A Day to Celebrate HOPE

Today was the day she was born.  I loved her long before I saw her and when I finally held her in my arms I was in awe at the beautiful tiny gift God had given me. 

The joy she brought to our family is immeasurable – she had a smile that could captivate even a stranger. 

Her middle name was HOPE.  It was given to her because of the HOPE salvation brings. 

I never was able to explain to her the meaning of her middle name; but she experienced HOPE long before she would have been old enough to understand the theology wrapped up in that four letter word.

I clung to that word from the day we walked into her room and found her.  HOPE.

For seven years after her death – July 1st had no reason to be celebrated – only remembered.  Each year we would remember and I would cling once again to HOPE that I will someday see her again. 

Then God brought us a little boy to love.  And when he tells the story of his adoption it goes like this, “I was all alone.  I did not have a family.  God looked down and saw that I needed a Mom and Dad; and God saw Mom and Dad that they wanted a little baby and so he took me to them so I could have a family.”

On July 1, 2005 – God added once again to our family.  Now, on the first of July – we remember  Ally – we truly do!  We remember her smile.  We think about her – and we miss her – still – even seventeen years later; but we also look at Zak and are reminded that God gave us reason to celebrate this day  again.

When I think of Ally – I think of her in Heaven – and I wonder about all that she has experienced there.  I long to see her again – and I am thankful for HOPE.  When I look at Zak and I think of all the joy and excitement that we had in our hearts the day the judge declared him ours forever  - I think of how beautiful adoption is.  But Zak has autism – and FAS; and that makes some days very difficult.  Yet God reminds me even on those days that there is always HOPE!   Hope that this life is not all there is!   

Someday there will be
no death – no tiny caskets, no cemeteries,
no tears – no grief, no nights that seem so long and hard
no autism – no repetitive behavior, no medications, no MRI’s, no tics, no suffering, no pain -
no cancer

Because of Christ – there is HOPE!  Then I am brought to the verse that God has made SO precious to me:

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are note seen:  for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 
(2 Cor 4:17-18)

For me, July 1st is a day to celebrate:   HOPE.  

Happy Birthday, Ally!

Happy "Gotcha Day!"  Zak - I am so glad God gave you to us! 

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