Sunday, September 23, 2007

the first 24 hours in the real world....




We've made it through our first night with Copeland. She had only a couple of her "blue spells" and, by the grace of God, we were able to handle them with relative ease. It's almost as though she is teaching us how best to care for her. These photos were taken shortly after we arrived at my parents' home. Sellers has taken to copying pretty much everything any of us does with her new baby sister - but with her dolly, Betsy. It's adorable.

My dad blessed all of his girls with beautiful sterling necklaces right before dinner. They are each hearts - Sellers and Copeland have the same and then I have a slightly different one. The emotion of knowing that we are all truly a family, and that sweet Copeland will always be a part of that, is amazing. Sellers was beside herself with hers and wants to wear it all the time. She felt so special.

Several of you have commented either on the blog or through e-mail about feeling a deep urge to pray that the Lord would give Conor and I wisdom about feeding Copeland. I wanted to include a photo of her eating - with a small bottle, nonetheless - so that you could see you for yourselves: she's doing it! When the nurse that came into our hospital room on Friday night at about 2 a.m. mentioned the possibility of giving her some formula, I later felt a strong urge from the Lord to breastfeed. I have resisted that idea from the day we learned of Copeland's condition, mainly because of the emotional tie I think breastfeeding can build between a mom and a child. I have wanted to guard my heart. But I did feel His prompting me and, upon sharing that with Conor, we decided I would use a pump and hopefully, if Copeland could successfully eat with a bottle or even a syringe (which has been a bit more fail-proof, as even though her sucking reflex is present it's weak) we would be able to feel like I was contributing in a special way to her life and that perhaps the Lord wanted me to go ahead and enjoy that bond with her while she is here. There is such a fine line in protecting oneself from emotionally-upheaving situations: the Bible says that we should "above all else" guard our hearts for they are the wellspring of life, but it also says the heart is deceitful. I pray for discernment, that the Lord would show me when I am making decisions out of haste and uncertainty, and when He is actually stirring in my spirit. I believe that night was one of the first examples of how He will guide me and give me what science might call instincts - but what we as believers can call movement by the Holy Spirit.

We are going on our first family outing today, maybe to the bookstore. In contrast to how I felt when we first learned of Copeland's diagnosis, I am aching for social interaction. Perhaps there's a part of me that longs to "show my girls off" together; perhaps I want to take Copeland to do and see as many things as we can while she's here so that each will be marked, in my memory, with her presence. There are so many emotions that I think a new mother of two feels, especially sadness knowing that the season with your first child alone is now over, but I waiver between sadness over that and sadness that, ultimately, we will go back to the three of us at some point. I want to soak up as much as I can with our foursome and simply live in the joy of that for today. In reality, none of us knows how long we have; it's a bit hilarious that with Copeland's diagnosis we actually feel like we can "plan" on something that is inevitable for all of us and yet can't really be pinned down. Please pray for time for all of us to bond, and for the time Conor and I can share as parents to our girls, that it will be blessed and truly annointed. Satan is definitely attacking as much as he can, and I know part of that attack includes overwhelming Conor and I enough to keep us 'shut down' in communication with each other, even if it's just as a result of lack of time to chat and look into each other's eyes. We will have to be diligent, for our girls' sakes, to make that time and make it special.

We love you all and are so blessed by the words you send. I sit in front of the computer quite often now and read your comments and e-mails and weep. The Scripture you send is incredibly uplifting. I need it. God's Word is truly living and active. It is the only thing upon which any of us can lean, for it will never fade or pass away. Many of you spoke words of encouragement regarding Copeland being ordained by God to be our daughter... that I was called from the beginning to be her mom, Conor her dad, Sellers her sister. You have no idea what that means, either. I'd forgotten it. Sometimes it's easy to feel like this was all random, despite my head-belief that God does pre-ordain things and has a plan. Thank you for reminding me that He's already designed me and my heart, as well as Conor's, to walk this path.

41 comments:

Cathy said...

God bless your family and this precious Angel. Eating will be slow but she is doing it. It will tire her, but it will sustain her. How wonderful for your support system. We are praying constantly for this Child of God.
CAthy & Annabel

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful pictures! Again, your words are an encouraement and energizer to all of us in our own walk with Him. May you feel showers of blessings as you spend this time with your family. Prayers from Texas...

Anonymous said...

I love seeing the photos. We are praying that God will help you discern His will in all decisions.
Mary T. Miller
Birmingham

simonsays said...

Boothe, these pictures are precious! Sydney is sitting next to me and keeps kissing Copeland's picture saying, "that's Seller's baby sister??!!"

It makes me smile to think of your family outing today. It truly is a blessing.

