I zipped up his sweatshirt and tied his shoes for what would be the last time for a while...

Would it be the last time?

. . . . . .

April 10, 2016 - Day 1

They're off. Day 1. Let the grace begin. Only the Lord knows what we have in store. For now, as I sit here typing in my house full of children, my mother's heart feels strangely...empty. Just being honest here. I didn't like strapping my little boy into the truck in the pouring rain. I didn't like telling him, "I love you!" before closing the door just to be sure that I knew if I never see him again, those were my last words. I didn't like watching Beck's doting siblings run down the drive, soaked through coats, running and waving to their little brother. They'd rather wave him off than be dry and I get it, but I didn't like watching them cry and I don't like saying goodbye.

And the Lord knows all these things about me, His daughter. He knows everything in my hidden heart. He knows this is my soft spot.


He knows this is the ultimate sacrifice for me, to give my loved ones away and be separated. To say another goodbye.

Right now, with rain pitter pattering on the rooftop and popcorn popping in the kitchen for a lighthearted movie distraction, I can't shake the feeling of wanting to just sit here on the floor and hold Beck tight for hours...for days...for years. Yes, that's what I'd like to do right now, but I can't. And God knows. Brodie's words ring in my ears, "Love the ones you're with," he said. And so I will. I'll hold them tight and know that I know that my Father God holds me too. And He's a really kind Father who never leaves and there are no goodbyes with Him. He is always near and nearer and nearer to Him we go as we linger in His presence here, longing for eternity.

Oh Lord, you know our hearts. You created Beck and his. As we step out in search of healing, we know that it's nothing for you. You could heal him in an instant. You can bind his broken heart both spiritually and physically and we believe you can. And we believe you will! As we offer our lives to you, to Beck, we pray mostly that your will would be done and we would receive it with peace in our hearts no matter what. Please Lord, grant us peace. The steps from here feel scary and the storms rage all around, literally, spiritually too. You calm the wind and even the waves obey you. Thank you that we can find rest with you no matter what surrounds us. Thank you for Heaven and how we can look forward to that eternal rest with you, because we love you and know you and place our trust in you alone. Please hold us tight as we set out from here. This is only the beginning.

"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

They've arrived safely at the airport and it's time to board and fly. We know Who holds the future.

. . . . . .

April 11, 2015 - Day 2

They're up and off to the hospital this morning for Beck's catheterization. Although they only keep him for the one night tonight and this procedure, though invasive, is minor, we almost lost Bea the last time she had the same procedure done. That said, we are prayerful and not taking this day for granted. We know that Beck is safe in the Lord's hands.

(waiting room)

Beck's little heart is frail. He has a very serious and complicated heart condition called MAPCAs. Basically, when he was born his main pulmonary artery wasn't big enough to do the job of his heart. So...the heart compensates by building sort-of-bridges. Beck has 7 of these "bridges" or "canals". He also has a major hole in his heart that must be repaired because all of his oxygenated blood
and "deoxygenated" blood are mixing at all times. These things said, without surgery, Beck would only have a couple years to live.

This is lifesaving surgery for Beck! That's about as simply as I can explain the situation and I know it's murky and complicated by the constant reactions he gets from the specialists. The look on the doctor's faces are typically baffled after an examination. They tend to sort of laugh it off by sarcastically saying it's no biggie, because in reality his heart is in great need.

Fortunately, we know a great God who does great things and "neediness" is His specialty.

"For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy."
Psalm 72:12-13

(Text from Brodie, "Winning the hearts of the staff already!" That's our Beck...Mr. Charming. :))

So, today is exploratory. A camera will go in through Beck's leg and up into his heart to take a look around for about 3-4 hours. They would like to do their own investigation up at Stanford (Lucile Packard Children's Hospital) where he is before going in on Wednesday.

We pray the day and procedure go well.

Lord, as we come before you today in great need, we pray your healing hand would protect Beck's heart and that you would protect all of our hearts from fear as we place our trust in you. You are able! You are a miracle worker! Nothing is too hard for you!

"Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power
and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you."
Jeremiah 32:17

Anesthesia underway. The procedure begins...3-4 hours of waiting from here.

