another day...

Sometimes it is hard to know what to post. We are into our second week with Janneke's hospital stay, and yet we feel ages away from the time before her birth. We wrestle with our emotions - sadness, fear, joy... Our journey that began with Rachel almost three years ago seems to be repeating itself.

We have received a lot of emails, comments, and phonecalls in the last 10 days. We are so thankful for your prayers and support; it is amazing and overwhelming to be carried by saints from all over this globe. Some of you are new friends, and so we wanted to include a bit of background in this post regarding our family's story.

We have four daughters - Emily (7), Sophia (5), Rachel (almost 3) and Janneke... Our family's story took a surprising turn three years ago when doctors told us that Rachel would be born with a number of concerns. These concerns became hurdles for Rachel after birth- breathing, eating, and her growth and development. Today, Rachel is almost three. She is a joy to our family with her contagious smile, but she has limited mobility and is tube-fed (nothing by mouth). This year, she will be getting a portacath (to help with bloodwork and IV access when she needs it) and several other investigative tests. She has wonderful nurses who care for her in our home, and we are blessed with wonderful people who have been trained to care for her outside the nurses' shifts. Rachel's needs are attended to by staff at McMaster Children's Hospital and the Niagara Peninsula Children's Centre. Because she is unique, she also followed by genetics at Sick Kids in Toronto. We had been told previously that her special needs and concerns do not seem genetically inherited, but Janneke's similarities are now bringing that statement into question.

Now we have Janneke in our family - and we love her too. She is not sucking and swallowing very well, so we are feeling sad about this. She will be followed closely by an occupational therapist and ENT (ear, nose, throat) this week to determine the cause for her inability. Her brain activity will also be examined with an MRI to further understand her disposition. She is a quiet little girl, and this is has the docs a bit concerned. It seems that some of her tests indicate "normalness" and other tests show concerns. We are trying to lay all of this in the hands of the Lord, surrendering our daughter to His care.... not hanging on the words of each doctor that visits. We are so thankful for the intelligence and science that can help Janneke, but we know that ultimately the future is in His hands. It is HARD to trust, but we are trying.

Some of you have asked how to help.... We will rely on your prayers and support for a long time. This is not a short story... This is a lifetime of faith, hope, and trust. Lamentations 3:19-23