Forty-two minutes...a lifetime of love...

God's Gift...Our Angel Baby

Twenty weeks into life, Hailey was diagnosed with alobar holoprosencephaly (HPE). Further testing showed that she had full Trisomy 13, also called Patau syndrome. Trisomy 13 affects about 1 in 16,000 babies. HPE affects about 1 in 10,000 babies and of those only 3% survive to delivery. With the severity of Hailey's condition, she is given little chance of surviving to term. But our family was dedicated to giving her that chance, no matter how small, and she gave us every hope for the future.

On June 12, 2009, our angel baby was born and delivered into our loving arms. There is where she spent her life and gave us the best 42 minutes of ours. Our journey led us to this moment in time, the moment we met our little girl face to face, and the precious time we shared with her. Now Hailey is safe in the hands of God until we meet again.

God has blessed our family in ways we didn't understand at first. But through our faith and trust in Him, we came to realize just how much purpose Hailey's life serves on this earth. Hailey has unlocked the deeper meaning of faith, hope and love, and has forever changed the lives of many. We are blessed to be part of such an incredible life and incredible journey.

Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Finding Strength

I've been asked many times, "How do you find the strength to get through this?"

And here's the simple truth:

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13

The astounding strength our family has found, can only be found and given by God. I've said it once and I'll say it again, I don't know where we would be without Him. It's simply hard for me to even imagine, but I would guess we would feel no hope, no joy, no tomorrow. We would probably be reliving that first day over and over, until the day came when we took the 'easy' way out. Even thinking about living in that torment of devastation every day, with nothing to hold onto, and nothing to guide you and give you's almost too much to contemplate. But unfortunately there are families out there that are unable to find the strength and hope they so desperately need to embrace the amazing blessing they have been given.

I knew God before, but not like I do now. It's hard for some people to understand how enduring so much trial and tribulation can bring you closer to loving and trusting in God - the one who gets the blame for all the grief in your life to begin with. Trying to explain this journey we are taking is difficult, but perhaps the hardest part to describe is also the most incredible, and that is the amazing closeness you have with God.

I've never once been bitter or resentful with God, and I've never asked "why?", because I knew God, and I've always put my trust in Him. This time was no different. When I prayed that night, I knew He was listening and He was right there. He heard every word and every thought, and He knew that I was not forsaking Him even at this desperate time. He knew that I loved Him unconditionally, and that my faith would always lie in Him.

It was from then on that my relationship with Him became even stronger than ever before. I feel His comfort and strength everyday. He's given us Hailey, an absolute blessing, who has taught us things we would have never known without her. Through her, He has opened us up to understanding non-worldly things like faith, life, love and hope, things that mean more than the world to us.

I don't want to come off selfish in sharing how much Hailey's condition has changed my life for the better, because I wish everyday that Hailey wasn't sick. I wish that she had a chance at a long and happy life. We had so many hopes and dreams for Hailey, and the time we would have to spend with her and Ryan. But that was our plan, not God's. I will never stop believing that God has a plan and a purpose for each of us, including Hailey. Some of us may not always understand our plan and purpose, but I understand Hailey's, and I thank God she is part of His plan for us. I also know that when it is time for her to go, she will be in a place far greater than what we had planned for her.

"Guide me in your truth and teach me, O Lord, for you are God my Savior and my HOPE is in you all day long." - Psalm 25:5
But Jesus said, "Let the little ones come to me, and do not keep them away; for such is the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 19:14