I feel like last night’s trip to the ER was a good allegory/analogy for this whole last week of being sick.
Some background: Maggie got sick Friday night with fever and crying. Everybody else got it shortly after. The girls hit a low point about Tuesday and we took them to the Dr. We hit a high point and felt a little better. The doctor prescribed antibiotics for Anna, because her lungs were wet and she had a mild ear infection. Anna improved quickly. By Saturday, I had been in some pretty severe sinus pain for days and Maggie still had a fever. We went in to the doctor again on Saturday (Pediatrician for Maggie, Urgent care for me). We both got antibiotics prescribed. Monday, I was feeling mucho better – hooray!!! – and Maggie still had a fever that ranged from 100-103.5 under the arm. The advice nurse said that we ought to go in, even though the office was closed… that meant the emergency room or urgent care. Last night we went to the ER.
We got there at before 4:30pm sometime and got a leg band for Maggie. I was happy to be doing something instead of worrying at home that we ought to have gone in. She was still drinking lots of milk, so I wasn’t too worried about her despite the fever. I knew we were in for a wait, but hoped it wouldn’t be too bad. Now, on to divine appointments. We were in the waiting room until we left untreated at 7:45 pm with a feverish, half-sleeping baby and a wound up (cute) little girl. I saw three waves of patients come in, wait and be seen. Now, I don’t usually feel a sense of being in God’s will. But this whole sickness and even last night’s seemingly wasted trip to the ER felt very divinely arranged. Maybe it was everybody praying for us. Maybe God has specifically used this sickness to do good things with us.
I felt prompted to talk with other waiting patients as we all sat in mutual misery of one sort or another. I had an adorable, flushed, naked except for her diaper baby leaning warmly and limply on my chest as I walked around, so I definitely was not intimidating. I met so many people, some needing to talk, some wanting to talk and some not interested in talking. An older lady was in for broken ribs. A lady talked about her kids and grandkids (and a teenage granddaughter who wouldn’t clean her room). An older man and wife (he was in for a fall) got many smiles from watching Anna dance and play. The lady’s purse was shiny pink with brass spots and hardware all over it. Anna took a picture of it (and many other things) with the cell phone camera and made us all smile. A mom was in for being sick with three of her kids, ages 2-10? She was kind and not very talkative, but it was nice to be a mom near another mom. I felt for her as she had to wait so long while feeling dizzy with her three kids to keep together.
Her kids kept complaining about wanting dinner (it was after 5 by this point) and Brian and Anna were bringing back dinner. I decided we ought to eat where they didn’t have to watch us – that meant moving to the smaller side of the waiting room, placing us in chairs much closer to the few people waiting there. THere was an adult man waiting there who had Down Syndrome. I asked him if he’d been waiting long and who he was waiting for. He said he’d been waiting a long time for his roommate “Spence” to come back from a MRI of his head (he’d hit his head on the door and was bandaged up). I think the first thing he said to me though, was, “I’m kinda scared.” He almost whispered it to the floor as he swung his legs on the seat just like a ten year old boy worried about their friend. The next half an hour we talked – about him, where he works, how he got engaged last week (Oh my, I thought it was so sweet that he bought rings out of a candy machine at Fred Meyer – but he will buy real rings someday), they will get married in about two years he says, they both work together at a miniature horse farm. He was worried about his friend and we talked about that some. It was a pleasure to meet him and he left not long after. I’m glad he didn’t wait alone.
The admitting staff were friendly. Maggie got through triage and admitting… but we never got into a room. We talked with people, sat bleary-eyed and stared, traded Maggie back and forth as we got tired. Brian and I didn’t get to talk to each other much, hold each other, talk about the events of the day or much of anything else before we rolled on home and tucked the kids into bed. But the day didn’t feel wasted. The dishes, my desk, most things here are in a state of disaster (only doing essentials… that we remember).
So how is the trip to the ER like the whole 11 day sickness that we’ve had? Sometimes you don’t slow down without being forced to. I think that being sick has specifically helped us on our adoption journey. One, I was not impatient or worried as I waited for emails. Two, I would not have noticed that I forgot to send a particular email (was hanging out in my draft folder). There have been a number of events that marked “steps forward” in the process of deciding what to do. We have very deliberately held onto our faith and conviction that we are meant to adopt; if the Enemy wanted us to be too overwhelmed to adopt a waiting soul, then the ploy hasn’t worked.
Let me share the good news about what we’ve learned about adoption:
There ARE children under two with Down Syndrome waiting in the country we have originally considered.
The other agencies that we were worried had led us wrong seem to be totally in the clear after learning additional information about the process in the EE country we’ve been researching.
Other countries have also opened up due to us thinking the original country might not be a good fit for us. It is exciting to feel like there are several good choices to choose between instead of feeling pinched into something we’re not ready for.
The other countries are: two other’s in EE that shouldn’t be named on blogs and Ghana.
We are still very happy with the agency we’re working with.
We need to prayerfully consider all that we have learned. We need to talk about how we feel about a child who would need surgery sometime (cleft palate, heart surgery, etc.). Not sure when we’ll have time for that, but all this time, I’ve felt God’s providing hand.
Thanking God that I rested last night.
Thanking God for loving us.
Praying Maggie gets well soon.