Sunday, August 29, 2010

Audrey's Thoughts On Pregnancy #4

Auj:  Mom, I have a new name for the baby!
Me:  Oh, what is it?
Auj:  Sue

Me:  Marcus, how about you?  What do you want to name your baby brother?
Marcus:  (big grin) Daddy.


(Warning: TMI)

I was in the restroom and apparently wasn't speedy enough for Audrey.

Auj:  Mom, what's taking so long?  Just push!
Me:  If I push too hard, the baby will fall out.
Auj: Oh. (pause)  Then just catch the baby.  If you catch the baby it won't fall into the dirty water.


Audrey and I had a date at the donut shop the other morning.  For some reason, she was talking very loudly and I'm sure everyone around us heard our entire conversation.

Auj:  Mom, in your wedding movie, I wasn't there.
Me:  Yeah, you and Marcus weren't there yet when Mommy and Daddy became a family.
Auj:  Yeah.  After you get married, it takes a long long long time to have a baby.
Me:  Oh yeah?
Auj:  (even louder)  Mom, how did the baby get in your belly?
Me:  (giggling)  God put it there, Auj.
Auj:  Oh. (pause) That sounds hard.  (pause)  I want to be Jesus.
Me:  ????

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thankful Thursday

1. I'm thankful that Mike was finally able to join his mother and sister in caring for his father in the hospital.  Unfortunately, his dad took a turn for the worse since last week and it's been tremendously difficult for him to endure the discomfort of the new breathing tube while simultaneously fighting pneumonia, two different viruses, and his lymphoma.  It's been extremely painful to see their dad in so much pain right now.  Please continue to pray for his recovery.  Mike's mom's deepest prayer is that her husband would put his hope in the Gospel in the midst of his suffering.

2. A generous member of our church donated his airline miles to Mike & Miriam so they could go see their dad.  We are so grateful for this brother and his unique and thoughtful ministry to our family!

3. We miss Mike like crazy, but we are thankful for modern technology.  Mike got us a webcam before he left so that we could video chat while he is away.  He's been able to put the kids down with me every night and they've looked forward to catching up with him at the end of the day.  It hasn't kept Audrey from tearfully saying "I miss Daddy" 40 times daily, but seeing his face has been a huge comfort.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Prayer Needs Update

Thank you for praying for Mike's dad and for Baby Jaquelynn.  Here are some updates to prompt you to continue to pray!  Thank you so much!

1.  Mike's dad took a turn for the worse starting last week.  His breathing became very difficult, even with oxygen, and his swelling came back.  It turns out that the Lymphoma had spread, and that his right lung collapsed due to being overfilled with fluid.  There is also a fungal growth attached to his lungs that is a major concern.  Even being hooked up to machines, his oxygen levels were so low at one point that he was not alert for most of the day.  He was admitted at John's Hopkins and the doctors decided to treat the cancer right away.  Fortunately, the first round of chemo has helped to alleviate the swelling and has allowed for better breathing.  We still don't know his prognosis, but as of now, he is in the OR where the doctors are looking at the tumor/growth in his lungs through a camera.

It has been very difficult for Mike's dad and especially for Mike's mom and sister Miriam, as they are both at the hospital all day with him.  Yet even through this, there are many things to thank God for.  We are thankful that Miriam got to MD at the perfect time to help them settle into the hospital, be their moral support, help translate what the doctors are saying, and encourage them in many other ways.  We are also thankful that Mike will be able to fly out soon to see them and help in any way he can.  Also, Mike's parents' faith has been a huge encouragement.  Miriam told us how Mom read scripture and sang hymns to Dad all through the night.  They are such strong examples of clinging to the Lord in the midst of hardship.  What a gift they are!  Although the future is a huge unknown, we are so thankful that he is feeling better than he was just a few days ago.

2.  Baby Jaquelynn is not doing well.  They found some abnormalities in her brain and a stage 3 bilateral brain bleed that caused the ventricles to be filled with spinal fluid and blood.  She has been scheduled for a surgery to draw out the fluid.  We know that these kinds of surgeries are always risky and exponentially so for a tiny premature baby.  Undoubtedly, this has been an extremely difficult time for my friend Keri and her family.  Prayer for Baby Jaq and the rest of the family would be greatly appreciated.

Proverbs 18:10

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Audrey's Thoughts On Pregnancy #3

We're still thinking of baby names and Audrey is daily giving her two cents.

