So I realize I didn't give much of an update once we got moved out of PICU and then discharged home. Thursday morning Daniel was finally stable enough to go up to the floor. We were put in a room with another mom and baby. I spoke with her a little, but did not get the full story as to why her child was in the hospital. He seemed very healthy to me. That night I overheard the nurse tell the mother that her son could not have anything to eat or drink after 3 am. So I knew that meant he was having some sort of a procedure the next day. NPO babies are not happy babies so we had a long night. The next morning when the cardiologist came by to see Daniel, he then went across the room to see this other baby boy. So now I knew he was having heart surgery. A few minutes later he was taken to the OR and the mom was having a very hard time. I inquired about her son and she told me who their surgeon was. Same guy as ours. So in that moment I was able to comfort this mother, as I had seen first hand how incredible of a surgeon this man was. I assured her that her baby was in wonderful hands. I also showed her Daniel's very well healed incision from less than a week ago. When she realized he was also a heart baby, you could see relief immediately come over her.
Later that day they were getting the room ready to bring up another baby. I was sure it would be the baby that had surgery right before Daniel. But it wasn't. It was the baby that was so critically ill just a couple days before. I couldn't believe it. He looked incredible. The next morning he was running laps around the room and dancing with his big sister. This is why I love peds. Kids are so resilient! The mother wasn't allowed back that day her baby was so sick. She probably had no idea how bad it really was. So she definitely didn't understand why seeing her boy run brought tears to my eyes.
On Friday morning, Melanie arrived. Melanie is a pedi CVICU nurse in Houston, and because the Lord is so good, she was able to make a last minute trip to Bolivia. She actually volunteered with CDA a few years ago, and we got put in touch through a mutual friend a little while back. We had been in constant communication over the last few weeks, but didn't actually meet face to face until Friday. Of course, there was an instant and beautiful friendship. I was so thankful she was able to come.
Saturday morning we were promised to be discharged home. 1:00 they told us. Yeah, well in Bolivia things don't ever happen on time, ever. So we knew that meant 2:00 at the earliest. Finally, a nurse came in to tell us to go downstairs to get our bill. Melanie and I run downstairs to be greeted with a bill for 86,000 Bolivianos. That's around $12,000. We looked at each other and laughed. We were not paying privately. Solidarity Bridge and various other donors were covering the medical expenses. However, they went on to tell us that they had no proof of that. So unless we payed in cash right then, we weren't leaving the hospital. We had 30 minutes to get this resolved before they went home until Monday. We started working like mad women to get this figured out. After various phone calls and lots of persistence, the hospital realized they had misplaced the document that stated we were covered through another foundation. Again, they tried to tell us it wouldn't get resolved until Monday, but Melanie and I were practically a brick wall between the two of us- no one was leaving until they had this fixed and we were discharged. A half hour later, we were on our way home! Thank you Jesus!
Home being to the Booher's house. The Booher's are an amazing family from Oregon. They have lived in Bolivia for almost two years now, and have served as the fourth house for CDA. They have 6 children of their own and usually had about 4 additional CDA babies in their home. They have slowly been transitioning the babies back to the main house since they leave in a couple months, but last week they stepped up and offered to take Daniel for the month of June. This was a huge answer to our prayers about what would be next for him. He really needs to continue to have one on one care for the next few weeks. I was terrified of him going back too early, and getting an infection or getting sick. But when the Booher's stepped up, it couldn't have been more perfect.
So Saturday I got Melanie and Daniel settled over there. She will be in Bolivia for a few more days to help the Booher's learn how to best care for him. Saying goodbye Saturday night was hard. I have a whole new appreciation for foster parents. People who bring children into their homes, knowing it's temporary. If my heart didn't belong to Jesus, then the moment I handed Daniel over would have absolutely crushed me. But because I have a God I can trust in and embrace His everlasting peace, I could praise Him even as I handed the baby over that I had cared for this last month and loved so deeply.
Multiple people have asked me if coming home was hard. If I am depressed to no longer be with Daniel. And I can confidently say no, I am just fine. Yes, I miss him. I pray there is a day I get to hold him in my arms again. But when I look back at this last month, at the beginning of when this all started, I cannot be anything but oh so thankful. Everything worked out perfectly. In certain moments, I didn't seem to think so. When I first got there, I was very doubtful surgery would happen while I was there, if at all. He was so sick, I was scared the Lord had brought me to Bolivia to be with a baby while he died. It sounds terrible, but with the situation that was in front of me in that moment, that's what it seemed like. But the thing is, I could only see that moment. God sees the beginning and the end. He is the alpha and the omega. And now that I can see more of the picture, I see where God's hand was in every moment every step of the way.
Daniel got strong enough for surgery. It got scheduled promptly. It was preformed without complication. He defied all odds in the PICU. He was discharged home. And the Lord has provided him the specific care he has needed every step of the way. So many people came together to save this baby's life. We have so much to be praising the Lord for. So much. My mind is too preoccupied by His love, grace, and sovereignty, that there's no room for sadness over no longer being there. I am back where I am suppose to be right now. God blessed me with the most incredible month of my life. I refuse to let my own desires distract me from thanking Him for every moment He provided me with Daniel.
I don't have any idea what's next. For me or for Daniel. I may never see him again on this side of heaven, and if that's the case, that's okay. Or maybe I'll be back in a few months. I don't know. If anything I have learned to give over my time to the Lord. All of it. When He has control of every breath I breathe, then not a second is wasted. During my month in Bolivia, I was put in one situation after another where I was forced to hand over all control to the Lord. And we see how perfectly every piece of my time there worked out. I'm back home now. Back in my normal life and in my comfortable bubble. It's going to be very easy to take my life back from the Lord again. But it's my prayer that I don't. It's my prayer that I will actively choose to allow God to move for me. I want to naturally walk in step with Him, no matter what continent I'm on.
There's a lot of uncertainty in my life right now. Will the Lord provide the means for me to go on another trip soon? Back to Bolivia? Somewhere else? No where at all? Graduation is within sight. Where will I take a job? What city will I be in? Will I get that dream job in Dallas or Houston? Or stay right here in College Station? When will I get married? Have my own kids? So many questions. So few answers. Normally I would already be in complete panic over each of these. But after living a life for a month where I literally lived from moment to moment. I only moved when the Lord allowed for me to. Nothing was on my own time. I now look at all these unanswered questions and am overcome with peace. Never have a found uncertainty to be peaceful. Because it's not. But Jesus is. So there's peace amongst the uncertainty. The more I grow to know this truth, the more my life becomes less of my own and more of His. And that's exactly how it should be.
I'm unsure of what's next. And that's okay.