Friday, August 5, 2011

Through the Eyes of Daddy...

For those who have read Kacie’s wonderful blog you know the feelings and the emotions she has been going through ever since we found out that Isaac was not a normal child. Kacie is open, she’s honest, she wears her heart on her sleeve, and I love her for that. However, something that has been somewhat missing from Isaac’s story, and something that is missing from many stories of families in similar situations, is the heart and response of the father. Today I want to respond. I want to share how I have viewed this whole situation since day one. I think it’s important for me to do, and will hopefully be valued by others - especially other fathers.

Fight. Fix. Protect. This is what this Daddy wants to do when one of my own is hurting and helpless. And this was exactly my response was when we found out that there might be something wrong with our son. I remember the doctor’s appointments, the tests, the sonograms, the meeting with the genetic counselor. I remember the nurse passively saying “there’s something about the brain that looks weird...” All of this so vivid. What I also remember is my response. “Kacie, I think it’s going to be okay. The odds of this actually happening are slim. I think everything is fine.” These words I would utter so confidently, constantly wondering in the back of my head if I was wrong. What if something bad really could happen to our family? What if we weren’t immune? Since no diagnosis had been made and the possibility of something being wrong with our son was based on a fuzzy sonogram, I fought it.

My fighting turned into fixing that day in the sonogram room. I can still remember the words of the doctor. “We are not completely sure what your son has, but based on the sonogram we can know two things. 1 - He has a severe chromosome disorder - either Trisomy 18, Trisomy 13, or Triploidy. 2 - Your son is incompatible with life.” Crushed. Devastated. I can’t even think of a word to describe what I felt when the doctor said these things to us. All the hopes and dreams I had for my child were shattered. I wanted to fix him. When a tire goes flat - I fix it. When the batteries go out in Kadynce’s toy - I fix it. I’m a daddy and when there’s something wrong daddy fixes it! That’s just how it works. So, the most crushing thing was not that our son had a chromosome disorder or even that he was labeled “incompatible with life,” the most crushing thing to me in all of this was that my son was broken and no matter what I did, I could NOT fix it.

Weeks began to pass by and Kacie and I handled things differently. Kacie was carrying Isaac every day so she connected with him differently. She had to think about him, she had to worry, she had to wonder about how things were going to happen when Isaac was born. I did not. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Isaac. I would feel him kick, talk to him, and tell him that I loved him - but I could escape. I could go to work and not think about him. We had been told from the point of diagnosis of Trisomy 13 that Isaac would most likely die in womb and if for some chance he made it to birth, he would most likely die during the birth process. This scared me. Mommy is always able to connect with their baby in the womb on a much greater level than Daddy and the thought of losing Isaac before he was born meant that I would never have that opportunity. I began to ask of God a selfish plea - “God, please allow Isaac to be born a live so I can hold him. So that he can hear my voice and I can feel his breath. So that he can feel the love of His earthly father before he is in the hands of his heavenly father.”

As Isaac began to grow and mature, and doctors visits got closer and closer, it started becoming an actual reality that Isaac would be born. I began to be a little more protective of my son. I knew that while he was in his mommy’s belly he was fine. He was healthy, he was growing, he was alive. But I also knew that when he started to take breaths on this earth he would struggle, and eventually he would die. Being the fighting, fixing daddy that I am I wanted to protect him. In fact, I remember telling Kacie the morning before we went to the hospital that I wasn’t ready. I just wanted him to stay in her belly forever because that’s the only place that I knew he was safe. Of course Kacie probably thought I was crazy and was wishing that I would carry a baby for 14 months and see how I felt. But, I just wanted to protect him - and staying in mommy was the only way that was possible.

