You know, with Braden, we have received over 9 miracles in his lifetime. So I have to admit there are times I pray for him and wonder if we have used all our "favors" up in heaven. We have already been so blessed, sometimes I feel like I have to prepare myself for the "no" if a prayer isn't answered. But let me assure you with certainty, God is STILL in the miracle business, and he STILL answers prayers.
A few weeks ago, we changed out his G-tube, and there was an "incident". Not ALL of the pieces of the g-tube came out of his body. PANIC sets in, as we were leaving for a BIG trip later that week to go home to KS to see family, and introduce them to the newest member of the family, Laila Grace. How in the world could this thing come out of his body and leave pieces behind? Will we have to go to the hospital tonight? Will he have to have a surgery to remove the parts left behind? Will we have to postpone this well-organized and orchestrated trip with other out of town family to meet up? WE DON'T NEED THIS RIGHT NOW, was the first thought. After a moment to catch my breath, I texted some groups of our prayer warriors. I asked them to ask God for his favor, and let this event be minimized for Braden. He has been through so much, the thought of us possibly causing an issue for him was nauseating. So instead, we prayed.
Here is what the g-tube looks like new, and what Braden's looked like:
I called the on-call surgeon to ask what we should do. They concurred that we wait a few days to see if it passes, if not, come in to see the surgeon. I cried myself to sleep that night in prayer. Begging God to just make it all go away.
The "pieces" didn't pass over the weekend. So we saw the surgeon and had an X-ray done. Well, our prayer warriors must have been interceding extra hard for Braden, because we got another mini miracle - the X-ray showed NO FOREIGN OBJECTS in his stomach or intestines!! While it is possible that pieces of his tube were degenerating, because we often see that... it is highly unlikely that it was so disintegrated that it broke clean off and passed, or was just "sitting" where it goes without popping out! Our God is still in the miracle business people, and I am so grateful to have people willing to pray for our little warrior in our moments of crisis.
So we were able to take Braden and Laila home to see family, so our family could also meet Laila for the first time. It was such a time of celebration and joy. If I am being honest, I was worried about how some family may react to Laila's mixed racial heritage, because my generation is really the first to "diversify" our children - having children and marrying partners of a different race. But can I tell you?? Babies have a way of neutralizing any potential cultural divides, and our sweet baby Laila meets everyone she meets with a smile that will melt your heart. I saw members of my family (who are largely unemotional) cry tears of joy, upon meeting this precious child.
Here are several pics from our trip!!
Cousin Knox (asked to walk Laila to school with him!!), Nana and Grandpa
Great Aunt Karen, Cousins Patsy (mom) & Harley (daughter), and my friend Nicole (from college)
Cousin Paxton, Gram, Group shot: Kodi, aunt Shala, Laila & cousin Huck, Papa Tom
Aunt Jenny, cousin Peyton, cousin Gentry playing maracas for Laila,
Great Uncle Dale, Great Aunt Patty, Great Aunt Marilyn, Great Aunt Brenda
Vogel Family: Great Grannie Vogel, Great aunts Tricia & Shelley, and a 4 generation pic (Aunt Shelley sits in for my deceased father)
3 generations of girls
Adorned in our KC Royals Championship gear - they won while we were in state, so we got our best selection of gear there!
Orphan Sunday in our BEE-LIEVE shirts celebrating our little would-be orphan!!
Our friend Anne from Norman, OK... friends Victoria & Mark and their newly adopted foster children from Dallas, and my little co-pilot taking a break on our drive home.
I have accepted that Brad and I weren't chosen to live a "charmed" life, where we get married and have babies (who would be potential Olympians, of course), and live a very picture book life. This was not the path we have been given. We have been given an incredibly difficult and challenging life to raise a terminally-ill, medically fragile child whose time with us is unknown yet limited and requires 24/7 care... we don't get to take "vacation" or have many "date nights" or get to take a long weekend away just the two of us. We faced miscarriage and infertility. We had our own plan of adoption, but we were given an opportunity to embrace a situation that did not fit our initial criteria... and saying YES to this situation has been one of the best decisions of our lives. We were not called to ordinary. We were called to EXTRAORDINARY. I say that with the most humble bent possible... I wouldn't have asked for any of this, but I hope we answer what we are called to be, to the best of our ability, and a FULL RELIANCE ON GOD (FROG) to get us through, because only in his strength will we survive!!! We thank you for your continued support on our journey and being a part of our village.