Email response: Charlotte's Memorial

I attended the *C* family's celebration of life for little Charlotte. The photos taken at her birth was some of the most touching photos I have ever seen. This child was someone real and made such an impact on so many. The service was very sweet and helped to heal the anger some of us are feeling about her death. Some of us expected a full miracle ending with a live child. Confused why God would stop at a healing of her body and not giving her life.

It was proposed to me that maybe Charlotte was given the choice of staying here or being with Christ. Nice to think that this outcome may have been hers, choosing to be with her family in heaven when the time was right. Quite a few people had wonderful comments about Christine and B. Their strength and faith is such an example to me. I want to be like Christine when I spiritually grow up.

I know that they have been so blessed by everyone's prayers and efforts to assist. Please keep in mind that their needs are far from over.

Love and Hugs,
Karen



Message about Baby Charlotte and Christine

I know most of you have been notified about Christine having Baby Charlotte on Dec. 7th. She was beautiful, I have been told, and perfectly formed--a miracle from God.

Sadly, she wasn't appointed more time on Earth for us to hold and love her. She is with our Lord in heaven. I look forward to the day when we will get to meet her. Please continue to pray for Christine and and their entire family. My faith has forever been changed by the faithfulness demonstrated throughout the entire story of Charlotte's life. I will never be the same. We serve an amazing God!

I pray that you will all be held in his comfort and peace and that
your relationship with Him will grow stronger each day।

Celeste


More Results ... (Aug 2nd)

This is another email I sent out which explains more. It's a little

long...Sorry
*****************************************************************
"You have hedged me from behind and before, and laid your hand upon
me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, I cannot attain it."
Ps 139:5-6

Today has been rough. I am sorry to you whom I have not called
privately, but after a couple of explanations I could not bear it
any longer. The sobs on the other end of the phone hurt me like the
sting of my own tears, so for now I can only handle an email.

Brian and I went in for the ultrasound today and received very
disturbing news. It seems as though the baby is showing to have some
problems with her heart. I will be explaining everything here as I
recollect, but please bear in mind that we are stunned and I could
only absorb so much. I am definitely a "glass half full" kinda girl
so I am keeping hope that it will all be worked out. This is not to
say that I am only hearing what I want to, but I have to trust that
the Lord knows what he is doing even if I don't have a clue.

"For you formed my inward parts, you covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, Marvelous
are your works and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not
hidden from you, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought
in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance yet
being unformed." Ps. 139 13-16

First of all, there is an issue with her brain. There are areas that
are supposed to be fluid filled, but it appears that there are some
cysts (Choroid Plexus Cysts-CPCs) in there that are pushing the
fluid out. These cysts are not the kind that grow and cause pressure
on her brain, in fact, there is a possibility that they can 'clear-
up' on their own. In sever cases the child will have major
deformities with their hands/arms/legs and feet, looking like they
are all twisted up. Our little girl does NOT have that. The Dr. was
pleased to see that her fingers and toes were as they should be.
There is still cause for concern however, because she has a
large 'hole' in her heart (Tetraology of Fallot-TOF). If these two
issues were independent of each other, it would be a little easier
(as her mom) to deal with. But in this case, because there is the
heart issue, along with the brain issue, the Doctors are concerned
that there could be a chromosomal defect, such as Down's Syndrome or
worse. The 'or worse' is what we do not know.

One way that we could find out if it chromosomal is to have an
amniocentesis. There are a couple of reasons why we are opting NOT
to do this; being: 1.) It's too invasive 2.) It would not change our
love for our baby.

I have a blood disorder, if you will, being Rh-. This means I do not
have a certain protein sheathing my blood cells ( this is not new
information for me, as I've had to take extra precautions during
each pregnancy). But if my blood and the baby's blood crosses, it
could be devastating. An amnio increases that likelihood of it
crossing because a needle would be inserted into my bellybutton and
pierce thru the amniotic sac to collect fluid for testing . Although
the Dr. says it isn't a big concern, I do not want to take that
chance. Also, doing an amnio in general carries a chance of inducing
miscarriage or preterm labor (depending on gestational age) which is
also devastating. But more than anything I believe that she is being
skillfully wrought and that I need to trust that Jesus' hands are
upon her. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't worth the risk
for me. Besides, all it will show is if there is a chromosomal
defect, not the degree of such an issue, so we still would not know
if/ how severe any mental retardation would be. Some of the
possibilities of a chromosomal defect after Down's would be Trisomy
18 or something of that sort. But things that are indicative of
Trisomy 18 include a cleft lip/pallet and more, which I can not
recall. The Dr. has said we do not have a cleft, nor the
abnormalities of the twisted hands etc.

So as to the "glass half full" part of me, I am clinging to the
cysts possibly clearing up and the heart not being as bad as they
think. The genetic counselor says it sometimes happens that things
clear up on their own and babies are born that were once thought to
have major issues in-utero, with no signs of problems after birth.
We are not in denial over this news, but we covet the prayers of
those who are asking for mercy and a healthy baby. God is the God of
Miracles, and he hears YOU!

With the remaining time in my pregnancy the Dr. thinks things should
go as "normal". The team I will be followed by includes my regular
Ob/Gyn, a Perinatalogist (high risk specialist) and a Pediatric
Cardiologist. I have an appointment on Wednesday to see the
Cardiologist who will give the baby an echocardiogram (more fancy
ultrasound) to see the severity of the heart problem. Then, I will
be tracked by the others in Sacramento with more ultrasounds and
things like that. They did tell me that I will deliver in Sacramento
because that is where the best care can be given to us, and more
than likely I will have a C-section because the stress may be too
much on her heart. It's funny (well, not really) that my biggest
fear is to have a C-section and the Lord is asking me to trust him
in this as well. What a test.

Brian in all of this is not doing so great. I know that it is not my
fault, but I kept telling him that I am sorry. After all, she is in
my body, and I can not protect her. He just sat in the chair tonight
holding Mathias and smelling the blankie of Zack. Sounds gross, but
it is a sweetness you can relate to if you have a kid with a
blankie.

Airenne too is shaken. She cried a lot and prayed for mom. That was
nice. Zachariah is wondering why I'm crying, as I don't usually do

it in front of him and Mathias is being the sweetie pie he always is

and busies himself with literally kissing the tears off my face. (I
think he likes the saltiness).
I am in a tail spin as crying has dried me up.

I've looked for some info on the web as to these conditions and was
actually encouraged. But mostly, I am going to wait on Him. Please
pray for our family, for all of us, even baby Charlotte Nicole.
Daddy picked that one.

Love to you all,
Christine


It's a GIRL (July 31st)

Hello all of my MOPS friends! I had my first "real" ultrasound this morning and was very pleased with the results. The tech says we're expecting a baby GIRL!! As most of you know, there is 13 years between this baby and my daughter (with 2 boys in between) so needless to say, we're pretty excited.

I know that sometimes things are too soon to tell and I may have to
schedule another exam in a couple of weeks because everything was
small, but there weren't any "boy" parts yet, and the tech said she
believes she saw 'girl parts'. So I'll hold to that for a while:)

Just wanted to share he good news with all of my friends.
Hope you all have a great week,
Christine


Call from Genetics (Aug 1st)

This is a portion of an email I sent to our family and friends this afternoon. I don't have it in me at the end of today to call/email everyone individually, so I am posting this to my friends in MOPS who can understand a mother's heart... *******************************************************************
SO we went from no news yesterday to some urgent prayers needed today.

