Sunday, January 24, 2010

An Update On Joshua

From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise
because of Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

Psalm 8:2

While this blog may have evolved into me rambling on about myself and what I'm learning as a mom, I realize that you mainly started reading because of this cutie patootie:

We adopted him almost two years ago at 19 months of age. By God's grace, he bonded quickly to us and soon blossomed into a joyful, exuberant member of our family. He is an extremely smart, determined little guy who - for all he's been through in his short life - shows no delays cognitively, emotionally, or socially.

Speech, however, is another issue.

Despite having been through three surgeries so far (one in China, two with us), and 18months of speech therapy he is only able to make a few sounds other than vowels and has a hyper-nasal voice.

Not that God hasn't managed to bless him in the area of communication. He is extremely skilled in getting his point across, even to complete strangers.

Still - one can't go on playing charades forever...

We were told to try speech therapy for a while to see if there was any improvement, although we all suspected his palate was too short for normal speech and he might need surgery to add a flap in the back of his throat.

We drove to speech therapy every week, prayed for a miraculous lengthening of his palate, and hoped that we could avoid surgery this year.

And after a couple of months of this, the moment of truth arrived.

We drove to the big head-honcho cleft speech specialist so she could shove a camera up Joshua's nose to videotape what was really going on back there.

Good times.

Maybe some day he can write a book: All the Times I Screamed while my Mom Held Me Down So Strangers Could Poke Me.

Later, we sat at the picnic tables outside eating lunch and enjoying a beautiful, spring-like day. I contemplated the words I was just told: "There is absolutely no hope of avoiding surgery. You should quit therapy because there is no chance of improvement. His palate is just way too short."

There was a soft breeze, but I was thinking of the smell of the surgical recovery room. Angry and confused screaming, a little child in pain with a swollen, bloody face, weeks of denying him normal food...

A big suburban parked in front of us and a man got out and began putting together a complex wheel chair with an oxygen tank and all it's tubes. Gently, he lifted his daughter out of the car and put her in.

There was a stab of guilt as I realized that having a child with a correctable medical problem (even if it was only correctable through multiple surgeries) was not something to complain about.

I reminded myself that we did, after all, sign up for this.

And yet, as I looked at the building across the street where his surgeries are performed, a deep dread formed a knot in my stomach. Please, God, don't make us go back there so soon, I prayed.

I remembered hearing once that whenever you get a diagnosis from the doctor, you haven't really heard the final diagnosis until you've heard what God has to say about it.

As I drove home, I prayed for some kind of encouragement from heaven.

"There is absolutely no hope without surgery," she had said.

I realized that for several months we had been praying for God to do a miracle while holding out hope that therapy would help. Now that there was absolutely no chance of his palate lengthening without a miracle, it hardly seemed like the time to give up praying.

Should Joshua's palate suddenly be found to be long enough to make normal sounds, the specialist had just removed any other possible explanation than a supernatural touch from God.

But for some reason, I thought of the man I'd just seen with the severely handicapped daughter and I felt a little guilty asking for a miracle for a surgically-correctable problem.

As if God has a limited supply of miracles.

As if He doesn't want to be bothered with all our problems, so we should pick the ones we really need help with. Or the ones that He can handle, like making a cold better, not really crazy ones like making a palate longer.

We decided to plan for surgery in a couple of months but we also decided to keep praying for a miracle and ask others to pray with us.

And here - if you're still reading this super-long post - is where it gets interesting.

Several days after a small group from our church prayed for Joshua, someone attended a women's conference, where the speaker said that she believed God was going to heal someone on the roof of their mouth.

Does that mean we are one hundred percent sure that Joshua is going to be healed without surgery?

No, but it gives us a whole lot of encouragement to ask with expectancy.

Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us no one can recount to you.

Psalm 40:5


Heather said...

Visiting from Stephanie's blog...

You have a beautiful blog, and this post is amazing. You are so right; we often pray for a miracle without expecting that God is really going to provide. I love the idea of praying with expectancy.

Why couldn't God heal your little boy? Let us all pray with the firm belief that He can and that He will!

debby94 said...

I will be praying Angie! Please keep us posted!