Thursday, May 3, 2012

Two Years

This will be my final blog post here. Thank you, dear ones, for loving our girl and for loving us. I will leave this blog up as long as I can to stand as a memory of Lydia and to encourage other mamas who have to face letting their little ones go. Please keep up with our life and doings over at my other blog -

Two years. I’ve started writing this post many times and never get much past those words - two years. It’s so difficult to comprehend. I never could have imagined, when the silence of our empty home wrapped around us as we let her go, that two years would bring us to where we are now.

I am alive - not just my body, but my heart and soul too. I don’t know how it happened. It’s a miracle, really. There were days when I thought I would be swallowed up, that it would be easier if life stopped. There were parts of me I thought were beyond all repair. I want to say He has repaired me but it's more than that. God hasn’t merely repaired what was broken in me. He’s made me new.

By His grace, I am not who I was two years ago.

Of course, I still weep. I still get angry. I still can’t breathe sometimes when I stop and really remember the time we had with our girl. I still wish every day that she was with us. I imagine her in the backseat, talking to Levi as we drive. I wish things could be different.

But little by little, I can feel the dead places in my heart coming alive.

There aren't right or enough words to convey my sorrow. But, praise Jesus, there aren't right or enough words to convey my healing, made possible each new day by the grace of my Redeemer.

I think it started two years ago today. When we said goodbye, and maybe even before that, He was starting His work in me. I still don’t understand it or why it had to be this way, but I know this new person is moving ever closer and closer to who He meant me to be. And I know that this person would never have existed unless Lydia had.

This is the LORD’s doing. It is marvelous in my eyes.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Gram Thompson

Thursday, we said goodbye to Gram Thompson. She passed away suddenly on Tuesday and her children, grand-children and great-grand children gathered to honor her life and give thanks. I loved Gram the moment I met her. We discovered quickly that we had a mutual love for Trading Spaces and for her second grandson and we were pretty excellent friends after that.

We were with her eight years ago when she said good-bye to her beloved husband, just three short months before Micah and I were married. I never told her, but it was as I watched her in those first difficult days after his death that I really began to understand what it meant to devote your life entirely to someone else. She gave all of herself to love her husband and her children well. I pray for God's grace to be the kind of wife, mother and grandmother that she was.

This is my favorite picture of Gram with Lydia. The past few days, it's all I could think about. I hope this is what's happening in heaven, plus a few more people I know Gram couldn't wait to be with again.

(photo by J.C. Carley)

I love you, Gram. Thanks for making such a wonderful son who grew up to make another wonderful son who became an amazing husband for me and an unfailingly loving father for my children. How blessed I am to be a part of your family.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Is he your first?

This is the worst question. I was asked this question twice today. It's amazing to watch the face of the questioner go from happy goo-goo baby eyes and the high pitched voice go to sad eyes and low voice when I tell them, "Actually he's our second. We had a little daughter who passed away." I can see what's going on behind their eyes as they scramble for something to say.

Maybe it's my own fault. Maybe I should just say, "No, he's our second" and not mention Lydia, but they always ask the follow up question of, "How old is your other child?" so I end up just saying it anyway. I won't say, "Yep! He's my first!" just to avoid making them uncomfortable.

It's hard getting asked this question but it gives me opportunity to talk about my girl and I love that. The woman who asked in Starbucks said she thought it was awesome that I answered that way. I told her I can't answer any other way. She'll always be my first baby, the sweet girl who made me a mama.

I miss her. I didn't expect that I wouldn't feel sad once we had another baby, so it's ended up like I thought it would. I love Levi. The part of me that was aching to be a mother again is filled - overflowing even. But the part of me that is Lydia's mama is still aching. I've found the more I love Levi the more I miss Lydia. It reminds me of this post I wrote awhile ago. The joy and pain are always together. The pain makes the joy greater but the joy doesn't take all the pain away.

I think I've realized this is just how it's going to be. And I think it's OK. As long as there's an ache in my heart it will remind me what a gift my little man is, how each moment with him is precious, and how he belongs to Jesus. He isn't a replacement for what I've lost, but he is a blessing from my Savior that reminds me of His great love for me, just like his big sister did.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


As the weather turns cool here in CT, I'm so thankful to have this tiny little boy curled up on my chest to keep me warm. We're snuggled right now under the blanket made of Lydia's clothes and my heart is full.

We're adjusting to being home, to having an infant and to once again being a family of three. I'm just beginning to process everything that happened the past couple of weeks - having a baby, being in the NICU the same time as we were with Lydia, watching E say goodbye to Levi, being madly in love with this little man - it's all a lot to process.

