Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Domestic violence-What I wish I'd known

Please read this. 

I got a call one morning from a dear friend telling me "He shot her!!! He SHOT CASEY!" 

God help us. 

Those calls should never happen.  

Please read this and understand that evil is far closer than we would all like to think. This is real. 

I'm not posting a picture of her because I think it's a violation of her. But also because I want you to imagine one of your closest few friends. Your people. That's who she was to me. She was beloved and known and seen and in close community with others. 
When you read this, imagine your friend in her place because it's anyone. 

Victims can be ANYONE. I didn't know that before. I thought a victim would be someone who was, by nature, passive. Or someone who was dependent financially on their abuser. 

Casey was neither of those. She was assertive and anyone who knew her would agree with the characterization that she had a strong personality and was a very strong woman. She was financially independent. Her abuser didn't contribute much to her life in the way of meeting tangible needs, whether childcare, financial, etc. She was not dependent on him for her life to continue to run as it was. Of all of my friends, she was the last person, literally. The LAST ONE I could have imagined this happening to. 

Anther thing I wish I'd known is language to ask potentially offensive questions. When something sounded off to me, I thought rude thoughts and didn't want to say them to her about her husband. I met with a counselor regarding this whole situation and she had great ideas. One way to question a friend when things don't seem right is simply to say "That doesn't sound normal." Or "How do you feel about that?" Those are relatively neutral statements but are a starting point for conversation. She also made the point that if the person isn't ready to talk, you can't make them and must respect where they are in processing their feelings. But at least you know you put yourself out there. 

Another great point this counselor made is that trust is earned by someone's actions. If you have "a bad feeling" about  someone, that's legitimate and actionable. You do not have to justify why you don't trust someone and usually, you don't have that justification until 
something happens. It is a reminder that respect is always given but trust is not. It is earned. And you can make decisions accordingly, even with no "evidence" of untrustworthiness. 

Another thing I wish I'd said any time conversation came up about biblical marriage is that it's all thrown out the window if abuse is involved. God's heart is never for a woman to stay in an abusive or dangerous relationship.
The end. 

You can forgive and also separate. Forgiveness is not dependent upon reconciliation. While God hates divorce he doesn't hate THE divorced. And scripture should never be interpreted as reason to stay in an abusive situation. I don't know anything about how that applied to this situation. I just wish I'd said it and hope whenever biblical marriage is discussed, that caveat is explicitly stated. If one in three women are domestic violence victims, then each time a sermon is preached, you can be assured there is a victim listening. And they need to hear, from the pulpit, that God is not condoning this for them. 

I'm just so darn sad. Casey was a part of a small and intimate group that met each week for bible study. And we met for birthdays. And for running. And for basically all social events. We had a group text going where we touched base with each other almost daily.  She was on Team Caroline for our adoption race. She was one of the closest friends I'd ever had. Yet I knew NOTHING of this struggle. 

My takeaway from this horror is that no one ever be where I am right now. Let no child be where her children are, mourning their mom. Let's all acknowledge the real threat. Let's steer a conversation the way we have on racial inequality, where we acknowledge a problem and make space to discuss and space to process. Let's make this conversation a fabric of our society. And acknowledge the atrocity. 

Friends, my grief is so raw I almost can't look at it. This might be hard to read because it is very hard to live. Think about it anyway. Pay attention because we are all part of the eradication of this. Let's all wake up to the reality of this broken, broken world. And let's all remember that domestic violence impacts one in three women. You most likely know a victim. Be part of the solution. 

And many people have messaged to say they are praying for me. That is so kind! But please pray for Casey's family instead. If you ever think of me, pray for her family.  I'll be ok. Her family will never stop living with this weight.  Let's honor her life and start talking. 

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, fthe dwelling place1 of God is with man. He will gdwell with them, and they will be his people,2 and God himself will be with them as their God.3 hHe will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and ideath shall be no more, jneither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Rev 21:3-4

Friday, March 11, 2016

Domestic violence is closer than you think.

