October 1, 2013

A Story of Joy

This month's newsletter for the fantastic non-profit, Adoption-Share, has an article about our story of Chase's birth and the journey we've been on with him the past four years! 

The whole newsletter is well worth reading, and is full of hope and inspiration! I was glad for the chance to learn a little about Patti Mallette's book (Nowhere but Up: The Story of Justin Bieber's Mom), as I didn't realize that she had such an inspiring story to tell!

Some background: Adoption-Share brings together families who are trying to adopt, expectant mothers looking to place a baby up for adoption, and adoption agencies in the hopes of making the adoption process easier and supporting the mothers and families emotionally and logistically throughout the adoption process.

(Here's the full text for those having difficulty with the other format:)

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Beauty Will Rise: A Story of Joy

Before Chase was born, Scott and I thought we had things all figured out. We were type-A planners and thought we were creating the perfect little life for ourselves. We already had one precious little son and we were confident throughout my second pregnancy that we would again have a healthy baby boy who would grow up to be best friends with his older brother, prove himself to be not just smart but athletic, and eventually attend the wonderful university where Scott and I had met.

Fast forward to the evening after Chase’s birth, when the neonatologist came into our little recovery room and delivered the news of our child’s diagnosis. Down Syndrome. Holding each other tight, all of those expectations were shattered, and we began to grieve the sudden disappearance of the baby we had been dreaming about for so long. In its place was a new baby that we did not think we understood and whose future seemed like one big question mark.

Looking back, it seems laughable that we thought we had control of our lives – all along God had something different in store for us, and it turned out that His plan was much more amazing than we could have dreamed up on our own. We can now look back and see that God was answering his promise to bless us, even during those tough weeks after Chase’s birth. Thank goodness things don’t always go as we plan!

In the days that followed, during which I was mostly still in shock, our little church faithfully rallied around us. They created a schedule of hot meals better than I have ever cooked for my own family, and people we had never even met thoughtfully sent cards and emails full of scripture to encourage us. Many people didn’t know what to say, but offered a smile or hug – even those small gestures meant so much. God became very real and very close, as we knew we couldn’t navigate these new waters without His guidance. We had no choice but to rely fully on Him, and we could truly feel Him carrying us through the grief, the pain, and the unknown. Looking back it was a very special time for us spiritually.

Chase developed slower than the other kids – he walked at two and a half years old, and now at four years, he is still struggling in his speech. But Chase is far above other kids in many areas – he is perceptive about people’s feelings and has a huge capacity for love. He cares so much for his big brother and little sister, and never hesitates to strike up a friendship with new people. 

We have wrestled at times with what it meant to have a child with a disability. But Chase has taught us how to look past superficial disabilities to see who someone really is as a person. It makes me realize my own shortcomings and how far I am from perfect. We’re all made in God’s image and we’re all uniquely flawed. It was humbling for me to become aware of this, but it makes me realize how amazing God’s grace is, that he extends his love even to me, despite all my flaws and failings.

God has taught us many things through our Chase. But on an everyday basis, Chase is simply our son. Just one of our three precious kids who has talents and weaknesses, and someone who we are so blessed to call a part of our family! 

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