Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dear Mama-to-Be

Dear Mama-to-Be,

I know you are scared.  According to statistics one of the top-three reasons women abort their babies is because they are not financially prepared.  Having a baby is expensive, I hear you.

A little over 2 years ago, I discovered I was pregnant.  I was happy and scared.  You see, I have a birth defect which means I didn't qualify for health insurance.  Having a baby without health insurance? It's not what is recommended.

Even scarier was when we were denied medicaid insurance - the insurance the state provides for mamas-to-be who don't have insurance.  We were denied because though we were definitely not rich, we did make more than their cut-off.

The insurance issue notwithstanding, my husband at that time didn't have a full-time job.  He subbed for the public schools which is on an as-need basis.  I worked full-time, but for a private school that paid little and had no benefits.  So we were definitely not what one would consider financially prepared - there was no emergency fund at our bank.

So, I know how scary it is to think of the bills.  The average delivery in America costs between $18,000 and $30,000.  Mine hospital bill alone was almost $16,000 and that doesn't include the OB/GYN's bills, the anesthesiologist's bill, etc..I could go on and on.  My pregnancy and delivery was close to $26,000.  That's more than we made the year our son was born.  It is scary to open the mailbox and see bill after bill. It is embarrassing to try to hash out payment plans with doctors.  But you know what? The Lord provides.

As of today, almost 20 months after my son was born, we owe only about $1,300.  Yes, you read that correctly.  No, my husband didn't win the lottery.  The Lord provided, that's what happened.  He provided through generous gifts from his people.  He provided through charity from the hospital.  He provided through the establishment of payment plans.  He provided through monthly payments to doctors.  He provided.

I am confident he can provide for you, too.  I don't know what that will look like.  It may mirror how he provided for us.  It may be through adoption.  It may be long years of working hard to pay monthly payments.  I don't know how he will choose to provide for you, but I do know that if you will trust Him and let your child live, he will provide.

So that's my story.  A story of how the Lord provided in a desperate situation.  Let him provide for you.

Choose Life,

Monday, January 13, 2014

Christmas 2013

Christmas Eve we opened gifts from sweet church members and opened our first ever Christmas Eve box.  Inside were PJs for all and a movie for Hudson.

Sweet church member, Mrs. Darlene gave him two puppies
He also got a book, a ball, two cars, and some cookies from different church members.
So thankful for the saints at Providence Baptist who love on our boy.

Christmas PJs for all!

Watching the Veggie Tales Christmas Movie and snacking on popcorn.

Our second annual waking up on Christmas morning picture!  
Hudson didn't wake up until 9 am!  I was up at 4 - always excited for Christmas morning - I know eventually he'll "get it" and will be up early with me anxious to start the celebrations.

Present Time!

Mommy got a hat!

A heated throw -

We loosely followed the "Four Gifts Rule" for Hudson.  I say loosely because James didn't obey - therefore Hudson ended up with three small "want" gifts.  I'm not mad at him though it is so hard.  We are both gift-givers by nature and Hudson is such a joy we want to give him lots of stuff.  But also know Christmas isn't about gifts and so we're desperately trying to be intentional in limiting the number of presents to build a heart of gratitude.

Something to wear - PJs (I got on after-Christmas clearance last year!)
Something to read - Tonight You are My Baby
Something you want - Mr. Potato Head, Wooden Tool Bench, Tool Box with Drill
Something you need - Hidden in My Heart: Scripture Lullabies CD

After presents and a quick breakfast we headed to a sweet church members' home for lunch
 (or dinner as it's called here in MO)

The dinner group


Sitting at the piano, playing with Mr. John
When we came home from lunch and Hudson napped, we opened stockings since we forgot to do so that morning.

"Reading" his Christmas Card

Candy & a Harmonica

Merry 2nd Christmas, Hudson
P.S. His cool Charlie Brown Christmas shirt was found
for $1 at Goodwill and it was new with tags!
It's a 2T so hopefully he'll get to wear it again next year.  Yahoo!

Christmas with Grandaddy & Grandma

 The week of Thanksgiving, we made the 9 hour trip to Tennessee to spend Thanksgiving with my family and have an early Christmas.

Eating blueberries and watching "101 Dalmatians" on the portable DVD.
 A quick pit-stop in Metropolis, IL to stretch our legs and snap pictures with Superman

Hudson, obviously, wanted to stretch his legs more than take pictures.

Christmas with Grandaddy and Grandma

Every boy needs a tricycle! 

Reading with Grandaddy

Reading with Grandma
 The Friday after Thanksgiving, we went to my sister's home for dinner and Christmas
with her family.

Sitting in a chair like the big boys, watching "Rudolph"

I finally got to meet Miss Emily - the daughter of my childhood friend.

Such a cutie!
 Saturday, we had Christmas with my friends Kay and Marvin

First Oreo - he was a fan!

Kay & Marvin got Hudson probably his favorite gift - a play kitchen.

On the way home, we stopped at a Chick-Fil-A in Cape Girardeau.
Our closest Chick-Fil-A is about 2 hours away so this was a treat.
Hudson especially loved getting some energy out in the play place.

Yep, I totally went through the tunnels with Hudson.
One somewhat bossy girl told me I was too big.
Obviously I ignored her - lol.