I have people ask me occasionally if I have any updates on Ember. If I know how she is, what happened to her, if she is still in Arizona, if she has passed away. And up until a couple weeks ago, I never had anything to tell them. I had never gotten the updates or pictures from foster mom like I hoped we would when we said goodbye to her, but I trusted that the Lord had His reasons and that He was taking great care of her, whether it be here on earth or in Heaven with him.
We had been told by the agency months ago that they had identified an adoptive family out of state, but that's all we ever heard. When we did hear that, we were so thrilled for Ember! God had found a family for her! We knew she was being well loved with foster mom, but to have a forever family...what a miracle for her.
I wondered to myself what name Ember had now. I wondered where she was, how she was. I wondered if she still had any of the things I sent with her when I left...her giraffes, her binky, her dozens of beautiful headbands Josh's mom had made. I prayed that she was being snuggled, and kissed, and spoiled rotten.
I wondered to myself, to the Lord, if we had made the right decision in letting her go. I cannot begin to tell you, though I have tried, how my heart was ripped to shreds when we left Ember for the last time in her NICU bed. I will never forget the last time we spent time with her, held her, kissed her goodbye. Even though I knew God was closing that door and we were not to be her parents...I still felt torn in half when we left. Even though I could see how incredibly loved she would be by her foster mom, even though I trusted that God would take care of her, that He was telling us our time with her was done, it couldn't erase all of my doubts, all of my fears. What if they didn't love her the way we loved her? What if no one ever would?
When we heard Ember was going to be adopted, my heart leapt. I was just so happy for her. So relieved that she would have a real family of her own. I thought to myself what an amazing family it must be, to not only be called to adopt a baby like Ember, but to be obedient to that calling. What were they like? I wondered about them a lot. I knew they had to be believers, I just knew it, but I didn't know anything, really. So I just wondered...
A couple of weeks after Jones was born, I finally got around to updating our adoption case worker that he had been born healthy and perfect. I sent some pictures, thanked her for her prayers and support with everything we'd been through with them, and then I asked about Ember. I was sure I wouldn't get any new information, but lately I had just been so consumed with wondering if she was still alive, or had passed away. So I asked, and was hopeful they'd release at least that much information to me.
Not long after, I got a response saying that Ember had passed away last month ( I later learned she died just two weeks after Jones was born), after being adopted into a wonderful family out of state.
And I cried.
I cried because she had been loved, in a family, until the day she died. I cried because she was gone. I cried because she was whole. I cried because I knew, on some level, the pain Ember's family must be feeling, having to bury their baby girl.
But I was finally at peace, knowing she was safely in the arms of her Father, knowing she had been loved all her life, knowing she had never been alone. I didn't know any details, and I didn't expect I ever would. And that was okay.
But God is way too awesome for okay...
Last week the adoption agency sent me a quick email, letting me know they had asked if they could share the blog of the family who adopted Ember with me, and they said yes. The email also said to have some tissues handy. :)
My heart absolutely bounced out of my chest! I immediately clicked on the link to the blog, wondering what I would find, hoping and praying there would be pictures, ready to pour over every single detail. My very first thought when I opened the blog...
They had named her Clara! That was her name! I was so, so happy to finally know her name. We had wondered for months and months what her new name was, and now we knew, and it just felt so good to know that! Like this huge mystery was solved, a giant piece to a puzzle put into place. Clara. What a pretty name.
I clicked through the blog at warp speed. There were so many pictures of her! She was so beautiful! I studied her family, they were amazing! Her mommy so obviously loved her so very much. She had brothers and sisters! She had a daddy to love her the way only daddies can love little girls. She was part of a family. She was part of a huge community of believers that loved and doted on her! She was fiercely loved while she was here, and she was so obviously fiercely missed now that she was gone.
I knew I had to try and get in touch with Clara's mom, just to let her know that I existed, that Clara had been loved from the moment she was born, that we had watched over her and protected her and held her every minute we could. That we made absolutely sure she was going to be well cared for before we said goodbye. I wanted to let her know that I loved her too...but I didn't know how to write that without sounding like a crazy! But I tried anyway, and I left a comment on the blog. And then I waited...
Clara's mommy is named Tami, and she is such an amazing woman of the Lord. You can tell that by the words she writes on her blog, by the way she loves her family, by the way she obeyed the calling to bring Clara home and spoil her the way every baby girl deserves to be spoiled. Tami got in touch with me after my comment, and I have been so blessed to be able to share with her our small part in Clara's life, as well as learn all about her life with her forever family.
If you would like to visit the blog and learn more about Clara and the HUGE impact she had on this world while she was here, please click here. It will take you to Tami's blog. Like I was told before, have some tissues ready! You will need them!!! Tami also put a link to some pictures of our time with Ember, I never put many on this blog because I wasn't sure how her new family might feel about that, but now that I have her permission, you can view those pictures by clicking here. If you want, leave Tami a comment on how Clara (Ember) touched your life in some way. I'm sure it would mean the world to her.
God is so good. He loves that baby girl so much, and used her short life to impact so many. I am so incredibly blessed to be one of the lives Clara touched while she was here. I'm so thankful He allowed me to find out what happened to her.
If you think of it, this family could definitely use your prayers right now as they grieve the loss of their daughter. Clara might be in a better place, but that doesn't mean she isn't sharply missed by many here on earth.
I hope you enjoy pouring over Tami's blog as much as I have! What a miracle that baby was. We knew from the moment we laid eyes on her that she was destined for big, big things.
We were right.