Monday, June 27, 2011

The Unexpected...

I would normally never write a blog after being in the states for two weeks, but I believe I need to share what the Lord has been doing in my heart recently. For everyone who knows me, you know I am a planner. I like things to be organized and thought out, but living in Haiti for the past year and a half, I have had to embrace the idea of being flexible. I have learned that anything can happen at anytime, and for the most part I would like to say I have "rolled with the punches." Just when I thought I had it together (like that ever happens,) I received the biggest shaking from above.

I was on my flight home from visiting New York City on Tuesday, and I had a flight back to Haiti on Thursday. I felt so unprepared, upset, and just not myself. I cried on the plane, I cried on the phone to my best friend, and I cried when I got home. What was going on? I am always excited and ready to go back to Haiti. I felt as though God picked me up, hung me by my ankles, and shook me. What did He want from me?

It didn't take me long to realize I needed to stay in the states for a few more days to seek God's calling at this moment. Once again, I found myself having to be patient and wait on His most perfect timing. I changed my flight to Monday and decided to take some much needed time to consult with the big man upstairs! I immediately dropped to my knees, prayed a submitting prayer, and weeped. Although I can't recall exactly what happened at that moment, pictures of Jean, Peterson, Carlos, Denise, etc started flashing through my head. I now knew why God had stirred me up. Words like ACT, DO MORE, CHANGE, and LOVE ran through my mind and heart. I thought, "Ok, Lord I am totally willing to do that, but how?" Well, that was kind of a dumb question since I am nothing without Him, I don't have to do anything except say, "Ok, I am on board...let's do this Lord!" I can happily say that today that commitment was made.

I often tell people that although the "call" and "work" may sound hard, it is not because it is the right fit for me. It is seriously the sweetest calling, and it has blessed me more than I could ever imagine. These precious children are what make my heart beat, and I can honestly say I would die the most horrible death for them. They are little angels in my life, and they can turn any dark day into one full of sunshine and happiness! They are the most innocent beings on Earth, and I have never met anything in flesh form that is closer to Christ. Blessings flow abundantly through their little bodies, smiling faces, and sweet hearts. Life couldn't get better or could it?

God has shaken me, He has woken me up, and He has said ACT, DO MORE, CHANGE, and LOVE! In this changing season, I am seeking how to do these things. I am asking you to pray as I look at all options for these children. I am praying for more energy, more time, more knowledge, and more advocacy. Danita has always said don't underestimate small beginnings, and I have certainly come to understand this concept as the special needs program has grown leaps and bounds in just a year's time. I am looking forward to the growth, but excited to keep the spirit of excellence and intimacy of the program.

Thank you to all who support me, and thank you to those who will be part of the extension process. I know it is coming, and in this time, I am preparing both the children and myself. There are many ways to get involved, and if you are feeling a "tug" no matter how big or small, feel free to contact me. The children's needs are extensive and the more prayer covering and love surrounding them, the better...

Thank you for joining me in being an advocate for the "least of these" and thank you for helping me make the invisible, VISIBLE!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Answered Prayers...

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry." Psalm 40:1

I am reminded tonight of how BIG God is. I sit in a hotel room in the Dominican Republic with Jean, and am excited to be heading back home to Haiti tomorrow after a long and intense two weeks. Due to emergency circumstances with Jean's breathing, we made the decision to bring him for immediate medical care in Santiago, D.R. He was admitted right away with aspirating pneumonia. We spent almost one week in the hospital treating that alongside of his epilepsy, and were discharged after four nights. Little did I know, but that night would be one that I would never forget...

