Sunday, April 5, 2015

Springing Into Easter

Happy Easter from the Brown's! Or, more significantly, Happy Resurrection Day! Without the cross and empty tomb of Christ, we as Christians should be pitied greatly. But He IS alive, and because of this, our past is forgiven, our present problems are manageable, and our future is secure. I can't imagine life without this Living Hope and have been mindful of the great grace and mercy He showed me 30 years ago on a hill at children's summer camp when I first placed my faith in Christ for forgiveness of sin. I was not seeking Him, but He was seeking me, and has blessed my life since in ways I still cannot express adequately. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade" (1 Peter 1:3,4a).

We have had some busy last few weeks as spring has arrived with fun activities- soccer, Boy Scouts, church, etc. Camp Korey's skeletal dysplasia family weekend kicked off our spring break, but Henry got ill and we had to leave a day early. It was still fun, though, and we look forward to returning. After the stomach flu hit our middle son for a few days, we were able to head to the beach and enjoy seeing some new areas of the Oregon coast and aquarium. We ended our spring break activities with our first ever hockey game, the Portland Winterhawks. We now have a new team to root for!

We have also had many doctor visits for the family as we get established with our new providers and continue Henry's evaluations. Henry had his urology testing and full spine MRI. Both determined what was already observed, that the compression of his mid-spine causes instability and some lack of control. His PT at Shriner's has worked with him to strengthen and assess his upper leg muscles, but, after seeing doctors on Thursday, it looks like minor surgery is needed to separate muscles at Henry's front hip area on both sides to help him straighten and then hopefully walk a little better longer. This may happen towards the end of summer or early fall. The spinal surgeon is still assessing what would be best for Henry concerning his spinal compression. If a rod is put in place to open up the spinal cord area, growth will be affected. If it is left as is, it could cause permanent damage. There do not seem to be any easy answers for his complex structure. He seems to ache in the back and ribs more these days, and I know that all the structural abnormalities increase pain over time. Please continue to pray for guidance in how to best help Henry for the short and long term in a number of areas.

We had a wonderful Holy Week together as a family. We did a few things at home to keep mindful of the significance of what we were remembering and celebrating this week, and we had some special activities with our church family. Over the last couple months, Henry participated in his first children's church choir; the children had a Palm Sunday parade to "Hosanna" last week, then sang two special songs this morning for everyone. It was a blessing to see them worship King Jesus, and a great experience in general to grow in music and confidence. We also had a churchwide potluck breakfast before church, then Easter egg hunt after church. Our family finished all that off with delicious BBQ here in Portland. Then, I had a much needed nap!

We are still in search of a home to buy here in the area, so please lift up this process of trusting and seeking God's best for our family's needs. We are planning to take a family vacation to Florida in June as my husband marries off a niece...needless to say, we are all REALLY excited about warm beach time!!! And we're looking forward to time with his side of the family. In fact, most of them have yet to meet Henry!

And so begins a new week...have a great one, you all! Thanks so much for your love, prayers, and support.