Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Hi Friends!

I'm sorry, I've been so absent from the blogosphere. On the one hand we've been busy with life and taking care of Alicia. On the other hand part of me has felt that things have been pretty steady and there isn't too much to report. 

But allow me to catch you up a bit on the last few months.

In the few months since my last post, we've been busy. In July, my mom, brother, and sister-in-law came to visit for us for a few weeks. That was a lot of fun. I especially loved meeting my new niece, Hope, for the first time, and seeing her and Alicia interact and play together. 

Hope and Alicia were originally due two weeks apart last September, so it was interesting to observe Hope and see her size, and her development knowing that Alicia developmentally should actually be about at the same place. I know that as parents we're not supposed to compare. And I wasn't really comparing in the "who's better" kind of way, but I was just kind of using Hope as a reference. 

In the end, I realized that each child is unique, and it was good to see what a kid born under normal circumstances would be like, but also to appreciate all that Alicia has been through and to celebrate who she is and her uniqueness. 

During the time of my family's visit, Alicia started creeping and doing the "army crawl" as some people call it. At first, I had thought it was a fluke. One day I put Alicia down on the floor, I turned my back, and the next thing I knew she was farther away from me than I remembered. I thought I was maybe seeing things, but as the days progressed, I noticed her getting farther and farther away, until it was pretty clear, that, yes, indeed, our daughter was mobile. 

And boy was she mobile. Before things like wires and stuff were no threat, now we have to constantly watch her and set up barriers, otherwise, we will end up with a big mess, in many, many ways. 

So that's a huge thing to celebrate and be grateful over. 

Another great thing is that through some family connections we were able to get Alicia an appointment with one of the premier pediatric physical therapy hospitals in Taiwan.  While Alicia has been getting regular checkups and evaluations at our current hospital, and for the most part was falling under the range of "normal", our pediatrician still recommended that we take Alicia to another hospital for a second opinion. I think she saw a few things in Alicia that indicated slight developmental delays, so she felt that it might be better to go to a hospital with a stronger physical therapy department. 

We went to one hospital and we just got a bad feeling all around. The doctor there barely gave us the time of day. When we walked into the office, he didn't even look at Alicia. He simply looked at her records, entered it into the computer and then sent us away to set up an appointment for therapy. When we went to set up the appointment we were told that there was a waiting list and that we would need to wait two to three weeks for a physical therapist to become available and SIX MONTHS for a speech therapist. SIX MONTHS! Well, thinking there was nothing we could do, we put Alicia on the list. 

One month later we still had not heard a word from this hospital. Even though they had told us they'd be in touch in a couple of weeks. BIG RED X on that hospital. Thankfully in the meantime, my aunt whose father (my great-uncle) has a lot of connections with doctors was able to contact one of the heads of physical therapy at another local hospital. Things at this hospital were a completely different story. 

They too were booked solid, but thankfully because of our connections, we were able to get Alicia an appointment with a team of therapists that was recently vacated because of a cancellation. Within a week, Linda and Alicia were at the hospital visiting with a team of therapist and setting up appointments for further evaluation. 

Over the next few weeks, Linda took Alicia to meet with four therapists- a physical therapist, a cognitive therapist, an occupational therapist and a speech therapist. Each evaluated Alicia and wrote their prognosis of Alicia's development up to that point. The evaluation covered things like, motor skills (sitting, creeping, crawling, etc...), speech (cooing, babbling, etc...), cognitive skills (picking things up, reaching, etc...),

Today, Linda went back to get the results. Unfortunately, the results were not as glowing as we had hoped.
When you think of it, we could definitely use your prayers for both Linda and Alicia.
First, they weighed Alicia and in the two months since she was last weighed, she's only gained about 3 ounces which is really not a lot at all. Now we're not sure if it's just because there is a discrepancy between the scales at the two hospitals or what, but this bit of news was a little disheartening for Linda. I'm sure you can imagine, as a mom, you really hope and pray that your kids are getting bigger and stronger every day. And especially for a Mom of a preemie, you really hope that they're getting heavier and growing. You hope that all the struggle of trying to get your baby to eat would result in some weight-gain. But to find out that she's barely gained any weight at all is a bit discouraging.
Then, she met with the cognitive therapist and he shared some concern because a few months ago when they did the evaluation, they felt that Alicia was doing pretty well, she was cooing and making sounds and doing about 80% of what other kids at her age were doing. But now, she's almost one year old (based on her original due date) and according to the therapist, Alicia hasn't progressed very much since her evaluation.
So after hearing the news, Linda was just feeling really down and discouraged and really doubting her capabilities as a mother. She was feeling like she was not doing enough for Alicia, and that she was taking her out too much, and being too lax with her schedule, etc... Doubts that I'm sure many moms face. Definitely, definitely lies from the enemy.
To add insult to injury, after walking out of the therapist office, she saw other moms with their babies and all of them had their moms or mother-in-laws with them supporting them. And being that both of our moms are in the states, she was just feeling like she was on her own dealing with all of this. Now, Linda is a strong woman, so for her to feel like this really shows that she's struggling. As a husband it's hard for me to hear this, because I want to be there to support her and to encourage her, but I couldn't because I've got my work responsibilities.
Praise God though, that he is ever present and he is always with us wherever we go. We are never alone. And Linda knows that and she takes great comfort in that. And praise God that Alicia's life and development is in his hands. The doctors are experts but they are not God. They can only evaluate based on what they know from past experience. Our God is Jehovah Rapha the great healer. He is Alicia's creator and he knows how her body works.