As I sat this morning to read the "well wishes" and replies from my
email yesterday, I got a call from the genetics dept at Kaiser. The
conversation started off ok until the woman asked if my Dr has
shared the results from the ultrasound with me. I told her no and
after what she said, well, let's just say I was glad to be already
sitting.

She told me that I need to come into Sacramento tomorrow for a Level
2 ultrasound because there were some things on the first one that
weren't showing as they should. The first is the baby's heart. They
could not make out the 4 chambers and see the flow as they should.
The baby's brain also isn't the size it should be and the fluid
levels are not accurate either. Lastly, there seems to be a lot of
fibroids (cysts) in the placenta. Whew! Between drying my eyes and
trying to accurately pass on the information I was given, I feel
exhausted today.

The genetic tech says we will meet with her first to go over family
medical history and that we will have the results of tomorrows test
before we leave. They will have a specialist there that will review
everything and that can answer any questions we have.

Brian will be taking the day off to go with me (naturally) but he
called on his way home from work today and told me that his heart
hurts. Mine too. So please, pray for God's mercy on our family, a
clear reading of the test and peace for us. There is a chance that
the baby is so small that the initial readings may be skewed. I hope
that is the case. But I will let you know after we get home as to
what is happening.

Love to all,
Christine


Cardiologist Update (Aug 9th)

We had our first meeting with the Cardiologist on Wednesday. All things considered, the information she gave us was pretty much expected. Little Charlotte does indeed have a hole in her heart, which in relation to the size of her heart is pretty large.

The doctor informed me that it is most likely repairable with after birth surgery, which will be done at UCSF. She is confident in the surgical team there and will also work closely with our pediatrician, whom she already knows well.

Upon our introductions, she asked me what I already knew about this
condition. I told her everything I have learned over the past week
(which of course via the internet is a lot!) and that the Genetics
Counselor also made mention of the cysts the baby has in her brain.
I was taken aback when she said that the Counselor told her that she
was concerned about Trisomy 18. I knew that was something to be
considered, but to hear that she was actually concerned about it
scared me. I have been in contact with the Counselor and she told me
that according to the ultrasound the baby doesn't have the other
traditional "markers" or "soft markers" for this chromosomal defect.
These things typically include severe malformations of the
hands/feet, head, face and inner organs not to mention sever mental
retardation. The most devastating facet of this disorder is that the
life expectancy for these babies is 12-18 months. This is what the
first doctor had meant when she said that there was another
disorder 'more significant' than Down's Syndrome.

Things that we are able to "check off" the long list of Trisomy 18
conditions (also called Edward's Syndrome) are: no spina bifida, all
vertebrae are aligned and accounted for, no cleft pallet/lip, no
kidney problems (at least in utero) and her hand and leg movements
are good. I guess that a typical marker is decreased fetal movement
and a drawn up nature of arms and legs, but Charlotte seems to be as
feisty as her siblings! According to ultrasound, her head is also
shaped normally and the cysts are not applying pressure or hindering
her growth or development. At my next Level II ultrasound the
doctor's will be checking to see if the cysts are shrinking, or if
it is actually one giant cyst that is spanning across both sides of
her brain instead of 2 large ones like they initially thought. The
Counselor says that no new symptoms will show up (if she doesn`t
have spina bifida she won`t "get it"), but there may be more visible
signs as the baby grows.

The final words that the Doctor said to me at the conclusion of our
appointment however, have resonated within me. She had to inform me
that if, in fact, the baby does have Trisomy 18, there "isn't a
surgeon in the country that would perform surgery, because the
other problems with these kinds of babies outweighs the benefits of
the surgery". So basically, they would send us home with our sick
baby and only manage her symptoms, but not work towards a recovery.

As I'm sure you can imagine, I have been a little weepy since then.
I am trying to keep my chin up and trust in the Lord, but this is
really stretching me. James 4:8 promises that if I draw near to the
Lord, He will draw near to me. I have felt His presence throughout
all of this, but I do sometimes feel so alone.

Testing for Trisomy 18 won't be until after Charlotte is born, taken
from her blood, and the results can take up to 2 weeks to get back.
The Cardiologist also expects that the baby will be in the hospital
longer than average, at maybe 2 weeks (or more depending on her
health) to be on medication to help her heart valve to stay open.
This presents a tangible challenge as that we will have to
coordinate babysitters for the boys and arrange for hotel stays and
things like that in both Sacramento, where she will be delivered and
San Francisco, where she will have her surgery. It seems surreal,
but for those of you who know me well, I do worry about these things
as I want to plan and be prepared. That seems to be the crux of this
situation, for me at least. I am so intimately involved in this, but
so completely out of any kind of control. All I can do is truly wait
on the Lord to move.

"...I will trust in the mercy of God forever and ever, I will praise
You forever because You have done it. And in the presence of Your
saints I will wait on your name, for it is good." Psalms 52:8-9

I was talking to a friend a couple of days ago and realized what a
privilege this is for me to be in this situation. It is the hardest
thing I have ever had to deal with by far, but to be in a position
to see the glory of God coming is exciting. Of course I would rather
not have to be hurting, I am human and this is my baby girl,
but "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and LOVE
and a sound mind. II Tim 1:7" I'm sure there are some of you reading
that must think I have gone crazy, but I haven't. I am doing the
only thing I can do right now and that is cling to God's promises.

Every day this baby grows inside me and is healthy where she is.
In that, I still ask that you, our friends and family continue to
pray, as that is the only thing that can be done at this point. I
have a while left in this pregnancy and I want to rejoice in it. I
am praying not only for healing, but for a complete miracle. It is
not too small for God to do and He wants us to believe in His might
and power, however he chooses to show it.

Thank you for your calls and emails, I have read ALL of them and I
can not tell you how they touch me. Brian is dealing with all of
this by staying totally busy with work. He is being sensitive and
tender to me and I am very thankful for that. I hope that no one is
taking it personally that we haven't returned phone calls too much.
We are just taking it very slowly. It's emotionally draining to
explain things again and again. Airenne is concerned but looking
forward to school starting as it will help her take her mind off of
it. Zach and Ty put their chubby little hands on my belly and pray
to "take away baby Char-wit's ow-ies." It's really cute.

So anyway, I apologize f these emails are long, but it is
therapeutic for me to write it out. I sincerely thank you for all of
the love given and for the offers of help.

I will keep things updated as I will see the Doc again in 3 weeks.

Ever Hopeful,
Christine


Second L2 Ultrasound...(Aug 29th)

Well, Brian and I just got home from our second ultrasound appointment with more unexpected results.

We had a new doctor come in and he was personable but very frank.
Like our last appointment, the Doctors were able to see Charlotte's
heart problem as well as the cysts. But the cysts are looking like
they are "breaking up" and "taking care of themselves". This is
good news, but what was to come is a little breath taking.

Katie, our Genetics Counselor mentioned last time that
nothing "new" would crop up on this ultra sound, but there may be
other things that did not show earlier due to the baby's size that
they may be able to detect now. That was the case this afternoon.