I lost a dear friend yesterday to domestic violence. 

Her husband of roughly one year shot her and then himself. 

It is absolutely unimaginable.

 The only reason I would ever write about this is because she served others in all hours of her day and if she could serve in this way she would want to. 

My friend was an accomplished physician. She was an anesthiologist that was very well respected.  But that's not really how I knew her. I knew her as a mom and a friend. And she was amazing at both. She loved with her whole being. 

She wanted what everyone wants, a functioning, healthy, happy home. She wanted the best things for her family.

What presented itself as the best thing turned out to be evil and that's so hard to see when you're so close. So she didn't see until it was too late. And as friends, maybe anything we said wouldn't have mattered. But maybe it would. 

 I saw things and I told myself it wasn't my business. I had nothing concrete to point to so I let it go. 

Would it have mattered? Would it have made her act sooner, or in some other way? Would it just have pushed her away and isolated her even more?

I don't know. But I do know if I ever see something triggering alarms in a friendship, I will not let it pass.
The situation is so horrific I never could have imagined it actually happening. We live in a broken world and sometimes monsters are real. 

In Casey's honor, please be the friend that asks the hard questions when things seem off.  Hug your families so tightly and love your people well. She did both beautifully and the world is darker without her bright light in it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Hayes is FIVE! (Actually four but don't mention it)



You are a mess! You insist you are five, only answer to "Star war romantic" half the time, tell long winded stories all day, and incite general mayhem everywhere you go. The amount of mischief inherent in you is just shocking to me. And I love you so much I could absolutely eat you up! I was putting you to bed tonight and said "I love you more than all the stars in the sky." You said "I love you the stars and also all the windows." 

You had a satisfied smirk, like you knew you nailed that one.

You are really an original. Your dad and I are pretty calm, logical, introverted people. You are the life of the party, never met a stranger, completely free spirited, and you keep us laughing. I never know what's going to happen next with you and walk the line between anticipation and slightly cringing. We say you are the exclamation point on our family and anyone that knows you totally agrees. 

You're using the force on some unsuspecting sibling. 

You were at a party where Santa was reading a book to the kids, maybe 12 or so. You listened for awhile and then spoke up with your trademark line, "EXCUSE ME!  I NEED TO TELL YOU SOMETHIN!" Because Santa is Santa, he let you speak.  Your urgent message was "In Star Wars, episode three, Anakin turned to the dark side and became Darth Vader!" Santa politely smiled and moved on. After another interruption, he finally told you, "We're here to talk about Christmas, not the force or the dark side." 
Well said, Santa. 
Now anytime there is a mention of Santa you always express disbelief that he doesn't want to talk about the dark side. You speak only in full volume, so you say "SANTA ONLY LIKES TO TALK ABOUT CHRISTMAS." 

We carpool with another family and that is a joy to you. You love the days she picks you and up talk about them often when you're at home. You have a sweet heart that is sensitive to the emotional atmosphere around you. While you're currently in a dictator leadership mode, you have a heart to encourage others. You are quick to praise when you see someone "making good choices" and encourage your siblings when you see them doing something special. You are generous with what you have to share. 

I truly never know what is about to go down with you. I picked you up at your church class the other day and the teacher apologetically met me at the door, explaining that you were so adamant they just let it go. I didn't know what you were so adamant about until I saw you had completely unbuttoned your button down shirt, so it was gaping open, and were rubbing your belly. With both hands. In the middle of your class, while the rest of the church was picking up their still dressed children. 
Um....ok. I tried to button your shirt and you got very agitated! You explained that you were Obi-wan Kenobi and he didn't button his shirt. 


That's fine.
Obi Wan, in your mind's eye, also rubbed his belly like a Buddha. I have become an expert in looking nonplussed when told unexpected things about your behavior. The upside is you are always ready to explain your reasoning and I know it'll be well thought out. Your imagination rocks and I hope you don't lose that. If you decide to stay more clothed in public, I'll support you, though.