We'll keep praying!! I have to admit these past few days have been quite "faith-building"!

Take care -

Julie

Anonymous said...

This if from the hymn How Firm a Foundation....
"Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed;
For I am your God and will still give you aid;
I'll strengthen you, help you and cause you to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call you to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with you, your troubles to bless,
And sanctify to you your deepest distress.

"When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be your supply;
The flame shall not hurt you;I only design
Your dross to consume and your gold to refine.

"The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
THat soul,though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake."

THis hymn has brought me much comfort...Continuing to pray...God is near the broken hearted.

What a beautiful picture of your precious daughters!!!

Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

It is amazing to see her drinking out of a bottle! Wow! Whatever you decide about how to feed her, it will be made with much love--and that is always blessed by God!! I'm praying for your first outing, that it goes smoothly!

whitney burrough akin said...

B-
We are praying that you will have another day of abounding joy in the "dailiness" of today with your family and it's newest member! how special. may all of this time conitnue to knit you and conor together. we pray that you would continue to feel His grip and leading.
love you!

Laurie said...

God Bless and Bless you this Sunday morning. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, you and Conor were predestined and prepared by God to be Copeland Fair's parents. Hold tight to this truth and know in your hearts that this is His promise. I will pray that nothing gets between you and Conor, ever. Satan has no place in Gods plan and He will guard your hearts.
These beautiful pictures of your girls reflect Jesus in the sparkle in their eyes. And the necklaces are such a love treasure from your dads heart. And Miss Copeland eating is a blessing. God sustained her until she could take over, no detail comes forth unless it comes straight from His hand. Rest in this, love in this, find peace in this and enjoy her with thanksgiving, a family of four. God has the future in His heart, just enjoy each day of it, leaving the rest to Him. He has begun a good work in you and He will complete it. Have a wonderful day with your family.

Laurie in Ca.

Anonymous said...

Although we have never met, I am constantly thinking of you and praying for your family. Praying that each day is full of many blessings.

Tara
Atlanta, GA

Laurie said...

PS. You go show those girls off today, you have earned it. Let the beauty of Jesus and His miracle be seen in you today!!

Sue said...

We haven't met, but I'm praying in St. Louis...

Anonymous said...

I hope so many people stop and admire your girls while you're out today! You have so much to be thankful for!
Praying for strength and confidence as you continue do your daily tasks...

Joann said...

love and prayers for all four of you...you are doing right and courageous things. thank you for the precious pictures and the look into your day.

8hatchers said...

Our family has been praying daily. My "Carter" gets up every morning and asks how Copeland is doing. Today in Bible Study, my oldest daughter, Gracie (17), asked for prayer--here in Memphis--and her teacher was aware of you & has been praying too. Isn't it a small world? I'm sure they know of you through the Luce family. We are so honored to experience this w/ you via "blogging". Thank you for sharing & inspiring us all. I'm so proud of you & Conor. We will keep praying! Jeff & Laura

Emily said...

I thought about your sweet family throughout our church service this morning. You may already know this, but we are studying the book of Philippians right now. The series is called "Uncommom Joy", and today's message was titled "The Life that Sings". It reminded me so much of how you are singing in the midst of this season of your life. You continue to be such a bright light to so many people, including myself. I wanted to thank you for that and let you know that we are praying for all of you, every step of the way. Have a wonderful day with your family!
Much Love,
Emily Sutherland

Jenny said...

We haven't met, but I stumbled upon your blog through Sarah's in the midst of it several days ago and I have been so burdened to be in prayer for your family. I wanted to encourage you in regard to your desire to pump for Copeland. Our first child was born at 27 weeks gestation (placental abruption), and during the 2 1/2 months she was in the NICU I pumped for her. The first few weeks when we didn't even know if she would make it I truly felt that the Lord was telling me the one thing I could physically do for her, at a time when I felt so helpless, was to pump. And my breastmilk was then given to her in her feeding tube. I pray that Lord will also give you peace to know that He has created your body to be able to help Copeland in this way. If you can try to get a hospital grade pump somehow (we were able to rent one from a lactation consultant) they are wonderful and are especially great for moms who are pumping exclusively for a preemie or special needs child.

Proverbs 19:21 "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD'S purpose that prevails."

In His Hope,
Jenny
calcrew.wordpress.com

Krajca Family said...

We've never met, but I'm praying for you, your husband and your two beautiful daughters! May today (and any more God gives) be very sweet and special.

Thoughts and prayers from Texas,
Kierstyn

Anonymous said...

Copeland is stunning! She actually looks plumper in the pictures you have shown us. It just brings me such joy to see her drinking out of a bottle. I am proud of all of you- you are such a beautiful family!
I will continue to pray for you. My husband asks for an update every day.
Love in Christ,
Randi
www.chrisandrandi.us

Anonymous said...

