Here's What Anna Shared:
Carl and I would just like to begin by saying how overwhelmed we are with the love and support we have received during this time and throughout Hope's life. To see so many of you coming together to celebrate her is incredibly humbling and we thank you for loving her and us so well.
We first learned about Hope in a very simple email from a social worker at Grady. Two days after Hope's birth she wrote me this ... "I remember last time we spoke you mentioning that you and your husband would like to adopt more special needs children. I may know of one that needs a wonderful mommy and daddy.
I said great! And Carl said he needed a Xanax.
If I could choose one word that has woven itself throughout Hope's life, it would be "faithfulness." God has been so faithful to this child. This daughter of the King whom He so graciously shared with us for a short time.
By all earthly standards, Hope was born with nothing—an orphan with a severe medical condition and very few options. When she was released from the hospital her only possessions were a few handmade blankets that had been donated to the hospital. There was no planning, no special outfits or announcements like many do anticipating their baby's arrival. But Hope was never alone. And those of us who know Jesus do not subscribe to the wordly perspective of having nothing or no one. She is a child of God and He kept his promises to His child.
He was there when her birth mother unsuccessfully sought out an abortion. When the adoption agency denied her placement and she became a ward of the state. He was there when people told us she would not survive and that taking this on would be a mistake. He was also there when we brought her home and loved and adored and cherished her and He was there when she took her last breath on earth and her first breath in heaven. God knew exactly what he was doing when He created Hope—there are no mistakes there. Because He knew this little girl was going to impact more people for His kingdom in the 10 months she was on this earth than some people make in 100.
I desperately miss my Hope. I grieve the fact that instead of seeing that sweet face in the morning I have to face an empty crib. But this life is not supposed to be easy and obedience can be painful, but it can also be transforming. Even though I no longer have my Hope here on this earth, I have a hope of a different kind, one that only Christ can give. We are not designed for this place and, as Christians, we know this. But do we really know that? I think as a culture we are so often attracted to what is NOW, to live in the present and that can definitely be a good thing. But as Tim Keller so eloquently puts it, we should never let a good thing become an ultimate. We should never let the notion of the 'gift of the present' become sweeter to us than the hope of the future.
My heart will always be broken for Hope. I know over time the wound will not be as raw but it will never change the fact that I have had to bury one of my children. But as I yearn for my daughter, I will also yearn for the place that God ultimately created for His children, a place where we all can be redeemed and restored, just like Hope.
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