Monday, July 27, 2009

From the Mouth of Babes..

I am amazed at how God speaks to us at just the right time addressing the very thing we think we have hidden so well in the deepest place of our soul...this is a warning..this is going to sound harsh and selfish, so please no comments about my insensitivity !! I have been wrestling with so many things on this new journey with Parker, but one I have yet to utter out loud to anyone but my own Mother is that I don't want him to "look" like he has Down syndrome. There, I have said it "outloud" for all the world to know. I realize it is selfish, politically incorrect, and ALL of those things. I continue to pray that the Lord will answer my prayers and/or that he will answer them by healing my grief over this issue. As I was feeding Parker Saturday afternoon our 7 year old came into the bedroom and started this conversation..

"Mom, do you know what it means to be a true princess?"
"No, Mallory, what does it mean to be a true princess?"
"Well, man looks at the outside, but Jesus looks at the inside. While we look at the pretty, fancy clothes and beautiful faces, God only looks at what is inside your heart. He doesn't care if your clothes are ripped, what you look like, or if you have any money."

She then happily went on her way outside to swim in the pool as I sat there realizing the truth of the words we have always taught our kids. Leave it to the Lord to talk to me through my 7 year old...what is more amazing to me is that she doesn't realize how truly beautiful she is. She is completely unaware and innocent. She loves unconditionally at all times. She has the most gorgeous hair, joyful smile and eyes, but she truly is a beautiful person on the inside. She honestly looks at the inside of people not the outside and has the most kind, compassionate loving heart. She is always concerned about others first and never wants anyone to feel bad or be hurt,etc.. She is quick to give something to someone else even if she really wants it. It is amazing what we can learn through our children. Children truly are a gift from God. Thank you Lord for my children, I am truly blessed!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2 for 2!

2 for 2 this week! Parker had a terrific visit to the Cardio Dr today. She was so thrilled with his progress! No medicine for Parker, AND, we get to wait until end of August to see her again rather than in 2 weeks! In fact, had we not been working on an October surgery date, we would have gone 2 MONTHS until we saw her again! His pulse was 55 and oxygen 97%, weight gain was the same as Monday, 10 lbs 5 ozs, Dr. was shocked! She wondered why I was not more ecstatic, I had to confess I already knew his weight since he was at the Pedi on Monday! Guess whatever I am eating is doing the trick, great excuse to keep eating desert and not revert back to my normal diet just yet! :) The frequency of his feedings during the day are every 2-3 hours and while tiring, worth every minute when we get such great news! We aren't supplementing him at all and both Drs. saw no need. We talked briefly about what would happen in the next few months, a sedated echocardiogram before the surgery at which point we will meet the surgeon and have our consult at the same time. I am nervous about the sedated echo, but she said it is quick and they only sleep for about 20 minutes. I will have to research this some more as we get closer. I also learned that the RSV shots, synagis, costs about $8,000. They started on the insurance approval process already. Parker will have to have the shots beginning in September until end of flu season every month. It is critical for kids with heart conditions. After his heart is repaired we will continue the shots this season, but then it isn't necessary. Still on target for October surgery.

The focus today was on celebration though...our lives gradually become brighter! A great week with so much to be thankful for! God is good ALL the time! Please continue to pray for Parker's weight gain, his continued development physically, and his overall health.

Be blessed! Lara

Monday, July 20, 2009

Praise Report!

A brief post since dinner needs to be started and work needs to be finished....The week is off to a terrific start!!! Took Parker to his 8 week pediatrician visit and he's 10 lbs 5.5 ozs!!!! YEE-HA! (that's YEAH for the non-Texans) The cardio Dr said they want him to gain 1 ozs a day, so he is ahead again! His cardio visit is Wed. and I was anxious to see how he'd come along. I now have a stomach ache every time I get in the car to drive to a Dr. visit. I can feel my heart in my throat when they examine Parker and I watch every move the Dr's make as they examine him. I am paranoid they will "find" something else, so I needed this today!

Dr. said he is doing terrific, all developmental milestones are right on target for a child that does NOT have Down syndrome. He's already rolling over (front to back), working on back to front, can hold his head up well, tracking well with his eyes, has discovered his hands, was generally active all over with his legs and arms (so much that he commented, "is he always this active?"), and even is giving us a few "coos"! Mike and I see this as a true blessing! We continue to pray for "high functioning" and God is faithful we know! It is amazing how we never even worried about these milestones with our other children and now we worry ourselves about the smallest of things. We had a nice weekend as a family at the swim meet (despite the heat and the driving distance) and it felt so "normal." We are grateful for those moments and continue to pray that there will be many more days like these!

