Nov 1, 2011

The Making Of A Miracle - Part 13

Recap from last post:
* A list of dreams, desires and demands that had been written at least 3 years earlier, was right in front of our eyes. No one knew about the perfect match up but us. Us and God.

The meeting was on a Thursday. We invited John into our home and spent the next 3 hours or so talking. At the start of the meeting he thanked us for welcoming him into our homes....our lives. He let us know that he and his colleague had traveled 4 hours from the coast to see us this fall day. On the 4 hour journey, they prayed for us and our family. God had told them that Lindsay was to be the one that they welcomed into this new available bed. (who does this?)

We spent hours talking about Lindsay's unique needs, her history, etc. John listened, wrote lots of notes and asked all the right questions. He talked to us about the process of accepting Lindsay into the home and what it would require of us as a family. He spoke of being courageous. He listened to every fear and responded with answers that continued to bring peace, even though our hearts were screaming.... I'm scared!

Then he said:
I know that all the forms have changed for the government and you have not been able to fill them out, so, on the weekend I went online got the forms and filled them all out for you.
Who does that? On his day off no less?!

I filled them all out for you.

You have no idea what this means. It means hours of agonizing meetings, rehashing all that has been difficult, unique and rare about your child. This is not easy. Nope. Hard, grueling, almost torturous. It means saying: I can't do it. It makes you feel so incapable as a parent and defies the very perseverance you have leaned on all of the years.

I filled them all out for you.

Those words echoed into my heart and right down deep into my soul. Immediately the day in May came to my mind, when I whispered a feeble prayer:

God, if you want me to do this.... I need you to make this easy for me.

I burst into tears.....again.......for the zillionth time in this story.

Right then and there I told John and my husband about the prayer that I had almost forgotten. We cried and felt completely overwhelmed and humbled at the perfection of the gift that had just been offered.

It couldn't be easier than this. (except for the fact that my heart was wrenching in shock, fear and bewilderment).

This man had taken what should have been our responsibility and labor and did it for us. We didn't do anything. Just like that. It was done. All we had to do was to sign the forms. (better interpreted as let go and say yes. Or let go and let God).

Then, he said:
I have to go now because I've got another appointment now with your social worker's boss's boss and I'm going to push this. You need to get prepared. We are going to push this through. We know that Lindsay is the one that is to be in this home. 
Her personality, unique needs and joy are a perfect fit for the 3 other individuals living in the home. God told us it is to be her.

Oh, and by the way. This home is an adult home and Lindsay is still a youth. We've never taken a youth into an adult home. It just doesn't happen. There are different funding umbrella's, requirements etc. It's a lot of red tape. We've never done it before, but we are going to cut through that red tape and make it happen.

My husband and I just stared at each other. We were speechless.
We didn't know how to respond. Laugh, cry, scream, wail. What?!

How can you even express when a miracle is standing right in front of you?
Part of you is wondering if you are dreaming.
Part of you says, this is uncharted territory.. don't do it. NO... this is too fast. NO, I can't!

We thanked this man who had now become our advocate extraordinaire.
We had no words to express our gratitude AND our fear of letting go.
So, we just said thanks and closed the door.

Insert BIG SIGH.
Now what?!
What if this whole thing was a bad idea?
What if it was just wishful thinking?
Or was it a set up......... a master plan?

Our eyes of faith were becoming less blurry.
We could see custom designed answers that only God could know.
ONLY GOD could know.
This kept us moving forward.......scared.

We turned to our sweet pea and wept some more.
Meanwhile.... she smiled and giggled, enjoying all the attention of her two favorite attendants.
She was (and always is) oblivious to the anguish, to the tearing. All she sees is love and adoration.

Thoughts kept whirling in and around our mind for days. We had to talk to our kids about it.
That was a major process in itself. They had their own fears and anguish to deal with.
They were fiercely protective of their sister and thought that the only perfect place for her was home.

We let them process, just like we had. We took them to the place, we listened and we went on with life as usual.

A few short weeks later, John called and informed us that it had been approved. Now we needed to set up a date of arrival for the princess.

I was getting REALLY anxious now. I needed to know that she would be understood. That she would be cared for perfectly.

He offered to let me create a manual of care for Lindsay and said that I could go to the home as much as I needed and train all of the staff. That brought me some relief.

The next few weeks were a whirwind of activity.
I had a lifetime of experience to write down on paper. I had a book of signals and unspoken words and movements to interpret into a language that the staff could understand.
I created "what to do if" lists, and "don't do this" lists.
I created a "what to wear" and "what not to wear" recommendations.
I taught them how to do her princess up do's and hairstyles. I was not willing to settle for anything less. And they, in turn, became willing learners, eager to give the princess what she rightfully deserved.

It was H-A-R-D.
I needed to find a way to celebrate this, instead of making it into a mourning process.

So, I decided to paint her room.
I went all out.
Princess power was the theme.

  I wanted it to be bold and bright and convey a message to the staff that they were taking care of royalty.

Taking care of Sweet Pea was no ordinary job. This was highly specialized work that required the extraordinary human beings. I wanted them to feel it as soon as they entered her room.

I wanted them to see what I saw. What God saw.

