Calm (at least for a while!)

Hi,
Jerard is gaining weight and seems to be in a medical 'calm' for the moment. No more infections. One more day of IV antibiotics and then his heparin lock comes out.

He has a CBC done tomorrow and will have a repeat CT scan done the week of March 11. But for now, no surgeries!!!!YEA!!!!

James is chubbing out and really enjoys being in the walker we recently acquired! He loves to coo and 'talk'.

Mikayla is playing football! (Ok, for all you USA people, soccer!) on the Middle School/High School girl's football team. She is enjoying this very much. She continues to excel in her school work and clarinet playing.

Kirsten has been excelling in school work. She also really enjoys holding James and helping with the boys. She is truly gifted in art and crafts and loves to create many things!

Ben is reading well. He really enjoys sports and will be playing basketball in the after school program starting after spring break. He is doing very well in school and really enjoys math. He's been in a growth spurt and seems to have gotten an inch or two taller in the past month or so!!!

Kurt's job continues to be a good challenge for him. We feel truly blessed to be over here and involved in the work we are in.

Faith Lesson From A Bird

I have been reading an excellent book entitled "A Passion for the Impossible - the Life of Lilian Trotter." This extrodinary woman was a missionary to Algeria's Muslims back in the late 1800's. She was a gifted artist and observer of nature. She wrote many devotionals based on lessons observed from flowers, trees, animals.

I found the lesson she wrote about the 'martens' very apropos to what God has been teaching me. I share it now with you.

"The martens have been reading me a faith lesson. They come in flights at this time of year - lovely things with blue throats and feathered claws -

Their faith lesson is this - that their wings need the sense of
'an empty void' below to give them a start
- their leg muscles have no spring in them and when they perch by accident on a level place they are stuck fast

- poor things we did not know that natural history fact in the past and when we have found them on our flat Alger roof
with its parapet protection, we have thought they had got hurt somehow, and more than once we have tried to feed them till they died,

instead of doing the one thing that they needed - tossing
them off into emptiness.

So we need not wonder if we are not allowed to stay long in

level sheltered places - our faith wings are like the martens

and mostly need the gulf of some emergency to give them

their start on a new flight.

We will not fear when we feel empty air under them."

Lilias Trotter 30 April 1908

4 Months Old

Today Jerard and James are 4 months old!


Jerard


James


Ben having fun with his brothers!

Answering a Few Questions

I've had many ask these questions..."Will Jerard need his shunt replaced? What about the cyst?"

It is great to be home with Jerard but we are not done with surgeries yet.

The four neurosurgeons who conferenced on Jerard felt it best to let him get a bit stronger physically prior to operating.

We meet again with the neurosurgeon on Tuesday to find out more about what to expect in the upcoming weeks and months. The shunt replacement is still undecided as to whether or not it will be replaced. Jerard has his cerebral fluid tested again on Tuesday. If signs of infection show up then we will need to replace the shunt. In the meantime the CFS will be monitored.

The cyst will definitely have to be taken care of but the neurosurgeons wanted to let Jerard get stronger and have another CT scan done in one month.

Keep praying for him and for us.

We Are Home

The past three nights I have awoken at 2:30 a.m. with a very uneasy sense of impending doom. I kept praying, "God, if you want us to have this surgery make it clear it needs to be done. If not, close the doors to this surgery. We are just trying to do what the doctors think best."

God ordained that the surgery not proceed! The CT scan showed some technical problems with the surgery and three other neurosurgeons consulted by our neurosurgeon did not see a strong case for replacing the shunt.

So, we brought Jerard home just a few minutes ago. He will continue to get IV anti-biotics from home for the next five days and we are arranging for private duty nurses to come by the home to administer them. We also will be seeing quite a bit of the doctor over the next few weeks...but we are home!

We are not through this yet. Thank you for all of your prayers.


James on the left and Jerard on the right.


Close-up of Jerard's head -- smaller and smaller as the days go by.