Temporarily Settling In
Written 1 hour ago
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Josiah is currently in dialysis, which generally takes approximately five hours between the prep into & the prep out of the actual four hour dialysis, in addition to the 10 minute bus ride here & the 20 minute bus ride back to RMH. That is pretty much what one does on a dialysis day. We hope to get some school in again once we get back, but it’s all determined by how he feels once the day’s requirements of his body are through.

It’s been good having Joci here with us while on spring break. Josiah & her have had some good bonding time.  Kevan is going to visit today & take her home for dance, etc.. We look forward to seeing him. In the meantime, Josiah’s sister, Jessa, has had two surgeries on her salivary gland in January, goes in for a follow-up appointment today, & it seems the cyst has returned – in one day! We are over ready for all of the medical/physical/time/money expense to be done now. We just finished this journey with Kevan throughout January/February, with physical therapy & chiropractic pending. So very thankful Jesus shed His blood for our infirmities & came to bring us life abundant! Standing in faith for all He accomplished on the cross to manifest in the Sorenson family big time…double portion! This month we celebrate Passover & Resurrection – these locusts through the eternal blood of Jesus can simply pass over us, & the light of restoration/resurrection be released suddenly! Thank You, Father, that Your Word is truth & we can rest in who You are to do what we cannot do ourselves.

I also know we are not alone on this journey: there are many families going through difficult times in this season everywhere (I think of our good missionary friends in Belize experiencing numerous hardships, as well as Children of the Promise in Haiti, just for starters.) This a.m. we met a mom & daughter waiting for the bus who have been here for three months, thinking it was going to be two weeks: cancer in her daughter’s face, infections & reconstructive surgeries. We talked about the difference in people’s willingness to help for example, when her daughter, on crutches, falls on the ice as she proceeds to catch the bus: some immediately rush to help, some simply watch the struggle from a distance…Lord, release Your heart of compassion worldwide to be Your hands & feet in all whose actions touch the lives of hurting families & individuals, through Your Word, Your Spirit, Your Name & Your eternally powerful blood poured out for all mankind.

I am in a deep seeking place these days. Thinking about adding some music therapy to my future. Thinking about writing down some significant revelation learned along the journey. There is much stirring in this moment. There is also all of the unknowns in our present: who will be the doctor assigned to his case (we have met three out of five possibilities thus far)? How long do we sit in dialysis limbo routine before things move forward into transplant season? When I got Jessa’s news last night I struggled. Joci immediately played the following song on her iPod, so that our day would end in alignment with Heaven. It totally bore witness with me, as Isaiah 54 is my personal inheritance Scripture.

The Desert Song – copyright Hillsongs 2009

  • Verse 1:
  • This is my prayer in the desert
  • When all that’s within me feels dry
  • This is my prayer in my hunger and need
  • My God is a God who provides
  • Verse 2:
  • And this is my prayer in the fire
  • In weakness or trial or pain
  • There is a faith proved
  • Of more worth than gold
  • So refine me Lord through the flames
  • Chorus:
  • And I will bring praise
  • I will bring praise
  • No weapon formed against me shall remain
  • I will rejoice
  • I will declare
  • God is my victory and He is here
  • Verse 3:
  • And this is my prayer in the battle
  • When triumph is still on it’s way
  • I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
  • So firm on His promise I’ll stand
  • Bridge:
  • All of my life
  • In every season
  • You are still God
  • I have a reason to sing
  • I have a reason to worship
  • Verse 4:
  • This is my prayer in the harvest
  • When favor and providence flow
  • I know I’m filled to be emptied again
  • The seed I’ve received I will sow
  • Chorus:
  • And I will bring praise
  • I will bring praise
  • No weapon formed against me shall remain
  • I will rejoice
  • I will declare
  • God is my victory and He is here

Uplift Josiah
Written 15 hours ago
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Our sister-in-law & her husband, Summer & Jeff Brackhan of both Nourishing Souls & Fiddlestick Music, have launched a wonderful website & links as a huge blessing to help out our family/our youngest son, Josiah, on this difficult journey we find ourselves walking. Please check out their site via the following links:

Via Fiddlestick Music & Nourishing Souls

Hello all~ Our nephew recently found out he needs a kidney transplant. Since we cannot be there to help them juggle all of the things that come along with a major life change, Summer decided to make a difference through donating 100% profits of her book and created a donation page. Please check it out – it would mean the world to us~ If you share, like and comment on this post it will also help spread the word. Thank you! Thank you!http://www.NourishingSouls.com/uplift

Thankful
Written 23 hours ago
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Today we gives much thanks for the RMH (Ronald McDonald House); a place where we can get a good night’s rest, have our meals, get caught up on our homeschooling, exercise, find fun things to do in the midst of not-so-fun circumstances, & have fellowship with other families on similar not-so-fun journeys.
Today is Josiah’s day off dialysis. The dialysis seems to ‘wipe him out,’ so after a good night’s rest, he bounces back & will tackle getting caught up on some school work. Joci is still here with us, as she is on spring break from her classes & this gives her time to work on school work, as well as spend some time exploring & doing some RMH activities with Josiah. This is our first full day here & it appears fairly quiet…assuming everyone is either at the hospital, at doctor appointments, or busy schooling (they have a K-12 school program here). Attached is a photo of Josiah picking up where he left off in his room at home, here at the RMH.

