We found out that our brother in law, Kent, had contracted Ebola on a Saturday. We feared that it was a death sentence; a reality we couldn't accept. In addition to the grief and fear that this brought to our hearts, his illness brought incredible media attention. It's quite overwhelming to see your heart's burden plastered all over the news; a strange place to find family updates. Opinions, fears, rumors, facts and fiction published for all the world to see, for better and worse.
In the midst of praying for the miracle of life for Kent, we were also waiting for another such miracle; the arrival of our son. I was 41 weeks pregnant that Saturday.
Samuel Evan was born a few days later, on Tuesday. That experience in itself is enough to register a week off the charts. How can any experience top the emotional overload and miraculous reality of giving birth and holding your newborn for the first time? Even as I labored to bring him into the world I wasn't spared tears as I grieved for Kent's suffering and pleaded for his life. Our joy was overwhelming with the arrival of our son. Yet even in such joy, part of our hearts remained heavy and burdened for our brother and family.
A few days later we loaded up our fresh and new little boy and were on our way to a wedding for one of Geoff's brothers. Traveling with a newborn and being, oh, a little sore from his birth, made the in and out of the car time pretty exciting. But all in all it could have been much harder. Adrenaline is a wonderful thing, and we were very ready to be with the family.
Wedding season is often intense but the circumstances that Kent's struggle with Ebola added put wedding plans in overdrive. During the week there were times we weren't sure he'd live. Hard to anticipate big family celebration with such a dark cloud threatening to pour.
Finally, Saturday came again. The wedding was that night. Kent was brought back to the States that morning. For the first time all week I felt my heart overflow with joy, holding nothing back. As I held my newborn son and watched the video footage of Kent WALKING into the hospital, I was completely overwhelmed by the miracles of the week.
It was time to celebrate. Kent was doing well and for the first time we let ourselves really believe he was going to recover. With Kent on the mend and receiving the best possible care, and our son happy and healthy in our arms, it was the perfect day to also celebrate the marriage of Geoff's brother and his now wife. They make a pretty fabulous couple.
From one Saturday to the next - what a difference a week can make. We stand in awe of His provision of peace during even the most intense of moments. So many of you who know us, and many who do not, stood in the gap for us. Your intercession through love and prayer gave us more strength and blessing than we'll ever fully realize. Thank you. Thank you for being part of our grief, our hope, our joy, and our celebration as GOD has poured out His miracles in so many ways.
For a few more pictures of Samuel, check out the slideshow below. Because he's just wonderful.