Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Simon Peter update (our friends 14 week premature miracle baby)

Thanks so much for all your prayers here is the latest update from Ben and Anna
Dear Friends and Family,
For some of you this will not come as news but we realized too that in all the busyness of the last 2 weeks there are people who we have not been able to be in touch with yet. So here is a brief summary of what’s been going on in the last couple of weeks to bring everyone up to speed.
Simon Peter Story was born around 8:30 am, July 31, Vanutua time.  He was just over 25 weeks gestation and weighed 980 gms / 2lbs. He was born in the Santo hospital but they were ill equipped to handle such a premature baby.  We had an 11 hour wait with only a little oxygen, a couple of hot water bottles and blankets and a lot of prayer, while we negotiated with our insurance company to get him medivac to Australia.
We had a wonderful Australian midwife helping a PNG doctor to keep him breathing and our friends Bill and Christina and Anna's parents helping and supporting us the whole time. The medivac team arrived around 19:30 by this stage the midwife and doctor had been resuscitating him for about half an hour. The medivac team took a few hours to stabalise him and we left for Brisbane around midnight.
Simon is still in hospital here in Brisbane and as most premature babies are usually kept until their original due date, we expect him to be there until the beginning of November.  He is doing quite well at the moment and the doctors seem pleased with his progress.  He had a rough couple of days earlier this week. He wasn't keeping his food down (which is feed through a tube) so they stopped giving him Anna’s milk. His oxygen levels were also up and down and they decided to give him a blood transfusion because his hemoglobin levels had been low and weren't improving. Also he had an infection in his eyes which they started treating with a course of antibiotics. Over the weekend things have actually improved. Simon had responded well to the antibiotics and the blood transfusion and they have started feeding him milk again. The doctors said this is all quite normal and we could realistically expect a few similar episodes again along the way to overall improvement.
We visit Simon in the hospital every day.  He still has various tubes going in to him, to help with his breathing and feeding, and wires attached for monitoring so our interaction with him is fairly limited.
We can hold his hand and help the nurses with his ‘cares’ (changing his nappy/ diaper) and hold his feeding tube when they give him his milk, but much of the time we are limited to looking at and talking to him through the hole in the side wall of his incubator. We have been able to cuddle with him 3 times now but this is only possible a couple of times a week.
Anna's parents were able to follow us from Vanuatu to Australia (a slight detour in their holiday plans) but had to return home after the first week here. We are staying at the YWAM base in Brisbane which is about a 30 minute journey from the hospital. Anna and I are doing okay, but tired but I’m sure that's pretty normal for any new parents.
We have felt very well supported here and have had a number of friends come and visit us at the hospital too. I may have to go backwards and forwards to Vanuatu a couple of times in the next few months because our DTS is still in the middle of running. Juggling the different responsibilities of being here with Simon and Anna and making sure the students doing the DTS in Vanuatu still get a fair deal is quite a challenge. There are also practicalities of visas that need to be sorted in the next few weeks and then passport for Simon too.
Though it's hard sometimes we are really enjoying this new season however and we are also learning to trust God in a new and deeper way.
It seems a long journey ahead yet but we are confident in God and his promises and are putting our hope in him, trusting that he will be glorified, whatever the outcome of all this is. When we choose Simon's name, not knowing whether he would even make it through the first few hours, we had no idea that it meant "God hears us" but his life is already evidence of that truth and we are encouraged and awed as people around the world continue to call out to God for his life.
From this point on there probably won't be much news to report on a day to day basis as it’s mainly a case of Simon finishing off the growing that should have still been going on in the womb. For those of you that would like to be kept updated regularly though, let us know and we’ll try and make sure we drop you a line every few weeks or so.
We are also working on a more general update which we hope to get out soon too. Apologies that we probably won’t be able to respond personally to all emails during this time but we really do appreciate receiving them. For those of you who have facebook we will also try and upload a few photos from Simon’s adventure so far.
We really appreciative all your prayers and support. We feel very loved and blessed in the midst of this time!
Much love,
Ben and Anna

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Been busy with immigration and adoption stuff & Josh has been building a Christian school

Josh (and sometimes Pierce) have been busy building a christian school with some missionaries from our church.  They are thrilled to have Josh as they have teams of volunteers at different times but not many skilled in carpentry so Josh is a HUGE help.  He is getting ready when this school is done to help our pastor some more with his house now that the container of supplies has arrived from Australia.  He is really enjoying getting to work in his field and really bless these guys.

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For the last several weeks I have been pouring myself into the immigration and adoption process trying to get Bella either a visitors visa or full citizenship.  The full citizenship is really difficult as we have no embassy here.  Please be praying!! If we cannot get the full immigration process done we really need to get a visitors visa so that we can all come to the US to spend the holidays with my family.  We are aiming for Nov 11th.  Please pray we can get a visitors visa for Bella if not citizenship. 

Dahlia and Bella at the track

Dahlia loving on her sister

My gramma is very sick with pancreatic cancer and so it is very important to us to get back and spend some time with her.  Because of this recent turn of events my parents will be heading home in a week.  SO we totally understand and think it is definitely the best thing to do, but we will miss them sorely!!!  They were originally going to stay through mid Oct so we are bummed, but know that is the best for them and gramma.  Please pray for her.

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Pierce and Dahlia love having them here to play with!  Pierces birthday is coming up on the 20th of this month so we are planning on getting everyone together at the pool at the resort for a good time if we can get some sunshine.  We have had several weeks of rain and gloom, but not too cold.DSCN0099_edited-1

 

I better sign off for now and hang out with my buddy Pierce who is patiently waiting for me while Dahlia and Bella sleep….

Blessings, Kristy and the fam

What is that… a pig for sale in the classifieds? A bit of local culture…

Josh and I laughed so hard at this…ONLY IN VANUATU!  See if you can translate this..It is in Bishlama.  I will give you a hint.  Just say it out loud phonetically.  Hope you laugh as much as we did. 

Me salem won male pig

blong 45,000vt ($450!).  Tusk I kamaot long hem.  Spos yu interest plis call….(#)”

Ok too funny!  It says I am selling a male pig for $450, With long tusks.  If you are interested please call.  Who sells a pig in the classifieds next to the boats, trucks etc..

Pig

This was a local pig hanging around the medical clinics we had going a while back in a village.  Pigs have great significance in the culture and are still used for all celebrations, funerals, and weddings etc…

The best part is trying reading it out loud with your best impression of an island accent.  I won’t even get into what they call breast feeding as this is a G rated blog!  Let me just say the language was created by traders from the islands picking up the sailors English ,some of which was potty mouth slang, to make it easier for business.  So yeah the words for going to the bathroom “piss-piss & sitsit” when sounded out are awfully similar to our swear word for the same!  Pretty fun language to learn.  Makes you laugh….