"Mom, I really like Marcus.  Let's name the baby Marcus."


In anticipation of the baby's arrival, she's been doing some reminiscing of her own.  Apparently, she's got a supernatural memory because one day, she recalled:

" I remember when I was born, Daddy cut my belly-button.  It was a little ouchie, but I was okay."


We were at the perinatologist's office today and I was laying on the ultrasound bed waiting for the doctor to come in.  He was taking a while to show up, but I had an urgent need to go to the restroom.

Me:  I REALLY have to go to the bathroom.

Mike:  Then, just go.

Audrey:  (appalled, gasping)  But Dad!!  She's not wearing a diaper!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thankful Friday

1. My baby lost her first tooth this week.  After being scared to death of having her father pull it out, she managed to get through it without too much trauma.  As for her mother, she was sad.  Goodness, wasn't she just teething?!  I don't know what I'm going to do when she starts driving.  Ugh.

2. Last weekend, Mike and I went on a date to celebrate our anniversary.  I love my kids to death, but boy was it nice to talk and eat with my husband without munchkins around.  But then, we get home from dinner and mess with them while they're sleeping.  Oh, the paradox of parenthood.

Here's Auj,  hugging us as we're leaving.

3. Mike has found the perfect cure to CSB (Childhood Summertime Boredom).  You take them outside and spray them with icy cold water.

Isn't Mike  such a great dad?

4. Today, we get to go to Mike's annual company picnic at the Back Bay of Newport Beach.  Free food and free fun in the sun.  Yeah!

Edit:  We won a new Samsung LCD TV at the company raffle!  Double Yeah!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Acquainted With All My Ways

God has blessed us immeasurably with family, friends, and a church body who love us more than we deserve.  They have carried our burdens with us and have done so much to shower us with love and support as we go through the ups and downs of caring for Marcus.  We couldn't have asked for more love from more people.  I could devote a whole week's worth of posts to all the ways our friends and family have cared for us.  They have fed us, housed us, prayed incessantly for us, emailed us, sent us thoughtful cards, visited us, and cried with us.

At the same time, there's a yearning to have people in our lives who are going through what we're going through.  People who know the exact heartache we bear.  We've found great friends through the Joubert Syndrome group and through Marcus' school & therapy, and God has really met many of our needs through them.  But among people we already know, there is not one family who is raising a child with a diagnosis similar to Marcus'.  At our church of 100+ kids, Marcus is the only one facing his types of challenges.  Considering the statistics, this is a very rare situation.

We would never want any of our family to have to bear the struggles of special needs and we don't wish this type of suffering on any of our friends.  Yet why is it that I desire for someone to go through the trenches with me in this world of disability?  I feel that God created us to have this longing for shared experience; to have a common union with others who are going through the same thing.  That must be why there are so many support groups out there for people to find others they can relate to.

I could sit in a room surrounded by hundreds of close family and friends and at the same time feel that nobody can truly understand the weight that is on my heart.  I've often felt like an alien and desperately lonely in large groups because there isn't someone who can say, "I know exactly how you are feeling about your son right now because I'm going through it too."  But for some reason, God has sovereignly and lovingly not provided that for us at this time.

The truth is that everyone in this world can feel this type of loneliness at some point in their lives.  We all have some issue that we feel is far removed from the common experience.  Yes, I have a son with disabilities, but I have never known the trials of losing a spouse or a child, being in and out of the hospital, battling infertility, living in poverty, facing discouragement on the mission field, living under abuse, or being persecuted by family members for my faith.  Amongst a group of people where I feel like no one truly understands me, the person to my right could be feeling exactly the same way.

Yet what I've realized is that having this "lack" in my life is actually a blessing I couldn't have asked for.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

Psalm 139:1-4

When I have a thought that I feel like no one around me can relate to, my Lord is right with me and He is intimately acquainted with all the aching crevices of my heart.  When I can't explain why I'm sad, my Lord is here and knows my heart better than I even know it.  When I feel like an alien because my experiences are so different from others', my Lord reminds me that He created me and understands my thoughts from afar.  And not only from afar, but my Lord also became a man so that He would be able to know the whole realm of human disappointment and grief.

Knowing this gives me a sense of great privilege.  It reminds me of intimate secrets between a husband and wife that nobody else is privy to.  All these experiences of "No one in this room understands me" can now turn into "The Lord knows exactly how I'm feeling right now and He is with me and loves me."  This is a unique encouragement that I am so thankful for.
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