Josiah Stevenson Speaks

OUR STORY

On August 31, 2022, we received a phone call that would forever change our lives. Our obstetrician rang to let us know that the results of our genetic testing at 10 weeks showed our sweet baby had trisomy 18. “These babies are not compatible with life. Most mothers consider termination,” he said. I was frozen on the other end of the line. Completely shocked by the unexpected news and the subtle suggestion to abort, I had no words. I felt confused, frustrated, angry, and overwhelmed. Ryan informed our doctor that abortion would never be an option for us and that we would love and cherish this baby every day that the Lord gave us.

Every pregnancy is full of emotion and a certain amount of stress, but carrying a baby with a life limiting diagnosis was next-level. Despite this, however, it was also one of the absolute sweetest seasons of our lives. Even while Josiah was still in my womb, the Lord was using his tiny, growing body for His glory. Every doctor’s appointment was worshipful. Every opportunity to see him wriggle and move and hear his heartbeat felt like more than I deserved. Every day I felt his kicks in my belly felt like the most precious gift. The Lord used Josiah to give us eyes of gratitude and to marvel in new ways at the gift of life. The Lord used him to release our grip on the things of the world and tightly cling to the eternal. The Lord used him to remind us that our children are not our own, but are His, only entrusted to us for as long as He allows.

I carried our boy until 32 weeks, and then my water suddenly broke. Five days later, I was rushed into the operating room for an emergency cesarean due to a placental abruption and a large amount of bleeding. God protected my life and the life of our son that day. On February 1st around 1 pm, our little boy was born weighing 2.5 lbs. In my prayers throughout my pregnancy, I asked the Lord for Josiah Allen Stevenson to be born alive and allow his brothers to meet him before he died. I could not have imagined all that God would give us with Josiah. He lived for 145 days… God, in His kindness, gave us 5 months with our little boy. He gave us five months to make memories with him, five months of snuggles, five months of caring for him and advocating for him, five months of reading scripture to him and praying over him, and five months of seeing him with his big brothers.

It is an absolute gift and joy to be his mum and dad. He was pure sugar, the absolute sweetest baby boy. He had this incredibly soft cry that melted our hearts every time we heard it. He loved his cuddles, especially from his big brothers. He was the most comforted when his daddy picked him up and gently swayed him and sung “Jesus loves me” to him. He had big deep blue eyes that were so expressive. He loved for his head to be gently rubbed, and he loved to be wrapped in cozy swaddles and blankets. Our hearts ache to hold him one more time, but we know that he is now being held by His Creator and Savior.

Josiah may have only lived 145 days, but the truths the Lord taught us during his lifetime will never leave us. These are not truths we have mastered, but we know the Lord will continue this good work in us. Although we desperately miss our boy, we praise God because there is nothing Josiah needs anymore. There is nothing he lacks. Each day that Josiah was in hospital, we were anxious that he needed us and that we weren’t there for him. We LOVEDDDD getting to his room each day and caring for him in the little ways that we could; changing his nappy, pumping and bringing his milk, swaddling him and giving him skin to skin, giving him baths and chatting with the doctors about how we could care for him better.

In his last 1.5 months of life, God gave us the joy of caring for him in new ways by learning how to feed him through his pump, learning how to change the tape on his face, learning how to titrate his oxygen and work his high flow machine, learning how to check his ph levels and administer his medicine. It was an absolute joy and honour to serve him. But now, He is completely satisfied in the presence of His creator God. He doesn’t need his mommy and daddy or doctors or nurses to care for him. And this is a hard but comforting truth. Death has given new life to Josiah. And while our hearts deeply long to still care for him and comfort him and serve him, what a beautiful truth to know that in heaven, he lacks nothing.

PAYING IT FORWARD

Abel Speaks has been a very significant means of God’s grace to us. What an absolute honour it would be to have friends and family donate to this ministry in memory of our Josiah.

They supported us by connecting us to a mentor family who walked a very similar long, sorrowful road. They sent us countless resources to encourage our hearts and minds and remind us of truth as we grieved. They were intentional to remember every milestone as they spoke of Josiah’s value as an image-bearer of God.

Support changes stories. Knowing that our loved ones are giving to support other families who are carrying a child with a life limiting diagnosis brings us so much joy.

By faith, Josiah still speaks!

-Lindsay & Ryan Stevenson

SUPPORT ABEL SPEAKS IN HONOR OF JOSIAH

Your generous giving allows Abel Speaks to support families like ours. Thank you for your partnership as we seek to ensure that every family will cherish their child’s life and have hope in the midst of sorrow!

Abel Speaks is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and all donations are tax-deductible.

2001 W Plano Pkwy, Suite 1909

Plano, TX 75075

(844) 440-0122