I've never told her this, but the night I got the call that they were coming soon, as in dangerously soon, I was so devastated, heart-broken, and angry. I remember just sitting at the kitchen table, attempting to eat dinner, and just crying. Heather and Brent are truly wonderful people, and I just knew they would be wonderful parents. I hadn't even tried to get pregnant with Libby; what made me someone God would choose to give a child to and not Heather? Why was this happening to them? This is one of those times when it's truly hard for me as Christian. It was hard that day and in the days that followed soon after to trust in God. I knew He was in control, and I knew He had a plan. However, at the rate things were going, I wasn't so sure His plan was the RIGHT plan.....It's so hard when I think what I have in mind is better than what actually happens. At 1 lb. 6 oz, 14 oz, and 10 oz, their little lives were fragile from the moment they entered this world. I remember being truly terrified when I heard how small they were. The news literally took my breath away; I had never seen a baby that small....heck, I'd never known anyone with a baby that small, much less three babies that were absolutely tiny.
However, Heather and Brent held strong during this time. I honestly believe Heather fell madly in love with each of her three children long before they were actually born, and I can't imagine the agony and terror she felt watching them being poked and pushed those first few days. However bleak the situation may have seemed, I just knew God would prevail in just the way I had planned....He would heal them all, give them each a quick, trouble- free recovery, and in no time at all, they'd be home and doing well.
However, once again, His plan and mine--- not so much the same. Kuylen only spent six days here with us before God brought him home. Although I never got to meet Heather and Brent's little jelly bean, I think of him often. I think of what Mary Louise and David will think and how they'll feel later-- will they feel like a part of them is missing? Will it make them draw even closer to one another? I wonder who he'd look like, as Mary Louise is identical to Heather and David looks so much like Brent that it's not even funny. I wonder what sorts of great things he would have accomplished, and if he'd ever use his birth story as a conversation starter--- something he could one day laugh about and brush of as if it wasn't that big of a deal.
Kuylen's little life may have been short, but it was meaningful. I know I am not the only person who will say this, but Kuylen's life changed mine. Little did I know that it was almost exactly to the day he left us that I would get pregnant with my precious Hollyn. If you'd ever talked to me about having a second child prior to Kuylen, I would have laughed and said something along the lines of, "NO WAY, JOSE!". I honestly felt as though Lee and I were just meant to have Libby. I had absolutely no desire for a second child. I didn't feel like something was missing. I didn't long for a baby to hold and rock. I was done.
Except that I wasn't. Again, God had bigger plans than my little mind could conceive. And by the time I found out that I was pregnant, instead of being overwhelmed or upset as I'd imagined I would be if such a thing were to ever happen, I found myself being thankful. I was thankful for the miracle of life. Kuylen helped me to realize not only what a gift life is but just how PRECIOUS that gift is. And even on days like today, when Hollyn has introduced us to the world of a croupy baby, I can't help but be patient with her, despite the forty-five minutes she spent crying incessantly in the garage while we waited on Lee to get home while dinner was overcooking and the phone was ringing.
Despite the fact that His plans and mine don't always coincide and that sometimes I don't understand them at all, God is so good, and even though I can't always see it at the time, His plans are never without purpose. He has given Brent and Heather two of the most amazing gifts I've ever known. Mary Louise and David are a part of our regular conversation, and Libby can tell you as much about them as anyone. (Don't believe me? Put her to the test.....but just know, my money's on the kid.) We love them. Even Libby feels a sense of pride when talking about them. Every time they do something new or learn something new or say something new, I feel my heart just swell with love for them and with joy for Heather and Brent. They have earned the right to many a happy days this past year.
It's situations such as this that baffle my mind as to how someone could not believe in God. I can see how times such as this, when bad things happen to good people, can cause people to doubt. However, God never promised us an easy road, but He did promise to hold our hands as we walk down the road we've been given, no matter how many potholes we fall into along the way. To me, the fact that they have come so far and met so many milestones this past year, is proof alone that there is a God, and He is truly amazing. Without God how could you possibly explain how those precious babies could go from this:
Are they not two of the most adorable, angelic babies you have ever seen??????? They, my friends, are almost walking miracles(it's coming Heather and Brent, and once they take those first steps, your lives will never be the same :) ). They beat all the odds, and I just know God has great things in store for them. They've already proven themselves to be fighters and have already overcome more in their one year here with us than many people ever overcome in their whole lives. I literally get overjoyed when I think about how bright their futures are, and I believe I am truly blessed to have an inside view into their little lives. I still pray for them daily, just as I pray for my girls.
And to Kuylen, thank you. I never got to meet you, but I love you just the same.Thank you for teaching me to treasure every minute with my girls. Thank you for showing me that life is not a given or a guarantee. And thank you for helping me to realize that, in the long run, God's plan, however confusing and heart-breaking it may be at times, and is never without purpose, just like your little life was.