First I have to say thank you to whom ever must have been praying
for us at that moment (about 2 o'clock or so), because I certainly
felt the "peace that surpasses all understanding". I was a nervous
wreck this morning and found myself lagging in getting ready for my
appointment. The ride there was rough as I felt butterflies the
whole way. The technician even told me to ease my breathing a couple
of times during the test!

It was remarkable because as I sat listening to the Doctor after the test, I recognized that I was not breaking down. It was surreal! I was able to take in the information
and deal with it, but not shatter. In an instant I felt myself come
to my senses, almost like falling and realizing that I would hit the
ground. And in that moment I clearly told Jesus that I was not
letting go of Him and that He must carry me. And I soared up again,
mounted on the wings of eagles.

So the Doctor proceeded to tell us several things. First, he says
that her hands were clenched the whole time which is a typical
marker for T18 (but according to the first doctor, they had been
opened before). The other things are: a small stomach, very deep set
chin/jaw, and her umbilical cord has one artery with a vein instead
of two arteries with a vein. Now if these things were isolated they
probably would not be a big deal but as the doctor explained these
things are seemingly building on top of each other, indicating once
again, Trisomy 18 or now, possibly Trisomy 13. These conditions are
very similar, both with a fatal outcome. Most likely ending within
weeks of birth, if not in utero.

I had a lot of questions about delivery and things like that and I'm
sure the doctor must have thought I was either in denial or not
hearing everything he was saying. When I told the doctor that our
odds are 50/50 he had a perplexed look on his face (I wish I had a
camera). I told him that I understood that, statistically, the odds
were much greater, but in real life, she either has it or she
doesn't. He really seems to think I should elect to have an amnio,
as it would "give me somewhat more 'control' over what to do next", but
Brian and I still say no. We've reflected on the fact that the first
people on the face of the earth wanted to 'know more' as God knows,
and God gave them the liberty to eat of the tree of "knowledge", but
look at where it got them and what blessings they may have missed
out on because of it. I believe the greater the challenge, the
greater the glory!!

He told us that there is still a significant possibility that she my
pass away before birth and/or that if she were in distress at any
time she would have to be delivered by emergency c-section; and to
be aware that there may be severe consequences if that happened
(cutting of my bladder or intestines, greater chance of infection or
even having to have a complete hysterectomy.) I have never had a
miscarriage or anything like that, so I asked what I should expect.
He said that in either case (in utero or after birth) death would
be sudden. The baby's brain would simply stop working. He warned
Brian and I that anything is possible at this point. If she does
have T18/T13 there is a possibility that the placenta could
deteriorate anytime between now and delivery, so be watchful of no
movement or bleeding.

I have not been placed on bed rest or anything like that. They plan
to check on me again via ultrasound in about 2 months. I'm almost
wondering what's the point? We know what they know, and unless there
is stillness in my belly, I won't really get any more definite
answers. God knows what He is doing, He has plans to give us a hope
and a future.

I don't know, maybe I'll change my mind later, but that's how I see
it today. And for today, I think little Charlotte deserves some
chocolate cake.

Thank you for all of your prayers. They mean everything!

Christine

MoM to mOm

Ladies,

First if all I want to thank you for all of your continued prayers and
support during this difficult time for me and my family. The
intersession on my behalf has been phenomenal, I truly mean this. I do
have another request however...

While trying to learn more about my daughter's possible disorder, I
came across a website (more like a chat, message board) where parents
with babies with cysts on their brains come together. I have been
careful not to trust too heavily on the words of man for comfort, but
to turn to our Heavenly Father, the Creator and Sustainer of all things
to lead me in this.There was such good news on this site though that I
was encouraged!

Anyway, long story short, there is a woman on the site whom I have much
in common with. (Her name is also Christine, 4th pregnancy, Doc appt
last week said they found 3 more markers, same due date, etc) But there
are also some differences. She and her husband elected to have an
amnio and it came back positive for T18. She is now considering what
the doc's are calling a "therapeutic termination" to be performed next
week. Oh how my heart aches!

So I am asking you ladies for MORE prayer for me as I try to be a
strong witness for Christ in speaking with her some more. I don't know
her religious affiliation, but I feel like God is using my situation,
yet again, to take a stand for him.

Sometimes I wonder who He has created in me, as I feel so
little in comparison to the things He asks me to do.

So please pray that I will have the right words and the strength to
pray for this other family and that ANY decision made will glorify Him.

Thanks,
Christine Curry


More bummer news w/Letter to Medical Team (Sep. 27th)

I wish that I could say that today was great, but it wasn't. I wish I could say that I still feel great, but I don't. I'm really struggling tonite as I write this email.

I returned to the cardiologist this morning not really hopeful that
things were going to be dramatically different, but hoping that I
could make a dent on the heart of my doctor. So I set out to witness
to her, and feeling bold I spoke openly about Christ which seemed to
actually comfort me. She did the ultrasound for about an hour and a
half and then told me some things I wasn't prepared to
hear....again!

It seems that Charlotte's hole in her heart has become more
complicated by the fact that her valves are also not right.
Corrective surgery for the hole seemed simple, but now there is a
more challenging problem of having to re-direct the valves too. It's
much more delicate than just closing up the hole, it's getting the
valves lined up right and pieced together so there is adequate flow,
keeping in mind not to constrict them or leave them too loosely
open. Kind of a tricky operation. She said Charlotte could not
survive with out the surgery and they try to have it done at about 6-
9 months old, so the baby would be bigger and more healthy.Until
then, medicine would help to sustain her, but she wasn't clear if
she would be allowed to go home from then.

The twist is that because of this "new" finding within her heart,
the cardiologist says the prognosis is 'lining up more with the last
Doctors' suspicions'. Meaning they seem to think she really has T18.
The other thing that shocked me was the conversation we had about
the baby's small chin. The perinatologist had mentioned it the last
visit, but I really didn't think it was anything other than a
facial anomoly that may be kinda cute...big deal, she'll have a
small chin.

But the big deal is that if her chin is so severely pushed back that
it would interfere with her ability to breathe or swallow. It may
require corrective surgery to draw it out more or they may have to
insert a Tracheotomy in her throat so she can breathe and a feeding
tube directly into her stomach, so she can eat. These are not
definite things that are sure to happen, but they are showing up on
the ultrasound. Then again, nothing is sure...right?

You may be wondering "but didn't she give them a letter saying not
to discuss these things?" and yes, I did. But it casually came up
as she thought I already knew about that part of the small chin
problem. Needless to say, my chin was on the floor.

She finished telling me that we should expect to have what they call
a "blue baby" (most notably around her lips and such) and that she
will actually have blue tinting until her heart has been corrected.
This also means that until that time, it will affect her breathing
and she will most likely sound like she's drowning because her lungs
may get wet. Can you believe it? I can't seem to wrap my head around
this one. Especially because if she has T18, they won't do the
surgery anyway. The doctor told me that Brian and I need to discuss
how much intervention we want them to perform when she is born. I
don't even know where to go with that.

I feel like I'm about to fall apart. I don't even know how I feel. I
do not doubt that God can change things in an instant, but I'm
starting to wonder if He will. Just 2 days ago I was on top of the
world, really believing that God plans to heal her completely, now I
don't know what I believe. I KNOW that His will is perfect and
whatever He wants is for my good and His glory, but I feel like I'm
waffling.

