Sweet Caleb (right) and his beautiful siblings at Carly's graduation
I know God has a plan for my children but it is so difficult for me to totally trust Him with them. My motherly protective instincts take over and I lose focus on who is in control. I know God loves me and all five of my children. I also know He wants the best for all of us. Many times I have been guilty of asking God for help in a situation concerning one of my children and then taking the issue back to work it out on my own.
With five children, many times I have asked God for help and then took control of the situation without waiting on God to answer my prayer.
- Caleb, my special needs son, was born with a brain bleed. He has a shunt that keeps him alive. He has had 17 emergency brain surgeries. Caleb has Cerebral Palsy and Seizures. I have to keep Trusting God!
- Jonah was adopted at age 7 1/2 and suffers from many diagnoses including RAD, depression, ADHD, and more. He is currently receiving treatment. Again, I have to Trust God!
- Diana was adopted at age 4. She too suffers many diagnoses including RAD, depression, ADHD, and several learning difficulties. I have to Trust God!
- Casey will be 17 this month. He started driving this past year. I definitely have to trust God daily with this one!
- Carly, my oldest daughter, moved out this month. We were blessed to have Carly at home during college. She moved to attend medical school. She plans to be a doctor one day. I am no longer able to protect Carly all the time. I have to trust that God is protecting her!
Today, I want to share Caleb's story with you and how I had to surrender him to God. Casey and Caleb were born on August 28, 1996. Casey was a healthy baby. Caleb was breech. After thirteen days in neonatal intensive care, the doctor did an ultrasound on Caleb’s head. The ultrasound showed a bleed in his brain. This was my worst nightmare. Something was now seriously wrong with my baby.
Caleb started having seizures. The neurosurgeon operated to get rid of the spinal fluid and blood that was building up in Caleb’s brain. Caleb's bleed became critical and developed into the worst bleed possible. The surgeon put a shunt in Caleb’s head, which failed within a day. Caleb had another surgery to remove that shunt and put in an external drain. After this surgery, Caleb was given morphine for his pain.
Caleb stopped breathing several times after surgery and after morphine. A couple of times the nurses had to bring him back to life while I was holding him. Several days later we learned that Caleb had developed a staph infection in his brain. Another nightmare!!! My life was spinning out of control. I was no longer working things out on my own.
|Precious Baby Caleb in the hospital|
We were in the process of moving. Our house was being shown constantly. It finally sold but we were not ready to move. Caleb was still critical. On top of all this, Carly my oldest daughter had started Kindergarten a few days after the boys were born. I was leaving my newborn baby (Casey) at home with his dad or my mother-in-law while spending all day at the hospital. Casey was healthy and was released from the hospital four days after birth. He was no longer allowed in NICU.
I had an extremely difficult time leaving Casey, my newborn, at home. I cried often because I wanted so badly to be bonding with Casey at home. I was missing out on extremely special times. I left home every day filling an entire lake with my tears. When I returned home in the evenings and spent time with Casey, he had extremely bad colic. He cried for hours at a time. My days consisted of leaving Casey, dropping Carly off at kindergarten, and filling up another lake with my tears after leaving both of my babies. My life was spinning out of control. My plans were not working. I had to trust God that He had a plan, and that He would take care of Casey and Carly.
After two and a half months of these extremely stressful mornings, I arrived at the hospital to find several people standing over Caleb. He was screaming his lungs out. The lab tech needed to draw blood daily but this particular day Caleb had no blood to give. His pic-line was not working and they were drawing blood the regular way. I felt so helpless.
There was nothing I could do about this horrible situation but stand there and listen to Caleb scream until he could not make any more sounds. After everyone had left, I stood over him and put my hands around his face. I started sobbing uncontrollably. I remember wiping my tears from Caleb's tiny face. I told God I knew that His Word said that He would not give me more than I could handle but I could not handle anymore. I pleaded with God to TAKE CALEB TO HEAVEN or HEAL HIM. I reminded God that I was Physically, Mentally and Spiritually drained. I was alone, empty, and completely helpless.
What I was really doing was completely giving my life and all my problems over to God.
This was the first time since Caleb's birth, two and a half months before, that I realized I was helpless and needed God to show up in my life and take over completely. I have since learned that I need to humble myself when I need God to do BIG things, but I also need to humble myself before God every day. This is especially true for me when dealing with issues concerning my children.
One week after I prayed and totally gave Caleb to God, Caleb was released from the hospital. He has had many more shunt failures and surgeries. At age seven, he had ten emergency brain surgeries within three months. During this time, Caleb and I lived in the hospital during Christmas. I was separated from my other children on Christmas Day.
We have had many more very difficult times with Caleb, but my first experience with totally surrendering him to God helps remind me that God is in control. God has a plan for Caleb, and He loves Caleb, Casey, Carly, Jonah, and Diana more than I do. God just wants me to totally give every situation to Him and trust that He will work everything out.
If you are experiencing a difficult situation with a child, totally give it to God! I hope you receive His peace and know He is working everything out!!
Diane Roark www.recipesforourdailybread.com