“Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Proverbs 13:12 (ESV)
“Leo is going to need years of follow up and possible surgeries.” Is a little bit of what Leo’s cardiologist shared with us today. I had asked him for a possible timeframe and our desire to move overseas as soon as possible. As the verse above explains, your heart becomes a little sick when you hear your desired expectations become postponed or put to rest.
Leo had his first sedated echocardiogram today at Sick Kids’ Cardiac Diagnostic and Interventional Unit (CDIU). After he drifted off into a peaceful slumber, thanks to some nasty-tasting stuff, Mark’s sister and I were able to visit with beautiful baby Ava. She’s been at Sick Kids since she was born, for almost two months now! Her four siblings and dad are staying at Ronald McDonald House while her mom and her stay at Sick Kids, patiently waiting for her to grow into her shunt, begin gaining weight, and be able to eat on her own. What an incredible testimony her family has been!
While Leo was still pretty drowsy, the CDIU team also performed an ECG and a nurse from the pacemaker clinic came to do her readings. The bottom chamber of his heart is relying 100% on the pacemaker is one thing she said, and as she slowly turned off the pacemaker the heart rate on the monitor dropped down to 50bpm. Again I become so incredibly thankful for that wonderful piece of equipment running inside of him, increasing his beats to around 130. At the rate his heart is functioning, she said that his pacemaker should last the next 7 years, but their desire is to decrease the energy it puts out so that the battery will last longer.
After Leo woke up we left to go meet with his cardiologist. Dr. Jaeggi was very happy with his weight gain (Leo weighed 8lbs 7oz when he was born, 7lbs 7oz when he was discharged, and currently is weighing in at 10lbs 6oz). In regards to when Leo’s next surgery will take place, they are waiting for him to grow into his pulmonary artery band, which could be anywhere from 3 months to 12 months depending on how quickly he grows. They are also waiting for his right ventricle to catch up and become equal with the left ventricle. It was all a little fast today, but we’re also waiting to see signs that his body is not coping with the mixed amounts of de-oxygenated blood in his ventricles (and the doctor seemed to believe we’ll see those signs soon *sigh*). Leo’s next appointment at Sick Kids will be in May for an echo and a possible heart catheter measurement, but he’ll be going to the hospital in London for a pacemaker clinic on February 21st.
So for now we are currently in a time of waiting. Waiting for arteries to grow and for lips to turn blue. Waiting and trusting in the plans of our wonderful Lord. Yes, there are tribes that are unreached and we are willing to go now, but the Lord has something else in mind for us at this moment it seems. Though He desires all people to be saved, His sanctifying work in us is also His priority (thanks for the encouraging reminder of that today, Kris). It can be so frustrating for myself not to know how to plan out our days, but for now we know that the Lord has us staying in Canada for at least a year. We’re still hoping and desiring to head to Asia-Pacific as soon as possible, unless the Lord uses the life of our son to direct our path elsewhere.
So with a lot of thought and prayer, we’ve decided to begin working on my Canadian permanent residency application, as my student visa expires in August. Online it says the process can take around 14 months in total, but we’re praying that it will happen sooner (just in case Leo recovers quickly).
On another note. Leo has another friend, baby Aleeda, at Sick Kids who has been waiting for a heart transplant for around 9 months now. She is about to celebrate her first birthday, and some kids at our church are wanting to collect 1,000 birthday cards for her. Please read this blog post to find out more about how you can be involved and as the girls put it, “We can’t get a heart for her. But — we can show her God’s heart for her.”
Please be in prayer for all of us who are waiting: that the application will go through smoothly, that Ava will grow into her shunt, that Leo’s body will prepare for a major open heart surgery, that Aleeda will have a heart transplant, and for unreached people groups who are waiting to hear the good news of Jesus Christ for the first time.
“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 27:14 (NASB)