Jordan’s testimony

I have been asked over the last week to write up a one-page testimony of Jordan’s life for possibly sharing with our congregation (900 people?!). I wanted to post it here as an integral part of our lives.

 We learned on Sept. 17, 1997 that we were expecting our 1st son. That day was memorable. It touched me at my core that I was pregnant with a boy. I had the feeling deep in my being that this child was special. I had always wanted to be pregnant at Christmas and I so related to Michael Card’s song “Mary did you know?” as it was played throughout December. – Christmas came when I was 7-1/2 months pregnant.

 

On February 5th, 1998, Jordan David came into the world. He was not breathing, moving, his color was poor, and his heart was beating very slowly. However, following intervention, 5minutes after he was born, he was a great looking newborn. The next day, Willie and I looked at one another as we traveled home with our beautiful son in the car seat next to me. I voiced my surprise that we were even bringing this child home.

 

At 4 months, we found a lump on his thigh. It was almost like we were waiting for a bomb to drop into our lives. But this wasn’t it. This was a reaction to a vaccination.

 

However, as the next couple months went on we were faced with the fact that something was very wrong with our 7 month old infant. As a nurse, I was able to put a fairly comprehensive list of symptoms together for our pediatrician and he saw us that very day. The next day, we learned that our little son had a tumor the size of a golf ball in his brain. He was sicker than we knew, and they admitted him overnight to strengthen his dehydrated body and reduce swelling in his brain. We then had 3 days at home with him before brain surgery.

 

September 29th, 1998… surgery day. The tumor type was not what the doctors were expecting, but by God’s design, Jordan’s neurosurgeon was the leading expert on this very rare tumor type. We were told that most doctors would have closed him up and said “We’re sorry…”. The tumor was completely removed, but complications kept coming following surgery. Jordan could no longer swallow or breathe easily. A feeding tube and tracheostomy were placed. He had seizures, brain bleeds, and 3 weeks in ICU– all of this prior to the start of chemo.

 

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s… all of these first holidays were spent in the hospital. His first trip home following surgery was February 3rd, two days before his 1st birthday. 127 straight days in the hospital. 5 days later he went back to Children’s for another round of chemo, and 67 more days in the hospital until his 6 rounds of chemo were completed.

 

In July, 3 months after chemo was completed, Jordan had his first follow-up MRI. The news was shocking: the cancer had already returned. Jordan had more surgery, with more complications, followed by 2-1/2 months of specialized radiation in Loma Linda, CA. The Lord made it possible for our family of 4 to remain together during this whole time.

 

In May of 2000, Jordan’s throat was finally strong enough to have his trach removed – what a day that was! During all of Jordan’s trach days, we had nurses in our home at least 16 hours/day – and our house was tiny! But the ultimate in bad news was delivered the following day: Jordan’s cancer was back for a 3rd time, and this time it had spread to other places within his brain. This time, the doctor’s said “We’re sorry…” The tumor that these doctors had originally calculated at a 1% survival rate was back and there was no further treatment they could suggest. We were allowed a Make-a-Wish trip to Disney World so Jordan could see Tigger and enjoy warm weather and water. Despite the bittersweet aspects of this trip, we were so thankful for this special gift of a family vacation.

 

By this time, Jordan’s prayer circle had grown to number into the thousands, and all we could do was continue to lift him up. The question that kept coming to me was “Do you believe?” And my answer continually was, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24). Obviously, there are people in this very room who are praying this same thing for themselves or a loved one. And for some reason, God chose to give us the gift of a different type of phone call on August 4th, 2000: “By report,” the oncologist recorded on our answering machine, [this scan shows] “…no evidence of disease”.

 

All we can figure at this point is what John says in his gospel: “this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (John 9:3). So, the next time you see a little red-headed boy scooting through the foyer in his walker, may it be a reminder of the amazing grace and power of our Father. Nothing is too difficult for Him.

 

Baseball and a bonus

Ready at 3rd baseJordan finally had a day ball game, and it was beautiful. We were in Snohomish and it reached 70 degrees. It’s amazing to think that last Saturday’s game was snowed out! (And the Saturday before that was 83!)

Bekah’s friend, Molly, and Ashley’s friend, Summer, joined us out at the field today, and then the younger girls helped me wash the car when we got home.

