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Saturday, February 13, 2010

"How's it going...How are you doing?....How is Josie?"

Let me start off by saying thanks for all of the prayers concerning Sampson. (my last post) His big brown eyes just spoke "help" when you looked at them. My sweet Saviour decided that it was time for Sampson to be out of pain and that it was time for his fight here on earth to be over. He passed away on Saturday (malaria) and is now feeling "complete" in the arms of Jesus. While I find GREAT comfort in that, I also can't help to think of all of the times that Josie had malaria and survived. On two different occasions Katie was holding her and felt sure that she would draw her last breath. How many more children are out there JUST like Sampson and Josie? Hhhmmmm.... I guess I'll never REALLY know.

The question that I am asked continuously these days. Eyebrows down, sincere facial expressions, "How are you doing? How are things going? How is Josie Love?"

On my plane ride home from Uganda I would look at Josie's little frame sleeping in the seat next to me. She had a fever of 103 and all she did was sleep and when awake she would smile. It was as though she knew " I am going home with my Mommy." Just the sight of her made my heart ache like never before. There is an unusual feeling in my heart when I think of her life. The word that comes to mind is HELPLESS. She was helpless and I was helpless. There was nothing that I could do to make her better. So, I held her in my arms and kissed her forehead over and over in my helplessness.

After 20 hours on the plane with her I came home ON A MISSION. I might be helpless but I was going to do everything in my power to get her little heart and body on the mends.

We have run every test imaginable. After looking at her charts the other day I had a doctor say " whatever medical care that Josie lacked in Africa, you have made up for it here! Everything possible has been checked." I sat back in my chair feeling comforted that my mission was being accomplished. We will be doing an MRI on her within the next few weeks to check the puffiness over her eyelids and her sinus cavities. We will also be lifting her eyelids sometime within the next few months. The doctor said that the puffiness over her eyes is like a set of little weights. It is taking every bit of strength that she can muster up just to blink. It takes her lifting her eyebrows each time she blinks to actually get her eyes open. The doctor said "all I can say is this little one must really feel like she has a lot in life to see because most children would just give up and close their eyes." Yes! she has a LOT to look for.....a mommy, daddy, and 6 siblings that love her with every inch of their heart. Now THAT is worth holding your eyes open! Please start praying for her now. She will have to be put to sleep for both procedures.

She has been on her ARV's (meds for the HIV) for about a month now. Every month we will go visit our infectious disease doctor for them to draw blood and check her viral loads. (Her viral loads are the amount of HIV virus that is in her blood) Last week we had a HUGE praise.
Her viral loads had gone from over 700,000 to 1,800!!!! How is that possible? We serve a BIG God. My doctor seems to think that as well as she is responding to the meds that her HIV should be UNDETECTABLE by next month. SERIOUSLY? There are THOUSANDS of children JUST LIKE HER all over the world that would respond to treatment just like her given the chance!

I have the best analogy for her.I told Mike the other day that I am watching her her grow from a little caterpillar in the dark corner (with no legs and eyes closed) to a beautiful butterfly sprouting her wings. I can't wait to see all of the colors in her wings. SOON, she will be WIDE eyed, flittering and fluttering all over the place.

Her eyes have gone from being dull and expressionless to joyful, full of life and love. Ask anybody that knows her. Just to look at her puts a smile on your face. She lights up and offers hugs to every person that knocks on our front door. She makes me laugh OUT LOUD each and every day. To know her is to love her.

So, the answer to "How's it going? How are you doing? How is Josie..........HOPEFUL. EACH day, step by step, moment by moment I am HOPEFUL.


Jim and April said...

crying as I type this...there are no words to share with you how this post and how Josie's life has touched mine...thank you God for Josie!

3 Blessings said...

Oh so beautiful! God has such wonderful things planned for her. May eyes be opened through her beautiful heart and life. Thank you for always sharing your heart.

I hope to meet you at one of the fellowship gatherings.

ashley said...

Praise God for this little girl and all that your family is doing! Your family is a testimony and one of the reasons that I will-Lord willing-be going on a missions trip to Africa! Thanks so much for going where God called you!

Andrea said...

Praise God!

Jim and April said...

check out my recent received something!

We Are Family said...

This is a great post. Praise the Lord. I love to read about Josie's progress. She is a living testimony of God's hand of protection.

Jenn in GA said...

lots to cheer about in this post!! i'm glad you are so tenacious, and that God has given Josie you as her advocate.

Kristi J said... if you'd just bring that cutie around so I can get my hands on her :) kj

The Young Family said...

