Sunday, December 6, 2009

Reflecting on a Miracle

Four years ago, God gave us a gift so unexpected and so extraordinary, that our faith was stretched and grown and our family was changed in ways we could have never imagined. Not only were we affected, but many people witnessed our miracle and were also affected.

His name is Eli.

I'd like to tell you a little of his story.

It's always good to reflect on where you've been and where you're going. It's good to remember, good and bad. Adversity creates strength, and God allows it so that we become who He expects. It isn't easy and sometimes we don't understand. But if God allows it, we must accept it and know that in the end, it will be good.

At this time last year we were waiting for the date of Eli's fourth heart cath procedure; it was just days away. An ablation was planned to eliminate his SVT episodes, an ASD closure, and data collection for planning his soon-to-come open heart surgery.

As I once again asked for prayers for my son on his birthday last year, I decided that it would be good to remind others of the miracles we had seen since Eli's birth. Following is the letter I sent out last year:

August 2005
We stared into space as we heard the news. Very significant heart defects, missing and misplaced organs, probable chromosomal abnormalities. "Terminate this pregnancy," doctors urged. Less than two weeks later, after taking our requests before our God-all organs correctly placed and accounted for, chromosomes normal. Heart defects are present, but doctors are hopeful.

God is good

December 2005
With friends and family waiting, specialists were in the delivery room preparing the baby for NICU. "He looks great!" we heard, but probable medication, ventilation, and surgery within the next few days. Four days later we took our baby home-after observation only-no medical intervention.

God is good

March 2006
We sat with the surgeon as he explained the procedure, signing permission for him to perform open heart surgery on our infant son. At pre-op testing, we learned that his heart had changed, healed itself a little. This surgery was no longer needed.

God is good

April-July 2006
We sat beside an ER bed, an ICU bed, a hospital bed....many times....as Eli's heart struggled to regain and maintain a normal rhythm. 300 beats a minute, life saving drugs, a shock cart standing ready. Many times, many trips, many prayers. A new medication regime was introduced and all became stable.

God is good

Eli-5 months old

August 2006-October 2007
Heart-wise, all is well; Eli is stable. A heart cath is performed on November 1 to plan his open heart surgery. We listened as the doctors agreed-no intervention needed at this time.

God is good

February 2008
Doctors send us to Vanderbilt for a second opinion. We watched and listened as the doctor performed a scan on Eli's heart. Comments were made about the band of scar tissue visible around his artery-a surgical procedure commonly performed on hearts like his. And yet, Eli has never had this procedure, or any heart surgeries to date....

God is good

September 2008
After many evaluations, Eli is given a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Within 2 months, therapists from Harwood Autism Center tell us that Autism will most likely be undetectable by first grade, if progress continues.

God is good

We wanted to take this chance to reflect on the journey, to relive just a few of the miracles we've witnessed, to remember the times God has carried us, and to thank you all so very much for your prayers.

Eli at the park-Summer 2009

Eli-Summer 2009

Eli-Early Fall 2009-being silly while waiting for the bus

Eli-posing for the camera 2009

Eli-At the zoo-Fall 2009

Today, we celebrate. Thankful for the miracle of that successful cath procedure last December, the open heart surgery, and the miraculous recovery that followed-home in 3 days!

Today we'll watch as he blows out four candles. Four candles!

We'll reflect on where he's been and we'll rejoice.

And we'll wonder what miracles God has planned for his future.

Happy Birthday to you, sweet baby boy!

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