She's 28 weeks, scheduled to arrive mid-July, and simply perfect.
According to two Level II ultrasounds (and any number of normal ones) she has a fully functioning pulmonary artery, no known holes between chambers, and is entirely average in every way.
Olive has an implanted part of her heart, a scar down her chest that has been opened twice and will be re-opened again ---- and she's just perfect too.
Man can live abour forty days without food,
about three days without water,
about eight minutes without air,
but only for one second without hope.
Tommy and I have learned a lot over the last few years. Mostly we have learned how to praise God in advance for the work He is doing. We've learned how to see God's perfection - even in the weaknesses of this world. We've learned a bit about trust - and a lot about hope.
Let me assure you that we would never have tried for a second baby if we thought there was a risk of another child with a heart condition. We were prepared for adoption -- but were told by multiple doctors that Olive's condition is an anomoly and not the result of genetics.
But - even knowing all of the medical information - we couldn't help but hope...
Hope does not disappoint.
No matter what.
This new baby will hopefully arrive healthy --- but will surely face challenges in this life anyway. Perhaps her challenges will never have anything to do with her heart -- but there will be valleys nonetheless.
God's promise in offering us a piece of His perfection in this life is not that we will live a perfect life - but that we can always share in His. That fact brings hope - even in the most hopeless of moments.
My beautiful sister welcomed her second son last week. Before going in for her c-section, we had the opportunity to hold hands and pray. While I wanted to pray for happiness, peace, wealth, success, friends, good looks, relationships and so many other worthy things for this new baby boy --- the moment only allowed for a brief word.
Our prayer was simply that from this new baby's first moment - to whenever it is that is deemed his last - he would always know the love of God, the love of his parents, and the love of his family.
God is love.
While I think we should pray for all of the good things we want for our children - after all, God wants to hear our desires - the ultimate truth is that I want my children to know love.
They come from love.
God desires for them to know love every single one of their days.
And to love one day they will return.
As this pregnancy enters the final stretch - I will continue to rest certain in the fact that hope does not disappoint. I will hope for a multitude of good things for this sweet baby girl -- but mostly that she will never live a day apart from love.