I’m exploring some interesting options for myself while here: revisiting my degrees, my calling, having my Kingdom vision enlarged for ‘setting captives free’ from infirmities (Isaiah 61), etc…for when this season has progressed into Josiah’s transplant phase. It will be interesting to see where the Lord leads me in this time of searching & seeking. I’m pretty sure it won’t look how I thought or dreamt, but I know it will be better, because this is simply who I know my Heavenly Father is for me & for the family He has given me/us to steward.

Beginning Week 1
Written Mar 11, 2013 9:08am
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It was so good to go home for a day & a half to regroup, repack, & rest in our own beds. Sunday we returned to the Cities & were blessed to be a part of Jessa’s special friend, Yinka’s, saxophone recital. It was an awesome break from the turbulence of the past two weeks. See attached photo of Joci & Josiah at the recital. (I was also blessed to accompany Yinka on one of his pieces. See photos.)
Josiah, Joci & I settled back in to the RMH complete with school, & the rest of our family went home for the week (Joci will spend every Sunday p.m. – Tuesday a.m. with us in order to keep her spring semester classes in forward motion. I will drive her up to her campus on Tuesday a.m.’s & Dad will pick her up Tuesday p.m.’s so she can go home & also keep up her dance. Dad will take her to class Friday a.m.’s, & Josiah & I will pick her up Friday afternoons on our way home. This is our temporary new normal. Somewhere in this journey we will register Joci for her senior year fall semester classes & do Iowa Basics testing with Josiah.)

We want to thank Jaran, Steph, the Salinas, & all those involved with the totally awesome personal video message to Josiah from Sting…very special & much appreciated!!!

This a.m. on the bus, we met a mom who’s baby, Gracie, needs your prayers (BMT). We also ask for prayers for baby Ethan’s heart surgery today. Each & every one of these families needs an army of prayer warriors to bring them into the manifestation of the deliverance & healing that only Jesus can bring.

I visited with a woman in the coffee shop line this a.m. who was annoyed by the muzak, as it was totally not ‘hospital friendly.’ We talked about the piano in the Mayo lobby & how that impacted that atmosphere. Totally confirming some things the Lord is birthing in me – enlarging my vision for – with regard to creative Heaven-sent music that releases His healing, not only for the physically sick, but also for the emotionally broken. The world is most definitely screaming for a supernatural manifestation of the healing Jesus shed His blood for, & the screaming is especially loud in a medical atmosphere.

Josiah is in his four-hour dialysis as I write. Joci is keeping him company this a.m.. We’re starting out well: I was reminded of my need to remind him to takes his meds :). When we are through with dialysis we will catch the bus back & begin his school day. I plan to get back to working out today, as it will simply bring good balance back into my all-around well-being…I need to stay well.

There’s a whole journey that needs to begin regarding the determining of Josiah’s eligibility for a kidney match, finding a match, etc., but it doesn’t sound like that journey will begin this week, so for now, we stand in faith for miracles & do the dialysis routine until something different manifests in our reality. Every week we meet a different doctor: we have learned there are five nephrologists at this kidney center who rotate & eventually one will become Josiah’s main doctor. There’s something unsettling about switching doctors every week in the middle of all this unknown. Thank You, Lord, that You are His head Physician, so I will simply dismiss the unsettling.

A huge thank you to everyone for all of the encouraging words, prayers & support. I’m getting much confirmation on some things & the grace/peace of His presence is carrying us on the wings of your prayers. His abundant blessings to each & every one of you & your families. We are in a place where every aspect of our past 8 year journey with this as our present is 100% completely dependent on His supernatural intervention. He can, therefore, we stand in faith that He will.

Psalm 37

Day 1 of Temporary New Normal
Written Mar 8, 2013 10:10am
Sleep has evaded me for weeks now; a trip/travel, conference, & now all of this. The Lord woke me up promptly at 2:27 a.m. to remind me of His long standing promise of restoration to me/us spoken March in 2002, confirmed again in February 2008, & over & again since. I read & I pray, not only for our situation, but for the many here whose lives have been turned upside down by the enemy’s plans for their children/families. I pray the Lord will grant my prayers favor & authority through Christ in me & the power in His blood to ‘clear out this joint’ of all sickness. Yes…I dream BIG! I’ve taught every child the Lord has put in front of me to dream that BIG, therefore, I will keep standing in faith & dream of a time here on Earth when the power Jesus & His disciples walked the Earth with, releasing the miraculous on behalf of setting all of the captives free…that the magnitude of His power then will again be released through His Body here on Earth, bringing Him glory, & drawing the multitudes of people unto Himself. That is simply who He is in me & all of His promises are ‘yes, & amen!’ He came to destroy the works of the enemy & sickness is simply that (1 John 3:8b).

I just signed Josiah’s outpatient consent form, explaining & agreeing to all of the risks involved with his dialysis treatment. As risky as they all are, his doctor explains that the consent form is not really an option because without the treatment he would die. Next week we find out who his main kidney doctor will be so that they can do all of the things they do to determine his eligibility for transplant. Josiah sleeps peacefully while all of these conversations take place: it’s easier & best for him. Many of the kids in the adjoining rooms do the exact same thing. It’s amazing how busy a pediatric kidney center can be…who’d have ever thought?

