This past Tuesday, we travelled back to Iowa City for our follow up appointment for M. It started with an MRI and then off to the neurosurgery clinic. Those feelings of angst crept back into my mind thinking of what could possibly come of the appointment, but God is awesome.
I would equate it with the feeling (as we have all done it) of walking into the wrong room where you know absolutely no one and they just stare at you in silence as to ask, 'what are you doing here'. That is exactly how I felt when the neurosurgeon came into our room where we sat with Matiyas. He asked a few questions, of which Laura could explain much better than I, and only stopped short of asking the actual question as to why we came in today. Instead he led us through questions that got us to the point of him learning that Matiyas had an MRI while in Ethiopia that showed a subdural. As he looked for the images from that MRI in their system, he found that it was never uploaded from our first visit. He then proceeded to inform us of his confusion as in looking at our previous and current MRIs, that the only thing he saw was a completely normal scan... on both!
There is no subdural, there is no pressure. In a month from Ethiopia to Iowa, OUR SON WAS HEALED! PRAISE GOD!!!
Today started kind of unusual. Laura and I packed bag after bag; one for Matiyas, one for us, even one with food. I had a laptop to do work and she had packed her Kindle to read. I felt like we were packing for a trip, all the while knowing this may be one of the scariest things I could ever face. We didn't talk about it as I don't think either of us wanted to grasp the nature of the situation. Finally, not knowing how long we would be gone we said goodbye to Yiah and pulled out on our way to Iowa City.
I know I fought back tears many times on that drive, trying not to think about the fact that my son needs brain surgery. If I had kept my mind on it for any amount of time, I would have been unable to see the road. I never imagined facing this with someone in my family. Honestly, I was terrified.
We arrived to Iowa City and checked in to the Emergency Room at University Hospital. After a while, we were taken back to our room where for a few hours we had different staff and levels of personnel come in, visit with us and ask questions. One nurse prepped Matiyas for an IV and one of the doctors took a head circumference which strangely was 47 cm, down from 50 cm just a few days ago. We finally arrived at the point that the neurosurgeon ordered another MRI.
When they came to take us for the MRI, we had agreed that I would go in with Matiyas. He was asleep when I lad him on the table in front of the machine, but that didn't last long as the technician began strapping him in and stabilizing him. The first minute of the scan, Matiyas wasn't sure whether to cry or be lost in wonder at this thing around him and noises it was making. Once he made up his mind to cry, it was the longest 3 or 4 minutes of my life. He looked at me with his eyes and just cried, and all I could do was try to comfort him. I found myself laying on the table reaching in as far as my arms would reach. When he finally came out, I scooped him up as fast as I could and he calmed right down. I couldn't say the same for myself. We were taken back to our room, and left with, "someone will come see you when we have the results."
So we waited. After about an hour or so, one of the residents knocked and entered our room.
I go back to all the prayers; from our church, from our adoption group, from our friends, from our family, from people we hardly know, from the lips of my 4 year old son, and some of my own. I won't lie to you, because I admit I sometimes question the power of prayer and ask, does God listen, does He answer? My faith has been tested. But I am here to tell you today that God is mighty, God is powerful, and He overflows with love and mercy. And He IS still performing miracles. I know because one of them is lying asleep in his bed, in our home, just down the hall from me right now instead of in a hospital.
The resident entered the room and informed us that preliminary results of the MRI showed that the size of the hematoma had shrunk and it appeared that it was resolving itself. We were being discharged. We would have a follow up appointment with the neurosurgeon in 4-6 weeks, but that no further action was necessary at this time.
Today I finally understood the line in the Casting Crowns song Praise You In This Storm that says, "But you are who you are, no matter where I am." I always thought it meant, no matter where you go; Eldridge, Iowa City, Addis Ababa... He was always there. While that is true, what it means to me is no matter where I am in my relationship with Him, He is still God, He is still my Father, He still loves me. Today, in my fear, in my doubt, in my failures, HE said, I love you anyway and gave us a miracle. What an awesome, awesome, awesome God.
"Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name, make known among the nations what He has done. Sing to Him, sing praise to Him, tell of all His wondrous acts. Glory in His holy name, let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice... Remember the wonders He has done, His MIRACLES." Psalm 105:1-5
Well, they made it home with minor hiccups. Got to our house around 7:30 pm and got him to bed. He did quite well despite the time change only waking up twice. This morning, he woke up a little early so we took advantage and got to Iowa City where we are now. Will try to update whenever we know more. Thank you all so much for your support and prayers.
We are getting ready to head to the airport in a couple hours. We are excited to come home...not so excited for the plane ride. : ) it's two 9 hour flights with a 3.5 hour layover in Frankfurt. The first flight would be during the night for Matiyas so we are hoping he sleeps. Please continue to pray for us as we travel home. Thought we would post a few more pics. Matiyas is doing well..we even got him to laugh today.
Today we went shopping for Matiyas and bought 18 different gifts for him. We will give him one traditional Ethiopian gift annually until he is 18. Matiyas seems to be warming up to us. He is talking a lot more and I am getting him to smile at me. He slept great last night..woke up only once and did really good today while shopping and out and about the city. We were able to pick up his visa today so we have everything we need now and can head home tomorrow!