Hoping, building, saving, expanding!

11:31 AM

Dear friends, 

This is a guest post from a wonderful love of ours. There were many tears as I attempted to get through it the first time. We are honored to have so so so many incredible friends. Thanks for reading and sharing.

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"It is my delight to share with you an avenue through which you can bless the Tate family during this unspeakably difficult time. First, let me give honor and blessing where it is due. When you walk by a spiritual giant, it is always good practice to stop and recognize why they are as such and to bless the Lord for his incredible strength that somehow partners with our human weakness and produces beautiful things.  

Bryan and I first came to know Chris and Jordan as giddy newlyweds a little over three years ago. We were leading a missions trip to Nicaragua of which they were a part. They had all the sweet marks of a precious new family; perma-smiles, loads of joy, googely eyes, openly talking about dreams of children, how they couldn't wait for Chris to be done with school so they could buy a fixer upper and make it their own. Having just had my first child earlier that year, I could completely relate to all of those hopes and dreams even through my happy new parent fatigue. It was a delight to get to know this sweet family as they started out! 

About nine months later, we got a call from Jordan as she tearily told us they had found themselves pregnant with a surprise baby! Chris was still in school and she was working a very demanding job with child protective services. There were so many unknowns, more than we could have imagined at the time. We rushed over to their (scary) little apartment complex and congratulated them, cried happy tears, talked about vitamins and midwives, and assured them that God always knew what He was doing when He gave us children. I left feeling so elated for my sweet friends as they had begun the beautiful and challenging journey of parenthood. Our children would grow up together, be best friends! We all had stars in our eyes that day for this sweet little baby! 

Fast forward another nine months to the birth of beautiful Ellie Rae. I had the honor of being there for some of their first moments as a family and their last with her on earth. The deepest of pain and yet sweetest river of God's Presence flowed through that hospital room that day. I will never understand how those things can coexist and yet will always be grateful. I watched this beautiful couple with all the dreams and hopes of a young family decide that they would not blame God for their pain and loss but that they would run to Him, that they would choose to let Jesus be their Comforter and Healer, and that they would completely yield themselves to the work of the Holy Spirit in and through their lives. Were there moments of weakness? Absolutely. And how grateful can we be that Jesus is always there in those moments being His completely loving, unoffended self? He is so kind. 

When I got the call from Jordan that she was pregnant again, this time with sweet Elsie, we cried and blessed the Lord for surely, SURELY, this was redemption! Everyone who loved or even knew of Chris and Jordan in passing were ready for them to have a healthy child of their own to hold. Excitement was through the roof! And again, as we watched one of their children receive a diagnosis of fatal abnormalities, we all wept and interceded for her life as we had with her sister. As the nightmare of nightmares seemed to be on repeat, we watched our precious friends choose joy over wallowing, faith over fear, pursue miracles instead of resignation. 

If you are reading this (and bless you if you have, it's long....), you know that Elsie as well has gone to be with Jesus shortly after her birth. Currently, Chris and Jordan are awaiting the results of genetic testing from Elsie's doctors. Initially, they were told that they would have to pay out of pocket for these expensive procedures. God has graciously provided a way for insurance to completely cover the potentially multiple of thousands of dollars these tests require. Elsie's funeral costs has been covered as well by the generosity of the funeral home that will facilitate her services. Thank You Jesus for the generosity of kind people!

Many of you have asked what you can do for the Tate family, how you can love them in this time. Initially, the thought was to give people the opportunity to give money and offset the costs of the genetic testing and Elsie's funeral. Since those are no longer an issue, an even better avenue of blessing has opened up!

I invite you to be a part of "Operation Tatertot(s)!" This is an adoption fund in honor and memory of Ellie and Elsie Tate and the hope is that it will help to bring home their future siblings into the Tate family. Chris and Jordan have always dreamed of and planned on adopting children into their home so this is by no means a "Plan B" in their lives. You would be hard pressed to find a more loved, prayed for, celebrated child than Elsie or Ellie. Now will you join us as we gather the funds to bring children who are without homes, without loving Godly parents into this beautiful family? I cannot think of a better way to honor the lives of sweet Ellie and Elsie and the sacrifice of their parents than by being a part, no matter how big or small, of building their family. 

Below is the link to the Operation Tatertot GoFundMe page. Donations can be given directly online. As many of you know, adoption is a very expensive and long process so any amount of money given will be helpful!

Thank you for your time and consideration and mostly, thank you for loving God's children, Chris, Jordan, Ellie, and Elsie through your prayers and tangible acts of love and service. Be blessed."

-Sarah M

Ellie or Elsie's picture to the right.

*We have created a page on this blog called "Help us Adopt," where we have outlined our heart for adoption and the various kinds of adoption we are praying about. We welcome you to join us in praying and we are excited to share in this hope-filled journey with all of you.

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