Consider Pure Joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1: 2-3

Sometimes it’s awkward

From the Desk of Kyle

I’d like to begin by thanking everyone for your prayers, phone calls, text messages, facebook messages and even tweets the past few weeks. We’re so blessed to have such a strong support community around our precious little girl. Reese McClain is doing great! We are off all antibiotics, we no longer are on breathing treatments, and are not using her vest at this time. She was given a 100%  all clear by her doctor and we cannot be more excited to have our little girl back to normal.

Reese McClain will turn 3 years old in July which is such a blessing to even think about. Our little girl is growing up and with her growth comes many challenges. While she crawls all over the house, she still does not raise to her feet to standing or even come close to attempting to walk. We pray those days are coming but we’re realistic in understanding we could be years away from her walking. She has as many therapies as we can get her into and she’s exhausted some days from all of her activity! Mommy and Daddy are determined our little girl will have every single opportunity we can afford.

As Reese McClain grows we’ve begun to see the looks. Special needs parents know all about the look. I’ve in fact given the look myself because sometimes there is no way around it. It’s the looks of “That child is “special”, something isn’t quite right….wonder what’s wrong?” Since Reese does not talk and she does not wave her hand, most people just think she is being shy. It’s then when she looks up at someone and gives them the biggest smile ever, that everyone delights in her response. At times though, you can see the questions people have, Reese has the stereotyping of her hands bent inward, she sometimes bounces around and waves her arms uncontrollably with excitement. She sometimes rolls her eyes back into her head and will stare at bright lights on the ceiling. It’s all normal to us but not normal for someone to see the first time.

The other night at a Japanese restaurant one of the hibachi cooks asked (after observing Reese for a good 20 minutes) if she was 6 months old and we said yes. Sometimes it’s just easier for us to say yes than to explain. Sometimes other people will ask my favorite “what are the terrible 2’s like? Is she a handful?”. It’s those questions that make us laugh because we honestly have no idea what the so called “terrible 2’s” are like. Reese McClain is a child who for 99% of the time is happy. When she does fuss it’s because she’s hungry or sleepy. We wouldn’t know what a temper tantrums looks like in our home. In some ways it’s a blessing, in other ways it’s just awkward.

Yesterday we were at Trader Joe’s and Reese was in the cart watching the man behind us in line. He was just a normal guy who we could tell was quite shy with Reese. He didn’t make faces really, he just smiled at her and he looked away. Reese thought this man was either a funny guy, or funny looking. She kept laughing at him so hard it was almost a cackle.. We laughed, he gave an awkward smile, and even the checkout girl was laughing. It’s times like all of these that we must remember that Reese is made in God’s image, not ours. We don’t know that man at Trader Joe’s story. He could have been having a good day or a bad day. We don’t know what God was using Reese for yesterday by smiling and laughing at him.  We do know this; the world will think of her as “special” but God looks at her as one of his children to care for, a blessing from him. She laughs, she smiles, she claps, and she loves on her Mommy and Daddy every single day. We rejoice in all of these things as we pray she gets stronger and stays healthy. God has a plan for Reese McClain and while it’s awkward sometimes and it’s funny other times, we couldn’t be more thankful for all he has given us through our precious daughter. Amen!

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.   

Isaiah 40: 28-31

2014-03-30 12.50.04

 Go Big Blue!!!!!!!!!!

 

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A week of trials and tests

From the desk of Kyle

In our last post, Elizabeth wrote about Reese fighting RSV. Unfortunately, this week it developed into a more severe respiratory infection and it required Reese to be hospitalized. When we took her Tuesday night, we knew immediately they would admit her. Her O2 levels were low enough while she was awake that we knew they would fall dangerously low when she slept. Thankfully, they admitted us to the same respiratory floor we have always visited at Kosair Children’s Hospital. We ended up having the same attending Doctor we’ve had from our previous visits and even the 3rd year resident we remembered from back when she was an intern just 2 years ago. While it’s no fun to visit a children’s hospital often enough that you are known by nurses and doctors, it’s nice to have comfort and fellowship with the medical staff.

2014-03-12 20.49.17She’s trying to break out! She wanted to crawl around so bad.

2014-03-12 17.46.40My little fighter.

On Wednesday, Reese McClain’s O2 levels were high enough that they took her off oxygen. She slept through the night with no need for O2 and we were discharged Thursday! God is good! The doctors think that because of her growing strength, she’s able to cough more of the fluid from her lungs and recover faster. In the past when we were admitted, we were there for at least a week! We pray that her growth and strength continues.  We are now home and have been told by the doctors to not travel with her for the next 7 to 10 days. She needs her respiratory vest and breathing treatments 4 times a day. She’s also on a 10 day antibiotic. While keeping her home for over a week is not fun, we know we must focus on her health and look forward to warm weather!

2014-03-13 17.05.25It’s thumper time! That’s what we call the respiratory vest.


2014-03-13 17.06.55Reading one of our favorite books, The Napping House.

Not only has the trials with Reese been our focus this week, we’ve also dealt with sorrow. This past Saturday my grandmother Lucille Nichols passed away at the age of 92. It was not unexpected, she had been in assisted living for almost 3 years and her health was failing. She was such a strong woman with a heavy influence on my life. After my mother, she was the women who helped raise me more than any other. She raised 4 strong Nichols sons of her own and had 7 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. She lived a long life full of work, fun, and her family. She loved her family more than anything and spoiled us grand children as much as she was allowed. We’ll miss our Granny but we take comfort in knowing that she was a believer. She is now with Jesus and there is no where else she would want to be.

2012-01-02 14.08.41Granny holding Reese on her 90th Birthday. Reese was only 6 months old.

God’s plan for us in this world is sometimes very hard to understand but his plans are always for his glory. That was proven once again this week in another passing of a very important woman in our lives. This past Tuesday morning as we were to prepare to bury my grandmother, my parents longtime next door neighbor Gay Hower passed away at the age of 76 from a brain tumor. I have lived next to Gay since I was born and she and her husband Tommy are like my second grandparents. Their house is next door to my parents and the path between our homes has been worn down so much after 25 years, that we finally had to put in a sidewalk. They are the type of neighbors that you can escape to as a teenager when mom and dad are being annoying or you just want someone to talk to. It’s the type of home where I talked politics, sports, current events, and laughed about anything and everything.

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They hosted a wedding shower for Elizabeth and I when we were married and their 53 years of marriage was a great example to us of what a strong biblical marriage should be. Gay was one of the most sincere and thoughtful women I have ever known. I loved her for her sharp tongue, quick whit, and her ability to listen. There were many times when she gave advice I didn’t want to hear or tried to ignore, but she was never wrong. She loved my brother and I like we were one of her own and we will all look back on our time with her with very fond memories. I know she is in heaven singing praise and glory to God.

As the title of this post says, this was the week of trials and tests. As a believer in the God of the Bible, no where does it say in the Bible that Christian’s are supposed to have it easier than others. In fact, the Bible states quite the opposite. It refers to these trials and tests as a blessing. “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the lord  has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12

This past week we have cried, we have stressed, we have worried, we have mourned, we have laughed, and we have prayed. My continued prayer is that I will tell everyone that God has a plan for his glory, and it will always be good.

“From him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen. – Romans 11:36

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RSV

We have been so blessed with a healthy winter and last night Reese McClain was diagnosed with RSV.  Kyle took her to the ER and when they got home I took over with breathing treatments, medicine, suction and bath time.  We will continue to give breathing treatments and suction around the clock.  We hope our little girl will be back to her smiling and active self soon!

IMG_4356  Daddy’s Girl

Information on RSV

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