Prayer

To all our Prayer Warriors,

What a blessing it is that so many of you are enduring this battle for Charlie with us through prayer! Thank you for lifting little Charlie up before our King, Jesus. Charlie is such a little warrior and has been so patient and long-suffering. Last night Charlie’s incision sight began leaking significantly more. It has become very difficult to care for. The surgeons have not wanted to go back into surgery to try to repair, but it may become our only option.
Please pray for healing of this leak, the intestines, and the incision. Pray that the doctors and surgery team would have wisdom to know what is best for Charlie.

In His Grip,
Debbie

Prayer

Charlie had a tough night as both of his IV site’s failed.  He is in the operating room now getting a more permanent central line.  This boy is such a trooper!  They also plan to extibate him today.

Jehovah Rapha

Jehovah Rapha – The God who heals

Praise God that Charlie is doing really well.  We are hopeful that his intestines will heal and stop leaking.  It is improving.  We are basically waiting and watching for any signs of infection…none yet.  He has been very normal, great breathing, great heart rate, great wake times, peaceful, content, and good temperature.  Time will tell on the leak.  If it subsides and heals, we will get to move towards milk.

In the meantime, we are moving towards lowering pain meds and getting him off the ventilator again, baby steps!

Thank you so much for your prayers.

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I haven’t held him since the leak began, to let him be still and heal.  So when the nurse changes his blanket I gladly volunteer to lift him up and kiss his cute little being while they change the blankets.  So wonderful!

SISTER

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Last July my family had fun sorting through old photos and letters from our growing up years.  For me it was a tremendous blessing to be reminded of God’s goodness towards my family in our growing up years.  I was struck with God’s grace and mercy in my parent’s lives as they raised us to know God, to serve, to forgive, to laugh, to cry (a gene from dad), to celebrate, to be productive… I also gained an even deeper gratitude for my siblings. They have each had such a huge impact on my life, and continue too.  In those old keepsake boxes I came across many letters that were written to me by my big little (she is smaller and older) sister during the time that she was growing in and deepening her relationship with God in college.  These letters were filled with love, words of encouragement, and an ushering towards Jesus and His ways.  She was such a great big sister.  I missed her so much when she went to college.  Before she left for college she took 11 year old me on a hike to encourage me to be a big girl and to tell me that I would be OK without her.  I wasn’t sure.  You see, I loved my sister.  I wanted to be just like her.  I wanted to look like her.  I wanted to be with her.  I wanted to do what she did.  I wanted to wear the boots she wore, literally.  And I definitely didn’t want her to leave.

Well, that’s how I felt this morning as I dropped her at the airport.  I didn’t want her to leave. In God’s providence, she spent her first night, one of Charlie’s most difficult nights here with me in the hospital.  She wnet to my house and loved on my children, baked Nana’s famous biscuits, cleaned out my fridge and freezer, and organized our children’s books!  What a boost to my family.  Here at the hospital we laughed (hard) and we cried (hard).  As we were leaving the hospital this morning I told her that our children are so blessed to have so many siblings because brother’s and sister’s are a gift!  Thank you Lord for sister’s!

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We love you Aunt Ash!

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Organized books

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Nana’s biscuits

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Enid riding the dog Aunt Ash gave us 9 years ago!

Prayer for Charlie 10/12/15

Dear Prayer Warriors,

Thank you for your prayers. It has been a very difficult few days for Charlie (and mom). With surgery last Friday and several new developments since then, we have some specific prayer requests:
1) Renewed strength and vigor for this battle/journey for Charlie, Mom, Dad, and family.
2) The clot that has formed by his PICC line would dissolve and not cause any problems.
3) No infection (he has increased WBC)
4) The surgery wound site has begun leaking bile- not a good thing. The surgeon hopes that it is just an injured intestine from surgery that could very well heal itself. They are watching closely and hoping his body will heal the site wherever it is coming from. In her experience this heals on it’s own in more than 50% of incidences. This would be the best case scenario for Charlie. Another stomach study can determine where the leak is if it doesn’t heal in a few days.

Trusting the Great Physician,
Debbie

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1)  My little “burrito” boy right before surgery  2) Thankful my sister is here for a couple of days to be with me and my family- lots of laughter and tears!  And a sweet visit from Cindy.  3)  Bob and Sarah talking with Charlie- Can you see Charlie’s bright eye’s looking at dad?

