The Year of the Nora

Well, the year of the Nora, as I like to call it, is almost over. 2015 has been a year of healing and restoration. I will always remember it as the year my dreams came true, when God performed a miracle in our family.

Nora is now 5 months old and is doing great. She already has two teeth and is trying to sit and stand by herself, but has no interest in crawling. There haven’t been any lingering effects of the anti-kell antibodies and Nora hasn’t even had to have her blood drawn since Halloween. She is the sweetest, happiest baby. She loves people more than anything and is never as interested in the toy as she is in the person holding the toy. Nora LIVES for eye contact and a little bit of conversation. Nora is my medicine, my joy, my comfort. Her brothers fawn over her daily, reminding her constantly of how beautiful she is and how special she is. I know that God is using Nora to give us a glimpse of the joy and restoration we will feel in heaven when we get to fawn over Lucy and feel the comfort of her presence. We love having Nora here with us and every day that we get with her is a precious, unexpected gift.

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We had some family photos taken over Thanksgiving and I noticed recently that in many of the pictures there is a beam of light shining directly on Nora’s face. It is such a perfect picture of who she is to us and what her name means. Light. Dawn breaking after the dark night.

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I think of you all often…the people who prayed for us and supported us, my blog readers and all the people who helped us in so many different ways throughout 2015. You will always hold a special place in our family. I don’t know how we could have made it through this year without you. At the end of 2014 after our failed adoption I felt so disappointed and disgusted that people like Kailee and Peter existed in the world. The fact that someone could be so brutal and so heartless without remorse was depressing. But you all have renewed my faith in humanity and I have seen God’s goodness reflected through you. You have brought us so much hope. Thank you for supporting us along this journey and for sticking with us throughout this past year. I can’t wait to tell Nora one day about all the people who rallied together to help get her here. You will forever be a part of her miraculous story.

Even though our 2015 was a year of renewed hope and joy, I know that tragedy and devastation could be right around the corner. I have no idea what 2016 holds for me or for you, but I do know that God is there waiting.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.

So, whether next year turns out to be a devastating, heart wrenching year like my 2013 or a year of miracles and hope like my 2015, I know that God will be with me through it all. That fills me with courage and hopeful anticipation going into this new year. I pray that all of you will draw close to God and feel His deep love for you in the year to come and that others will show you the same generosity and love that you have shown us over the past year.

Nora says “Thank you for your prayers, your support and for all the love you gave me this year.”

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Asher’s Christmas Play

Today, like most days, was a mixture of deep gratitude and grief. I think those who have suffered great loss have also been given a new perspective on life and a deeper sense of gratitude.

My four year old, Asher, had his preschool Christmas play today. He was such a cute little wise man…yawning, playing with his crown and desperately searching the crowd for my face.

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The four year olds sang their songs last since they were the oldest kids in the preschool. I had to leave the room when the two year olds went on stage to sing. I sat on a couch in the lobby crying for Lucy while Nora babbled and smiled in my lap. I thought back on the three previous Christmas programs I had attended there. Liam’s first one when I was pregnant with Lucy…I tried not to throw up during his performance, I was so nauseated and anxious about my baby. The next year I almost couldn’t sit through the performance because I was so crushed with grief. The place seemed to be crawling with little babies and pregnant women. I had lost three babies that year and had no hope of bringing home my own living baby ever again. I thought I was going to have a panic attack and it took me days to recover emotionally. Last year I sat watching three year old Asher in his first Christmas play. I was pregnant with Nora…so nauseated and so terrified that I would lose the baby. And then today, there I was crying on the couch for my two year old Lucy and smiling at my miracle baby in my arms. Such a strange mixture of joy, gratitude, grief and loss. I know that I was probably a trigger today for some other hurting woman who had lost a baby and I hate that I made her pain worse. Nora sat perfectly in my arms the whole time, smiling sweetly at everyone. She is medicine to my soul.

When the two year olds were finished, I went back into the sanctuary and watched Asher file onto the stage and my heart overflowed with love. I thought about what a blessing he is to me and I reminded myself that somewhere out there a mommy was missing her four year old just like I was missing Lucy. Asher could have died like Lucy did. He has kell positive blood just like his daddy and sisters, but because I only developed the antibodies after I gave birth to him, he was safe. If I had developed the antibodies before I got pregnant with him, he would have been stillborn. Oh how happy I am that I got to see my four year old perform in his Christmas play today! I love having Asher here on earth with me and I love that I know what color his eyes are and what his voice sounds like. Today was a gift, even though I had to live it without Lucy. I love my life and the BEST part is that it ends with heaven.