God had a plan

Dear Editor,

On July 23, 2009 we found out we were expecting our third child. I immediately thought, “Oh dear!!!! My kids are 6 and 8,what are we going to do with a little baby???!!!”

But God had a plan: He planned to teach me that I‘m not always in control of the plan!

On November 18, 2009 we found out we were having a baby girl. Thirty minutes later we found out she may have a bad kidney and was measuring small for gestational age.

But God had a plan: He taught me that I didn’t pray nearly enough.

On December 1, 2009 I received a call from my doctor asking us to come in to the office immediately. There was a high possibility that our baby may have Trisomy 18, a chromosomal disorder that causes numerous birth defects and results in infant death.

God had a plan: On December 3, 2009, the morning the doctor called to tell us that our baby did NOT have Trisomy 18 - before the doctor called, I found the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11 lying at my feet - literally. “For I know the plans I have for you . Plans to prosper, plans to give you hope and a future..” Little did I know this verse would come tome in written form many more times when I needed that re-assurance most.

On March 5, 2010 Zeta Christian was born, just over three weeks early, and weighing almost a full pound more than expected. She did better than expected immediately after birth, but Dr. Bartley, at University Hospital, quickly realized that Zeta would benefit from more intensive care at the highly specialized Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Medical College of Georgia. It seemed like everyday they would find a new health issue or something wrong with our baby. Many times I felt like taking Zeta and running away like a fugitive.

But God had a plan: He specifically placed the doctors, nurses, and even the staff in the NICU, not only to take care of Zeta, but also to nurture OUR emotional welfare. We saw God's presence in Dr. Threadgill, Zeta’s pediatrician, and Nurse Lauren as they prayed for us and with us. We saw His works being done by each and every nurse, doctor, and staff member that we came in contact with - from the housekeeping staff, unit clerks, all the way to the attending physicians. Each name I have recorded and every face etched in my mind forever!

On April 24, 2010 we were given the diagnosis of CHARGE syndrome, a rare and medically complex syndrome. Since that day I have come to understand a little more of God's plan. He has taught me things that I THOUGHT I already knew. He has taught me humility, the power of prayer, the power of love, and the strength of a loving and caring community. He has taught me that miracles do happen and they happen to us everyday. As I was talking with my friend, Mandy, about all of the “signs” God has sent since Zeta’s birth she said, “You know, God probably does these things all the time, but we just don’t slow down to notice.”

God has given us so many wonderful friends and family. Jennifer, Travis, Matthew, Heather, Bob, Mandy, and Mrs. Joanne - thank you for the concept and development of The Zeta Brabham Fund and all the things you’ve done! I wish that I could name every person who has contributed, be it by prayer, faith, or donation of time, service or money. When I say that words cannot express our gratitude those words have not held such meaning for me until these very moments in our lives. To our parents and grandparents thank you for raising us in Godly homes, enabling us to draw close to Him during our darkest hours. Thank you for all of your sleepless nights and for continually putting your lives, your hopes and your dreams on hold for us. Thank you most of all for your faith in us and your unconditional love for us. To Kristen and Ben - thank you for your constant love and support in a time that I know has been difficult for you too. To our boys, I am thankful that they love their little sister and are (in their words) glad she was born.

Most of all, I give thanks to God. I KNOW His plan for me, plans for hope and a future. I may not fully understand the way of His plans, but I know his plans include the ultimate destination by His side in Heaven. Do you know His plans for you? If not, I hope that you someday see and feel His love as I have and that you are given the opportunity to really slowdown to see all the little signs he sends you everyday!

Angel Brabham, Bamberg