The 4th of July

Everybody always likes the 4th of July holiday. After all, we are celebrating the Independence of our country…right? Some people have birthdays on this day so that gives them something extra special to celebrate. By the way, happy birthday Nancy! I love you!

The 4th of July holiday holds something different for me. Fifteen years ago today, John and I were at Pitt Memorial Hospital with Nicholas. We had been agonizing for months; wondering what was wrong with our precious little baby. Due to my suspicions as a mother of what he may have, we had been through several doctors and were feeling helplessly at the end of our ropes. We could see that Nicholas was getting worse and no one would listen to us. We were not in a relationship with Jesus Christ at the time so we had no peace…no comfort.

After 6 months of trying to get a doctor that would test Nicholas for cystic fibrosis (cf), Dr. Taylor came in the room at 1pm on July 4th, 1994 and told us what I knew all along. Nicholas had cystic fibrosis. See what I didn’t realize was that even though we were not acknowledging that God was in our lives, He was there all along. He had been with me my whole life preparing me for what we were about to go through as a family.

Most of you know that my mama and daddy had been foster parents while I was growing up and we had Amie with us for a while. She had cf and we learned all about the disease, medications, and physical therapy with her. You can read more here (You should start at the bottom and work your way up. Later, as an adult, one of my first jobs was with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. God had been preparing me for this day. He had been with me through all of it and He is still with me today.

As I look back and see the steps along the roads of my life so far, I feel blessed to be able to see the proof of what my mama and my grandmother had always told me – “everything happens for a reason.” For whatever reason, God has chosen me and my family to fulfill a task for him. We may never know what it is. We may never know who it is for. We may be doing it now. It may take years, months, a day, an hour, a moment…All I know is that where ever we go He is with us. Whatever we go through, He is carrying us. Whatever is in store for us tomorrow, He has it under control.

As you celebrate this 4th of July, be thankful that we have an independent country. Pray that our country can stay this way and recover from its burdens. Be thankful for your family. Be thankful for your health. Celebrate your life. I thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon our family. Things could always be worse than what it is. We are thankful for the time we have been given. Tell your family you love them today. Reach out to the ones you don’t see everyday and tell them you love them too. Celebrate every moment.

Happy 4th of July everybody. Thanks for checking in today.

Love in Christ…Robin

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Amie

This morning at 4:38 am, Amie passed away to a better place with God our Father.  She was 29 years old.  You can read more posts here.

Last Sunday, we received a call that Amie was taken to the hospital and she was having difficulty breathing.  I haven’t posted because it has just been unbearable to think about what we are going through now – the knowledge that we were not going to have her here for much longer.  The doctor said all they could do was keep her comfortable and wait.  I had a million questions.  She was not a candidate for a lung transplant.  There was nothing else they could do. 

My mama, daddy, brother, and I went to Kinston where she was to see her.  It was wonderful to see her, but it was so hard.  Hard because she is my sister and hard because she has cystic fibrosis.  I had to gown up, glove up, mask up so I would not take anything home to Nicholas.  It was amazing to see the outpouring of love that surrounded her through her family, friends, and staff at the hospital.  They all loved her.  And why not?  She was a huge bundle of happiness that always looked at the positive side of things.  She was being so brave.  She was on alot of pain medication, but my heart lept as she responded to my voice.  It seemed to give her a peace that just melted me.   

Please pray for her family.  Her daddy was not able to be there with her through all this.  He had gone through a kidney transplant not too long ago and was unable to take the chance of rejecting it.  This is going to be so hard on them. 

I thank you all for praying for me and my family through all of this.  It is a unique situation that I am so glad to have lived through.  I thank God for putting Amie in my life and allowing me to see His greatness through her and her life.  Please pray that the doctors on this earth will find a cure for cystic fibrosis soon so we, and others like us, don’t ever have to see this day.

Update on Amie

Mama posted this as a comment on a previous post, but I thought I would share it as a post since so many of you have responded to Amie’s story and have been asking how she is doing!  Thank you all so much for your prayers for her.  This is truly an amazing miracle…

AMIE CALLED ME TONIGHT. SHE SOUNDED FANTASTIC.THEY ARE STILL AMAZED AT THE MIRACLE GOD PERFORMED ON HER. THE DOCTORS JUST STARE AT HER AND SHAKE THEIR HEADS IN AWE. HER DR. SAID IT WAS A MIRACLE FOR HER TO BE ALIVE. HE PERSONALLY CARRIES HER BREAKFAST TO HER EACH MORNING. SHE WILL BE MOVED TO A REGULAR ROOM ON MONDAY, IF SHE CONTINUES TO IMPROVE.THEN NEXT WEEK, IF SHE STILL IMPROVES, THEY ARE GOING TO TRANSFER HER TO CASWELLS IN KINSTON WHERE SHE LIVES. AINT GOD GOOD.

Our God is an Awesome God!

I just received a phone call from mama – I didn’t want to answer the phone. 

All I can say is that God is an almighty powerful God and He is merciful and I am so in awe of His greatness.  They went in and took Amie off the respirator this moring and she is sitting up in the bed, breathing on her own and complaining because she is hungry!  The doctor says that he has never seen anything like it and that he cannot believe that this is the same girl he was in the room with yesterday. 

