Saturday, December 19, 2009

Two Weeks to Go!


Thank you for taking the time to read about the journey our family is on. We will be using this space to update our family and friends in the coming days and weeks about the arrival and first weeks of baby brother's life. We learned after our twenty week ultrasound that he has Transposition of the Great Vessels, a congenital heart defect. He cannot survive without surgery that will need to happen within his first 4-7 days of life. As of today we have only two weeks to go before he is due to join us on the outside and the time couldn't have gone by any faster!

I should share with you now, in case you didn't already know, that we've decided to name him Judah William Van Horne. Judah means "praise, gratitude, thanks". These three words sum up our feelings about this entire situation. We are so thankful to God for how he has been preparing us since well before we found out, and has been continuing to prepare us to walk through this time with Him. We are beyond grateful to know ahead of time about Judah's condition because we can make plans for big brother Nehemiah (he'll be two in February) and learn as much as we can beforehand. His middle name, William, comes from three important men in our family. Matthew's grandfather's name is Rudolph "Rudy" William Berwald. My dad's dad was William Robert Larson, and my dad is Robert William Larson.

The day before we found out about Judah's heart defect I was praying, reading, and journaling and was really struck by my need to be dependent on God in all areas of my life. In fact, I was longing to give up control that I had been reserving for myself, as if I knew better than God how to make it through life! I realized that all I was able to do was "make it", but I wanted to thrive! I was tired of being tired, and tired of overanalyzing, tired of wondering what people thought of me as a mom, as a Christian, as a wife, as anything. I finished my journal with an underlined phrase, "Lord, make me more dependent on you!"

The very next day we learned about Judah's transposition, a 1 in 20,000 birth defect. How good is God, that he would be preparing my heart so carefully to accept this news!? It is not like me to accept something like this without fear and anxiety. I would have expected to be scared, wonder why my son, and just generally freak out! Rather, he gave me the grace to fall into Him with this knowledge and he gave us overwhelming peace and comfort, just by knowing that He is in control and knowing that His plans are good. We don't know everything that is going to happen, and we know that this whole process is going to be really really hard. We aren't shy about asking for prayer, we seek it desperately. So far, there have only been moments of fear and doubt. God has quickly covered them all with assurance from his Word, and from the encouragement and support of our friends and family.

If you would pray, here are some requests...
  • That we would not give in to any fear or doubt
  • That labor and delivery will go smoothly and that Judah will be doing well enough to spend a little time with us before he has to go to the NICU and have his first procedure done. (Especially that Nehemiah will have a chance to meet him because he may not be able to see him for a long time otherwise)
  • That Nehemiah will feel secure and comfortable with our wonderful family members while we are away at the hospital.
  • Praise for our doctors and nurses, everyone we have met so far has made us feel like family and committed so much of their thoughts and energy to helping Judah survive and thrive!
  • That my family (Bob, Joslyn, Kayla, and Kendra) would travel here safely from Minnesota.
"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you." Psalm 33:20-22

Thanks again for reading and praying. We'll try to update as often as we can.



  1. Been thinking and praying for you a lot. Judah is a great name. A name of miracles. My closes friend here gave birth at 25 weeks and he only weighed 2.2 lbs, he had a rough start but nearly a year and half later he is thriving as a miracle child. His name is Judah.:)
    Continued prayers for all of you and we look forward to meeting your wee man next summer!
    Kristie, Scott & Marcello Ferguson

  2. I'm praying for all of you, and I'm so excited for the day that you finally get to hold Judah in your arms!

  3. Kirsten, Matt, and Nehemiah,

    Chin & I have been praying for your family. God is strong.


  4. The Knutsons in Moorhead will be praying for your family.

  5. Thanks for writing this. We'll be praying for you guys.

  6. I love you guys. Please let me know if you need anything!

  7. You and your entire family are, as always, in my prayers! You are one of the strongest families I know, and with the faith and support you have in your life you will persevere through this.


  8. We are praying for you guys -- much love from Arizona!

  9. I am praying with everyone else for you and Judah William.

  10. Hi Kirstin, I've been praying for you and your family since I heard about Judah's situation. I'm happy to hear things are progressing well and that you are surrounded by family. Wishing you all, and especially Judah, a happy, healthy New Year!
    Sandy Hendrickson