We’ve Come a Long Way // An Update on Josiah

I can hardly believe it’s already July and this is only my fourth post this year!

Actually, well yes, I can believe it.  Because despite all of my good intentions and the many blog ideas that are recorded on my phone, my days are now mostly filled with this kind of fun…

img_5424

Don’t even get me started on the time I found him in the living room, in his birthday suit, playing with his diaper…the diaper I had just put on him about 30 seconds earlier.

Thank the good Shepherd there was no poop in that diaper! 🙂

Speaking of poop, a lot has happened since my last post about Josiah‘s progress after his last surgery in January. Read more…

Advertisements

A Reflection on Our Year of Miracles // One Word for 2018

It’s ten days into 2018 and I’ve finally started to remember to write 2018 instead of 2017.  Which means 2018 must be here to stay, right? 🙂

We kicked off the New Year with a sick baby – full blown coughing, sneezing, snot drizzled everywhere, low-grade fever, no sleep…oh the joys of parenthood.

And just as the kiddo started to get better…the husband got sick.  And then just as he started to get better…yup, you guessed it…I got sick.

Which is why this is being written ten days into 2018, instead of on the 1st of January.

I digress.

A couple of years ago I learned about One Word 365 from my sweet blogger friend Sarah.  And heading into 2016, I just knew with a strange certainty that the word for that year would be “Immanuel” – God With Us.

At the time, I had no idea that my first-born son would be born in 2016, 10.5 weeks early.  There was no way to anticipate the up and down journey it would all be, and that my one word – Immanuel – would become such an anchor for us in that season.

Heading into 2017, I felt such conviction that it would be a year of miracles.  We had just witnessed our little 29 weeker thrive in the NICU, surprise the doctors despite all of his medical diagnoses, and come home before his expected due date.

But there I was, the last day of 2017, permanently situated on my glider as I tried to rock a very cranky, sniffly little boy to sleep. Read more…

Choosing to Speak in Love // A Reflection on Year Three of Marriage

December 20th marks our anniversary.  It’s been three years since we said our vows to one another, deciding that for better or for worse, this would be our forever person.

When I look back at our wedding video and read the post I wrote for our first anniversary, I remember how absolutely, overwhelmingly in love I was with my husband.

And I still am.

But although that love I felt then was real and true, it hadn’t yet gone through the fire.  It had yet to be tested and tried and proven true.

It was only a matter of time. Read more…

Josiah’s Doljanchi (Traditional Korean First Birthday Celebration)

The older I get, the more I am learning how to appreciate and truly enjoy my Korean heritage.  Two factors also help – the fact that I married a guy who was born and raised in South Korea and…my very, VERY Korean grandmother. 🙂  For those of you with a Korean g-ma, you know what I’m talking about!

Anywho, last month was our little boy’s first birthday!  And I spent weeks and weeks waist-high in glitter, hot glue guns, polyester filling, and beans.  But it was completely worth it.  You’ll see what I mean below. Read more…

Still Here // An Update on Josiah & Our Lives

Hi world!

(Stay tuned – or scroll down to the end – to see a cute, little sneak peak of what we have been working on with Josiah lately!)

It’s been a LONG time.  Almost three months, I know.  It feels like a lot happened these last three months, but then it also just feels like not much has happened because one day just blurs into the next and then on and on for eternity.  I guess that’s how one could describe motherhood. 🙂

Anywho, I am way overdue for an update on Josiah’s most recent surgery.  Long story short, the surgery itself went well.  It looked like we were smooth sailing until we went to see the surgeon again for our first post-op appointment.  At the time, there was a significant tear near his newly created anus which led to concern that the colon had retracted back in and that everything had not been brought down low enough.  All we could do was wait a few weeks for the new tear to heal and then we would take next steps.

It’s easier to talk about it now because it’s several months removed and the prognosis looks much better now than it did back then.  But you better believe those weeks of waiting and thinking the worst (that he would have to go back in for additional surgery, that his colon wouldn’t be functioning properly, etc.) were hard.  Really hard.  I don’t think it’s been that hard since our initial days in the NICU.

We prayed.  We wrestled with the Lord.  We cried.  We worried. Read more…

One Day

My dear son,

I remember that moment like it was yesterday.  You were still in the NICU, but we had just gotten the news that you were going to be discharged earlier than expected.  Mommy had not yet finished your nursery, so she found herself standing in a long line at IKEA that morning before heading to the hospital.