Soon there will be pictures and updates and many good things, but for now, we're snuggling and diaper changing and sleeping and saying thank you to Jesus for this sweet little man.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Closer and Closer to Home!

Levi is doing wonderfully! Today he is up to six times eating from a bottle. We've been with him for three and he's done great on all three! We're heading back tonight for one more feeding. If he does well with that and the two overnight feeds, tomorrow he should be up to eating every time from the bottle. Once this happens, we should be able to be discharged! We're hoping Friday or Saturday to be on our way home.

The other piece that still needs to get worked out is our inter-state compact that allows us to take Levi out of Oklahoma. As far as we know, the documents were all sent to CT today. Our social worker says that it should only take a day to get approval. Once that clears, we're legal to bring him home.

Still no news on the birth father front. The social workers are (hopefully) going to speak with him tonight. As I've mentioned before, ideally he'll sign off on his rights on the spot. If he doesn't or they can't find him for whatever reason, there will be a bit lengthier of a legal process, none of which we need to be a part of. We just want to make sure everyone knows that if the birth father does not sign off and we bring Levi home this weekend, we're in a "legal risk" situation, where we understand that the father can contest and we might have to bring Levi back to Oklahoma. No one thinks this is likely, but we're all aware that it's possible. This is often the way adoptions are done, so we're not terribly worried.

Other than that, we're feeling great! We're exhausted and really ready to come home and get settled into life with Levi.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday Update!

Levi is plugging along. All of his IV fluids are off and he doesn't need any more blood sugar tests. He's out of the baby toaster and into a regular crib. Today he was up to three bottle feedings. They might go up to four tomorrow, but they might wait because he won't ever eat quite all he's supposed to before he conks out. Normally it's all but 5ml, and he's really doing better than I thought he would. BUT, he still needs to eat all of his food every time before they're going to release him. It could be in a few days...but it could also be more than that. Please pray that he'll figure it out quickly. We're all ready to come home.

E has gone to court and given up her rights. This happened on Friday and it was a tough day for her. We saw her after and, though our social worker says she's committed to her decision, (and said so to the judge), she's still sad. Today when we saw her it was the same thing. As it gets closer and closer to him being out of the hospital it's becoming more and more real to her.

I remember feeling the same way with Lydia. We knew every day was one day less and we never knew when one day it would be over. There's such great fear in the knowledge that a loss is coming.'s wretched.

I know it's different, but I know E is feeling similarly. And it doesn't matter that we love him and will care for him, just as it doesn't matter that Lydia is whole in heaven with Jesus. The knowledge of the good things our children have attained through our loss doesn't take away the pain of them not being with us any longer. Time lessens it, yes, and I want so much to tell her that, but it doesn't take the pain away. My heart hurts for this mama who loves her little boy but knows that letting him go is the best way to love him and her other boys. I am amazed by her courage. Please pray for her.

Our last prayer request has to do with the birth father. We're hoping that tomorrow a representative from the agency will go and meet with him. Pray that tomorrow they will find him and he will sign the paper the terminates his rights. Because then (even though he won't legally be ours until several months from now) he'll be ours. Because really, in our hearts he's already ours and we'd like to keep it that way.

OK. Pictures!

Holding Levi for the first time!

First time bottle feeding!



So chubby. So sweet.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 2

Levi continues to improve! The doctors are steadily backing off IV fluids and increasing his feedings. His blood sugar is in the right range consistently. Soon (hopefully) we'll be able to start feeding him with the bottle. All good improvements and we're loving spending time with him...even though he just sleeps. Apparently, this is what babies do.

Tomorrow E (Levi's birth mother) will be going with the social worker to court to have her parental rights terminated. I haven't said much about her because I don't want to invade her privacy, but people, she is AWESOME. We've gotten to spend time with her and chat and we seem to get along really well. She seems comfortable with us and calls Levi by his name. The social worker says E is really happy with her choice after meeting us, and foresees no problems with the courts tomorrow. Please continue to pray for her. Saying good-bye to your baby is hard. I know the fact that he's healthy and well makes a difference, but she will have her own grief to deal with. Please pray for God's peace.

Again, the one variable here is the birth father. We spoke with the social worker, and the plan is to look him up and talk to him on Monday. Best case scenario is that he hears the news and on the spot signs the paper terminating his rights. Worst case is that he wants to push forward with his rights. In this case, a hearing would be called and he would plead his case before a judge. The social worker said that since he had no involvement in the pregnancy or supporting E or Levi, there's little chance the judge would award custody. But, you never know. Please pray that we would be functioning in the best case scenario.

We would be more worried about this but every time we see him, he's just ours and nothing else really matters. Tonight he was awake and looking at us and it was magnificent.