Willie and I got a chance to go to dinner tonight at Red Robin, thanks to a b’day coupon that I had from their b’day club. Last night, Willie participated as a driver in a youth event where he drove a vanload of girls around on a scavenger hunt. When he got home last night he told me about some of the amazing and gross things the girls did in an effort to beat the guys (which they did). So tonight, we’re on our way out of the restaurant when Willie heads to the bathroom to wash the burger off his hands. Moments later, he is shooing me out the door… “Come on, Come on!” He’s acting like something really weird was going on in there. Turns out someone has had too much to drink, too much sun, or just plain should be home in bed, cuz this poor guy was SICK. As we walked to the car, Willie tried to clear his mind of those sounds and then the thought of the previous night’s activities came to mind. During the previous night’s youth event (a type of point-building scavenger hunt), having guys vs. girls created some fierce competition. One of the big ‘point getters’ was to get one person to spit into another person’s mouth (!). So, having a competitive group of gals, they made the decision to do whatever it took to score points – resulting in a spit-swapping event. At the time, one girl spitting into the mouth of another girl was just about enough to make Willie sick, but now, as he thought about it again and had the pleasant sounds of someone vomiting reverberating in his head, it was enough to cause him to be physically sick right there in the Red Robin parking lot! I tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever been on a date and had them throw up!! He is so good natured; I was allowed a really big laugh over the whole thing. Still can’t believe it! “Swapping Spit.” It’ll make me smile for a while!

Expelled: The Movie

I went and saw Expelled: The Movie with Ashley this evening. I have been waiting to see this movie for almost 2 months now and am so thankful for a movie like this to come out. If you haven’t seen or heard about it, check out the website, but basically it is a documentary by Ben Stein about battle that is going on in mainstream science between Darwinists and those who would even entertain the possibility of Intelligent Design (ID). Following interviews with numerous professors and scientists who have lost their jobs due to even mentioning ID, Ben puts the pieces of the puzzle together to see that Hitler’s philosophy was Darwinistic in nature. Natural selection, by human hands.

It was especially poignant to point out to Ashley that the philosophy of all ill, weak, or disabled people being put to death (to reduce the strain on society and the gene pool) would have included her brother had we lived at that time. What an awful period in world history.

I can not do the movie justice by discussing it here. This possibly dry documentary (it is Ben Stein) was far from dull, and was educational and entertaining throughout. In the end, comparisons were drawn to the Berlin wall which was erected to keep out new ideas. As the movie closed, and the wall began to fall, the audience in our theater erupted in applause.

It is not a Christian movie (Ben being a Jew), but for kids old enough to be studying WWII and all the attrosities of Auschwitz, it is a great tool to engage in conversation regarding the pervasiveness of this theory, it’s consequences, and why we – beyond a shadow of a doubt – believe in just what the Bible says. We have experienced God, we choose to obey Him, and it is His word that tells us about Him and has the answers we seek.

By the way, even 6 year old Bekah is impacted by this pervasive thought pattern. She pulled out of her hat yesterday, “Animals are people, too.” What?! This is the girl who has never attended public school, goes to Sunday School, AWANA, and has pretty much all Christian friends – to say nothing of the teaching she receives at home! It was a slow process for the reality to sink in that God made man (in His image), then the animals, and then made a suitable helper for Adam. Animals are NOT people. Always training…

Baseball, Bowling and Poetry

Ashley had a ‘tween bowling event today with Homeschooling His Way. There wasn’t a great turn out, but those who came had a good time.

Jordan had his second baseball game of the season against his old teammates, the Pirates. He got a couple nice hits off the tee and ran the bases with increasing speed. They all had a great time, though we’re ready for warmer weather at the games! His next game is Saturday afternoon.

Bekah was introduced to Haiku today and wrote a couple with some help. It’s great work with a focus on syllables. Remember that 5,7,5 syllable pattern? Here are some samples of her work today:

Gabriella

Koalas are so

Cute and cuddly, I love

To snuggle with her.

Online Fun

Anna, Lana and

Gabriella, my Webkinz

I love them so much.

Our first family golf outing

We took our first family golf outing back on April 2, but I thought it’d be fun to have the pictures on here. We went to the Nile course in Shoreline…

Ceramics and Exercise

Bekah whips paint onto her cupcake toothbrush holderToday started off with Ashley and I going for a nice walk on a beautifully sunny (yet chilly 36 degrees) morning. When we got back, Willie and Bekah were at it on the ‘exercise floor’. Other activities today included ceramics painting in Mill Creek with WAVA. Ashley painted a cool bowl, Bekah did a toothbrush holder that looked like a cupcake, and I did a salad bowl. It’s always fun to do, and exciting to see the final results once they are fired and we get to pick them up. After ceramics, it was off to the orthodontist for placement of Ashley’s permanent bottom retainer. Sometime today, Bekah and I will get some school work done!

The snow is gone, the sun is out

Under the leg!Willie takes and makes a shot on the Daddy-size hoopBekah plays ballShe shoots... she scores!Jordan plays WiiAlthough there was more snow on the ground this morning, by the afternoon we warmed into the 50s and it all melted. Many trees in the area have minor to major injuries to them due to the snow being too much for their new growth. It’s sad to see all that fresh wood exposed and beautiful trees ripped apart.

When Willie got home, he and Bekah headed outside for some basketball in the driveway. Jordan stayed inside and played Tiger Woods Golf on Wii.

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