Behind me was a family with two little boys, probably about six and eight-years-old.  They were running in and around the bins of extra stuff IKEA tries to entice you to buy while you’re checking out, making a huge, fun mess of things.  Without even turning around I knew that their tired mommy was giving them the “you-better-stop-this-right-now” look.

As I watched their little mischievous antics, I found myself asking the same question I had been asking on repeat since you were born – “When will Josiah be big enough to run around and play like that?”  

At the Baby Gap store, it was, “When will Josiah be big enough to wear newborn-sized clothes?”  At Costco, it was, “When will Josiah be big enough to be in size one diapers?”  You get the idea.

Right then, I heard the two older women in the line next to us comment on how cute the little boys were and how it seemed like yesterday their own children were that age. Read more…

An Opportunity

As typical first-time parents, whenever people would ask us whether we wanted a boy or a girl when I was pregnant, we would always respond with something like, “You know, it doesn’t really matter either way.  All we really want is for this baby to be healthy.”

Fast forward several months later and there we were in the NICU, staring down at our 29-week-old baby boy hooked up to machines and monitors that were literally keeping him alive.

I still remember the chaos that was storming inside of me as I walked up to his incubator for the first time.  As everything started to look like a rainy windshield, I vaguely realized there were doctors, nurses, and specialists going in and out of our room, murmuring strange things like, “absent left kidney…”, “a hole in his heart…”, “possible tethered spinal cord…”, “surgery first thing tomorrow morning…”

As the shock began to wear off and the reality of our son’s prognosis began to set in, I dared myself to ask the question that had been nagging at my weary soul – “God…why?”

Google only proved to exponentially multiply the fear, worry, and dismay.  As words like, birth defect…” ,”exact cause unknown…”, “1 in 5,000…”, “1 in 400,000…” floated across the screen, it only caused the question to echo louder and louder in the recesses of my soul – “God…WHY?  Why our son?”

I was (and sometimes still am) stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I know that He is the Good Father, the Almighty God, the Great Physician, the Giver of Life.  I know that He fearfully and wonderfully made my son.  I know that He works miracles, heals the sick, and raises the dead to life.  I know that He loves His children and desires to give them the very best.

And sometimes the gravity of this Truth in the face of the impossible leaves me awestruck.  It compels me to rise up from the despair and declare that once again, my son will be fully healed.

But sometimes the disparity of this Truth in the face of the impossible leaves me conflicted.  I’ve asked this so many times I’ve lost count – God, You don’t do birth defects.  That’s not in Your nature.  That’s not what you do as the Almighty Father God.  So why does Josiah have this ‘birth defect?’  How does this make sense?”

I wish I could say that I’ve heard an answer.  That I’ve heard His audible voice or seen the presence of an angel.

But then I wonder…if Josiah’s birth hadn’t happened this way, if he hadn’t had any of these medical conditions…would I have prayed as fervently as I have in the last several months?  Would I have been stretched to believe in the impossible, not because I’m some superwoman of faith, but because there IS NO OTHER OPTION but for my son to be healed?

Would I have witnessed miracle after miracle, seeing him grow from a 2 lb. 6 oz. tiny baby only just a bit bigger than a dollar bill to the almost 15 pound happy chunker that he is today?  Would I have experienced the awe in hearing the incredible news that the two holes in his heart have closed up with no intervention only five months after his early birth?  And I’m only just getting started!

Now don’t get me wrong…I’m human and I’m a mom.  If I had to choose between my son having medical conditions or my son being a healthy, normal boy, I would choose the latter in a heartbeat.

But here in the tension of what is and what truly is, we’ve been given an opportunity.

An opportunity to testify that God is alive and at work through the prayers of His people.  An opportunity to actually witness creative miracles come to pass.  An opportunity for our faith to be strengthened in the refiner’s fire.  An opportunity to find treasures in the heart of the Almighty Father.

I still don’t know the answer to  “God…why?”  And maybe we will never fully know the answer.  But I do know this.  We’ve been given a precious opportunity.  One that maybe only 1 in 400,000 families gets to experience.  And I trust that on the other side of this, we will taste of His goodness in ways that we cannot yet fathom.