Friday, February 5, 2016

Let's Be Brave

Upcoming, we have two of Jonathan's surgeries written down for the books. The first surgery is scheduled to take place on May 9th. This will be the first lip surgery repair. The second surgery is scheduled for September 12th. This one will be for his palate. In all honesty, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. Why? Because I've fallen in love with this baby who has a bigger grin than I've ever seen. And let's face it! He is constantly smiling. His smile doesn't just start with his mouth but also fills his cheeks and widens his eyes. However, I am also nervous about the whole surgery procedures of handing such a little guy off to people while having him put under and also experiencing pain.

On the other hand, I know his quality of life will improve with the surgeries. His eating will improve as he'll have a better suction with his lips put together. Even more, he won't be swallowing so much air along with having constant drainage going straight from his nose into his mouth. I am super paranoid about him getting sick at this point as I know that would be a nightmare for us both. Having the surgeries will take some of that worry away and I will be more likely to get out in the public with him. For now, we are in a season of staying home and away from germs as much as we can.

After having the NAM in for a total of 33 days, we went in to see Dr. Granger this last Monday. He went ahead and added the nose stents. This has changed things a bit for him. I wish I could say everything is peachy-keen. But this past week, it has not been that way at all. He is fussier and more irritated. And why wouldn't he be? He has something tightly set into his nose that not only feels like fingers in his nose constantly, but it also creates lots of friction leading to sores and nose bleeds. I am finding that I have to take it out when it gets too painful to give him many breaks as he adjusts to the new addition to the NAM.

So he's angrier right now with it and sometimes I just wish I could throw in the towel. It's hard to be a mama of a baby who is so uncomfortable. Yet, I know this procedure is going to be best for the long run. And not using it, I will always look back and think that things could have been better for him if I had used it.

But God is good and I try to focus on being thankful for things. I am thankful for the medical insurance, healthcare, and modern medicine that allows for Jonathan to thrive. I am thankful for older siblings who constantly pour out love to him. I am thankful for extended family and friends who have shown tremendous encouragement to us. Also, I am thankful for being this little guy's mom and getting to be apart of something special, even though it's hard.

I once read a quote that said, "Do not pray for the hard thing to go away. Pray for the bravery to overcome the hard thing." It really resonates with me during life moments like this one. I can't pray for the cleft lip/palate to go away. But I can pray that God gives me a bravery to overcome the hard thing. And with His help, He will. He has helped me so many times already. Often, I feel like having a pity party. There have been many times that I've cried. But all of the hard things about this process have given me perseverance and hope for greater things to come.

Romans 5:3-5 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

We all have hard things to go through in life. We can pretend everything is fine and life is good on the outside. But we are all torn human beings on the inside. We may not reveal it, but we all have our battles. I don't know if it's partly because of the social media era where we put our best of everything out there. We only tend to show the happiness of life. Even I like spreading that unspeakable joy with others. Smiles often lead to more smiles and that's been proven. Still, we must also remember that we are all trying to be brave on the inside so we can carry on for the outside.

Nonetheless, please allow me to be an encouragement to you to keep on persevering through those days where it's hard. Allow it to build your character and bring more hope in the One who loves you unconditionally. Look forward to what lies ahead and remember that throwing in the towel only leads to defeat. That's what the enemy wants from you. He wants you to feel defeated. But God wants you to put on that full armor for Him so you can stand firm. Most importantly, be sure you keep looking to Him so He can make you brave.


So far, we have raised $580 for the Mia Moo Fund through out t-shirt sales. The proceeds for the sales goes to help those needing financial assistance for cleft repairs. We have been blessed to have such great insurance that covers most of Jonathan's appointments and procedures. However, many families are left falling into deep debt.

This t-shirt fundraiser was created so I could help raise funds for this organization that gives back. So far, 18 families have been helped in 14 states because of people like you who have donated and bought shirts. Thank you so much!

When I set out to create these t-shirts to help raise money, I figured that if anything, our own family here would buy them as our contribution. I figured we'd buy up about 10 shirts to have and wear for Jonathan's surgeries to show our support. And that money from those shirts would be the money that ends up being donated. I've been blown away by your support. Not only have we sold 46 shirts, several of you have made extra donations as well. You have brought tears of happiness to my eyes. All of that money will be such a blessing to someone else. And when I see you wear your shirts during Jonathan's surgeries, I know he will feel so loved as well. Thank you all so much!

There is just a little time left to order if you would still like to participate. The fundraiser ends on February 8th. After that, the t-shirts go to print and will arrive to you around February 25th. Please don't miss out! Let's raise the bar high and see what we can do to give hope and a smile to someone else. Go here to purchase a shirt:

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