I'm heartbroken to hear about Samson...and this post stirs me to OPEN MY HEART to ANYTHING the Lord has for us. Thank you Suzanne for sharing Josie Love with us. When you got home and shared her story, our family just fell in love with her. She opened my eyes to some things and already being on a waitlist for a child in Ethiopia we called our agency and told them we were open to MORE unknowns/special needs. Honestly, I feel open to ANYTHING the Lord has for us...a chance for a child to have a FAMILY and a chance for a child to know the Savior! I will keep praying for sweet Josie Love...and hope I get to meet her one day!

The Working Home Keeper said...

Praise the Lord! Continued prayers for Josie and your family.

Mary Ellen

theheartofachild said...

Oh....this post has me in tears!!! Thank you for sharing...I am learning SO MUCH from following your Josie journey! My Spiritual Eyes are OPENING. Praising God with you for her full recovery and miraculous healing!

Kim said...

Covered in chills and trying to type thru the tears!
Praising God for such miraculous works & continuing to pray for Josie Love as she grows those beautiful butterfly wings!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

Kendra said...

I love that you want to share this with us all. Thank you for explaining and sharing what's going on--then I know exactly what to pray for. You have a HUGE miracle and I am blessed to have come in contact with you. Kisses to Josie Love and the rest of your sweet kiddos. Wow! What a family you have!

Vashti said...

I just found your blog and I am so happy that I did! My hubby and I live in SOuth Africa and have 2 adopted Zulu sons. We run an organization that Cares for AIDS orphans. My heart fills with joy and hope when I read your stories and I see the photos of josie love. I pray for more families to come forward and open their hearts and arms to these children. EVERY child needs a family, HIV+ or not. Thankyou for making a difference and being an example of God's love.
I will be praying for you all.
God Bless.

Beautiful Mess said...

Praying and praising! To God be the glory!


Diane said...

haven't commented in a while:) BUT...boy, your sweet butterfly spoke straight to my heart!! Upon walking towards our last flight home, four of my daughters with me and my husband. We just spent two weeks in China meeting our daughter who was close to five years old. Along, with my husband and myself, we had our daughters who were 17, 5 and 2 with us to welcome home their sister, Jadyn(Gwen knows Jadyn's story, ask her :) anywho...our two year old, Joy and Jadyn were running up ahead of us and Jim stopped me and said look what is stitched onto the back of their shirts, when I had bought the shirts, I just thought the front of the shirt was sooo cute with embroidered butterflies scattered across the front...but, on the back, well, I'd never looked at the back until the day we were boarding the return flight home to the USA, the back of their shirts read..."FLY, FLY BUTTERFLY"!!! We were so moved at that moment how our daughters born of China, who had survived insurmountable odds...truly were beautiful butterflies in flight HOME!!! We now have those words in lettering in their playroom....Josie is a beautiful butterfly, and, how Blessed, really, really Blessed we are to watch our Treasures spread their beautiful little wings and fly!!!

Meredith said...

I love your story. And Josie's story. I just returned from 4 months in Uganda and I read your blog the whole time I was there. Due in large part to your story and other stories I encountered in Uganda...the Lord laid it on my heart to go to grad school so I could help serve HIV/AIDS orphans. Thank you for sharing your story. My prayers are with your family.

RaVae Erickson said...

And oh how Joy fills me every time I read a new post from you! Your outlook on life. Your perspective. God has truly blessed you beyond measure, but you don't take advatage of it. You enJOY it! You don't whine and cry and complain every time something fails to go your way. Instead, you share the experience and the struggle and allow all of us to learn from it. We enJOY you and I thank you for all you do!

Laura said...

God is good.

Our director did tell us that many HIV children reverse within a year of coming home. :o) yay!

Over-Caffeinated X 4 said...

One foot in front of the other sister... and can I just tell you how absolutely jealous I am of the description of your plane flight. Mine was 22 hours of walking around the plane, excusing myself past Russians standing in the aisles, wanting a cigarette! :) (The Russians, not me! :)

From a full heart... said...

Chills, tears and a great big HALLELUJAH! I am so happy for good news! Praise God!!

Schenk Family Blog said...

Praise Jesus for you and Mike and your are such an encouragement to us as we are on our new jouney of adopting from Uganda through "Generations".....we are praying for Josie and her upcoming procedueres. Pray for us as there has been a (hopefully) temporary delay in issuing visas for kids that are being adopted by legal guardianship....great blessings to you.....Jill S.

Renee said...

Even though I know this story up close, reading your words brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart! You are such an inspiration, and I love you dearly. SO very thankful for Josie Love and all the joy and hope she brings us all!! And we stand with you and thank our BIG GOD for what He has done and is doing!!


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I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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