Brenda (a missionary with Danita's Children) had flown in from the states and was to be heading back to Haiti the next day. She went ahead and reserved Jean and I a hotel room as well so that we could go back to Haiti with her. It was late when we arrived in our room, and I noticed that Jean was really lethargic and listless. He was sleeping very soundly and seemed limp for him. I just figured he was tired and was adjusting to all his new medications. It was midnight, but I could not sleep so I started figuring out how much his medication was going to cost and how much he would need. One of his new seizure medications was going to be alarmingly expensive. I quickly said a prayer, "God, if Jean needs this, I know you will provide." It was at that moment that I felt this gut wrenching stab in my stomach. I felt very unsettled, and began looking up the recommended dosing on the Internet for this medication. When I did the calculations, I realized Jean was prescribed 10x the amount he was suppose to have. Crunching the numbers, I quickly figured that Jean had 6,000mg of the medication in his little tiny body when he was suppose to have 600mg! I thought I was going to pass out, but instead I messaged a paramedic and nurse that volunteers with Danita's Children. They confirmed that the dosing was too high, and recommended that I take Jean right away to the ER. I called Karris (who was in the states) and Brenda at 2am, and we made the decision to go right then.

Jean was admitted for overdose, and had to spend the night in the Pediatric ICU. My mother's heart sank. This was my little boy. The little boy that fights every day for his life, the little boy that has come so far in a year and a half, the little boy that displays the love of Christ to everyone that meets him, the little boy that I have promised to take care of, and the little boy that simply means the world to me! I managed to hold it together with the assurance from the doctors that he would be monitored closely. I would have to wait until 10am the next morning for visiting hours to see him.

When I arrived at the ICU, they were getting ready to transfer Jean to a regular room. Brenda stayed with him in his new room for a few hours so that I could run some errands and do laundry for Jean and myself. I arrived back to the hospital, and Brenda told me Jean had done well. I was in the room maybe 40 seconds, and Jean had a really violent seizure. I got the nurse, and before I knew it, we had a doctor and 3 nurses around Jean's bed. They gave him Valium and put him on oxygen. We were then told that Jean would need to be transferred back to ICU. My heart sank again, but I managed to hold it together. I had to wait a couple hours before I could talk to the doctor and see Jean in ICU. I put on the gown, cap, foot coverings, and mask and that's when I lost it. The tears started flowing. My little boy was laying listless in his ICU bed (again!) He was hooked up to so many machines, tubes, and wires. I was told that if his breathing became too labored, he would be intibated. Was this it? Was I going to lose my little Jean this night? I put my hand over Jean's forehead, closed my tear filled eyes, and said "Lord, everyday I place this child in Your hands, but tonight I ask You to be his heartbeat, be his breath, and be his everything!" I brought Jean's little hand up to my lips, and kissed it goodnight and said, "Hang in there, buddy. Mami Heather has to leave tonight, but will be back in the morning."

Jean remained in ICU for two more nights. That was the toughest time for me because I could only see him three times a day for 30 minutes at a time. I would just sit and wait for the visiting hours to come, and at night my heart would ache when I had to leave the hospital without him. I had some great support and encouragement though. Jen (a missionary with Danita's Children) came to be with me for a few days, and Jake (who is hoping to adopt Jean with his wife, Amy) flew in for a couple days. Jean was taken to a regular room, and he was beginning to finally make strides in recovering. I finally felt like we were "out of the woods."

On Tuesday, May 31st, a longtime prayer was answered! Jean had surgery to place a feeding tube in his stomach. This will drastically change the quality of Jean's life, and will help prevent aspirating pneumonia. It will also allow for more nutrients, and therefore Jean's immune system will strengthen and he will GROW! Nothing could make me happier. Jean was released after spending 14 nights in the hospital. I am so blessed that God's hand was in it all. He truly healed Jean, and for that I am eternally grateful. It was two weeks of answered prayers, and my faith has grown. Even if they were unanswered prayers, my faith in the Lord would have grown because it is in times like these, that you just can't make it without it! You have to be patient, you have to trust, and you have to hand it ALL over...

Thank you to everyone for your continued prayers, encouragement, and support as Jean begins to recover at home. He is a strong boy despite his size, and God obviously has some BIG plans in store for this little man. After all, He has saved him from death so many times. I truly appreciate your love and compassion. May God richly bless each and every one of you who make it possible for Danita's Children to receive proper medical care.

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope." Psalm 130:5