The cath exam is done and Beck should be waking soon. The doctor said based on his findings he feels that Beck's MAPCAs may be repairable in one surgery! This is huge news! This doesn't mean it WILL be repaired in one surgery and there may be more to follow, but it is potentially possible. Also, we were told that due to his (older) age he should have less blood flow than he does under the circumstances. (Usually these types of congenital issues are detected at birth or before and repaired immediately!) This is evidence of God's handiwork in Beck's life. Beck has been protected until now. He will always be protected by His Father God.

We have nothing to fear.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea."
Psalm 46:1-2

So...he stays the night tonight at the hospital and recovers. Next, we prepare for the big day Wednesday. We pray for all the repairs to be accomplished in the one surgery and we also prepare our hearts that this may not be God's will. We rest in His sovereign plans.

"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal;
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand."
Deuteronomy 32:39

. . . . . .

April 12, 2015 - Day 3

Good news this morning! After developing a fever last night and screaming for well over an hour,
Beck finally slept all through the night and now his fever is gone! Praise the Lord for this great report!

(Eating cereal this morning...I miss this little guy!)

Beck was just released and now he gets to spend some time downtown with Daddy.

It's nice to have a few more sweet memories before the big day tomorrow.

(clam chowder for lunch)

(noodles for dinner by special request)

(leftovers of course)

(candy shop after)

It was a special day!

(such a good Daddy)

"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Luke 11:13

[UPDATE: 8:30PM]
Right when we were Skyping to say goodnight and pray, a phone call came through on my phone. A baby with an emergency must be operated on tomorrow and Dr. Hanley will need to wait until Thursday now for Beck's surgery because it is so long (8-10 hours).


So another day it is and we wait and we pray for that baby and we trust the Lord's plans are perfect.

He knows best and we digest this delay...

"Be still, and know that I am God."
Psalm 46:10

. . . . . .

April 13,  2016 - Day 4

It's a new day and perspective sets in. Yes, we know God's plans are purposeful and as Beck's cough has taken a turn for the worse today, we wonder if perhaps this is why surgery was delayed. His lungs must be picture perfect for surgery. They will x-ray tomorrow morning to be sure he is clear before going in. We trust the Lord!

In the meantime, Daddy and Beck have the day to rest and enjoy each other's company. We pray for a quick day here at home as we wait through another day of separation. We pray the Lord will continue to be very near as He has been. He is faithful and wise and a loving Father God. In all of these challenges and details...we trust Him.

(SO much LOVE for this boy!)
. . . . . .

April 14, 2016 - Day 5 - Surgery Day

Can't sleep. Up praying. Today is a big day. Praying for Beck's lungs and the doctor's wisdom.

We trust you, Lord!

They are on their way to the hospital now. Check in at 6:00AM. Beck will have x-rays first to see how his lungs are looking and the doctors will assess his cough. It's hard to imagine turning back now...just as we finally approach the starting block. Let the race begin...

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
2 Timothy 4:7

Brodie just said goodbye to Beck and apparently they are proceeding with the surgery!
He was told to expect 12 hours from we wait...and pray.

This is hard.

Lord, please help us do hard things.

"Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you!"
Psalm 102:1

We intend to pray every hour on the hour on our knees as a family and the body of Christ is joining us.

Praise the Lord!

"He regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer."
Psalm 102:17

Brodie was able to meet with the surgeon, Dr. Hanley, before he headed in to begin. Beck has been unconscious for a while now and is prepped and ready. The actual operation is expected to be about 8-10 hours from here. We continue to be amazed at the expertise of Dr. Hanley as does everyone who speaks of him! He is deemed best in the WORLD at what he does and we can't be in better hands from an earthly perspective. From an eternal perspective, obviously Beck is in the hands of God. There is no better place. Even the very hairs on his head are numbered and Psalm 139 reminds us that ALL the days ordained for him were written before even one of them came to be. God works all things for good for those who love Him, so we rest in knowing that whatever the outcome today, it is good.

"For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations."
Psalm 100:5

First update of the day from surgery...all is well so far. We'll take it!

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”
Isaiah 12:2

Continuing to pray every hour on the hour on our knees...together with Daddy on speaker phone!

Another update: "We still have a ways to go, but everything is going well and as planned."

Praise the Lord!!

OH WOW! PRAISE THE LORD!! We just received news that the surgeon is done and earlier than expected!! AND...huge answer to prayer: ALL of Beck's corrections were accomplished in this ONE surgery!!! We were hoping for that but not getting our hopes up!

How great is our God!!

