Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Spencer made it through his first surgery quite well and has even found his precious laugh again.
Last Thursday brought a swirl of emotions that I didn't really know how to navigate. It's been our habit, in times like that, to put our heads down, turn into the wind and press forward. And that's pretty much what we all did.
Frank and I met the little family at Shriner's Hospital just after sunrise. The waiting area was deserted and everyone spoke in soft tones.
Of course, Spencer had no idea what lay ahead. So he greeted each person with his customary enthusiasm. Smiling. Squealing. Clapping. Waving. Giving hugs........
One of the first nurses squeezed his precious arm and sighed, "You knew we needed a happy baby today, didn't you?" They work with sick, frightened children day in and day out. I can't imagine the strain it must be trying to care for the most innocent ones in our world.
John and Joy stayed incredibly calm and that peace transferred directly to Spencer. Everyone was amazed. They didn't even give him the pre-surgery calming medicine that had been planned, he didn't need it.
When it came time, the pre-op nurse came back into the holding room; gave Spencer a big smile; clapped her hands toward him; and he went right to her. Oh the advantages of having a "church baby".
The medical team did an excellent job of keeping John and Joy informed throughout the next four hours of surgery. Frank and I kept them supplied with food, hugs, distractions, blankets, walks, and quiet hand-holding when needed. The rest of our family and friends kept them close in prayer.
At long last, the surgeon came out to report that his part was finished. "They're putting on the casts now," he said casually. "You'll be able to go back when he starts waking up."
Collective Deep Breath.
The casts are rather massive on that little body. His hands are completely encased (like with mittens) and the bright blue mesh reaches up almost to his shoulders.
A slight bend at each elbow prevents him from hitting himself. But it didn't take long for him to "deck" a couple of us. We've quickly learned the best evasive maneuvers for when he starts joyfully swinging those things!
(John completely removed their glass topped coffee table. THAT would have been a story!)
While we sat waiting, I couldn't help but think what a beautiful picture Spencer had painted. Everything was new and unusual. Strangers all around pulling, prodding, probing. But at each juncture he would simply look up at his dad or mom. If they smiled, he smiled.
"It's okay," they kept reassuring him.
And because they said it, that was enough for him. They knew exactly what was coming. They knew this wouldn't be easy. But it was for Spencer's best.
How very like our relationship with Jesus.
Life gets pretty bumpy some days and there's a lot that I don't understand. But if I can just stop long enough to look up into HIS face, He'll remind me that it's okay. The next few steps might not be easy but they haven't caught my "Daddy" off-guard. He's still in control.
Spencer doesn't understand why these huge casts are on both his arms. He can't feed himself. He can't crawl. He can't grasp his toys. And sometimes those big blue eyes look up with questions we can't answer.
But the capstone moment came two days ago when Aunt Kristin watched him lay that tired little head on his daddy's big, capable shoulder. Spencer whimpered ever so quietly. And John patted his back; offering comfort.
"I know. I know. It's gonna be okay, Spence."
Then John whispered in his son's ear, "I'm proud of you, Buddy."
(Brings tears to my eyes, too.)
The child doesn't understand. The child can't see the whole picture. But the daddy knows. He does see the whole picture. The daddy knows this is for the child's best. And he comforts the child in the midst of it all.
Thank you so much for continuing to pray with us for a speedy recovery. With another baby coming the first of July, John and Joy hope to have Spencer's second surgery behind them before that time.
Our Daddy Knows!