I’ve written this in my head a thousand times. A thousand times, words have failed.

For over a year, I have been mom to 14. Today, my heart is still in love with 14 beautiful little girls, but only 13 of them are in my home. Only 13 are sitting at my table for breakfast. Only 13 are being reminded to brush their teeth. Only 13 are putting on pjs and being tucked snug in bed. Today, only 13 little voices are screaming “happy birthday” to me.

The story is long and intense and messy. And right now, the story is ours to keep and to process. In short, Jane’s birthmother who abandoned her with an auntie when she was just a baby, showed up wanting her child. Obviously, my heart doubted that this would be the best thing for my baby – she’s been mine for two years and was completely uncared for before that. We had everything in our favor. We had all the proof, everything on our side. And custody was granted to the birthmother. It involved horrible things like seeing my baby with her formerly soft shiny hair filthy and matted together and driving six hours home to tell her “twin” sister and the others that she would not be coming home. There were moments that I thought I wouldn’t breathe again, and there still are.

I was so proud of my baby girl. She was so brave. So big. So beautiful. She stuck a flower in her hair and entertained her baby sister while lawyers argued. She held her head high and she tried to smile. She shared her ice cream with anyone who wanted some. She told me not to cry, that it would be ok. She is only 4. I am so proud of her, my baby. So strong.

The Lord is here and He is telling me things and a part of me just doesn’t want to listen. I do not want to be this person. I do not want to be a woman who has to grieve the loss of her child. I do not want to have to walk my children through the sorrow and the trauma of losing a sister. And here I am. I do not want to get out of bed and I do not want to breathe. But I will. I do. For thirteen more.

I looked at her as I walked away and I knew the Lord was telling me that we loved her back to life. I knew He was telling me that she knows His love and that He will go with her where I can’t. We stood in the gap for Jane. We spoke up for her when she could not speak up for herself. I fought. So I trust. I cling to His promises. I believe Him.

People have been praying. So many people praying so hard. And I thank you from the very bottom of my heart. I can feel it. I don’t want to feel at peace, I want to crumple on the floor, but I feel my arms being lifted. I know that the loss of a sister will mold and shape each one of my children, but I know the way their mother reacts to it will too. So we sit on the floor and we squeeze each other’s hands and we cry and we beg God for mercy. We beg and plead for Him to keep our little sister safe, happy and strong. We praise Him because He is God, because He knit this family together, because we know and believe that He will be glorified. We ask for your continued prayers. For precious Jane. For us. For what, I am not exactly sure. We will all grieve differently and need differently and God will meet these needs according to his glorious riches. He has already started. I wrote last that my family wants to go to the hard places for Jesus. I had no idea the hard place He was going to take us to. Still, our only desire is that He be glorified.

14 pairs of sandals. 14 church dresses. 14 twin beds. Jesus, fill this emptiness.

I will choose praise. I will choose thanks. I will choose today to put one foot in front of the other with 13 in my home and 14 in my heart.

266 thoughts on “

  1. Today is thanksgiving and as I set eatting with my family, my heart is with you and your. May the God of all Love cover you today and forever. Katie to your family from mine, Happy Thanksgiving.


  2. My heart grieves for you. Praise our Lord that He is still watching over Jane and has a better plan than you can imagine. Thank you for your sacrifice of praise to Him in the midst of the things that are beyond our understanding. You honor Him with your trust and by the way your love all your little ones.

    I work in Cambodia and don't have a blog but clicked on your blog via my sister's. I will pray for you daily, for your children and those you love for Jesus sake!



  3. Praying for Jane,you, and your children. God's will be done. There are no words to heal, I will continue to pray for you all. You are courageous and strong and a women after God's heart. You are my hero Katie.


  4. Katie,

    From three years old, I thought I would be a missionary on African soil. Anyone who gave me their ear heard my declaration that I would one day live in Africa, helping hurting children. I went to Bible College as a missions major. Never would I have imagined that instead I would be a lead pastor's wife in a church in the United States. This is where God has placed me nonetheless.

    We have five children, two we have adopted from Ethiopia, we minister in our community, but it is so clear to me, I am not even close to doing enough. As I prayed today, I asked God, “Show me how to do more. Shoe me how to be a Katie Davis here and around the world. I'm so unsatisfied.” You are my unseen accountability partner, Katie. Your life demands more from me. You live a life poured out as an offering to God and others. Being poured out often leaves you feeling empty and breathless and alone. I know this loss has left you gasping for air.

    I love how The Message Bible pens Psalm 34:18…”If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there; if you're kicked in the gut, He'll help you catch your breath.”

    I pray the comfort you offer the suffering day in and day out is harvested into your life at this time. I pray you would be the recipient of someone else's life poured out and God would wrap you in His love today.

    My family is praying for you. My brother in law is from Uganda and has family there…right in your town. Our hearts feel knit to yours as do so many around the world. I pray you feel our arms outstretched in love towards you and that our compassion moves us to action on your behalf as well as on the behalf of those hurting in Uganda.

    God is so proud of you, Dear One. Strength! Courage! Breathe in the Holy Spirit and allow God to help you catch your breath.

    Our family loves you!
    JoLynn Coleman
    (Pastor Kurt Coleman, Bethany, Brooklyn, Caleb, Joshua, and Julianna)


  5. Hi!
    I cannot pretend to understand the depth of your experiences, but you and your family will be on my heart. If I can offer any encouragement to you, it would be to mention that God's greatest power is revealed in the moments when we are weakest (2 Corinthians 12). Keep hope, sister.


  6. 4 years old.

    Instantaneous, heaving sobs overtook me.

    My 4 year old daughter lies in my bed right now. My mother heart broke for you.

    I'm pouring out prayers for you and your daughters, those both in and not in your home…


  7. Katie you don't know me but we happen to share the same Dad. You are an amazing testimony to His loving grace. I know this is months after the fact but I pray from the bottom of my heart that God has continued to pour out His love on you and reminded you each and every day that you are His daughter. And He adores you. You look like Jesus and it is a beautiful thing.


  8. Only you know your pain, but I can relate. I have lost an 11 yo daughter in a car accident, and just at Thanksgiving had to give up a little girl I had also raised back to her negligent mother for “one more chance”. (Her mother is an Ethiopian refugee who was almost deported due to her criminal record) I see your beautiful daughters and I grieve for my Menha as you are grieving for your lost daughter. My heart breaks for you, because injustices like this shouldn't happen. We can only pray for our daughters and hope that the love we gave them will carry them through anything that they will go through, and that the memory of it will give them the strength they need to survive and not lose their faith. I will pray for you and your 14 daughters and hope that God's plan shows itself to us.


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