I have such great friends!! I received a phone call tonight from a friend asking me to clear up some information I shared in the October 8 post. Please be assured that our daughter Alex is doing just fine, she is not the daughter I was referring to when I commented that our daughter died.
Vernon and I have had four children. All of our children were pretty close in age, Anthony was two years younger than Alex, Mark two years younger than Anthony, and Rebecca was three years younger than Mark. The day Rebecca was born we were informed that she had Down Syndrome, which had caused her to have a major congenital heart defect. She had open heart surgery in December of that year at 3.5 months of age. The surgery was a success and fixed her heart defect. However, the damage to her pulmonary artery was extensive. She died five days after surgery, before she had time for her body to adjust to having the heart repaired and start healing.
We don't always understand what curve balls life will throw at us. We can't see into the future. We don't know the number of days we have on this Earth. I don't know why Rebecca was allowed to graduate from this life into eternity at such a young age. I really wish I had been given the chance to raise a child blessed with Downs Syndrome. But I wasn't. I have been told that the love and joy expressed by children with Down Syndrome is awesome. I wish my family had never had to experience the grief of adjusting to life without such a beautiful baby girl. But we did have to deal with it. All of it made us stronger and taught us more about God's love and mercy than anything had up to that point.
As I mentioned before, after that happened we thought that our family was complete and we would just raise the three children we still had. We carried on our very normal life for 9 years after Rebecca died without even considering adoption. But God had different plans. After adopting Josh we were back up to having four children in our family. When we complete our current adoption we will have five children. I love my life and would not have it any other way. Some days are tough, but the joys far outweigh the struggles.
My favorite verse of all time is Jeremiah 29:11-13 "For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." Vernon and I absolutely must believe that God has plans for us and for our children. We must call upon the LORD and seek his guidance and direction as we deal with life's difficulties. Dealing with the death of a child was a tough one. But God proved himself faithful and carried us through. Dealing with difficulties at work, with our children, making decisions for our future (and future children) all require us to seek God and rely on Him to tell us what to do to bring about his plans for our future and to show us hope in Him. People tell me that they just don't know how they would handle some of the things we have had to deal with. The only answer I have for them is that I can't handle them either. But I know a God who can handle everything and He loves me and takes care of me when I can't.
I hope this clears up a few things and alleviates some concerns from those who did not know this part of our story.