A friend of ours has put things into words wonderfully in that I am
in a 'spiritual dog fight'. Right now I feel like I'm getting chewed
up pretty bad. It's almost debilitating. So please in your prayers
ask for mercy for me. And for Brian. This has really done a number
on him. He told me that he is not feeling close to God at all.
Things with his work are getting bad again and I just know that
Satan is using it as a distraction from Brian turning to God. He has
battled depression before and now he's worried that he won't be able
to bear things much longer. I need him to get strong, as I can't do
this alone. He always shuts himself off from things like this, not
letting others in, so please, please, keep him in prayer that he
will grow close to Jesus again and that we will be able to shoulder
this together.

I'm sure that in a few days I will see more clearly, and I am still
seeking comfort from Jesus as I know He is my Fountain.

I thank all of you who have carried me in prayer thus far. Please
keep it up!

Thank you,
Christine

*********This is the letter I gave to the Cardiologist today*******
Sept. 26, 2006


As a patient in what has been considered a high-risk pregnancy, I
wanted to request that any or all future findings that have not been
disclosed as of yet, remain in my medical records, but are not to be
discussed with me, unless there has been improvement from an initial
diagnosis.

My husband and I have been given adequate information as to the
findings of some abnormalities via ultrasound on our unborn
daughter, which have been devastating, to say the least. Her father
and I believe that the healing work that is to be done will be, by
the hands of our Savior, Jesus Christ who is tenderly knitting our
baby together in my womb. I was recently told by an associate of the
medical team who provides care for our family that no amount of hope
can change things from what has been found in the specialized tests
performed. But our family and extended network of people in prayer
for us couldn't be more aware that "rejoicing in hope, patient in
tribulation , and continuing steadfastly in prayer" can change
things, if even only perspective of the afflicted.

I would prefer not to discuss any additional findings that would be
disruptive to a harmonious expectancy of a healthy pregnancy and
delivery, however I do recognize the need for medical professionals
to be prepared in the event of an unfortunate situation. I will
allow the skilled professionals of Kaiser Permanente including
Doctors, Nurses and Specialists to treat the remainder of my
pregnancy in the capacities necessary to carry to term and deliver
accordingly, I just ask that I am allowed to have as much joy and
worry-free experiences this wonderful time in my life may bring. I
would like to have a copy of this letter included in my file and
reserve the right to ask questions at any point in time.

Sincerely,

Christine Curry


Washing the windows...

I have to say that the out-pouring of prayers and support is very touching and most sincerely appreciated. Again I have felt myself being carried to the high place because of the intercession of others.

I feel much better today, and thankfully this last "episode" only
lasted a day or so of not feeling so great, I'm almost up to where I
was a few days ago, with much excitement and anticipation over what
will happen next. I am truly in a privileged position to see God's
hand working literally in me and through me, but I can help but feel
itty-bitty in the whole scheme of things.

I'm compelled to write another lengthy note describing my journey,
but I fist have to mention that I spoke with the Genetics Counselor
today and she said that they want to see me again for what is now
a "routine" ultrasound. I mentioned to her that I have a letter for
my file in Sacramento about not wanting to know more discouraging
things. At the end of that she said then there may not be need for
me to come in again until much closer to my due date. I was really
relieved as I didn't want to go again and wonder what was being
seen, even though I said I didn't want to know. I'm a big kid that
way... can't keep my nose out of things.

Anyway, she suggested that I email her the letter today so she can
give it to my Doctor (maybe to add weight to my plea for no more
information?) I was so pleased when she replied back to my email
wondering if I wanted her to put it online, for all providers to
see, as the Sacramento Kaiser has gone techn-o with no more paper
charts. I couldn't have replied faster…YES!! I want everyone to see
in whom I trust! This has encouraged me so much today, I feel
butterflies.

But onto another key point I feel I must tell you. Very few people
have heard me tell this story, but believe me, I knew from day one I
was in for something...What I am going to explain is mostly for
those who are reading that may not see my heart for what it has
become. There are those that knew me "before" and may think that I'm
in denial or not dealing with things realistically, but rest
assured, I have never been more wide-eyed! And even in the midst of
my despair, I have not, and will not blame God or get angry with
Him for this situation. I know in my heart of hearts that whatever
happens, His will is better than what I could ever want and it will
ultimately bring Him glory. Even if I don't understand it.

Here we go…The month before I found out I was pregnant, I thought I
was. I went so far as to purchase a pregnancy test, but on the way
home from the store, I realized I wasn't pregnant at all. I was so
relieved! Dodged that bullet, so to speak. I wasn't ready for
another baby, Mathias wasn't even 2 and how could we provide for
another person... we were just getting on our feet. We have big
plans... Yeah right!

So about 2 weeks later, as I was literally on my knees (washing the
living room windows) I was humming the song "I Surrender All" and
God asked me why I boast in how much I trust Him, but not with
everything. Was I surprised! What do you mean? Of course I do. "Then
why are you so relieved to not be carrying My child? I've told you
that they are a blessing, but you see them as a burden. I told you
that I would supply your needs, but you won't trust Me to do it."
Boy was I convicted. This whole "conversation" took a while for me
to absorb, but I (since being on my knees already) raised my hands
and said I was sorry. I started singing even louder and told God, "I
surrender! USE ME! In what ever way, USE ME. I am so sorry for my
sin of mistrust, if you want me to have another child, I'll do it.
Whatever you want from me, I'll do it." Two weeks later, I found out
I was pregnant. Okay, Lord. Very funny.

In the "hum-drum" of being a stay at home mom, I've realized that I
need to be "here" in this phase of my life. If not, I would be
distracted by work or other pressures of life, but instead I've
come to know so many fundamental truths while washing windows and
dishes. Who woulda thought.

So now this stuff crops up and what am I supposed to do? Trust in
Him, that's what. When Brian and I left the doctor after the very
first ultrasound, all over me I felt "TRUST ME, TRUST ME". I didn't
get it until today why. As I was washing dishes I thought Wow! If I
would have gone ahead with the amnio, I would still have kept the
baby but really had no "hope". I would know the results and my
prayers would have possibly not been as fervent as they are now.
Sure I would have still prayed for mercy and comfort, but I would
not be in EXPECTATION of God doing amazing things. I would have
settled for what the doctors have said. Clearly this points to
Romans 8:24-25..."but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does
one hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we
eagerly wait for it with perseverance." What a promise. That's why
it just didn't feel right to do the test. Thank you Lord, for
keeping me close enough to hear your whisper.

For those who my think that I am bi-polar, having grandiose
thoughts from one extreme to another... I'm not. I just have decided
that I am not going to let the king of liars steal my joy any
longer. Sure, I am still scared in my flesh, as I do not know what
the will of God is, but I do know that we are supposed to live in
expectation of His glory and always by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving and without doubt, let Him know our desires and He will
move mountains!

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts. Sometimes I think I
should get a paper journal to keep them privately, but so many of
you respond back to me and it really is comforting. I know I'm not
alone.


Christine


Hannah's Prayer...

I wanted to let everyone know that as of today, no news is good
news.

