[I know, some of you have been wondering and I thought this was easier than having to keep telling the same story over and over again.]

My sister, who has already had a pretty rough year or so, has been on hospital bedrest for the last month or so. Unfortunately, her daughter was diagnosed with hydrops, so the pregnancy has been a series of complications and emotional ups and downs. Yesterday, I got a frantic phone call from her telling me the doctors said they were going to do the C-section then rather than try to wait another week. Six weeks premature.

I got to the hospital a little after four o’clock, having just missed my brother. Most of my sister’s bridal party was there (look, she had 10 ladies in her bridal party, so the room was crowded, plus some family). Ro had called in her people to support her no matter what happened. Just so you know, Broadduses only know one way to grieve or deal with tense situations: joke. Our role is to keep the mood light and I have been especially “gifted” with the ability to laugh in inappropriate situations.

As we waited on Eric, her husband, to arrive (his work wouldn’t let him out early), we prayed. Upon his arrival, the doctors then filed in to deliver the news. They presented a series of options, all of whom ended with prepare yourself for the worst, mortality in this situation is expected, usually within a few minutes to hours. The lungs would be underdeveloped. There were a series of procedures they were going to attempt, including traeching her while she was still attached to her placenta. And, as a premature delivery, her small size would be an issue. Once the doctors left, Ro in tears, we did another round of prayers.

A few minutes later, the nurses and doctors came back into the room to wheel Ro out, but then they suggested that we pray. I was all prayed out, so a nurse/chaplain led the prayer this time. After than came the interminable waiting – every time the doors open or footsteps came from down the hallway, we looked up expectantly, waiting for any sign of hope. If you have seen the movie Rize, you may have a bit of an image of what came next. We heard the footfalls first, interrupted only by the occasional clap, then we saw Eric steppin’ down the hallway.

Yalaina Symone was born at 6:18 pm May 11th, 2007, at 6’ 8 oz. There were able to not only get some of the fluid off from her stomach, but there was no swelling in her head, so they were able to do all of their procedures they didn’t think they could get done. In under a minute. Her lungs are doing okay and she is on an oscillator (a type of ventilator) right now. For now, she is doing as well as she can. The word “miracle” has been tossed about, including one doctor remarking that “you’d think with all the stuff we see, we’d get used to the idea that there might be a higher power.” So we remain cautiously optimistic.

Please join in our prayers: That as we come to the end of our ability to control things, we know God loves us. So help us to trust in that, no matter what happens. We thank Him for that love and for His love reflected in our friends and family. We continue to pray for the doctors and nurses as they attend to Ro and Yalaina. And we pray for Ro, Eric, and Yalaina, for their health and for their faith during this time.

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Here’s what I said at Ro’s baptism (which was on Easter Sunday):

Ro made me promise not to say anything that’ll make her cry. That’s a tough promise to keep because she’s pregnant and hormonal. But also because I’m her big brother and she’s not used to me saying nice stuff about her. I don’t have a particular story as a testimony of her faith, but more of an observation.

One of the duties of the big brother is to protect his little brother and sisters. It’s the same duty we feel as parents. It hurts us when we aren’t able to shield the ones we love from harm.

As I’ve watched Ro’s life, sometimes life happens that is out of her or anyone’s control. She’s gone through a lot of trials in the last year or two. I hate that so many of our lessons have to be learned through pain, but there are several things she’s taught me during her trials.
-she’s taught me how to question God. When things started happening in her life and she didn’t know why, she went to God and wrapped her community of faith around her to support her when she didn’t think that she could go on.
-she cried out to God, kept getting on her knees to pray, even when times kept getting darker.
-she showed me what it means to be faithful in times of doubt and how to persevere when it would be easy to give up

She didn’t know what God was trying to teach her, but I know what her faith taught me.

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5/29/07

This time has been quite instructive on the discipline of prayer. I have realized how much we’ve come to depend on the “prayer warriors” around us. It’s been an emotional roller-coaster, good days followed by really bad days. So continue to keep everyone in your prayers.

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6/11/07

My wife sent out the following e-mail that I thought I would share:

Earlier tonight (6:50 pm) I got a text message from Ro

“The baby is doing worse right now than she has since she’s been alive. It’s really bad and she’s in a lot of pain. Please Pray.”

Then two hours or so later (9:35 pm) I get this message from Ro:

“In a few minutes she is gonna undergo an incredibly risky procedure on her lungs. If it doesn’t work. they’re pretty much out of ideas. Please pray hard.”

then right as I sat down to write this e-mail (10:25 pm) I get this message from Ro

“the procedure didn’t work so now they’re gonna make her comfortable and hope for the best”

I don’t know what God has in store for little Yalaina, but I hope for the best and she becomes a beautiful healthy big girl. (I started to say baby girl, but I want mo
re than that) It’s frustrating for me to think that Ro went thru all that stuff while she was pregnant and then be in the hospital on bed rest for a month just to give birth to an extremely sick kid and then have so many up and downs and now this… this can’t be what’s planned for Yalaina.

OK it’s late, I’m tired and I am in a mood and very frustrated and that just leads me saying the wrong things… I will end by saying I place Yalaina in God’s hand and will try to deal with the outcome of that if it ends up being not what “I want”.

Please pray for Yalaina along with the Griffin Family (Ro, Eric, Emmy, and Calvin “Bubby”)

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