Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Koa : How Great Is Our God

Once upon a time, on a sunny day in July, a beautiful baby boy was born. There was a call made to our daughter-in-love ... this baby needed a temporary home. Coincidentally - or providentially - she was already there at the hospital, just doors down from this sweet little baby. She had just watched the birth of another beautiful boy - her nephew - just hours before. In fact, her sister wrote her a card the night before, thanking her ahead of time for being there for the birth of her son...and promising her that her "baby sent from the stars" would soon be in her arms. She knew that God would be faithful to answer the prayers of so many ...




It would be two days until our son and his wife could go pick up their new foster baby from the hospital. But because of the circumstances surrounding the birth of their son - because they loved him like a son from the first moment they held him - he would stay in the nursery with his (soon to be ) cousin. And surprisingly - or providentially - our daughter-in-love's mom was able to visit her other grandson in the nursery ... and peek over at the beautiful baby boy who was born on the very same day. Baby Brock had some blood sugar issues, which required him to stay in the nursery ... my husband (a pastor) was called in to pray for him. And wonderfully -  or providentially - he was able to peek over at the beautiful baby boy who would bear his name.






So what are the odds that these "twin cousins" would be born on the same day.. at the same hospital .. to sisters who are best friends ? And what are the odds that Baby Brock would require time in the nursery, allowing for grandparents to view the other baby boy - the one who would become their grandson ?












Through the course of a year, it became obvious that Baby K would not be going home to live with his birth mother. Jason and Naomi brought him home from the hospital, and poured all the love into him they could. It wasn't difficult - in fact, they fell more in love with him as each day passed. His cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents did too ... nobody wanted to think about a time when Baby K would leave our family.

As foster care goes, there were ups and downs.. too many to count. There was talk about Baby K joining his birth mother, and for a long time his birth father began the process as well, from across the country, to regain rights to his son. Although he'd never met Baby K, he wanted to know that he would be raised by people who loved him like their own. It was impossible for him to know or believe this, living so far away.

And as each day passed, and Baby K grew older, the thought of losing him became more unbearable. Jason and Naomi did everything they could to accommodate the court's desire to unite children with their birth families... but it was breaking their hearts.

Because sometimes families are made a different way. Sometimes, the things that make a child your own are more than cells and blood and DNA... sometimes the things that make a family are the million little things that make up our days : the morning kisses and smiles over breakfast... the playtime routines, and nap time snuggles... the bedtimes rituals, and singing, and prayers, and all the firsts : cooing and rolling over and teething and sitting up and crawling and pulling to stand and standing alone and walking and playing ... and saying those first words - mama, and dada. Because they were his mama and daddy, and it was so evident to everyone who knew this little family. He was their son, and as time went by, they prayed and prayed, and prayed again, that he would always remain so.






There was talk - a plan - of a plane trip to New York. The case worker didn't think Baby K would handle that well... he was old enough to know that his whole world was changing, but not old enough to understand why. The case worker suggested Jason make the trip with Baby K, and she would join them to ensure everything went smoothly.

Can I tell you that there were more than a few midnight prayers said by all  - countless nights where sleep was impossible, imagining that plane trip, and what would lie beyond ... life without Baby K ?

Life without his beautiful little smile, his sweet little voice yelling, "Nana and Papa's house !!" whenever our children brought him over to play ? Life without his cousins, who loved him fiercely and didn't understand why anyone would want to change the way things were ?






There were midnight prayers, and daylight prayers, and 24 hour prayer chains, and corporate prayers, and church prayers, and prayers in our cars, and prayers on our knees, and prayers where sometimes all we could do was fall on our pillows and cry - cry hard out to God for a miracle for Baby K. We wanted what was best for Baby K, and we believed with all our hearts that best meant right where he was... with the only parents he had ever known. It's hard sometimes, to pray for what you want - but still trust God that He knows what is best. Because sometimes what we want is not always best, and sometimes life just doesn't bring you to the place you thought you were meant to be.

And so we prayed.  We prayed for God's will, and for His best, and we prayed that our hearts wouldn't be broken in the process. We prayed that Baby K would know -wherever he was - that he was loved, and loved fiercely.

One day, last June - just hours before I got the news that my beloved dad had stepped into eternity - a hearing was held for Baby K. Unexplainably - or providentially -  in the middle of proceedings to unite Baby K with his birth mother, she changed her mind. She told her lawyer and the court that she wanted Baby K to remain with the family who had raised him - the only family he knew. She said this would be the best thing for her son - to be raised by the ones he called Mommy and Daddy.

And the next day, coincidentally - or providentially - his birth father called from New York. Without any previous indication that he was willing to relinquish his rights as a parent, he told the courts that this was just what he wanted to do. He said he trusted that Baby K was exactly where he needed to be - that he knew he would be safe and loved by the people who had loved him from the day he was born.



Miracle of miracles of miracles.


So this little four minute video that Tyler stayed up til midnight with me putting together ... these four minutes are the finishing touches on a story created by God.

It began two and a half years ago on a sunny day in July... and although it had twists and turns, and faith-building chapters and heart wrenching plot twists, it ended in beauty and grace... on a sunny day in March.

In fact, it was March  the 7th, which is coincidentally - or providentially - the birthday of Baby K's beloved Auntie Kenzie.







And without further ado, here is Koa Benjamin Mahalen Rice's adoption day story...

How great is our God !!!





Koa: How Great Is Our God from patti rice on Vimeo.

31 comments:

Kathy McElhaney said...

That video had me bawling, Patti! So happy for your family. Koa is one blessed little boy. How GREAT is our God!

goldenleaves said...

Oh, I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes. How great, indeed!

Rachael said...

Congratulations on your new grandson! What a lovely story. Enjoy your lives with him.

