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Monday, April 25, 2011

Big Miracles

As I record in my journal all the things I'm thankful for, my 1,000 gifts, I notice how many small miracles there are in my day to day ordinary life. Little things like an unexpected check in the mail just when we need it. These things remind me that God cares about even the most insignificant "problems" and cares in my life. But today I have been struck by a big miracle. A miracle that wasn't small enough to go unnoticed. A miracle that moved mountains. The miracle that saved my son.

Writing down my gifts today #103 was "a healthy baby boy." This might not seem like a big deal to anyone else. Healthy boys are born every day by the thousands. Most people I know are gifted with healthy children. The few I am blessed to know that haven't been, will understand more deeply this miracle. You see, I have carried two little boys. Two precious sons who I loved very much. But, before they could make it to this world they were taken from me. I don't know why. In heaven I will. But with each loss I began to better understand the gift of a healthy child. It's never a given ... it's a gift! One that I had yet to be given... until now.

Seven months ago in a country literally half way around the world a little baby boy was born earlier than he was supposed to come. He was tiny and didn't have the luxury of a hospital or even a doctor... just a mother who loved him very very much. Two weeks later she gave the ultimate sacrifice when she turned her son over to the government for care. Out of love she gave the most precious thing she had so that he could have a chance to live. A week after that he came to Hannah's Hope. A transition home in Ethiopia run by an American adoption agency. He was extremely ill and malnourished... skin stretched over a tiny frame. He was immediately admitted to the hospital and put on an IV drip. He made it. By God's grace he lived and the next week we received a phone call that a baby boy needed a home. That was in October '10.

In December, as we were preparing for our travel to Ethiopia, we received a phone call. "Your son is very ill and we don't know why. We will give you more info when we have it." We hit our knees and prayed for the next 24 hours. The phone rang the next day. "He is getting worse and has been admitted to the hospital." This time an email with the doctor's notes accompanied the phone call. Our baby was rapidly losing weight and had become emaciated. He was repeatedly falling into dehydration. Test results showed no reason for this. We simply had to pray. I will admit that I went to a place of despair at this point. I didn't know why this would happen and just begged God not to take another child from me. All I could do was trust that His plan is perfect even if it hurts. (and it DID hurt) Another week went by and our baby boy pulled through. He was still quite ill but no longer in the hospital and no longer in extreme danger of death.

Over the next month, before we were able to fly over to see him, he stayed stable but small. The doctors diagnosed him with failure to thrive. The care he received at the transition home was wonderful. He had every single one of his physical needs met, but emotionally he had given up. He rarely smiled, and almost never cried. He just didn't have a reason to care. Then we came...

On the second day he smiled at us and gave out a giggle. By the end of the week we were getting closer and closer. We had to leave and return to the states, but 3 long weeks later we were back in Ethiopia to bring our son home. When we bounded the steps to his room and adjusted the blanket in his crib he opened his eyes, looked straight into ours, smiled and lifted his arms. We cried. He remembered us and wanted us to hold him! That week at the hotel we got more smiles and giggles than he had probably ever given in his 4 1/2 months of life.

We have been home for two months with our son. We have poured into him every ounce of love that we have in our souls. In two short months he has gone from wearing size 3 month clothes to 12 month sizes!!! He has gained nearly 10 pounds and has chubby rolls all over. He smiles constantly and laughs and plays. He loves to snuggle and give kisses and touch our faces. Why all this dramatic improvement in just a short time?

God's Grace ... and the miracle of adoption. Family. a mom and dad who love endlessly. He needed us just as desperately as we needed him.

 Before coming home...

After coming home... 


That is the big miracle of a healthy baby boy.

22 comments:

Jenn said...

Beauatiful. Our Daniel has a similar story so this was particularly touching for me as well. We are still "fighting" the lasting effects of his extreme malnutrition...but he is improving every day! Praise God for a parent's love!