We feel joyful and strong, more confident today that this new journey may be something we CAN handle. We are thankful for this small blessing and know that it is the result of all of your prayers and God's faithfulness. Keep praying, your prayers for our family are precious! We look forward to Wednesday's visit with the Cardio Dr and another excellent report! Be praying for more of the same and no medicines, please!


Friday, July 17, 2009

Faith "Difficulty" and "Dead End"

A combined post from the last two day's devotionals from Rick Warren on increasing faith when we hit the "difficulties" "Dead End"

"In order to build your faith, God will give you a dream, then He'll urge you to make a decision, but then He'll allow a delay, because in the delay He matures you and prepares you for what is to come. The truth is you'll have difficulties while God delays." Lord, I am having difficulties with my "reality." This week I have almost had a panic attack twice thinking about the future and what is may/may not hold for Parker. "This isn't because He doesn't care about you or that He's forgotten your circumstances; rather, it's one of the ways He pushes you toward the deep end of faith." Deep end of faith, I hate the deep end of anything, feels like I'm drowning. "As God delays, you'll face two types of difficulties: circumstances and critics. This is a natural part of life. God designed it this way because He knows we grow stronger when facing adversity and opposition.When Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt into the desert toward the Promised Land, he had one problem after another. First there was no water. Then there was no food. Then there were a bunch of complainers." Complainers? Sounds familiar.. "Then there were poisonous snakes. Moses was doing what God wanted him to do, but he still had problems.David was anointed king, and then for the next several years he was hunted down by Saul. Joseph had a dream of becoming a ruler, yet he was sold into slavery and thrown into prison on a false charge where he languished, forgotten. Imagine the difficulties Noah had building a floating zoo!The Bible says that when Moses died, Joshua was appointed the new leader. Moses led the people across the desert and then Joshua led them into the Promised Land. Did he get the easy part? The Bible says that when the Israelites entered the Promised Land there were giants in the land. Even in the Promised Land there were problems!God does this because He is building our faith and character.

When we finally come to a place where the difficulties become so bad, where we've reached our limit, where we've tried everything and exhausted all our options, it is then that God begins a mighty work through us: "I know, even though you are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations. This is no accident—it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold" (1 Peter 1:6-7 PH). I've reached my limit; I'm ready for your mighty work.

"When the pursuit of your dream deteriorates from difficult to impossible; when the situation looks hopeless, congratulations! You’re in good company." Gee, I don't want to be in good company..I want things to be "normal" again...

"Even Paul went through dead ends: “At that time we were completely overwhelmed, the burden was more than we could bear, in fact we told ourselves that this was the end. Yet we believe now that we had this experience of coming to the end of our tether that we might learn to trust, not in ourselves, but in God who can raise the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9 PH).

If God can raise people physically, He can raise people who are dead emotionally. He can raise a dead marriage. He can resurrect a dead career. He can resurrect you from a health problem. If God can raise the dead, He can do anything. In Abraham’s situation, God said, “I want you to become the father of a nation,” but then Abraham had to wait until he was 99 years old before he had his first child. The Bible shows Abraham’s situation going from difficult to impossible. He looks at his body and says, “No way!” Then he looks at his wife and says, “Double no way!”But Sarah got pregnant and they laughed about it. When the baby was born, they named him Isaac, which means laughter. God often lets problems become impossibilities. The disciples planned to follow Jesus. They thought He was the Messiah, but then the next thing they know Jesus is hanging on the cross, dying. Was this a dead end for the disciples? For three days it seemed that way, but then Jesus walked out of the tomb.

When you face a dead end, you may start asking, “What’s going on, God? Did I miss Your will? Your plan? Have I missed Your vision?” Keep in mind that dead ends are part of God’s plan for you.What’s the best response to a dead end? “He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and He will deliver us; we have placed our hope in Him that He will deliver us again” (2 Corinthians 1:10 HCSB)."

Thank you Lord for letting problems become impossibilities and the reminders of impossible situations that you answered. We know you can do the impossible!

We have a weekend of swimming in Magnolia with the kids and two Dr visits next week. One with the Pediatrician to get shots and then another Cardio visit. Please be praying for continued weight gain for Parker and no medications. We'll update next week. Be blessed!

