People ask me all the time, “How do you do it? How do you get everything done with six kids?!?” The answer: I don’t. All KINDS of things don’t get done. But my kids are still alive, so I guess we are ok. I think. (Actually, I haven’t seen Erin in a while….)
One thing that doesn’t get done, especially in the summer when everyone is home, is blogging. But you need an update on Kieran and we need to share it!
Kieran is having surgery on Oct 30!!!
Just a little over a year after arriving here, he is going to have an extensive leg-lengthening surgery at Shriners in St. Louis that will eliminate his need for the crutches!
I remember singing in worship at the Orphan Summit in California last May 2012—weeks before we were able to even see Kieran’s file and accept his referral—about Jesus who “makes the lame to walk” and wondering, hoping, EXPECTING that I was going to get to see that kind of miracle in MY day, in MY son. Well, believers, we are going to witness this miracle together!
To tell you the truth, I so believed that this miracle was going to happen, that when we met with our elders to pray over Kieran and anoint him with oil (following the directives of James 5:14-15), I truly thought I was going to feel his legs grow right under my hands as I prayed on my knees in front of him. It could happen! God COULD do that if He wanted. I truly believe that. But I see more clearly now that part of the miracle for Kieran needs to be sought in the journey of learning to be patient and trust in a God he can’t see and in a new family that he can see.
For 6 years, since Kieran broke his femur, he has been told regularly by doctors in Ethiopia to “come back next week,” “come back next month,” “come back tomorrow,” and “Why are you here? Do you think you are going to run or something?” So when he got here and doctors were telling him to “come back later,” he was disappointed in the miracle-working America that he had dreamed up in his head. Even though, here in America, the waits (for test results, for medications to take effect, etc) were legitimate, he lost hope. He told the doctor at Shriners back in February when we went to see if anything could be done, “I glad to do what you say, and for research to help other kids, but I know I not going to change.”
However, the doctor looked at us surprised and said, “Well we are not miracle workers, but I’d like to think we can do some things that will help you walk again like other kids.” The tears rolled down my face. Hope. Restoration. Redemption. Mercy.
I think there is still a bit of Kieran that is thinking, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” and who could blame him? But I know his future is about to change radically!
For those of you who like the gory nitty-gritty details, the amazing doctors at Shriners will be breaking his majorly arched left femur bone and then putting a rod down the middle of it so it can form more straight and longer. In the same surgery, they will break the two lower bones (tibia and fibula) and put an external fixator device on the outside of his leg connected with pins through the bones. Everyday we will turn some knobs very slightly which will pull the disconnected bones further apart. Our bones like to grow together, so that is how his lower leg will also be lengthened.
Kieran and I will spend a week in the hospital and then for about 6 weeks return once a week to St Louis for physical therapy and a checkup. We will also have rehab at a local hospital (hopefully in Lincoln) twice a week, as well as 30-60 minutes of therapy at home twice a day. We will live, eat, and breath physical therapy. I’ll bet by the end of it, even Eva will be able to coach Kieran through it!
We have a long road ahead of us. Kieran will likely be out of school for 4-6 weeks while his leg strengthens and he learns to walk again. He will have that device on his leg for about 6 months. The therapy will be very painful, but if he doesn’t push through (with my help and others), his leg and muscles will not heal correctly and it will hurt even worse. Once his entire left leg is healed and strong enough to support all his weight, then the doctors will likely go in and break his other femur and put a rod in it to even out the two legs more exactly.
This is going to take a while. But he will walk again! And God, in His infinite and intimate wisdom, knows it is best for my son to walk through this miracle one day at a time.
Our adoptive Father is writing this story. To God be the glory!