Monday, May 1, 2017

Introducing... Marilyn Elizabeth Tevis!!

The past 2 weeks have been an amazing, blessed and wonderful whirlwind with the birth of Richie and Lydia's little baby girl Marilyn! My auntie heart is full to bursting with joy and love for my precious, perfect, sweet, adorable, beautiful, petite, amazing, fabulous little niece. :-)

It's been a long journey for my brother-in-love Richie and sister Lydia, but it's been incredibly inspiring watching them grow in the Lord and in their love for each other through each step of the way.  They have been 2 of the most influential, inspiring, uplifting people in my life because of their strong faith and trust in the Lord through every season and trial. 

Probably the BEST day of my life was the day we heard Lydia was pregnant. My goodness the entire house was filled with flowing tears of joy, praise to the Lord, and a gazillion group hugs. :-)   

If you know of Richie and Lydia's story, you would understand why we all were sobbing with joy. After the initial news had settled, we all gathered in our living room and prayed...choking out our gratitude and praise to the Lord. The song Soveriegn Over Us by Michael W. Smith has always been one of my dad's favorites and we pulled it up on YouTube and listened to it. The song now holds an even more significant and special place in our hearts as God used it to speak right to our hearts that morning. I thought I was sobbing pretty hard until i heard my dad and looked over.  There he sat head in hands, shoulders bent over, sobbing and pouring out His heart of gratitude to the Lord over and over and over again.  The image of a father's love for His children and for the Lord that I saw in Daddy that day, will never be forgotten.

Richie and Lydia were happily married in the summer of 2012. It was a beautiful, God honoring wedding and we were all so excited to see them start their lives as a married couple! 

Then only 2 weeks after the wedding they heard the devastating 3 most dreaded words "you have cancer."  Those months of treatment all seem like a blur now, but I remember the days my parents would come home from the hospital visits and tell us of the most recent updates. I especially remember the 14 hr. long surgery Richie went through and how dangerous and risky it was to remove cancer tissue from around many vital organs and spinal column. Stage 4 cancer is certainly not easy to beat...but nothing is impossible for God!  After a long season of treatment and trials, God miraculously worked through it all to heal Richie completely!  Many months after the diagnosis Richie was finally declared "in remission." Needless to say we were SO overjoyed and grateful to the Lord!  He is good! 

The next months turned into years and Richie and Lydia were finally able to start their lives together like normal newlyweds. Well almost normal! :-) You see, Richie and Lydia both have this incredible energy and hard-working spirit that makes me tired just watching them! They both love the farm life so much and have worked so hard with their many animals, gardens and projects! 

After several years the Lord had not seen fit to bless them with a little miracle.. yet.  Richie and Lydia began to look into adoption/foster care and the Lord began leading them to look into Snowflake Embryo Adoptions.
The ever-increasing use of IVF has left an unprecedented number of embryo's in cryo-preservation. These teeny babies that God has created simply need an environment to grow into the next stage of life.  Through Nightlight Christian Adoptions, precious little ones at their earliest stage of life are being adopted and given a chance to live and be loved. Marilyn is one of over 500 babies adopted through Snowflake adoptions!

My mom and family got to work raising funds through a 5K and we were so amazed by the incredible love and support of our family and friends from all over the US. The day of the 5K arrived with thunder clouds looming on the horizon and the smell of rain in the air.  By the time we were set-up it had been downpouring like never before! Well that didn't stop our amazing friends and family who ran/walked in the downpours, puddles and mini-lakes that began to form on the running path!  Janet and Rich brought coffee and snacks that we all enjoyed as we tried to squeeze ourselves underneath a few tent canopies; trying to keep a few inches of ourselves dry. :-) So many memories were made that day!
We also had a dear friend, Mrs. Holborn put together a bake and garage sale to benefit Lydia and Richie and in a very short amount of time, God had provided enough funds for 2 adoptions and more.  Over double what we hoping and praying for! We were blown away!

