Question for Kitty
1 Please share with us what’s happening to your granddaughter Abby.
Because my daughter Patty had an “incompetent cervix” and “pre-term labor”, and these problems could not be stopped, our Abby was born 17 weeks too early (actually, 23 weeks and 4 days gestation). Almost immediately she had a Level 4 Intra-ventricular Brain Hemorrhage (a brain bleed of the worst kind), and a double bowel perforation (the intestines were split in 2 places). She almost died that night. But the Lord allowed her to live, praise His name! She spent 6 months in the hospital where she had several emergency surgeries to save her life, and this was the time during which we found out she was blind, deaf and had CP.
Our Abby is doing pretty well now, but we were very worried about her from January to April. It seems that Abby’s shunt (a tube that drains excess cerebral spinal fluid in the brain, to prevent hydrocephalus), had broken, but we didn’t know it. Abby became very tired and slept most of the day and night. Her heart rate got very low and she was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery where they did a complete shunt revision (they fixed the shunt and even replaced part of it.)
Now that she has recovered from the surgery, she is much more alert and willing to participate in her therapy sessions. She has the following therapies:
feeding, speech, deaf-blind, physical and occupational
2 When you first know of the intensity of the problem of Abby, what was your response? Were you upset? Did you have any complain?
I first heard that Abby would be born 17 weeks early when I was in Xiamen. Yes, I was very upset as I did not think that a child born that early could survive. But, as always, I put the situation in the Lord’s hands and bought a ticket back to the U.S. I did not complain, but I did pray like crazy that God would spare Abby’s life or peacefully take her to heaven. God chose to answer the first prayer!
3 I am sure that your family must have done and sacrificed a lot for Abby, do you think it is worth the effort? Excuse me for asking: does her life have any meaning to herself or to anyone else?
Oh, yes! It was definitely worth the effort!! This is my little grandchild, and even if she doesn’t have the most ideal life here on earth, she has a wonderful new life waiting for her in heaven, where she will be perfect! God has a purpose for her life here on earth, both for her benefit and for ours. She is learning about unconditional love from all of us in her family. She must trust us to take care of her completely and to provide everything she needs to experience life to the fullest extent that she can. I believe that every interaction we have with her will be revealed fully to her in heaven. She will then know how much we loved her and longed to have her love and know us.
Children (and people in general) like this serve a tremendous purpose for the world! What better way to learn compassion, generosity, selflessness, patience, and joy? You should see the way her little brothers and cousins love her and interact with her! Even they are learning how to treat disabled people with respect and love. The adults all love Abby and tenderly play with, sing to and care for her. We ALL have been so blessed by her life.
Do you remember what Jesus said about doing kind deeds for the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the SICK and the IMPRISONED? He said, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the LEAST of them, you did it to Me.” We will get a heavenly reward for ministering to Jesus’ children.
4 How do you and your daughter deal with all the busy work with her everyday? Is there time that you feel frustrated? How do you folks maintain your sanity?
It is difficult for my daughter to take care of Abby as well as two younger little boys. There are so many times when she feels overwhelmed and frustrated. But again, she takes these trials to Jesus on a daily basis, and has a willing, servant’s heart to serve the Lord however He would require. Her husband is a wonderful help and encouragement, and when he comes home from work, he takes over many of the childcare and even household chores. He cooks! and plays with all 3 of the kids, goes shopping, does dishes and even gives the kids baths. Often times Patty and her husband will do these things together. They are great partners that way.
5 Could you share with about how did you folks get help for Abby? Where and how did you get help?
The U.S. has quite a few programs for disabled children. In the old days (80+ years ago) families would send children like Abby away, and the State would have to take care of them. But nowadays, most families want to keep their disabled child with them, and do their best to raise him/her. For this reason, the government is willing to help with some of the programs and expenses. For example, EVERY child has the right to a “free and appropriate public education”, and so Abby has several teachers, paid for by the government, to try to educate her as much as possible. They began providing services when Abby was a baby… it’s called “Early Intervention”. They also provide something called “respite services”, where they send a qualified caretaker to babysit Abby while Patty goes out shopping or takes the boys to the park, or even just stays home and quietly reads a book!
6 After all these hard work, what if she didn’t get any better;or even die young,( excuse us for talking like that) then what is the hope in you? How would you come to term with the lost?
I believe that all our hard work will never go to waste. This is the will of God for us right now, and as long as we do it in His power and with His loving attitude, He will be pleased, and there will even be a reward waiting for us in eternity! If Abby should pass away (and we live constantly with that in our minds), we know she would go immediately to be with our Heavenly Father. And some day, when WE pass away, we will see her again, and she will be perfect… she will SEE us and HEAR us, and be able to RUN and SPEAK, and REMEMBER her life on earth with us. It will be a wonderful reunion, and we will feast there with our Lord Jesus Christ for all eternity! If Abby goes before I do, it will make me long for heaven all the more, knowing that she’s waiting for me there! I think her funeral would be like a celebration of her home-coming!
7 Have you ever doubt that, why such an “lucky” event would happen to good people like you?
You know, Lois, when the nurses in the Neonatal ICU at the hospital got to know our family, they wondered the same thing. They would see other families where the mother was on drugs and that caused her baby to be premature, but their babies would be OK. Then they saw our “good” family, and thought it was so unfair that all of this would happen to us.
But we didn’t feel at all “unlucky”, neither did we have any doubts. We accepted the trial from the Lord, and trusted Him to get us through it. We did this through continuous prayer, thanksgiving and singing. The Bible says, “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1: 2-4
And again, “We also EXULT in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, and perseverance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who was given to us.” Romans 5: 3-5
And one that many Chinese people know: “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.” Romans 8: 28