Monday, January 05, 2009
Our Amazing Grace
I've shared about our story of adoption, both with our baby boy (so new and so beloved to us), and of our little ones over the last few years, 12 of whom went to God before ever seeing the light of day. I'm so happy to say that, for a short while, Little 13 saw that light. Baby Grace Elizabeth came to us early on Sunday, the feast of the Epiphany and of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (we think Gracie planned it that way). We waited, praying, while the c-section proceeded. Someone sneezed and we all whispered "God bless you." And the doctor said "That was Grace." What a way to come into the world! Blessed in her very first seconds. She cried and squeezed our fingers, she turned her fragile head towards the light more than once. I baptized her with water from a tiny cup and we prayed, not knowing how long she would live in her condition. Then she fought for 10 hours before going back to God. She gave up her spirit just after the Angelus bells at 6pm. For how this day unfolded in the plan of Our Father, we could not have asked for more. We had the tremendous blessing of family, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins around her, hugging and kissing her all day. Photographs and videos were taken, our pastor came and blessed her, and a dear friend from Maryland came too; he and his wife having lost their own precious daughter at birth, and truly knowing our pain. We sang "Amazing Grace," we prayed together, and Gracie met her big brother too. We wept, wishing she could stay, but at the end of the day we had a sense that she was going. Family left the room after saying their goodbyes, (over 20 people who had shared time with Grace), and then in our dimly lit room, Rebecca, S., Grace and I huddled up. We kissed her and sang hymns, and prayed some more. S. rested peacefully beside his sister for an hour, allowing his parents the grace to cherish every breath Grace took. For an hour, a holy hour, we kept vigil. And then she went home, and now she is whole. We are so thankful for all of the prayers of people near and far. Messages have come literally from all over. What does this mean? That life is precious, that one little life so fragile and so fair as Grace's can have such an impact on our hearts. Grace Elizabeth lived just 10 hours but filled our hearts with enough memories for a lifetime. Every little move she made was magic. We have truly felt "carried" this week by so much love and support. So now, from the hospital, we're just resting, reflecting, and praying. God has been with us at the foot of this Cross; on it in fact with Grace, we believe. We prayed for one miracle and got so much more.... "grace upon grace." Grace Elizabeth Donaghy Born - January 4, 2009, 8:04am Died - January 4, 2009, 6:08pm Baptized, Beloved, and Beautiful. We will NEVER forget you, our little saint. Rest now in your Father's arms. Love you forever, Mommy, Daddy, and your big brother S. "Every human life is sacred, because every human person is sacred."