Real life stuff.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Brian so sick.

High fever, shaking, barely able to stand. I’d already taken him to Urgent Care and they’d sent him home with some strong antibiotics to battle a bad infection that came on overnight. Only a few hours later, his temp kept rising. We knew the antibiotics hadn’t had time to work, but we were concerned about the high fever. And infection of that nature with only one kidney – it wasn’t good.

When the thermometer topped 104, I called the doc and they urged us to go to the ER.

The ER docs weren’t nearly as worried as I was. They said it was good we came in, but they simply gave him a strong med to bring his fever down and sent us home – with the condition that we come back if he got worse.

We kept a close eye on him, and he seemed to slowly improve.

That’s when the financial reality hit.

Brian switched jobs recently and his health insurance had yet to kick in. Nine days. Only nine days until his insurance would begin.

We’ve never been without insurance and in the time I’ve known him, Brian has never had to go to the ER.

The one time he had to go for medical help, we were without insurance. And of course, I took him to Urgent Care first. Two doozy bills in one 24-hour period.

And we’re in the midst of all our adoption travel and agency expenses.

I nearly went into a full-blown pity party. Really? This so stinks! Talk about bad timing… grumble, grumble, grumble, gripe, gripe, gripe, extra long sigh and a good old-fashioned whine.

A few hours later, I received a call from the director of the orphanage where our boys are living in Haiti. Miriam was broken down on the side of the road and they were waiting for help to arrive. She thought she’d check in. I listened as she told of the children they had just rescued. Thirteen of the worst were in the truck with her, along with some of the parents. Kids dying of malnutrition, others burning up with fever because of infection. She was just praying that they’d get the tire fixed quickly since it had already been a 13-hour trip across treacherous mountain roads. These kids needed help.

A few days later, two of the boys, Wisnor and Naisson – an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old, died of the lingering effects of malnutrition.

Wisnor and Naisson. There’s this deep ache in my heart that they be known. It was all so real. I’d talked to Miriam when these boys were in the truck. I heard the stories as they unfolded. Both sets of parents LOVED their boys. Wisnor’s mom had to leave to go back to the village and care for her other children. She planned to come back and check on her boy soon. The night after she left, Wisnor passed away.

How to even get word to her?

I have two hospitals within a five minute drive.

I have plenty of food. Most days too much.

Yes, Brian was sick and it was scary. But even without insurance, he received medical attention and was quickly on the mend.

I know a lot of us are worried about the election. We wonder what will become of our nation if this one or that one gets elected.

For me, this was a stark, vivid, powerful reminder that as much as I worry for our nation, I am blessed to live here, blessed to have medical care and food and a place to lay my head.

So as election results come out tomorrow – as various groups go into panic mode and threaten to move to Canada, I’m going to do my best to remember Miriam, Wisnor and Naisson and remain grateful for all that we do have at our fingertips—no matter who is in the White House.

Will you join me?

Oh, and friends, if you would like to help Miriam and New Life, you can go to their website and donate there. With the recent hurricane, the need has certainly grown.  Your funds will definitely go to good use. Click here to find out more.

 

Sniff a Longing

I love to sniff a new book.

Some people like the smell of new car, I like the smell of new book. And every time I walk into a bookstore, the smell overwhelms me. I wander down the aisles sniffing away, drawing stares from nearby patrons. But I never care. Because with the smell, comes the longing – to write and write and write. I start dreaming of telling stories, the kind that stir up emotion – joy, sorrow, hope…

The longing runs deep and it surges every time I walk into a bookstore.

Well, I had a bookstore longing tonight.

Not to write (although that remains)… but to wipe noses, cheer on sports, read bedtime stories and throw water balloons.

The longing surged when I walked my puppy after dinner. We went down to the park and made a loop around the large field. Kids were everywhere – playing football, chasing the soccer ball, hanging off the swing set. Some toddled, some ran and others rolled down the grassy hill all willy nilly like.

Note the gentle sloping grassy knoll to the right – PERFECT for a good body roll…

Sure, I can do that stuff by myself. And to my husband’s chagrin I have. But I long to roll down the hill with little ones. I want to hang off the swing set and kick around a soccer ball with two boys who will say, “Again, Mom, again!”

I want to parent again. I want to love and chase and cheer and make up goofy stories just to make my kids laugh.

It was that old bookstore longing, only towards a new adventure—a new purpose and hope that stirred in my belly.

And it made me think of all of you. It made me wonder – what is your bookstore longing? Where do you go or what do you do that brings up that feeling? The feeling of longing and joy and hope and purpose? The yearning that stirs excitement in your heart for your future?

As I pursue my longing through the adoption of our Haitian boys, I’d love to hear about your dreams and the steps you’re taking to pursue them. Will you please share them with me? I really would love to hear… Just click and share them in the comment section.

Quiet and courage

Danielle, me and Caleb – 1996ish

Just a few days before Caleb’s accident

I want to make it better.

I want to walk in the door with Caleb on my arm. I want to bring him back to his mom and dad right now.

This life can be so hard.

There is no coming back for Caleb.

He is not here. And I sense his absence in the quiet.  It’s not a normal quiet. Not an empty nest quiet. It’s a robbed nest quiet. It feels unnatural and wrong.

I love my brother and I love his wife. I love my nephew, Luke and beautiful Danielle.

And I love Caleb.

I miss him.

This house, here in Austin, is filled with quiet and courage. The quiet of Caleb’s absence and the courage of a family who valiantly lives forward without him.  They are so beautiful to me, even in sorrow. I love and admire and respect them. They hold tight to Jesus and walk this road the best they can.

But I still wish I could make it better.

Lord, I wish I could make it better.

That’s all I have to say about that.