The cart the UPS driver wheeled up to the door was piled high with boxes, all addressed to Allie. Shortly after our arrival in Eureka, it was Allie’s first birthday. I mentioned this on my blog in one of the updates I wrote for family and friends. After the horrific night we just had, Susan and I felt like kids on Christmas morning. We had so many presents to open. We started tearing into the packages before the UPS driver could get back into his truck — and those guys are trained to be fast!
The encouragement of angels
My friend Michael Newnham has a popular blog and he and his community of readers rallied around Allie’s story with prayers and notes of encouragement. Some of those presents were from them. Ten years later, many of those readers have become friends and continued partners in prayer for Allie. Allie still has some of those toys. There were certain ones we’ll never be able to part with.
This was a huge emotional boost for us. Even though we had family in Eureka, and my sister was so kind to open her home to us, we felt isolated, disoriented, and abandoned. Everybody was moving on with life while Susan and I hurtled through space in suspended animation. This tremendous demonstration of love and compassion helped us feel anchored to something, gave us perspective, and helped us find a reason to be thankful even though our lives were in chaos.
The cards packaged with the presents brought us healing. Words of encouragement eased the weight that continuously crushed our hearts. Here’s what one angel, a close friend and colleague wrote:
Wow! What a year. A year ago today God brought a sweet, baby girl into your family to forever change your hearts. What a journey He has had you on! We love you guys and pray that today will be a celebration of what God has done. I know the road ahead looks long and probably many days look impossible. I remember the day she was born, so beautiful and pink and healthy. She captured your hearts, the sweet baby girl. Then I remember when the call came early one Sunday. This sweet, baby girl might not make it. What a Sovereign God we have. He continues to touch her body and your lives, and today is a celebration. He has so much in store for little Miss Allie Rae. I’m praying for you guys. This little girl is going to do many things with her life because God is writing a story for her that will mold and shape her. She touches so many lives along the way. I know God is using her to make changes in my heart.
Be strong, Bryon and Susan. An army is praying on your behalf around the clock.
Have a great day. Sing happy birthday to Allie for me.
Nancy and Ray
Not long after this, Nancy and Ray became foster parents. Their own children were all adults, and they knew that they were not destined for lives as empty-nesters. For Nancy and Ray, a full house means a full heart.
We’ve learned that same lesson.
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