Kim and Eric said...

Brings a tear to my eye. I remember praying for Tucker when he was sick, and how relieved I was with your updates that he was getting better. To see your family's Easter picture is such a wonderful blessing. He is so healthy and handsome. Your family is just beautiful!

Kelly said...

My eyes are full of tears. How good our God is to preserve your son's life and make him a healthy, chunky baby boy! :)

JillAileenJones said...

Just beautiful! God's grace is so precious. I am so happy for you all. Such sweet Easter pictures on your post about your Easter too.
So happy he is thriving and healthy-I think he was just longing for his parents just like you were for him. He broken heart was healed, your's too.
Hugs
Jill

MamaMimi said...

His story makes me cry every time and makes me long to see my baby girl home that much more.

Leigh said...

Crying crying. I will never forgot those messages begging for prayer for him. I will never forgot praying and being awoken in the middle of the night with that precious boy on my heart! Every time I see those rolls and smiles, I just can't get enough, family is EXACTLY what that precious boy needed, and he is exactly what you needed! It's amazing how perfectly these children fit into our families, God truly knows what he is doing when we get to parents these children. Love your story and can't wait to see all the amazing things God has in store for your family! Love you!!!!

Sarah said...

Lauren, I am just so happy for you. May God continue to bless you all with His bountiful grace!

Brittany said...

Oh my word. This post gave me goosebumps that aren't going away. God bless these little babies, and the families like you who want to shower them with love. May He continue to provide your family with miracles, big and small, and open all of your hearts to be filled with love.

Janet said...

I, too, remember those listserv posts for prayer. Seeing his fontanel so sunken creates a softball size lump in my throat, BUT our God is greater! By His grace, your son is thriving! Truly a gift!

BARBIE said...

What a beautiful story. So thankful his life was sustained so that you could bring him home where he belongs. He's beautiful!

Southern Gal said...

Such a beautiful story, Lauren. God's love is amazing. Your love for your son is amazing. Look how chunky he is!! Blessings to you.

Jess said...

WOWZA! He doesn't even look like the same kid! Even the happiness evident in his eyes is so dramatically different in the "after" photos!! How awesome!

Chris' Brooke said...

Sharing the joy of your miracle, Friend.

Kristin said...

Amen, Lauren.....the miracle of adoption, of God's grace, and the priceless gift of family!! I too was malnourished before I was adopted....it is just so amazing the way God's plans always work out perfectly!

Shona said...

The "before" and "after" pics of adopted kids are always such a wonderful testimony to what prayer and the love a family can do. What a handsome boy!

Maybe we will see you at VMI sometime!

{amy} said...

It's amazing what God & love can do, isn't it?! I'm so happy for your family!

Sarah Ann said...

Oh my goodness, Lauren! He needed you!! He's just so precious and I know God has such an incredible plan for your family! :) This just makes me so happy!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

So glad to read this today; what a testimony to the power of love and grace... in all of your lives!

So happy for you.

peace~elaine

Craig said...

Oh what a beautiful story of love- you ARE your baby’s reason to THRIVE – the reason for those pinch asking chubby cheeks. God bless and keep you and yours. These were good, really good words. Thank you Lauren.

Craig said...

it has been so long since your last post – I hope this means that you are just busy with happy – I hope all is okay. I'll keep coming back. Just in case things have been – challenging –I just finished praying. I have no idea what your needs might be – but God does. God bless you and keep you – and God bless and keep all of yours.

Jennifer Rod said...

Beautiful! Such a wonderful story. it almost breaks my heart. Im so glad to see his healthy photo. and the miracle of love at work. blessings.

Craig said...

I hope you don't mind Lauren, just checking in again. I hope the baby's getting better – drop me a note and let me know how I can pray please - you don't have to if things are heavy – or you're too busy – or any other reason – I'm just a Christian bloggy brother – and I heart praying. God bless and keep you and all of yours – God Bless!