Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gratituesday July 10th

 I have wanted to write this Gratituesday for a couple of weeks now and just haven’t found the words to write what is in my heart.
I saw a real miracle once and not a little miracle but a big huge miracle.  Some of you are probably ready to close this up and call me a quack. For those who decide to stay let me share the miracle.

Years ago when we only had three children, affectionately called Team A, we adopted a beautiful son named after Rich.  Richard was a true gift from God. You see we had decided before ever marrying that someday we would adopt “special needs” children. I had called every adoption agency and the local social services and we did not qualify.  We either made too much money, not enough money, had too many children or had the wrong colored skin.  Yep, you read that right. Back in the early 1980’s you were not allowed to adopt a child that did not have the same skin color as you.  It seemed at the time that we would never get to adopt a “special needs” child.  Everyone wants to adopt a white healthy baby.  We wanted to do it to give God the glory and serve children who are overlooked.

The congregation we were attending at the time knew of our challenge. They prayed with us.  One day our minister got a call from a friend of his that happened to be a lawyer.  That lawyer happened to go to a congregation where a young lady attended that while in college found herself with an unplanned pregnancy.  She really wanted her baby to be raised in a Christian home and asked the lawyer to find a family.  Back then, open adoptions were unheard of.  72 hours after Richard was born we waited in a K-Mart near the hospital, waiting for the lawyer to bring us our new baby.

At the time we didn’t have a clue why God chose us. We didn’t want a white healthy baby but we seemed to get one and didn’t know why.  Well, that is till 6 weeks after we was born.  He went from being a happy, healthy bouncing baby boy to a very sick little baby in the matter of minutes.  The doctors were sure he had meningitis.  They were so sure that when the actual test came back they failed to find the problem.  He did not have meningitis but he did have something worse. We were released from the hospital without anyone knowing the test results. They sat there for 2 years before they were read.

Being a military family we of course were sent the next week to our new duty station all the way across the country.  We moved with a baby who got sicker and sicker the farther we went from home. I will never forget the long drive.  Baby Richard screamed and screamed. Every bump we went over on the drive he screamed. If the sun hit his face he screamed.  The only time he was quiet was the first 15 minutes after a feeding.  We were at our wits end by the time we arrived at the new base.

I made an appointment for the next day at the base hospital. The pediatrician we saw thought there was nothing wrong with the baby.  He thought I was just over feeding him!  He sent me home thinking I was some kind of crazy woman who didn’t know how much to feed her son.  Two weeks later Richard had gotten much worse. By this point he could not hold his head up. Any sound and he would scream.  Not just your average baby scream but a high pitched shrill of a scream. I knew deep inside there was something terribly wrong.

I called the pediatric clinic on base and said I needed an appointment and I needed it NOW and please do not send me to the fist pediatrician because I had no confidence in him!  I got a new pediatrician, a female to boot.  She listened, really listened to all my concerns and then spent the next 30 minutes really examining Richard.  When she was done she looked at me and said that she wanted a bunch of tests run on his brain.  I thought it was some sort of ulcer in his stomach since he only stopped screaming for a few minutes after each feeding.  I asked her to please check out his stomach after nothing was found in the brain.  She said she would and I went home.

The next morning I got a call from a clinic saying I had an appointment in an hour with Dr. So and So.  When I got there I was sure I had gone to the wrong clinic because it was an ophthalmology  clinic.  No they said, they were expecting me.  I was totally confused and could not for the life of me understand why the pediatrician who seemed so caring and competent the day before had sent me to an ophthalmologist.  An hour later tears just streamed down my face before the doctor had to say a word. How could I have missed it?  What was wrong with me God that I could not even tell my precious new baby was blind?

