Overwhelming Moments

See the end of this post for an update on Ethan…

I’m overwhelmed…

…when I sit and watch Ethan and remember the place we found him.  A dark place…both literally and metaphorically.  It was a place that made him terrified of bath time.  It was a place that instilled in him a desperate fear of spoons.  A place that made him afraid of cups and bottles.  

I’m overwhelmed when I lean over the rail of his bed and he puckers his lips and strains toward my face so I will kiss him and I realize that there’s never been anyone else in his life to kiss him except his papa and mama.  The touch he received before he knew us was just clinical.  To change clothes (roughly).  To feed (roughly).  To clean diaper areas (roughly).  To swat when he cried so he would be silent.  To bath (in a way that made him terrified of baths).  I’m overcome with gratefulness to God (for Ethan and for me) that when he is hurting, he just wants to rest his lips on mine and stays there.  It makes his world okay.  We make his world okay.  Something he’s never experienced.

I’m overwhelmed when I think of what he was like when we first met him.  He wouldn’t let us touch/hold/hug him.  He was under/malnourished and neglected.  He was literally skin and bones.  I remember how I could count ribs on front and back.  I could see organs in his gut because there was simply nothing there around them.  He had, literally, zero muscle on his arms and legs.  Little sticks that seemed so frail they would snap if you touched him too hard.  Even though people, undoubtedly, came through his orphanage on mission trips, noone ever really cared whether he lived or died.  In fact, for him to live was merely an inconvenience for those who cared for him.  It devastates me.  It devastates me because he is one…there are millions more like him all around the world and thousands upon thousands in Ukraine.

I’m overwhelmed that he is my son.  That I love him like he came from own seed.  That it feels like he’s always been here…not for only ten months.

I’m overwhelmed that God will use him to change the heart of a nation when we move back to his motherland and our “step-mother”land.


The surgery was a success according the doctor.  We have not seen any physical proof yet, of course.  We won’t see if things work until he starts eating.  Hopefully that will be Thursday.

Yesterday, he rested pretty comfortably with the help of morphine and tylenol.  The first night was pretty good except when they took his blood at 4 a.m.  Last night…not so good.  We were letting him go as long as he could without the morphine, for obvious reasons.  But last night about 11:30, his tylenol wore off and it had been eight hours since morphine.  So it got ugly for a while.  All I could do was hold him and kiss him and let him cry and scream.  I couldn’t tell him it was okay and stop crying.  It wasn’t okay.  So he cried and cried and looked at me in the eyes for comfort.  Precious…and heartbreaking at the same time.  He expected there was something I could do to make it stop hurting…but there wasn’t…except love him with tenderness and patience (even though it was the middle of the night and we should have both been asleep).

He and I went back to sleep about 1:30 a.m. and slept fitfully (both of us) until 5:45 when the resident came in to check him over before the actual doctor came.  I guess he reports to her (he’s finishing his training) and then she tells him if he is accurate in his assessment after she sees Ethan.

The Doc’s associate came in a while ago and said we could start clear liquids and see how it goes.  Ethan was pretty happy about that.  


Ready for a kiss…  this is the face I get when I put the rail down and get close… if I don’t kiss him,
he strains toward me to get a kiss.  Pretty sweet.


Maybe we should name the dog “Morphine.”  Since they would both be new-found friends during this hospital visit.


He gets the catheter out today about 4:00 p.m.  And we will hope for the best.  Then tomorrow he should get some food by mouth and we will hope and pray that his bowels and such wake up and work.  It’s been five years since they had to do anything…but God is bigger than all the “what ifs.”


We bless His great name today.  He is our Healer.  He is our Peace.  He is our Supply.