Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
We plan to celebrate each little developmental milestone like this one as a miracle, because a baby with a hypoxic birth injury like Britton should not be so developmentally on track. Raising his head, tracking with his eyes, and smiling should be hurdles for him, and we are beyond the moon that he is doing all these things as a newborn should so far. Britton is going to be working with physical & occupational therapists to help him meet his future milestones. We had our first appointment yesterday, and we look forward to seeing how this therapy helps him down the road.
Britton continues to eat well and gain weight. He has a long way to go to catch up with his peers. At his appointment last week, he was only in the 6th percentile for size! Like most premature babies, though, he should catch up by the time he is 18 months old.
Please continue to pray for Britton ... we are not out of the woods yet. Our little boy is at risk for serious things like autism & cerebral palsy, and we just pray that he will be spared of these and that he will continue to progress developmentally and meet these all important milestones. We trust that prayer moves the hand of God, and we have most certainly seen your prayers at work in our child's life. Thank you, thank you for praying!
Monday, February 25, 2008
This is the biggest week of the year at Covenant Presbyterian. We, as a staff, are prepped for it for months prior to the kick-off breakfast, which was Saturday. This year has been really special so far for a couple of reasons. At the breakfast, the guest speaker talked about the orphanage he runs in China and really gave a great perspective of God's grace in trying circumstances. It gave more confidence in our calling to adopt a little girl from China.
Our main speaker is Dr. Derek Thomas who is the teaching pastor at the church Emily grew up in in Jackson, MS. He is an excellent expositor of God's Word and his Welsh accent doesn't hurt either. Last night's message on Thomas from the book of John was very strong. As I reflect back on these past 7 weeks, I can admit that there have been many days of doubt. I've wondered at times ... Do I really believe God could heal or restore my son? Would He? And Why? You process so many things in the heat of suffering. Thankfully, God has revealed Himself so clearly in our lives during this time. Just last night it was shared with us that the medical team in the delivery room had pronounced (or were just about to) Britton dead just before he gasped for air and his heart rate reached 100 bpm. Wow! It still rocks me to the core and humbles us both to this day.
Though my faith is weak, it is not my faith that saves me...it is what my faith is in--Jesus Christ. If it depended upon my wavering faith that is tossed about with every disappointment I would be in a rough place. But, graciously, the Rock of my foundation is Christ. I led a study on Caleb (found in Joshua 14) this past week. In my studies I came across these words penned by Dale Ralph Davis regarding Caleb's faith:
"We try to base our faith on our feelings. If so, we will feel like unbelievers a good deal of the time! Sometimes we place our faith in faith; that is we believe that if we have enough faith we will be able to weather the storm (which means that, somehow, we must pump up the faith). We forget that great faith is not so necessary as genuine faith (Luke 17:5-6). The object of faith, by definition, is God (not faith). 'It is no so much great faith in God that is required as faith in a great God!'"
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Here is the photo shoot in progress:
Just realized that we haven't posted pictures of the finished nursery ... will work on that this weekend.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I could never have prepared for what January and February held for Emily and me. The surreality of the entire time still stuns me. In fact, I already agonize over my failings as a father, husband and pastor. Yet, thankfully, God's grace is what I am resting on and not my own abilities -- the severity of their inadequacy has become painfully clear. Even congratulatory and encouraging comments from friends and family stop short of penetrating the "fog" we have gone through.
I honestly am stunned by all of this. I don't think I even cried much -- outside of those early hours when we didn't think Britton was going to make it at all -- until the day we left the hospital. The NICU is a different place. You hate being there, but then you begin to rely upon it. After 37 days, we knew no other way of caring for our son, but through the expertise of others. It was a scary day to drive up to the patient discharge area. I watched the video that Emily made and just began to see God's hand in each day of the last month. He was healing Britton physically, and restoring Emily and me spiritually. I had watched the rough draft of the video 5o times emotionless, but when we finally left the NICU, I was overwhelmed with emotion.
This song titled Help My Unbelief has really impacted me as I've struggled to accept God answering my pleas for mercy. From the depths I have petitioned Him and He has heard my voice.
I know the Lord is nigh, and would but cannot pray, For Satan meets me when I try, and frights my soul away, and frights my soul away.
I would but can’t repent, Though I endeavor oft; This stony heart can ne’er relent Till Jesus makes it soft. Till Jesus make it soft.
Help my unbelief. Help my unbelief. Help my unbelief. My help must come from Thee.
I would but cannot love, Though wooed by love divine; No arguments have power to move. A soul as base as mine. A soul so base as mine.
Help my unbelief. Help my unbelief. Help my unbelief. My help must come from Thee.
I would but cannot rest, In God’s most holy will; I know what He appoints is best, And murmur at it still. I murmur at it still.
In a study I led this morning, these words from BB Warfield stood out to me. God has embraced us so tightly this year and at times I do not even recognize it is He, not I, in whom I rejoice.
"There is nothing in us or done by us at any stage of our earthly development because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ's sake or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only 'when we believe', it is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live...It is always, on His 'blood and righteousness' alone that we can rest. There is never anything that we are or have or do that can take His place or that take a place along with Him. We are always unworthy, and all that we have or do of good is always of pure grace."
Britton will be a constant reminder to us of the miracle God has done and is doing in our lives!
Here we are with Britton at his first restaurant excursion! Where did we go? Mexico Lindo, of course. We had just left the doctor's office and he advised us to keep him away from crowds for awhile longer. So we opted for a 5 o' clock meal at an uncrowded place. It was fun to be out and about even for a short time.
And here he is on his first "walk" around Star Lake! We thought he would enjoy a walk since he loves to look out the windows, but he slept the entire time ... don't think his eyes opened once!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
We are doing well here at home, and are getting some sleep at night. Britton sleeps well when he is not hungry, but with the false alarms on the apnea monitor, we are up a lot (Britton somehow sleeps right through it). Thankfully, Emily's mom is here to take on some of the night feedings and let us sleep in a little bit. We are loving every minute of life with Britton. He is such a blessing!
Hope you enjoy the pics of Britton in his little bear/lamb (?) outfit. It is a preemie size, so his days of wearing it are real limited. It was fun dressing him up in it...
Emily & the boys
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Nurse Holly had Britton a lot during those early days of the cooling & warming process. She was so great and helped us understand better what was going on.