Now...for recovery...It's a long road from here. Beck will need much prayer as he fights to survive after this surgery. We are told that one of his obstacles is his age, being that he is older the amount of blood flow is a concern. Typically this surgery would be done at 4 months of age. And, when Beck was 4 months old...the Lord was with him and He knew the timing. This is no mistake. We pray for survival and we pray for a miraculous recovery. We pray for speed and we are deeply thankful for all that has happened today!

"I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever."
Psalm 86:12

When I stop to digest the timeline of Beck's short life thus far...I'm amazed at our God and His love and His plans. He takes this brokenhearted little boy from the middle of nowhere China and places him in a family across the globe who will love him and care for him dearly. He receives lifesaving surgery from the world's leading surgeon for his type of defect (This alone is astounding when I consider the odds!) and most importantly, Beck knows Jesus, when before he lived among communism. I marvel! God beckoned our hearts to go find this little stranger and then he was ours. Then we lost him. Then, 4 months later we were actually able to adopt him after all (a whole other story in itself!). Indeed, Beck was meant to be our son, though the adoption road was winding and hard.

Once, our Beck was alone and desperate and now he is a beloved son! His heart is now whole and he has hope!


The same is true of me...because Jesus took me in.


Truly, the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18) He cares compassionately for the downtrodden and He provides for those in need. Aren't we all in need?! He is a Father to the fatherless as He tells us in His Word and He chooses to use us as He writes His beautiful stories. What an honor! Thank you, Lord, for the opportunities you give. Thank you for your great LOVE for Beck. Thank you for how you love and save those who call upon your name!

"For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'"
Romans 10:13

. . . . . .

April 15, 2016 - Day 6

After a good report from last night, we found out this morning that Beck has RSV. Ugh.
We pray for healing for our son and trust the Lord in all these things!

(this pic + Brodie's sentimental piano playing in the background = tears for Mommy)

Although they will keep him sedated for the next day or a few depending...Beck has been restlessly turning toward his daddy when he hears him in the room. He knows his father's voice. And we know our Father's voice. He says, "Peace. Be still."

We're listening...

"And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Peace! Be still!'
And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."
Mark 4:39

. . . . . .

April 16, 2016 - Day 7

Yesterday Beck's fever was up again. His heart rate was up too. We prayed and prayed and others prayed with us and by the time we went to bed last night we heard that both had gone down! Praise the Lord! Our God answers prayers!

Today...we wait for an update. I sit here and wonder how things went through the night. It's a safe feeling to trust the Lord has things under control. I can release and let Him be God. I don't have to worry. I have nothing to fear because He is always good, even when my circumstances are hard. I rest in that this morning as I anticipate news from the night.

"For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
you are he who took me from my mother's womb.
My praise is continually before you."
Psalm 71:5-6

Beck has been unconscious still all night and more heavily sedated because of some signs of agitation. His heart rate is still a bit elevated this morning and we will continue to pray it goes down! His blood pressure looks good and his oxygen levels have been miraculous! For a little boy who used to run at a saturation in the 80' see him at 100% consistently is nearly unbelievable!!! Praise God!!!

(Oma and Funny Grandpa drove up to visit and bring some company (and pizza!) to Brodie.)

What a blessing!!

. . . . . .

April 17, 2016 - Day 8

It was a tough update this morning: Beck had a hard night and took a turn for the worse. His fever is high and the fluid in his lungs isn't looking good. Though they planned on waking him up today, perhaps that won't be the best choice now after all. We're on our knees for our boy and just as quickly as things started looking down, God can turn things around for the better. Praying to that end...

(Precious Beck...Lord, please heal our son!)

After a rough morning, the sweetest video update came through!!
Brodie says via text that Beck is awake and talking and "winning hearts...big time".

(Mommy loves you too, Beck!!!)

We ALL do!!

Thank you Lord for this progress!!!

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!"
Psalm 118:28

We ALL just got to Skype with Beck!! What a blessing!!
He looked so amazing I can hardly believe it!

It was so first it was just me and India and Beck's first words were, "Where's everybody?"
That's such a Beck thing to say. So, of course everyone came to say hello...even Happy!!

Our boy is back! This was the highlight of the day!!

Oh, thank you, Lord!!

"Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!"
Psalm 106:1

Brodie says that he can tell Beck is "uncomfortable but he is doing great. Handling it like a champ". And if you know Beck, then you know this is HUGE for him as he typically isn't shy about expressing himself. This is an answer to prayer and we'll take it!!