You are a keen observer of all that is happening around you. I don't know if that's a result of being the youngest of four or just your innate personality but you do not miss ONE thing that happens and you always have some commentary. I love that you observe what is happening and want to process it. I think that's a good skill to have and want to be available to you as you work through life. Also, your commentary is basically toddler stand up. And it's fabulous.

You are a straight up leader. You speak with authority and the older kids will defer to you, at times. Here, you were ordering Caroline to wear sunglasses over her glasses to church and she, through giggles, agreed to your every request. You weren't kidding, though. You had a plan and intended it be executed flawlessly. Since you have the best big sister on earth, it all went down as you willed.

I have never seen such a strong opinion in such a tiny body. The number of times random people have commented on your strong will is roughly infinity times. It draws comments nearly every time we are out in public! The verse I pray over you is that "you will do the good works you were created to do." You are going to do some works, clearly. And you will take people with you. My prayer is that your heart be towards the Lord and let his guidance direct your leadership of others. Right now you are leading armpit toots and mutiny. We're all a work in progress.

You are a serious daredevil. No challenge is too daunting for you. You went down this crazy high zip line that I wouldn't have considered. Here you are about to go. Looking fearless. 
 Here you and Harris are at the end. 

Hanging in mid-air. 

Hayes, you are awesome sauce. You're brave and sweet and funny and spunky and I cannot imagine our family without you. You bring energy and joy everywhere you go and each day with you is a new adventure. 

Happy fourth birthday, Hayser!!

This is you, in the garage floor, after a wild night out at Legofest but it's also how I think I'll feel when you are done with your preschool years. 

"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. "
Eph 2:10

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Harris turned 8!

You turned eight over a month ago. I didn't write this letter because I didn't know yet what I wanted to you to remember from this year. You're starting to grow and understand more and I want these to mean something when you read them later, a memorial to what God did in your life that year and just who you were.

So, who you are is obsessed with Legos, into any joke about bodily function, always doing word searches and still so kind. You came home from school one day and said, "I made myself a real good friend." And you were super excited about it. Because God is cool, we ran into your friend and his family getting ice cream and I was able to meet his mom and set up play dates. I'm so happy to see you are picking good friends. I think your bestie will always be Hudson, who's basically your cousin, but the other boys you invited to your party were all sweet. Everyone was kind to each other and it was so good to see the people you gravitate to are like-minded. One boy can solve the Rubik's cube so you are enthralled with his skills. You are very into word searches as well. One word search book gives facts about each state and you are constantly quizzing me in the car about the official state flower of Minnesota or the marine mammal of Alaska. You are also still a planner. You are always thinking a few moves ahead of what you're doing. You love to climb trees but find the bark irritating so you wear gloves when you come outside to climb. You are so funny.

What I want you to know about this year is how God protected you in a way I didn't understand until he showed me last night. 

You will probably always remember the time you got sick at family camp and were airlifted back to San Antonio. It was a dramatic event and we have discussed God's sovereignty in that and the peace He provided in crazy circumstances. I really believe that was Satan attacking our family and God intervening stop it. That may sound strange but so much about it felt supernatural. Neurologists, ENT's and even the head of MD Anderson told me that we would probably never able to fully explain what happened to you. You took a turn for the better on the flight home and I didn't have a chance to tell anyone. Cori,  one of many intercessors for you that night, texted me to say she felt a shift in the spiritual realm and you would be ok. She had no idea you were regaining the ability to move your body. The last she'd heard, you were paralyzed on one side, your head almost wouldn't turn from this strange angle, even when dr's tried to move it. You had severe nystagmus. The paramedic who flew with us said he'd never seen anything like what was happening to you. You were headed for an MRI and brain surgery when we left Tyler. By the time we landed and got to the hospital, the trauma team that was on standby to receive you seemed puzzled. They kept reading your chart, then looking at you because you no longer matched the boy in those charts and they had no explanation why.
I know why. 