My last doctor's appointment went well, I am now being seen every
other week. My "specialist" says she's not comfortable in seeing me
for ultrasound check-ups unless she can tell me everything she sees,
and my regular OB/GYN says he's not comfortable in seeing me because
I am high risk. Hummm...I didn't know if I should have been offended
or not, but I look at it as a small victory in that I am able to not
have to go to Sacramento yet and have actually been able to have
some peace about this whole thing. (And really, if they want to know
what uncomfortable is, I can tell them! It's trading in my lap for
swollen ankles and toes! Better yet, it's trying to keep my pants
from sliding off may backside when I walk because my
belly is so round that there is no place for the waist-band to
sit... as I hold a 2 year old in one arm and the hand of a feisty 3 year old in the other...Now that's uncomfortable!

But the last visit went well. The doc says I am measuring
accurately, which is a good sign for baby growth. I have a regular
ultrasound scheduled for the 15th and I'm sure after that they will
want me to start the trek to Sacramento weekly (for "observation").

There has been talk of inducing labor to gain more 'control' over
the situation, but I am asking for prayers that it won't be
necessary. I pray that God will allow my body to spontaneously (but
in time to get to the hospital, as it's an hour away)go into labor
and to deliver a completely healthy baby. I ask that He will prepare
my body for a smooth delivery where the Doctors will not have to
intervene, but will be spectators to an awesome display of His
glory. It's only 8 weeks to go (or less) as I'm sure they won't allow
me to go over my due date.

One night a couple of weeks ago I woke up to find myself whimpering,
as if I were having a nightmare. I recall not knowing what the dream
detailed, but I remember being sad in knowing that it was bad and about
Charlotte. I felt like the Lord was telling me to not rack my brain
in trying to remember what the dream was about and to get up and
take my Bible into the other room, as He had something to talk to me
about.

Well, I laid there for about 45 minutes or so and finally pulled
myself out of bed (it was somewhere around 3 am). I took up my Bible
and went into the living room. As I sat on the couch, I
thought "well, You might have something to say to me, but I also
have something to say to You".... and so I began to pray for
Charlotte like never before. Of course I have prayed for her before,
but really, this time was different.

I asked for healing over her entire body. Her hands, her feet, her
organs and her heart. This was especially hard for me because I know
what the Doctors think they see. I was asking for God to heal what
medically looks like a certainty. And I was earnestly looking for
Him to move. I realized that I have been telling people all about
God and how He is in this situation, but I wasn't telling Him from
my heart that I believed it. I know He is big enough to do this, and
He is still working through miracles. But was this one for me? Is it
real enough for me?

So I continued to pray and weep. And weep some more. I pleaded with
Him to allow my baby to grow up to be a strong witness for Him, to
be a person that would help others to see Him. I promised that I
would bring her up in a way that would be glorifying to Him. Until
that night, I held back in saying that because I know, as a parent
already, I have "consistency issues". I was entering into a covenant
with Him that if He were to allow this thing to happen, that I would
keep up my end too. That scared me. I am now a part of this, not
just a vessel.

So I asked for Him to speak to me through His word and to cause me
to understand it. I specifically asked Him to bind it on my head,
plant it in my heart and write it on my arm. I began to pray in a
way that excited me, but also left me feeling like I needed to take
off my sandals, so to speak. Then, as in my usual manner, after
praying it in the name of Jesus, I (literally) flopped open my Bible
and began to read. I usually do this in trusting that God will
direct my eyes to where they should be. But I knew that I need Him
to make it clear for me, what ever it was that he was about to
tell/show me.

So what I turned to knocked my socks off. It was 1 Samuel 1:1. Now
as I said, I flopped open my Bible, and I was not familiar with the
story. But it read that there was a women that was barren and
disparately wanted a child. She went to the temple to pray and
poured out her soul to the Lord and asked that if He were to grant
her a (male) child that she would in turn give him back to minister
before the Lord. Now I really encourage you to read the story for
yourself, as my para-phrasing does not do it justice. But it goes on
to say that the prophet Eli saw this women and all that she was
praying for and he told her that her prayers were heard and have
been answered. That she was to go in peace and be sad no longer.

I felt as if Jesus himself was sitting on the other end of my couch
with me! He heard what I prayed for and He was there to comfort me.
I began to sob some more and literally laugh out loud. So much so
that it kinda freaked me out. I thought for sure I would wake up
Brian or the kids, but it was such a beautiful feeling! I was
tickled! I had just prayed what Hanna, Samuel's mother had prayed,
with out even knowing it!

I have what I believe, experienced the wonderment of God speaking to
my heart, and confirming it through scripture, that He not only has
heard my prayers, but that He has done it. I now wait for Him to
reveal His power in this situation.

So thank you again for your prayers, I can't tell you enough how
much they mean to me... and to Him.

Will let y'all know how the next appointment goes.
Christine


Guarded Jubilation...ultasound today (Nov 11th)

"This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord. For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven the Lord viewed the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to release those appointed to death, to declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem…" Psalm 102:18-20

As I've come to do during this trial that has been set before me, I
have looked to God's word for comfort and confirmation. He has been
faithful to make known to me the things that have caused me to fear
and doubt and strengthened me beyond my own measure and
understanding.

A couple of Sunday's ago, our Pastor had preached a sermon that
again spoke to my heart. In the reading of John 4:46 (the nobleman's
son being healed) what jumped out at me was that fact that the
word/promise of Jesus is just as good as He, Himself being there in
the flesh, working out His mercies. That the word I was given by God
is just as effective and potent as Jesus' hands literally being in
my womb, working out Charlotte's problems. I had started to lose
sight of this fact over the past few days and had been mulling this
thought over when I was hit by another flaming arrow.

This past Sunday morning Brian and I visited our friend's church,
and during the greeting portion of the service I was approached by
the aunt of my friend. She, knowing the situation, came and asked me
how I was doing and in her hug, whispered that God told her to let
me know that He has heard my prayers. Of course I was touched and
cried, but after leaving the service I couldn't help but feel a
tremendous pressure come over me. I felt that she confirmed to me
(yet again) what God had already told me… that He has heard me. But
then I began to wonder… 'will He answer in the way that I hope for?
What does it mean that He has heard me?'

I began to think about all the times that I have heard my own
children ask for something, and yet I don't always give them what
they ask for (or what they deserve). So for 3 days I cried and
prayed that God would again open his Word to me about what I should
expect or send someone to me to tell me what He has done.

If you recall, when I *met with Jesus* a few weeks back and prayed
like Hanna, I KNEW that He had heard me, and time and again He has
quickly answered my prayers for more from Him. Many people have
told me that He has heard me, confirming what I knew, but what
really does that mean? I was a little surprised at my own confusion.
But on Sunday night I felt that I was at my breaking point. I needed
more. I needed Him to be real and show me His glory all over again.
I started to feel like I was at square one (again) in asking Him to
prove it. I realized that I have been a "stiff necked people" in not
taking what He told me for the truth, and in that I was jipping
myself from resting in His grace. So on Tuesday night I emptied
myself out before Him and He showed me 1 John 5:15..."And if we
KNOW that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the
petitions that we have asked of Him". PRAISE THE LORD! I took that
with me to bed and rested in His word.

