This year has held many challenges, celebrations, and changes. This was our first full year with Aloysia who we adopted into our family in October of 2009. She is a freshman this year at Northwest Nazarene University studying in the Theology department and feeling a call to ministry. We are very proud of her and her beautiful contagious spirit. We are blessed to call her family and know God has an incredible path ahead of her!
This year also held the amazing birth of our youngest son, Samuel Christopher, born July 17th. He is a miracle to encounter, just as all life is. I was sick during the first trimester of the pregnancy and soon found out that I had passed Fifths Disease to my baby. From week 13 to week 30 we were faced with possible miscarriage, fetal leukemia, substantial hydrops (liquid on his body), heart failure, brain damage, Downs Syndrome, and other issues. We were given options for inuetro transfusions, termination, amniocentesis or nothing. We spent time weeping on our knees asking God what we should do - He responded with, "Peace be still and know that I AM GOD." We chose not to invade the womb with transfusions and just wait and pray. Around week 18 we felt the need to name him, and Samuel, which means "God hears", was the name that was written on our hearts. Over the course of the following weeks we realized the significance of his name.
Around week 26, we heard our first good news. The doctor, after watching and studying our ultrasound sat us down and asked us to recount all the things we had been told and shown about Samuel and his continuing failure to thrive inutero. We listed off all of the things that we had both seen, heard, and studied. The doctor, with his old wrinkley smile and strong British accent, of which I will never forget said, "Well, your son is somehow becoming well. All of these things that we have seen are reversing. Your son is getting better!"
Samuel was born strong and healthy on July 17th at 12:13am with bilateral clubfeet - something the five doctors working his case never saw. I had to smile when he was born. Of all that could have gone wrong with Samuel, the only thing on the list was his feet.....a fixable and very treatable deformity. This will be a 3 to 4 year journey in braces while he grows, but that is a small price to pay for his beautiful sweet life!
Abigail is 4 years old and loving being old enough to help mommy with baby Samuel. She loves to color and paint and create. She plays dressup every day and would wear dresses everywhere all the time if mommy would let her. This is a definite point of contention, since mommy is a jeans and t-shirt kid. Both grandma's are definitely happy though.
Micah is 2 years old and thinks that Samuel is the greatest thing since sliced bread. He doesn't quite understand that wrestling a 5 month old is not a great idea, although Samuel usually giggles to his delight. Micah loves to color on everything......everything (smile - sigh).
Chris and Cherie are also on a wonderful upcoming new journey. God has called our family to start a church in Boise Idaho. We will be moving from Oak Harbor, Washington where we are currently ministring as the youth and worship pastors at the Nazarene church, to the north end of downtown Boise in February 2011. We will be getting jobs to work part time in the community and fundraising the other half through individual sponsors and churches. We can't wait to see what God is going to do in the hearts of people in Boise.
We hope this year has been a wonderful year for you. We have grown in our faith and know that the Lord goes before us in the days ahead just as He has been with us in the days past. We love you and appreciate your role in our lives. Blessings to you.
Grace and Peace,
Chris, Cherie, Aloysia, Abigail, Micah, and Samuel