We're so proud of our son. What a delight to see him be so very brave!

Smiles and all...Wow! I am blown away by the amount of progress that took place today!

. . . . . .

April 18, 2016 - Day 9

Beck had a tough night last night as they attempted to wean him off the morphine. Poor buddy! My heart hurts as I want to make it all better for him. Brodie was up all night with him fortunately, yet of course this makes him tired today. He has been incredible!
Though I don't expect anything less from him, it still amazes me all the time what an excellent father he is.

Within minutes, Beck's tubes will be removed! This is major progress and looking back on Bea's surgery, this wasn't done until day 7 post surgery for her. Wow! We've been told if all goes well from here we can expect Beck to come home within the week. Praying for ASAP!!!

Well, after an hour delay, Beck's tubes are finally out and he will now have a chest x-ray done. It was a traumatic experience which we anticipated, but he made it. Brodie has said that he was sad following the procedure and we sent out a prayer request for his joy to return. I'm happy to say that Beck is now eating and even smiling! Praise the Lord!!

"But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge."
Psalm 73:28

. . . . . .

April 19, 2016 - Day 10

It's been a good day today so far. Beck has continued to make progress. He stood up for the first time and even walked over to a chair and sat down. He's ready to move around again! If all goes well today, he gets to move out of ICU tomorrow. Praying for that!!

Since he's been gone, I've paid a little extra attention to Bea through these things. Her heart for Beck is very tender and even maternal. Bea is a very special little girl...mature for her age. She's been through a lot in her young life and she's no stranger to hospitals. She is compassionate toward Beck as he endures recovery and she is yoked in heart with him. She misses him. I understand how she must be feeling, on many levels, so as her mommy I've been more attentive. This is important to me, for her, right now and she seems to be responding very well. Bea, you are so very LOVED!

Bea will have another open heart surgery very soon as well, probably this summer. The thought of going through this journey again is less intimidating every time as we start to understand the process. However, it never gets easier to consider the loss of someone who's become so extremely dear to my heart. It's never easy to think of her enduring pain or suffering. She's my beloved daughter. She's my little friend, even constant shadow, my little mommy by my side...just one of the ladies, my Bea. Lord, please protect her moving forward. I trust you know what's in store for Bea as your Word tells me you do. And, I believe it's all good.

"For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them."
Psalm 139:13-16

[UPDATE]: Beck has a small air pocket in his chest which has been causing his heart rate to be high. It was most likely caused by a loose bandage on the opening where his tube was. In the case that it is coming from his heart correction, they may need to go back in to determine the cause and we don't want that! SO, we are PRAYING that God will hear our prayers for healing! We are praying that the air pocket will be smaller or even miraculously gone by tomorrow morning when they x-ray Beck's chest again. We know that our great God can do ALL things and nothing is impossible for Him!! So we are asking....

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
Mark 11:24

. . . . . .

April 20, 2016 - Day 11

Awake...praying...asking for a miracle for our son. That's me, agreeing in petition with many believers together that God will hear our prayers and answer favorably today! We know He can miraculously absorb this air pocket into Beck's body. We also know He can use the doctors to help. So, we expectantly ask and keep on asking. Lord, please hear our prayers!

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened."
Matthew 7:7-8

The text came through:


It's a miracle and we praise the Lord and glorify His name!! Tears of joy and gratitude flow...


Early this morning in anticipation of this great news, I had chosen this verse for the update:

" I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever."
Psalm 86:12

We have seen God answer so many prayers throughout this process. Again, we stand in awe and glorify the Lord!

Also, last night Beck was having trouble with his circulation and his hands and feet were very cold.
Brodie said that has now improved as well...OH HAPPY DAY!!!

I just heard that Beck's PA line is step closer to being line-free. Now we wait an hour to be sure there is no bleeding.

The goal for today is to get Beck off of all IV meds so that he can be transferred out of ICU. We've been told that once he goes up to a normal room we can expect somewhere in the "3 days left" realm in terms of discharge. Praying for that!

[UPDATE]: The text came through:
"Heart rate very high....Can't talk. Nurses running around....Giving him fluids....Fast. He won't let go of me. He is scared."

I did not like the sound of any of that.

Normal heart rate is 80-120...Beck's was up to 199! And the prayer request went out...


People started praying with us...