God intervened.

The only medicine you had was zofran to stop your vomiting and fluids were given through an IV. Nothing else was done and I know people are not flown across Texas on a whim. Your condition was serious and getting worse quickly. Modern medicine had nothing to offer you at that point.

Within hours you were eating and later that morning, you were able to stand on your own.

But that's not even what I just learned. When we were once again at Pine Cove, you were bitten by one fire ant, one time. Just one teeny bite. We were walking across a field, you felt it bite you, scratched your leg and moved on. I paid zero attention to it because you didn't seem concerned. A couple of minutes later you said your ears felt funny. I looked at them and they were bright red, like you'd gotten a bad sunburn. I thought you might need some water, so we walked to the gift shop, where you started coughing. It didn't occur to me that this was connected to the ant bite. Another mom saw you and said, "lift his shirt, I think he's having an allergic reaction!" Sure enough, there were hives all over your body. Your nose started running and someone sprinted to their cabin for Benadryl. Someone else sat you in a chair and explained to me you were having what is called a global reaction and it was impacting your airways, which is why you were coughing, runny nose, etc. That can be serious. So, multiple people gave you Benadryl and we went screaming down the highway to the ER, with your prayer warrior Cori praying for you once again. While driving 90 mph.

By the time we got to the ER your reaction was under control and we spoke with an ER nurse who said they wouldn't do much more for you at that point than observe, so we went back to camp. You are a boss, so you hopped back in the zipline line and tore it up zip lining over the lake.

Here's what He showed me last night that had never occurred to me. It was His mercy to reveal your allergy at that point. If that had happened at home, first of all, you would have probably been stung by far more ants, so the reaction would have been worse. Secondly, I wouldn't have known what was happening. I had no idea to lift up your shirt to see hives. You didn't connect the ant bite with your issues and might not have known to even tell me you got bitten for me to connect the dots. Thirdly, even if I had, we might not have had Benadryl! Your allergy was pretty severe and needed immediate attention. The allergist told me if you got bitten again to immediately do the epi-pen, without waiting to see how you reacted, after seeing your reaction to the allergy test.

But you got bitten just once, in a place full of people who knew what was happening and how to help you. Now you've had weeks of allergy shots and will be immune or very close by the summer.

What a gift that was!! We found out about the issue in a safe place, with the best friends to be encouragement and help. And the problem is completely solvable. So, in the moment, it kind of stunk to have that happen and have to go home early but it was ultimately for your good. I want you to remember that when things sort of suck, it might actually be a huge blessing. Always look for the good and some times, oftentimes, God is merciful to reveal it, even though we are not owed that. My takeaway for this year, for you, is 

"If you know His nature, you will not question His motives."

That's not my quote, FYI, but it aptly describes your past year. You're getting it because you described various characteristics of our new dog as "big blessings" and understand to be thankful for things you took for granted at one time. 

I love being your mom! You are funny, insightful, thoughtful, brainy, and sweet. And you make an armpit fart noise with gusto. You are little enough to still love "kiss explosions" when I put you to bed at night and big enough to analyze situations and have insights that make me think. Happy, happy birthday, sweet boy! I love you so much!

““Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:6-9 ESV

Friday, October 23, 2015

Walker turns six!

Walker, I cannot believe how far you've come!

You are doing so well in kindergarten that your teacher told me that you "do not stick out to her as different." While you will always make your mark with your personality, she was saying you do not have overtly special needs. You do not require significantly more support to be successful. You have worked SO HARD in all your therapies the past two years and it's paying off. You love your school and are happy to go each day. You told me today that your favorite part of the day was playing with all your new friends. I'm just blown away by how you are embracing this new adventure and doing so well. 

