As you may have noticed, all of the news here is about one week late. The reason for this is because we have been on a roller coaster. The risk of guessing the next turn on a roller coaster is that the odds are you are wrong. For some reason, the emotional toll of the roller coaster has lasted longer than expected. There is a sense in which it has felt uncomfortable posting the most recent news for fear that by the time it is read, it is wrong. The roller coaster has slowed down alot since we left Jamaica, but we are still feeling the motion and bracing for the next turn. If I need psyciatric help, just make sure its free.
Anyways, Daisha has been out of the hospital for a week. She got home Tuesday evening last week and has continued to do well. We have a Dr. appt. on Wednesday in which we hope to get a sense of whether she is progressing appropriately. As I mentioned before, it has been hard to post the hospital pictures. Actually, I would not even have any Jamaican hospital pictures if it was not for Chad. In another moment of honesty, Chad said to me that he would encourage us to be taking pictures in the hospital. I hadnt been because it felt wierd. He went on to explain how good it has been for them to have pictures of their daughter. So, I tried to take a few and I am thankful that we did and I wish I would have got some more. I did not get any of the hospital or the "special care nursery" in Jamaica. But, I did take some at the hospital in Peoria. I am guessing you will know which are which. HERE ARE THE PICTURES!
Friday, June 26, 2009
The other day someone sent us an email to ask if we had ever decided on a middle name. It all happened in typical fashion. Keri and I were both unsure between two middle names. Last Tuesday afternoon, after Daisha had gotten sick, Chad Huber stopped into the hospital and addressed with us for the first time the possibility of an air ambulance evacuation. (The Hubers were by our side through the whole ordeal and were a lifesaver, we will address that in a later post.) Anyways, Chad had begun looking into what was necessary for an air evacuation and had found out that we needed paperwork from the Registrar to show that she was born in Jamaica. Chad came into the hospital and talked to the nurses and the Registrar was in our room within 30 minutes. After a few questions she said, "ok what is her name," and Keri and I looked at each other and decided on Keri's middle name, Leigh.
We took Daisha in for one more blood test today to test her Bilirubin levels. She has maintained her numbers and so they think that she should be over the hump with her Jaundice. Daisha continues to eat well and sleep well. While there are times that we are still on pins and needles, we rejoice more and more everyday at her little body that is fearfully and wonderfully made.
CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES -- We uploaded a few pictures of the three amigos adventure back to Illinois. The best pictures would have been of us trying to get through the airport with all of our bags, but there was no time or wits enough to get a picture of that spectacle.
Monday, June 22, 2009
It feels like yesterday, it feels like last year. But last Monday night was filled with intense joy as our baby girl was born safe and healthy. The fear of Sunday had turned into joy on Monday as we praised the Lord for answered prayer. And, the prayers were answered, it is just that we didnt know that in just hours we were actually going to be taken right back to our knees for different reasons. Many people have asked for pictures, but for some reason pictures have been difficult for me to post. So, as Daisha continues to improve, I guess I will continue to post pictures. HERE are some pictures of Daisha's Birthday, June 15th. We brought the boys into the hospital and had a wonderful evening introducing them to their new sister. We will try to post more pictures soon.
P.S. - Daisha had another good day Monday. Her bilirubin count is down and she is off the light. Her I.V. came out today and Keri was able to nurse her. Keep Praising and Praying!
P.S. - Daisha had another good day Monday. Her bilirubin count is down and she is off the light. Her I.V. came out today and Keri was able to nurse her. Keep Praising and Praying!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
We apologize for not updating you on Daisha's progress over the past day and a half, but suffice it to say that my flight with the boys on Friday did not go as smoothly as Keri and Daisha's on Thursday night. After a smooth flight to Charlotte, we promptly got on our plane to Chicago, taxied out from the airport, sat for 2 hours in a hot plane, taxied back to the airport, reclaimed our luggage, stood in a reticketing line for 2 more hours, got a flight to Indy for Saturday afternoon, and got a hotel for the night, all because of bad storms at O'Hare. Sorry, I know this email is not supposed to be about the adventures of how the three amigos conquered Charlotte Douglas airport, but it is part of the story. Anyways,Daisha is doing great. After arriving in Peoria, she has gone from having oxygen support, down to only assistance with the regular air in the room, and now she is off all breathing support. She did have more jaundice set in and so she is under the light until her levels return to normal. Keri is giving her a bottle regularly and has gotten to hold her. She is progressing through her plans and responding well. We are so thankful. I realize that I have been slightly demanding over the past few posts in my requests for prayer and so allow me to continue by making two more demands. #1 is that we ask you to keep praying for Daisha as her health remains in the Lords hands, #2 is that we want you to rejoice with us for the Lord's provision on behalf of Daisha and our family. Thank you so much. We are absolutely confounded by the love and support we have received. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Keri and I came home last night to spend some time with the boys. This morning we arrived back at the hospital around 8:30. When we went in this morning, we noticed a marked difference in Daisha. She was breathing a little calmer, she was very active, and she was acting hungry. After talking to the doctor, the doctor confirmed our suspicions and said that while she was not ready to be taken off of the CPAP, her respiratory rate had definitely decreased. Also this morning, we began receiving positive information regarding a possible air ambulance team that may be able to transport her to Peoria. We received confirmation of the medical evacuation sometime mid-morning. We went home shortly this afternoon to pack up some things for Keri and to get things in order. At about 7:00, the air transport team arrived at the hospital, got Daisha ready to fly, and left by around 8:20. Keri and Daisha are currently in route to Peoria St. Francis. Lord Willing, I will be bringing the boys on a flight on Friday. While Daisha is certainly not "out of the woods," she does seem to be showing some progress. She is not ready to breathe without assistance, but we pray that the antibiotics will continue to work against the infection. We have been very encouraged by the evidence of the Lord going before us and being a lamp to our feet. Thank you so much for praying. We reminded ourselves as the ambulance left that her wellbeing is still in the hands of the Lord and not in the high tech equipment and trained personnel. Please keep praying with us!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Thank you so much for praying. Daisha is still struggling. She was moved to the public hospital late last night for closer monitoring. At about the same time, we thought we had lined up air transport to Miami. This morning, that fell through. It seems that the doors for the air transport keep closing and we don't know why. Ultimately, we know that her situation is still about prayer. The difficult part of the public hospital is that we cannot be with her all the time. Today, we were back and forth between home and the hospital. The infection she is fighting is pneumonia. Please continue to pray for her strength and ease of breath. She remains on oxygen and antibiotics. We know that her situation is in His hands. Thanks for all the emails of love and support. The situation often feels like a blur and we just cant understand where it is going. Please pray with us!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Three and a half years ago, Keri wrote me the sweetest letter on the eve of Drew's birth. It was a letter of encouragement, expectation, and love before knowing our lives were going to take a drastic change. Just the other day, Keri stumbled across the letter that had been stuffed away. She had written the following passage of scripture in the card.
Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour
Yesterday, Keri had some extreme abdominal pains and half way through church we left to go home. On the drive, the pains worsened and so we decided to go to the hospital. They tested and monitored her all day as we waited to get a sonogram. The sonogram later showed some areas of concern, but it seemed as if the baby was doing fine. The doctor decided to wait until morning to decide on the plan of action. This morning, the doctor wanted to move forward while she still knew that the areas of concern were not showing an immediate affect on the baby. Late in the morning, the doctor started trying to progress Keri's labor. The labor fully started and progressed well. At 2:20pm, a little girl, Daisha, was born into our family. Weighing in at 5lb. 15oz and measuring 19 inches long. Keri and Daisha are both doing well although we are remaining prayerful for Daisha's ongoing development as she is 4 weeks early.
I am confident that the same fear was present in me today that was with us three and a half years ago. But thankfully, our God was with us too and just as he had said to Jacob, we are His and He is with us. Please remain prayerful with us for Daisha, Keri, and our ongoing plans. While we had planned to fly to the states tomorrow, the 16th, we will now be in the hospital waiting until our little Jamerican is ready to come home. Thanks in advance for your prayers.
Kirk, Keri, Drew, Truitt, and Daisha
P.S. - We are still finalizing the middle name.
Friday, June 12, 2009
As you probably well know, one of Jamaica's claims to fame is their music. With Bob Marley paving the way, Jamaica has since fancied itself producers of fine music. Anyways, through a series of random events, a local musician stopped by the school Friday night. We were having a birthday party for some workteam members and he came to sell some CD's. After a bit, he pulled out his guitar and started playing a song. For some reason, the kids got really into the whole thing. As you can see in the video, the kids crowded in close with many of them holding their hand to the guitar to feel the vibrations. I think the guy was slowly catching on to what it means to play music to a deaf crowd. Anyways, enjoy "Winner Man" as you are reminded that the victory is in Jesus.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
May 2009 Jamaica update
Who doesn’t love the moment when the question that has been itching at your mind for months finally gets scratched. Last month, I alluded to the fact that Keri and I were beginning to look into God’s call to living out a life that exemplifies “justice.” Through several conversations/emails, we came to the understanding that the place to start thinking about this issue is first found in the fact that God is Just. And second of all, God has experienced the greatest act of injustice through the necessary sacrifice of His son for our sins. With that as our foundation, we have continued to try to get a grip on our understanding of the extent that God desires us to pursue this characteristic of His in our daily lives. Last week, I had that “aha” moment. I was listening to a message regarding Jesus baptism and more specifically the old testament reference for the phrase God spoke after the baptism, “Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” One of the connecting references is the messianic prophecy in Isaiah 42 that declares Christ as the One in Whom the Father delights. He goes on to explain the character of Christ as one of perfect mercy who will not break the bruised reed and of perfect Justice in that he will set His judgment (justice) in ALL the earth. With this description of Christ in your back pocket, read on past Jesus baptism, specifically in Luke’s gospel, and you will find Jesus laying the groundwork for His ministry by again referencing Isaiah by saying “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” When the messianic prophecies, Jesus “Inaugural address” in Luke, and our common understanding that we are to be His ambassadors all came together, I had the “aha” moment. While there are many other scriptures that call us to “just living,” it was this moment with the Living word that affirmed in me that my heart needs to be beat for justice as God’s heart beats for justice. May God’s grace draw us to a further understanding of His heart for justice in the world.
