Tuesday, September 2, 2008

life worth living

I want to bring to light a prayer request for a little toddler that is in need of your prayers. She is currently under the care of her foster parents (Hope and Cesar Feliciano), who are hoping to adopt her soon. But the prayer request is that she is very, very sick. A sickness that has been with her most all her little life, with no known cause and likewise no known treatment for what is causing her continued illness, however the treatments and tests she's had to endure have sometimes caused more harm than good. She is now in the "fight for her life" as Hope put it to me in an email. With her permission, I'll share with you now the rest of her email to me....

"Cesar and I took her to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan a few weeks back, to meet with a transplant team. They did a full work up of her (many tests), and came to the conclusion that she is going to need a small bowel transplant and possibly the liver. I knew in the back of my head but to hear it was overwhelming. The transplant team was wonderful and very professional. Cesar and I are very comfortable with the doctor and his team. He is one of the few doctors in the country that does this type of surgery. She will be put on the transplant list as soon as all the paper work is completed through DCF because she is still under the state until we get to adopt her. This part does slow things up... Right now she is at [Childrens' in Connecticut] because she got very ill while we were in NY and had to be admitted to Mt. Sinai. I stayed until she was transferred back to CT by ambulance. That was not a fun ride. She is doing better. They had to put another central line and put her back on TPN [intravenous nutrition], which by the way is continuing to damage her liver. If she does not receive the TPN she will eventually die. Her intestines are not absorbing nutrition from regular feeds, which was causing to get sick and lose weight. So, it's a catch twenty-two. She needs the TPN to live but it could also cause other complications and end her life."

Such a heart-breaking situation for this family. And what a testimony they are to welcome such pain into their lives for the sake of saving this child who would otherwise have been left alone. One of Hope's sons was in my kindergarten class last year and I got to see first hand how strong this family unit is, however they are in desperate need of prayer for their soon to be adopted daughter, Kevelyn. Pray that no complications arise with the adoption process, as well as for the transplants she noted above. This little girl has struggled most of her life to even be able to live today.... pray God's miraculous and speedy healing on her body. As well as grace, encouragement and strength to this family.

I was thinking yesterday that I had such an immature view of life before my son entered into mine. When I say immature, I mean small. I don't even think I can describe to you what I mean. Other than to say, if I did xyz, then I'd get xyz... plain and simple. No twists, no turns. The biggest obstacle being how big of a house would we be able to buy and how soon would we be able to buy it? Oh yeah, throw some kids into the mix, decide whether or not to be a stay-at-home mom, plan some memorable vacations, help out our church with some areas of service/ministry and with tithe, don't forget to clean the toilets before company comes over and stay on top of keeping in touch with friends and family. That about sums up what life should've looked like according to my once immature perspective. Everything perfectly in the realm of my control.

Needless to say, I have quickly learned there is so much more to life. Not because I've had to accept that our son was born with cancer, but because I finally understand that our purpose for being here is so much bigger than I ever cared to explore before.

Situations, both wonderful and horrible, are allowed to enter into our lives for a distinct reason. It's not just a run of bad luck, or a result of your failure to control it. The truth is, you can't control it and luck isn't anything more than coincidence. But the situation(s) itself, serves a purpose to grow you, change you, fix you, break you, mold you into the reason you were even created to live a life here on earth. There is goodness and blessing to be found, and to enjoy them is necessary. But we are here for more than our expectations. In fact, we often have to let our own expectations die and let God's desire and plan for our lives be fully born and developed instead. And even though that sounds like a disappointing sacrifice to have to make, it really isn't.

Would I have wanted a perfectly healthy baby boy? Yes, of course!! No question that we prayed for a healthy baby and earnestly wanted God's blessing in that area. And when we found out that wasn't what was in store for us... well I can't even describe it. "We found leukemia cells in his body".... I'll never forget those words - spoken to us nearly 5 months ago. But after the shock wore off and the acceptance moved in, I've truly come to understand that this is what life is truly about. Not the tragedy itself, or your worst nightmare coming to fruition.... but the opportunity to meet God, to really see Him, and know that He is here for you. It can really stop you in your tracks. Surrendering to Him, to be available to move into your purpose, it's a surreal thing. I don't fully know what that purpose is, but for the first time in my many years of being a Christian, I finally "see" that there is so much more to life...


Michelle Jamie said...

Will be praying

Lorri said...

Today you get a whisper, "Amen." Well done good and faithful servant. Love, Lorri

Jennifer Wiser said...

We will certainly add the family to our prayer list. Isn't it amazing how our perspective and view of life changes after we have been through this trial. I try to remind myself that this life isn't about what I can get out of it, but what I can offer to others through it, and how I can please the Lord through this life He blessed us with. Life is good even despite the difficulties we endure. I am so glad that Ethan continues to do so fantastic. Any signs of grafting yet? Looking forward to that day.
Love and Hugs from Michigan!

Megan said...

Thank you for sharing the reminder of God's purpose for us. I am so blessed that you and your beautiful family came into my life. Those pictures of Ethan are so cute, they made me smile. We will continue to pray for the prayer requests you listed previously and we will pray for Kevelyn and her soon to be parents. My heart just broke reading her email.
Friday morning I helped deliver my sister in laws baby boy, this was the first time I've actually seen natural birth. (mine was a c-section) Wow! I don't understand how there can be non belivers in this world. God was there giving us this healthy beautiful 9.5 lb baby boy. I will never forget this feeling. I look at my daughter every day still in amazement that she is mine. Until Coy and Ethan came into my life, I honestly didn't know or didn't stop to think there were babies fighting for their lives and mommy's at their bedside holding their hand praying for their lives. You made me realize no matter what will come our way, good or bad, the important thing is to let go and let God has his way. I love what you said about we need to grow from the experience and welcome what God had to teach us and show us.
Thank you Kasey! You all are always on our hearts and in our prayers. Give Ethan lots of kisses for us. I wish I could just give him a huge hug and tell him how proud I am of him, he is the braves boy I know.