Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Ali has found the joy of putting her fingers in her mouth. She moves her hand across her teeth and pushes and pinches her little lips and her eyes roll back in her head. Bliss. While all of you are telling your kids to "get your fingers out of your mouth," we love seeing Ali find her mouth with her hand all by herself.

One of our homework assignments before Ali began to take the bottle was to help her get her hand to and in her mouth. We helped her discover the inside of her mouth with her finger tips. This was the beginning of the brain re-discovering and connecting different parts of the body. This activity gave Ali so much pleasure. I'm convinced that this motivated her to take the next steps and start drinking her bottle.

During the past week, we've reported all this progress to her doctors, nurses, and therapists and new life has been breathed into the team. We've reduced the dose frequency of Ali's medicines so that she no longer gets any in the middle of the night through her g-tube. All medicines are taken orally.

Medicine is not her favorite. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Medicine time is not a happy time. But as much as she hates it, she goes along with the program and swallows it down. She never spits her medicine out.

Ali grabs her bottle when she's being fed as was her habit before she got hurt. She rests her little hand on top of the bottle as the charming and beautiful Susan or I feed her. The only thing is that toward the end of the day, she gets a little wound up and has a harder time making her hand do what she wants. Which frustrates her and gets her even more worked up. That makes it hard for us to get her to bed.

But we're ecstatic with every improvement we see. While Ali was laying on my lap sleeping this afternoon, I was able to read a couple of chapters in a Philip Yancey book I've been trying to get through. In Where is God When it Hurts, Yancey dedicates a chapter each to the stories of two people who when at the top of their games, experienced tragic accidents that left them paralyzed. Joni Eareckson Tada and Brian Sternberg were living full, active lives when, in the blink of an eye, each lost all use of his and her limbs. They watched all of their hopes and dreams traded for broken bodies. But the faith they've displayed through trial is legendary.

We think, sometimes, that if this happens or that, then we can serve God and live a full life. But that's backwards. All we have to do is cling to Him at all times and give what we have to Him, and He'll do things we never thought possible.

Actually, without Him, they're not possible.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like great progress! Thanks for all your updates.

We love you guys.

Bob and Dorinda

Anonymous said...

My six-year-old niece likes to tell me that the only time she remembers me ever yelling at her was one time when she wouldn't quit sucking her thumb. It's probably true that I raised my voice (and other times, too, that thankfully she doesn't remember.)
But you can be sure that from now on I will only give thanks when I see her put her dirty little hands inside her mouth.

Your simple yet poignant reminders give me much to think about.

Anonymous said...

My parents probably wish that I was as obedient as little Ali when I had to take medicine as a baby (and as I grew older, eventually just dumping it down the sink all the time :X).
What a good sport she is!

Bryonm said...

Julia! I'm surprised!

Kat said...

It is phenomenal what God is doing with Ali. You and the beautiful and charming Susan are incredible human beings and I so appreciate reading the updates on Ali and having the privilege of praying for all of you.
Hugs, Kat

Anonymous said...

hey Bryon, great news on Aly, did you guys get the package we sent?

still praying,
the edwards

Anonymous said...

oops, sorry! we just returned home for vacation and found a note! so happy you enjoyed it!

The Edwards

Anonymous said...

Bryon, I just returned, late last night, from the Advocates/church leaders Conference in NY. Yours is the first blog I've visited, and I couldn't wait to read how Ali is doing. Thank her, for me, for making such a great report possible!

God bless you, Susan and Ali. Lord, I also speak love, comfort, and the healing found in the gift of trust in the Father, for Charity.

Anonymous said...

P.S. That was a good sermonette, you gave in this post. I often think God can't really use me, until I'm fully like Him--which isn't likely to happen, this side of heaven! So thanks for reminding me.

Anonymous said...

Still praying daily for Ali and your family--