Monday, July 13, 2009

How God Builds Our Faith..

that is the topic of my Daily Devotional from Rick Warren....gee, how appropriate because my faith needs building.... As I reflect on this message I see the faith Parker has in us. He trusts we will feed him, love him, change him, not drop him when we hold him (see the faith he has in his siblings holding him in the pics!),etc... I want to have that childlike faith, help me Lord build my faith...

Here are the high points all of which come from Rick Warren's devotional today... "Faith is like a muscle: it can be strengthened. It can be weak or it can be strong, depending on how much you use it." I think mine must be weak...despite the fact that it is all that we have been living on the past few weeks because I feel like I'm unable to parent Parker the "right" way and I feel overwhelmed about all the things he will "need" to succeed in life....."How does God build your faith? He uses a very predictable pattern that we will look at this week, and, if you understand it, you can cooperate with Him in developing greater faith." OK, I am really listening here Lord because I need help strengthening my faith....."It's like when the father, seeking help from Jesus for his son, said, "Have pity on us and help us, if you possibly can!" (Mark 9:22 TEV)Jesus replied, "What do you mean, 'If I can?' . . . Anything is possible if a person believes" (Mark 9:23 NLT)." Hmmm..this is where I always have trouble...I do believe, but honestly that is easier to say than do...

"The first thing God does to build your faith is give you a dream. When God wants to work in your life, He'll always gives you a dream—about yourself, about what He wants you to do, about how He's going to use your life to impact the world." My "dream" is a reality, a beautiful gift from God named Parker.....There are many examples in the Bible of this.• God gave Noah the dream of building an ark.• God gave Abraham the dream of being the father of a great nation.• God gave Joseph the dream of being a leader that would save his people.• God gave Nehemiah the dream of building the wall around Jerusalem.

How do you know when a dream is from God or when it's just something you've thought up yourself? The Bible tells us that God, "by His mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes" (Ephesians 3:20 LB). In other words, if a dream comes from God, it will be so big in your life that you can't do it on your own." The thought of Mike and I raising and parenting Parker on our own is at best daunting, so I know this "dream" is from God.....don't miss this part...."If you could do it on your own, you wouldn't need faith. And if you don't have faith you're not pleasing God, because the Bible says whatever is not of faith is sin (Roman 14:23)." Ouch, without faith I am not pleasing God...

"God starts to build your faith by giving you a dream. He may be speaking to you now, but you just don't recognize it for what it is. That dream you have—the idea, the concept, that thing you've been thinking about doing that would be of real benefit to other people—where do you think that idea came from? God will never tell you to do something that contradicts His truth. In other words, He won't give you a dream of leaving your family and kids and moving to Hollywood to be a movie star. If you've got that dream, then you can know it is not from God.

God starts with a dream as He works within your life to build faith. "

Thank you Lord for our "dream", Parker, that you have given to us to build faith. He is a constant reminder of your faithfulness. May we be good shepherds of your precious gift Parker while he is in our care.




Thursday, July 9, 2009

The "Associate"

OK, I must share an important member of our family..Shane! he is undoubtedly the BEST cat I have ever owned (although I have loved all three of our others, Burbank, Malibu, and Hollywood)!! He is patient, kind, and loving with our kids and they manhandle him like you would not believe. I'm afraid the hustle bustle of our new addition has left him feeling very unappreciated and you can see he is making himself known to me in my office. He constantly lays on my desk, knocking papers, pictures, you name it onto the floor. All he really wants is a good 'head scratch' by his Momma. The Font & "Associates" rings true while I try to work amidst the cat hair all over my desk and laptop (which can't be good for the laptop)..sigh...the little things in life. I will admit that taking the time to hold him, pet him, scratch his head is very calming. Another small example of God's creation and the fact that even all created things have purpose. All too often I don't take the time to think about why God created cats with such appeal to me (I recognize not all people are cat lovers, so forgive me) and today I appreciate the reminder from our furry family member. Yes, that IS a Gymboree coupon and a GAP coupon amidst the all know how much I enjoy shopping for the kids clothes and I LOVE a sale!!!



quick shift of topics...went to see the girls "hip hop" performance at kids college today and ran into Parker's Cardiologist. Met her husband as well. Can I say she is as wonderful in a social setting as she is in a professional setting. While I don't know her well yet, I saw her as a loving wife and mother, not just a physician. Just makes me feel even better about Parker's care and the fact that all of these Dr's, teachers, friends, family,etc.. were divinely predestined as much as the way Parker was formed. Off to referee "download play" between two children before the DS games get torn into two. Be blessed!
Psalm 139:14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Positive Praise Report!

