Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I saved my New Year's post to do together with Tomas' birthday post (January 16th). I have prayed many times to find the right words for this message. I think it must begin with a confession.

I have never prayed for God to heal my son. I could never find the right words. Everything I thought about saying sounded to me like I didn't want the child God had given me, but that I wanted a better one. One without three holes in his heart. One without luekemia, though treatable at birth, which has a thirty-three percent chance of returning before his third birthday. One whose intestines were attached to his stomach. One whose airway did not collapse, whose lung did not collapse, whose liver worked, who could eat, and drink, and nurse, and not have life threatening non-breathing episodes. One who did not need oxygen support, or a feeding tube, or constant monitoring, multiple doctor visits every week, or frequent hospital stays.

My husband tried to give me the words, my mother and friends tried to give me the words, but I couldn't say them.  They all prayed for his healing. I prayed instead for the strength, wisdom, and comfort that I needed to care for this baby while he is mine. I abandoned all to God. All of it, from the major surgeries right down to every last blood draw and lab test, I placed in His hands. And if you knew me well before, you realize what a tremendous transformation took place for me to be able to let go like that.

This past year has brought the kind of change that hurts. I watched my husband almost break from the burdens of a difficult pregnancy, missing Tomas' birth, starting a new job, selling our old home, buying a new one, and moving his entire family including a 3 month old medically fragile child halfway across the country. I watched my beloved daughters give up everything they knew. Their lives went from fun and fancy free to mommy at the hospital, at the doctors, labwork, parents having whispered talks, and it only got worse after Tomas was born.

 While this was happening the Lord of all creation was tending to lowly, unworthy me. He built my heart up strong for the journey ahead. He left me with no one to turn to but Him. He began to show me the unimaginable joy that comes from picking up your cross and following the Lord. He used people, some of which I had never met before, to say or do exactly what I needed said or done. He knit my family tight. Where there were holes and gaps before He made patches of charity, faith and a hope that comes from knowing my marriage is a gift from Him, and that my children are from Him and meant to return to Him.

Over the first few months of Tomas' life, we were dealt one devasting blow after another. Really. At one point a doctor walked into the hospital room and said, "I have some devasting news." This was AFTER we found out about his heart, liver, leukemia and airway. I was thinking "what could there possibly be left?". It turned out to be that Tomas was aspirating and we couldn't feed him by mouth any more, not really devastating to me since it would prevent him from going limp in my arms due to the reflux shutting down his airway, but you get the idea of how stressful things were there for a while.

Then came that dreadful night after the nissen surgery when I watched him nearly bleed to death. Somewhere around 3 in the morning an angel came to his crib. I didn't so much as see an angel but I became aware of an angel, and that was the moment I let go. I knew that even if Tomas didn't make it I would be grateful for the time he was here, for all the wonderful moments his life brought to ours.

Like the time I sat with Olivia and Victoria on the sofa and tried to explain what Down Syndrome was and what our new baby was going to be like.  I tried to explain how his eyes would be a little different and how it would take him longer to learn things than most people, and just tried to make a 5 and 8 year old understand. At the end of the conversation Olivia asked me, "Just one thing, is he going to want to play hide and seek?"
Or when a few days after he was born and the girls were finally allowed in to see him Victoria said, "But mom, he has two eyes just like us!". Wow, I must have done a really bad job of trying to explain things to her. There are so many more moments like those that I can be nothing but grateful for Tomas.

And that is were we are, nearly one year later. Grateful for a baby who showed us the way. How fitting it is that there are still a few days left of the Christmas season. There was once another baby who showed all of us the way.

To all of my dear, dear friends, old and new, please know that you are all a part of what took place. Every kind word and gesture has been written in my heart, and, I thank God for you.

All glory and honor is Yours, Almighty Father, now and forever.


  1. Many of us have said that God knew that you were the perfect mommy for Tomas (and Olivia and Victoria). He is the source of our strength and these trails make use realize that even more. I cannot express how much you and your family have inspired us all so much this past year.
    Now I have to go reapply my makeup before I can go back to work!

  2. A beautiful post. It made me look back to the last 4 years we've had Jax. That me and my hubby were able to use this hardship to bring us closer together instead of tearing us apart. Of watching doctors run around frantically and wondering if you'll ever hold your baby again. It does indeed take special people to raise these special angels! And I'm proud to be one.

  3. Thank you for sharing your heart and your precious family. We will continue to pray for Tomas and his progress and God's best for him. I have a prayer out of one of my Grandmother's books.. I believe it is appropriate...Chad and Stephanie Hoskins w/Hand in Hand Prayer Ministry at FellowshipChurch
    Oh Lord,
    I have seen a beautiful thing.
    They have a child, and they give thanks for him, and celebrate his membership in their family. The love and the acceptance all the others in the family hold for him is beautiful indeed. But then, as if that weren't enough, there is 'delight' they have in him.
    It 's a bonus, I guess--'because' of the love, and because of the open and honest acceptance. These have made them free to enjoy this youngest one--free to laugh with him as he discovers new wonders in his world--free to celebrate with him each achievement--free to enjoy "his" love, his uniqueness.
    Ah, Lord--to 'enjoy his uniqueness! I have seen a beautiful thing.
    Is it because they 'trusted' you, that they knew their situation has within it the possibilities for growth and love for 'all' the family? Is it because they "continue" to trust you that they 'continue' to rejoice in this child--without reserve, without 'if onlys'? Ah Lord, they have been blessed-- richly blessed--and they have become, in the process, a blessing.
    I have seen a beautiful thing... Amen.

  4. What a beautifully written open and honest post this is. And although I have only the leukemia part to relate to in your journey, I can agree that it is all very worth the hard times to have these precious souls be a part of our family. I am so bummed that our paths have criss crossed from TX to CA in the wrong direction as I would love to meet you. But I know that one of us will visit the other direction before long...does that make any sense?