Answers. It's what I've wanted for so long. I wanted a diagnosis for Israel, something to explain to me what is going on with him, and what to expect for the future. We were connected with specialists starting when Israel was just 9 months or so, and we began our quest for answers soon after. He had febrile seizures (thank goodness just one, slightly traumatic episode) at 10 months that required hospitalization for a few days, and scary words like meningitis and brain tumor were ruled out when he had a CT scan. A few months later (around 14 months), we took Israel to a neurologist who said he didn't have a crystal ball to tell us what our future looked like. He thought the CT scan that the Children's Hospital had ordered should have been sufficient to notice if any issues were happening in Israel's brain, so instead of looking at that route we did genetic testing. This kid has been tested and retested and evaluated and assessed. We were told that nothing was conclusive. He was too young to tell. Wait and see.

So we waited and saw. There was very little progress for a long time, his first birthday came and went, and soon we were expecting Edith. The summer before Edith's arrival, Israel was about 20-21 months and we saw more specialists. I thought, surely if we know what's going on, then it will make life with two kids easier! He was evaluated yet again, and all of the things that I had researched on the internet proved inconsistent. He just didn't fit in a mold. There wasn't a diagnosis for him.

A few months later, I requested answers again. In March (Israel being 2 1/2 years old then) we saw a whole new team of specialists in Birmingham, this time the neurologist ordered an MRI of his brain. This spring we saw tremendous progress in Israel. He's scooting, walking with help, saying more words, self feeding more! It's been amazing. We knew the follow up appointment in September could be what we needed for answers though. I wanted those MRI results so badly! They wouldn't give them to us over the phone and wouldn't let us come early. We had to wait from April 15 (when he had the MRI) to September 4. The summer went quickly, and once again we were in a room with lots of specialists, waiting for answers. Now he is almost 3 years old.

Well, we got them. I am not going to put everything out there online, because it's Israel's story. The pieces of Israel's story have come together a bit more, and although he still doesn't have a specific disorder or diagnosis (''developmental delay'' is all) we know what is going on in his little head. Our sweet boy had some trauma in the womb that will mark him forever on this earth.

I'll be honest, this news rocked me pretty hard. God was so gracious to me, and gave us strength in the doctor's office to hear everything that needed to be heard and to ask questions. Will and I were strong through the appointment and on our trek home. I will admit that I spent most of the afternoon crying, and I think that's okay.

This weekend we decided to make a quick trip to Auburn. We spent the weekend with my parents, and Will and I even had a date to the Auburn game. By God's providence, we sat next to a family with two special needs children (probably around ages 7-9). This couple spoke some good life into me. The wife shared how she had questioned God's timing and wondered what if their special needs child had been conceived any other month, would it have happened the same? And God revealed to her "It would always have been him." That was a good word for me. It would always have been Israel, this is God's plan for Israel and us. Not that I ever question Israel's fit for us, but that I was reminded that God's timing was purposeful. We were put on the waitlist at such a time as to receive Israel's referral. I used to wonder if Israel had come home at 4 months instead of 7 months, would he be delayed? If those months at Hannah's Hope were the detriment to his development? But now we know... it was always this way. It was always to be that Israel would bear this mark, to have this path.

There's just a sweet community with other special needs families. I love being able to easily chat with other mamas in waiting rooms because we have a common ground. We can talk about social workers, insurance plans and different programs because we are in it together. The family from the Auburn game affirmed us that it is okay - and normal - to continue through a cycle of grieving at times. We talked about how we can go through stages of anger, denial, sadness, etc and then come back around. They encouraged us that it does get easier, although each new stage of life/age may bring the return of those grieving stages.

So here we are. With answers. We have hope and we have some sadness. I felt that I needed to share our update here because so many of you are walking in this with us. I saw a friend this weekend who asked about him, and I was surprised that she was even invested in his story. But I know that Israel has been made who he is because of God's glory, and that is why I am updating. I can look back on Israel's short life and see so many instances where God was clearly faithful to him and us! And God is always doing much more than I can comprehend. So to any of you who are invested in this story of our boy's, know this... God is faithful! God marked a purpose in Israel while he was being formed in his mother's womb. We look forward to seeing how Israel's life continues to point to God's glory.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.  And his disciples asked him,“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  Jesus answered,“It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:1-3

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139: 13-16


  1. I am happy for answers for you Rebekah. I love the verses you chose for this post!

  2. Rebekah, this was beautifully and courageously written. Thank you for sharing your heart. Israel is a beautiful and precious child.


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment. I like to reply via email so make sure your email is connected to your Blogger account!