As I type this, I can hear the sweetest little voice coming from a silent room where my boys are supposed to be sleeping. Quinn is fast asleep, but Tobias...nope, he's anything but asleep. Toby is my imaginative one. He will take anything--napkins, carrots, stickers, rocks, pens, wii remotes, etc--and have them become some sort of person or animal in his mind and have them talk to each other non-stop in a high pitched little voice. Right now he's doing just that and as much as I'd rather have him sleeping, today I'm choosing to savor what I'm hearing from that room instead of getting frustrated. Why? Because today I have been reminded again how fragile life is and how much we need to cherish our children.
I got an email today letting me know that one of the little boys, Kenold (in this picture), at the orphanage we are adopting from is loosing his battle with life. I do not know details, but I do know he has been in and out of the hospital since he came to ROH and today he is to the point that they are stopping treatment and letting him go home to Jesus. Hard stuff. Real stuff. Shouldn't have to be this way stuff. I am heartbroken for him, for Rachel the director, and for his adoptive parents. He should be going home to them and not to Jesus just yet...it shouldn't be his time. I had just posted the statistic where 50% of children under the age of 5 in Haiti die. I was naive in thinking the children at ROH would beat those odds 100%. With healthcare being how it is in the Haitian hospitals, it does not take much for these precious children to lose their chance at a better life. It is truly heartbreaking.
Just under 4 years ago Toby, himself, was the little boy who needed his life saved. Never for a moment did I question that the healthcare he was receiving would not be enough for him. When we took him to our doctor's office at a week old knowing something was wrong, but having no clue what, I did not doubt they would get to the bottom of the problem. Our doctor's office sent him to Goshen Hospital in a panic, Goshen sent him to Memorial in South Bend, Memorial gave us answers and sent him to Riley's Children Hospital in Indy, and Riley helped fix the problem. After getting stabled at Riley, Toby had surgery to correct a congenital heart defect called a coarctation of the aorta. A week later they sent us back home with a tiny, fragile baby boy with a scar on his back and a heart that would work again. It still amazes me. The truth is we came so close to losing him. I will never forget how many times before surgery the doctors at Riley told us how sick our little guy was but yet how much they were fighting to save him. I know God's healing hand was on Toby, but there is no doubt in my mind that God's healing hand was also using those doctors, nurses, and hospital staff to save our son's life.
It's out of those memories my heart aches for Kenold, who is not able to have the same kind of care in Haiti that Toby had here in Indiana. Oh how I wish we could have him here and save him. Oh how I wish Haiti could have the kind of healthcare that could save him. Reality is that I can't necessarily change that today...I can't save little Kenold's life today. But what can I do? I can pray for a God who is in the business of healing to be ever-present today in Kenold and I can do my part in trying to get another little child--a little girl we'll name Nora--out of Haiti and into a state where healthcare can make a difference throughout her life. Will you join me in those actions today? I would truly appreciate it.
A final note on Tobias...people occasionally ask how Toby is doing now and I'm grateful to report he is doing so well. He does still have a few heart issues they will continue to monitor throughout his life and take action on them only if needed. We will need to limit him from sports that include strength building and/or endurance running since these would cause more work on the heart and increased blood flow beyond what his heart may be able to handle well. Other than that, Toby is and will be a normal, active, ornery boy. We actually head back to South Bend next Friday morning for his annual ECHO and EKG. We will learn more then of how things are looking inside his heart, but from the outside we see no signs that make us think he's not doing fine. We are praying, as always, he will be cleared for another year. January 20th we will celebrate his 4th birthday!