Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Just wanted to give you the conclusion I've drawn concerning my last blog post, Just to Be Clear. It's pretty simple.

If Zoe would choose Jesus over this life and all it has to offer, shouldn't I do the same?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Just to be clear...

I've shared so many thoughts of anguish over these past 7 months since Zoe's death, but I wanted to clarify something…in case you were confused…which would be shocking based on how incredibly well I communicate my message consistently…without strange punctuation that I am seemingly addicted to…can't help myself…somebody show me the key for a period!!! 

SO…clarity…yea…here we go. :)

Just to be clear…all of our sorrow, all of our grief, all of our dark moments of anguish…those are exactly that…ours. More specifically, it's not Zoe's. There has not been even one second of sadness FOR Zoe…not one. Each tear shed and scream uttered has been for those of us that remain…not for the one who's gone. Amidst all the questions and overwhelming grief-filled moments, one thing has given me great peace…Zoe couldn't be happier. It's just not possible. Happy sigh. 

No one's praying for Zoe to accept her fate and find peace. She's not trying to pick herself up from the rubble and put one foot in front of the other. Nor does she have to drag herself out of bed every day, telling herself to keep pushing through. Uh…no. She's running the halls of her sweet crib, laughing and singing as loud as her Mama…and that's saying something.

Let me tell you what would've made Zoe miserable…NOT stepping into eternity with her compassionate and loving creator. Because then she would've only known frustration and pain, confusion and sorrow, for any foreseeable future. 

To clarify further, I've mentioned before that we were dreading the Berlin heart device, and subsequent heart transplant, for various reasons, but the primary one was the misery it would all have been for Zoe. I said on many occasions during that 3 weeks of uncertainty, "You all better be glad Zoe's not awake right now because if she's attached to all these gadgets and gizmos when she wakes up, she's gonna be so ticked off…not even kidding. And you…and you over there…and even you that just walked by her room…yea, she's gonna make you pay!" :) Y'all can't even…

Of course, there came a time that we were begging the Almighty to give her back to us through these life-saving means, but at no point were we "happy" for her because of them. Case in point, had the Berlin operation worked, Zoe would've had these large (in my non-medical opinion) tubes coming out of her abdomen, which would've attached her to a machine at all times. She would've been awake, and we would've been able to cart that thing around with us down the halls, but she would never have been "free." We also would've had to remain in the PICU until she received a heart transplant. Until. They estimated it could be anywhere from 3 months to a much more likely, 12 months or more. In the hospital. Attached to a machine. With giant tubes coming out of her gut. For the love. Just let that sink in, would ya? The few of you that knew Zoe personally could attest to the fact that Zoe would've made sure everyone felt as miserable as she did. No joke. Obviously we would've made it work, and we would still choose to have her with us in this capacity, but this blog post is about Zoe's joy. That scenario would have been joy-less for our angel. 

She also would've been pretty weak and irritable constantly and whenever I feel beaten up by the what if's of having the surgery when we did, I'm just over the moon knowing that her levels can't plummet anymore as they were…no one's giving bags of blood just to keep her going…no more emergency interventions needed. 

She's good to go. 

So although we continue to weep for OUR loss, our joy is full FOR Zoe. She is with the King. She knows complete and utter wholeness. She will never again experience pain and heartache. 

She wouldn't come back to us for all the peanut butter in the world. Word.

Just to be clear...

Friday, January 24th

I thought I was doing ok.

I was wrong.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

…and the autopsy comes...

We missed some moments while we were busy with the 10 confessions…I’ll try to catch you up on other news.


Not a word I ever thought I’d be throwing around, but here we are. You watch moments like this on tv, but you can add this to the list of things you never expect to hear with your own ears…about your own child.

“We’d like to do an autopsy on Zoe…to see what exactly went wrong. The things we were watching for and monitoring closely were holding steady. We’d like to know if something else was at play that we didn’t foresee. That knowledge could help other kids in the future.”

So, of course, we consented. Anytime we thought about other families going through what we’d just gone through, we wanted to do anything we could to help them.  But, selfishly, I also hoped to learn why she died, medically speaking. As if that would give any amount of comfort. But in my mind, I held out hope for some mystery component that would explain why the best efforts in the country couldn’t save her life.

We waited a long time…a very long time, it seemed. Zoe died on June 7th. We received the autopsy results the beginning of September, just before Zane’s 4th birthday. Great present.

I’m not sure what we were expecting, but what came was a novel…a medical novel…with no ending. Don’t you hate books and movies that end with a cliffhanger?!? I wanted some finality, wrapped up in a pretty package…with a big red bow. That’s what I was looking for. What I got was a bunch of nothing. By that I mean…nothing that mattered or made a difference in any way.

It didn't take a medical degree to understand, "…died of natural causes…" which was hard to swallow given the gigantic tubes coming out of her abdomen at the time of death…along with all the complications she encountered during her hospital stay...especially when you consider how "healthy" she was when we went in for her surgery. What that COD meant was this…her poor, overworked heart just couldn't take any more…it finally just gave out. 

Natural causes. Further translation: no intervention of any kind would've ever worked. 

Nothing. Ever. 

Talk about a sucker punch. There was no shortage of tears, I can promise you that. 

I found myself boldly asking God, "If Your plan was NEVER to heal Zoe physically, WHY IN THE WORLD DID YOU HAVE US DO THIS?" This really was the one and only time I was truly angry. Why go through all this…the adoption, sustaining her life all this time, hope upon hope of successful procedures, dreams of a future…if He never meant for her to live?!? It's so unfair…so unloving…so cruel. 

Until…until I stopped long enough to think about that question I'd been asking. What could be the reason/s for the Father leading us to adopt Zoe if it wasn't for her physical healing? If you take that off the table, what are we left with?  

Oh man. You just don't even have the stamina to endure the answer to that question…not when I really start listing everything. While I'm sure the ultimate purpose in Zoe's death may very well elude me in my lifetime, there is simply a plethora of things that have come as a result of God stretching us in this way. 

But here's the kicker: I had to stop thinking that God dropped the ball with Zoe…and instead start thinking of all the things He did with Zoe in spite of (and even because of) her death. I had to look past my grief to see that God never intended for Zoe to live a long life. He had much different plans…whether I think they were good plans or not. The key for me was to realize this…He didn't screw it up. I just "misunderstood." I got it wrong. He didn't.

I got that all from an autopsy report. Just goes to show…God sure uses some bizarre methods to get our attention. 

What have you been missing simply because you're not asking the right questions? What have you been blaming God for screwing up when you should be asking...

"If not this…then what?"

"If You never intended this to work out the way I thought it should, what do you have for me that's better?" 

"What are You trying to accomplish with this heartache?"

Who knows? Maybe God will send you an autopsy report to clear things up a bit. Worked for me.