Saturday, January 29, 2011

Meet Chris

This handsome fellow is Chris. He currently lives in the same orphanage that Charli Grace spent the first 2 years of her life. Of course Chris isn't his Chinese name. He was given the name by a group of missionaries who visited the orphanage in 2007. They were quite taken with this sweet and bright little boy. One of the missionaries, Anita, kindly gave me permission to share what she wrote about Chris.
"There is a boy who we think is about 8 years old who we call Chris. He has bilateral cataracts and is a very, very smart and bright boy. He has taken a special liking to our guide/translator. She is very tender to him and you can see that what is between them is very special. Today had found out that we will not be at the orphanage tomorrow because we are going shopping (more on that in a bit). Then Friday we will only be here for a half day before we leave. He began to cry big tears. Our guide took his face into her hands and was able to tell him about a heavenly father who will never leave him. He is always there. She was able to tell him much more. There was another little girl sitting close by and listening. On one hand this is a super praise. We have been praying for these children every day, that some day they would know the heavenly Father. But we couldn’t imagine how that message would ever get to them. And here God presented her with the perfect opportunity. She said, “I had to tell him.” Please pray that this would grow in his heart. That what he may not fully understand now, he would tuck away and that the Holy Spirit would use it in his life in a powerful way."
Chris has waited for a long time for a family of his own. Far too long. But praise God his file has finally become available on the shared waiting child list. Please help us by praying that God will send the right family to bring Chris home. The seed of hope that was planted in his heart that day in 2007 should not be allowed to wither. Feel free to share this post and pray that God will work a miracle. For more information leave a comment or email me at knitbud at yahoo dot com.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, January 17, 2011

Now just incase you can’t tell, it’s a set of Angry Birds made from toilet tissue rolls. Seriously. The boy loves to play Angry Birds on my i pod, so on a whim we put these together. He has played with them for the better part of the day. TP roll birds could probably be used as evidence that I am in fact cracking up, but at least (for today) my i pod isn’t covered with sticky finger prints. And that, as Martha would say, is a good thing.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

A New Year

As many of you know the last few months of 2010 were eventful, huge, difficult, devastating, amazing… It is impossible to choose just one adjective to describe. In September Charli Grace received a cornea transplant in her left eye. We found a gifted surgeon in Atlanta, with extensive experience performing transplants for children. We knew we were taking a risk but, we stepped out in faith. Things couldn’t have gone more perfectly. In less than 36 hours her eye, which had been completely blind, was crystal clear. Her vision went from 20/1260 to 20/400 overnight. We held our breath, vigilantly administered anti-rejection drops, and watched our daughter in wonder. For nearly two months everything was perfect, but as you have probably guessed by now things didn’t stay that way.

On October 25 Charli awoke with her eye terribly swollen. Fearing the worst (rejection of the cornea) we rushed her to Atlanta. She was admitted to Scottish Rite Hospital with orbital celluitis, an infection of the tissues surrounding the eye. A CT scan showed that the actual eye was unaffected. She was put on IV antibiotics and powerful antibiotic eye drops. Two days later, despite the antibiotics, the infection invaded her eye resulting in endophthalmitis. (We later discovered that this was caused not by her corneal graft, but by the tube shunt placed in 2008 to relieve her glaucoma.) Even her team of doctors, leaders in their field, were shocked at how aggressively the infection spread. We spent 8 long days in the hospital. Charli had 3 surgeries to correct the damage. At one point we feared she would lose the eye all-together. Thankfully, that did not happen. It has been a long, painful recovery, but Charli is better. Sadly though, we have had to accept the reality that her left eye will most likely never see again.

To call this an emotional roller coaster would be an understatement. I have asked some hard questions and been in some pretty dark places. But as this story unfolds God’s grace shines through on each page… even the really crappy sad ones. Literally hundreds of people, from Holiness sisters to Benedictine monks, have prayed for Charli and our family. Our family and friends showered us with love and kindness in countless ways. My 3rd grade class even organized The Charli Grace Foundation (complete with officers) during my absence.

And Charli… sweet, amazing, stubborn, strong, brave, Charli… She’s the hero of the story. At one particularly low point I wondered if she would ever be the same after such trauma. But praise be to God, her spunk and spirit continues to amaze everyone around her. I’m glad to report that she’s back and…


Is this the way that I had planned for things to go? No way. Have I had angry moments where I cried out WHY? You bet. Is God good? Does he want what is best for us? Yes and YES, even when it is hard to understand. We're hanging on to that hope with all that we've got.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. --- Jeremiah 29:11

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

2010 in Pictures