July 19, 2012

3 Ways to Support 3 Families

We are humbled to be included in an upcoming fundraiser event. Spivey Insurance Group is hosting a softball tournament on July 28. The funds raised will go to help Garren, along with 2 other amazing families.

1. Like Spivey Insurance Group on Facebook in July and $1will be donated.
2. Participate in the Softball Tournament.
3. Come out on July 28 for family fun and enjoy food concessions

July 18, 2012

Tying Shoes

Through all the challenges, we have to remind ourselves to look for the progress in Garren's recovery. Sometimes we get so involved in the daily routines that we forget or overlook baby steps. Well the other day while I was driving Garren to therapy, he suddenly looked up at me and said "There, I did it!" "Did what?" I asked. "I tied my shoes."

Tying shoes is one of the first thing that Garren set out to learn how to do after he came home from the hospital last summer. He has learned how to do a lot of things in that time, but I remember clearly when he told his occupational therapist that he wanted to learn how to tie his shoes.

And now he can. Such a small thing for most of us, but a big step for Garren.

I am continuing to work with Garren at home, and he is doing great. The other day he walked up the stairs, did several sets of crunches, leg lifts and push ups, walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes (with me standing behind him to make sure nothing goes wrong), then repeated crunches, leg lifts and push ups, then walked backward down the stairs. It was a grueling work out, but he did great.

We continue to wait and pray for an answer to continuing with Medicaid. As of now we still do not know if we will have coverage after July 31.

July 15, 2012

Letting Go

I came out of the bathroom and she was crying. Sitting on the edge of the bed, she looked up at me, wiped her eyes, and said "It didn't hit me until just now that you're leaving." I sat down on the bed next to her and put my arm around her. She let me squeeze her close. She usually doesn't like that, but she seemed ok with it this time. "You'll be fine," I said. "Once you meet your roommate, and make some friends, you're going to have fun! This is what you've been looking forward to for so long!"

It was earlier this year when Kara received a partial scholarship to attend a one month summer program at NYCDA in New York. It would mean living in a dorm for a month, in a strange place, with new people. By God's grace we were able to come up with the money to pay for everything. So on Friday Kara and I flew to New York with her supplies for the month. We had fun. We tried to visit the 911 Memorial, but we didn't have tickets. We stopped by Time Square where we saw the Naked Cowboy. We walked through Central Park. Then we went to Yankee Stadium in hopes of finding some cheap tickets to the game that night. We did find some cheap tickets from some guy on the street. And we had fun.

That night we stopped for Chinese on the way home, then back to our hotel. We stayed at The Jane Hotel. The room was probably 5 ft by 8 ft, with bunk beds. We showered (down the hall) and climbed into bed. It was so hot! We opened the window, hoping it would cool down. Finally at 3am, miserable and sweaty, I read through the book with information about the hotel. Turns out we had an air conditioner controlled by a little white remote. We cranked it down as far as it would go and finally got to sleep.

The next morning I woke up around 9. I woke Kara up and we got dressed and packed, checked out of the hotel and headed to her new dorm. Dragging suitcases through the subway was quite the adventure, and walking into the St. George Hotel where Kara would be staying was refreshing. It's a great looking place. She got check in and we went up to see her room. It was spacious, with two beds, two desks, a bathroom, 2 closets, a TV, fridge and microwave. We decide to Facetime with Mom so she could take a look at the room.

Then we headed to get some lunch and stock the fridge. After a tasty BBQ lunch we found Trader Joes where we bought some basic things like milk, bread, cereal, PB & J and some other snacks. Then we walked back to the dorm. We were hoping to meet her new roommate, but they still had not arrived. Kara put her food away while I went to use the bathroom. That's when it hit her. As I hugged her, it began to hit me too. I knew I had to leave, but I really didn't want to. She walked me down to the subway station where I would begin my trip to the airport. She started to cry again. My mind was racing. I hugged her again. I told her to text me when she got back to her room. I turned and walked down the stairs to the subway with a sinking feeling in my chest. I sat on the bench waiting for the next train. Should I go back? Should I get my flight changed? What if her roommate doesn't show up? What if there's a problem? I knew that as soon as she met someone, and started getting busy, that she would be fine. I thought back to the time I had been dropped off by my parents when I was her age. Christiansen Academy in Rubio, Venezuela. I spent my senior year of high school there. In a different country.

As I changed trains I received a text from Kara. Her roommate had finally arrived, and she and her parents were really nice. The next time I checked on her, she was at Target with her roommate and her parents. I finally made it to the airport, nearly missing my flight. As I fly home, I have mixed feelings. I'm holding back the tears as I type. I'm so proud of Kara. She's so smart and ambitious. She's brave. She's going to have a great time. Part of me wishes I could stay to experience her joys. Part of me wishes I could be a part of her new adventure. At the same time, I know this is part of the growing up experience. I have to let her go. I have to entrust her to God's leading. I know she's going to have a great time. I know she's going to learn and grow a lot. I can't wait to hear about her great adventures over the next month.

** You can follow Kara's New York Adventure on her blog.

July 06, 2012


As we continue along this journey, taking one day at a time, we find ourselves facing yet more uncertainty in our future. Just when we think we have things under control - that we have some sense of security - circumstances change, reminding us once again that we are not in control. We have to take our hands off, and let God lead the way.  He always does.

When Garren went into the hospital, he qualified for Social Security Disability Income. Because he qualified for SSI, he automatically qualified for Medicaid. These have been such wonderful programs. Medicaid has been paying for everything that our primary insurance did not cover, including night nursing and therapy.  We recently found out that Garren is no longer eligible for SSI. And since Garren is no longer eligible for SSI, he is not guaranteed Medicaid any longer. We have to wait now for a Medicaid review.

We have received different reports from different people, but it appears that we will not qualify for Medicaid. As of right now, SSI and Medicaid will end on July 31. What does this mean? We will not be able to continue having night nurses and will have to evaluate and possibly cut back on therapy visits.

But God is in control of every aspect of this journey. I was listening to an old song by Big Tent Revival - "Two Sets of Joneses" - and in one line he says "again God provided for bills He'd incurred." We've seen that happen so many times over the last 17 months. Bill after bill, need after need, God has provided. He is faithful, and will not leave us hanging.

Here's our prayer for right now - First, that Garren would start swallowing. That would eliminate the need for nursing altogether! And that God will provide the funding necessary to see to it that Garren continues to receive the care that he needs in order to continue toward a full recovery. Thank you for praying and trusting with us.