Thursday, September 23, 2010

Defining Success

How do you define success? Do your goals always line up with God's plan?

Sometimes we get discouraged when things don't go the way we'd hoped. That was certainly the case with little baby Hong, who was sent to our home last year. When she arrived she was not only tiny and weak due to her prematurity, but also suffering from extreme malnutrition and dehydration. In fact, we doubted that we could save her. But we did our best, and she began to improve. After several days we were heartened to see dramatic improvement. We no longer doubted that she would survive. We were gladdened and hopeful; things were going very well. See the series of photos below which were taken over a 7 day period, starting the day she arrived (click on the photo to see it larger):

And then very suddenly, just a week after she arrived, she died. Not only were we sad, we felt shocked and disappointed; she had been doing so well. What went wrong? We felt like we failed her.

Later, we were going through the photos and remembering her. Seeing the photos and comparing her day by day changes it suddenly became clear. Her death was not our failure, because we do not control life and death. Only God has that power. But our success is clearly written on her face. She arrived in a state of distress and discomfort; over the next few days, you can see peace and serenity washing over her tiny features.

It was not the outcome that we'd hoped and prayed for. But in God's plan for baby Hong we did succeed. She knew love and comfort before she went home to be with Him. Who could ask for more than that?


  1. I was praying today at an abortion clinic for 40 Days for Life, and while I was there, I was feeling sort of hopeless... so many babies that I want so much to save, and what could I do?

    And then I came home and came across this blog post, and it just brought tears to my eyes... I realized that even if my praying at that clinic were to not actually change any woman's mind to have an abortion, it would still make a difference, because in Heaven, those little babies will know that they mattered to someone... that we were there praying because we cared about each one of them.

    God bless you for all of your efforts to take care of these children, and THANK YOU so much for taking the time to share about them through facebook and your blog. It means so much to me... they are so inspiring!