So this morning I woke up and got ready for a follow-up ultrasound
that was supposed to check on the growth rate of Charlotte and to
make sure her placenta is functioning properly (pretty important
stuff). I was not sure if I should look at the monitor and ask
questions or not because I didn't know what to expect. But I really
had a desire to see my baby girl. I prayed all while getting dressed
that God would give me just a little bit of hope. Any good news at
all. I resolved though, that whatever was said, good or bad, I
would still believe what God has told me in that He has done it.
Not 'going' to do it, but already done it. The best I had hoped for
was the tech to say she was growing ok and that all is well until my
next check up. What she said was so much better.

When I was called in, the tech noticed that I'd already had a "few
scans" and asked what was going on. I told her that Charlotte has
a serious heart defect and a couple of other things that the doctors
think lead to Trisomy 18. I then realized what I said and stopped
mid sentence (through misty eyes) and said: "I needed to make a
correction. The doctors think they see a defect and markers,
but that God has told me she was ok, and that's what I was there
for: to see that she was ok." The tech looked a little surprised,
but said "Ok, let's go".

So over the course of the scan I explained all the things that the
specialists said were going on as the tech read her own file copy.
Starting mid section, she scanned Charlottes' spine (noting how
beautiful the shape was, so smooth) and looked at her tummy. She
said that her "small stomach" was on the littler side of things, but
only a week behind schedule. When she came to her umbilical cord, I
told her that they said she only had one artery and one vein. She
didn't see that at all. She saw all three! She even diagramed for me
what it should look like, and there it was, up on the screen! She
went over it about 4-5 times, just to make sure she counted it
right.

She then asked me about Charlottes' feet and if I knew if they were
clubbed or not. I hadn't even seen them before so she scanned over
them and showed me 10 perfect little toes (her words) with the heels
crossing at the bottom. No clubbing! So of course I was wondering
about her hands… they were closed but not clenched. There was fluid
in her palms, showing that she was able to open and close them! Then
came the facial dimensions. I told her about the small chin thing
and again, she said she doesn't see what's been written in the
report they gave her! She has a fine chin! A little tiny turned up
nose and her head measured exactly 34 weeks! And in typical Curry
fashion, Charlotte stuck her tongue out at us several times… all the
while the tech was saying…"Did you see that, look how cute she is!"

Moving on to her skull, I mentioned that the doctors were thinking
that she may only have one lobe and not 2 sides of her brain and
that she had several Choroid Plexus Cysts. "Humpf!" she said. "Well,
here's the line that divides her brain, do you see it?" Well, what
about the cysts I asked...NOT THERE! Not even a trace. The tech
said that she even expected to see the ventricles enlarged, but
that they actually aren't even dilated! No cysts in her brain or in
her placenta!

Now was the biggie… her heart. The tech said that she is not the
specialist, but she doesn't see what all the fuss is about. All 4
chambers were there, looking to be working as they should. She told
me that the doctors would be calling me soon, but all looked to be
ok!

Since I've gotten home there have been so many tears! As quickly as
my world tumbled is as quickly as I feel it built back up. It's
indescribable.

Of course I am pleased that Charlotte looks to be ok, but more than
that I have been touched at His faithfulness. My perspective didn't
change His purpose. Just because I sometimes doubted , that never
changed what His plans are. What an awesome God!

As you can probably imagine, I still feel a little guarded over this
news. I want the specialists to call me and confirm what was seen
today. But even if they don't, I know that Jesus has had His hands
busy. I look forward to the day that Charlotte is born so all those
who have wondered if the doctors were just "wrong" can see His true
majesty. There will be no second guessing and her heart will be
beautiful!

I suppose now I will be following up with the doctors again in a few
days to see what they think. I'll of course keep you posted.

I do still ask for your prayers that Brian and I will be able to
stand firm on these findings and that we will not get discouraged or
doubt. This has been such a weird experience for me. But I thank all
of you for keeping us lifted up. I hope this will comfort and
quicken your hearts as well. "For the Lord will not cast off
forever. Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion
according to the multitude of His mercies"…Lamentations 3:31

Blessings,
Christine


Fwd: UPDATE on Christine and baby Charlotte

This was posted on my churches yahoo group and I thought it said everything we need to say and I will flesh out the other details....

Christine Curry has left the hospital stating God is not done with
her or the baby yet. She is now on her way home and God is doing
amazing things. He also gave the same words to someone else who was
praying for her, who didn't know God was giving them each the same
word... Please continue to pray for a miracle. God is not through
with this family yet. He wants to do a miracle!!!!
Let us all be witnesses to signs and wonders of God's Amazing
Miracles and Glory!!!!!
Please continue to pray for them!!
Love in Jesus,
Julie

We will continue to post updates here as we can and keep you up to
date to know how to pray and support this dear family. As of right
now, they need prayer for faith and God's will to be done. They need
peace about their next steps, that they would have faith to continue
to walk in the unforeseen. And last but not least, love to keep the
family safe from the devils attempts to hurt or tear apart their
family.

Here are some scriptures to help you pray and meditate on:
Romans 1:12
"....that you and I may be mutually encourage by each other's faith"
2 Corinthians 5:7
"We live by faith, not by sight"
Ephesians 6:16
"In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which
you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one".

Due to the sensitivity of the situation and the energy of Christine,
if you wish to call anyone for updates, you can call either myself
(Am) or Valerie.

God Bless you all,

Ami Andrews
(mother of Brooke 2 years and Sarah 8 months)


Not finished yet...(Dec 1st)

"Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls- yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation"…Habakhuh 3:17

Some of you reading this email may have been waiting for a response
from my lips, and I thank you for your patience and your continued
prayers. Others may not have any idea as of yet what has been
happening since Friday, December 1st.

I will start by saying that I have been asked by the doctors at
Kaiser to have twice a week monitoring over the growth of Charlotte
with my first session being last Wednesday (November 29).
Meanwhile, since the good ultrasound, I had been feeling more and
more anxious instead of relaxed. Spiritually, I felt as if this
couldn't be over so quickly, like it almost hadn't happened. And as
weird as it may sound, I wasn't fully persuaded that it was over. I
chalked it up to the Enemy just trying to confuse me with doubt
over what great things God had shown me.

Internally, it wore me down in other areas such as my attitude towards Brian and the kids. I had
really left the back door open for the flaming arrows to hit me.
I was happy that my care could remain in here rather than having
to travel to Sacramento just yet. All seemed to be fine at that
appointment; fluid levels were within range and baby's activity was
good. My last glowing ultrasound showed everything was headed in the
right direction for the baby. I was asked to go to see the
Cardiologist in Stockton however, on Thursday(the 30th) for what I hoped would
be a simple ultrasound for Charlotte's heart.

Honestly, I was scared to go because I was afraid of what they were looking for, but I'd
hoped that I would finally get resolution from the doctors about
what they saw from that good ultrasound, feeling that they would just
want to check for themselves that indeed Charlotte was healed! So, I
reluctantly went to see the Cardiologist, and to my surprise the
appointment was canceled due to an emergency the doctor had. After
all, the Cardiologist had already told me that the baby would be
fine in utero as it is my body doing all of the work for her and to
just bring her in after she was born. This was said a few weeks ago.

So, Thursday came and went without a hitch. I even went shopping for
Christmas gifts, figuring I may be too big to try to go out in a few
weeks. My second observation appointment was scheduled for Friday (the 1st) at
11am, but as I was showering, I noticed that Charlotte had been
quite. I then heard/felt/sensed that I wasn't going to see her heart
beat today. I dismissed that notion and continued to get ready.