God is good! Today we had out follow-up visit with our TCH Cardiologist and we left full of good news!!! Parker has gained 1 lbs 3 ozs in 2 weeks!! MORE then they expected! He now weighs in at 9lbs 3 ozs!! His oxygen levels were 96% and his pulse 55 (they want them below 60), so an A+++ report! Our Dr. was really pleased with Parker, said he looked terrific, couldn't ask for anything better!!! She warned us that he may need Lasix, a type of medication (diuretic) as things progress to help him process fluids, but she didn't see the need today. We will see her every 2 weeks for the next 6 weeks then monthly until surgery. We talked more about timing for surgery and it looks like mid October is our target date. It is important for kids with heart conditions to have them repaired before winter/flu season starts (we will all have to have the flu shot and Parker the RSV vaccine) as any illness can compromise an already challenged situation. We are already washing hands and using hand sanitizer like MAD, please don't be offended if we offer it to you when you hold our precious boy..we aren't GERMAPHOBES (is that a word?), just have to be vigilant about protecting his health!!!

Many have asked if we've talked to the kids yet. We decided that we will wait until we get closer to the surgery date. It is too far away right now and we don't want to add to their stress. If you know our kids you know they don't let anything go and we'd be hearing about it every minute for the next 3 months! We have peace about this decision, so we know we should wait. We know that God will give us the right timing to talk with them more. We haven't told them about the downs Syndrome diagnosis either, too many said to wait until Parker is one year old. We continue to pray about this and will revisit this issue after we deal with the heart surgery! Baby steps, please!

So, now what...? We are now waiting to get our scheduled appointment with the TCH Meyer Clinic (the only specialty Down syndrome Clinic in Houston). Paperwork has been mailed back, our Dr. has made referral, and several "special friends" helped speed this process for us. Speaking of special friends....I am humbled by our friends and "friends of friends" that helped us identify our cardiologist and our desired surgeon. It is by no accident that we live in Houston, have a WORLD class pediatric cardio surgeon HERE, and Parker is able to be HERE for this surgery. It has been amazing the people that have helped us identify these resources and the connections have all avenues clearly pointing to Texas Childrens Hospital. God already had all of these details worked out for us before Parker was born. It truly is His divine plan. Gives me chills as I write this...

We continue on our new journey...waiting expectantly....taking it day by day....thankful for each and every precious moment. We started this blog for many reasons, please read and pass it along to anyone you think would be blessed by its contents or for those that would join us in prayer for our family. Your comments are precious too, so please leave them as you feel led.

Our specific prayers are for Parker to continue to grow and thrive independent of medications and that our timeline stays in place for October. We do continue to pray for a miracle, we know nothing is impossible for God!

Matthew 6:34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Parker's Story

Our precious Parker Andrew Font came into the world at 3:46am on Saturday, May 23, 2009, weighing 6 lbs 9ozs. He joined our family as "version 4.0" as our dear friend Joe calls him, baby brother to Taylor (10), Mallory (7), and Madeline (5). What a joyful arrival! Mallory had prayed the entire year of Kindergarten for a baby and God answered her prayers! Madeline earned the title "big sis" which she proudly announces to all she sees! We left the hospital happy and excited to have our family "complete." Parker had no concerns in the hospital, had a normal newborn evaluation, passed his hearing test, and had 8 and 9 Apgar scores. We were not at all prepared for the news we received his 1 week Dr appt, his Dr wanted to test his for Down syndrome due to "low set ears." His Dr. didn't seemed concerned, just wanted to be sure. Said he didn't have any of the other typical markers. After an agonizing almost 2 week wait we received the news that he did indeed test positive for Down syndrome (Trisomy 21). If that shock wasn't enough we then went to the "precautionary" Cardiologist visit (50% of Downs kids have heart issues) and were told he had the most "common" major heart defect and will need open heart surgery at 4-6months. He has a complete AVSD for those of you that are medical gurus. We wanted a way to keep everyone updated on our progress in this unexpected journey; knowing that God has a plan and a purpose for Parker's life. We anticipate God's best!
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