New Blog for Nathanael
We recently started fundraising with COTA to cover Nathanael's medical expenses, so updates about him will be on his new blog from now on: www.COTAforNathanaelB.com. Please check out the blog, pictures, and opportunities to help, and feel free to pass along the link to others. We appreciate your concern!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Bruises and Blessings
We are now three days and counting until we willingly begin one of the scariest and craziest seasons of our lives. When I look at the piles of boxes and clothes and towels scattered throughout our living room contemplating being apart from my wife for five months, I find myself wondering why we are doing this. It's like standing at the top of one of those rides at Six Flags or Kings Island and regretting the fact that you ever got in line in the first place.
A little over a week ago, I was reminded why. There's this great swing that some amazing friends let us borrow that's sitting in our kitchen. Nathanael enjoys sitting in it but, as is the case with newborns, only enjoys it for so long. This was one of those moments. Bree thus went to pick him up not realizing that he wasn't strapped in due to the actions of our two and a half year old. Since he wasn't strapped in, he'd slid down further into the swing than was normal and as she lifted him out, he bumped his right thigh just above the knee. What came out was a brief, "I'm in pain," cry that subsided almost as quickly as it began. That's the great thing about little kids. When it's over with, it's over and done.
Later that night, when we were changing one of his diapers, the lights were off in our bedroom because he was just about ready for bed. I was using my cell phone while Bree did the change to provide some light and I decided to just take a quick look at where he had bumped his leg. The bruise was the size of a half dollar and it was red and purple. Trauma equivalent to the flick of your finger against your leg caused a bruise of that magnitude.
It's moments like these that remind us that no matter how great Nathanael looks on the outside, all is not well. If he throws his head around and hits my chin with his forehead, it could cause a brain bleed. This morning he smiled at me and it was an honest to goodness smile. He wasn't passing gas. He was happy but that doesn't change what's going on inside. No amount of smiles will change the fact that our little boy is sick. He's broken at the very level of his DNA. That's why we are doing this.
I wish I could find a superlative to describe how good God has been. An airplane, that quite frankly terrifies me, is going to pick us up on Monday 10 minutes from our home in McKinney, Texas, and then drop us off 10 minutes from our apartment in Cincinnati. The pilot of the plane just happens to have a grand nephew who adopted a boy from Guatemala who had the same disease Nathanael has. Considering there are about 4 cases of Wiskott a year, that makes my head spin. Friends from my high school and college years have rallied around us as if we've never been apart even though we haven't seen each other, in some cases, in 10 years or longer. Not to mention the help that's coming from people we've either met once or never before.
When I was 20 year old junior in college volunteer Young Life leader, I sat in the stands watching a JV soccer game. The guys I met then who were juniors in high school are now reaching out to lengths that are stunning and humbling.
All of this causes some thoughts to ruminate. I'm a pastor, so I can't help make a few points. One, you will never regret giving your life away. Two, you have no idea the ways in which God will use the giving away of your life in the future. Three, all of us, every single person ever born is born with broken DNA that's in need of repair. Even though we may rarely look like it, we are all sick and all in need of a transplant. It's Christ that takes away the old and gives back the new. Pay attention to the symptoms and find the help that's more readily available than you could ever imagine.
See you in Cincinnati.
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