When I got to my appointment, the nurse attempted to locate Charlotte's
heartbeat but couldn't get an accurate reading. A couple of times we
heard it, than it would get lost. I asked her if Charlotte was gone
and she kept assuring me she was still here and it would just be a
minute to get it. I watched the numbers on the monitor hit at about
160-163 (Charlottes' average on Wednesday was in the 150's) then it
would fade away. So the nurse wheeled over the sonogram machine and
began to look with her eyes. I immediately noticed that Charlotte
wasn't moving, not even to re-adjust herself to get comfortable as I
would move. My heart was racing, but the nurse pointed out that her
heart was "right there" and that the beats looked like little lips
moving.

Well, I had seen enough of Charlottes' heart sonograms to
know it wasn't beating how it should have been. The nurse stepped out of the room for a minute and while she was away I sat watching the monitor. There was a slow
BLIP...Blip........blip and that was it.

Jesus, in His mercy,  had allowed me to see her heartbeat fade into His hands. The nurse returned and I again asked if Charlotte was gone. She went to get a doctor.

Long story short, the doctor came in and via ultrasound confirmed that there wasn't a heart
beating. She checked my cervix and noted that I was dilated to 1
(maybe) and in "active labor" (no I wasn't, I thought. I could sit
at 1 for three weeks. I did with all the other kids. But whatever.)
They called for an ambulance and I called Brian at work and told him
that we lost her and that he needed to come home. After that, I made
a series of short phone calls, most of which I don't even remember.

I didn't cry until I spoke with Brian again, knowing that he had a
long lonely drive back home. The nurse was careful to give me
privacy, so in that time I raised my hands to thank Jesus for
allowing me to see her fade back to Him. I asked Him to hold her
close in a special place until I could see her again. Then the EMTs
arrived and off I went to the hospital.

Once I arrived, the nurse that approached me said how sorry she was
and that she would do whatever she could to make me more
comfortable. Apparently, that didn't include my rooming situation
because they placed my in the office space where the only printer
for the department was kept! Kind of amusing, but a little annoying
when I wanted solace.

Anyway, on the way to the hospital I was overwhelmed with the sense
that God is not finished yet. He was again whispering that I needed
to wait, not to do anything, just wait. I really had no idea what that meant, but I felt peaceful.

So when I saw the nurse again I realized that I wasn't done yet either. I had to tell her what God
had whispered to me. With that, she asked if I truly BELIEVE that
and I said yes! She then asked what religion I was and when I said
Christian, she opened up in powerful prayer. She told me that she
too is a Believer and that we do not have to rely on what we see on
the monitors or what the tests say. We can stand together in faith
that our God is greater than that and that He will do what He sees
fit. He is capable of doing more than I could ever imagine.
I almost passed out! I was so overjoyed and relieved that she was
there for me as I have been praying for WEEKS that God would have
His people surrounding me in every aspect. Again, I prayed and
thanked Him for that answer. She then told me that I do not have to
stay at the hospital (and that she could probably get in trouble for
telling me that, but she didn't care, just to expect resistance from
the doctors). But I do have the freedom to go home to my family and
spend time with God. So that's what I've done. I'm now at home.
Waiting on the Lord.

The doctor that came in to discharge me was unexpectedly pleasant
and let me go without a confrontation (another direct answer to
prayer). I told her that I was more comfortable in going home and
being with the Lord and my family in waiting for Him to bring forth
Charlotte in His due time.

As you know, I have been trying to stand on the promises that God
has given to me. I truly believe them, and believe that they are
from God. But I know that whatever His will is, it is good and
perfect. I am not afraid of what I do not know right now, afraid to
let go or to hold on. I don't doubt that God is not finished. He is
still working, just as He said He was. I trust Him completely.

There of course are concerns about my health, which I ask for
prayers. The doctor asked if I would contact her on Monday to let
her know how I was doing, but that was it. Kinda surprised me that I
was free to go, but they gave me a list of things to look for such
as bleeding, fever, etc. which I've had none. I've sort of
cocooned myself with Brian and the kids in our home, which has been
very comforting. I've not answered the phones much, but did go to
services this morning. It felt good to be surrounded by my other
brothers and sisters in Christ.

I know that it is a weird situation to watch someone to go through, but please don't be afraid to talk
to me. I am ok and of sound mind. I'm more than willing to answer
questions as I know there are many. But at this time I am keeping to
my family, but wanted to write (once again) to let you know I am ok.

Brian is holding up well, which I am also thankful for. He has taken
on the task of watching the boys without me having to ask and
Airenne has helped tremendously with the housework. Zachariah asked
if I was all done crying and if Charlottes' heart was
still "blood". I have decided that I am not going to tell him too
much as he doesn't understand and it's too big for his little
shoulders to carry anyway.

We have prayed together much and with great expectation. It only takes one breath of God to bring her back to us. And that's what we are asking for.

I know that some people may be very concerned with my decision to
wait at home and to not have expelled Charlotte on Friday. But I
would be remiss to ignore the voice that has been my comfort these
past few months which is the same one that has told me over and over
again to "be not afraid, only believe". I have become weary at
times, but Jesus is faithful to complete the good work which He has
started.

I thank all of you for carrying us at times and hope to share more news with you within the next few days.

In His Everlasting Arms,
Christine & Family

Email response: re:Jesus Knew My Name

Subject: RE: Jesus Knew My Name

Dear Christine,

Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem with me. It made me weep with
tears of understanding, joy, sadness, hope, and other things that I don't
even know how to name. I am so blessed to know that the Lord is holding you
so close to him, and whispering sweet and comforting words of love to your
heart, for you could not write so beautifully about Him and Charlotte if
that were not the case. I praise Him for loving you so much! Even though
it does still hurt me to think about all that you have been through. I am
comforted that Jesus has been with you at every turn, and for the blessing
that you have been to countless souls, saints and sinners alike. The Lord
only knows all the untold good that will be borne out of your faithful walk
through the valley of the shadow of death as a faithful soldier of Christ.

You and your family are in my prayers,

Lucinda

"Grief" (a poem)

"Grief"

I must've left the door open
Because you came in with the breeze.
Not a clamorous entry;
But a gentle rustling of the trees.

I wasn't sure if you were there-
For you hadn't left a trace.
But after looking high and low-
I found you in this place.

Behind my every tear is where
You have chose to hide.
With every beat, my heart grows sad
Knowing forever you'll abide.

Who told you that I live here?
I had sent no invitation...
I look to close the door ajar,
With deepened resignation.

You are not a friend of mine,
You are not a welcomed guest.
But somehow you're trapped inside of me,
Co-existence at it's best.

Grief, you sit beside me
Whispering ever in my ear.
Until the door opens wide again,
So the wind can dry my tears.

One day though, your name will change,
After much I'll reminisce...
You will be called "Bittersweet"
If that makes a difference.

For now I have to surrender
To the hole you've had to fill
Left by my little Charlotte,
When she was born so still.

Christine Curry 3-31-07

Email response: From Lori

=====================
From: Lori Kelly
Subject: From my friend Tessie -

Hi Christine,

I sent Tessie your pictures and Poem and she went them to a group we were in together. We were praying.... I wanted to pass on the email she sent out, I thought it was good. Are you going tomorrow? I have been feeling pretty bad today. I am going to try and make it...

