Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Our story with Abigail starts in Singapore. It was the Saturday beforeChristmas, and we were in a Singapore hospital visiting Christina’s grandma. Christina had not been feeling well and we thought maybe, just maybe, God had given us the baby we had prayed for. We went to get a pregnancy test at the same hospital, and there we saw the most beautiful white dot on a screen. She was exactly 5 weeks old at the time, and we were told that it was the first day that she had became visible on an ultrasound.
On the Monday three days later, Caleb was back in Hong Kong having lunch with his boss. He said, “Caleb, I will be leaving the company at the end of June, and we are promoting you.”
Fast forward two months and we were once again in Singapore for Chinese New Year. It had been years since Christina had been in Singapore for the New Year festivities, and we were sharing the good news with different family members during our visit here. On New Year’s eve we had a wonderful time of worship and sharing at a large family gathering, and we went to bed that night ready to celebrate the new year with family and friends in the morning.
However, in the middle of the night, Christina woke up to heavy bleeding and was rushed to the hospital. At the emergency room, the situation seemed so dire that even the doctor asked Christina to prepare for the worst. To our absolute joy and amazement, the doctor took an ultrasound and there Abigail was, very much alive and kicking (and has been kicking ever since)!
For the next few months, Christina was prescribed full bed rest, and was advised by our doctor not to travel until her womb had healed. After praying through and reflecting on the turn of events, we felt that God wanted Abigail to be born in Singapore. With the help of generous family and friends, we had places to stay and eventually found a suitable apartment for Christina recover in and for Abigail to spend the first few months of her life. Caleb has continued to fly every week, and his company has agreed to letting him stay in Singapore while paying for his flights. Through it all, Abigail’s grandparents have been a steady presence to help us deal with the many changes. There had been many difficulties along the way, especially as there were visa issues to contend with, but God has been faithful, and we knew that He would not have guided us to Singapore if He did not first provide a way.
Abigail means “father’s joy” while Elise means “consecrated to God”. Caleb remembered distinctly a time during his university days when he read the story of Abigail in the Bible, and had admired the combination of beauty and wisdom that God had placed in her. He knew that if God gave us a daughter, her name would be Abigail. The name Elise on the other hand, was given to Christina after the Chinese New Year episode. We saw how God went to such dramatic lengths to save Abigail, and we know that she her life is in the Lord’s hands.
If there was any doubt that God was in control and that He loved Abigail dearly, he eliminated it with a most unusual birth.
On July 29th, Abigail was in her 36th week and only a week away from being full-term. Caleb was in Shanghai on his last business trip before spending a month in Singapore in anticipation of Abigail’s August 26th due date. At 4:05am, Christina’s water broke, and as she was instructed during pre-natal classes, she calmly went and took a shower to prepare for her trip to the hospital. She called Caleb, and immediately he got up to book a flight back.
As Abigail is the firstborn, we were told by everyone to expect a long labour process. Added to the complications was the fact that Christina had been diagnosed with a fairly common infection a few weeks prior, and just the day before had finished her dose of oral antibiotics. However, there was still a chance that the infection had not been cleared, and the doctor prescribed for Christina to receive antibiotics intravenously during labour, or else there could have been life-threatening consequences for Abigail.
Yet, we never were able to set up those precautions. There were no IV drips or epidurals. There were no doctors, nor even a hospital bed.
Christina’s mom had identified that this was not going to be a normal birth, and had pleaded with the hospital to send an ambulance with someone who knew how to deliver a baby. The ambulance arrived just in time to see Abigail Elise Chu born in our bedroom at 5:05am, exactly 1 hour after Christina’s water broke. Caleb hadn’t even made it out of his hotel door. The birth was so fast that Abigail didn’t get a chance to be infected. God has His ways of protected His beloved.
It is a miracle that today we are here with you for Abigail’s full month celebration. She was meant to be born in a bedroom in Singapore, and it has been just an amazing journey to get there. We cannot even imagine how we will write the next “She was meant to ____________________” sentence. However, what we do know is that God is in control, He loves Abigail dearly and by His grace He has blessed Abigail through each of you. Thank you so much for your love and support, and today we wanted to express our appreciation from the depths of our hearts.
Thank you, and God Bless,
Abigail, Christina and Caleb