Dashing Dreams and Building Faith

Life can feel like a roller coaster sometimes, can’t it?

Our family has been on one the past month or so.  Almost a month ago, we found out we are having a BOY and we were overjoyed… at the top of the level that our happiness usually goes. The very next day, we found out that the same ultrasound that gave us such great news also revealed a troubling area called Echogenic Bowel, which basically means that there are some areas in the little guy’s colon that come through on the scan as dense as bone (so they appear bright) and they shouldn’t be there. They should be grey like the other organs.  This shows up in only 1 or 2% of 2nd trimester scans and there are a number of reasons this could happen, 25% of which are very concerning.

Through a follow-up ultrasound, blood work and genetic testing, we were able to fairly quickly (within a couple of weeks) rule out some main causes for this finding: infection, Cystic Fibrosis, and Trisomy 13 and 18.  What remained was the possibility of Down’s Syndrome.

Now, Nate and I know and love a couple of great kids with Down’s Syndrome. It is not a death sentence. But, a diagnosis like this would mean the death of many of the dreams we already have for our son, and adds a number of potential health complications.  The first day after hearing the news that our son could have a chromosomal disorder was definitely a low point in this pregnancy.

What I’m really interested in conveying here is the enormous sense of peace that washed over both of us in less than 24 hours after hearing the troubling news.  I can hardly describe it accurately, but it was so real.  We had prayed for this little one before he was even conceived. We had thanked God for his life  from the moment we knew he existed, and from the beginning, we had placed his fragility in God’s hands. We knew that God had a plan for his life, no matter how short or long it would be. I’ve written him several letters (our son, not God) already, and feel very connected to him.  And in these weeks that we’ve waited to find out whether he was 100% healthy or not, God has stilled my heart and convinced me more than ever that He has been knitting him together in my womb… that He knew exactly how he would be formed, when he would be born… and that he would be PERFECT. No, I don’t mean perfect by the world’s standards; rather perfect for our family.  And that no matter what, He would equip us to care for him.

I LOVE how God did that. As we told a few friends, family and prayer warriors, a few of them just kept saying, “Don’t worry!! Everything will be fine! He’s going to be fine! Don’t worry!” I wanted to say, “You know what? We aren’t worrying.  And not because we have any guarantee that he doesn’t have Down’s Syndrome, but because we know that our God is loving and awesome and doesn’t make mistakes. If he does have Down’s, God will use it in our son’s life and in ours, and HE will be glorified.”

I think that’s the thing that I’m taking away from this: that many of our circumstances are given to us that we may not have asked for, but they are still gifts. I know that I’ll look back at this past month with gratitude that we were given an opportunity to fully trust in the Lord and His ways instead of our own sense of control over our lives.

This morning, we found out that our son does not have Down’s Syndrome. A new technology only available since October allowed us to find this out without any invasive or risky procedures! We are grateful that he will be born without a disorder that could pose health risks and delay his development. We appreciate the prayers of those of you who knew what was going on as we went through this process.  We ask that you continue to pray so that the Echogenic Bowel will disappear on it’s own so that we can discontinue our monthly follow-up ultrasounds and not have to be under the care of a high-risk OB any longer.  The worst case scenario is that he’ll need a minor surgery to clear out a potential blockage after his birth, but we feel pretty confident that this will not be necessary.

I hope that if you’re going through a period of uncertainty or loss that you can find some peace that your Creator doesn’t make mistakes and He loves you so much. I welcome your comments and shares on this post. I want God to continue to be glorified in and through our son’s life.


  • Thank you Lord! We are literally jumping up and down at our house right now.

    June 18, 2012
    • Kelly

      Thank you for both praying and rejoicing with us, Betsy! (And for your help this morning) You are a gem!

      June 18, 2012
  • Susan

    AMEN! God does have such a plan – even if it wasn’t what we expect or thought to be best for our own life. I pray for God’s plan to continue to guide you in your ways and your children’s lives! God knows what is best – even if by the majority or society – it doesn’t look like a good plan — HE and only HE knows what is best. I pray that you (though you seem to be) at peace in HIS plan for your family — as that is so hard to do. I often feel that I know better —

    Thank you for sharing your story and being a great living example of trusting HIS plan!

    Best to you and your growing family!!!

    June 18, 2012
    • Kelly

      Thank you, Susan! I appreciate your prayers. I’m a control monger by nature, so the peace we were given at this potential curve ball can only be attributed to God’s power. Have a great week!

      June 18, 2012
  • Amy Fry

    Kelly and Nate,
    I totally agree. WHOEVER the Lord is growing inside of you is PERFECT for your family. I’m so very excited for you all. Praise Him for His love for us all!!
    As one who has had her world turned completely upside down due to a severely brain injured husband as of 7/10/10; I KNOW God will be glorified through the most awful circumstances. Somehow he “prepared” me for having a husband in a coma for 11 days; who ‘died’ five times the first day; who was changed from the man I married in the blink of an eye and a run through a stop sign by a woman not paying attention.
    I put the sign “GOD’S WILL BE DONE” over his ICU bed. I felt those who were “claiming healing” for Richard were telling God what to do. Yes, I wanted my husband back, but with the amount of damage on both sides of his brain, plus the removal of a large clot and damaged tissue in his left temporal lobe, I KNEW I wouldn’t be getting the same guy back who walked out the door for a bike ride the morning of July 10th.
    WHATEVER God’s WILL was/is for my darling husband, THAT is what I and our boys, their wives, and our church prayed for. And when he ‘came to’, (sort of) he realized two things, he’d been hit by a car, and he LOVED THE LORD. He doesn’t remember being the Associate Pastor, sometimes he doesn’t remember to take his meds every day despite his alarms. But I’ve got to tell you, this experience has opened my eyes, deepened my faith, caused me to reach further, get deeper with my Lord and Savior than ever before. The incredible blessings are too numerous to mention. I can’t even begin.

    You’re an incredibly mature, Godly couple. My prayers remain, God’s Will Be Done.

    In Christ,
    Choteau, MT

    June 18, 2012
    • Kelly


      Wow! I never knew all of that. Talk about living by faith! Thank you for your great example and trust in our Creator. I’m so encouraged by you and Richard’s story.

      June 18, 2012
  • Dear Kelly & Nate,

    God is so good! And your faith is such an inspiration! Each word of your post gave God the glory. He always makes a blessing out of that!

    Love you all!

    June 19, 2012
    • Kelly


      Thank you for your prayers! God IS so good. We are basking in His goodness today.

      June 19, 2012
  • Cassie Baker

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey! He is absolutely precious! It is great to hear a success story knowing we are facing the very same road on Tuesday. I didn’t even consider the fact that I wouldn’t get to hold him after the surgery. I’m glad to find out now, but I think it would have been more upsetting to find this out at that point. You can ask the doctors all the questions you can think of, but there’s nothing like firsthand knowledge and experience of a mother who has been through it. Thank you so much!

    October 27, 2013
    • Kelly

      Thank you, Cassie! I will keep your family and your little one in my prayers! I have heard that some surgeons let parents hold their kids right away. Ours is super cautious and goes sort of above and beyond if you will, to give the child the best recovery possible. It was so hard to not hold him right away, but he did heal so well and I trusted our surgeon. Your surgeon will let you know what’s okay to do. :) Hang in there! You’re almost on the other side.

      October 28, 2013

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