 74 chance of having down syndrome. so here we were with one perfectly healthy little girl and the possibility of a having a special needs son. we found ourselves wrestling with God's will and our ideas of what our family was supposed to look like. granted it was a little different for brandon having grown up with a brother with special needs- his understanding of what could be in store for us was quite sobering and difficult. as we sought God in that time, i remember feeling so up and down- so consumed with fear, and then so content knowing God is sovereign.
fast forward 4 months and here comes ozzie, healthy as a whistle. the intensity and intimacy i felt with God during my pregnancy slowly dissipated as we were thrown into the world of two babies. then i stumble upon this blog and see these people that are actually working hard to acquire something i feared so deeply. reading of their joy filled journey brought back all those feelings- why didn't i have a heart of joy for my son despite the unknown? when the reality is, it was never necessarily about down syndrome for these people. they saw a need and God put it on their heart. i followed through the months - the various updates- the hoops they had to jump through to get her home- the cherished hand made care packages for this little orphan. all to find out yesterday that amanda passed away last night. as the tears rolled down my face i found myself so frustrated with the seeming injustice of it all. here was this little girl that none of us would've known- born without a chance- and all the way across the world was a family that was on their knees every night for her. i thought of the farley family, who lost their little girl, copeland, to trisomy 18 just a few months back. i remember spending days pouring through their blog just weeping, and trying to understand why they would only get to have her in their arms for a mere week. it just seemed to much to bear.

to think that amanda and copeland are in a far better place and most importantly without pain is comforting. i have to remind myself that where they are now is unparalleled to any home they could've had here on earth - and the arms they are in now is our ultimate prize.

furthermore, i do take comfort knowing that the borlands and the farley's got to either hold, or simply just love an angel- an honor many of us will never know.

so in this time, i ask that you join with me in prayer for these two families and the countless others that are left grieving- our hearts go out to you.

in loving memory of amanda...
...a merited crown awaits you


Kristen Borland said...

thank you so much, holly. your words have touched me greatly. we may not know each other well, but i am so pleased and honored to call you my sister in Christ.

Nicole Viola said...

wow, holly- thank you for sharing these stories, your post was convicting and yet somehow uplifting too.

The Avilas said...

Thanks Holls. I will join you in prayer for them. Those kind of people are really inspiring. Makes you think.

Soderin Family said...

This story has been on my heart all day. It is hard to wrap our brain around the why's and why not's of life. One thing we do know is that Amanda is with Jesus and that is the best place.
I will continue to pray. May God give an abundance of peace to the families involved.

Anonymous said...

Thank you allowing us the privilege of praying for these families and deeper still, for the gift of peace that comes with knowing where these two angels are at this moment. You are a special lady Holly - my heart reminds me that you need not feel ashamed of normal feelings surrounding Oliver. God graciously provides what we need when we need it. No matter the circumstances, joy ultimately abounds!

Love, Shelley (Grandma Nonna)