Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Baby Joshua

I have kept pretty quiet about the details of the medical emergency that took me off the airplane to China in a wheelchair and landed me in the Chicago emergency room, leaving Paul scrambling for a travel visa to take my place

What I experienced is called a large subchorionic hematoma (a blood clot), and it ruptured behind my baby's placenta. 

I was actually 12 weeks pregnant when we got on that flight to claim Haven and Aaron.  As the plane began to taxi towards takeoff and eventually on to Beijing, it became clear that something was very, very wrong.

Labor pains hit hard and fast, and I began to bleed.  Heavily.  

I was evacuated from the plane.  Lilly, Becky, and I prayed through tears and shock as I was wheeled away from the tarmac while the flight took off without us.  I found myself in the ER, where a triage nurse tried to bring me back into reality while checking us in:

"You are having a miscarriage, and this will be over soon."

Then I heard her call in my diagnosis over an intercom - quietly citing the medical term "incomplete abortion" - and I wept.  Doubled over in pain, I felt all of my plans literally slipping from my body.  

But His plans are better... 

And that nurse was wrong.   

His name is Joshua.

He is already a conqueror, and he will succeed Moses and Aaron, 
just as his namesake did in Deuteronomy.

His middle name will be Lazarus, because on that day in February, I laid in the hospital bed and mentally buried another son that I would never hold, in total peace, and handed him to Jesus.

And in His grace, He handed him back to us.  

Our son lives.

Joshua is due September 6th, 2014.  

Because of this date, we have always known he would be a boy; so we named him immediately - before the gender ultrasound.

You see, September 6th is the exact one year anniversary of the day that the original son we meant to adopt died, and the very same day that we committed to bring home Aaron in his place.

It is a day of Redemption...

And we have seen a lot of those in this family.  

Our children have been pulled out of the desert, out of alleyways, out of the hands of wild animals, out of starvation, out of neglect
and out of suffering....

and have been providentially Hand-placed into our home 
by a tender, loving Father. 

Paul and I were no exception to this.  

We were lost, we were rebels to His Law; and we were facing certain, permanent death as a penalty.  But He chose to intercede on our behalf; paying our ransom with His life and placing us into His Family.
Because of Jesus, death has literally lost its sting
and we watch His Redemption Story repeat itself 
in our children's lives. 

We have known we were pregnant since Christmas morning.
Since that day, we have seen healing in all of our children 
in ways we never would have expected.

After Miriam asked me with tears in her eyes 
if this baby will travel on an airplane to live with another family after he is born, 

because it is all she knows... 

I placed her hands on my tummy and explained the basics of God's design for family, and she leaned into me with relief.

Our Mandarin tutor helped us explain my tummy to Haven.

Now when we meet someone new, Haven takes my hand and announces that I am "Haven's Mama", and then pats my belly and says, 
"Joshua, Haven's baby."

And my Lilly - the one who bravely prayed over her Mama in a hospital bed asking God to save the baby's life -  despite having already been told that the baby was gone - she reminds me at every opportunity that God heard her prayers...

We have been chosen over and over again; 
blessed with life and love and a family that has been 

divinely knit together.  

We have gone from 2 children to 7 in just TWO years.  
We are exhausted, ecstatic, and filled with hope.  We can laugh about tomorrow, because we know He holds the future in His Hands.

But what will we do with all of these children?

"As for me and my household, 
we will serve the Lord."  


Amy graciously blessed our family by donating her time and these pictures 
as a part of the Red Thread Sessions project. 

Amy is humble, remarkably talented, has a huge heart for Jesus and the orphan, and her blog is filled with all sorts of beauty.  Go on over and check it out, or find her on Facebook:

*For families who have suffered the loss of a miscarriage, or the death of an infant or child - or are raising a child with mental or developmental issues, please consider this sermon:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Sometimes you ask your friend to pen a letter for your daughter's Lifebook, so that someday in the future, she can see from an outsider's perspective how much her family wanted her, loved her, and fought for her.  

And sometimes, your friend nails it.  

Thank you, Belinda.

To Haven: