Life is sometimes heartbreak, suffering, hard work and seemingly endless days. I try to be an over all positive person, and truly I have always wanted my message to be one of hope and joy. But man, sometime life is just so real. AKA = hard.
The last year, in many ways felt like I was on a tiny boat in the middle of a storm, being thrown back and forth. And just when I felt like we had made it through, here would come something else rocking our little boat.
Maybe this is you right now too. Maybe you are battling depression. Maybe your marriage is not so stable. Maybe you are fighting a losing fertility fight and your hope is just fading away.
Well, let me just tell you: God works miracles in messiest times of our lives - not when things are going smoothly. He did this all throughout the Bible and still does this today. I know He most certainly has done this in my life through our adoption.
From the first day Nate came into our home, he was sick. I am not talking chronically ill, but always having a really bad cold that would not go away. And his nose would be so stopped up and crusted that he couldn't breath or sleep at night. It was just wearing on all of us.
And on top of all of that, we had CPS, CASA, & Buckner all in our house every 30 days, sometimes more. And work. And bonding. And babies. And house work. The list goes on. I have never felt exhaustion like I felt then.
For months he was on antibiotics. After many doctors appointments, we finally decided in January of last year that we needed to see an ENT specialist. 3 months later, not from any fault of our pediatrician, we still could not get an appointment with an ENT that would take medicaid. The earliest they could get us in was August.
Enough was enough, and I decided I would just pay out-of-pocket. Well I don't think I even knew what that meant up until then! Haha. We were referred to a great ENT that a friend had used for her daughter. We explained our situation - that we were foster parents trying to adopt our son, and we just wanted to get him the care he needed. Many phone calls later, they agreed to make an exception and see us. We could pay out of pocket for around $500 for the visit, not including tests.
We agreed. We just wanted Nate to get better.
Then, when we arrived to the appointment, the front desk had none of these conversations logged. They were going to cancel the appointment, but then at the last minute decide to make some calls. 2 hours in the waiting room later, the doctor herself decides she will just see us.
Nate's ears were so bad, he was basically functionally deaf. His sinus so severe, they needed to be flushed and he needed his adenoids removed (something they usually do not like to do so young).
Everything was so extreme that the doctor, knowing our situation, decided to call around to get him the quickest appointment possible, and would work with any hospital that would take medicaid. 4 days later, we were scheduled for surgery. The ENT did the surgery for much less than she normally would - whatever Medicaid would pay her being out of network. Not only that, a month later the office even sent us a check back for the $500 out-of-pocket doctors visit.
When we got home from the surgery and the medicine wore off, Nate had a hard time walking because the equilibrium from his ears had been so bad prior to the surgery. He even put his hands over his ears because the normal volume of his surroundings which he had never heard, were too loud for his little ears.
This was not some accident. Or some coincident. This was God moving impossible mountains for Nate to get the medical care he needed, while still providing for our family financially.
Fast forward a couple of months. The surgery went well. Nate was actually sleeping better - not all night but much better.
But then, he started doing this scary, repetitive wheezing noise. It was so deep, he couldn't breathe, and you could tell, poor little thing, he was scared. Our first ER visit was a complete disaster. We got there right as they changed shifts and they forgot about us. They didn't even give him a breathing treatment for 2 hours while he just kept getting worse. It was one of the scariest days of my life.
And then we had 3 more of these ER visits over the next 6 months. Not to mention he would get these severe colds every time the weather changed, or played outside too long. (P.S. we live in Houston. We have this saying that if you don't like the weather wait an hour and it will change. So our weather changes a lot.)
Our oldest son Clyde, goes to an amazing pediatrician. She is common sense, truly invests in her patients - like not making Clyde put the wooden tongue depressor in his mouth because she knows he can't stand it - and is truly knowledgable about medicine, and consults with me as a parent.
Well her doctor's office does not accept medicaid. So we were not able to see her prior to the adoption.
But, as one would have it, she made an exception for us.
Then late last year, things had gotten so bad, we were in the doctors office weekly. One week were even in her office daily and were almost hospitalized with pneumonia.
That prompted us to start working on a stabilizer consisting of a daily inhaler and daily allergy medicine. We haven't had a bad attack in almost 4 months. They even got us into a specialist in just 30 days - which is almost unheard of in the world of child specialists.
Philippians 4:19 says, "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."
God is a God of healing.
Once our adoption was finalized late last year, Nate did not qualify for a subsidy with CPS, which means the state would no longer support Nathaniel's medical expenses or any other assistances. Our medicaid expired, and then Nate was moved to our insurance. I work for my family company so we have to self-insure. Not ideal for real or consistent medical issues.
So we had to start being creative with medical expenses, like finding generics and which pharmacy had the cheapest medicine. Well of course, Nate's daily inhaler has no generic and costs $200/month. That does not include his allergy medicine, medicine for his inhaler, any other prescriptions and $79 doctor visits.
On top of all the other medical issues we were having - we had also been waiting for months to see a specialist about Nate's left foot. Around the same time as Nate was having his ear issues (which caused him a delay in walking), we slowly began noticing that he was dragging it more and more - until finally he was walking on his tip toes. Well of course we could not get into a foot specialist until the month after his adoption was consummated. (Again, months and months after we noticed the problem).
The only positive about the delay was that we were having a hard time getting a orthopedic appointment with Medicaid, but being on our insurance we could open up to more doctors. We were thinking that we were going to be getting a corrective shoe or possibly a night brace.
Well, long story short, we had many other doctors appointments besides an orthopedic surgeon. We have had tests, neurologist appointments, therapy, physical medicine doctors, and more. Almost a year later, we have answers but years of work ahead of us.
And remember how I told you that self insurance is not great for real medical issues, and that we did not qualify for subsidy with CPS? Well, had we found out Nathaniel's medical issues prior to our adoption being finalized, we would have been eligible for subsidy - allowing Nate to be on Medicaid.
Our insurance covers 20 Physical Therapy & Occupation Therapy sessions combined a year. Nate needs a bare minimum of 52 Physical Therapy sessions a year. And therapy sessions without insurance were $499 each 1-hour session. Not to mention the many other medical expenses.
So, we began searching how we could reapply to a program that just 30 days before we were not eligible for.
161 days later, we have been approved. We have been approved for Medicaid and now Nate can get the therapy and treatments he so desperately needs.
"He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority." - Acts 1:7
Let me just tell you, it has been one of the hardest years of my life, but God has never been more evident. And my relationship with Him has never been stronger.
So even in your darkest hour, know that God is still good. God is still rooting for you, loving you, and fighting for you.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11
His timing is not our timing, but it is always good.
I hope you find encouragement today. What ever you are going through today, God is working right now for you. I can't wait to see what God has waiting for you!
Holly Nicole James