Monday, August 03, 2009

What a difference a Year can make!

Last year on August 3rd we spent the evening sitting in the Ronald McDonald House hugging on Emma, praying, talking about the day(s) to come... unsure of what God's plan for us was... or for Emma.

At 11pm, just before going to bed, I wrote this post. We gave our daughter back to God that night, not knowing whether that would be the last time that we saw her smile, snuggled with her, and held her close as she fell asleep. The next morning she went in for her open heart surgery. At 5 1/2 years old, around 22 lbs, with severe pulmonary hypertension and two holes each the size of a dime in her heart- in addition to just one large valve that had to be separated and reformed into two... her chances were not good. In fact, we had some 'convincing' to do to even have her heart repaired because Emma would likely not live more than just a few months without it-- it was her only hope.

And that's just why she was given the name she was... Emma Hope-- Emma means "whole".

Here is the post I made that night:

Tonight as we look into our daughter's eyes we see love, hope, and assurance. We see joy, excitement, and still... a tired body. We trust you have a great and glorious plan for the future of each of your children, as it says and we've claimed many times before in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, Says the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future." You are going to work tomorrow, and we know that even tonight your hand is upon Emma, Dr. Q, each nurse, anesthesiologist, and any other person that will impact her tomorrow. Most of all, though, we commit her to you. We know your ways are the ones that are best- and we know that no matter the outcome of Emma's surgery tomorrow, You will be glorified and Your will in our lives and hers will be accomplished. Help us to be strong, to trust in you, to accept your answers when they're given, and to see Your work in everything tomorrow. Help us to be a testimony of Your love and grace-- not a blind and faithless walk-- but one that exemplifies You in all that we do. We're scared, and we don't know what Your plans are for Emma or for our family. But we do trust that You are in control and you know the number of each of our days. Father, we dedicate Emma to you. You've given her to us for a time, and though we hope and pray that she will be ours for many years more, we thank you for each day you've given us with her and we accept whatever you bring to us tomorrow.
In the name of Jesus, your Son who died and conquered the grave so that we could live and have a relationship with you, Amen.
--Michael and Meredith Cornish

God gave us our miracle the next day. He healed Emma's heart through the work of the surgeon. Even the doctor said it was unexplainable that she did so well. There was NO explanation except that God had His hand on her and His plans are not always under the governing of Earth's laws.

We are so blessed to celebrate Emma, a year later, as she sits up strong, pulls herself to standing, cruises along furniture, drinks from a straw, eats solid foods, and her personality has developed to where she loves to dance, to be held, and to play with her doll. What a wonderful God we serve! He is the Miracle Worker!!

I also want to thank all of you who lifted Emma up before the Throne. Your prayers are priceless, and so many that continue to pray for us, for Emma, and for all of our children-- we are forever grateful!

I wanted to send this out not just to thank those of you that supported us through this time, and to share with those that weren't yet around, but also to hopefully encourage anyone that's not quite sure of what difference you can have on a child's life. I assure you, with God the possibilities are endless. We didn't set out for the journey we're on... but God has used our willing spirits and able bodies to do more than we could have ever imagined in the lives of two little ones from Ukraine, and in our family and our hearts as well. He will use you, too, whether it be through adoption, prayer, or giving (after all- we wouldn't have either of our adopted children if it wasn't for the prayers of so many and the financial gifts of many others!).

Give each of your kids a big hug and kiss tonight! Thank God for the gift their life is! And remember that He's not done using you for His Kingdom :) I can't wait to see what testimony He may have for us at next year's 2 year heart anniversary!


  1. How Great is our God, for sure. It certainly is exciting to wonder what next year could bring for that sweet, amazing girl, and for your family.

  2. I remember reading about Emma's surgery last year because my son was undergoing a similar procedure at the same time (VSD and pulmonary stenosis). I am so thankful that our little ones are doing so well!

  3. I starting reading your blog last year while Emma was in surgery. I have commented a few times, normally responding to equipment questions. I am a preschool teacher for children with needs like Emma's. Since this time my husband and I have adopted our own child, a boy we met at my school. We are not sitting in a hospital room helping him recover from a surgery we fought for him to receive so that he could have the best chance at a full life.

  4. Our God is the Great Physician! Emma is proof of that! She is certainly nothing short of a miracle! Praise the Lord for her progress! I love reading posts like this! I remember I had just found your blog right before her surgery and started praying right away! Our God is so good to us! Praise Him!

  5. Oh goodness, so much for no crying today! I am praising Jesus with you for the miracle that Emma is!

    I remember last year, our computer was broken (it never did get sorted-we had to get a new one) and I wasn't able to check your blog until nearly two weeks AFTER her surgery.

    I was at an internet cafe literally shaking I was so afraid of what I would read.

    Well, I surely wasn't expecting the grinning face of Emma AT HOME already and doing so well! I just laughed out loud (literally!) and chastised myself for my lack of faith.

    What an amazing and glorious God we serve and thank you for the reminder that He is truly on the Throne and truly in control of things, even when our earthly bodies and minds struggle to see above the our circumstances.

    Happy Heart Birthday, Emma!

  6. The change in Emma is beyond astounding. From when she couldn't even hold her head up, much less make meaningful eye contact, to the photo a couple of posts below, where her smile and eyes show she understands that you have praised her for her new skill--that change is a testament to the goodness of God and to your faithfulness.