You now are officially social. Too much involves retreat to solitary Lego playing but you crave interaction each day, especially with Harris. You love him dearly and enjoy spending time creating stories with your Lego people. He does too because I heard him proudly explaining to a friend what you two liked to do with a Lego scene you had built together. One of my prayers when I found out we were having a second little boy is that you would be best friends and it's definitely being answered. 

You are as sweet as you can be. I help out at your school with lunch once/week. When I leave, you always thank me for coming and give me a big kiss on the cheek. It could not possibly be any sweeter. Out of the blue, you told Mimi and KB that you were glad they came to visit us. I don't think I'll ever quite get over these little things from you because they seemed at one point to be unattainable.
You are transparent in your actions and that touches people. You are not concerned with what other people think and speak what is on your heart. Of all the things that have emerged from you the past couple of years, I think that is my favorite. 

One comment that I've heard several times from different therapists is that you "respond well to therapy." I don't know why you respond so well and others don't. Some kids that started where you started aren't doing nearly as well as you are. I want you to know that because it makes me profoundly grateful. Your life, and our family dynamic, could look very different right now. While I know there would be blessing in that as well, I'm so thankful for the progress you've made and the trajectory you are on.

You started this year to ask questions about Caroline. When she came home you were three and completely in your own world. It didn't register with you until this year that she has people she calls her brothers and sisters in other families. I was explaining it to you, how God grows families in different ways and how she would always be your sister and also the sister of kids in different families, and how that happened. You thought about it for a minute and then said "I'm glad you're a Goolsby, Caroline." You speak so openly yet infrequently that when you do say something, people know you are sincere. You made Caroline's day with your simple, sweet statement.

I just couldn't be any more proud of the sweet, funny, brave little person that you are. I love to hang out with you and hear the way you see the world. Happy birthday, sweet Walker!

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
Phil 1:6

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sweet Caroline is 8!

Caroline, I usually work on these birthday letters for a few days, at least. This one I'm writing after you're in bed on your birthday. I have been thinking about what you might want to remember about this year and what I want to tell you. Some of this year has been heavy and some has been silly and I just wasn't sure what to say.

You summed up your heart when I was putting you to bed tonight. You have been anticipating your birthday presents for weeks. There has been much discussion about what you wanted and what you might get. At one point, you made a schedule for the day of when you would open gifts/eat cake, etc.

For your birthday party, you asked that your whole family come over and swim.


You asked to make Sea Turtle cupcakes and go to dinner together.

Done and done.

You asked for more presents than any child might get in their lifetime so we picked what we thought you would enjoy the most and hoped you were pleased.

You were rollerblading through the kitchen in your jammies so I think at least some of it was a hit.

I was putting you to bed and we were talking all about your day and going through the details you wanted to remember. When I asked you what your favorite present was you didn't even pause before saying "My WHOLE family being together!" with a huge smile on your face. You have such a big heart!! When you talk about your brothers, you mean all of them. The ones that live with you and the ones that don't. When you say your family, you include the Goolsby's and non-Goolsby's equally.

You were presented some challenging circumstances and have chosen to embrace it as more people to love. As you grow, your relationships are changing with your siblings but they are not weakened. Just different. They are all evolving and will continue to do so. What's so awesome is that God placed these children in families that give you room to explore what those relationships will look like and have committed to keeping those bonds intact. When you want a party with your siblings, it is a guarantee that they will ALL be there. One mom is having BACK SURGERY at 7:30 am tomorrow and they still showed up for the whole thing.

That has been on theme of your year this year, I think. God's provision for you and for our family.
We moved into a new house closer to your new school. The longer we live in this house, the more I love it and see it as a HUGE provision for our family and you especially.

It has a pool. Not only do you love to swim, you are confident in the water. Insecurities you may have on land do not hinder you when we are all swimming together. It's given us an activity to enjoy together in an easy way. It's brought our family closer together.