The children and I gathered on our knees and cried out to God for Beck! Every one of them. We have seen so many answered prayers!

And as we prayed, the text came through:

"Down to 188"

We kept praying!

Next text within a few minutes:





"160 and holding...Asleep."

By 8:49PM Beck's heart rate was down to 143 and by 9:10PM it was at 139 and Beck was asleep.

It was amazing to see God answer our prayers! Our hearts were so encouraged!
I saw our children PRAY! Like really PRAY! I saw the body of Christ come together to PRAY and it was powerful!

"And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him."
1 John 5:14-15

. . . . . .

April 21, 2016 - Day 12

Been up a few hours...praying...seeking the Lord. Waiting for an update still...

I finally heard from Brodie. He was up with Beck in the night from 11-12 and then 3:30-5. He said Beck wasn't sad, just wanted him.

His heart rate was down to 130 last night but is back up to 151 this morning soooo...more prayers.

 (my morning pic...pancake smiles make me smile :))

Beck's last tube was just pulled! One step closer toward moving out of ICU. Heart rate still high...prayers.

 (TUBELESS! ...with a bag o' loot under his arm! Dinos and cars make little boys happy!)

Now that he's tube free, Brodie says the goal for today is to get Beck up and walking...steps toward normal.

It was a tough update from the doctors today. Beck isn't recovering at the rate they want to see. It's another reminder how extensive his surgery was. There were numerous repairs done and his little heart just needs to slow down and catch up. Also, they found out that we live at an elevated altitude and therefore they want Beck to be more "perfect" before sending him home. Ugh. That's not what we wanted to hear, BUT, we trust the Lord's plans and timing. We will need Him to sustain us all through the extended separation.

The plan is to keep Beck in ICU through the weekend now and hopefully move him to a new room by Monday. (Today is Thursday.) He should spend a few days there (3-ish?) and then if all is going well, be released sometime next week. Though this feels really looooong at the moment, I must remember that we went into this expecting 2 weeks to 2 months or more! In the scheme of things, Beck is doing amazingly well and we are so grateful! We rest in God's sovereignty and His ability to comfort us all and heal His time.

(Beck took a few steps...a big deal!...all the way to a chair with Daddy! So proud!)

...and seeing this photo hurts my heart. It's hard to look too deeply into those eyes right now. I miss my guys. A lot.

"There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
Proverbs 18:24

[UPDATE: Beck seems to have taken a turn for the worse...again. Lots of doctors and nurses scrambling to figure out why his heart rate just won't stay down. He's having trouble breathing and seems to be going backwards in terms of recovery. It's hard not to lose heart, but we know that God is in control of all the details. Sending out prayer requests and joining the body of Christ together to ask the Lord for healing for our son.]

"And [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart."
Luke 18:1

. . . . . .

April 22, 2016 - Day 13

Brodie was up with Beck all night and though he is tired, praise the Lord, Beck's heart rate seems to be going down a bit this morning. It is still volatile, but hitting lower numbers when it's low. They have been giving him increased oxygen and doing special breathing treatments and exercises which seem to be helping! We pray for a turnaround today that stuns Beck's doctors and nurses!

Oh, Lord, please heal Beck and comfort him in his distress and thank you for this smile this morning:

(crazy hair day)

About Beck's smile...

I was just reminiscing about Beck's his eyes disappear and the world is illuminated by his inner (and outer) grin. We didn't know these special secrets about Beck's smile before we met our little guy because he wasn't smiling in any of the early photos we had of him from China. BUT, it was the FIRST thing I noticed about Beck when I met him via Skype. AND, it's still one of my very favorite things about him and even one of my very favorite things in general. Beck's smile is contagious and it inevitably makes others smile too.

That's powerful!

"A glad heart makes a happy face."
Proverbs 15:11


"A joyful heart is good medicine."
Proverbs 17:22

...that's my kind of medicine. :)

It's so nice to see Beck tube-free, though yesterday they had to give him a new IV because of the increased oxygen so he can't walk around too much now. Poor guy, since they also removed his direct line, he has to get pricked every time they draw blood now too. I feel for sweet Beck. He has been through SO much! To see him be able to smile still refreshes my heart to believe that his spirits aren't being crushed. He does have recovery times emotionally after episodes of crying and difficulty so that's an encouragement.

