21 November, 2013

Hadassah Faith

 We only held her for several hours and we never saw her take a breath, or felt her wrap her fingers around ours but she has a place in our hearts forever. Our little Hadassah....baby daughter.....baby sister.....we fell in love with her and to us she was perfect. Perfect because God's plan is perfect, and perfect because we love her exactly as she is. To the world's eyes she was deformed, an accident, but to us she was a touch of heaven in our lives.

    Kristen, our OB, broke my water at 3:00 this morning and still it seemed that labor wasn't going to happen, and our faith stumbled. Kristen was leaving for the states at 4 this afternoon, and from there to South Asia, although she was committed to staying until friday morning if need be, but after that it meant me going into the hospital until Hadassah was born. Pitocin hadn't worked and it didn't seem like the other meds were either and despair filled my heart. Kristen headed for her house around 10 to work on packing and Marlin came to sit with me. I was having contractions but nothing real serious and I kept reminding myself to trust. And then things got serious. Serious enough that tears started running and Marlin quickly called Kristen, who had been crying out to God at her house to please let Hadassah be born BEFORE she left. After several INTENSE contractions Hadassah was born at 11:15 a.m.. She was not breathing when she was born, although Kristen said that she might have had a faint pulse. The grief was raw, especially the first while but the Holy Spirit came in a powerful way and wrapped the love and peace of God around our hearts. How amazing and beautiful are the arms of God, giving us joy for ashes.

    Kristen cleaned Hadassah up and put the precious little pink knitted hat on her that we had brought from the States and laid her in my arms. To be honest, when I first found out that Hadassah had anencephaly I wondered what my reaction would be when I would see her for the first time. But by the time she was born I knew that a mother's love is far greater than any “deformity.” I fell head over heels in love and was in awe at her perfect little body. Such wee hands and feet, such perfect arms and legs. And i'm proud to say that she has my nose.

    Emily came over first to spend some time alone with her baby sister and after crying together she held little Hadassah in her arms. The baby sister she has prayed for so many years will never know her love, and how hard is the giving up, and yet how beautiful is her spirit as she struggles to accept. After a bit the boys came in and took turns holding her, even Levi. Levi had a lollipop though and in his scheme of things the lollipop rated much higher. :) There were tears and smiles and footprints and handprints taken of our wee one. But finally we said good by and I laid her in her little casket, making sure she was tucked in just right. And Hadassah's daddy carried her up to the hospital. She will stay at the hospital morgue until someone picks her up for the funeral.

    This week was so divinely ordained of God, the many details that only He could have put together. The love that the people of Tenwek have poured out on us, and the meals and snacks, down to the marshmallows for the children to roast in the fireplace. (it gets cold enough to have a fire in the evenings) The peaceful atmosphere here at Tenwek, away from the noise and dirt of Kisumu, has been tremendously healing for us as a family. Our dear friends, Tony and Judith Zook, and Rachel Miller (we call her our oldest adopted daughter) who sacrificed their week to spend it here, babysitting and doing all those things that make a household run....our hearts will be eternally grateful. The doctors, Aaron and Kristen, who went far above and beyond anything that was expected and Aaron's wife Stephanie, who opened up their home so we could have a quiet, peaceful atmosphere to deliver Hadassah...Thank You!

    Tonight our empty arms ache. We want her back, to say good by one more time. To breathe in that new baby smell and cuddle her to us. But we gladly trust her to Jesus and we worship the One who gave her to us. For He is good and His plan......perfect. 


  1. Dear Darla, I so wish I could stop by to give you a hug and was praying this morning that God would give you a hug for me and it sounds like He has! Your testimony brought tears to my eyes... thanks so much for sharing... you are such a blessing to me! My heart hurts for you all and the loss of little Hadassah... We will keep lifting you up in prayer!! Love you ~ Dawn
    PS. I love the name! :)

  2. My chest constricts, my throat closes with tears, and my eyes overflow. You are beautiful. Your faith is beautiful, your sorrow beautiful, your daughters are beautiful...

    Thank you for taking the time to share with us, to include us in your suffering, to allow us to be a part of your lives.

    Our prayers continue...