This is also a house that is a fresh start for everyone. The night you came home to us, you slept in what was, at that time, Harris' room. It had boy paint colors, boy bedding, and his name on the wall. It became your room, with paint colors you picked and your name on the wall but you sometimes referred to it as Harris' old room. This room, in our new house,  is YOURS. You picked it. It has two closets, a full length mirror, and you've only ever known it as your own.

One of the greatest things about this new house is our sweet neighbor! She's about your age and you two are good friends. You play together beautifully and she seems to be as eager for a playmate as you are. You love playing with your brothers and get along well but sometimes you just want a girl! Caroline, I so hope that you look back on this sweet season of your friendship with our neighbor and see that as God's blessing for you.

Here you are (with Harris) way past your bedtimes, rocking glow sticks in the pool. You all had so much fun together!

Two people this summer, who did not know each other, commented on your "servant's heart." You absolutely do have that. You are the FIRST to offer to help. You see needs others don't and are delighted to meet them. It is not burdensome to you nor are you doing it to curry favor. You just want to help. You are a friend to all and have a gift for seeing those on the fringes and offering comfort and help. You've been through trials, certainly, but it is already becoming evident how God is using that to bless others around you.

My sweet girl, I am so honored to be your mom and I can't imagine our family without you. Hayes and I were discussing things that were nice the other day. I went first and named popsicles as something nice to have. Hayes said "Caroline is nice!" You are such a good sister to the boys and meet them where they are, accepting the crazy. You embrace daddy and I as your parents, as imprefectly as we do it. I just love getting to be your mom. You are the sweetest!

Happy birthday,  precious girl!

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19

Friday, June 26, 2015

Life is never dull

On Father's Day last Sunday we headed for the vacation we'd been looking forward to for months! Family camp. That may not have sounded that exciting at one point in life but with four young children it's pretty much the best thing ever. It's exactly what it sounds like, regular summer camp that you do with your kids. The deal is that they have super energetic college aged counselors that are also fired up about Jesus and serving your family. There are kids programs in the mornings with speakers for the adult to hear. Because there was some concern that Walker might not be able to hang the whole time with the group sessions in the morning, he had his own counselor, who was PRECIOUS. 

Walker didn't pass his swim test and was very upset about having to wear floaties so his counselor put some on too. I love this place and these people.

 The morning sessions the kids had bible study and then did some of the camp things, different things each day. Hayes got to ride one day.

He went swimming. This actually is him smiling, despite how it looks.

Harris went down the slide. He apparently slowed down quite a bit at the end.

You know who took these pics? Not me! A camp photographer becuase they have thought of everything. I could not find pics of Caroline but I'm sure they're in there somewhere. The food is good and they remind the parents before each meal not to lift a finger. They cut your children's food, get straws, refills, whatever. It could not be more pleasant. And while your kids are having fun you are hearing a speaker. Ours talked about biblical truth and was in Ecclesiastes. So good! We had a date night complete with a sunset boat ride.

Date night is when things took a turn. When I picked up the big kids I saw Harris fighting back tears, sitting down next to his counselor. I couldn't imagine what the problem was and his counselor told me he jumped off the high dive and then said his head hurt. He and Caroline had been doing that for two days straight so I didn't think much of it. 

He sat down on a bench while I rounded up the other kids' things and we got ready to walk to our cabin. He asked me to carry him. I thought that was weird but probably just because we'd been going non stop for two days and it was two hours past his bedtime, so I did. Then when he got too heavy I asked him to walk. He did but he was staggering and veering to the left. After a few steps he just fell down. 

Ok. Deep breaths. I got the other kids sent to the cabin with Tom and took Harris to the camp nurse. She thought we needed to go see the RN across the street so we drove there. That's where he started vomiting. They drove us to the ER, where he was at that point unable to stand up to be weighed. They immediately started doing blood work and cat scans. The first showed nothing so they did another one, with contrast this time. Still nothing. At this point, he's having difficulty moving anything on his left side. His eyes are twitching rapidly and trying to fix to the left. His head is cocked at a weird angle and he can't really move it. The ER in Tyler is out of ideas and wants to fly him to San Antonio so "the neurosurgeon can get an MRI and see what needs to be done."