Also, on a bright note, we have realized that there is something very healing in reverse order type therapy for Beck as he is waking and calling out to his Daddy in the night. When he calls, Brodie comes and historical voids hem smaller. This opportunity for Beck to see that Daddy will always come for him and that he hasn't left him is huge! It's a personal part of Beck's story and it's his, but the short of it is...Beck needs this. And the Lord knows. That said, we can see this time as healing for Beck's heart in more ways than just the one.

"I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me."
Psalm 77:1

The plan today is to wean Beck off of the things that have been like a crutch to his independence. The hope is that once he is weaned off of the drugs and oxygen, his body will be healing enough to function on its own. The RSV has been a hindrance to his recovery and though that is frustrating, it is what it is and God allowed it. We pray for complete healing as soon as possible!!! And in all these things, we trust the Lord and cling to Him, our Rock, our steady in the storm.

"The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock,
in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
Psalm 18:2

The hospital has a wonderful service where they bring in toys for the sick children to play with.
They have lots of fun distractions like bubbles, paint, and CARS! Busy boy...happy Beck!

And I see he has his own pants on here. He kept asking Brodie, "Where my pants?!"...a very Beck thing to say. Ha.

. . . . . .

April 23, 2016 - Day 14

Today hits the 2 week mark, the mark where we said if things went longer from here, we would find a way to get up to Stanford as a family, the mark we hoped we wouldn't hit. But here we are and things are looking more down than up at the moment and I'm trying not to be discouraged but in reality the last day has been hard. And that's ok. This IS hard. It's not meant to be easy. This is a cross and we bear it for the name of Jesus and how He chooses to love Beck through us. We bear it in the name of prayer and learning to pray and edification that comes through the body of Christ when we're down. It's not wrong to be long as we keep looking up and that's what we attempt to do. Even now.

Today's news has been scary. No parent wants to hear the words "lung collapsing". But those are the words for today. It seems that one of Beck's lungs is failing him as a result of the RSV and our little boy needs a miracle. So we're praying for just that! We believe that God can heal our son in an instant and we're asking for complete healing for Beck and at least a turnaround today!

Lord, Jesus, please breathe healing into Beck's lungs even now as I type and pray!

We plan to pray every hour on the hour again today, our attempt to pass time quickly and seek
the Lord on behalf of our beloved son and brother! Lord, please hear our prayers!!

A bright spot in the day so far is that Brodie's parents drove up to see them and hopefully Brodie will get a quick shower at their hotel...if Beck will let him leave. They brought him a gift and the smile on Beck's face encouraged my tearful mother's heart today.
Thank you, Lord, for the happy Beck smile that fills my mommy-heart with joy!

Praise the Lord, Beck let Daddy leave for long enough to take a shower. He has had a nice time with Oma. He kept asking for an "airplane" and we finally figured out that what he meant was he wanted to go ON the airplane and head on home! Oma and Funny Grandpa brought him some toy airplanes to play with and he was thrilled!! SO sweet!!

We continue to wait and see if any of the interventions today help with the lung. To be continued....

. . . . . .

April 24, 2016 - Day 15

Beck's heart rate has remained lower through the night. (120s-130s) A good sign things are improving!
No news on the lung yet and we wait for the doctors to make their rounds and assess the situation this morning.

Wait, pray, wait....

And every day, Beck knows more of the Father's love for him through his loving father. I miss these 2 so much!

"As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him."
Psalm 103:13

Praise the Lord! The update today comes with great praise and continued expectation! Beck's lung is looking better...not worse! YES!! This is a huge answer to prayer! We prayed every hour on the hour yesterday for a miracle and a turnaround and indeed the Lord has answered our prayers. The goal is for Beck to move out of ICU by tomorrow night if all goes well until then. Many prayers to that end!! Also, they have officially weaned him off of all IV meds and we wait to see how he handles that. His oxygen has also been lowered and we wait and pray that his lungs can handle this transition as well. More prayers today as we wait (some more) and see...

(coloring with Funny Grandpa)

(Skype with our sweet boy...Look who got dressed today!)

"Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise."
Jeremiah 17:14

. . . . . .

April 25, 2016 - Day 16

Brodie slept through the night last night for the first time in many days. I was so glad to hear that! He's needed it! Waiting now to hear how things are going with Beck and how he did through the night. Hopefully this means that Beck slept through the night too since they always wake Brodie when Beck wakes. I pray he had a restful night and my hope is up for a good day today!

