Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Birthday coming up!

Can you believe that in a little over a week Jude will be one year old?!?!? (December 6th!)

I'm saving up for a big blog post to celebrate this AMAZING milestone with all of you!

But a few of you have asked what Jude needs for his birthday and honestly our sweet boy has been showered with so many gifts that he does not have a need for toys or clothes. He (and we) are so blessed! So, no gifts please.

We also know that there are other families who are struggling right now. They have sick children at MUSC in Charleston and they are exhausted financially, emotionally and physically. We've been there and know how hard it is...especially during the holiday season. And we are asking that Jude's family and friends to make donations to CrossBridge Ministries in Jude's honor instead of birthday gifts.

CrossBridge cared for us and loved on us in so many ways. We knew we could ALWAYS count on them. Here are just a few of the ways that they took care of us during Jude's stay at MUSC:

They provided many, many meals for our family.
They gave us meal tickets to help us eat for free in the MUSC cafeteria.
They gave us gas cards to make sure that Brian could travel back and forth to work.
They gave us a home to live in rent and bill FREE for Jude's entire hospital stay. (6.5 months)
They provided a way for Annabelle to go to pre-school tuition free while Jude was in the hospital.
They gave Annabelle Christmas presents.
They watched Annabelle so that Brian could take me to the hospital when I was terribly sick.
They watched Annabelle so that Brian and I could have a rare date night.
They PRAYED without CEASING for our Jude. 
And countless other ways.

This list alone convinces me that I will ALWAYS give back to CrossBridge. They keep families afloat when they feel like there is no hope.

Will you consider making a donation to CrossBridge in honor of Jude this year? I promise you that your gift will touch lives. There is no question that this ministry is showing the love of Christ to families who are hurting.

If you are interested in donating, you can mail your check to:
CrossBridge Family Ministries, Inc.
1177 Gregorie Ferry Road
Suite 101
Mount Pleasant S.C. 29466

Or you can visit their website and choose the "GIVE" menu item.

And if you have more questions, please let me know! just.enough.for.the.journey@gmail.com

Monday, November 12, 2012

Please pray for Sunni

Hi friends,

My heart is aching for a sweet CDH baby and her family. In recent months I learned about the upcoming birth of Sunni. Her parents and family worried and prepared for her arrival.

Sunni was born a little more than a month ago and she has proven to be quite the little fighter! Right now she is facing some very difficult challenges and surgery is on the horizon. And in recent days she started having seizures.

Please pray for Sunni and her family. I know they are so weary from all the worry and bad news. Please pray for complete healing for Sunni. Pray Sunni and her family will know that Jesus is with them. He can give them just what they need.

If you'd like to follow Sunni's journey, you can follow her blog here. Please take a moment to let Sunni's parents know that you are praying. I know they will appreciate the support and encouragement.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cold/RSV/Flu Season

Hi friends,
Now that we are in cold/flu season life is going to look a little different for the Morrison family. We are SO excited to be back home and we have really enjoyed seeing so many of our dear friends. But sadly we must go into a time of a somewhat-isolation. 

You see, Jude is doing great overall. But he is still GREATLY at risk for re-hospitalization if he catches any type of respiratory illness. 

You may remember that before Jude had his first diaphragm repair surgery we talked a lot about how Jude’s left lung was significantly smaller than his right. And since his repair (and the two that followed that), Jude’s left (and right) lung has continued to grow. But it is still smaller. And both lungs were pretty beat up by being on a ventilator/oxygen for quite some time.  So, his lungs are significantly less prepared for illnesses. And we want to keep our little guy out of the hospital! 

So, from now until April we are going into “semi-hiding”. Jude won’t be getting out of the house nearly as much as he has in recent weeks. He may still venture out for the occasional visit to Target or the grocery store but his social life is going to be scaled back majorly. 

We are planning to take him to church but we will slip in early and leave early. And you’ll only find us in the back corner…away from the crowd.  

Annabelle will go still do some fun kiddo stuff…but the poor girl will get a bath as soon as she hits the front door. 

We are still open to playing outside with friends as long as the weather doesn’t get too chilly. 