  3. PS - her feet are beautiful!!! Just like yours.

    "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!" ~ Isaiah 52:7

  4. Such a sweet picture, I was staring at it for awhile, feeling the pain you are going through! Prayers, Matt,Marlene and family

  5. Tears. Beautiful picture, beautiful name....such kissable little toes ! Love, hugs, and prayers, ~Jan

  6. Marlin and Darla,

    Hadassah is perfect and she's precious. I so wish I could "come over" and grieve with you...in person. Though the miles separate us, my grief is real and raw as my heart is right there with you all. When I knew you had a blog update, I had to pull off the road to read it on my iPhone....and I wept....and a kind man stopped to check on me and to make sure all as well. It doesn't feel "well" but, I walk with you in FAITH....knowing and trusting that our Daddy can see so much more than our limited vision of flesh. By FAITH I know that He has good things to come....even from this devastation.

    We are continuing to pray for you all. And we thank God for your faith and trust as you walk this journey of grief. May your hearts continue to find healing and strength . And may God give you the miracle of JOY once again.

    And those are some might cute Weaver hands and feet, if ever there was! Totally adorable!

    We love you all!!
    ~Billie for the Blevinnites

  7. Marlin & Darla,

    The tears ran freely as I read your update and even more so when I saw the beautiful picture of her perfect hands and feet. My heart grieves with you and the loss of your precious daughter. Her name is so fitting! Your testimony of God's love, grace, and provision for you is beautiful! We will continue to pray for you in the coming days and weeks ahead as you walk by faith and trust Him. May you feel the arms of Jesus around you and His love and peace in your hearts!

    We love you!
    Krystal for the Rancks

  8. May our Heavenly Father continue to wrap His arms around each of you as you face each day without Hadassah in your physical lives. Big ((HUGS)) to everyone!

  9. This a.m.while reading my"Daily Bread",my eyes went across the page to this:"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,& the power of the Highest will overshadow you"...I had to share it .

    The picture is precious beyond words.I am sad beyond words.I had to think of Mom welcoming her to heaven:)

    Love you guys!

  10. Darla,
    I can hardly see to type through the tears running down my face- I so wish I could give you a hug and cry with you! And also to rejoice at the goodness of our Lord, because I know that this isn't the way you would have planned things, yet I can see your complete surrender to God and His plans. And we know his ways are perfect! Love the picture, and I can't wait to be able to see all our beautiful babies in heaven someday! Love you, and will continue to lift your family up in our prayers!

  11. tears, heart pains, but joy in those sweet beautiful baby feet. i remember the first few days without our sweet girl and how I thought the world was closing in on me....and today, almost 11 years later there are still days I feel that way but clinging to Jesus, knowing that there is NO way to get through life without his love and strength is such a powerful faith journey. In these first few days and weeks feel sad, mad, happy, confused, lonely, whatever your heart feels, let it feel it. Each person's grief journey is their own and allowing yourself to grieve in whatever way it happens is part of the "work" of grieving. Grief is hard, its work. The ministry I run here in PA has sent you some books and other things I pray you will find helpful in the months and years to come. Blessings to you today and always. Katy Dortenzo (Sweet Grace Ministries)

  12. What a darling baby girl you were given for such a short time on earth. How your hearts must bleed and your arms ache to hold your lil sweetheart. In tears we bring you to the throne of our heavenly Father, the Father of your princess and ask him to carry you as you continue on. Please tell Emily we remember her often in prayer as well as all the rest of your family. Your testimony is so amazing to read and we were once again encouraged by your honesty and the peace God is giving you moment by moment.
    We Love You!

  13. Darla and Family, Beautiful name , Beautiful baby. I am sure your Mother heart is totally broken. I can just picture perfect little Haddasah in the arms of Jesus! My heart has a Special hurt for your sweet daughter Emily, I am sure this will even draw you closer as a Mother and Daughter. God be with you all as you all go through the grief of losing a sweet baby girl. Hugs and Prayers from Pa. Karen Huber

  14. Thank you for sharing, even though this experience must have been extremely difficult. The picture was so dear! You guys are an inspiration to me. We will be praying for you all in the days and weeks ahead. May God's peace continue to be with you.

  15. We have been praying for you all! Your testimony of surrender in the middle of such raw grief is so touching!! Hugs from afar!! Karen

  16. I'm so sorry for what you're having to go through losing little Hadasseh. However, I can see God's hand in it and, as you have said, God is good. I pray for your comfort and strength as you continue on this journey. God bless you all.

    Deborah Ray


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