Boothe, Conor & Family...

I only know you from afar. We have some mutual friends & I've met you in passing. Please know that myself & the prayer group I attend at Christ Community are praying for all of you.

The Smiths told me about your blog and I stayed up until 1:00 am reading it. I couldn't stopping crying, smiling, praying as I read.

My son was in the NICU last year when he was born. It wasn't what you guys are going through but I had a small taste of the intensity of all those feelings. Please know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of so many.

May God continue to comfort, sustain, and love you more than you have ever known before.

I'm praying about the breast feeding. for courage, discernment.

I'm praying for mercy for sweet Copeland.

Thanks for allowing me the gift of walking with you guys...even from a distance.

PS ... Boothe, I do hope someday you might write a book. God has given you such a beautiful gift of words. Thank you for sharing them with me.


Mary Collins

Peach said...

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10.

My precious husband gave me this as my life verse several years ago when I was going through a season of being ruled by fear of all kinds and panic attacks that would render me immobilized and crippled to be effective for the Lord.

I am praying this verse for your sweet family right now, Boothe. I am praying that the truth of His word will sustain you, Conor, your extended family and your precious girls through each and every moment.

May our dear Heavenly Father wrap His arms securely around you and strengthen you in your weak moments. May He be praised for all He has done and continues to do in the life of Copeland and in your lives as well.

Y'all are a testimony to His goodness to all of us, His children.

Paula said...

What a precious beautiful little girl Copeland is!!...and how proud and happy Sellers looks as she mimics what you have role-modeled to her. Thank you so much for those beautiful photos!

God definitely has a plan for you all as a family. He is etching in your heart memories that will never be forgotten.

Phil: 4:13..I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.."

Anonymous said...

A song to sing over Copeland;
From Psalms 139:17-18
{Tune: Quesera,sera}
Words by your great-aunt, Cindy:

If I could count Your thoughts for me, they would outnumber,fish in the seas; stars in the heavens: sands on the shores; Your thoughts for me are MORE.
[chorus]
How you love me Lord! You care for me night and day. You show me a thousand ways. How you love me Lord!
When I lay down and go to sleep, You're there beside me, my soul to keep. When I wake up, Lord, You still are there, You're with me everywhere!
How You love me Lord, you care for me night and day, You show me a thousand ways. How you love me Lord!
I am celebrating every moment shared with our tiny ambassador from God, you all are wrapped in my heart. Love, Aunt Cindy

Sun said...

Those pictures are OH SO ADORABLE! May God continue to pour out His wisdom, peace, and may He shield you...He is SO GOOD! Continually between your story and another precious family that I am following - I am blown away by God. He is more than I even comprehend or understand - His mercy that is new today and will be new tomorrow - His grace, His love...I pray that He is more real to you than any fear or challenge you are faced with! Sunshine

Anonymous said...

I am so blessed to hear of how the Lord has led you in feeding her. Yesterday I felt to pray for wisdom for you in that (specifically that you would know if you needed to pump your milk for her), without knowing that anyone else had mentioned that to you. I have been praying for you since I heard about Copeland (the day before she was born), and I will continue to lift you up on a continual basis.

Phil 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

jenni said...

We are so happy for you. I showed Jake Sellers picture this morning & showed him her new baby sister & he said she was cute!!!

Thank you for letting us into your life and I can't wait to meet you in person since I missed meeting you at Snoopy Day.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you all & keep enjoying your beautiful girls!!
Jenni

the brown's said...

Boothe and Conor: proud parents of two beautiful girls! it sounds perfect, and will always be true! every time i read your words and see those beautiful pictures i am so encouraged. it amazes me how much encouragement you continue to bring to all of us despite the fact that ya'll are walking through this difficult season. thank you for being so generous and sharing Copeland's life with us. she is beautiful and perfect. it is SO true, Christ picked ya'll to be her mother, father and sister. what a special and unique gift. we are continuing to pray that each moment ya'll have with her is blessed! have so much fun on your outing, what an amazing marked memory...to take your first "family of 4" outing. we love you guys and are continuing to pray...nathan, taylor and dylan

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your beautiful Sabbath Day!!! Love Every Momment of showing those beutiful girls off. Make those memories :)

I have to agree with one comment. When God allows you time through all of this, Boothe, you must share your words. What a gift God has given you. Through you and your wonderful family God works!!!

Those a The People's Church are praying-- your family was lifted to God today during SS.

God Bless.

{Karla} said...

praying that your outing is positively memorable!

What a precious sweet girl.

