missionaries serving with Campus Crusade for Christ and FamilyLife

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sunshine Girl

We made it to Children's Hospital before the sun was up this morning. We had so many people praying with us. We prayed that Jesus would bring sight to the blind. We believe with all of our hearts that He is able.

Our girlie is such a bright light. She is joyful, cheerful, gentle and so, so sweet! To say that we are completely smitten would be an understatement. We are so in love with this little girl. She did great with exams, eye drops, shots and surgery prep this morning.

The hardest part for her and for us was watching her get wheeled away with the doctors. She cried and we did, too. The doctor expected to remove the cataracts and attempt one lens transplant this morning. He also planned to evaluate her corneas for future transplant. He did ultra sounds of both eyes, as well as, several necessary measurements. He let us know it would take about 1.5 hours. He said he would call us from the OR to let us know prognosis. That is not how the morning unfolded, however.

20 minutes into the procedure, the doctor was approaching us in the waiting area. Our hearts sank and it caught us off guard. He lead us back to a private room and explained the scenario.

Our little lady has a complex case. She has very high pressures in both eyes- called glaucoma. This is a serious concern and an urgent medical need. It was too dangerous to proceed. Change of plans. Surgery is rescheduled for 1 month. We have begun a regimen of beta blocker eye drops in hopes of reducing the pressure in both eyes. The doctor explained that Sunshine has very little iris in either eye. It is not likely she will be candidate for lens transplant. He indicated that we will still try to remove cataracts in one month. We may try contact lenses or even glasses. He said it is not likely that we will gain any significant vision. All of this felt sad and unexpected to us.


We are praying. Many are praying. We were reminded of some of what our Pastor shared just yesterday in church. We recalled the story of Lazarus and the fact that God is never late. He is on time and operates in His ways to bring His glory. We don't know His plans for our girlie's vision, but we do know He is able to restore her sight. We are praying He would give her vision, BUT we also know He might be most glorified in the beauty of blindness & her dependence on Him. We are praying for His perfect will. We trust Him with all of our hearts.

Thank you to so many who continue to faithfully pray for our family. We are filled with joy and overwhelmed by your kindness.

Praising Jesus!! Art & Jen

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Growing Together

Oh, I have written 73 blog posts since my last post. I have written them in my head, of course. I write as I rock a restless baby in the middle of the night. I giggle, drive and write while I recall all the delights of the day. I choke back tears and write as I drift off to sleep after an exhausting day of kneading out of the rough spots adoption parenting seems to expose. I look forward to sharing a couple of the very beautiful and holy things Jesus is teaching us along this path.

Older adoption is surprising. There is so much lost time and so many conversations to share. There is a lot of history to uncover. We have experienced grief for loss. It's loss of birthdays and holidays together. We feel sorrow over not being able to comfort them during thunder storms or illnesses. We didn't get to celebrate early achievements or many first experiences together. We have felt sadness in the reality that we were not "there" to meet so many needs. Many of the needs went unmet.

We feel very blessed that Mercy is so willing to share her past with us. She is pretty open. It's so amazing to experience such powerful moments as they creep into everyday situations.

Recently, we started out scrubbing toilets together and ended up sharing the truth of Jesus' great love. Mercy shared some really hard to hear realities about her caregivers over the years. She talked about the injustices that she and other children experienced at their hands. Heart breaking, gut wrenching, painful and real life for so many children in orphanages. 

Something strange happened. Tears started flowing in this Mama. I was overcome with compassion for the wrong-doers. I felt compelled to tell Mercy about my own sin and the tremendous forgiveness Jesus has shown me. I told Mercy all about Jesus and the Cross. He cleared the way for me to tell her that the only way all of these people will know TRUE love, kindness, integrity and selflessness is for them to know HIS love and forgiveness for each of them personally. We explained that we could pray for them to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Mercy listened intently. She asked if we could pray right then and there. So, yes, in the middle of the kitchen with work gloves and scrub brushes, we interceded for all the caregivers Mercy had known over the years.

We ended that day by cutting open and scooping out the seeds of a pumpkin together. We were able to share with our kiddos the story once again about becoming a light for Jesus. We talked about how He comes in and takes out all the yucky stuff. He puts His light in us so we can shine brightly in this dark world. Oh how that is our prayer.... Lord, may YOU be glorified in our marriage and family. Teach us to walk in YOUR ways. Lead us in YOUR paths.

Thank you to those of you praying for our family. Zoey will have eye surgery on Monday, Nov 18th. Drs. will remove cataracts and try to do a lens transplant. We are praying she would gain vision. Jacob will have testing under anesthesia on Thursday, Nov 21. Our calendar is covered with doctor appointments. We are trusting Him to be our strength and our endurance. We are trusting Him to help us juggle all the needs and honor Him with all of our lives.
With joy,
Art, Jen, & kiddos