Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sharing it All

I'm sure you've noticed that we haven't posted a full body picture of our precious Amelia Jane publicly yet. We have shared these pictures with close friends and family and obviously those who have met her in person have seen all of her complexity.

I haven't been ready to share these pictures before now because I want to protect her. I want to protect her with everything in me from becoming a spectacle.

We knew before she was born that she would have many anomalies. We were called late Monday the 16th, and simply told that she had been born, was stable and they had taken her to x-ray. We had the most restless night of our lives until the next morning when we could finally meet her. No one prepared us for what we were about to see.

Before I became a mom 14 years ago, I wondered what emotions I would feel when I met my baby for the first time. I loved her from the moment I knew she was growing inside of me, but when the doctor placed a crying, red-headed Averie Elizabeth into my scared, unsure arms, instant, pure, unexpected, life changing love happened. It happened again with Austin Kathleen 3 years after that and with Atalie Layton 7 years after that.

The exact same instant, pure, unexpected, life changing love happened on Tuesday the 17th when I laid  my eyes on Amelia Jane even though she did not grow inside my womb and even though she looked nothing like I expected.

I knew she would be beautiful. I knew I would love her. I did not expect her legs to be wrapped around the back of her body and touching her head. But she was still beautiful and I still loved her and I was still thrilled about the opportunity to raise her.

Her sisters and grandparents and aunts and uncles and our friends all wanted to see pictures.

So I sent them pictures of her precious and perfect face and gorgeous hair.

I sent them the pretty.  I needed to process the rest.

The doctors had never seen anything like her. I couldn't fathom how her little body could even grow in the shape that was before my eyes. I was scared of what people would say about her, think about her. Would they love her like I love her?

One by one they started seeing her in person, grandparents, sisters, aunts, uncles, closest friends, and they each fell instantly in love with her too. They stood by her crib, took a moment to understand the complexity of her nature and adored her. I was both ashamed for doubting that they would do anything less and more assured of our future together in raising her with each visitor.

Our precious, brave, sweet, Amelia Jane has come so incredibly far since the day we met her two weeks ago. I have realized that by keeping these first pictures of her to ourselves we are keeping one of the most beautiful and most important parts of her story, the proof of God's healing power to ourselves. The power of prayer is real. You have earnestly prayed for her healing, so as hard as it is for me to post these, you deserve to see the proof of those prayers.

This is Amelia on 9/18 the day we arrived in Charlotte.

This is Amelia on 9/23 at one week old.

And this is Amelia yesterday, 9/30 at two weeks old. 

God is good. So immeasurably good. At birth, I was convinced that they would have to remove her tiny legs from her body for her to grow. I didn't think she could be as straightened out at one year as she was at one week and at two weeks she is even more impressively straight.

Faith, Jaime. God hasn't brought us this far to leave us now.

The road ahead seems very long and narrow at times.

Then I look at that first picture. Faith.

He can do anything.

He may heal her completely. He has already done so much in two weeks.  If he does, I will praise His Holy name. The doctors tell us there is no chance of that. They say she won't ever stand, walk or use her arms or hands. They also are shocked every time they pull back her blankets and see how far she has come from the day before, so I remind them who the Ultimate Healer is. We have shared the Gospel with more people in two weeks than we ever have in our whole lives and we are in ministry, so if the Lord needs to leave her broken for His Kingdom purpose, I will still praise His Holy name because I have seen what a magnificent testimony my tiny broken vessel is for Him.

Thank you for praying. Thank you for loving. Thank you for sharing this story for Christ's glory.  God has orchestrated each detail of it so beautifully that even the parts that hurt are worth it. We are excited about how far He has brought us and excited about where He is taking us, wherever that may be.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11


April Emery said...

She is so beautiful, Jamie. How do you keep from eating her up!

And the pictures you shared impacted me so much ... who are we to say what God can or can't do? He has already proved Himself through this precious life.

So happy for you guys! So glad Amelia is surrounded by such great love!

Anonymous said...

What a powerful testimony! Such a story of the Lord's faithfulness and healing not only in your baby girl's life but probably in each of your lives. Keep writing and sharing. I'm inspired!

Susan High said...

Jaime... Have you read Ezekiel 37 recently? I thought about those verses in relation to Amelia...
He can do anything.
Thank you for sharing the miracle she already is.
Hugs to all of you!
We love and adore you!

Charlotte Laney said...

Jaime, my first thought when seeing Amelia's photos was: "She's unfolding just like a beautiful rose." God's mercies are new every morning!

Scott said...

Awesome! Just AWESOME! Still praying for y'all!

Mary Lytle said...

Sweet Jaime,
I have no words, only tears. Tears of joy over the birth and life of Amelia, one of God's most special blessings. Tears of adoration over her unique beauty. Tears of sorrow that she must suffer any affliction or distress in her life. Tears of gratitude that there is, in this wayward world, the Brown family, full of love, mercy, and grace. Tears of concern that you will be able to meet every challenge with wisdom and strength. And tears of awe that our God, in His mysterious and glorious way, is able to take Amelia Jane Brown's story and use it in an incredible way.
I love you all.


Wow! Amazing and 'yet' not...we serve a miraculous God who chooses to do His Will towards those who follow Him- how many lives could possibly be changed by watching 'Gods' love through you :-)

geraldine said...

GOD IS SO GOOD - ALL THE TIME!!! And He is showing us those words are so true thru the life of precious Amelia. "Nothing is impossible with God" Thank you and Nate for sharing this little miracle with the rest of the world. I can't wait to hear Amelia give her testimony one day in the future. WOW!!! love ya all bunches. Give Amelia a kiss from "deandean".

Sallie Pettigrew said...

I, too, believe in God's miracles, Jaime. Your decision to share Amelia's story will change other's lives...for me, it is always good to have hear again and again the practice of hope, faith and love.With much admiration, I will be praying for you and your family.

Diane Teague said...

Read your blog today through Tiffany. I hope it is okay if I follow you. God also brought a very special miracle in my life through adoption (a long waited granddaughter). God is so good. One of my daughters was born with a foot that was much like your precious Amelia. God healed it with no surgery. Aren't we glad God knows more then doctors or us. Praying for your precious gift.

Delana said...

Precious story and beautiful child! Praying for His marvelous, compassionate, healing touch on her life and the lives of everyone she touches!

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Came here from Bumps, Bruises and Grace. What a beautiful baby girl you have and her transformation in just a few short weeks is nothing less than miraculous! Praise the Lord! I will join you in prayer for your sweet baby!

Christie takes on Korea said...

She is gorgeous and look what she's already come through. How amazing. I'm watching her grow and your journey even from across the ocean. I hope to meet your little angel when I come home.
God bless,
Christie Halstead

Phylia Smith said...

She is more than beautiful. He created her and knew her before she was born. He will be with her and you each step of the way. She is so worth loving and sharing! We love you and sweet Amelia too! Can wait to give her hugs and kisses!

Janet Sherbert said...

This little miracle is just amazing! I love reading your blog, and my heart is touched not only by Amelia's story, but by the amazing talent you have for the written word! You were a gifted writer, even in my class in third grade, but your gifts...combined with divine inspiration from the God you so faithfully serve...is nothing short of a best seller! You should consider taking your blog and writing a book one day.