On March 21st at 2:50am Paul and Helen Kahn welcomed daughter Isabella into the world. Around 5am we got a text from Paul announcing the birth and unable to contain our excitement, Minhee and I were at the hospital by 6am. We got special permission to enter the maternity ward and met sweet Isabella as we watched the sunrise outside the window. It was perfect.
On April 5th BG and Hwasun Garin welcomed son Logan who came out looking like Esau and is sure to be an avid hunter and celebrated warrior. At the ripe old age of 24 hours he was already stocky in nature and will make his father proud for sure.
And then there was yesterday when Josephine Go arrived. Indulge me the story...
Last July a few married couples got together from church. This was the night that Paul and Helen announced they were pregnant. We all rejoiced with them but as we watched our good friends Rob and Nancy rejoice our hearts broke for them...because we knew how long they had been waiting to share the same news. As our hearts broke our prayers began to flow and 6 short weeks later their dream came true - Nancy was pregnant!
All was well until mid-October when an ultrasound revealed a potential abnormality. Soon after the worst possible scenario was realized - Rob and Nancy's baby was diagnosed with Trisomy-18, a terminal genetic disorder that meant, in the words of their doctor, "your baby is incompatible with life". The test was conclusive - 30 out of 30 cells tested 100% for the disease. Their doctors suggested termination.
This was tragic news. How could God give this great gift and then leave it no chance of life? Everyone was confused, scared and sad. This terrible news came on a Friday. That Sunday at church we all hugged and wept together. The sermon that Sunday was on "the glimmer of hope" found in Ruth and Naomi's seemingly helpless situation in Ruth 3. I don't know that anyone else found comfort in it...but I did.
After church that day we all gathered at Rob and Nancy's to hear from them and pray for them. As they shared our hearts broke more and more. We wanted to offer words of hope but had none. We wanted to pray for a miracle but weren't sure they could handle asking for it and setting themselves up for extreme disappointment again. But eventually they told us they would appreciate that prayer...a prayer for a miracle.
Just as we had when we prayed for conception, we sat them in the middle of the group and fell on our knees/faces and began to pray. There was crying, sniffling, drooling, heaving, and lots and lots of praying!! The situation seemed hopeless but the prayer seemed right. We left their house with nothing to do but wait.
The following Thursday Nancy visited her doctor who continued to suggest termination but the baby's heartbeat was strong and so they continued to wait. It would be the next day, Friday, where our miracle would become real.
While the lab had done an initial test on 30 cells where all came back showing Trisomy 18, there was also a chromosome test on 88 cells that took a week to get its results. That Friday, at 4:31pm, an e-mail came from Nancy with the following:
I was alone in our apartment when I got this e-mail. As I read it I began to weep and then to scream. I can't explain the great joy I felt in that moment for Rob and Nancy and the great hope I felt toward our God. It was overwhelming.
"Today, we received the final results of the test from last week, where they looked at 88 chromosomes that they grew for the past week and God gave us our miracle. All 88 cells were normal!?!? The geneticists are dumbfounded and "have never seen this before." (where it seemed so conclusive at the FISH analysis and the exact opposite during the next one)… They do not have an explanation, and are recommending an amnio since this was such a strange outcome...but forget it. We know who's hand is responsible. The final results say that our baby is normal. We could have a healthy baby! We are confused and elated and rejoicing! I've been crying in sorrow all week, that it is so refreshing to cry for joy!"
As the months since that great October day have passed Nancy's belly has grown and all of us here have looked more and more forward to seeing the fruit of our Father's labor. And yesterday, April 14th, at 3:10pm, a 5lb 15oz baby girl named Josephine Go was born into this world...perfectly healthy and happy.
Not everyone gets their miracle and I am so sad for those who do not...the pain is just too much. But I am grateful to God for this miracle in our corner of the world. And each time I look at Isabella, Logan, Josephine or the other babies that are still on their way I am going to remember 2009 and the miracles of life gifted to us.