"Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly
in prayer..." Romans 12:12
At three months, Jude's chunky little build is beginning to feel durable. My on-going fear of his four-inch incision suddenly reopening has finally subsided. After weeks of abscessing and working several stitches out, his incision at last has healed over.
He is a delightful little guy with boundless energy and ear to ear smiles. His tiny eyes are full with inquisitive discovery. Lights, fans, siblings, and sounds all spark his attention along with familiar voices. Those baby blue eyes cross with excitement as he's jolted off-guard when his own small hand somehow, involuntarily, socks him in the eye. He's a hoot and he's precious all wrapped into one. We can't seem to get enough kisses but are grateful there's plenty to go around.
This past month brought with it an abundance of mail. People from all over the country who have been praying for Jude sent us encouraging notes and testimonies. Three-hundred and sixty five cards and letters have found their way to our mailbox just this month. We do not have health insurance and have racked up over a three hundred thousand dollar NICU bill. However, for the past nine years, we've chosen to take part in a Christian share plan called Samaritan Ministries which includes over thirty-six thousand households. Jude's need, including our lodging, has been met 100% by members around the world. It overjoys our family to daily open and read these heart-felt letters that arrive. Jude is accumulating quite a scrapbook. What a blessing!
Jude weathered his first illness-the flu. I must admit, the fret over his questionable ability to overcome any illness impairing his lung(s) has been looming over me since the day we brought him home. He spent several nights sleeping in his swing in order to remain upright and proved to be a trooper through the discomfort of a high fever. But we are thankful he pulled through so smoothly.
It seems Jude's wild and wooly hair is quickly earning him a reputation. It's causing quite a fuss from the church ladies and perfect strangers while running errands. Even the gals on Facebook are commenting. With five girls who all wear barrettes, it remains a mystery to me how to tame such a nest on top of this boy's head!
Prior to our journey, I searched and read many different CDH blogs looking for answers on what to expect in the days ahead. It was discouraging, to say the least, as these babies, even those who survive, tend to not fair well overall. Now, others googling CDH from all parts of the world including Turkey, Russia, France, Ireland, Ukraine, Poland, Canada and even Israel have found and read our blog. My prayer is that with it, they will find hope. Not just in our personal outcome of this CDH journey, but in the hope and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~Jen