And then came the long and tedious process.  This time of waiting on the Lord tested my trust and faith unlike any other time in my life.  Especially when we heard the news that the first embryo adoption was unsuccessful. I was devastated.  We all were... but Lydia and Richie even more so. Up until that point we had all been hopeful. We been trusting in God's sovereignty and knowing He would work all things for good according to His will and perfect timing. We were all so excited and thrilled to be at this point and were holding our breath waiting and watching. But at that point of grief the only thoughts I had were those of disbelief. "How can this be good?" I thought.  "After ALL Richie and Lydia have been through... why Lord? Why make them go through SO much pain and tears? Haven't you seen their faith and love for you? You say you will give us the desires of our hearts when we delight ourselves in You. I trust You...but why?"

Well it all became so clear to me on that glorious day a few months later when we heard the news of the second embryo adoption and Lydia saying over the phone,"It's positive... we're pregnant!" As we listened to Sovereign Over Us the words spoke right to my heart, as it did to all of us. God has always been working in our waiting; sanctifying us. Even when His ways and plans were beyond our understanding, He was teaching us to trust.  His plans were still to prosper. He had NOT forgotten us. He was with us in the fire and the flood, faithful forever and perfect in love. He IS sovereign over us. If you haven't heard this song, take a moment and listen down below. I know it will encourage you!

Marilyn's short life has already taught us so much about the Lord and about the miracle of God's creation of new life. Praise the Lord for He IS good! We look forward to what Father has in store for our precious little girl!

Marilyn at 6 days old. Adoption day! 
 "For you formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works and my soul knows it very well"

"My frame was not hidden from you when I was formed in secret and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth."

12 weeks and 3 days old. Snug as a bug in a rug! 

"Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in your book were all written the days that were ordained for me when as yet there was not one of them." 
(Psalm 139:14-18) 

38 weeks and showing off her perfect toes! :-)

Proud Daddy :-)

Look at that tiny little hand!  So precious!

So much beauty and joy in these two precious people!  Love you both SO much! 

Marilyn's first church service!

The paparazzi...

...taking pictures of the cutest lamb you ever did see!!!

Victoria wins the best Auntie award for this ADORABLE hat! :-)

Grandma and Grandpa Bowes

Happy Grandpa and Grandma Tevis with their special grandpa/grandma super power mugs. :-)

Uncle Ben loving on his niece! Oh my.. cuteness overload!

I have so many other pictures I could add of all the Aunties and Uncles and church family and so many others loving on her...but I'm afraid the blog won't let me make too long of a post. :-(  So here's a few more favorites!

It's been so special to see my amazing big sis be a Mommy. I LOVE this picture so much! Marilyn looks so content and happy.  Look at that little grin! :-)

All cleaned up and happy after her 1st bath! 

What an amazing journey it has been and it's so amazing looking back now and seeing God's hand in it all. How good is the God we adore, our faithful unchangeable friend!  Whose love is as great as His power and knows neither measure nor end. Tis' Jesus the first and the last whose spirit shall guide us safe home. We'll thank Him for all that is past and trust Him for all that is to come! 

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me.  Bless his Holy name!" 
(Psalm 103:1) 

Photo credits go to Grandma Bowes! For many more pictures visit her blog; Only One Day Like Today


  1. Congratulations to Lydia and Richie and their whole extended family! What a beautiful story of God's goodness! Thank you for sharing. ;)

    1. Thank you for your comment Kate! It's so good to hear from you and we miss you all lots. I hope you all are well and enjoying the sun! :-)

  2. Congratulations to Lydia and Richie and their whole extended family! What a beautiful story of God's goodness! Thank you for sharing. ;)

  3. Great is our Lord and worthy of glory,
    Great is our Lord and worthy of praise,
    Great is our Lord, we lift up our voice,we lift up our voice,

    Grammie and Papa

  4. Thank you for sharing the story with us!