We have been forever changed by experiencing a faith-filled journey that first brought us our sweet Caitlin, then an adoption that ended in disappointment, and now one that placed us in the NICU with a sweet little baby boy. Never would we have chosen the disappointment and grief of losing children we had come to love and now worrying about the health of our new little addition, but God's plan has been to forever leave His mark of grace, brokenness, and freedom to obey even when we don’t understand. To Him be the glory for what He has done, and is doing, and will do!

With love and gratefulness to our Heavenly Father who has adopted us into His forever family, and to you, our family and friends,

Robert, Carlene and Caitlin Belue

Thursday, November 1, 2012

So very grateful!

Wow, time flies! I didn't realize it had been so long since I've been on the blog. Here's what's been happening.
Cannon is off all medications and doing great! He's happy, eats and sleeps well, and is getting physical therapy from a wonderful lady once a week. No more blood thinner shots or seizure meds. His MRI in July showed blood flow through the area that was once blocked by the clot. His EEG in August looked good and he'll be seen by his neurologist next year to follow up. He is about 18 pounds and almost 9 months old, and smiles all day long.
His adoption was finalized a few weeks ago! We are so grateful for what the Lord has done in our family, for the lessons learned through sorrow and uncertainty, and for this sweet baby!
Psalm 28:6,7 "Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of our supplications! The Lord is our strength and our shield; our heart trusted in Him and we were helped; therefore, our heart greatly rejoices, and with our song we will praise Him."

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Lesson in Gratitude

A few weeks ago, I was rocking my sweet baby, and a sense of overwhelming gratitude for what God has done in our family over the past year, came upon me.  I put him in his crib and knelt in the hallway, and thanked God for His healing of our hearts, for His peace, for His protection over Cannon and the blessing of our family and friends who have supported us and encouraged us along the way. And, I thought about the many times we pray so desperately for a miracle, for God to intervene; and when He does, do we thank Him just as fervently as we prayed, or just as often as we cried out to Him? That was my lesson that day; to express my gratitude for what God does and who He is, as often and as desperately as when I pray for His miraculous interventions in my life.
 Cannon recently had an MRI done, and God protected Him through being sedated and the 1 ½ hr long test. Today, the neurologist said he looked like a completely different baby than just a few months ago (when she saw him shortly after his seizures and the blood clot). She is pleased with his progress, alertness and interaction, and happy nature, and said the MRI shows that there is now blood circulation where there was once no flow of blood in the vein where the blood clot had formed. She expects he will be off his seizure medication at the end of the summer. The hematologist will determine when he will be off his blood thinners once they compare the two MRI’s and determine if the blood clot has completely resolved.

 Thank you for praying! And, here are some things you can continue to pray for Cannon.
First, join us in thanking God anytime Cannon comes to mind, for what He has already done; for Cannon’s happy and easygoing nature, good sleep, and overall health.

 He could still be prone to seizures, however has not had any since he was in the hospital (for which we are very grateful).

 He will be evaluated Friday for some needed physical therapy, as the neurologist said there is still the possibility of him developing some form of cerebral palsy or like-issues that may delay or affect development due to the brain hemorrhage. We are praying for God’s continued healing and protection as his brain grows and heals. God has a plan for Cannon and we are excited to see what He will do with this little life!

Psalm 145
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation will praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works…The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.

 Grateful for His tender mercies,

The Belue family

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Mother's Day Reflection

Eighteen years ago, I had dreams of what my life would look like….I would have 3 kids before I was 30…I would be a stay at home mother  after I taught for  3 years. Instead, I taught for 7 years, then had time to go back to school for a Master’s in Educational Management, and became an Assistant Principal for 4 years. I was stretched, and blessed with encouragement, through co-workers who loved Jesus.

 For seven years, Mother’s Day was a day of celebrating my own wonderful mother, but also one of longing to be a mother myself…a day where I willed myself to choose gratitude for what I did have, and look forward to what God would bring.