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A Very Present Help – UPDATED

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

9 am:  Today is surgery.  We snuggled all morning.  Praying and reading scripture over Charlie.  He was so peaceful.  So precious.  It made the arrival of the surgery team a bit teary.  Not that I am not thankful, glad, and worshipful this morning… just hard to let my baby go into battle again.  God is faithful.  He even gave Charlie a surgery nurse that immediately began speaking God’s beautiful truth’s, scripture, encouraging words and assurance that she would be with Charlie and praying the whole surgery.  What a gift from God. She asked me what his favorite song was.  I said, “Jesus Loves Me,” she said she would be singing to him. She encouraged me to go through the alphabet giving praise to God with each letter, what a lovely idea.  Just what I want to do!  Praying God’s peace, strength, courage, and healing for Charlie…

I will bless the Lord at all times;  His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;  The humble shall hear of it and be glad.  Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.  I sought the Lord and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.  Psalm 34:1-2

OUT OF SURGERY (From Bob)

It was a difficult 5 hour surgery today.  The atresia (blockage) had completely severed.  They did successfully reconnect, but it was rather arduous.  Charlie’s little body endured much today.  They did go ahead and put in a GI Tube for feeding to reduce the risk of having another procedure later.  The Surgeon did say he wants to wait about 3 months for repairing the stoma (re-connecting his large and small intestine).

The next steps and prayer requests are: 1) Getting him back off the respirator and managing his pain.  2) Getting him off of IV food and on to breast milk.  This will determine when we get to bring him back home.  So we appreciate prayer that God would revive his little lungs, make him hungry, and even that he would not need his GI tube.  We have been told this could take weeks, even months.  We are certainly praying Charlie would become a competent eater very soon.  3) Lastly, we pray the scar tissue would dissolve so as not to become problematic in the future causing additional intestinal blockage.

It is hard to believe that we have been here for a month.  Time has gone by so fast.  Debbie and I have long since run out of adrenaline, but certainly not out of the Father’s love.  We are grateful for the many doctors and nurses that have used their God-given gifts to bless my precious little boy.  Saving his life is a monumental effort, and all provided for by our loving Father in heaven, where we long to be.

Surgery

We are grateful for the answer to prayer for surgery to happen tomorrow instead of next Wednesday!  This surgery will repair the duodenal atresia or block in his intestine.  This repair is a great step towards healing because it will allow Charlie to start getting breastmilk and letting his intestines function normally.  I understand the transition to food can be tricky.  Some babies take right to it, others take a long time.  We are scheduled for tomorrow at 9am and the whole process will likely take a few hours.  We covet your prayers for a safe and successful surgery and also that he would transition to real food easily and quickly.  He is such a sweet trooper!

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Sweet Sound of a Cry

Extibated!!! What does that mean you ask?  It means Charlie got rid of a big, bulky, cumbersome, painful, unnecessary (now), and awkward tube that was down his throat!  It was quite a process that involved several people. The second the tube came out, Charlie began to cry…or at least he did what he could.  The tube leaves behind a very sore throat and coarse voice.  Just to hear him cry was such an overwhelming blessing that I didn’t expect.  Grandma and I cried too.  It was sweet that a friend, Sam, had just popped in and he stood in the background praying- I knew he was, and when the big process was over he gave a reassuring hug and confirmation that he was there to pray, then off he went!  I do stand in awe of all that God has done in Charlie to bring about healing and strength in his tiny body. How He brings the support I/we need right when we need it.  He indeed is all-sufficient!

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

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Photo:  We took out the tube, blue bar, white tape squares, and orange tape…yippee

I am very encouraged by Charlie’s strength, contentedness, alertness, and healing of wounds.  Glory be to God!  My nurse today is one of the nurses from the first hospital we started at on day 1.  I remember her standing on a chair with a clipboard recording everything that was happening in the ER room.  Her pen never stopped- she was one busy woman.  She was overwhelmed to see Charlie today and how amazing he is doing.  What an encouragement and blessing to hear her perspective from day 1 and now.  To God be all glory and praise.

Today my Sammy turns 8 years old!  What a big sweet boy…can’t wait to kiss those cheeks.

Deaccessorizing!

