May I tell you the story of a little boy? A little boy who came into our lives such a short time ago only to leave it before we were ready?
Our friends, Mark and Tammy, brought him into the lives of our FFM family as his foster parents. We loved watching our youth kids claim "Baby D" most Sunday mornings during worship - they couldn't get enough of him.
Then we celebrated with Brian and Malyn Sneed when they announced their desire to adopt him. 2015 was a year of ups and downs as we hoped and prayed with the Sneeds while waiting for the adoption process to go through.
Finally, it was settled... December 23rd was the big day. Friends and family packed the courtroom to witness Camden finding his forever family.
|It's official! Camden is a Sneed!|
And then began the few short days that were filled with so much joy - Christmas celebrations, a visit to the Polar Express and the whole family cheering Alabama on to victory.
They couldn't have known how short their time with Camden was... and we can't pretend to understand the whys. Can't pretend to willingingly accept his death without questioning... without anger... without heartbreaking grief.
Why would a healthy little boy simply slip away in his sleep? In our minds it makes no sense but this one thing offers comfort... Camden went from joy to joy.
He lived a short life, yes..but because so many chose to open their hearts to love, Camden was given the gift of a beautiful life, a home and a name.
We grieve and cry and question and...and still... all we can come back to is this. We hurt, but what a privilege was ours - the ones who knew him - to be a part of loving him.
And in it we see a reflection of God. He, too, opened up His heart to love. He, too, paid a great price to make us His own. He, too, took the risk of loving us - to offer us a life worth living...a home...and a name.
Love..it makes you vulnerable to pain. Some fear it - questioning if it's worth the risk..but this we know...The Brittons, the Sneeds, the Smiths.. the FFM church families.. We wouldn't trade a thing...for to give up the pain of losing Camden would mean never knowing him at all.
And in this we stand and declare that God is still good and He can be trusted.
Many have asked how they can help. For those who don't know - Brian and Malyn are the founders of Impact of Hope. They have the most giving hearts of anyone we know and it has been their joy to call the body of Christ together time after time to offer hope to those who are facing tremendous pain, illness or loss.
Now it's our turn to give back.
We have set up a GoFundMe page where all donations will be given to help with the funeral costs for Camden as well as any other expenses from his medical care.
In all honesty, our personal hope is that we can raise enough to cover not only those expenses, but also be able to give towards their adoption costs as well.
The Sneeds are givers and are not accustomed to being on the receiving end but we know so many love them and this is our way of being able to show them how very much we care about them - especially now as they grieve the death of their son.