See you!

_____________________

I know we spoke of this lady in our group and her very rough pregnancy...all
the things wrong with her baby and then the miracle God did by healing
little baby Charlotte....

Charlotte's body was healed and the deformities gone, her mother Christine
was allowed to see her baby girl without all the physical ailments that she
had during ultrasounds. God gave Christine and Brian a perfect little babies body....but
God still wanted Charlotte and she never breathed our air, for Charlotte was
not born of this world.
She was always intended for His glory. And today Charlotte is with Him and
her worldly family goes on.

Attached are the pictures that her mother, Christine had taken the day
Charlotte was born into this world, without her heart beating.
Though sad this story is, ultimately it is a story of real faith, and trust
in how God healed Christine's beautiful baby girl, for an eternity in Heaven
with Him.

I admire her strength and faith, through everything, the doctors advice, the
trials of a baby that could have been born with so many birth defects, and
Christine didn't sway in her decision or faith to let the Lord do whatever his plan was. Some day I hope to have such faith, where my decisions are solely based on my love and
trust in our Lord Jesus Christ.

May God bless and keep Christine and her family, and thank God for
Charlotte; and how she brought so many to prayer.
Only God knows our future, and the why's...........we need just Trust in
what He wants for us and those we love. Look beyond the loss and to what
He did for and through this amazing little baby girl, Charlotte. May
we all remember, anything is possible with our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Here is a poem that Christine, Charlotte's mother wrote after the Lord took
her Baby girl home to be with him.

Jesus Knew My Name

You did not get to hold me
No, you did not get to see
All the things a baby does,
Simply weren't for me.

But do not cry in sorrow
And do not cry in shame.
See, all your prayers were answered,
Because Jesus knew my name.

I know it may not feel like it;
But He did just as He said.
From my little tiny feet,
To the curls atop my head.

He healed this vessel made of flesh,
To look just like my brother.
But it was my little heart He stopped,
While speaking to my mother.

For my appointed time was spent
Inside my mommy's womb;
But He did hear all your voices pray:
"Not now Lord, it's too soon..."

While deep in secret my tiny frame
He skillfully had wrought.
There were so many questions,
The only answer was "Fear not."

I did not have a choice you see,
Now please do understand.
I would have liked to meet you all,
But that was never in His plan.

For no, I'm not an angel
With wings fluttering about;
But I have heard all the angels sing
Praises in joyful shout!

But in a shady almond grove
Is where my shell shall be...
Until the day He returns and says
"Charlotte, come to me..."

I'm in the best place that I could be,
And you can love me just the same.
I'm cradled in the Shepard's arms,
For Jesus knew my name.


Christine Curry 01-20-07


Email response: Sorry this took so long...

=====================
From: Kathy Harrison
Subject: Sorry this took so long...

Hey there. I was listening to a CD by Everybody Duck yesterday (an obscure Christian band...but I love it!), and I started to tear up because the song reminded me of you and Charlotte. I remembered--once again--how much I needed to contact you.

My faith was really tested these last few months. I was so encouraged by your faith and wanted to follow God with the same "abandonment"...so to speak. I really, really wanted to see your little girl live. (Obviously, you did too...more than I...so it is not my goal to insult you). Anyway, I was really questioning God. I was miserable when all worked out as it did. I wish I could have made it to the memorial service, but that wasn't possible. Maybe that would have helped. I stopped reading my Bible, and although I tried to stop praying, I still found myself talking to God. But I was really hurt. I kept asking, "What's the point?!" I know that God is sovereign, so why ask us to pray? Why make us think that our prayers will move His heart if only He really knows His purposes and plans. Over and over again the question, "What's the point?!" I read the verses about God honoring the prayer of a righteous man, and I know that doesn't mean we have to be perfect because then no one would have their prayers answered. So whatever...

I wrote to my sister-in-law in Mozambique and relayed my feelings. I was feeling like if God doesn't help out his children--in a world of billions of people who don't give a rip about the true God--then again....what's the point? She is a godly woman. She wrote back with such tact and grace and yet with so much truth. I was able to get over my depression and pick up the Bible again. Our prayers and fasting are not to change God's plan but to show our submissive dependence on Him. To show Him that we are willing to suffer to keep our mind on praying instead of getting distracted by the routine-ness of life. The point of her writing went something like that.

Then I started to read Job. God spoke through that and said, "If you can create the world or destroy powerful nations or etc., etc. than I will come to you and ask your opinion on things"... (greatly paraphrased). I was silenced. The church services that followed reinforced my lowly position compared to our Fathers' and I was very sorry for my pride and unwillingness to trust Him. I think my heart was actually in the right place and my desire wasn't bad, but I think that I actually thought I could change the plans of God because I knew what was best. Ouch! That was so wrong of me. Again, I am sorry for not writing sooner but it's only been a couple of weeks that I haven't felt the pain of this situation still residing within. I'm sure the holidays were somewhat rough for you guys as well. I hope that you are feeling comfort in all sorts of ways. Here's a virtual hug from me. Just so you know, I am still so inspired by your walk with God. And through all this, I hope that at least one person will come to know Him.

As for me, I'm going to learn to be a little more still. A little more patient. I too quickly think I hear God directing me, when too often it must be my own fabrication. I've been reading Proverbs lately and reflecting on verses that talk about wisdom and understanding. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." In Proverbs it talks about to fear the Lord is to hate evil and then it lists out things God hates. I've tried to review that list so that I can pray that I hate the things God hates. Hence wisdom will begin. And continuing to read my Bible will give me knowledge of the Holy One. Then I can understand things better. Honestly, I've only been reading my Bible a lot for the last 4 or 5 years. It has made a difference in me and I'm glad for it. It's harder to sin when I'm continually aware of God's standard. It's inspiring to see past saints risking so much for the Lord (and they didn't even have the wrapped up, clean and Cananized version of the new testament!). Anyway, I have to get going. Hope your day is as sunny as mine and I hope your heart is filled with joy today and tomorrow....

Love,
Kathy

Jesus Knew My Name


You did not get to hold me
No, you did not get to see
All the things a baby does,
Simply weren't for me.



-But do not cry in sorrow
And do not cry in shame.
See, all your prayers were answered,
Because Jesus knew my name.



I know it may not feel like it;
But He did just as He said.
From my little tiny feet,
To the curls atop my head.



He healed this vessle made of flesh,
To look just like my brother.
But it was my little heart He stopped,
While speaking to my mother.



For my appointed time was spent
Inside my mommy's womb;
But He did hear all your voices pray:
"Not now Lord, it's too soon..."



While deep in secret my tiny frame
He skillfully had wrought.
There were so many questions,
The only answer was "Fear not."



I did not have a choice you see,
Now please do understand.
I would have liked to meet you all,
But that was never in His plan.



For no, I'm not an angel
-With wings fluttering about;
But I have heard all the angels sing
Praises in joyful shout!



But in a shady almond grove
Is where my shell shall be...
Until the day He returns and says
"Charlotte, come to me..."



I'm in the best place I could be,
And you can love me just the same
I'm cradled in the Shepards' arms,
For Jesus knew my name.



Christine Curry 1/20/07