The Lord will guide your decisions. Take comfort in that.

Blessings,
Karla

courtney said...

What awesome pictures! I love the necklaces, especially. Praying that today would be blessed and as normal as can be.....

Courtney (Nelms) Ashburn

Jennie-Marie said...

What an angel, thank you for sharing the pictures and your beautiful thoughts on each moment with precious Copeland. I love seeing her enjoy a bottle, proof of God's amazing grace and the power of His healing touch. We continue to lift your family up in prayer. I thank God often for leading me to your blog, your faith is so amazing and truly inspiring. Thank you for not only sharing your gift of precious Copeland but also your great faith. Love, The McMasters

Alison said...

praying....

Kelly in Texas said...

I just love the pictures! The one of Copeland with the bottle - oh my goodness,tears rolling down my face as I saw it. Sellers is so beautiful too and the picture of her holding Copeland...wow! You have such a beautiful family. In the midst of it all, I know you feel blessed. I will continue to pray for you all - now esp for you and Connor. Being parents is challenging enough and when you have a special needs child, it can be even more demanding. Trust that God will light your path and show you just what you need to know the exact moment you need to know it. I will also pray for you and Connor to carve out special time for each other and support each other in the midst of what I know has to be stressful as well as joyful. I feel so incredibly blessed to "know" your family even if it's just over the internet. You all have a special place in my heart. God Bless!

Cherry said...

So excited for your outing to the bookstore--no one deserves a trip to the bookstore more than you do right now, Boothe. We love you guys!

JWH said...

WOW! We Hemmings are amazed as God's tale of Copeland continues to unfold. Thank you soooo much for posting the homecoming photos. precious!

Do not be afraid for I am with you;
....Bring ....my daughters from the ends of the earth....whom i created for my glory, whom i formed and made. isaiah 43:5-7

~janie~

A Place For Ministry Wives said...

How amazing to know that God is in the details of speaking to you about the specific type of "nourishment" that is best for you and Copeland spiritually and physically. :-)

"If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." Psalm 139:8-10

ali said...

hey farley family,
just wanted to let you know that my prayers have continued to go up for you guys and my praises to our god this morning were passsionate on you guy's side. sorry that i havent been able to post as many comments as frequently as in the past, but know that i am constantly checking and even more constantly lifting you up. every moment with your baby girl has been ordained by God before time began. as we sit here anxiously waiting and wondering what the next moment will look like he already knows and has before any of you even existed. he is still in control, he still has the most perfect plan of all, he still knows each of your hearts more than you do, he still has compassion and love for each of you more than any one on earth, and his grace is still sufficient even though he already knows whats going to happen. know that in the midst of chaos and the maze of life you are in right now- he is consistent. he doesnt change.

loving you guys much, would love to see your family next time i am home.

Anonymous said...

How sweet to be home together. May the Lord continue to bless you all with precious memories in the days ahead. Our prayers are with you from Texas.
Krista & family

Anonymous said...

What precious pictures! I have never gone to my computer so many times than in the past week! Copeland is so precious and I love those little fingers! Seller's face is priceless! God is so good and I continually thank Him for the time you have with your girls!
Boothe and Conor, you are becoming so much stronger in the Lord than you know right now! What a blessing you have been to so many people and Copeland has touched more lives in a week than some people do in a lifetime of years.

We become strong in the broken places of our lives and we have to do two things that are totally opposite, hang in there and let go. A devotion I read today says,
to somehow dig up the courage to keep going is the very courage that allows us to scoop us the broken pieces of our lives and lay them at the feet of One who would do more in us than just get us through the storm.

I agree with someone else that says you need to do a book. I know down the road the Lord will give you that! What blessings you have all been and continue to be in showing your faith in your heavenly Father! You are continually in our thoughts and prayers. We love you all so much!

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work. II Thess. 2:16-17

Mona and Dave Brown

Laurel Wreath said...

Continued prayers for you sweet one, for everyone. I think your daughter Copeland is beautiful. The photos are precious. Your faith and your heart is a blessing to us as well.

Anonymous said...

Boothe and Conor,
I couldn't wait to get home from work today to check Copeland's status. I shared your story with so many people now, so many people...so many prayers. You have every right to show those beautiful girls off....you earned it! She looks so good and Seller's looks sooo proud....how cool! May God continue to bless and keep. He choose you guys to be her parent's because he knew you were the best for her. Take care and thank you SO much for everything you have taught me as a wife and Mother....I am forever grateful.

Kristy C said...

I just want to say I think it's a beautiful gift you are giving your daughter-your decision to provide breastmilk. I know it is a sacrifice of time, comfort, your own body and emotions, but I pray that it will bless her little body.