Blind, my baby would never see the sun rise was my first thought. He would never see his mama’s face.  I was a broken woman at that instant. My mind just reeled. I was sent upstairs to the Commander of the hospital. Since he was adopted they wanted to obtain all the medical information there was. Sitting in the Colonel’s office I was a wreck. Poor Richard is screaming and I am crying.  Then the Colonel made a fatal mistake.  His first words after knowing the circumstances was this.  “You know M’am, the adoption isn’t final for another couple of months, I suggest you just give him back.  I felt like I had just been smacked over the head with a two by four. On his desk I saw a beautiful picture of his family which included some children.  I asked him pretty forcefully if those were his children and he said of course they were.  I then asked him if he had just found out one of his children was blind would he just give them back?  He then said, well of course not but they are my children.  “This little baby is OUR son and never speak to me about giving him back again”

After that I was shaking and called my husband at a pay phone crying and telling him what was wrong with Richard.  After the conversation I hung up and took our baby home.  Lots of tears were shed that night but what stood out then and stands out now was Serenity’s reaction.  Serenity was 5 years old and adored her baby brother.  I tried to explain to her that he would never see her face or the sunrise.  That little girl was emphatic.  “No, she calmly said. God is going to heal him.” Now I have to be honest here. My first reaction was no way. God doesn’t heal like that anymore. How could I explain to Serenity that the God she loved was not going to heal her baby brother?  I said what truthfully I really didn’t believe.  I told her that yes God could heal but he chooses not to. Perhaps God wanted Richard to grow up and preach the gospel and tell people his story about being blind. You remember the song, I once was blind but now I see? No matter what I said Serenity very calmly told us that she just knew God was going to heal him.

All the records are still intact.  He was blind.  We were flown to a hospital far away with better testing tools and yes indeed Richard was blind.  Somehow though a faithful little girl prayed a prayer that was honored.  Three months later Richard regained his sight. First his right eye was healed and the next day his left eye was healed. The doctors had told me because atrophy had already occurred it was medically impossible to reverse it.  God healed our son in a miraculous way.

I don’t have the answers as to why.  All I know is a little girl believed and he was healed.  Does that always happen, no.  Years later our son David laid in an ICU bed and died. Why, didn’t we pray hard enough?  Why LORD?  I don’t know a lot but one thing I do know is this. Our God is sovereign.  He can give and He can take away. God just asks us to pray with faith that the sick will be healed.

I told you all that to say this.  It appears that God is starting to heal my husband Rich.  I hesitate though.  Will I look silly if he goes back into being bed bound again and near death?  Do I have the courage to say, it would appear that God really is healing my husband?. I don’t know the plans God has for Rich.  I don’t know why my husband was struck down but I do know this.  We have remained faithful and God has NEVER left our side.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".


  1. I don't think you're a quack! I believe that God is using you, through His miracles, to glorify Him!


  2. Amazing story, Jill. I can understand your hesitation to speak about Rich improving. It lifts my heart though. Keep us informed. Praise God!

  3. God be praised! We will continue to pray for Rich's full healing. In the name and awesome power of Jesus!

  4. God can still do whatever He feels is right for any of us. I will keep praying for Rich and for you.

  5. The things that are impossible with people are possible with God. Lk 18:27
    The Lord gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Is 40:29
    Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary. Is 40:31

    Praying for total healing to the glory of God and Him alone

  6. Jill, I am your parent's friend, Ed Ho, a Chinese Christian in Nashville. Your story of faith is truly a story of faith and God's faithfulness. I thank you for writing and sharing. Rich has been on our church's prayer list for about half year if not longer. Praise God that He allows us to follow Him experiencing this life by His side, praise God for His doing for Rich, your family, and the Lord's church. I thank you for your faith. Ed

    1. We rejoice with you and we thank God for the way that he has led you through this dark tunnel with his light ahead of you guiding the way. We also thank him from his great and precious promises that promise us that he will do exceedingly and abundantly more than we ask or think. You have been in our hearts and prayers ever since the beginning of Rich's illness. To God be the glory for all that he is and will do.
      Love, Sharon Short