 Long before God gave us our own children through adoption, he gave us the youth at GHCC. What a joy they were to us…going to retreats, athletic events, parties, lock-ins, baptisms, graduations, even the sorrows and tears shared, and shed for those we loved and lost…and learning about God and others together. I can remember to this day the Mother’s Day cards I received and cherished, and the lessons learned about life and family during that time. They will never be forgotten! And “our kids” will always have a place in our hearts.

  I’ll be forty in a week, and blessed to be the mother of 2 beautiful children crafted just for me. I had a good plan, but God had a different, much broader plan, one I’m so glad He created; to teach me about Him, to loosen my grip of selfish expectations and to give the freedom from fear of the unknown in order to experience and display His glory in a way that my plans never could have done.                

 The journey to growing our family has changed my life forever, and set Christ’s presence and grace so deep within me that I long for more…for heaven. Anything I felt I have lost, I have gained that much more for having known Christ better and been loved so deeply through the losses.

 In every season, God has a purpose for us, and we have a choice to make (sometimes one day at a time). Will we allow the sweet presence of Jesus and the grace from the cross to speak truth, and breathe life into our struggling souls?

 May our losses and disappointments continually bring us to the grace, wisdom, freedom and peace that only a life surrendered by God could accomplish.

 Having your fingers pried off something you long for…that you are clinging to, can be painful and disappointing. But, when it’s God who is doing the prying, the end result is freedom…the freedom to hold onto the good He has for you…Himself, a new dream, the hope of heaven…and peace for life here on earth.
Revelation 7:12
Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Trusting Him Just the Same

With tears in my eyes, I thanked God for my two kids today, who have taught me to trust Jesus in all things. I trusted God when He said He had a good plan for me.
I kept trusting Him when I couldn’t bear children and the years wore on, and I saw His loving hand upon my grieving heart. He was saving my tears.
I still trusted when He led us to adoption. I trusted while I waited and waited.  I trusted He would provide the finances and the child He had planned for us. He did!
I trusted Him when I wanted to adopt again but the timing wasn’t right. I trusted while I waited and waited some more.
I trusted Him when He began working on us to adopt a sibling group, even when I really didn’t see how we could, or if we should.
I trusted when He chose 3 sweet children whom we loved and lost; I trusted when He took us all the way to Colombia and back, empty-handed.  I trusted in His deep love for me and our children.
I trusted, and praised God for what He would do, even when I couldn’t see. I trusted while I waited again.
I trusted Him when he brought along a new little life, one who was really sick.
I trusted God on the day I was told he had bleeding in his brain, and a blood clot, and they couldn’t tell me if he would be okay.
I trusted God when He said to keep trusting, even when I couldn’t see, even when I could’ve made the choice to quit. I trusted, and waited.
I’m trusting God today for what I can’t see for tomorrow, and thanking Him that He can!
I have learned that I can trust God in all things; for in all things He loves, He provides, He gives, He plans, He heals, He never changes!

The practice of trust in times like these, has brought a strength to my soul, a peace that only God could bring, a love for my Jesus, and an excitement for heaven, that no other circumstances and no other choices could have brought.

 I can trust Him because I know He loves me!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Out of the Hospital

Psalm 111: 1-5 “I will praise the Lord with my whole heart…The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them. His work is honorable and glorious, and His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.” After 43 days in the NICU, Cannon was released on Monday, and we are spending a few days with Robert’s cousin in TN while interstate adoption papers are filed.
In February, we asked you to join us in prayer for Cannon and our family as the Lord took us through some challenging days.

Here is how God answered!
Weekly ultrasounds have shown that the clot continues to decrease with no new areas of concern.
He has had no other seizures; he will be on seizure medication until we follow-up with the neurologist in April.
Cannon has reached 9 lbs, and is eating and sleeping well!
The neurologist does not expect any significant long-term issues at this time.
What God has promised to provide, we have received! His faithfulness has been evident in overwhelming peace, strength, and wisdom for each day. He provided professional and caring nurses and doctors who cared for Cannon and for us.
Cannon’s verses on his crib were read, and commented on, by countless nurses, doctors and volunteers, and probably other parents who had babies right next to him.
God granted Caitlin the grace to be flexible when needed, and for us to be sensitive to her needs during the last 6 weeks. She is thrilled to be able to hold and feed Cannon, and has already been a big help. Good luck being able to hold him if she’s around; she’s very protective. J
What’s ahead?

