Warning: The first part of this blog might seem boring to most. But many people have asked, so here it is. If you want to skip down to the italicized print for “My Thoughts”, I won’t be offended.
I apologize this has taken so long. So many of you have been faithful to pray for Hope and for our family. We are so very thankful for your prayers. Its been difficult to determine how to word the update. I want to be transparent, at the same time I want to protect the privacy of sweet little Hope. So please forgive me if parts of this blog seem nonspecific.
First of all, let me say that Hope is doing exceptionally well! She is a very happy girl with a constant laugh and smile. She is doing far better since our return from Cincinnati.
If you aren’t aware of our story and the reason for this “Update”, let me bring you up to speed. In May of 2010, we adopted a little girl named Hope Meeka (2yrs,9mos) from China. She was abandoned at a children’s hospital when she was 2 days old with a physical handicap that was life threatening. This condition was in her digestive/elimination systems. The doctors performed surgery on her and saved her life. We are thankful that God was watching over her, even then. After she came to live with our family, we determined that she had some ongoing problems that had not been completely corrected by the surgeries she had had in China. We found out about Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and a special program they had for children born with similar problems as Hope. So we determined to go there and see what they might be able to do to help her. In addition, we wanted to determine and confirm what her physical situation is and what exactly has been done.
Secondary to the problems that Hope was born with, she contracted a urinary infection which led to antibiotics which also led to a bleeding yeast infection in her diaper area that went on for many months with no break. It was quite horrible and aggravated by the fact that she was rarely ever dry. The end result for her was constant pain and discomfort, and many sleepless nights. There were countless nights when she (nor we) slept at all due to numerous diaper changes throughout the night in a defeated effort to keep her dry. We tried every concoction of creams recommended, but all was to no avail. This started on June 18 and continued for 6 months. We had asked many of you to pray about this.
I am happy to report that on our 4th day at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital God sent an angel to us named Ann Marie that gave us the solution we’d prayed for on many countless sleepless nights. The nurse that was with Hope after she was recovering from anesthesia after a test had compassion on her and persisted to find someone to come and help us. It was very evident that God had moved in heart to help us and it was in response to so many prayers. Ann Marie had a simple “solution” of 3 products that we could order from a local pharmacist w/o prescription. It was the “miracle” that we had been praying for. Within a week the rash was completely gone and has been gone ever since then and she has slept All Night Every Night Since then!! Praise the Lord! Its amazing how much better you feel after a good nights sleep. She has been such a happy child.
Our visit at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital was a good one. Everyone was very helpful and concerned. Hope underwent a significant number of tests while we were there. Some of the information, that we already knew, was confirmed. However, there were some new pieces of information uncovered that we had not known. The news was difficult for us to process. The doctor believes that there is nothing that can be done to help this situation. It would be something that would affect her quality of life, probably not length of life. It was frustrating to find out that if they had completed the surgery correctly, it would have made a significant difference in her “situation”. They gave us some treatment recommendations for her “situation” that have proved to be very helpful, but do not resolve the problem. The issue is that most of the treatments are not long-term solutions and could eventually put 2 of her major organs at great risk. At the end of it, the doctor was a bit “stumped” by her problem. It seems her specific problem is an extreme case and not common. Turns out she is in the 5% that could not be “cured” with their program. The doctor could not offer any further real help or hope for her problem. He encouraged us to seek further counsel from a different type of Gastro Specialist. This was discouraging because I had really hoped to find the solutions we needed while we were there.
In addition (not related to the above “situation”) there is one surgery that was left undone in China that will need to be performed. The doctor recommends that it would be better to do sooner than later. We are presently seeking to secure this surgery for some time this year. It would mean 2-3 weeks in Cincinnati again.
On a very Positive Note, in spite of everything else, we were greatly encouraged to find out that at this point there does not seem to be anything that would indicate that Hope would lead anything less than a long healthy life. Praise the Lord!!!! She should be able to have children, though it won’t be as simple for her as for most.
Since we have been back we found a Pediatric Gastro Dr. and saw him last week. We were very pleased with his background, compassion, and his respect of our Dr. in Cinci. He is going to try and help us. Basically means more tests, but maybe will offer better solutions.
That’s All the Boring Background stuff and brings you up to speed on where we are on the “medical front”.
I’ve led a pretty protected life and been blessed through that. However, this has been a difficult journey for me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I had been praying for years for God to lighten my already “unbearable” load with homeschooling, being a youth pastors wife, managing the affairs of Casting Crowns and traveling with them every week as Road Manager. And now he seemed to be throwing on another bag of rocks for me to carry. Don’t get me wrong, Hope is a Godsend and a true blessing to our family. She is ALWAYS Happy and loves to make people laugh. Her care involves significantly more than the average 3yr old and on top of that we have all of the time spent at Dr.’s and traveling for appointments and surgery. Just seemed like more than I could bear.
Well let me say that I have finally begun to see it from a different perspective. This is God’s plan right now. Sometimes when I struggle I’m learning that it is easy to see it just from my perspective and make it all about ME. I’ve been praying that God will allow me to see it from HIS perspective. I’m asking that He will use all of this for His Glory in some way. If He chooses to heal her, I pray that it brings Glory to Him! If He doesn’t choose to heal her, then I pray for his strength and courage to face what the future holds.
During all of this my nanny has decided to leave to pursue God’s plan for her life and my housekeeper has left to do the same thing. Unfortunately, we are no longer God’s plan for their lives. L God will work it out in His time. I’m learning to live life one day at a time. Trusting Him moment by moment. Meanwhile, some of the verses that have brought me great encouragement have been:
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
Isaiah 42:1-2 “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Philippians 4:11-13 “. . . I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,. . . . . I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
James 1:2-3 “ Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
What it really came down to was this question,
“Do I really believe that God IS who He says He is?”
It was time for my actions to reveal my Faith. Because if I’m worried or stressed then that is a Clear Indication that I do not believe that God Is who He says He is. His word says that He is my Father, my Provider, my Protector, my Refuge, my Shield, my Counselor, my Healer, My Hope, my Redeemer, my Rock and my Savior. If I truly believe all that then why am I worried? It was time to put my Faith into action.
My moment of truth came over Christmas when the Lord kept bringing me back to Mary’s response to the Angel. Then my prayer became “I am Your Servant. May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38). Its still hard, but at least I’ve stopped whining.
And speaking of Perspective, it really helps when I hear other people’s stories (maybe like yours), and then my situation can be seen in a totally different light. Like the lady named “Danielle” that I met this weekend that has a young daughter w/ leukemia plus 3 other small children. She had to stop work and her husband has to miss work to take care of their kids. They are looking at 2 more yrs of treatments driving 2.5hrs one way for treatments that last up to 4 days. They lost their house and are living in a 2 bedroom house with their in-laws. She seemed so burdened. **Sheesh** Bless her heart, Jesus.
And I think about little 13yr old Evan who is facing a serious 9hr surgery where they will take his chest apart to repair something so that his lungs can work properly. He’ll be in recovery for one year. Family has no insurance and Mom is really struggling over what will happen and probably fearful. Little Evan is afraid, but trusting God.
I realize that no matter how difficult my life may seem in different seasons of life, there is always someone else going through something far more difficult. It doesn’t make my problems go away, but it does help to put them in Perspective.
I apologize for the long blog. I promise I won’t do it again.Thank you so much for your prayers! They have held us up on many days.