So I have no doubt that Alicia is going to be perfectly healthy and normal. God gave us  a verse for Alicia when she was still in her incubator.
Psalm 118:17 "I will not die, but live and proclaim what the LORD has done." 

Alicia WILL proclaim what the Lord has done, and while yes, I know that there are many ways to proclaim other than through words, but I BELIEVE that she is meant to proclaim through speech the miracles that the LORD has done in her life and in her body. I KNOW and I KNOW that my daughter will speak. She will run. She will dance. She will sing. She will play. She will pray. She will do all of the things that any healthy child will do and MORE! 

And once again, I am faced with the decision, do I listen to the therapist and get discouraged or do I take it as a message from God showing us how to pray and how to bless our little girl. I am going to take it as the second, thank you! And I rejoice! I rejoice that God has shown us how to pray and what to pray for. I rejoice that we get to witness in so many, so many ways God's miraculous power. 

You know, we all want miracles, but none of us want to be in a place where we need to receive one. Well, I thank God that he has put us in a place where we can not only see him work, but also that we can be witnesses and proclaim his miraculous work in our lives. I thank him for showing us where there is "lack" so we can pray "fullness" and "completeness" into that void. 

It is an absolute privilege to be aware of where things are maybe not ideal, and then to watch how God make the undesirable things into fantastic things, how he takes the imperfections and weaves them into masterpieces. So, yeah, I love that we are now aware of where Alicia might have some challenges, so we get to see how he's going to remove them and make them into her advantages. Yes!

We thank the Lord, that he has provided for us a place where Alicia can get amazing help, so that she can get a leg up. We thank the Lord, that we live in a country where these things are covered by insurance, so we are barely paying anything out of pocket for all of this. 

SO PRAISE GOD. PRAISE GOD that we are made aware of a "problem". So that we can watch how he solves it. How exciting!

Right now, I'm waiting to hear back from Linda about the other therapists. But I have peace. I'll try to keep you posted as the information comes in, but in the meantime, join with us, will you?! Let's pray complete healing and wholeness for Alicia. Pray that she would catch up developmentally and even surpass those of the same age group. Also praying for peace for Linda that she would know that she is a great Mom and just be able to give any discouragement over to God. And just pray that Linda and I would have wisdom on how to help Alicia, to be the best parents we can be, and to train her up in the way that SHE should go!
Thanks for walking with us through all of this. You guys are the best!

P.S. I forgot one HUGE praise! It's a well-known fact that preemies and ex-preemies often have weaker immune systems than most. We've heard many stories and warnings of preemies who are constantly getting sick. Well, not our Alicia, by God's grace, in the 10 months that we've had her at home with us, she has only had a slight cold once, and has been otherwise the epitome of health! We are SO SO thankful and rejoice over that. As anyone with kids knows, having a sick baby is no fun. So we thank God for protecting Alicia and keeping her so healthy and strong. =D More Lord, More!


  1. So thankful you found some good therapists. I know this can be tough, discouraging news to take and it's hard not to second-guess yourself. If it helps, I have 2 kids I've raised the same way and one qualified for therapy in 3 areas while the other was advanced in most so please don't blame yourselves or feel like you didn't do enough. Some kids just need a little extra help. I'm sure God will use you to minister to her therapists and to other parents dealing with similar issues.

  2. I'm going through something similar with Caleb right now so I can definitely relate to how Linda's feeling--except that my kid is very sick right now too.

  3. Campbell, thanks for sharing about what's going on. I love your attitude and insights and faith. It's encouraging! You tell Linda she is a fantastic mom. I've not been able to "watch" her, of course, but I don't have an ounce of doubt that she is the best mom for Alicia! Love you guys!