meet Coralie!

 Hello, I’m back after quite a long hiatus!   We have exciting news to share that we have a sweet baby girl named Coralie in our home. 
Coralie Marie George joined us on July 20, 2017.  We’re in love.  She’s so sweet, and huggable, and kissable.  And we got to take her HOME! 

She’s now four months old, and we were able to meet her the day she was born.  We’ve loved getting to know her in the past four months.  She’s a joy.  So social, so sweet, so bright-eyed and so active.  She’s been a huge blessing. 
Coralie means coral in French.  Cora means “maiden” and lee means “meadow.”  Marie means “sea of sorrow” and “wished for child” and is also Rachel’s mom’s name. 
We will call her Corrie after Corrie ten Boom, an amazing Dutch woman who helped hide Jews in her home, survived in a concentration camp, and went on to be a phenomenal author and speaker.   Her faith, her endurance, and her example of extreme forgiveness have been a huge teacher to me (Rachel) as I’ve read her books in the last couple years.  The horrors of the holocaust are unimaginable, and I’ve found a strange comfort in knowing that my pain does not go unmatched in this world and in human history.  She’s given encouragement in her story and in her writing, and I’m so proud to name my daughter after this strong woman. 
I’ve struggled to find just one quotation to share—there are so many good ones.  I’ll share more of them later!
“Do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill that love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.”
            -Corrie ten Boom

And please read this excerpt of her writing about forgiveness.  So, so good. 
I’m sure you’d love to hear more adoption details!  Here’s a quick run-down. 
We ended up unexpectedly connecting with a mom and did an adoption through our local agency.  She was due in just 6 weeks, so it was nice to have just a short wait time.  
We are so grateful for Corrie’s birth mother.  She is such a brave and strong woman.  We’ll continue to have a relationship with her, and we will always be amazed by her selflessness in giving this little girl life and giving us such a blessing by entrusting her to us.

(my sister had a baby the SAME day.  cousin twins!)

It was a huge blessing to have a little summer girl to bring home.  Packing up (again) all of the baby clothes and not knowing if we’d use them again would have been so hard.  We have lots of stuff for a summer boy and girl, and we are so glad to have been able to bring a child home sooner than we expected—we were thinking it would be fall or winter.  She got to wear the clothes we bought and were given for Winnie, and it’s so sweet we were able to do that. 
Her adoption is scheduled to be finalized next month!   As with any adoption, there have been some complications along the way, but we feel positive about everything.  You can continue to pray for Coralie to grow and feel loved and secure with us.  You can pray for her biological mother and her deep grief in choosing adoption.  Adoption comes from a place of brokenness, but you can pray for there to be beauty and hope amid the brokenness.  You can pray for us as we parent Corrie and continue to grieve Clive and Winnie. 

The past four months have changed us a lot.  We’re learning a new way, a life of being limited with the best limitation—a baby—and a life that is a bit more free from some of the layers of bereavement.  We’ve slowly stepped back into some relationships and been able to begin to gather again with our friends.  For so long, it was too painful and too awkward to be around people.  It still is hard—don’t get me wrong—there is still so much brokenness.  But, this sweet joy of a daughter makes it easier because there is something positive to talk about, there is someone in our arms, and we’re not feeling quite so much as social outcasts and lepers.  No one’s intention, but it’s what happens when you lose your children. 

While we have the new joy of parenting a child in our home, we still wrestle a lot with our deep grief.  Less sleep doesn’t help when you are continuing to process trauma and pain, it we find it hard to even have time to think and process privately.  We shared our hearts very openly after Clive passed, but it was too much to openly bare after Winnie died.  It is still too much, even too hard to talk about her or share our story with others.  It still feels too raw, or even like it’s not possibly real.  There is a lot of trauma to process and heal from, and it will take years, or even a lifetime, to be in the stage of healing.  Sam’s making some changes with work to allow himself more time with our family and more time for processing.  I’m figuring out how to do that, too. 
Much of my heart, my pain, my deep questioning, and my thoughts have been kept guarded and private since Winnie died.  Our lives have felt extremely exposed with the nature of our community, our losses, and our adoption, and we’ve had to pull back for a season of privacy.  It is often too overwhelming to try to explain things clearly, share things openly, be faced with misunderstandings and advice, lack of sensitivity at times, or even just an overwhelming volume of positive support (which is amazing, but overwhelming at times.  am I sounding crazy?).  Maybe the privacy will continue indefinitely, maybe not.  Our days are filled with caring for Corrie, work, some close friends and family, and our marriage, and grief.  We’ve had to remind ourselves frequently that we did not owe it to anyone to have to continue to share so vulnerably this past year, or even in the years to come. 
Thank you for caring for us, for loving us, and being with us.  We are very blessed with sweet Corrie, as well as Clive and Winnie in heaven.  We’re learning how to parent all of them in their unique ways, and continue the love they have grown in our hearts. 
We’ve longed to have a house full of little laughter, and kisses, and diaper changes, and night-time feedings and we get all of those things now.  They make us so happy and Corrie fills us with SO much joy.
We were praying for a match and placement by Christmas this year, and we will have a sweet 5 month old at Christmas!  Such a wonderful and perfect blessing. We are soaking up every minute with this little one.  

Here is a little mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worth all it will cost, since it is abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother’s heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, to her most tender cares, to her life-long prayers! Oh how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!
-Elizabeth Prentiss

3 thoughts on “meet Coralie!

  1. TC says:

    Your adoption story gave me great joy. I had a beloved infant grandson die the same month as Clive, so I had read your blog and prayed for you. ��


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