I painted a favorite verse on her wall that said:

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

I brought Lindsay to the home each time I painted and used the weeks of preparation to slowly get her (and more importantly me) used to the new environment and new people. Every chance I got, I would teach the staff another new tidbit about the princess. They graciously listened, I mean, REALLY listened. We grew closer together. Trust was building.

One day in December, as I was painting her new room, I was talking to God about this whole process. I was letting Him know how afraid I was.
I had chosen to be thankful for the unexpected gift and decided to just move forward - afraid. I had no trouble letting Him know my thoughts and fears. That's what best friends are for.

It was still heart wrenching. I was facing my greatest fear of letting go.
I needed something more to get me through this. 
God help, this is really hard. Is this really You?

As I swished the brush onto the wall, I remembered the October the 13th date.
Huh! I thought. That's weird. 

My mind wandered to the entry in my husbands calendar.
It wandered to the actual day and it's events. So weird. Doesn't make any sense.
Huh....... I wonder....... I wonder if......

Then......I don't know why, but I walked out of the room right up to the manager of the home and said:

I know this seems like a crazy, weird kind of question.......
But did anything happen here on October the 13th?

She just stared at me, looking kind of startled and shocked.
She pulled me aside.
Well, yes. she said in a quiet, whipser like voice.

That's the day the bed (the spot for Lindsay) became available.
How did you know? She said.
I didn't. I said.

I went on to explain the crazy story of the message from God almost a year earlier.

We just stared at each other.
This meant more to me than she could or would ever know.
Once again, I was speechless. (as you can see by my lengthy posts, this is a feat in itself).

All of the months, all of the unexpected meetings, all of the various people involved, all of the asking, all of the seeking, made sense.

I was completely dumbfounded and overwhelmingly grateful all at the same time.
This was the answer I needed to let go.
I needed to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that "this place" was "THE place".
It didn't matter if anyone else understood this or got it. I got it. We got it.

We had been the recipients of a miracle in the making.

God knew that I needed extra assurance that this was the right thing, the perfect thing, for our princess.
I needed one more sign, one more word, to silence any doubts both here and in the future.
This was it.
On October the 13th I am going to do something for you.

And He did.
Beyond what any one person could orchestrate or imagine or configure.
The above and beyond all you could ask or ever imagine kind.
The kind of miracle that is custom made for a princess.

It took a whole host of people to implement.
It took the Master hand of God.
AND it took a willingness to wait, to be bold, to ask for more, to hope, to be willing to be willing, to say yes and face the fear.

Often I look back and wonder....
  • what if we tried to move to Kelowna in our own way.. not God's way?
  • what if we never moved to Kelowna?
  • what if my dad hadn't stopped at Bethesda?
  • what if my husband thought he was hearing things, and wrote off God's voice?
  • what if I hadn't made a phone call?
  • what if John didn't take the time to care about us as a family?
  • what if I hadn't asked for what I wanted?
  • what if we were too afraid and just said no?
The possibilities for a different ending are endless. It's a miracle in the making that I will NEVER forget. (and now will have in print forever).

Looking back,  I have learned that I never did let go. I never gave up. I never lost anything.
I gave over to the best.
I gained a new family and more time to have fun with her.
I got to choose to invite others into the privilege of caring for our precious princess.
She's too spectacular not to share.

She needs the team at Bethesda, but more importantly, they need her.
They need her healing smile, her infectious giggle, her simple outlook on life. We all do.

My heart is daily filled with gratitude at this miracle, these people, this place, this princess and this miracle, given by God.
I will be forever grateful. October the 13th was the day a miracle happened that I will never forget.

Thanks for reading the story, taking the journey with me, and celebrating this miracle in the making.

What story is waiting to be written just for you?


Nadine said...

Even though I have heard this story before Cheryl, I have loved going through the journey again in such detail. What an encouragement! Thanks for being so honest and open, and making the path less scary for me and my prince! You will NEVER know the difference you have made in our lives.

Shaun and Holly said...

God is soooooo faithful! :)

Tiqvah said...

Cheryl, this is such an amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing it.. I imagine it must have been difficult to write it out.. So much emotion.. After reading the whole story, all I can think is.. wow, our God is so amazing! It's crazy how He takes the "impossible" for us and makes it possible.. Your story inspires me to believe God for the impossible things.. the miracles.. I know your story is, and will continue be an inspiration and hope to so many..<3

Maureen said...

I am in tears. Tears of Joy in knowing knowing knowing that our God is Great. Thankyou Cheryl for reminding me or perhaps all of us that sometimes we just have to let go and trust even in fearful times.
You have strengthened my faith more than you know.Bless you for sharing your heart but most of all Bless you for sharing Gods heart

Kim said...

Thanks Cheryl,
My shirt has tear stains on it now. Finished all 13 entries in one sitting. Makes me worship, calls me to trust and to take the risks He is calling me to take.
I am so thankful for you, for Sid and for Sweet Pea.

D J Futers said...


I only know your story from a distance. And I must confess - I only read Part 13 so far. But can I say... you really need to consider having this published. There's a book in there!

dawn said...

Thanks so much for sharing your extraordinary God story. I loved it! He's so much bigger and more faithful than we can see or even imagine.Your willingness to share your doubts and fears encourages us all that the Lord will carry us through no matter what we do or don't do.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. I'm so glad you were touched by the miracle.