"Wrapped in the color of royalty,
Caleb is safe in the arms of The King."
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
On Friday night, October 10, I attended a memorial service for a precious baby boy. He is the son of Jason's sister Elizabeth... which means he is Jason & Lindsay's nephew. Caleb Robert was born on October 2 and lived for 10 miraculous hours. He died in his mother's arms in the early morning hours of October 3.
Let me tell you, Caleb has an amazing life story! God has shone brightly throughout his relatively brief time on earth. Earlier on in Liz's pregnancy, an ultrasound revealed some abnormalities in Caleb's little body that were a cause for concern. Follow-up bloodwork revealed that her unborn son had Trisomy 18... a chromosomal anomaly that, sadly, causes internal birth defects that are incompatible with life outside the womb. The news, for obvious reasons, was extremely devastating. We all wondered why God would allow this precious family to suffer yet another unimaginable loss.
Yet God, in His Amazing Grace, carried Liz and her husband and two children through this difficult journey in a powerful and merciful way. His presence brought peace in the midst of this heartbreaking situation. Here is a quote from Liz from July 19:
"For those who have not heard, two weeks ago, our baby, who is due Oct. 12, was diagnosed with Trisomy 18. This means he has an extra #18 chromosome. This is the worst news possible and means that he will not survive after birth. Please pray for our family, as this is very difficult for us. God has shown Himself to us already. One night I had prayed to God to reveal Himself to me and give me strength. The next day, after a very difficult conversation with my OB-GYN doctor and my pastor, I was sitting on my front porch, when a bald eagle circled over me four times and landed in a tree near me. I was reminded of the verse Isaiah 40:31. I have no doubt God answered my prayer."
"... but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." ~Isaiah 40:31
Bald eagles became a way that God revealed his presence. Liz saw them more than once when she was outside (in various locations in Michigan), while praying for strength from God. They are not a common sight here. This was definitely a sign from God which I am in awe of!
(The cover of the program at Caleb's Memorial Service.)
This is also a sign of God tenderly carrying them through this difficult journey...
On September 5, Liz wrote:
"It definitely is getting harder the closer it gets to my due date. I know God is with me. I am thankful for all He has shown me. For those that don't know, our son's name is going to be Caleb Robert. I felt like God was wanting me to call him Caleb. I loved the name. After we found out that our son had a hole in his heart, I looked up the biblical meaning of "Caleb." The meaning was "wholehearted." I knew then that his name should be Caleb. His heart will be whole again and his whole heart will be for the Lord. And Robert is after my dad and Howie's dad. This is the time that Caleb is alive here on earth. We wanted to pray for him specifically by name and talk to our children about him by his name."
On October 2, Caleb was born via scheduled C-section. Because doctor's didn't expect him to survive for more than only a few minutes, they didn't clean him up but instead handed him straight to Liz so she could hold him. He was blue, but miraculously, he started to breathe and his color returned to normal! Caleb's heart had multiple defects... not just one hole. Therefore, his survival for 10 hours is a true miracle! Countless people had been praying for Liz throughout her pregnancy, and Liz herself was praying that Caleb would survive long enough to meet his brother and sister. God graciously answered that prayer.
After Liz & Howie's family and children got to meet Caleb, they left and Liz & Howie were alone with their precious newborn son. A short while later, Caleb passed away in his beautiful mother's arms.
Caleb's short life is such a great reminder of the sanctity of human life! He was and is a child deeply loved by his parents, siblings, and extended family... and most of all, God Himself! And while it is a devastating reality that he is not here... God gives us all a hope-filled and peace-filled joy knowing that he is whole and in the presence of Jesus. Not only that, but Jason & Lindsay are experiencing the joy of being an uncle and aunt to Caleb. They have not had that privilege yet, but now they do!
So this is my tribute to Caleb's life. His life meant something! He taught us about what is truly important in life versus what is trivial. He was and is a precious gift from God. We will never forget him and he will always hold a special place in our hearts... and one day, we will see him in heaven! I think his reunion with his mom & dad will be especially sweet. He will run into their arms and thank them for the life they gave him.
Some of Liz's friends set up a fundraiser site to help them pay for medical and additional expenses. If you feel so led, you can contribute at the link below. Thank you so much & God bless!
YouCaring Fundraiser Site