About Us

Originally, this blog was to update our families and friends about our pregnancy with Cora. You can read about her here. It was a deeply troubling time but it also strengthened our faith as a family. After losing Cora, we decided to push forth with our adoption plans. As a couple, we decided to adopt sometime in our future a while back and losing her made us realize time is short and there is a child out there waiting on us. During the time of prayer and decision, we found out that I was pregnancy with Lydia, who was then born on June 16th of this year. Then, after much prayer and deliberation…because, you know, logic…we decided on Ethiopia as our adoptive country. This blog’s purpose now is to inform family and friends in our process of said adoption and to educate others who may not be familiar or may decide to adopt into their family. 

We’ve brought Abenezer home in January 2017 and are ecstatic to start this new adventure. We will continue blogging for now, mainly on adoption related issues. Go back to the beginning to learn about Cora’s story, how she led us to the adoption of Abenezer and the birth of Lydia. 

11 thoughts on “About Us

  1. I have shed many tears this morning reading your story. My family faced a similar experience for my 3rd child Caison Isaac Wahlen whose 1st birthday in Heaven is coming up the 28th of this month. Long story so I did a blog also on caringbridge if you would like to read it. I went to Duke hospital for my 3rd opinion;) great staff by the way. We may even know each other since I’ve been in Pitt County all my life…GO PIRATES! Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart I am here if you want to reach out to me. I AM praying for you & this precious life already & will not stop. There will be plenty others also once I share your story with some awesome prayer warriors:) love in Christ…Erica Cooke Wahlen

  2. Hi Rebecca! I go to Summit also and read your recent post from a link off the city. Anyway, you have a beautiful story and share it so well. I am deeply sorry for the loss of your mother and will be praying for you and Cora tonight, this Mothers Day and in Sept. It is a blessing to carry a child and she is so blessed to have you as her mama. Love her name btw;)

  3. Your blog is inspiring. I am due November 16, 2013 and my baby has many of the same findings. They initially noticed it due to the low positioning of her heart and later told us that the heart is the only organ inside her body. She also has severe scoliosis and what they think is a club foot. We were told she had limb body wall complex/amniotic band syndrome.

    It is such a hard situation because no one understands or has been faced with a situation as severe as ours. Your blog makes me realize that even though there are very few of us, we are not alone.

    • You are the reason I decided to do this blog. Because I work in high risk OB, I have seen more cases than most however maybe only 2 and nowhere near as far along as Cora. Keep your head up, pray and trust in God. That will be the ONLY way Josh and I will be able to get through the pregnancy. If you need someone to talk with who may have some insider info (b/c I’m an ultrasound tech) or encouragement or just someone to vent to who understands, please email me at rebecca.shrader@duke.edu. I would love to hear yours story and keep in touch. Remember that God loves you and your sweet baby no matter what happens and nothing at all will change that. Something you can count on when there are so many uncertainties.

  4. Hi Rebecca,
    I came across your blog by chance while searching for testimonies on google. I live in Cape Town, South Africa and am planning on leaving on a 2week mission trip to Thailand with 7 other people on 30 June, if God wills. I read your testimony about your time in Haiti, and what inspiration it is! This will be my first mission trip, and I’m super excited and have an expectant heart. God is amazing and we’ll see many great things over there, no doubt!
    Reading further, I was also notified about your difficult pregnancy and having lost your mom. Being married only 5 months now, with the hope of being blessed with children in the future, I can not even imagine what it must feel like to receive news like this about your unborn baby!
    But I just wanted to let you know that I am also praying for little Cora, and will notify my small group as well. We’ve also lost a few loved ones to cancer, and my father-in-law was diagnosed (again) last week, after he almost didn’t make it last yr. My mother-in-law past away from cancer 3months ago, and my grandmother diagnosed recently (we believe the Lord has healed her though, so praise Him!)

    Matthew 11:28
    ‘Come to Me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.’

