Growing up, it was well-known in our house that my Mom adored “The Sound of Music”. Anytime it was aired on television, we were positioned front row, singing along with “Doe A Deer” and “Edelweiss”.
So when Judah was prayed over when he was still snuggled in my womb, and scenes of the movie were beginning to be described as a word-picture over him, it wasn’t hard for me to see it all in crisp, color detail. I was at a women’s retreat with some ladies at my church. We had broken up one night into small groups to pray over each other. The ladies asked to pray over my belly, for Judah, as well. I was thrilled to have him prayed for. One lady began to get a picture in her head as she prayed, and she began to describe the quintessential scene from “The Sound of Music” where Sister Maria is singing, “The hills are alive with the sound of music….”. She said she saw the edelweiss, and felt that, like this mountain flower, my baby would bloom and grow and thrive in harsh places.
And then came Judah.
Judah made a dramatic entrance into the world, almost coming in the car on the way to the hospital, but just making it to be delivered breech, his amniotic sac still in tact, growth restricted, and not breathing. A harsh situation, no doubt. But as the doctor peered over Judah and was about to begin resuscitation, Judah let out a cry and began fighting to breath. He continued his fight. He faced a tough road his first year and a half. We were in the hospital with him every month for the first 6 months of his life. He faced some birth defects, had issues breathing, and needed an emergency blood transfusion. But he grew, and developed, and ooh-ed and aww-ed us as first time parents. He was, no doubt, a fighter, a thriver, despite the tough things he endured as a young baby.
Fast forward to the present...five months ago we had a routine well-child check for Judah. The doctor thought he noticed quite a bit of bruising on his shins and detected a big spleen when he palpated his abdomen. We were sent down to get an ultrasound and blood counts right away. And so began our new medical journey with him, the one were in the midst of currently: Judah with an enlarged spleen and low platelets.
Over the last five months I think he’s had about 13 blood draws (I’m sure that’s right because Judah counts them and wears that number like a badge of courage. Understandably so, you brave 7 year old boy!). He’s had 3 ultrasounds of his abdomen. We’ve had many different diseases thrown at us as possibilities. We’ve learned about horrific chronic illnesses with no cures that children are enduring that we never knew existed. We’ve met an awesome Hematologist and staff that make us feel cared for and go out of their way to walk us through this journey. We’ve met other patients, most of which are battling cancer at a young age, and had our heart strings tugged at for them. We’ve prayed, and we’ve prayed. We’ve received lots of good news and had several awful potential diagnoses silenced. We’ve been in the struggle of waiting, and we’re still there. His spleen is still too big and his platelets are still too low. All the while, we’ve seen Judah take it in stride, bravely doing anything asked of him, never complaining. And we’ve thought of Edelweiss.
Edelweiss is known for being well adapted to extreme climates. It has deep fibrous roots and hardy, felt like covering on its leaves to protect it from the harsh extremes of weather, such as drought, wind, and blazing sun (www.edelweissgrowers.com). Because Edelweiss grows in such mountainous areas, it is seen as a flower that is worn more like a medal of honor because of the dangers in retrieving it’s blooms from soaring cliffs. So fitting of our Judah. Though the raging winds of fear and uncertainty are coming against him, he is built, made by our God, to be a boy of resilience, withstanding this tough season.
I, as his Momma, can trust that God’s care for Judah is perfect and that He has prepared him for this, and will walk him through it.