 What?! Neurosurgeon?!

This is about two am. So, an ambulance came to get us. During the ambulance ride to the airport, I asked if they had any idea what was going on. They both shook their heads. One said he'd never seen anything like it. Then I asked if they thought he'd be okay. One stayed completely silent and the other said, "I sure hope so."

That's not what I wanted to hear. With that, we boarded the tiniest plane I've ever seen to go to San Antonio.

This is an Internet photo. I was NOT taking pics at this point.

This was my view except a very sick looking Harris was strapped to the bed while two paramedics discussed how they'd never seen nystagmus (that's the eye movement) to that degree before. 

I couldn't see Harris' eyes during the flight and the airplane was so loud it was difficult to talk to the paramedics. He was sleeping but vomiting occasionally. They kept checking to see if his pupils were reacting to light. I couldn't tell if they were and in some way I didn't want to know the answer. I was wrestling with God, trying to decide if I'd still think He was good if He took my child. While that was going on, I remembered a story Walker's precious counselor told me just that morning. His family is battling something serious and he was telling me how he chose to repeat truths about God to himself, even if they felt empty. They were still true and still powerful. Just writing this takes me back to that airplane, when I really didn't know what the outcome was going to be. That was terrifying but I also had a supernatural peace. Not an assurance that things would be okay but a peace that was present outside of circumstances. God was near.

So we landed in San Antonio and boarded another ambulance to the hospital. Up until this point, I'd been with Harris the whole time. This ambulance driver told me to ride in the front. I must have looked as disturbed by this as I felt because one of the paramedics from the flight immediately told me, "Don't worry mom. I'll take good care of him." 

Bless that person.

At the hospital, there was a crew of people to receive him. There were several dr's examining him and nurses verifying his history. At this point, things started turning around. The dr in Tyler had spoken with the dr's here and they were expecting a very different patient. A much sicker patient.

He no longer had nystagmus. He could turn his head somewhat and was starting to be able to move the extremities in his left side. He had turned a corner.

It was a completely different scenario than what I'd been told. There was no need for an MRI. They moved him to a quiet room in the trauma ER with a TV and brought him some dvd's. He was able to eat, as there was no longer a concern that he was going into surgery. About 7 am, they got him up to walk and it was still pretty disturbing. While he was able to move his feet and legs, when he walked, his feet were flexed and knees were straight and he just veered left until he fell. He looked like a marionette puppet in the hands of an inexperienced operator. 

We just stayed in this room, waiting for a bed to open up, and he rested and ate two platefuls of pancakes. The next time someone asked him to walk, he nailed it. He walked straight with his arms at his sides, touched his nose with alternating fingers and giggled at the absurdity of these requests. My boy was back!

He did not get any medicine at any point in this ordeal besides zofran for nausea. That's nothing magical because that's what I took for nausea when pregnant. He had 7 straight hours of getting worse and all of a sudden took a u-turn and got better. 

This is the diagnosis on his discharge paperwork.

Yes, that says dizziness. After all that....dizziness?!
One trauma dr said his diagnosis was a concussion. However, the ENT's disagree with that and it's not written down on anything we have. He has follow up visits with a neurologist and ENT and no one seems to agree on what happened. No one diagnosis fits all of his symptoms.

So, I don't really know. Here's what I DO know. We have got some amazing friends. People sat with me at the hospital, babysat kids, brought food, prayed in the middle of the night, and the list goes on.

God is faithful. Harris was not scared. I was not scared either, even as I wrestled with some heavy questions. I know that doesn't make sense but that's how it happened. I will be unpacking this experience for quite some time so maybe I'll learn some more things along the way. 

Praise God Harris is fine! He just needs some naps and is getting spoiled beyond belief right now.

 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1