Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Belated Christmas Letter

Better late than never, right? I wrote this letter for our Christmas cards, most of which actually made it out this season... some will be a bit late. :)

Dear Family and Friends,

Merry Christmas from our family! Another year has passed, and with God’s grace, we’ve made it through intact. This year has been full of many emotional situations and changes for us, and we’d like to share some of them with you.

Many of you may know that we were expecting to add another child to our family in June 2006. Unfortunately, this did not happen. In January 2006 we found out that the child we were expecting had a condition known as Potter’s Syndrome, which is an absence or malformation of the kidneys. Babies with this condition are “incompatible with life,” and in February, we delivered a beautiful stillborn baby boy, Henry Thomas.

This loss was difficult for our family and as is the case in many families who lose a child, we went through a period of uncertainty about our future. Our relationship with each other and with Ethan was severely tested and almost broken. But we are so thankful to Almighty God for extending His grace and mercy. We made it through the darkest moments and are emerging into the light again.

We had an unexpected occurrence in June 2006 that has helped us to move forward a little bit faster than we might have otherwise. Our Henry was due on June 23, 2006 and June was a bit of a trial for me, emotionally. I woke up at 4 am on June 23rd, unable to sleep; grieving for what should have been a joyous day. I felt compelled to take a pregnancy test, even though it was a bit early. Imagine our surprise when the test was positive! Since then, we have had many emotional moments, comparing pregnancies and symptoms and all sorts of things. But we have found out that we are having a healthy baby girl. She’s due March 1st, but we anticipate another C-section sometime in February--- this time, a planned one! J We have the middle and last name picked out, but not the first name yet.

I know Christmas letters are supposed to be quick updates for the people who you don’t get to communicate with on a regular basis and for some, a way to brag about all the good things in life! But this year, I couldn’t let the Christmas season pass without taking the opportunity to share our story and our faith in God. You see, without the love and prayers of our family and friends, I don’t think we would have survived this year. I know we wouldn’t have. Without the arms of our Father holding us close and together, I have no doubt that we would have drifted apart and become another casualty of life. But God is so gracious! Even when we were angry with Him, devastated by our loss, and questioning His intelligence when He blessed us with another child, He continued to be faithful.

My song of the year has been “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord,” which has a section that says, “Blessed be your name on the road marked with suffering. Though there's pain in the offering blessed be your name. Every blessing you pour out I turn back to praise. When the darkness closes in, Lord still I will say...Blessed be the name of the Lord…You give and take away, you give and take away. Still my heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be your name!”

This is truly what we have embraced this year—no matter what happens, our faith is not circumstantial. Our faith is grounded in our Lord and in His steadfastness. Our God doesn’t love us based on our circumstances or our abilities. He loves us because we are His, and we will bless His name continually.

As far as the updates go, Aaron’s practice is thriving. He is staying busy and is enjoying being his own boss. He is getting a number of private paying clients, which is his goal. He started out doing court appointed defense work and has been hoping to transition to a steadier private client base. It takes a while, but progress is definitely being made.

Ethan is in preschool and seems to like it. I try not to go into his classroom too much, as I am afraid that I will be too much of a teacher and not enough of a mommy. He is reading simple words these days and recognizing more than we realize. I have to be careful of what I spell around him since he knows how to spell some words. He’s growing quickly! He’s already 4 years old and over half my height! He is excited about his baby sister, but is also starting to exhibit a little bit of jealousy as my stomach gets bigger. The fact that I cannot pick him anymore is an issue for he and I, but we’ll get through it!

I have been a stay at home mom this school year. I’ve enjoyed it, though I don’t know that it is any less stressful than working full time! Between our house, our family, our church, and my involvement in a few community things, I’m just as busy as ever. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though!

We hope that you have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year! May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!


sarah cool said...

Wow, Jenetter. This was really powerful. Many kudos for you for stepping out like that! You're so awesome.

Misfit Hausfrau said...

Isn't it amazing how much really happens in a year? Here's to a wonderful year!