This is the week that America turns it’s focus toward giving thanks, and we have so much to be thankful for. We live in a country where we have freedom to worship, raise families, and build homes as we wish. We live in a land of plenty, where even our poor are considered rich on the world’s scale of wealth.
As far as our family goes, we’re thankful for the simplest of things like our baby boy sleeping at home tonight, with a sticker lovingly placed on his forehead by his big sisters.
We’re also more thankful than ever for the greatest gifts of faith, hope, and love. And I wouldn’t miss this chance to express our gratitude for the family, friends, and wonderful people that God has placed in our lives, including all of you.
This is a week to give thanks, but Sarah and I desire to give much more.
Before HLHS and HI (hyperinsulinism) entered our world, the worst of our children’s medical problems were ear infections and the common cold. I’m not at all trying to undermine the days that our girls and other children have spent sick, but our eyes have been opened wide to some sobering realities over the past eleven weeks. Before we had Bowen, Sarah and I were never aware of how many children suffer from congenital heart defects and other serious illnesses. I was taken back the first time I read Michigan’s Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Week certificate that hangs on the wall of C.S. MOTT Children’s Hospital. The following paragraph is taken from that document.
“Heart defects are the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths with 1 in every 100 babies being afflicted. Approximately one million Americans have congenital heart defects, and 40,000 babies per year are born with a defect in the United States alone. In the United States, there are nearly twice as many deaths due to congenital heart defects than that of all forms of childhood cancer combined. Despite the statistics, newborns are not routinely screened, and a disproportionately small amount of funding is available for research and support.”
It may be needless to say, but Sarah and I feel a responsibility to help…and we will. We’re making plans to raise more awareness about congenital heart defects and find creative ways to lovingly provide support and relief to families, like us, who are dealing with the challenges of having children with special hearts. With the help of some friends we’re in the process of starting a foundation for those very purposes, but we also need your help to get it off the ground. Many people who have visited this site have asked us how they can help, but we were never sure what to say. Many of you still sent gifts and have faithfully prayed for us, and for that we are incredibly thankful. However, from now on when people ask us how they can help, we’ll know what to say. If you look, you’ll notice a new button in the top right corner of our home page. We’re asking friends of Bowen’s heart to consider donating $1.00 (or more) to help make our dream a reality. Once the foundation is launched, sometime next year, we may ask for a little more help. Between now and then, please pray that God will build our foundation.
This is a week to give thanks, but your with your help, we can certainly give much more than that.
“…we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”
2 Corinthians 9:12