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Hope in the Darkest of times

This isn't going to be my typical "Wednesday Wisdom" email, and quite honestly, I don't even know where to start. I was hoping to get to share with you all the wonderful news of a new baby girl…but sadly that is not how this message will go.

Right after Atticus was born, our caseworker shared with us that #littlesailorgirl's (for those of you who don't know--she is our foster daughter) bio mom was pregnant and due in September and asked if we would be willing to take the baby. I remember the thoughts going through Tony's and my mind as we kind of laughed about how crazy it would be--but we both knew right away the answer was yes.

We knew it would be hard. We knew the nights would be long. We knew that almost everyone we talked to would ask us if it was a good idea. We knew that our heads said no, but our hearts already loved the baby.

I was constantly bugging the caseworker to know if it was a boy or girl and the exact due date, but no one seemed to have the answers. We thought of names, dreamed of how our lives would look in the next couple of years, and laughed extra hard whenever someone said our hands were full.

Then out of nowhere, the caseworker called to tell us there was a possible kinship care option for the baby. I'll spare you the gory details (which I'm probably not allowed to share anyway), but we fought to keep the siblings together. The month of August we were all over the place with emotions of trying to do what was best for the baby, and hoped and prayed that the county would grant us custody--and eventually they agreed that we would be a great fit for the baby.

We found out the baby was going to be a girl and due at the end of September, so we started buying all of the appropriate things--a special blanket, going home dress, special soft pjs for when she was in the hospital to stay warm, and ya know…a few more splurges… We came up with the hashtag #littledreamer since we wouldn't be able to share her name on facebook until adoption day.

What would her name be? What would she look like? Would she be sassy and wild like her sister? Would she have deep blue eyes like #littlesailorgirl, green eyes like her older sister or brown eyes like her brother who we had previously in foster care? Would she have the same laugh or curly hair? We couldn't wait to meet her.

Every day in September I was holding my breath waiting for the exciting call. Nothing. On September 22, I woke up with the weirdest feeling in my gut. I just knew something was weird/wrong.

I messaged the caseworker asking if it was possible for the bio mom to flee the county.

"Oh you heard? She fled the state."

My heart dropped. I really didn't know--but somehow I knew. It was the strangest thing ever. The next week I spent every day obsessed with researching options for foster care, calling and texting everyone I knew who had fostered in this specific state, and learning all of the rules.

Sunday morning I woke up and felt defeated. I'm not one to give up hope, and I have a faith that is bigger than most, but I felt like it was over. My closest friends and family tried to encourage me, but I knew something was over. I don't know how to explain it.

Today (Monday) I got the call. "The baby girl was born last night, but she didn't make it."

My heart stopped. The next few minutes were a blur. I had to tell my husband our baby was in heaven. It isn't like a normal infant loss. We didn't get to hold her and see her face. We don't get to have a memorial service, or a head stone.

Here is where I give you hope. Most of you would think at this point that I would question God right? Or that I would lose my faith.

Why would a God who loves us so much let us go through so much pain? Why would He let us hurt?

I'm gonna tell you something crazy. Some of you will probably never read another email from me after this. It is gonna be blunt and harsh.

God hurts even worse than this every single time we sin, or turn our backs on Him…and you know what is CRAZY?! He gave His one and only Son to pay the debt for those sins--to die on a cross for us. I lost a beautiful baby girl…but he GAVE UP His son so that you and I could go to Heaven someday and spend eternity.

It doesn't even make sense. I'm gonna be honest. I wouldn't give my baby up for you…but God did. Some of you are reading this and have no relationship with God. Some of you use to. Some of you wish you did. But let me share with you something soooo real. The uncut, unpolished version of me.

I was so lost. I was such a sad, depressed person. I had no hope for a future when Jesus snatched up my heart and called me to him. It is my only hope that you are reading this (maybe only because my fb status made you curious) but that my baby girl getting promoted to heaven has made you curious about how I can have HOPE in the hardest moments. That hope only comes from knowing I will see her again someday. I have hope knowing that someone will accept the free gift of Salvation from Jesus Christ because of this email.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Ask me how. Ask me how you can accept this free gift of salvation and fall in love with a Savior who loves you more than anyone ever could, and who has just been WAITING to share His love with you.

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