Our home will become our little fortress. Since Sunday this sign has been posted on our door:
Welcome to our Home!
One of our family members is immune deficient.
Please read the following rules before entering:
v  Please do not enter if you are sick, have been sick or have been in contact with someone who is sick in the past 10 days.

v  Please do not enter if you have a cough, sneeze or sore throat. We understand that these can be related to seasonal allergies, but we hope you’ll understand that we aren’t able to take any chances.

v  All visitors must have had their flu shot.

v  When you enter, please remove your shoes and wash your hands for 2 full minutes.

v  Any children that visit must be up to date on their vaccines. Please check with us before bringing any children to visit.

Thank you for helping us protect our loved one this cold/flu season!
It’s hard for us to take a step back into isolation. We are SO excited about being back in Greenville and we want to share our little guy with all our friends. But we also know that this is only “for a season” and that it is the best thing for our little guy. We want to keep him safe and I know that all of you do too. (If someone seems sick…even just a little…we are leaving.)

Please don’t cease contact with our little family because of these new changes. We really want to continue to hear from you…via phone, text, email, facebook, Skype or FaceTime. Our ask Brian or me to go out for coffee/dinner individually. Brian and I hope to have adults (provided that those adults are healthy and well) over in the evenings after the kids go to bed for dinner and fellowship. But we are pretty much keeping our home free from kid visitors since kids are such germ-sharers. He-he! 

Want to spend some time with us but not sure how to work it out or if a certain circumstance is ok? Just ask. Please ask! We still want to be a part of your lives. And in the Spring we will CELEBRATE!!!

But most of all, will you all join us in praying for Jude (and Brian, Annabelle and me) to remain healthy through the winter months? 

Much love!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Baptism photos

Here are a few photos of Jude's baptism:
 Daddy and Jude just before church
 The "moment". Sadly, Pastor Brian's hands are blurry.
 "Mom, WHAT just happened?"
 Prayers of thanksgiving
I love this picture: Love the moment between Brian and Jude and I love the fact that little Annabelle is peeking during the prayer!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

So much to say!

Hi friends!

Wow! I can't believe that nearly a month has passed since our last post! Thank you for being patient with us. I know that you are eager to hear an update on our little man.

First, I must tell you that I will have to share some of our most recent pictures with you in another post because I left my camera with a friend a few days ago. But do not worry! Pictures are coming!

So, since our last post Jude has been trucking along. He is making some progress with his physical development. He is stable with sitting and reaching while sitting. He rocks when in a crawling position and has done just a little bit of pulling up. I'm not sure if our little guy will actually crawl (Annabelle did not do much crawling either. She rolled around most of the time and then just started pulling up before walking.) and he may just go straight to cruising on furniture.

Jude is pretty much in the same spot with  his oral feeds right now. We are feeling a little "stuck" but we also know that each day...each little taste...each mealtime at the table with our family is a step in the direction towards eating by mouth. Please keep praying for our little guy's desires to eat by mouth. It WILL happen. It will be on the Lord's and Jude's timetable!

So, in other news:
A little more than three weeks ago, Brian was given the opportunity to return as an employee to the place where he worked before (and for quite awhile after) Jude was born. We were so excited that the Lord opened the door for a way to return back to our home in Greenville and for Brian to return to work with a wonderful group of people.

But we were also sad to be leaving my (Rose's) family in Florence. Nana and Papa Jack (and all our kiddos Aunts, Uncle, cousins and Gee Gee) had become such a special and close part of all of our lives. We clearly know that the Lord completely ordained for us to be back in Florence for the last several months of our journey. There is simply no way that we could have made it through without their direct love and support.  What an amazing blessing it was to be surrounded by family who have always cheered us on (and prayed without ceasing).

But the longing to be "home" in Greenville never truly left our hearts. You see, when we were pregnant with Jude (and for most of his hospital stay) we had always envisioned bringing our son back to our little house. We imagined introducing him to our neighbors, bringing him to our community group, showing him off to Brian's co-workers, having him loved on by my MOPS buddies, sharing him with our church friends....but the Lord's plan looked different than ours. And Florence was the right and good place to be after Jude's discharge from the hospital. And again it was the right and good place to be when Jude had to be re-hospitalized for his 3rd reherniation. The Lord's mighty hand was certainly leading us *exactly* where He knew was best.