It is so very easy to be oblivious to this world when not in the thick of it. I have led children’s healing prayer teams to pray & decree healing for people in need. I have been in prayer groups for years, prayed for hours in my own home in the wee hours of the morning, taught my own kids to do the same, been part of Houses of Prayer since 2001, prayed with friends through really tough stuff, been in an online school learning to release specific Spirit, Blood & Light empowered prayer language, yet it all takes on another meaning when it impacts one’s own family to this extent, & sometimes an inventory is helpful.

  • 1) 1992-93 – complicated twin pregnancy with hydrocephalus diagnosis: miracle birth & life!
  • 2) 1999 car accident with tractor/manure spreader on highway & several hundred doctor/dental appointments – spared with much healing in the journey
  • 3) 2000, 2002, 2005 – job changes, house sales, & moves (much went on between 1993-2000 that I am choosing to keave off the list)
  • 4) 2002 – adopted three children from Guatemala & all of the miraculous confirmation that went with that journey
  • 5) 2006 – economic meltdown land – that’s taking on an entirely new meaning in this journey
  • 6) 2009 – Kevan ends up in the hospital with low potassium, causing heart attack symptoms – recovers quickly
  • 7) 2010 – Jessa oral surgery & Jaran’s ongoing childhood tooth issues
  • 8) 2011 – Jessa & I are rear-ended at a school cross-walk with a bus stopped, followed by months of physical therapy/chiropractic
  • 9) 1/30/11-1/1/12 – after spending New Year’s Eve praying for a number of hours at our Arts Expressed releasing His plans/purposes for our family, the very next day our son hits black ice, totals our best vehicle & goes to the emergency room – thankfully, he is not hurt seriously
  • 10) March 2012 – another storm day, Jessa follows me into town while I watch in my rear view mirror as her car loses control & crosses into an oncoming truck (thankfully, slow enough that no one was hurt…again)
  • 11) June 2012 – had to let The Expressed facility go…knew it was ‘transportable’ – to be ‘expressed’ anyway
  • 12) December 2012 – Kevan begins a bacterial infection/neuropathy doctor journey for several months while Jessa has to have two oral surgeries on cysts in her salivary gland (January 2013)…all yucky stuff ruled out & results are the best they can be under the circumstances
  • 13) February 2013 – Josiah’s renal failure…miracle yet to be manifested…

This list doesn’t contain any specifics from 1980-1992 (the year we got married up to our second pregnancy), nor does it remotely detail the blending of our family of three biological children (two being a set of twins) & three older adopted children all at once, driving kids countless times to church, school, rehearsals, lessons, family ministry, family trips, & all of the dynamics/expense of raising/home educating a family of six children with all of their giftings/interests, & swimming upstream against the tide of a culture of abortion, sexual perversion, substance abuse mania, & redefining the family. Not venting, but rather painting a picture, as much of this was our choice in following His leading. (Name one Bible story where there weren’t years of hardship prior the ‘suddenlies’ plan.)

Writing it out makes the whole journey seem somewhat surreal, but sometimes we simply have to look back at the incredible faithfulness of our Lord in the midst of the wilderness. There is no way we could have dreamed this journey nor walked through it without His intimate love & presence. I am so thankful He led us to raise our children to know Him intimately, as there is no way to do this life without Him…without His Presence. He is who we trust absolutely: our Strong Tower, our Refuge & our Rock, because He is always good, always loves us deeply, is always faithful, & always calms the storm. He is our Hope, our Peace, our Joy, & our Strength, as we rely on Him to manifest in our circumstances, making us the Conquerors & the Overcomers He has promised & already made us to be (Rom. 8:37, Rev. 12:11).

A Little Bit of Shock
Written Mar 7, 2013 8:04pm
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Both Josiah & I needed to take a deep breath after we watched all of the caring for/trouble shooting videos pertaining to his central line, as well as all of the precautionary discharge ‘just-in-case’ needed information. We were fine with the medications discharge, but the central line information caught us both off guard. He chose to go to sleep for a bit.

We figured out how to time the transport system between the hospital & the RMH for the first time. I have already done the RMH to the hospital several times but the reverse was more new information.

We have now settled in for the night in our new temporary digs away from home. Josiah’s a little tired, so touring the facility will wait until after we have regrouped into next week’s routine. The newest photos are Josiah in his new RMH welcome blanket, his new Impact Wrestling T-Shirt, & his new temporary bed.

All of this is a bit mind boggling, especially since we had no warning, no preparation, no hint of any kind that our lives were going to change so drastically in just one short week. So for tonight we say, ‘Thank You, Lord, that the ICU/hospital stay portion of our journey until the transplant portion of this journey is finished,” & we say, “Thank You, Lord, for the grace to do tomorrow.”

The Next Phase: Our New Temporary Normal
Written Mar 7, 2013 12:17pm
Beginning today, Josiah will be discharged as an outpatient on an every Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. dialysis schedule at Amplatz Children’s Hospital Kidney Center. This means that we will spend our week in the Twin Cities at the Ronald McDonald House, do our dialysis, homeschooling, etc., go home on Friday afternoons to regroup, & then return on Sunday afternoon/evening to begin the routine over again each week until Josiah receives his transplant. We are believing for & praying for a transplant evaluation & match ASAP. The sooner he gets his transplant, the sooner his newer ‘normal,’ with all of the medications that accompany that journey, but without the dialysis portion of the renal failure journey, will manifest.

We will receive supernatural miraculous intervention any time along this journey & in any form the blood of Jesus would choose to manifest in Josiah’s body & circumstances. We believe, receive, & decree it is always in Christ & through Christ that ALL things are possible, & that ALL things will be turned to good, simply because we place our wholehearted faith & trust in Jesus, we love Him, & we are called according to His good purpose.

Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’

And then there’s Josiah…
Written Mar 6, 2013 7:29pm
Josiah’s Dad has put together a fun recap of the past week’s journey & Josiah’s one-liners while coping with his hospital stay & all of the changes (his head ‘nephrologist’ says Josiah’s good sense of humor is going to be his best asset going forward):

Says Josiah, “Your fired!” – to a nurse who wouldn’t negotiate for a bigger screen TV.

Josiah threatened to “unionize” & file a “patient’s bill of rights” complaint (they should never have given him the ‘patient bill of rights brochure’ in with his food menu).

Josiah is on a first name basis with his head surgeon & doctor: “Brad” & “Priya.”

Going into dialysis Tuesday, after a long, rough day of surgery, recovery, & dialysis prior, Tammy asked Josiah if he was doing ok – he flashed two thumbs up and stated about the head dialysis technician, “I’m good – I know this guy – he’s good. And no matter what the nurse says about his mustache, I think it’s awesome.”

Josiah was under strict orders from the nurse to not get up out of bed without assistance for obvious reasons, but they specifically said they didn’t want him to run the risk of fainting. The nurses reported overnight (while Tammy was sleeping at the Ronald McDonald House) that Josiah decided some fake fainting spells would be funny when they came in for his lab test blood draws. He told them that he was fainting & that it was time to write his Will, leaving his iPod to the nurse. He also faked pulling out his IV because it hurt so much (just kidding)…and yes, his doctor had heard all about it before her morning rounds 🙂

Josiah is on a very restricted diet, but when Tammy came into his room this morning, he was up ordering Room Service on the phone ……..first words: “Don’t worry. I asked.”

Vintage Josiah … does anyone want to volunteer resuming his Homeschooling ????

Final Full Day
Written Mar 6, 2013 5:41pm
It appears the rumors are true. After a long day of rest & movies, minus Josiah’s one eye appointment & all of the usual hourly checks/labs/meds, today is our last full hospital day. Critical phase under control. Thank You, Lord, for all of the answered payers, support, & encouragement! Tomorrow Josiah will do his four hour dialysis full strength for the first time. We then set up what his continued weekly dialysis & medication schedule will look like until his transplant, & then he will be discharged. The weekly dialysis schedule will determine what that looks like for the rest of our family, & we will know more tomorrow.

We will continue to pray & stand in faith with the five prayer requests I posted yesterday until the transplant, which we trust will manifest suddenly. We are confident the Lord has already gone before us & prepared the way.

Josiah enjoyed & devoured three hearty meals today & will look forward to getting out & about beginning tomorrow. His new meds, & dialysis schedule will be an adjustment for all of us, but the Lord promises to be with us every step of the journey in His grace. It’s all good because He is good.

This whole ordeal (Kevan, Jessa, & now Josiah) has been a positive shift of perspective in the midst of our past 8 year season. It’s so easy in our culture to get busy being human doings with our crazy schedules, where silly things like being stuck in traffic, being on time/late for the next appointment, something someone said/did/didn’t say/do how we thought they should/shouldn’t have said/did it, bills, school/work/church schedules, fast food lanes not moving fast enough, our weight/looks/hair not being how we want it, or whatever else becomes our focus in this daily life. A journey down hospital lane brings back into alignment the hurting & broken people who are always to be the most important focus of our existence. Each individual/family has a unique story, unique needs/hurts/circumstances, & each one is equally on our Heavenly Father’s heart. We are here to be His hands, feet, & heart in the same manner modeled by His Son, in the power of Holy Spirit dwelling within us, empowered by His selfless sacrifice (an event remembered & celebrated throughout the world this month). Every day is a new day to partner with Heaven on how that is going to look in our lives on behalf of someone else, every minute/every hour. That is why it’s in Him we live, move, & have our being.

Our family has been on the receiving end of this kind of love throughout the past week. There is a entire world of communities comprised of individuals waiting for Him to use us as tangible expressions of His love, keeping our focus on Who (loving God) & what (loving others) is really important in this life. Thank You, Father, for taking us up even higher…for blessing us with eagles eyes.

Perfect Vision
Written Mar 6, 2013 11:25am
Josiah aced his eye exam this a.m.: 20/15. Everyone is pleased. His hematoma was connected to his nose bleeds, platelets, etc. & should not happen again. His kidneys have not impacted his eyes. His favorite football team is the Eagles, so his brother, Jadan, said Josiah has ‘eagle eyes.’

Eagle eyes: I have prayed for revelation so many times while watching the eagles catch the wind currents, circling higher & higher. Today, not only do we pray to see from Heaven’s perspective to pray His will to Earth, but today we also decree the truth of Isaiah 40:31.

We’ve had to put this verse to the test so many times over the years that people would not read/believe it all if detailed. So for today, we believe, receive, & meditate on Your Word to higher heights & deeper depths. Thank You, Father, that Your Word is Truth, alive, & infinite in wisdom & revelation. Today we wait on You, we gain new strength, we mount up with wings like eagles, we run & do not get tired, we walk without being weary, & we give You thanks & praise!

Even more of a praise report: rumor has it they may be discharging him after dialysis tomorrow. Then we will move to phase 2 of this portion of our perfect vision journey.

Bouncing Back
Written Mar 6, 2013 9:55am
When I arrived at the hospital this a.m. bright & early, I discovered Josiah out of bed over by the telephone ordering himself breakfast. (He say, ‘Don’t worry. I asked.’ His appetite is back in full force, as Josiah is bouncing back to his complete self (minus the kidney issues :). He gave his nurse a hard time when drawing blood for labs: pretended to faint & asked her if he could write out his will, leave her his iPod 🙂 That’s Josiah.

His hemoglobin was as 7.5, escaping a blood transfusion today by .1…yah!

He then got wheeled in a wheelchair for the first time, instead of a hospital bed, through the underground tunnel over to an eye exam, which is where we are currently sitting & waiting. Thus far, he has aced everyt test while thoroughly enjoying the competition & the challenge. They have to check why his eye has a hematoma, as well as if this has impacted his vision…not according to what we have observed up to this part of the exam. Thank You, Lord!

I woke up very encouraged this a.m…read a couple of emails plus the Elijah List article by Rob Hotchkin…exactly what I needed to hear to start my day, standing on His Word & His faithfulness. Keeping my mind stayed on Him is my main job…renewed & in a good place. Thanks again for prayers & encouraging words…grace for this day, expecting His faithfulness in overcoming & prevailing.

May He abundantly bless you all!!!

Prayer Request Specifics
Written Mar 5, 2013 10:03pm
We are requesting prayer coverage over the following specific needs for Josiah:

1) Absolutely no autoimmune issues at the source of this journey that would impact a kidney transplant.
2) When he gets discharged from the hospital that we wouldn’t get discharged from the Ronald McDonald House due to borderline distance qualifications, as his doctors strongly advise his weekly dialysis to take place at Amplatz for a number of reasons.
3) Insurance approval to do dialysis at Amplatz, rather than me being forced to train for draining him via an abdomen line at home…no thank you.
4) Insurance approval/coverage for a transplant.
5) Financial provision for the entire ordeal.
6) Miraculous intervention in every area of this journey to the amazement of the doctors for the glory of the Lord. (He has already amazed them with the impossible numbers that we have currently journeyed through. Let’s believe for & decree some miraculous good report manifestations!)

Thank you so much for prayers, encouraging words, & for however the Lord leads you to co-labor with our family in this journey. May you all be abundantly blessed in every way!

Missing Stats
Written Mar 5, 2013 5:26pm
I already posted Josiah’s bizarre & wild stats but somewhere they disappeared. Here’s a quick repost:

2/27/13 Stats

Creatinine = 22 – Normal = .5 to 1
BUN = 217  – Normal = 5 to 24
PHOS = 13.4  – Normal = 2.9 to 5.4
PTH = 600 – Normal = Less than 100

His potassium levels were within normal range, which is the miracle the Lord used to protect him in the mist of the storm raging inside his body.

This doesn’t even cover blood pressure, calcium, longest cath line placement surgery issues…etc…

Josiah is setting records in so many areas – records we don’t exactly embrace him setting. Prayerfully, he will also set miraculous records to the glory of God!

The Coolest Care Package Ever
Written Mar 5, 2013 4:38pm
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This care package came today from Nashville via his awesome big brother Jaran & his wife, Steph, & the awesome Serg & Dixie Salinas family…oh so thankful & blessed!!!

Josiah’s comments: ‘sweet’ & ‘awesome’ times every item in the box!

Answers
Written Mar 5, 2013 12:27pm
While updating my most recent post, Josiah’s new doctor for the week stopped by the Kidney Center. I now have a few more answers for our journey.

His new doctor cancelled the needed unit of blood even though his hemoglobin was low, because Josiah still has fluid around his heart they are trying to remove. She thought as they got him closer to his ‘dry weight’ the hemoglobin numbers would rise.

As soon as his numbers are more stable, removing the need for daily dialysis, Josiah will be discharged to a 3x weekly dialysis schedule, which they strongly recommended to be done here at Amplatz because of the uniqueness of his case, as well as the one-on-one care he will get in this pediatric facility. His cath line operation set a new record again yesterday, as it has never taken that long to place a line in a patient before. His line had to be placed along his collarbone, causing more pain & more sores/soreness than any other patient they have seen. Josiah can stop setting new bad records any time now 🙂

The Dr. gave me two dialysis options: to come here 3x weekly, or to be trained to drain it nightly via abdomen/phone & some trips here. The latter is only if we plan to put his transplant off until next December, of which we do not. She then recommended the 3x weekly here. She cancelled the unit of blood because every unit of blood messes with his transplant matches.

Kidney transplant will take place as soon as possible, but not before his numbers are stable, & not before they’ve investigated as much of the reasons why his kidneys did this in the first place as possible. She said they may never know the full reason why. Most pediatric kidney failures do not return to the new kidney, but some do, therefore, they have to explore all of the reasons why before the transplant to ensure his best results with the transplant.

All I can say is, “Wow, Lord…supernatural intervention any time would be totally awesome & welcomed, all to the glory of Your name!”

Thanks again for journeying this with us before the only One who can truly heal the whole of the entire journey our family is on. Blessings!

Storm
Written Mar 5, 2013 11:20am
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Where do I begin, as we have been so many places since my last post late yesterday afternoon that I have to stop & regroup?

I am currently sitting in the Kidney Center where Josiah has to have another four hours of dialysis & a unit of blood because his hemoglobin dropped to 7. We will be in the hospital until his numbers stop the roller coaster ride he is on.

He is resilient, as you can see by the photo with his new orca beanie ball Joci & I got him yesterday. Cute, soft things make him smile. He is also enjoying the dialysis team today, as he already met them in ICU. I am currently around the corner from his dialysis room, as it’s not big enough for all of us. He looked at his dialysis team & promptly said, “I’ll be just fine with this guy (as he thumbs him), Mom.”

Yesterday, after being in OR, Recovery & Dialysis from 9 a.m. until after 7 p.m. we got transported to a new floor (Joci & the nurse moved everything from the other floor in my absence.) Come to find out we are on the bone marrow floor: solid wood doors without windows, dark, colored lighting, no coats, no visitors with colds, masks, etc., no fridge (all of our fridge food we’d stocked has to find a new home), etc…all minor inconveniences, but a big shift from the bright & vibrant atmosphere we had the day prior (thank you Lord for my birthday party being in the vibrant room!). Two days in a row he has ordered meals that have not found him. Yesterday we had to track down a ‘courtesy meal’ as his only meal of the day (Joci had ordered supper before closing hours while we were in dialysis, but it never found him because of the room change. I’ll bet the cost will find us, however.) Transport was in a hurry somewhere so he was left in his new room in his recovery room bed for two nurses to figure out how to get him to his new bed without causing pain. Once we got used to the commotion of all his new surroundings, etc., we settled in to catch our breath for several hours before Joci & I went to the Ronald McDonald house via shuttle & let Josiah have his first night without family in his room.

He apparently had a bloody nose, but other than that it was an uneventful night, which is good. He awakened at 6 a.m. due to an entire day of sleeping yesterday. He said he spent time with the Lord for an hour, they weighed him, gave him meds & shots (blood draws?), & ordered his breakfast, that again never found us in the Kidney Center. While he was doing that, Joci & I were unburying Jadan’s car from the parking lot, driving on icy/snowy roads with the one car we have that needs new tires, to get her to class on time in Brooklyn Park, returning to the Ronald McDonald House to park & catch the shuttle to the hospital, arriving just in time to find out Josiah was being prepped to go down for dialysis, & Joci’s classes had been cancelled. Plan B…or is it C, D, E or F? Not sure right now.

This update lets you know what goes on in between the updates & then some for the many people dealing with this hand they’ve been dealt. I absolutely could not do it without the intimate place of trust I am with in my Lord. Period. He’s here with us, in amongst all of the chaos, good reports, not-so-good reports, & ‘inconveniences.’ Perspective on what is an inconvenience in our convenience-centered society sure shifts in this atmosphere…that’s one thing I know.

The Lord told me back in 2008 to ‘choose life’ with my every word, every thought & every action…practice for my present, & a testimony to what’s truly important in the goings-on of every day life, regardless of circumstances. We are in dialysis until around 2:00 p.m.. We will then return to his room on a floor I need to find a whole new prayer language for…that’s what I know for this hour.

Thanks again to everyone for your many prayers & words of encouragement. In the midst of that, please pray for our finances, as they were in need supernatural intervention before all of this transpired. Bless you all!

Long Day
Written Mar 4, 2013 4:52pm
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The newest photo depicts Josiah sleeping peacefully during dialysis in the midst of a very long day. His began at 7 a.m. with all of the blood draws, weight, meds, etc.. At 9:00 a.m., we were sitting in the Operating Room prep room going through all of the detailed events of his surgery. Surgery began at 10:30 a.m. & took longer than they expected. I joined Josiah in the Recovery Room about 1:30 p.m. plus a chest x-ray, & then we were moved to the Kidney Center floor for Dialysis about 3:00 p.m.. Dialysis is a four hour process, he is still sedated for some pain, & resting is the best place for him to currently be. I then took a short break with Joci for lunch about 4:00 p.m., as well as bought him something from the hospital gift shop to take his mind off things once he wakes up.

I am feeling my lack of sleep. I tried to go to bed at a decent hour last night to get a good night’s sleep, but alas, it evaded me again into the wee hours of the night…praying, processing, & all that goes with the shift we find ourselves in as a family.

Feeling the peace of everyone’s prayers…totally. Every once in awhile I simply want to cry, but the Lord knows, & then it’s all good…relatively speaking 🙂

Just keeping everyone in Josiah’s loop. Thanks for checking in 🙂

Written Mar 4, 2013 2:40pm
A huge thank you to all who have posted such wonderful words of encouragement & support! We will make sure Josiah reads them all as soon as he is awake!

Recovery
Written Mar 4, 2013 2:21pm
I am now sitting in the recovery room next to a sleeping Josiah. Surgery took longer than expected, as there were some complications with placing the line, therefore, he had to have a tube down his throat & a few other things that impact rate of recovery. Thank you all so much for your prayers, as he is where he is – in the recovery room – because the Lord heard & answered those prayers. We are waiting for the OK to be wheeled in his bed to four hours of dialysis following that Ok. Since he has been sedated & is sleepy, he will have dialysis again for the fourth time since we began this journey in his bed. The first three days they brought dialysis to him in ICU. Today his bed goes to the dialysis floor…a new piece of his journey we will be introduced to shortly.

I am starting to get fairly hungry, as I have not yet eaten today & I see the clock says 2:30, but then again, neither has Josiah eaten yet today, so I am sharing in another part of this journey he has to walk through.