Lisa said...

Beautiful!!

Danielle said...

Ug. Killed me there. More than the actual day.... Those words...: the back story... The video. Absolutely precious. Someone should send this link to the judge, and the case worker, and the casa worker. They need to see this!!'

Raelyn said...

Patti....
First things first. Your title of this Blog post automatically put the worship song "How Great is Our God" in my head!! Loving it, loving it!! ;-D
Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. This post has touched my deepest, most heartfelt emotions.... ;)
Miracles of miracles of miracles indeed!! Wow. Just.... Wow!! ;-D
How old is Koa? 1 1/2? 2? Just wondering.... ;)
Congrats, congrats, congrats!! How great, how great is our God!! ;-D
--Raelyn

mindy m. said...

Praise the Lord- He is so GREAT!

Heather said...

Oh my Patti ... this is AMAZING!!! I started following you right after Lily was born and was obviously then linked to Naomi through you and your request for prayers for them. I have continued following you both because of your strong faith in God and the fact that I love your families and you always seem to make me laugh, giggle or "feel like a normal mother". Thank you for all of that! "How Great is Our God" is one of my favorite songs and coincidentally (I honestly don't believe in coincidences)- or providentially - is one of the songs we sang at church this past Sunday. I am so very, very happy for all of you. I have already shared this post and video and I will continue to share it because it is a true testimony of HOW GREAT OUR GOD IS!!! Love to you all from Michigan. xoxox

Jenna said...

So very touching! Thank you for sharing! I am pregnant and bawling! :)

Liz/happymommy said...

SO very, very GREAT!!! Thank You so much for sharing this Beautiful story, I am so happy for Jason and Naomi and sweet baby K! You are all truly blessed!

Jenny said...

I have no words. Koa's story is an amazing journey of Love and Faith. It was beautiful to read and I was in tears through the entire video. Congratulations Rice family :)

cindie nunez said...

sob sob sob sob sob!!! Im in awe!!!!

Kiara Buechler said...

God Bless Koa's bio parents for making the right decision. Congratulations!

cara said...

Tears!!!! Amazing video!

I never knew about him being born on the same day as Naomi's sister. That is just beyond words. I am SO thrilled for your beautiful children and your whole family. And he even looks like a perfect mixture of Jason and Naomi!!! xoxo

Jpalazzolo said...

A beautiful story, so happy for your family!!! Xo

Kelly Marin said...

Beautifully done , what an amazing God we have , and what an amazing privilage it is to see God answer Prayer love you all
Kelly

Kelly Marin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ginny said...

So amazing, congratulations! I am so happy for you all!

Leisa Powell said...

I have tears of joy in my eyes ... such blessings!

Mariah said...

I tried so hard not to cry while watching this...but I failed! So so SO happy for Koa and Jason and Naomi, and you, and everyone! Truly, our God is great!

Jessamy said...

Ah I just cried my eyes out watching that! beautiful story, and so wonderful to have this to relive the day and what a reminder of God's faithfulness.

Jessamy

www.this-leaking-vessel.blogspot.com

kate kopp said...

How awesome - I agree -How great is our God! Truly a miracle! Full on tears here! I love that song too! Thanks for sharing Patti!

EN said...

Thank you for pointing out how family is so much more than DNA. What a miraculous journey and a beautiful testament of faith.

linda said...

Thanks so much for sharing that Patti.....it is such a beautiful story! Congratulations to all of you!!

Laura Luyt said...

tears streaming... what an incredible and yet so simple and beautiful story. May God richly bless the parents who share your beautiful little grandson's DNA for their unselfish and incredibly loving decision. And God bless your beautiful and loving family. I have just fallen in love with you guys since happening upon you all on Instagram. Big love to you and yours... and Lord, let me meet this mama one day. (Kelly Cach is a very dear faraway friend of mine, too.)
P.S. You don't know this, but I realized this morning I consider you as something of a Christian mentor. Yes, I do. So thank you. and God bless. (xo).

Leah Freeman said...

I'm in tears that blog and video were so beautiful and it's so lovely to be reminded just how wonderful our God really is!! I'm so happy koa was able to stay with this beautiful family!lots of love all the way from Australia.

Katrina said...

So, so very close to our story. I remember telling Naomi about it at Disneyland that day. How we got the call for our sweet Nevaeh and her birthday was the same day as my son's...coincidentally or providentially. How we picked her up the next day on my sister's birthday...coincidentally or providentially. How we raised her for almost 2 years and thought she was going back and even dropped her off at the halfway house for weekends and how right before court her parents called July 18th and asked us to adopt her and how we met Natasha for the firs time on July 18th.....coincidentally or providentially leaving me to believe that God is in the details and no matter how bleak our situation with Natasha looks there is something important about that date. Oh, and Nevaeh's adoption was finalized on my brother's birthday...coincidentally or providentially. I call these dates God hugs that he gives to help us remember he loves us. I could not be happier for your family. So from one foster mama to another, please hug Naomi for me and please keep praying for Natasha to come home because I do not believe her story is over.

Vanessa Hopkins said...

I know you all feel blessed to have him but how blessed is Koa to be part of your wonderful family and Gods family through you. Im also adopted and i have been able see Gods hand through the prosess of my adoption and salvation. Thanks for blessing us with your dedication to share these things!

Faith Kopp said...

What a blurry video. OK OK so I watched it through tears of joy. Yes, our God is an AWESOME God. Let us keep praying but prayers of thanksgiving.

Amy said...

Just watched this today- honestly, I'd wanted to wait until I had some time to myself bc (as I anticipated) it left me in tears. Such a beautiful family- all of you :)

Jen said...

Love the video he put together! What an amazing day! LOVE Jermiah 29:11