I called her Dr. Elizabeth. She happened to have a lot of friends named Elizabeth. She once told me that even though the name Elizabeth was not that common she knew many. She called each of us named Elizabeth ~ Mrs. ___ by our last names as not to confuse us! LOL!
But I always signed my e-mails to her just Elizabeth. Or my initials EMA. And I called her Dr Elizabeth.
She was my only friend named Elizabeth, and she was a Dr. I found her to be an Elizabeth that we all should aspire to be, even without her credentials, she was most importantly a woman of God.
(Jacob is walking!)
Because Dr Elizabeth loved the orphans, she was instrumental in helping so many of us fund raise to bring our babies home.
She also had cancer. But cancer NEVER had her. She packed her days full of life. She told me she would help me fund raise until I was FULLY funded to bring my 3 boys home. I was skeptical.
There were times the fund raising dried up and she would think of something new to try and do. It always worked. I was a doubter and she taught me to believe.
She will not see all the fruits of her labor. The little miracles I wish I could continue to share with her. Before Jesus brought her home, she read my blog and kept up with our many little miracles. She always had such kind things to say to me. I cherish those e-mails, especially now.
(Jacob refuses to walk while we watch, or ask him. So Isaiah did his best to capture a few of the moments. If you comment or cheer him on he will stop walking. So we hold our breath watching him and collapse into joyful crying after he sits!!)
Dr Elizabeth will not see these pictures of Jacob walking. But I have a feeling God will share with her!
You see Jacob was 5 months post op experimental brain surgery when Tom visited him in Bulgaria for first visit in April 2012. We had no idea. However I knew there was something very wrong when he came home. He was 9 months post op. When I went to cut his hair there was the incision.
The cysts he has on his brain are not operated on unless extremely necessary. If there were signs that he could not swallow, or any other concern. Then they might consider operating. We feel sure Jacob did not have any signs. He does not now and if he did the surgery they did would not have "corrected" anything. In fact it set him back developmentally in ways that break my heart.
Dr Elizabeth consulted neurologists for us. One even commented on my blog that surgery is rarely if ever performed for this. Jacob nearly died from the records we saw. He was at hospital 2 weeks after surgery. And then returned to the orphanage only to be sent back to the hospital again for 2 more weeks. The orphanage could not afford this. That same orphanage director refused care at the hospital for kids who truly needed it to survive. This hospital was hours away. It was even a hospital known to have a poor record in caring for patients. We think it was paid for by the Dr experimenting.
Jacob's neurologist here takes regular MRIs to watch the cysts. Other than that Jacob should be fine. Unless he presented a concern like extreme body weakness, and the inability to swallow.
As you can see here, Jacob has grown in strength and size. We have no concerns about the cysts, and may never have concerns about them.
Jacob is catching his balance here. He has incredible balance. He will not fall on his bum. He will correct himself. It is amazing. In the background Mosie is in his "distress" pose. He thinks Jacob will fall! LOL!
I never owned a pair of Dr Elizabeth's amazing socks. I was never a sock sister. But 2 pairs of her socks were sold on ebay for my 3 boys Noah, Moses and Jacob. One pair brought in $300.00. We were BLESSED by her precious socks. We were BLESSED by our precious friend/Sister Dr Elizabeth.
When Jacob came home he had a very thin left leg and very flat feet. He was so weak all he could do was grab our arm and cling to us as we fed him. I had little hope of those thin shaky legs ever supporting his body weight. And now look at him. He is 55 pounds and he can support his weight to walk! Dr Elizabeth would be so proud!
Here he has to maneuver stepping over the gate thresh hold.
Dr Elizabeth and I had many things in common. One we often shared was that we knew how hard it was not to be able to do everything we want for our children. I've said before that I have a chronic non-disabling medical condition. It was stated on my medical forms when we adopted. I often am not able to have the energy to do all of the things moms do. Birthday parties, big holiday dinners, things like that exhaust me. So I have to prioritize. My priority is not entertaining, dusting, raking the yard, making my bed, vacuuming, laundry.
My priorities are hands on education, therapy, documenting Dr visits and recommendations, and stream lining what we all should do together. Tom does diapers, laundry, dishes- I cook and bathe. Tom takes them to half of the Dr & therapy appointments. I do half. Or I do phone consults.
Dr Elizabeth and I would talk about how hard it is to delegate our responsibilities to others, when once we could do it all. She helped me feel blessed that I could still do things like homeschool even with my strength challenges.
And I now appreciate more what I can do than what I can't.
Jacob walks along the furniture.
I have such an empty spot in my heart now. I miss Dr Elizabeth dearly. Please pray for Dr Elizabeth's children, husband and parents. She loved them with every ounce of her being. Their loss is huge. I thank God for them sharing precious Dr Elizabeth with us all. I pray they find some comfort in the fruits of her labors to save these precious orphans/children.
Isaiah still trying to get a good picture of Jacob walking.
Jacob is walking better every day.
The funny thing is that Moses was the tiniest, he wore a baby size 2 shoe. He could barely sit! Who could imagine that he would walk! And Noah who had the strength to stand when he came home is struggling with walking. But now Jacob who we thought would never be strong enough is walking too. You just can't even begin to guess what these beautiful precious children can do once they are home! And home because an Angel named Dr Elizabeth fought tirelessly for them.
We LOVE you so much sweet precious Elizabeth. Our hearts cry with joy as you are now completely healed. I anxiously await the time I can come and see you face to face.
(I'm sorry if my post sounds disjointed, my thoughts are grieving. So much sadness and JOY)