We saw Dr. John Owen, Maternal and Fetal Medicine specialist, this morning and he confirmed that Emma Kate has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. During the ultrasound, we were able to see Emma Kate's entire body, (she will be beautiful like Anna Brooke :) ) and everything was forming in a good manner with exception to her heart. We saw her heart up close and through coloring on the ultrasound were able to see blood flow in and out of her ventricles. The left ventricle is smaller than what it is supposed to be as is the aorta. This is obviously critical because this controls blood flow throughout her body (right ventricle pumps blood to the lungs, left ventricle pumps blood throughout the body. She is fine now because instead of using her lungs, she is using Bethany to breathe so it is not a stress on her heart). Dr. Owen said that we need to see a pediatric cardiologist to discuss any questions about what will happen when Emma Kate is born. We are scheduled to see Dr. Colvin tomorrow morning at 9:30 am CST. He will take a look at Emma Kate and give us more of an overview of what will happen when she is born (norwood to fontan surgeries or heart transplant).

To say how I am feeling right now is difficult. My heart is broken that the flesh of my flesh is hurting and I cannot help her. I feel weak and helpless for what my daughter will go through. I am terrified of needles (although terrified probably isn't strong enough a word) but I would go through it all so that she wouldn't have to. I am clinging to the promise that God's grace is sufficient. His power is made perfect in our weakness.

I also firmly believe that God is in control. In the garden Jesus asked God to take the cup away. This was my prayer. Please take this cup away from Emma Kate. But Jesus was faithful to His purpose. Not my will, but Yours be done. What a difficult prayer to pray!

But this is our prayer: God, we do not understand Your ways but we know that Your ways are perfect. Though they may seem difficult at first, Your ways are right. Your ways are best. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are Your ways higher than my ways and Your thoughts are better than my thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth, so is Your word that goes out from Your mouth: It will not return to You empty, but will accomplish what You desire and achieve the purpose for which You sent it".



I wanted to let everyone know how much your prayers and support have meant to Bethany and I. It has been overwhelming to feel God's presence in your phone calls, emails and messages. We truly are grateful for the family and friends that we have been blessed with. To know that people are praying in different parts of the country and throughout the World (Iraq, Turkey, Wales, etc) for our little girl is humbling. Thank you all for praying to our God on behalf of my little girl. All that continues to dwell in my heart is "What a mighty God we serve. Angels bow before Him, Heaven and Earth adore Him!" God is doing amazing things and all I want to do is stand in awe of His works. Thank you for joining us in His praise!

I also wanted to share a little bit from our sermon at church yesterday:

(We have been attending the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham. The pastor, David Platt, is truly a man of God. To hear memorized scripture pour from his heart is inspiring. Not because it is memorized, but because it is learned. It is hidden in is heart. It is a fire shut up in his bones that indeed he cannot keep in. Oh that this could be my heart's desire. To desire God in such a way that I would meditate on His word with such passion, that I would hide It in my heart so that I wouldn't sin against Him).

David has been talking about salvation the past few weeks and yesterday discussed grace and faith. Grace is given to us through salvation even though we do not deserve it. This is a concept that we learn very early in church but something that really hit home yesterday. Salvation isn't something that I was handed at the age of 7 and then put in my pocket. Salvation is given to me daily. Every single day. Even though God showed me grace yesterday, I still do not deserve it today. I still have nothing to offer. But He is faithful to complete what He has started in me. Every single day. And what is so amazing about this grace? He doesn't expect or need anything in return! What could I give God anyway? For even in my best attempts, I am still wretched. I am still ruined! But through the grace of God and the blood of Jesus, he does not see this ruin. He sees His Glory reflected back.

This is where we come in... through our faith in Jesus. David put it like this: "Faith involves radical dependence on God's work in our lives. We need HIM to mold our hearts. We need HIM to empower our lives." He does not need us for apart from Him we can create no good thing. But... But, when we put our faith in God and rely on him with a "radical dependence" then God receives all the Glory! What a beautiful picture of how His Grace for us and though us allows us to bring Glory to Him!

I wanted to thank you all again for your faith in God for Emma Kate. It has definitely inspired me to have faith in her healing. Bethany has her appointment on Wednesday, April 30 at 8:00 am central time. We will let you know what we find out.


Emma Kate

For roughly the last 48 hours, my mind has been consumed with my 2ND daughter, Emma Kate. Emma Kate is currently 22 weeks along in Bethany's womb and we found out Tuesday that she most likely has a condition know as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. I would try to explain what that is but I am not a doctor so here is a link for HLHS. In short, the left side of her heart has not formed the way that it is supposed to. Emma Kate will most likely have to have open heart surgery a few days after she is born, another when she is a few months old, and then one more a year or so after that. She will spend her life as a person with a CHD, congenital heart defect (which is a term that in 48 hours I have begun to dislike... more on that in a minute), and will probably have to deal with an overbearing dad always giving her limitations for fear of her heart.

I say all of that to say this: I praise God that she has a heartbeat. I praise God that inside of Bethany, she already has her mother and her sister's nose. I praise God that she is Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. I believe that God creates all things... ALL THINGS perfect. He does not make mistakes. He is perfectly knitting the fabrics of Emma Kate's being as I type this. This is why I have the problem with the term "defect". It makes it seem like a mistake, an accident, an error. Nothing about her or any of the people who are born with this is an error. Just a condition that causes one to fight harder, pray harder and rely harder on God.

And this is where I am stuck. How do I pray? Obviously we want Emma Kate to have a healthy heart. We want on Wednesday morning to hear the Specialist say, "there must be some mistake, you don't need to be here. Her heart is perfectly healthy". Is it selfish to fall down on my knees and say "God, please heal her now. Please heal her so she doesn't have to go through all of this"? Is it wrong to not expect a miracle? Is it wrong to pray these things and then continue to research this condition with the anticipations that these surgeries will be a necessity? I am thankful that God has given wisdom to the men and women who perform these surgeries. What a miracle it must be to touch and infants heart and help it beat.

I pray that God will be given the glory in all these things, regardless of the situation. I pray He heals Emma Kate, either in the womb or through the doctors after she is born. I pray that God will give encouragement, wisdom, reassurance, comfort and patience to both myself and Bethany.

And I pray that I can become more concerned with others than just with myself. Why is it that we become advocates of a cause only when it directly affects ourselves, or our own gain? I long to care for the people of this world as Jesus did. To put him first, then others, then myself.

Please pray for our sweet Emma Kate. She is nestled up comfy and cozy inside Bethany right now and knows nothing different. Pray that God will be glorified throughout his healing of her heart. And pray for the other little children that are in various stages of surgeries as God heals their hearts.


Bethany has been trying to convince me for a while now to start a blog so I figured today was a good day to start. I have always found writing to be very therapeutic ( I get that from my mother) and I feel that I need some therapy. What I hope to do, in writing this blog, is get out my thoughts on life and every day happenings and receive feedback, advice, guidance, etc. In doing so, perhaps I can become the man of God, husband, father, son, brother, friend that I long to become.