Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mission life

Karina, Ema, Jenna, Maria, Ana & Lupe
Sometimes I think that our last name should be Waldo. You know like Where’s Waldo? We just keep popping up in different places, dressed in different things. :) As for today, we are landed in Carman Serdan, Mexico. I wanted to start off by sharing with you a bit about what we’re doing down here in this desert place. I’d hoped to sit down with you and tell you all about the luxuries down here....you know....the weather, the beach views, our authentic abode, and maybe even some of the battles we fight for excitement’s sake.  Instead, I get to tell you about a little family who gets to help tend and take care of 17 handicap orphans, most of which are highly disabled, ranging from high levels of brain damage and wheel chair bound to down syndrome. Life here is everything but normal. What is ‘normal’ anyways? I’ve always wondered.....  So as I continue to trudge along with this simple story of our life, don’t be surprised when I bring this special place up with these remarkable kids because they truly are in many ways part of our family. 

It has been so good to be home. Change. Its the one thing that never changes! Its inevitable and its something that i’ve learned to love. If you’d of asked me..lets say about 9 months ago, my relationship with change was not as friendly as it has become today. I love change now because it means progress. And progress is what our little Pie is doing. (Pie is her new nickname, for those National Velvet fans) :) 

Esther. She is now 9 1/2 months old. She is holding her head up on her own and learning how to wave hello and goodbye. She can sit up with our support and she is getting more interactive with everyone down here at the mission, as it naturally tends to be more of a social atmosphere.  As for progress, she is delayed in her development and it depends on what area’s we talk about on the degree of delay. Her motor skills are really close to normal as well as her eye contact and interaction with whats going on around her. She is delayed in her mobility...due to her mis-figured rib cage. Although...... she has been making progress in the rolling department...almost off the ottoman....yikes!!! She is also delayed in speech and has oral aversion. She doesn’t like anything in her mouth whatsoever. (Periodically, I wish i was like that ;)
As for whats on the docket next....Its a surgery called the VEPTR. Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Ribs.There’s a mouthful!  Along with her mis figured ribs she also has severe scoliosis, making her spine very crooked. VEPTR is a surgery, hopefully and prayerfully, that will give her the support she needs to straighten out her spine and also give her the structure she needs to be able to sit up, crawl and eventually walk. Right now without this surgery, her heart and her lungs are growing at a normal rate while her rib cage is staying small, making her oxygen dependent and at risk. 

So this is a little update for you....but, before I sign off for today, I wanted to share with you a special story of how my love for handicap kids started. It all started with five little letters.... Maria. Maria is an orphan here at the Mission. She is 33 years old and is less than 3 feet tall and although she might be small, don’t be deceived, there’s not a whole lot fragile about this little lady. Do understand that her handicaps have affected her more than just physically, at some point her mental aptitude was stunted as well. It becomes very apparent when you see how tight she clenches onto her plush toys and baby dolls and only mutters a few words. Maria. There was something about that name.  When Billy and I first moved to the Mission in 2009 she captured my heart completely. She was like a backpack that I wanted to permanently keep on. I remember talking to Billy seriously about adopting her, but quickly realized we couldn't because she is over the legal age to be rightfully adopted. So... this little 3 foot girl made my heart throb and so I prayed... I prayed for her, I prayed that maybe someday I could adopt someone like her, someone with handicaps. And from the daughter that I hold in my arms today, I can tell you that the Lord heard that prayer. That quietly whispered prayer in the desert...Oh boy, did he ever hear it! 
Thank you to everyone who has continually lifted our girl up in prayer! I can’t thank you enough and tell you how much of impact it has had on our life. We really appreciate it. I hope to keep you updated as often as we venture back into the states since we do not have internet here. Thank you again for all your support.