I had thought a lot about what our experience would be at the hospital. Would we have to rush to the hospital? When we got there would it be a very sad time? Would we be crying? Never in a million years did I think it would be so exciting. And never in a million years did I think it would be one of the best days of my life. After checking into the hospital we were anxious, we were excited, we knew our lives were about to change forever but didn’t know exactly how. We were surrounded by friends, pastors, elders, family, and some incredible nurses and doctors! It was by far an amazing experience. After a much needed epidural and a short night’s sleep - Kacie gave birth to Isaac Preston Hunt at on July 16th at 12:20pm. After about 30seconds of pushing (yes, Kacie is a professional) we were holding our son who was very much alive! God had blown me away and answered my plea to hold my son before giving him back to Jesus. I remember the three things that I told Isaac, “Isaac, I love you.” “Isaac, you are beautiful.” and “Isaac, it’s okay. You can go whenever you need to. You don’t have to stay here.” But the stubbornness that he got from his mommy took over and he blessed us with a life that lasted about two hours. It was a life of love. He knew nothing but it. He never had a heart break, was never rejected or deceived, never had to deal with the sin in this world. All he knew was the love of his mommy and daddy in the womb, the love of family, friends, and nurses, and now all he knows is the love of Jesus.

Since Isaac’s birth we have had some good times and some bad ones. The hardest part of our entire time in the hospital was putting our Isaac in the basket to be taken away by the funeral home. Thankfully, in God’s divine plan, we were surrounded by some amazing friends who we could not have done it without. The memorial service we had for Isaac was incredible. We were able to focus on the greatness and goodness of God. We prayed together, worshipped together, and truly experienced the body of Christ wrapping us up with love. And now, as the balloons have lost their air, the flowers have wilted, and all of the yummy goodies we received have been eaten, each day has it’s own trials. We desperately miss our Isaac, however we wouldn’t want him to be anywhere else right now than in the arms of his King.

As I look back to day one of this journey I can see one thing. I see God working. From books that Kacie just “happened” to read, to relationships that we had made, to the incredible community of believers that God placed us in, all of this was God working in our lives to prepare us for this journey. Even through the life and death of Isaac we see God working incredibly. The Gospel has been preached because of Isaac, people have recommitted their lives to Christ because of Isaac, the life of Isaac Preston, though short, was powerful. God is the great missionary and Isaac was and continues to be part of His sovereign plan.


  1. There are so many people who have experienced the power of Isaac's story, and who have benefitted greatly from the perspective of which God used his life to remind us.

    Thank you both so much for your faithfulness in sharing your feelings and experiences with others. You’ve honored God, and you’ve honored your son.

  2. Your desire to honor the Father through the journey of your son, is one of the most incredible acts of love that is possible. I so appreciate that you and Kacie have shared openly and honestly the joy, sorrow, and reflection during this time. Isaac's short life has impacted many lives for the Lord's glory because you were willing to share. God bless your family, you have been a great example of the purity of love that only the Father can give! Blessings!

  3. OK, y'all made me cry ... again! I love your stories! I'm so sad by your loss but so blessed with your faith and love of the Lord our God. I have to say I don't care for reading at all, but if this was a book, I'd read it! In fact, I wish you would consider writing a book, publishing it and having the proceeds go to some charity or something that would honor your son's memory. Wow! What a concept!

  4. Jon...I love this post! Thank you for sharing! You and Kacie are a light to all of us.

  5. What an amazing thought to realize that Isaac's life was a life of love, as you put it. How exciting and amazing that he was able to experience what God intended our lives to be. It is obvious how loved he was by his earthly friends and family, and now to be in the arms of pure love through Jesus Christ. I know you miss him, and my thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  6. I really believe that when you and Kacie meet Isaac in heaven someday he will have already known the love that both of you had and have for him even though his stay here on earth was short. What a great time that will be!

  7. To me this is a prime example of the practical expression of Romans 8:28. We all agree that God is incredible, but you folks are incredible in the way that you kept your eyes on the author and finisher of your faith through this ordeal, that, though devastating to you, you managed to turn into a way to encourage others.

    My the Lord's Blessings continue to be on this family!

    BTW, Jon in my humble opinion, you certainly know how to express yourself in writing. WOW!