Friday, January 10, 2014

Baby Boy Isaac, our Cajun Cutie

a week ago today we met our darling cajun cutie, a second son, noah's little brother.

in adoption land sometimes things happen really quickly, and we were prepared for that. about a week and a half ago we got a call about an adoption situation - an expectant mother due january 8th. with an adoption facilitator, we spoke to her on the phone the next day and later on that same day we found out she had chosen us to raise her soon-to-be born baby boy. about four days after that we got a call that she was having an emergency c-section that day. we were on a plane to louisiana that night.

we had only been paper pregnant for about three months, but we've had a heart to be parents our whole lives. we were scared and unsure, but we were ready.

before we even got on the plane we knew he had some respiratory issues that presented pretty immediately after birth, but we weren't sure of the severity. (respiratory issues are the number one reason a baby gets admitted into the NICU. quite common and almost always blows over in a couple days.) but the minute we arrived to the hospital about 18 hours later, we knew it was serious. we know NICUs and as we followed the nurse to the very back room, past room after room with multiple crying babies per one nurse, we entered a big, dark room with one tiny baby, hooked up to a very large machine.

he was beautiful.

the nurse called him "feisty."
we called him a fighter.

he had incredibly dark, curly hair and sideburns like noah.

he was a wiggily-wally and loved to hold hands.

his feet were the size of his entire calf.

he kept his left hand pretty consistently up at his face and whenever the nurses would try to cover his eyes to keep him from getting too stimulated he'd push it off.


i loved him the moment i saw him and it only grew the three days we spent with him, and still today.

his health became more and more fragile as the hours went on. we started to hear the words "mortality", "extremely sick", "50/50 chance of survival"... and we were thrown into the same nightmare we lived through seven months ago. i'm still in shock.

adoption was our saving grace. adoption was our guarantee for another child.
if we can't bring another child into our home through adoption and there's a risk of future biological children having the same condition noah had, then what? my hopes and dreams of becoming a mother to a healthy child with a long life seemed to be slipping through my fingertips. i was absolutely rocked. our shaky, broken world became even more shaky and broken.

yet everything about the adoption procedures were going so smoothly. (and this was the process we were most nervous about! would the expectant mother change her mind? would the birth father all of sudden show up and demand custody? how long would we have to stay in louisiana with our baby before we were cleared to come home?) but our lawyers were honest, speedy and supportive. the adoption professionals kept in amazing communication with us. and the biggest unknown, our relationship with the birth mother, was completely blessed.

we visited her every day and from the very first moment we met, there was a mutual admiration and respect between the three of us. you could tell she loved her baby so, so much and she was genuinely excited for him to have the life she was unable to give him, by sharing him with us. (this is a complete side note, but i get so fired up when ignorant people say crap like, "how could any one ever give away their baby? i could never do that, i love my kids too much." well, you know what, idiot? she is not giving him up. she has the unbelievable courage to do what's best for her child, and make a plan for him that gives him a future and a hope. that's a sacrificial love that is rare, because it is completely selfless. and secondly, who has the right to judge any one on their choices? have they walked in her shoes? okay, sorry for that tangent. it just makes me furious.)

if only we could have brought him home, taken him to his first day of school, watched as he dribbled a basketball for the first time, seen him play with his cousins. what a life he would have had. and his birth mama would have been a part of his story the whole way.

but we all lost. we lost a life that was bright. we lost the dream of something better. we lost a son, all three of us.

"isaac" is his birth mama's last name. so on all of his paperwork, and the way he was always referred to by doctors and nurses, was baby boy isaac. we had come with another name picked out for him, but over the course of those three days, it was baby boy isaac that stuck.

isaac. God's promise to abraham. and the sacrifice a father made for a God he trusted.

i don't know where i stand with God right now. i was angry before, losing noah, but i'm in a new dimension of anger now. it's all so incredibly unfair. i don't understand. i'm pissed beyond belief and don't really have anywhere to direct it. except God.

speaking of, do not tell me or my husband that God has a perfect plan for us. you just want to simplify this tragedy and wrap it up in a nice box with a pretty bow, so as to make some sort of sense of it all and try to make us feel better. but can you honestly say that there's any way in the world that sorrow, tears and loss are part of his "perfect" plan for me, or anyone?

and another thing, it's easy to say God has a perfect plan when your life is pretty good. so don't tell us about this perfect plan, it only isolates us even more from the virtually pain-free life we aren't living.

God does not need defending right now. He is big enough and strong enough to handle our pounding fists and our confused tears. He can take our hard questions. if there's one thing i still know about my relationship with God, it's that it's authentic and real.

and if there's one more thing i know about God, it's that the love He shows us through His people is miraculous. so thank you.


  1. McCayla, you're an amazing writer. Thank you for your raw account of what you're going through.

    When I read this post, all I could think about is how "Job-like" this experience is. So, that means if you and your husband are "Jobs", then we all know how the story will play out - you'll be blessed 10-fold.

    But that is a hypothesis based on one Biblical account. In reality, we really don't know what is going on. Or why God is doing this. Or why Satan is so voraciously attacking while God seems to be sidelined.

    What I do know is that through your beautiful posts, you eloquently voice what it is like to live in this world of hurt, sorrow and pain.

    Thank you for publicly opening up your heart and sharing your thoughts.

    You've been a blessing to me.

  2. I would like to suggest a book that I have found to be comforting and helpful as I journeyed through grief and healing.

    Safe in the arms of God......truth from heaven about the death of a child. By John MacArthur

  3. McCayla, my husband and I are so, so sorry for your compounded losses. As a fellow "paper pregnant" couple, you have lived our worst nightmare, and our hearts break for you and John. We have shaken our fists at God umpteen times in the past three years of our struggle, and we shook them some more this week in your (dubious) honor. This is NOT how adoption is supposed to play out, I agree. This is not the redemption that adoptive parents hope will come to their families. And all that "perfect plan" rhetoric...let's just say it's one phrase that was stricken from my vocabulary the first time a friend applied it to the miscarriage of my only pregnancy. But others have come out of the woodwork--including several BelPres co-workers--to let me swear and cry and despair and dare to hope, and I pray you and John find just the right people to let you do that. I pray for redemption for both our families that will come, like, yesterday, and for any measure of comfort you can find right now. Until then, again, we are so very, very sorry.

  4. McCayla, I have no words. None. I am over-whelmed by this post. How tremendously unfair. How devastating. I can't imagine that you went through another loss. I know I've never met you but I am sending out love. I am so very, very sorry

  5. I am so sorry for your tragic losses, and as trite as it sounds, I am praying for you.

  6. McCayla, I am so, so sorry. It does seem so unfair. I am praying believing that there is a healing miracle on its way for you guys, a blessing beyond anything you could have imagined. It's the only hope I can cling to as I look at everything you and your family have gone through. Your faith and its rawness is inspiring, and while I wish your circumstances were different, I know that your story is touching so many lives.

  7. perfectly planning for a baby is so effective and I have used this method on myself. I was having difficulties while planning for the baby. So it helped me a lot.