My Dearest Lydia
A father's letters to his unborn baby girl with anencephaly.
A journey of a man and His God through grief and mercy.
A journey of a man and His God through grief and mercy.
Every dollar will go towards medical bills and healing.
My Dearest Lydia,
Your brother's third birthday is today. It is such a cheerful occasion as we place it at the zoo and invite all of his friends over to celebrate his life on earth. It is a bitter sweet moment because as we celebrate his waking moments, we long for yours. Whitson Layne McDonald is our first born. He is a prince of a boy, very smart, loves to read, and loves to beat me up when we wrestle (almost every night). He is the best big brother anyone could be blessed to have.
In our tense days of dealing with your illness, your birth defect, we ask God countless times for peace, comfort, and to heal you. As your brother's friends gather to party, play, and to support us in our efforts with raising your brother and taking care of you, I am reminded of what the bigger picture might be. We have been able to talk to so many people from all different "walks of life", because of you, Lydia. Because of the God we love and believe in that says you are loved.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble” (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).
I have thought about this a lot, my Dearest Child. Our pain, our celebrations, all the experiences that we gather throughout life is not for us alone. No, it never really is just for us. You see, I have come to an undetanding that God, the greatest of all, has plans for our experiences. He wants us to touch, love, and help as mpnay people as possible, in His name. He wants us to share your life, our son's life, our lives with others. My alone time writing to you, my time praying over you in your mommies belly, and the times I publicly talk about you to others are for there education as well. It is all, in some strage way, for God's glory to glorify us as his Children.
You see? Your life is not pointless at all, as some Doctors have tried to make you. Your life in your mommies belly, as quick as it might be, will be for eternity. Because, people will know your name. Because they know your name, they will know our faith in God. Jesus Christ, God's son who died for us all will be glorified because we simply said yes to letting you live, my Dear. You are a live, you have a heartbeat, and your move and cary on like a happy child every day. You don't magically appear a birth. You have been with us for six months, since conception. We love you. We respect you. We laugh for you and cry for you, because, well... you are real.
You are our little daughter, Lydia Dianne.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). (God promises to be with you and get you through this time of intense disappointment and loneliness.)
Whitson, your brother, has made our lives so much richer with love. His smile, his frowns, and his experiences on earth make a man and woman think about life a little differently than before. Big things become small. Small and simple blessings become big. We stare at grass differently than before. We stop and experience things that we might have walked by before. His birthday is the grandest of all, because though we do not want him to think his is better than others on his birthday (like some think birthday's defile children), we want him to know that this day was the day God granted us him. This is a miracle. A healthy child.
Because of you, Lydia, we celebrate you with Whitson on his birthday, because we understand that the chances of you having an actual normal birth is few and far between, we pray for your healing, your birth and life. We thank God for Whitson, who is a very health, strong, vibrant soul that loves life to the fullest. We want to celebrate his blessing in our lives. We want to show God that we will focus on the blessing we do have and not on the clouds that may or will come.
Lydia, if I have the blessing to get to raise you, I would teach you to look up, and not down. Look at the bright and not the dark. Life happens. Storms roll. There is nothing you can do about the bad things that happen in life. All you can do is make a choice: Am I going to get through this with a good or bad attitude. You still will have to go through it, you will still have to travel the distance, but the demeanor in which it happens is our outlook on life. We, your mommy and daddy, chose to look up. Always.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). (Depend on His guidance to lead you out of that dark valley.)
The cake, ice cream, and all the children laughing at your brother's birthday party is a sound of heaven, I am sure. God grants us these glimpses into peacefulness and serenity to let us know that He is taking care of everything, behind the scenes. We might not see the next second in life, but we can be sure to trust him with everyone we have not seen, because we know of what He has done with what we have seen. Does that make sense, my baby girl? God is in control.
There has not been one moment of this process that He didn't know would come. He knew we would say yes, hold on tight, and prepare for the most happy and sad moments. He knew that we knew Him and that you would be safe with us for these moments on Earth. Though we have cried, screamed, and asked for it to pass and to heal you, He knew that we would be faithful. We might not have known all of this would come to pass, but He did.
The pain is still there, my sweet child, as I pray every day for your health. The tears still come, baby girl, but they are fewer and farther between now. It is not because I care less, but because there is a healing and strengthening knowing that God is in control and you have a might purpose, just like your brother. On this day, his birthday, we remember the love we have for both our babies, that are living here on earth. In a blink of an eye any of us can be gone for good. It is only God that we can trust on and lean on beyond all understanding.
I love you, Lydia. I will always love you.
People will know our faith and the God that loves, because of you. People will know that they have worth, no matter what, because of you.
P.S. - Happy Birthday, Son. If someday you read this, I want to let you know you are the biggest blessing in our lives. Never forget your worth; you are priceless.
To make a donation to the Lydia campaign, please www.gofundme.com/DearestLydiaclick on the button, or here and donate. Every dollar will go towards helping Lydia and Miranda, and to help the family with preparations for her arrival. This blog will serve as a future testimony of a Father, a Mother, and their undying love for a little girl named Lydia.
Our daughter, Lydia Dianne McDonald, was diagnosed with a terminal condition called Anencephaly. It plainly means she an unfinished scull and her brain damaged, making her not able to live outside the womb. These are my letters to my daughter and how I would try to explain this to her and my own soul. This is my letters to God and my daughter.