Beck is getting a smaller cannula right now....a good sign we are headed in the right direction! They have also lowered his oxygen another notch and it looks like he will be transferred out of ICU tonight or tomorrow at the latest. Praise the Lord!!

This is the photo we've been waiting for!!!!!

(WALKING outside the room! And even without oxygen!?)

Praise the Lord! Not only is Beck well enough to be walking but he actually wanted answer to prayer!

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful update and exciting step to get our guys home!!!

. . . . . .

April 26, 2016 - Day 17

The first phone call of the day came through somewhere around 6:30AM:

"We have a problem..."

Those were not the first words I wanted to hear! Beck's heart rate was skyrocketing again over 200 and up to 215 and back to 199. It was all over the place and it was HIGH! The doctors and nurses frantically tried to figure out what was going on. This is the second episode now, and typically this doesn't happen so far out post-surgery. It's more common just after apparently. Nevertheless, this is what Beck's heart has done and everyone wants to know why. The good news is that the ultrasound reveals that the surgery was successful and remains successful in terms of function and repair. His heart is performing beautifully, praise the Lord!! The bad news is, he is having these episodes of way-too-high heart rate issues and clearly they need to stop.

Fast forward after urgent prayer requests were sent out, the body of Christ doing what it does. We saw answers to prayer! We saw Beck's body respond to the meds they administered. We saw them trouble shoot and discover that the surgical repairs are functioning. And we saw the Lord calm Brodie's heart as he is there alone and processing so much with Beck.

"Peace. Be still," Jesus says...

He speaks and the wind and waves obey Him. They cease their flurry and calm. And this is the same God who calms our anxious hearts as well. He speaks peace into our worried souls and reminds us that He's in control. We believe. There is joy amid sorrows.

As the morning has progressed, we have seen Beck's heart rate come WAY 104-120, yet still it bobbles around. They don't want that and it looks like medication can help short term. He will go home on new meds and his cardiologist here will follow his progress. Another praise is that this may not actually hinder their departure as much as we first suspected this morning. Beck will remain in ICU longer than we had hoped, but he may not stay as long on the tail end. This week will be telling...

So, we continue to pray and seek the Lord's help. We ask Him to calm Beck's body and also our hearts here at home, and Brodie's heart at the hospital. God answers prayers and we have seen Him answer many! We praise Him for loving us so much and for carrying us each step of this murky way. He sets our wobbly feet on solid ground and thankfully we can trust Him.

"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."
Psalm 40:2

. . . . . .

April 27, 2016 - Day 18

Well praise the Lord! Beck's numbers were low and stable all night! 107 consistently. Yes!
The meds are working and he is responding well. This is what we were praying for. Thank you, Lord!!

Today is Willow's 1 year birthday! We had hoped Daddy and Beck would be home by today, but this is God's timing and this is His perfect plan. No mistakes or delays. This IS His it's good. We accept...birthday cake on hold a few days (Lord willing)!

We just found out that if Beck's numbers remain stable for 48 hours (from midnight last night),
then they will release him FRIDAY MORNING!! OK!!!!! Praying for no more episodes of heart rate spikes!

"I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart!"
Psalm 138:1

Though we rejoice at the prospect of Beck being released on Friday, he still has some hurdles to overcome. Poor guy had to have another procedure today where he was strapped down (because he was so frantic) and then x-rayed in a machine with very tight quarters. It was traumatizing to say the least and he's still getting over it.

Time will tell if his heart rate comes down from this situation. We don't want him getting so overly stressed right now, but if his heart rate goes up as it has and then recovers, that would be normal. We shall see...

"On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased."
Psalm 138:3

. . . . . .

April 28, 2016 - Day 19

Praise the Lord, Beck had a good night last night! Brodie has booked their flight for 5:00PM TOMORROW!! Since flight change is free of charge, he just went ahead and booked. Lots of prayers and lots of hope for a good day today!

Yesterday, Beck moved to a new, bigger, quieter room...a welcome change of scenery:

(big room...little boy)

Praying this is the last day for Beck in this room.

The text came through, "Numbers all over the place again......Just happened......"

Ugh, we are so close and yet this dip keeps happening! We're gathered and we're praying and we're on our knees...Lord, please calm Beck's heart! You speak, "Peace. Be still!" and the wind and waves obey you. Lord, please speak peace into Beck's fragile heart and renew him to full health so he can come home!