We are thankful that Charlie continues to improve and strengthen.  We have been leaving the breathing tube in his throat in hopes of his next surgery happening.  However, due to our surgeon’s busy schedule, we won’t see the OR until Friday or next Wednesday.  PLEASE PRAY FOR FRIDAY.  This is hard for mama to swallow, but trusting that there is a bigger purpose for the delay for Charlie.  The good news is that they are going to go ahead and take out the breathing tube today…thus, deaccessorizing!  This will be a tremendous relief for Charlie and make holding him much easier.  Plus, this will make Grandma Sue very happy to not have the tube tape pulling and hiding his darling upper lip that we haven’t seen for 28 days.

Charlie has prolonged awake times of happy kicking and moving about.  I have been holding him twice a day for many hours.  It has taken about three people to get him into my arms, so once we are there, we stay- OK by me!  Now that should all change with the tube coming out.  One beautiful thing that all you mama’s probably know, but I have witnessed…is that when baby is on mama, everything soars! Heart rate, oxygen, breathing- everything synchronizes and stabalizes.  I have read that and heard that, but never had the opportunity to sit next to a computer screen with all of my baby’s numbers being displayed in real time.  It’s true! Isn’t God amazing?!  So Mama’s hold those babies, snuggle those babies, touch those babies.  My guess is that it’s good for toddlers and teenagers too- watch out David…mom is going to want snuggles when I get home(:

Well, I am off to change Charlie’s diaper and help get that tube out…FREEDOM!

Please pray specifically:

God’s timing for surgery- what’s best for Charlie.  Friday is soonest possibility.

Pray for continued healing of tissue, surgery wounds, small fluid pocket by liver, that feeding would be a smooth transition after surgery.

Pray for baby Faith, our neighbor

Pray that we would love the people here and be a light to everyone we meet.

Are They All Yours?

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Psalm 127:3-5
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed,
but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

“Are they ALL yours?”  is a question that we hear quite often.  I don’t mind the question.  It is actually a question that reminds me of the great number of sweet gifts God has entrusted to us.

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 It is a reasonable question, especially today.  A day where you cannot find a table at Chipotle if you have more than two children.  Gone are the days of the large families that were more common than not, just 100 years ago.  The photo of my Great Great Grandfather and his 9 children that adorns my kitchen shelf was considered a normal sized family in the 1870’s.  I am thankful for their faith and their family because out of it came my great grandfather who fathered my dear sweet grandmother who mothered my wonderful dad who fathered myself and three siblings who are parenting 31 children between us.  The multiplication is amazing, isn’t it?  I know they weren’t suppose to smile for photos back then, but I am guessing they were a very happy family based on the next generation down from this photo that I knew!

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I have always loved children.  Bob and I both love children.

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We knew before we were even married that we desired to have many children, though there was no number.  We even talked of adopting little girl’s from China if we couldn’t have our own.  Bob’s heart was broken for the abandoned little girl’s he saw in the orphanages when he was in China.  We knew what the Bible had to say, that children are a blessing, a reward, and a heritage- and Jesus sure LOVED them!  So why wouldn’t we?  We never considered having a big family to be “more spiritual” or some kind of “cool” thing, we just walked with God and trusted Him with each one.  Our family doesn’t feel large…or small…it just feels right- what God has given us.     Ten so far…

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Each one is a treasure.  Each one has their own amazing gifts and talents.  Each one brings a different ray of light to our family and our home.  Each one needs the others and I delight in how God uses their different strengths and weaknesses to grow and sharpen one another, and Bob and I.

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Savannah (16):  Makes everything pretty, Loves good things, nurturer

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David (15):  Hard worker, fast runner, brings life and energy wherever he is

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Sarah (13):  Loves babies, hard worker, animal/outdoor girl

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Daniel (10):  Servant, Compassionate, nurturer

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Luke (9):  Cheerful, hard-working, tender

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Samuel (7):  Funny, care-free, loves school and frogs

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Naomi Joy (5):  Cheerful, energetic, diligent

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Isaac (4):  Snuggler, smiley, LOVES frogs-bugs-snakes

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Enid (2):  Content, creative, funny

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Charlie Grant (1 month):  Warrior, gentle, loving…and SO cute!

Mark 9:36-37

“And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,

Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.”