Saturday, September 3, 2011

One Month

Dear Caden,

It's hard for me to believe that one month ago today you came into our lives. Somehow it feels like you have been a part of our family forever, like your surgery and the nightmarish days in the ICU were a lifetime ago. And yet, you've only been home with us for two weeks, and I feel like there's just no way you can already be a whole month old. You're not really even a "newborn" anymore, and I'm a little sad because I feel like I missed it. I hope you know how much we would have cuddled you. How many times we would have let you sleep in our arms. Your daddy adores cuddling his little babies, and I just know that every time he holds you it eases his fears and soothes the hurt we felt at watching you go through so much.

You've experienced more in the past month than I can even imagine. And yet, you're such a trooper, such a sweet baby. I am so so proud to call you mine. I know that God has saved you for a great purpose.

While I was pregnant with you, there were a few days where I bled pretty heavily. I cried a lot those days, terrified I was losing you. I was just reminded of something my dear friend Courtney (who you met while you were in the ICU) sent me during that scary time:

"The Stanleys' baby is your chosen child.  You love and honor this baby, and have created him/her purposefully for your glory.  Whether the baby lives five weeks in the womb or five decades twice over, this child exists to bring You glory.  This child does, and always will, love You and seek to honor You."

She also included this verse from Hosea 6:1 "for he [God] has torn us, that he may heal us;  he has struck us down, and he will bind us up." 

I get goosebumps just reading those words again, and realizing anew how perfectly you are made. How even something that might seem "broken" or "defective" is not. It's all a part of His perfect plan, and you are certainly being used to bring glory to our God.

And do you know something else? Your daddy and I both know that we are better people already for having been entrusted you for the past month. We wouldn't change a single thing about you. Not even your heart. Because then you wouldn't be our Caden. You've made me a braver person than I've ever been before. You've brought me to my Father's arms and deepened my faith. You have changed our family, and all of our lives.

As much as I wish I could have spared you the pain (and spared your daddy and I the hurt and fear too), I know now how impossible it is to separate pain from joy. How sorrow and brokenness walk hand-in-hand with joy. Walking through the darkest place I've ever been has only made the light brighter. Your life is vibrant already because of all you've been through.

I am so proud of how big you're getting. How strong you are. How unwilling you are to give up. I could take some lessons from your fighting spirit, and I think I'm already a stronger person after spending only a month with you.

I am holding you close even as I type this (slowly) with one hand. I can feel your heart beating against mine, and I an amazed. Not only at the miracle that is proclaimed with every beat of your heart, but also at the picture you are for me of the Father's love. Because I know that as I hold you, and our hearts beat together, the Lord is holding both of us. And our heartbeat is becoming ever more in tune with His.

I love you more than you can ever know,


  1. Such sweet words to such a sweet little boy. I loved the part about feeling his heart beat...amazing.

  2. What a beautiful letter that Caden will cheerish forever! The last part of your letter where you said both of your hearts beating together and becoming more in tune with God is just beautiful. I pray for you guys daily and am so glad to hear such great news, Caden is one month old!!!! God is amazing!

  3. Sweet friend... I just find myself wanting to go back and re-read "Hinds Feet on High Places" every time I read one of your entries. I think I will do that this week. "Much Afraid" walked hand in hand with Suffering and Sorrow, and what she discovered at the end changed my entire view of this journey we call "life". I cannot.. CANNOT imagine a better mama for Caden. And I am so glad to see you claim him as perfect, because he is. Created in God's image.. knit together as God saw fit, for his own unique purpose. And therefore... perfect. Oh God... thank you SO much for placing this boy where he is, so that we can ALL see that you bind our wounds, you heal us, and most of all, you USE us in whatever state we are in. You work best through broken vases, because only then can You put us together again in Your image...
    xoxox... love you, Stanleys!

  4. So beautiful!! Thanks for sharing! When God breathed life into your Caden He had you in mind!! Be blessed beauty~

  5. So beautiful dear. I am grateful beyond words that we are rejoicing in celebrating one month with this dear little one.

  6. This is just beautiful! I have been following your blog since Caden's birth. I also have a heart baby who had open heart surgery at two weeks old to repair a critical aortic coarctation. So many times you articulate exactly what I am feeling. Your faith is inspiring and your honesty is refreshing! I am celebrating one month alongside you. Praise be to God!!

  7. Happy one month Caden. You are one special little boy :)


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