An hour has passed. Medicine has been given. Still, Beck's heart rate continues to bounce all over the place, sometimes over 200. Lord, we ask that you would hear our prayers and calm Beck's heart! Please calm ours as well. We trust in you and know that you are able!

"The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace."
Psalm 29:11

As the morning has progressed, the doctors continue to speculate about what is causing Beck's heart to lose rhythm and spike. A heart electricity specialist is assessing him. They have taken more blood. It's reassuring to know that the Lord knows all the things we don't.

Our hopes of them coming home tomorrow are long gone now this afternoon. It sounds like Saturday would even be a maybe...Sunday more likely even if things continue to go well from here. So we press into the Father and remember that He is in control. He's not surprised by the timing and He will carry us through these next few days (or more?) just as He has carried us thus far.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

. . . . . .

April 29, 2016 - Day 20

It was a tough night for Beck. His blood pressure dropped down way too low on his new increased dose of the medication controlling his heart rate. This was a known concern and it has proven to be a problem. Back to the drawing board we go...

The doctors have options today and the troubleshooting has already begun. More blood work. More tests.

We will see what they land on in terms of treatment this morning, but whatever it is, it will definitely increase the hospital stay as they monitor the progress over the course of least 48 hours. So, that flight Brodie booked remains on hold. We wait and pray...

"Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!"
Psalm 27:14

[UPDATE: Of the miraculous kind:] As of this afternoon, the doctors think they can control Beck's heart rate and blood pressure enough to send him home TOMORROW!!!! ...that is pending any further hiccups. We are cautiously ECSTATIC! He will go home on oxygen and see our cardiologist on Tuesday. Oh praise the Lord, they're coming home!!!

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable."
Psalm 145:3

(wearing a hat made by volunteers for the hospital)
. . . . . .

April 30, 2016 - Day 21


It's been a good morning so far and Beck had a stable night on his new combination of medicine.
Praise the Lord! This means he is on track to be discharged TODAY! It's been a roller coaster, but today is a good day.

Looking back over the journey of this past month, we can see many ways the Lord has been at work through prayer and chiseling our hearts. It's when we're whittled down we start to take form. May that shape of our hearts resemble that of Christ more and more as He creates in us, as He forms us Potter/clay. Oh, that we would be malleable in His hands.

"But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay,
and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand."
Isaiah 64:8

We've seen Beck call out for his daddy over the course of these 3 weeks. We've seen the father respond to the outcries of his son and somehow the work of our heavenly Father feels clearer. He hears us. He loves us. He responds to us. He knows what's best for us. He is wise and good and does all things for our good even when we don't understand His higher ways. We've learned much of these things through this journey, and Beck has learned more TRUST...such an important thing for him on his heart's journey to the Father and as he continues to transition into our family. We're thankful for this time.

"No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us."
1 John 4:12

Brodie had it in his mind to go over to the Stanford University gift shop and buy a hat he had seen many people wearing around, a commemoration of sorts from his time there. He journeyed over by himself yesterday while Beck was sleeping and ended up getting matching hats for the two of them...father and son. Can't you just see the gleam in Beck's eyes to know he's loved and safe in his father's arms? It's as if his posture exudes a knowing that he belongs...

Oh, that we would all know that same feeling of trust when it comes to our standing before our Father God! And, if this relationship in bloom can even slightly resemble or articulate to Beck's heart how the Father loves him, if it can even sort of exemplify what Christ did for him...then it will have ALL been worth it! Every tear we cried, every sacrifice made, every longing we endured will have been of great value on an eternal scale...and that's why we do what we do. That's what this HEART journey was really all about. Praise the Lord!

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
Psalm 147:3

"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are."
1 John 3:1

"By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."
1 John 3:16-18

"As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."
Matthew 25:40

As I waited for news and plans for the day, suddenly and without any warning the ever-awaited wagon pics came through!!!

(saying goodbye to new friends)

(just JOY!)

WOW, praise the Lord! The time has come and we are ready! Cards are being made, cookies are in the oven,
and Beck's favorite dinner is on my mind...I cannot wait for my people to be home!

We're prayerful as they attempt to get an earlier flight. Things have happened so quickly today. Also, we pray for safe travels for little Beck and continued recovery as he transitions home. We thank you, Lord, for all you've done as we welcome another new beginning.

Sunshine on Beck's face...Homecoming is now just hours away.

"Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!"
Psalm 150:1-2