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Monday, April 25, 2011

Big Miracles

As I record in my journal all the things I'm thankful for, my 1,000 gifts, I notice how many small miracles there are in my day to day ordinary life. Little things like an unexpected check in the mail just when we need it. These things remind me that God cares about even the most insignificant "problems" and cares in my life. But today I have been struck by a big miracle. A miracle that wasn't small enough to go unnoticed. A miracle that moved mountains. The miracle that saved my son.

Writing down my gifts today #103 was "a healthy baby boy." This might not seem like a big deal to anyone else. Healthy boys are born every day by the thousands. Most people I know are gifted with healthy children. The few I am blessed to know that haven't been, will understand more deeply this miracle. You see, I have carried two little boys. Two precious sons who I loved very much. But, before they could make it to this world they were taken from me. I don't know why. In heaven I will. But with each loss I began to better understand the gift of a healthy child. It's never a given ... it's a gift! One that I had yet to be given... until now.

Seven months ago in a country literally half way around the world a little baby boy was born earlier than he was supposed to come. He was tiny and didn't have the luxury of a hospital or even a doctor... just a mother who loved him very very much. Two weeks later she gave the ultimate sacrifice when she turned her son over to the government for care. Out of love she gave the most precious thing she had so that he could have a chance to live. A week after that he came to Hannah's Hope. A transition home in Ethiopia run by an American adoption agency. He was extremely ill and malnourished... skin stretched over a tiny frame. He was immediately admitted to the hospital and put on an IV drip. He made it. By God's grace he lived and the next week we received a phone call that a baby boy needed a home. That was in October '10.

In December, as we were preparing for our travel to Ethiopia, we received a phone call. "Your son is very ill and we don't know why. We will give you more info when we have it." We hit our knees and prayed for the next 24 hours. The phone rang the next day. "He is getting worse and has been admitted to the hospital." This time an email with the doctor's notes accompanied the phone call. Our baby was rapidly losing weight and had become emaciated. He was repeatedly falling into dehydration. Test results showed no reason for this. We simply had to pray. I will admit that I went to a place of despair at this point. I didn't know why this would happen and just begged God not to take another child from me. All I could do was trust that His plan is perfect even if it hurts. (and it DID hurt) Another week went by and our baby boy pulled through. He was still quite ill but no longer in the hospital and no longer in extreme danger of death.

Over the next month, before we were able to fly over to see him, he stayed stable but small. The doctors diagnosed him with failure to thrive. The care he received at the transition home was wonderful. He had every single one of his physical needs met, but emotionally he had given up. He rarely smiled, and almost never cried. He just didn't have a reason to care. Then we came...

On the second day he smiled at us and gave out a giggle. By the end of the week we were getting closer and closer. We had to leave and return to the states, but 3 long weeks later we were back in Ethiopia to bring our son home. When we bounded the steps to his room and adjusted the blanket in his crib he opened his eyes, looked straight into ours, smiled and lifted his arms. We cried. He remembered us and wanted us to hold him! That week at the hotel we got more smiles and giggles than he had probably ever given in his 4 1/2 months of life.

We have been home for two months with our son. We have poured into him every ounce of love that we have in our souls. In two short months he has gone from wearing size 3 month clothes to 12 month sizes!!! He has gained nearly 10 pounds and has chubby rolls all over. He smiles constantly and laughs and plays. He loves to snuggle and give kisses and touch our faces. Why all this dramatic improvement in just a short time?

God's Grace ... and the miracle of adoption. Family. a mom and dad who love endlessly. He needed us just as desperately as we needed him.

 Before coming home...

After coming home... 


That is the big miracle of a healthy baby boy.