Last night we traveled to Jay and Mhari's home in Halifax, Massachusets. We spent the night there with the plan to do some sight seeing in the Cape Cod area today.
Jay and Mhari are also members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This was the first "meeting house" I'd ever seen located in a strip mall--so I had to get a picture :) Mindy looked in the building and said it looked just like all our Utah churches on the inside.
We dropped Mhari's family at the church and then headed to a branch in the Cape Cod area. Mhari is in the Stake Young Women and had to visit this branch. There are two things I really love to do on vacation (besides eat). One is visit a temple if there is one nearby and the other is to go to church on Sunday. I love meeting people of our faith who live outside of Utah. Their perspective is a little different and many of them are converts so I think maybe they don't take all the blessings of the gospel for granted the way I probably sometimes do.
In Relief Society we met Jessica (the mom), Annalise (the baby) and Lily (the 4 year old). They too were visiting from Michigan (I think). They were in Massachusets to pick up little Annalise who they had just adopted. This sweet baby girl was born with Brittle Bone Disease. I asked Jessica about her adoption process. I had no idea if they knew going into the adoption that Annalise had this disease. She said after getting approved with LDS Family Services they decided to go with an agency based in Utah (I wish I could remember the name) who places special needs children. They chose little Annalise, knowing she had Brittle Bone Disease. I was so impressed with this little family. Jessica and her husband chose this challenge and blessing. I didn't choose the situation I've been placed in with this baby. I am accepting it, but I don't know if I could have ever had the courage to choose it.
When people I don't know ask me about my pregnancy I usually just give the standard pregnant woman info--it's a boy, due in May, etc. But I shared with Jessica what was going on with our little Kevin. She then told me about her friend who had a Trisomy 13 baby girl. The friend didn't know there was anything wrong with the baby until she delivered her. They could tell by the shape of her head that things weren't right. The baby lived 4 hours.
I am learning as I'm told these kinds of stories now and again that I just can't handle hearing them. I kept telling myself what a blessing that this baby could live 4 hours but in reality I just felt bad and spent the rest of the afternoon trying to pull out of those feelings.
We took the scenic route back from church and went straight to this very cute house. Mhari and her husband had a meeting with their realtor to put in an offer on this house. It was as cute on the inside as it is on the outside and I loved all the trees surrounding it. While we were waiting for Mhari and Jay to finish with their realtor me and my sisters were talking--I was half listening, still trying to work through the emotions I was dealing with from earlier. I happened to glance down and see this "Believe" sign sitting on the shelf...
The word "Believe" has been a constant comfort to me from the very first day we found out there might be a problem with the baby--twice on that day I was sent this message in very special ways and since then that message has surfaced whenever I need it. Elder Bednar has said, "the tender mercies of the Lord are real and they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence." I have always known my Savior loves me but in the last several weeks I've come to know that He sends blessings just when I need them to let me know He's there and that he loves me.
We finished the day with a quick cold visit to the beach and a delicious roast beef dinner. Thanks to Mhari and Jay for your hospitality and thanks to Grandpa Dave and Grandma Linda who I'm told fed the children a wonderful Sunday dinner--much better than the turkey hot dogs and mac n cheese they were going to have :)