The day we’ve all been waiting for

Zion John is now 3 months old! Glory to God! And he has also doubled his birth weight as he’s packed on 10lbs and 8 oz! So far people are guessing he might end up a RED head?! His eye brows are really filling out and getting quite adorably bushy, and his golden lashes are starting to spread out and lengthen. His always-busy, expressive eyes for now are blue. I often say to him, “Zion, where did you come from?!” He is so unique and different compared to our other two children. He is such a treasure indeed.

Zion John – 3 mos old bearing glorious eyebrows!

Today is HEART SURGERY day! So it’s a big day indeed. Sadly daddy couldn’t join me today since our two other kiddos have been under the weather. He felt it was best to keep a close eye on our 2 year old who’s been battling very high fevers the past 24 hrs. But we know George is certainly with us in Spirit.

I was so encouraged upon arriving at the hospital to find my boy in great spirits. He opened those eyes big and wide once he heard me talking and was so incredibly expressive. I arrived in time to get to hold him for a while before they whisked him away to the cath lab. Since he loves it so much, I made sure to hold Zion’s right hand as much as possible, since his left hand was taped up with an IV. Toward the end he appeared to be intently looking up at something moving around. Who knows, maybe he saw the angels that God has sent to protect him today? (Psalm 91:11-12)

Zion’s heart surgeon is a South African named Dr. Russel Hirsch. He came in with his nurse practitioner (Betsy) this morning and we spent some time getting acquainted and discussing the surgery. I could tell that Dr. Hirsch was taking the task of repairing Zion’s heart very seriously and soberly. He informed us that he will abort mission if at any point Zion’s heart is showing stress. They also prepared me that, if they are able to make the repairs, that Zion likely will be quite “sick” for some time as his heart learns how to function under the new hemodynamics.

Speaking of repairs, the plan is 3-fold. But first they must do an echo of Zion’s heart again to check the pressures and ensure that it is safe to attempt the heart surgery. If it is safe, they plan to close his large VSD, close his PDA and also perform a balloon angioplasty on his narrowed pulmonary artery (this was the first I’ve learned that his pulmonary artery was narrowed). All of these repairs will be done by a catheter that will be threaded into his heart through a large blood vessel in his neck. The great thing about this is that the repairs will be attempted without open heart surgery. With the pulmonary artery, they plan to use a balloon to open it up, and if the artery doesn’t stay open, they will stent it as well.

The conversation was peppered with some jokes and laughs to lighten the mood, and I was even able to snap a photo of the person God has ordained to help our son.

Dr. Hirsch with his NP – Betsy

After they took Zion, I was there in his room all alone. There’s always something eerie about seeing your child’s bed space or room empty. Hurry back Zion!

In the meantime, I’m hanging out here at the hospital, praying and waiting. The cardiac NP (above) is also calling me every hour with updates. So far everything is going well and Dr. Hirsch has officially deemed Zion’s heart amenable to VSD closure based on the pressures. So it has officially begun!

In addition, God continues to show His kindness and covering today. Abby, Zion’s sweet primary nurse, is thankfully working today. So Zion got to be comforted this morning by the familiar face he’s growing to love. And my good friend Kirsten is the APN for the day, so mommy also got to be comforted by a familiar face. God is loving on both Zion and I today! Thank You Jesus for orchestrating having them both here today!

Here are some recent nurse notes:

And a photo of daddy holding Zion to celebrate Father’s Day:

Daddy/Zion cuddle time

Thank you everyone for praying and abiding with us. I continue to get messages regularly about various prayers being lifted up for our son. Or how Zion continues to inspire others. Here’s one note someone sent to my sister recently:

“Zion is touching everyone near and far!

‘Hey lady. I just wanted to tell you thank you for sharing Zion’s story. I’m constantly going to your page and looking for updates. Today I needed to read the latest blog because I was moping about a personal issue and as I read his mom’s blog I was quickly reminded that my worries are nowhere in comparison to what their family is going through. I had to pick myself up by the boot straps and say a prayer. I reminded myself this is little. Please keep sharing Zion with us and please let his mom know that he is on my prayer list and I pray for him to beat the odds. All praises go to God.😘’”

Notes like that above are why babies with “scary diagnoses” are worthy of life. Zion’s little life has great purpose indeed. We are resting in the following truths today, and we will see you all on the other side!

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. – Isaiah 41:10

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27

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