I have a cousin named Todd. I have only met him once and that was when I was nine and he was probably twelve. We grew up on the opposite sides of the country and never kept in touch. However, a few years ago my father took a trip across the country and stopped in to visit various family members. He told me all about Todd's wife, Sarah, and how he thought we'd really like each other as she was strong in her faith in God, had five young children and was considering homeschooling.
I have only spoken to Sarah twice (the 3 hour time difference makes it difficult to schedule a phone call between two busy moms), but we have kept in contact through e-mail and our blogs. I can truly consider her a friend and she has encouraged me in my walk with God and in my journey as a mom in so many ways.
As I have already mentioned, Todd & Sarah have 5 children ranging in age from 6-13 years. They served as missionaries in the inner city of LA for the last couple of years, but now have moved to a different state for a year of prayer and fasting for their future as they enjoy some family time on Todd's sister's farm.
Though they have five dear children of their own, Todd & Sarah's heart's desire is to adopt more children in hopes of giving them a brighter future with God. As they were packing their house in LA preparing for their long move to the farm, they received a phone call from the adoption agency. A single mom was due to deliver a baby boy with Down's Syndrome early in September. Would Todd & Sarah be willing to adopt this baby?
Would they?! ABSOLUTELY!! I don't think there was any question in their mind. So, as they traveled to their new home, they were undoubtedly preparing their hearts to welcome this precious new member into their family. Sarah had been in touch with the birth mother -a mom who only wanted the best for her little one and knew Todd & Sarah were the answer to her wish.
Last week, I received an e-mail from Sarah stating that due to a complication in the pregnancy, there was a chance she would have the baby just a bit earlier than expected. She and their oldest daughter were to fly back to California on Friday and wait for the anticipated arrival of their sixth child. Her excitement radiated through that e-mail.
I prayed for the happy duo as they traveled on Friday. On Saturday night I received an e-mail from my cousin Todd. The baby's birth-mother had gone into labor that morning. Sarah was with her. Their precious baby boy, Andrew Todd, was still-born.
How my heart broke. I cried myself to sleep knowing how much more Sarah's heart was crushed -as were the hearts of her husband, children, and Andrew's birth-mother. How do you explain these things to your children when you don't understand them yourself?
Todd said they were happy to know that little Andrew was safe in the arms of Jesus. This is an example of this couple's faith.
The sorrow is not what makes Sarah a Beautiful Mom - it's her response. If I know Sarah, she will cling to God and draw even closer to Him through all of this. If the birthmother allows it, Sarah will walk with her and grieve with her and be her life-long friend. I know she will tell her of the Comforter and how He can heal even the deepest sorrow. Sarah will talk and cry with her almost-teenage daughter as they spend their last couple of days in California. The two of them will grow closer through this and Sarah will lead all of her children to look to Jesus for comfort. She and Todd will not grow bitter. They will put all of their faith in God and look for His will for their lives in this. Because of her life up to this point, I know many will be brought to God through this experience.
Sarah is a Beautiful Mom - because of her amazing faith in her Lord. Does it waver? It may - I'm sure she may have asked God "why?" But, though she doesn't have the answers to her questions, she still rests in Him and His care for her.
My heart breaks for Sarah. To lose a child is the greatest sorrow in this life. She may not have carried Andrew in her womb, but she carried him in her heart. She had goals and dreams for him. Her arms ache to hold him. But, she now lays her heart at the feet of Jesus to put the pieces back together.
We love you, Sarah. There is a precious baby waiting for you in Heaven - and I'll be waiting in line behind you to give him a big hug as well. Thank you for being such a beautiful example to me of a truly godly and Beautiful Mom!
Note: Please read the comment Sarah has left in the "comments" section - see her amazing faith in her own words. Keep praying.