grace, garrison & goodbye

December 29, 2014 hypospadias, Kam 3 Comments

If you were to judge my punctuality solely on the basis of my No Hands But Ours posts, you’d be led to believe that I fail to do anything on time! I’m really pretty darn punctual actually but somehow, not here. Still, I’m sure that my last post for NHBO has just been put off because well, it’s hard to sit down and say goodbye.

Three years ago this month, Stefanie reached out and graciously asked me to consider coming on as a writing contributor here. I was honestly blown away and quite humbled. Our beautiful Seth had recently died in China after complications from heart surgery to correct ToF and one other defect that we weren’t privy to.

I’m sure that Stefanie knew from her own loss, what we were finding to be true in those days. That our God is faithful and that grace is sometimes manifested most in the midst of unfathomable pain.

I’ve written here about it some and more extensively on our own blog {that I struggle to keep up with now!} that losing Seth was a marriage of grief and joy, of profound loss and God given hope. Joy that our son was safe in the arms of Jesus, running without limitations or blue lips and hope that our third son, was somewhere waiting for us in China.

For time’s sake, I won’t go into it again, but the finding story of our Gabe was a miracle. The way he was found nearly frozen on the ground in a local park in Pingdingshan, China was miraculous. How we found him on our agency’s list and found the perfect doctor to handle his physical needs and on and on was only the grace and work of a great God.

We had known grace in loss and we were resting in it again for Gabe.

A couple of months ago, after two major setbacks, we headed out to the big city early one morning for Gabey’s 9 overall surgery {7th time to the operating room} in just under two years. Our surgeon told us that this was it…the day that we had been waiting for. He had every confidence that this would be his final surgery and that he would be as everything would be as it “should have been from the beginning” after today.

We had prayed for months and months every day. People we loved had partnered with us to pray. I believed with everything in me that this was our day. At the hospital, texts and FB messages, phone calls and emails constantly streamed through. Prayers for Gabe, hope filled words of affirmation and Scripture. I was honestly light as a feather that day.

I told my husband and my mom, “I feel like we have an army behind us today.” It was like a garrison of soldiers standing behind and in front of Gabe, to the right and to the left. Holding him up. Interceding and praising. Pleading and expecting.

The surgery was to take 4.5 hours. So when our surgeon had come back to speak to us at hour 3, we knew something wasn’t quite right. He explained that he had to stop. He couldn’t go further. To do so would be to risk everything we had worked for up to this point. Gabe’s tissue was/is still so damaged and weak from the hypothermia he endured as an infant, it just wasn’t sufficient to finish the graft.

We were devastated. We held each other and wept and I withdrew. I see now that I retreated from the Lord. I wasn’t angry at Him. I was too afraid to be angry. I was just completely disappointed. I’m so ashamed to say, I felt let down by Him.

We had an army, God. A garrison of believers who agreed with us that this was enough. Seven surgeries for this special need was enough.

Yet the Lord said no. And I retreated more.

The days and even weeks that followed were difficult. Gabe was once again to lay completely flat for ten long days. No sitting, standing or real movement for ten days. And knowing that we would be going through some of this with him again, made it all the more hard.

Hard to pray. Hard to read His Word or to be comforted. Hard to trust Him.

But our God is rich, rich, in mercy. He didn’t chastise my indifference to Him. Instead, He gently led me over time to the cross. To see His faithfulness in the midst of sorrow. To see and know grace in the loss of our expectations becoming reality.

I have no idea why Seth died in China without his mommy who adored him or before his daddy could tickle him until he begged for air. And I have no idea why our little prince, Gabey Baby, has endured so much physical pain in order to do something that you and I can do without even thinking about it.

But this I do know, from the setting of the sun to the rising of the same, our God is to be praised.


If I leave my time here at NHBO without saying that, it’s all in vain. Any post or insight that I have had to share with you is meaningless without the knowledge that He is infinitely good and trustworthy. In the wait, in the pain or disappointment…and in the utter joys of adoption, all we’ve ever known is His faithfulness.

I’m so grateful for these three years of writing and sharing with you. And I will continue to read and will be cheering you all on! Have a blessed and Spirit filled 2015!

For His fame ~

3 responses to “grace, garrison & goodbye”

  1. Katie Johnson says:

    You’ll be missed, Kam!

  2. lora says:

    I will miss u!!

  3. Rebecca says:

    You’ll be missed. You are one of my mentors of faith. Your grace and hope have shown light onto our path, directing our eyes toward God. Your posts have given great glory to the Lord and gave blessed me.

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