    The Lord hears your cries and knows the desires of your heart – and although we don’t always understand our circumstances, we can rest in the fact that He is in control, He protects us, loves us unconditionally, and His name will also be glorified through this.
    You are/will be an inspiration to many others, and I pray that our Lord will give you and your family strength to face each day. Remember 2 Cor. 12:9
    But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

    And also…
    Isaiah 43:2-3

    “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned…”

    Deuteronomy 31:8

    “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged…”

    May the Lord bless you, and keep you safe, and may you always shine His light brightly.
    Blessing from South Africa,
    Lindie

  5. Rebecca I am a friend of Meredith and Daniel. I have been praying for you and sweet Cora. Thank you for sharing your story with us, for I know it is hard. What a wonderful child of God you are. Hope this bible verse is of some help to you. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

    Amy

  6. Hi,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Our baby was diagnosed with Limb Body Wall Complex (cystic hygromas, cleft palate, clubbed foot, severe spinal malformations, short bones, short cord, abdominal opening, AV defect, etc.). I’ve been looking everywhere for information. I’ve reviewed every case report I can find (I’m a pharmacist but have no clue about genetics/birth defects). Did you or do you plan to have any genetic testing done prior to trying to conceive again? I know it’s not supposed to be genetic, however, our specialist felt that the AV defect and cystic hygromas may be related to something else, possibly genetically, as he said they weren’t typically seen with LBWC. I spoke with a genetic counseler in Boston who said they can be; the cystic hygromas can occur whenever there is an issue with the fetus. Just looking for your opinion/experience. Our insurance won’t cover any testing unless it results in an actual diagnosis. So at this point we’re not planning on being tested until we’re pregnant again, God willing. At that point we plan to have an NT scan (we opted out last time) and an early level II scan if possible. I’m also considering having the MaterniTY-21 or Verifi test just to determine if there is an underlying trisomy issue. It just makes us so nervous to get pregnant and possibly have issues again. Thanks for any help you can provide and thanks for making this blog. It’s so helpful.

    • Hey. Thanks for writing. Since I work in a high risk OB clinic, I work closely with genetic counselors and scanned myself regularly. I’d recommend a first trimester NT screen just because in our clinic it is routine. That’s how I found out something was going on with Cora bc I scanned myself at 10 weeks. Do it, if nothing but to ease your mind. What Cora had was never officially diagnosed, the docs and I were just pretty sure her findings mostly fell into LBW. It could also have been Pentology of Cantrell as well. We didn’t do an autopsy. I will not get counseling again and I am just letting God work as far as conceiving again. I’m not on BC and I’m just letting things happen. In this field, I’ve learned to let go of the control I wish I had over pregnancy bc no matter how hard you hope and wish things might not turn out the way you want. It’s better not to stress too much about it. I never got an amnio nor would I just to have answers but everyone is different. They will most likely offer GC and for you to be in a high risk clinic just bc of your last baby. Nothing is 100%. There have been false positives with Mat21 testing so just prepare yourself if you choose that. Please email me at rebecca.shrader@duke.edu if you have other questions. Hope that was helpful. So sorry to hear abt your baby.

  7. Hello, let me begin with how sorry I am for your loss. Your little Cora is beautiful. I have read every one of your blog posts and they are very inspiring. That being said, my best friend is going through a very similar situation. She is currently at her 15th week in her fourth pregnancy. (After 3 miscarriages. ) At 13 weeks they found abnormalities via ultrasound with babys spine and ahe went to a specialist the following week where they determined her baby has limb body wall complex. They told her she is carrying a girl, her intestines are outside the body and attaches to the placenta, and the spine is at a near 90 degree angle. They also said she has a very ahort umbilical cord with little room to move around. I am just looking for some advice on how to be there for her. So far I have done everything I can to make sure she knows I am here for her anytime. I make sure to talk to her at least once a day, listen to whatever she feels like telling me, cry with her. As a loss mom myself (my son was stillborn) I know there isnt anything I can do to make her feel better, but given the circumstances and knowing what the outcome is going to be, its a completely different world. I sent her the link to your blog. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. This is really trying her faith and while I am not a religious person, she is, and I think she needs God now more than ever. Thank you so much for sharing your story, I will keep Cora in my heart, and your growing family in my thoughts.
    Ally

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