After our relaxing month of April we are back into the swing of things. “Where are you now?” is the common question we hear from our family and friends. The month of May we have been settling back into our home at Knockpatrick and traveling only one week this month to Montego Bay campus for a team. Knockpatrick campus will be becoming our more permanent home. Kirk will be starting up an agriculture program for this campus with hopes of developing the farm and the land. The expectation is that this program can provide more produce and income for CCCD, bring education and farming experience to the students, and future employment of a Jamaican to manage it. This will mean less of a focus on leading work teams, but we look forward to serving in this new ministry. We also look forward to being more settled at one campus though we will miss our relationships that have grown at the Montego Bay campus.
We’ve served three different teams this month all with the flare and influence of the South. This brings a whole new culture into our lives and we’ve enjoyed its flavor. The first was a team from Southside Baptist Church in Virginia. This was followed by our week in Montego Bay with a team of high school youth and parents from South Carolina, and finally a team the last week of May of youth and adults from Georgia. Along with the teams we’ve lead, we were able to enjoy a very special team lead by Ted Herstein. Each year Ted puts together a team of college and working singles from all over the US to serve out at JDV. It is always a blessing for us to host teams from our church because of the unique fellowship that it brings. We were also very blessed by Ted’s presence as he serves as our liaison between us and the ACWR Caribbean Committee. They had a wonderful week as three young men on the team came to the Lord.
Probably the second most commonly asked question, whether by work team or our loved ones back in the States, is, “Where will you have the baby?”. As many of you know, as a couple, we suffer from indecisiveness. This has plagued us with our decision of where to deliver, but we were able to overcome, and we have made that decision to fly back to the States for the delivery. This comes from the fact of better health care and a realization that nothing compares the fellowship of family, especially with the arrival of our third born. Drew has only confirmed the importance of this as he reminds us daily of his excitement to go to Grandpa and Grandma Plattner and Kaeb’s. We were just discussing the things that we look forward to the most about being back. Drew most often comments about Lucky Charms and tackles, Keri has been dreaming about apples and seeing the boys play with their cousins, and Kirk’s mind goes straight to pizza and big, juicy pieces of meat, and of course, family time. My guess would be that Truitt’s most excited to be with his Papas as they both have become his favorite people. We plan to fly out June 16, as this will be four weeks from the due date.
We continue to give God thanks and praise for the ways he continually provides for us. As we are less than 6 weeks from the due date, the little life is constantly “on the move” and Keri has felt well throughout the pregnancy. We know we are very blessed to have had healthy pregnancies though we are never promised anything. Our friends from Montego Bay, Karen and Glenford, a young deaf couple, have had a miscarriage this past month. We ache for them as they desire to have children. Please pray for them! We also see God’s goodness in the growth and development of Drew and Truitt. They are fascinating to watch as they’ve grown from that toddler stage to little boys full of adventure and curiosity. Something mommy is learning is to let boys be boys. Thanks again for your love and support and we look forward to seeing many of you soon.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Our kids are growing up fast. I am sure we say that over and over, but it is just one of those things that we must keep in the front of our brains to try not to let any of their growing escape us. I am guessing that if we feel like they are growing so fast and we see them everyday, then we thought that it may be good to update some pictures for you. So, here are some pictures over the past couple of weeks. Most of the pictures were taken at a cookout we do with the teams, the others are some haircut pics and other random things. You can see the pics by clicking here!
Monday, June 1, 2009
Here are a couple of our latest teams.
This team was from Southside Baptist Church in Virginia. We had met the leaders of this team over 2 years ago when we came on our survey trip to CCCD. They happened to be here the week that we were visiting and they have a huge heart for the ministry. Behind the team is a "guard shack" being constructed on the Knockpatrick campus for our night watchman.
This team is from Dillon, SC. They represented Dillon Christian School and were on their Senior class trip. We had a fun time with this team and they really blessed us. This was the team that gave us the "date night" and the kids had a alot of fun. Drew has talked about playing with the team and I think that he is ready for us to go on another date if he can play with these guys. The teams leader had a real passion for the kids, leadership, and calling people to a deeper walk with our savior.
We thank the teams so much for their work, love, and fellowship.