In 2011 our family made the journey into the world of homeschooling. We had no idea how this decision would begin to shape our lives, and couldn’t imagine the wonderful friends that we would make along this journey. When we began David’s Gift in 2012, many doors were opened for even more new friendships. Names and faces from Facebook homeschool groups began to “like” our Facebook page, and send friend requests. When we held our first fundraiser, some of those same Facebook friends stepped in to help. It so happened that this first fundraiser was also the very week that we became foster to adopt parents, and many of those same new friends stepped up to help with things we needed. At a time when life seemed to be getting really crazy for us, one sweet friend really stood out. Vivian McWhiney!
Vivian had a large family. At the time, I still thought large families were a bit odd. It’s so funny now, because I’ve become one of those moms. Vivian and I quickly became friends. We’ve prayed for each other, encouraged each other, and shared a friendship that is so special to me. I didn’t know at that time that she had just had a precious baby girl so early. I didn’t know the heartache that she had endured going into premature labor. I didn’t know why the mission of David’s Gift was so important to her. Like so many other families that have been down this road, Vivian’s family has no answers as to why this happened. They grieve for sweet Esther, and eagerly await the day that they will be reunited with her in Heaven. Baby Esther lived just a few minutes, but her life changed the lives of her family forever. Her life had a purpose!
In honor of Esther’s 7th birthday, Vivian has asked me to create a memorial page for her. They want to honor her memory by collecting donations to help other families that only get to hold their baby for just a short time. Will you donate $7 in honor of Esther? You may leave comments for Vivian and her family as well!
Im editing to add these precious words from Vivian.
HI everyone, my family and I wanted to share Esther’s story with you today as we remember her.
And we would like to ask your help. In her Honor we hope to bless a family walking down a dark road by raising money for David’s gift. If You can donate $7 dollar in her honor today we would feel very blessed.
Today is a very special day to our family. It changed the course of our lives, the day this little tiny lifeless body entered our lives. She came with a purpose to fulfill.
Today 7 year ago was the day God said to us, “And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Until then we had striven and pushed to be like everyone else, yet no matter how much we tried we would come short.
I have blamed myself for so many years while trying to understand. You see, we already had 6 children when we found out she was coming; it was already hard. By the time the 3rd kid came, everyone quickly suggested we should stop. By the 4th kid people were upset. By the 5th kid even our families stopped talking to us. The 6th kid was so stressful nothing good came out of anyone’s mouth towards us. Everyone had a list of good reasons why we were not doing the right thing, how we were failing as people, and how much of an embarrassment we were to society. We didn’t make enough, have enough ….We just weren’t enough.
I am so thankful that I know God, I can’t imagine people having to confront themselves in a dark place with out His Spirit. To hear the whisper of Fear through their minds and not being able to fight it. Adam and I both sat and as we held hands, we realized, the only way to walk the next 9 months in peace and joy, and to receive this child, was to keep our news a secret. So we did, no one other than Adam and I knew. Fear was still dominating our choices. Fear, that whisper, it would tell me, “If you prove yourself, maybe you’ll measure up, if they see you are a good mother, a good provider then they will receive this baby, if you abide by their way of life, then maybe you and your children will have a chance,” and so we pushed, and pushed our selves, farther than we had ever pushed ……
then one morning just like that it was over.
A lady we knew had come to stay with the other kids, not knowing what was happening. At the hospital I remember Adam saying, “We have to tell her.”
With out delay the word of what had happened had spread. We were now home and we were left trying to pick up the peaces of what had happened. Fear didn’t loose a minute in whispering, “You are Guilty.” And he was right. If I hadn’t allowed that thought, if I had not cared more about the pressures…..iF,IF,IF. It was still all from fear. I began to see for the first time in years that I had regarded the wrong thing more precious than the actual precious thing.
Now people were bringing us meals, sending words, but not of encouragement, they were the words I had dreaded before:
*Oh, it’s okay, you don’t need to grieve, its for the best, you already have a lot of other kids.
*Vivian, God knew better, you probably couldn’t handle it.
*It’s your fault. If you would just quit getting pregnant.
*One lady went as far as to say:
God sent me to bless your family, but if you continue doing this I just wont do it!
A week later on Sunday, Adam was taking the kids to church to give me some alone time. I remember closing my eyes as I lay in bed. I could hear them leaving, I opened my eyes and there I saw it, this big black hole about to swallow me. You see, God blessed us. We went on to have 2 more children, which I can tell you we couldn’t imagine our lives with out them. The emptiness Esther left is with me all the time, and until last month I could have told you, the grief and pain over took my life and our family, and we almost lost it all .
God told us to name her Esther , because that was her job. She came to seek the evil in our life. She came to break my heart so that everything in it that wasn’t good would spill out and leave. But the intent of God is never to leave us there broken.
She came so we can be a house of peace.
His desire is to take those pieces and create a beautiful new something.
This year I do still miss her and will think about her always, but I can say the season of pain is over. That black hole has moved away finally, and we can see how beautiful of a gift she was to us.
Our story is not over, its just beginning and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us .
“For His anger endureth but a moment, and in His favor is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5