Daily medication for seizures;  blood thinners (the blood thinner is an injection in his little belly 2 times a day; we are both learning to be brave, but with all he’s gone through, he has a pretty high pain tolerance.)

Follow up with the neurologist and hematologist.

Enjoying each day together as a family, continuing to be grateful and praising God for what He has done, and growing by grace in this next season of life while remembering “the works of the Lord”.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

God's Safety

Cannon's verse for the week: Psalm 4:8 "I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." He truly has kept Cannon safe; the blood clot is continuing to decrease and the doctor thinks he will be out of the hospital sometime next week. We praise God for all He is doing!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Guardianship papers signed!

One more step is past us as we signed guardianship papers for Cannon yesterday. Cannon's verse for this week (that will join Jer. 29:11 and Lamentations 3:22-25 on his crib) is Eph. 3:20-21. "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think...to Him be the glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."We thank God for His attention and care about the details of Cannon's health and adoption. He is showing Himself to be faithful every day in many ways!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

This little light of mine

Cannon's sweet nurse this morning said she read him his verses we have posted on his crib, and sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness" to him after his bottle. So touched by God's care, a nurse's sweet spirit, and the light we can be here at the MED during our extended stay. God's love shines in all places! Cannon, God is using you to spread His light!

Friday, March 2, 2012

God's Protection

"When something in your life makes you anxious, come to Me and talk about it...though the lessons of trust that I send you come wrapped in difficulties, the benefits far outweigh the cost." (Sarah Young) We are experiencing God's peace and strength, and He is answering our prayers for healing for Cannon. The blood clot has decreased significantly with no further bleeding. The neurologists expect a positive long-term outcome for him. We are so grateful and praise Him for His perfect plan for Cannon. Thank you for continuing in prayer with us!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

God the Great Physician

Psalm 18:1-3 "I will love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in Whom I will trust...I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised." We have had a long, rough week with Cannon. It seemed like he was really making progress in the first few days, but two days ago he began having some small seizures and they found a blood clot and some bleeding in the nerves of his brain. The neurological team does not know the cause but is working to try to decrease the size of the clot with blood thinners and treat the seizures that are still occurring. He gets a daily CAT scan or ultrasound and is closely monitored.
We are grateful for a powerful God who has a wonderful plan for Cannon, competent and caring nurses, a doctor who loves the Lord, for the help from friends and family with Caitlin, and the knowedge of many people praying all over the world for our family.
Thank you!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Joy. Uncertainty and Trust

Cannon was born about 8:30 am, Sunday, Feb. 12th via emergency c-section, and weighed in at 7 lbs 11 oz.! Our attorney didn't find out until a day later, and was uncertain about some comments made by the birthparents that perhaps they were re-thinking adoption. So, we waited and trusted God to work out the details. We were given clearance to see Cannon two days after he was born. He is in the NICU for a variety of issues, and could be for some time. However, he is making good progress on a daily basis and we are able to spend time with him and help with feedings and hold him while he naps. He has a great team of doctors and the Great Physician who loves Him and created Him. We are grateful for this blessing! "Some of the greatest works in My kingdom have been done from sick beds..." (Young) We are trusting God to do a great work in his little life. We will post pictures when we are able; he is a blonde-headed cutie!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Celebrating Adoption

‎7 years ago today, we met our sweet, tiny, 17-day old Caitlin (a gift from God) and brought her home! What a joy she is, and how many things I've learned about Jesus along the journey leading up to her adoption day, and still to this day! I'm so grateful to have been chosen by God for adoption, and for Him having chosen Caitlin for us. 
 "Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men...we went through fire and water but You brought us out to rich fulfillment (abundance)...come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul." (Ps. 66) Happy Adoption Day, Caitlin!