Thank you all again for praying him through the surgery. Our Healer is with us! Bless you all!

Surgery
Written Mar 4, 2013 11:22am
Josiah is currently in surgery to place a long-term cath line & I am sitting in the family waiting room…waiting…for longer than it seemed they said I would be waiting? I have lost track of time somehow in that journey. I was going to post prayer specifics over all of the issues needing the prayer covering we were briefed as concerns that ‘could go wrong,’ but ended up visiting with a mom from Florida with her 16 year old instead, as they are in a place of apprehension & questions as well (had to have her pancreas removed & all of the complications attached)…that was what I was supposed to be doing in that moment, while trusting in the prayer coverage I had already put out there via family & Facebook.

So many hurting families & so many issues that are absolutely not the will of Heaven on Earth, but rather the enemy who prowls around seeking to lie, kill, steal & destroy. We know that the eternal blood of Jesus Christ is more than enough to guide Josiah’s doctor’s hands, & cover all of his specific issues: blood pressure, calcium, numbers of all kinds, line placement, protection of the surgery area, etc. in the operating room.

Perspective in this place is everything. The hospital staff is wonderful & caring. They totally make every effort to remove all of the ‘scary’ for the many families who’s journeys did not remotely dream of or plan for all they are currently walking through. There is truly only one place of rest & peace…in our identity in the blood & righteousness of Jesus Christ as His sons & daughters. Father God holds us in the palm of His hands because of Jesus & we feel Holy Spirit’s presence. Period. Our daughter, Joci, wrote recently: “Thank you SO much for leading me to Jesus! I can’t imagine a life without Him. It makes me so sad for those that don’t know Him and think that they have to walk this life alone.” That about sums it up.

My vision for the healing Jesus Christ purchased with His shed blood to manifest here on Earth as it is in Heaven…in this natural realm & in people’s intimate circumstances…is hugely enlarging by the minute, not only for Josiah & our family, but for each & every precious child/family who has been given one of the top medical staffs in the world to deal with their circumstances, as well as every one of those, for example – back in Guatemala where Josiah would have been had the Lord not intervened & placed him in our family – who do not have access to medical treatment, parents to sit in waiting rooms-pray-post on Caring Bridge for family & friends who care about who they are, how they are, how they are gifted & nurtured in every way…to come to personally understand our Heavenly Father’s dreams for each one to come to know His love intimately, personally, wholeheartedly, & empowered to walk His every good plan purposed for each & every one.

All I can say again for today is, ‘Here I am, Lord, send me.’ In 2002, He sent us to Guatemala City, Guatemala, to bring home three siblings, ages 5, 8, & 10 to add to enlarge our family of mom, dad, & three children. For today, I am in Amplatz Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, MN, family waiting room OR. God is good…all the time…and all of the time…He is good! Period. This I know that I know that I know.

Mom’s Birthday
Written Mar 3, 2013 2:34pm
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Today is Mom’s birthday…she is the same age as the inheritance Scripture the Lord gave her while sitting on the runway in Guatemala waiting to return to the States with three new siblings to add to their family. We are having an awesome edible fruit arrangement from Aunt Shari & family (thanks guys!!!), as well as pecan & French silk pie. The Dr. gave Josiah special permission to have birthday treats today, which is a big deal since they are working so hard to get all of his numbers in alignment & diet is a huge part of that journey. Everyone is here to celebrate except Jaran & Steph since they live so far away…they are here in spirit.

Our family just checked in to the Ronald McDonald House just a little way from the Children’s Hospital, as they suggested it would be a good idea when there was a room available. Wow…what amazing accommodations for families in need! We are blessed. That in itself will simplify things, especially gas & parking. One day at a time with all of the schedules everyone keeps.

Josiah had a battle with an extensive nose bleed today, but other than that he is doing well. What kid wouldn’t want a 50 inch flatscreen tv in his bedroom at his complete disposal 24/7 without any chores or homework to do? I’m guessing at some point that may wear out & we will get back to schooling. We will see where things are at/what the schedule is going to look like by the end of this coming week.

Thank you all so much for your prayers & words of encouragement! We are abundantly blessed & so very thankful for each of you in our lives.

New Digs
Written Mar 2, 2013 5:27pm
Josiah has been upgraded to a new floor. He thinks these accommodations are so awesome that he should move here. The nurses assured him that he would most definitely be ready to go home when its time. The incredibly large private room with big screen tv was the attraction & clincher, making his new situation much less frightening & more bearable.

Moving Up
Written Mar 2, 2013 4:38pm
We are awaiting a move to a new floor! This is good news, as ICU & stability of whacky numbers has progressed as purposed! Thank You, Lord! We have also been informed the goal is a kidney transplant as soon as we have received the green light both test wise & donor wise (we will most certainly take a supernatural kidney transplant as well). Dialysis until the transplant. One he has had the transplant they fully expect him to return to a fairly normal life. Still awaiting more test results & more journey details. We journey from here to there, the Lord carrying us one day at a time.

New pics of Josiah sitting up after three days of ICU, awaiting his room upgrade, as well as photos of WII competition 🙂

Suddenly
Written Mar 2, 2013 2:43pm
Who would have thought that what we suspected to be food poisoning, followed by a flu virus, would suddenly turn into ICU Emergency Dialysis with a child who has been active & healthy since we adopted him in November of 2002? We have suddenly been told that if he had received a blood draw anywhere along the way, either upon entering the country as a newly adopted member of our family, or from any illness, which obviously never occurred, we would have then discovered Josiah has the kidneys of a 1-2 year old, that this condition has been there all along (they never grew past that age), & it was to the doctor’s amazement that he was up walking around healthy for this long. He had passed all of his wellness checks, immunizations appointments, etc. thus far. The woulda, coulda, shoulda’s don’t do us any good at this point.

