Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Letter

Beloved Friends & Family,

Merry Christmas! Our prayer is that this letter finds you well and surrounded by those you love.

Who could have imagined what God would have in store for us in 2008? We were excited to welcome our first baby – anticipating all that a new bundle of joy would add to our lives. In March, we learned of complications with our pregnancy and on April 19, we delivered our baby girl, Chloe Faith.

We have been changed forever because of Chloe Faith. We are grateful for the short time we had with her, although we wish it could have been longer. We are amazed by the impact her little life has had on us, our relationships, and our perspective on life. Such tiny little feet left a huge imprint on our lives. We are the proud parents of our little girl.

For years I have wanted to send a Christmas letter, but always talked myself out of it. This was going to be the year – we could share about the new addition to our family. Even though our holiday is much different than we planned, we are sending our first Christmas letter because we are celebrating the birth of a precious baby. Chloe Faith and a baby born over 2,000 years ago: Jesus Christ. Without Him we don’t know how we could have made it through this year. He has been our strength and comfort in unfathomable circumstances. He has provided His peace in the midst of our intense grief. He has even given us joy to replace our mourning. He has surrounded us with friends (old & new) that have walked with us, prayed for us, held us up when we couldn’t stand on our own and hugged us to remind us we were not alone. There are no words to describe how much your support and encouragement meant to us this year. We are forever grateful.
We are holding on to the promise of Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We don’t know what our future holds, but we are more certain than ever of the One who holds our future. We are safe and secure in His plan for our family.

Although our Christmas is different than we planned – our hearts are full of hope, and even joy, in the midst of our sadness. We have experienced a peace that passes all understanding – something deeper than we have ever experienced. It would have been nice to get to this place in our relationships without the pain – but that isn’t possible. It is through brokenness that we are made whole. We know that our daughter is restored in Heaven. She is having fun with Grandma Carmen and Jesus until we are all together again.

This Christmas we have much to celebrate – including the gift of two special babies. We pray that the story of the birth of our daughter and more importantly, the birth of Jesus Christ, will touch your lives this year in new and powerful ways. And that your Christmas and New Year will include the peace, hope, love and joy of the season.

Jose & Kirsten

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Just when I feel like I really need to post...and that nobody will notice if I don't...there comes an encouraging comment or someone mentions they checked the blog and haven't seen a post in a awhile. Thank you to those who check in on us and the blog. It means so much. Here is an update...

Thanksgiving was wonderful and difficult at the same time. We have so much to be thankful for. This has been the hardest year of our lives but it has also included more comfort, peace and growth than any other year. Those are gifts that we will take with us, they are part of us forever, because of Chloe Faith. She has left a huge imprint on our lives. A tiny little baby made an enormous impact. She makes me so proud. Her legacy continues to touch peoples lives.

Last Christmas, my 7 year old niece, G, received a cute baby doll. The doll talks, drinks a bottle, opens and closes her eyes and is wrapped in pink. She is adorable (the baby doll and my niece). Last Christmas I joked with G that the baby was a wonderful gift because she could practice caring for a baby. Since next Christmas we would have a new little cousin for her to play with and that I could use her help with the new baby. She was overjoyed at the idea.

When I saw my niece at our family Thanksgiving get together, guess what she was holding...that sweet little baby doll. I smiled at her a little surprised since I hadn't seen the baby in 11 months. The the thought hit me, "You should be holding my baby..." I held it together (I think). Kids are so perceptive, I'm not sure if she noticed my double take and mind racing. She is a cute little baby doll - I just wish G could be holding our baby girl. I wish I could be holding our baby girl.

I imagine Christmas will be even more confusing. We found out we were pregnant at Christmas and began sharing the news. I felt so tired during the first few weeks of December that I didn't even have the energy to decorate last year.

I have more energy to decorate this year, but part of me thinks, "I should be too tired and busy to decorate from caring for a 2 month old baby." But that isn't the situation. This isn't how I imagined our 2008 holidays to be - but we still have much to be thankful for. And we have hope for 2009. We have lots of hope that 2009 will include many blessings.

Our plan is to start trying to get pregnant in January. We'd appreciate your prayers for a speedy conception and healthy pregnancy. We know there will be lots of ups and downs emotionally, but we are anxious to have a baby in our arms to love and care for.

Posting has been good for my heavy heart. I feel lighter. We have several Christmas ornaments in memory of Chloe - I think it may be time to decorate.

Blessings to all who take the time to read our blog. We are thankful for you!