If you saw our story on 13abc and are interested in making a tax deductible donation to Whole Hearts Foundation, it can be received at the following address:

Whole Hearts Foundation

7025 CR 46a suite 1071 #116

Lakeland, FL 32746

You will also be able make donations at WholeHearts.org by the end of this month.


A New Normal (Matt)

When I look back on various seasons of my life, I typically wonder where the time has gone. Today, I’m reflecting back on 2011, wondering where the time has come from. I can’t see how it’s possible that so much has happened in one year, that such a large and bittersweet arrangement of life has shown up at our family’s door. I’ve been thinking about it, looking back in amazement, and letting it all settle down in my soul. You haven’t heard from me in a while, and it’s simply because I’ve been take some time to process where we’ve been, and to embrace our new normal.

So what is our new normal? I don’t know if I can fully describe it, cause normal is so subjective. However, here are a few things that have changed. Bowen looks and acts healthy and strong. I feel richer in life and love. I have a faith and joy that I now know, for certain, are not hinged on my circumstances. Whole Hearts Foundation is planning to do things beyond what I had originally dreamed, and so many hurting families will benefit. We are building relationships with some wonderful new friends in life and in ministry.

Even though life can sometimes feel like controlled (or sometimes uncontrolled) chaos, there is a sense of rest. There is that peace of God transcending what we can understand about this life. So it’s that heightened sense of peace and rest, it’s us just being able to take a breath…that’s our new normal.

Happy New Year! (Sarah)

Oh my goodness, I cannot believe we have not updated in so long. So much has happened since our last post. I’ll start with what everyone wants to know here, and it’s that Bowen is doing great! You should see him tot around the house, getting into all sorts of trouble these days. He’s learned how to climb the stairs and loves to put EVERYTHING in his mouth. He’s a little stinker, but as you can imagine, we just adore him! He still gets hundreds of smooches each day from all of us. I hate to admit it, but it’s no wonder we’re always getting sick.

Mr. Bowen has been sick a few times since we last wrote. Recently he had some kind of stomach flu, and only shortly after, contracted a different virus that resulted in a 103 degree fever and a sore throat. He also has had several ear infections and has been evaluated for tubes. We’re going to hold off for now since he is a more complicated case, and in the meantime we are praying that God would simply heal him of these infections.

The stomach bug was a bit scary because he was not keeping things down, which can dehydrate him quickly and throw his electrolytes off. Also, with his rare sugar disorder (HI), he can’t maintain a normal blood sugar without food in his belly. I was on the fence about taking him to the emergency room a couple of times, but fortunately his sugars did not go any lower than 50 and he began to turn a corner after about 12 hours. Thank God we didn’t have to go to the hospital! Bowen wouldn’t have been a happy camper with all the poking and prodding that he would’ve gone through.

A couple of weeks ago he had to get blood drawn, and it was very traumatic for him and I both. He wept hysterically, which in return, caused me to do the same. I haven’t cried like that in a long time. It just came out of nowhere and reminded me of how hard this summer will be when he needs to get his heart catheterization. It also made me think of his next surgery, and all the medical procedures that are in his future. He’s gotten to a place where he cries anytime he sees someone who looks like a nurse or a doctor. It seems that we have entered a new chapter, one that God will have to help us navigate. Bowen’s fear.