I scheduled a local doctor visit earlier this week that we fully expected to reveal virus or mono…something an antibiotic can improve quickly, however, we were suddenly & quickly on our way to the emergency room at Amplatz Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. After ultrasounds, x-rays, EKG’s, & multiple other blood tests, we were set up in ICU to stabilize astoundingly whacky numbers over the course of three days just to get his body to the place they can begin to treat him. We suddenly have a medical vocabulary we didn’t choose to have, a very restricted ‘renal’ diet – low everything except for sugar  , blood pressure medication for a 15-year old (the same blood pressure medicine his 53 year old father has), & are now prepping for a surgery to place a long-term cath line early next week. We were told this is the beginning of a very long haul that apart from divine intervention will lead to a kidney transplant. Many of the why’s & other test results are not yet back. They have been 100% focused on getting him stabilized for long term treatment. Step 1. Dialysis four hours three days in a row to gradually get all of his numbers to where they need to be at a rate his weakened body can handle without complications.

We cry…not in front of Josiah. Josiah says he’s not going to cry until he hears the whole story. There are a number of pieces to the whole story we have not yet shared with him, awaiting the test results & doctor’s prognosis in the natural. Their list includes long term dialysis (he heard three days  , a surgery, & no more physical activity: no football, basketball, frisbee golf?, mowing, swimming, showers, & so the list goes on…all due to the cath line risks, as well as how this all impacts his heart & other organs. We have not shared any of the yucky details with Josiah yet. One day at a time.

We are a family of faith: faith in a Healer who loves us intimately & immensely, & who is most certainly in the miracle business today just as much as when He walked this earth. We have a daughter, age 20, who received a miracle while she was in my womb, thus we personally know our God of miracles. Several members of our family (including me, Tammy) have been rescued in car accidents that could have easily snuffed out the plans & purposes our Heavenly Father has for us in this life. We are intimately familiar with Psalm 91, & we are now becoming intimately familiar with Psalm 23. I am a psalmist, therefore, I listen deeply & longingly for the sound & song of healing in our journey: the healing that is absolutely present & powerful in the blood of Jesus Christ our Savior & Lord. I knew my recording assignment for 2013 was a healing CD – I have the cover in my spirit & the song titles. Little did I know it would be for our own journey. I have wholeheartedly prayed, “Here I am, Lord, send me.” So…here I am.

Josiah has heard the voice of the Lord through Scripture & visions since he was 8 years old. Now he will have to press in with us for daily leading until his miracle manifests in this realm. His siblings also know the voice of Holy Spirit personally & relationally. They know Him in dreams, visions, Scriptures, prayer, worship, giftings – music, art, dance, singing – & as their calling in this life. We have taught numerous children & youth their identity in Christ, to believe for Him to manifest supernaturally in the midst of their lives, giftings, & callings, & to live a life of worship unto Him, as that is what we have all been created to do on this earth.

If there’s anything we know, after our family has journeyed through miracle births, car accidents, bizarre medical journeys for both myself & my husband, a number of oral surgeries for our son, daughter & myself, the dynamics of blending a family of five that includes a set of twins, adding an adopted sibling group of three children, ages 5, 8 & 10 from a foreign country who didn’t speak English, homeschooling all six children, ministering to countless kids & families throughout the midwest, moving four times in ten years with a family of 8, wholeheartedly following His leading in obedience to all of His desires, plans & purposes, living in the midst of an economic meltdown for the past 7 years, & now this…
If there’s one thing we know that we know: our Heavenly Father loves us intimately, immensely & personally…& He loves our children more than we do. He is always good, everything good we have is a gift from Heaven, & His plans & purposes for us here on earth are always for good, therefore, He will turn all of this to good for the glory of His name. He has purchased our salvation, our identity, our healing, our gifts/callings, our very lives, with His life & His blood, & He will supply all of our needs according to His rich abundance in glory. It is there that our faith stands in complete & total peace, hope, trust, & love. We rest in His Truth. He is our Foundation, our Rock, our Savior, our Comforter, our Beloved, & our Friend.

We are most thankful for all who are praying for us in this bizarre season of warfare we have been walking through for 8 years…we had a bizarre season of warfare back in the 90′s that people prayed us through & we saw His glory in all of it. This wilderness journey has been longer & tougher, & we have recently been informed that it’s just beginning? Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus & His righteousness. He will calm this storm. I also believe we will see the miraculous manifest in our present just as it did in the early church as Jesus taught & demonstrated. This is what we have trained up our children to believe. This is what we have lived. This is what we have taught wherever He has sent us to release. We believe. We receive. Thanks for believing with us.

Just found out, based on test results yet to be determined, making possible the goal, a transplant, which would then make dialysis short term rather than life long. Therefore, we believe through the eternal blood of Jesus Christ, for Josiah’s test results to determine him eligible for a transplant, including a supernatural manifestation of a kidney straight from the Throne Room to the amazement of all, making dialysis a short term journey instead of a life-long journey. Thank You, Father, that all of Your promises are ‘Yes’ & ‘Amen’ in Jesus!