So many people were praying for God to work a miracle and He did.  The family is so elated with joy.  Phil went straight out and called mama!  Thank you God!  Thank you God!  I am so filled with joy, and thankfulness, and I have been humbled by the works of God.  I cannot believe that yesterday I was writing about today being the last day of Amie’s life.  What a “Doubting Thomas” I was.  Never again. 

Thank you all for your prayers for our family and for Amie.  God was listening of course.  We are so blessed to be a witness to His works.  Continue to remember her as she improves and strengthens.  We have been given a gift of more time with her.  We are so thankful.  WOW!!!

Update on Amie

Mama called me a little while ago.  We are not going to Duke tomorrow.  They are going to take Amie off the respirator.  The doctor is not sure how long she will be able to last after they remove it, but he is sure she cannot breathe on her own.  Amie has fought a long hard fight and tomorrow may be the last day of her life.  If it is, we all will be at peace knowing that she lived life to the fullest of her abilities that she embraced her life in every way she possibly could.  She knows we all love her and we know she loves us.  This is so hard for me because not only am I losing someone I love, I am losing her to cystic fibrosis…  UGH!!  I have to take refuge in the fact when she does take her last breath, that she will not be in anymore pain, she will not have to take any more medicine, she will not have to have someone pound on her anymore.  She will be in God’s safe arms, in His presence.  I pray to God for peace for her and all of the family.

Robin

How God Prepares Us

For those of you who visit What’s Up With Nick, this is going to be a duplicate post.  I thought it was important to put it in both places.

Some of you may or may or know that my mama and were a foster parents when I was growing up.  We had many foster children (about 21 I think) over the years they were able to do it.  One of the children, our second to be exact, was a baby that was given up for adoption.  It was a girl and we named her Amie.  Mama got to name the newborns.  I always thought that was cool.  ANYWAY, babies usually stayed until their six week checkup and then they went on to their adoptive parents.  In this case, that didn’t happen.  Amie was sick.  She was sick all the time.  She cried all the time.  We took her to the doctor and they couldn’t tell us what was wrong.  Then they sent us to Duke.  It was there that they told us Amie had cystic fibrosis.  Back then they diagnosis was not good.  They told us that Amie would not live to be a year old (unbelievers) and we began all the treatments to make her as comfortable as possible, we accepted the fact that she would not be adopted, and we resigned ourselves to the fact that she would proably die in our care.

We learned all about enzymes (back then it was a powder called viokase and you mixed it in baby food) that she had to take to digest her food, about chest pt where we had to beat on her to get all the mucous out, and all about breathing treatments.  Back then it was called a mist machine.  We, as a family, learned all about cystic fibrosis and how to treat it.

Amie was with us for almost 2 years when we got the call that there was a couple interested in adopting her.  We were filled with a mix of emotions.  Amie had become my sister.  We loved her and were caring for her with everything we were.  We didn’t want anyone taking her away.  BUT at the same time, we were thrilled to know that there was someone out there who was willing to see past all that ugliness of her disease and love her for the sweet child she was.  We got to meet the couple.  They were so nice.  They came to our house and talked to all of us.  We told them the hard truth of her daily routine, but to be quite honest, I don’t hink any of that mattered once they saw her beautiful face.  They did adopt her and we have kept in touch all these years.  One of my favorite memories is spending time with them and there family during summers in Wilmington where they live.  On April 28th, 2008, Amie celebrated her 29th birthday.  Praise God!!  What a wonderful example of God’s greatness and power.

Knowing this child, going through all of this with her, affected our whole family.  We all became advocates for cystic fibrosis.  We participated in all kinds of fundraisers over the years for cf.  When I was grow up, I worked for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for about two years.  It helped to know about the disease.   Ultimately, knowing this child, growing up knowing her and her family, helped me to save Nicholas’ life.  There aren’t many people that can look back over the years and see the path that God led them down to help them in their lives.  I know that things happen for a reason, and knowing Amie helped prepare me for my adult life and what I was going to go through with my own children.  I am so thankful for that.  God is an awesome, wonderful God.  He gave the precious gift of knowledge for the future.  I am so blessed to be able to look back and see why I went through all those things.

Saturday night, I got a phone call from my mama saying that Amie had been airlifted to Duke.  All I know at this moment, is that she is in ICU, in respiratory failure and she is on the respirator.  I am waiting on a call from Carolyn, her mom, and we (my mama and I) are going up to Duke tomorrow.  Amie’s dad, Phil, is not in good health and cannot make the trip, so Carolyn is there on her own.  Pleae pray for this family.  I don’t know if she is eligible for a lung transplant, if she is on the list, or what.  All I know is that my sister is in the hospital and the outlook is not good.  I cannot imagine what they are going through at this stage in Amie’s disease.  I hope it will be a long time to come.

If this experience has taught me anything, it has taught me that God has a plan for all of us.  That everything MOST DEFINITELY happens for a reason and we are blessed to be able to marvel in His greatness.