So, when given the opportunity to return to Greenville (and with Jude's health improving every day) we began talking about the possibility of returning. We prayed. And talked. And prayed and talked some more. We shared our thoughts with my parents and siblings...and asked for their prayers too. We asked our closest friends to join us in praying too. And the Lord opened the door for us to return. And, our house had not sold!

Brian interviewed for his now current job and within days they offered him the position. We moved back into our little home on a Saturday and Brian started work on Monday. It was quick. But it was so good.

Brian and I continue to have moments of overwhelming praise and awe over the journey for our family and Jude over the many months that have passed since Jude's diagnosis. Our faces are continuously covered in tears of joy during little moments spent back in Greenville...at home...

Watching our children play together. In Jude's room. Jude's room, where we weren't sure he would ever be.

Lying in bed remembering the nights spent in our bed with tears and prayer. Over our son's life. Who is now sleeping in his crib. Right down the hall.

Sitting at our table in the kitchen. Enjoying a meal provided by our closest friends. Who prayed daily. Sometimes hourly.

Seeing the joy and tears of people who have loved Jude from the moment they heard about him. Watching their eyes as they see themselves the miracle the Lord has given all of us.

And lastly, baptizing Jude at our church in Greenville...
One Sunday after we were given the news of Jude's life threatening diagnosis there was a group of babies being baptized in service. Brian and I held hands and sobbed through the baptisms. (I hope the parents of those children don't remember our crying. How awful of us!) We wanted so badly for the Lord to spare Jude's life and provide a way for our son to be baptized and loved on by our home church. We prayed consistently that the Lord would answer our prayers to have our son baptized in front of our church family and friends.

And this past Sunday, the Lord answered our prayers. A-men! What an amazing day!

My heart is still so FULL from that day. The Lord is good. Praise him forever. I am so thankful that he heard our prayers and gave us the desires of our hearts.

(I have pictures, but they are on my camera....I will post them as soon as I can!)


Since we've been home Jude started throwing up a little bit. Just a tiny vomit every few days. But it was enough to scare us! 

We thought that Jude should be unable to throw up because he had a Nissen. So, we were totally freaked out that something big was wrong again. We've been so nervous for our little guy but he seems perfectly happy and normal despite the occasional vomit. He hasn't been showing any signs that anything else is bothering him.

So, yesterday I took Jude down to MUSC for his 2nd follow up appointment with Dr. Hebra and the surgery team. We had an x-ray completed before the appointment to check on the status of Jude's diaphragm.

My sweet Mama tagged along to the appointment with Jude and I so that I'd have some extra help (and so that she could catch me when I fainted in the event that we got more bad news). We had an overnight stay and celebrated my upcoming birthday with a nice dinner and a little shopping. I'm so lucky to have my mom!


Doctor Hebra walked into the exam room and told us that Jude's x-ray looked great. "In fact" he said, "it looks better than the last one!"

Wow! What wonderful news! I almost did not believe him!

We also talked about Jude's occasional vomiting and  Dr. Hebra and the surgery team explained that sometimes kid's reflux is so severe that the Nissen alone will not totally resolve it. Over the last several months the hope was that Jude could be free of reflux medication but it appears that Jude is one of those kiddos who need a little extra medication to manage their reflux despite having a Nissen. Things should hopefully improve even more as he grows and gets moving as a toddler.

So, in the next few days Jude will start a new medication to help manage the reflux that is hanging on. We will continue with the medication for 3 weeks and if the vomiting continues then we will add another medication. Please pray that things improve!

Right now the plan is to see Dr. Hebra in three months (unless something happens) and at this point there will be no reason to do an x-ray before our appointment. Please join us in praying that Jude's patch will continue to hold and that his scar tissue will form and create a strong hearty faux-diaphragm that will hold for years and years to come.

Thank you for continuing to remember Jude in your prayers. We are so thankful that so many of you have continued this journey with our family. It is so hard to believe that in a month Jude will be 1 year old! We wish that all of you could celebrate with us! But since it is cold/flu season we will be limiting our celebration to family. However, please plan on joining us in the Spring for a celebration. We want you all to have the opportunity to meet the little miracle you've been praying for!

Speaking of cold/flu season...my next blog post will tell you all about how Jude (and our family) will be spending the winter months. Please pray for us during the next several months of isolation.

And finally, a few pictures of Jude and Annabelle celebrating Halloween in our neighborhood! Happy Halloween from the princess and her frog prince!