Saturday, March 21, 2009

For the praying among you

Update~


Thank you all so much for taking the time to pray for our family. I have felt such a peace with knowing all of you are thinking and praying for us. I (Jen) have gone through a lot of this journey on my own. Riding a roller coaster of emotions for the last few years and not sure how to communicate about it. One morning last week Jared and I were talking about all the remarks Andon has been getting and how hard it is. Well, a couple hours later I received an e-mail from him that he had sent to everyone in his office asking for prayer. I took so much comfort in knowing we had all of his co-workers praying on our behalf and knowing what we were going through. Then he decided to write on our blog and ask for prayer. The response was overwhelming and I can't express how freeing it is knowing you have all of these people going to the Lord on your behalf. So, Thank You So Much!

I wanted to go ahead and answer some of the questions from the comments here... Andon was born with a rare genetic disorder called Treacher Collins Syndrome. It affects 1 in every 10,000 births. It is a disorder that affects the growth of the facial bones while the baby is developing in the womb. Because of this Andon was born with a cleft lip that was repaired at 3 days old and a cleft palate that was repaired for the first time at 8 months. It did take 3 more surgeries to get it to stay closed and he has had a few other related surgeries. Since he was little his Dr's have talked about reconstructing the area underneath and around his eyes. Really we could go through with that at any time now but we are unsure of what to do. Also, they are talking about extending his jaw and that would require some hard things for a 5 year old to go through. He will have some dental surgery coming up in May and then a bone graft done to his upper jaw sometime soon. Andon does have a mild case of this disorder but by some of the remarks you wouldn't know that.

Thank you all for your sweet comments of him. I think he is absolutely adorable as well!! :)

Also, to Beth regarding Nancy Dunn.. Yes, it is the same Nancy! She wrote the daily devotional "Dear Daughters". It is a great devotional and I just adore her!



(original post)

Family,

If anyone of you know me you know that I normally have a boundary with personal stuff (Jared). God is teaching me that this is one area I need to "let go". So in response to Him I will be transparent and ask for help.

Andon is now 5 years old. He is coming to that point in his life where he is becoming not only self aware but, aware of the world around him and how it relates to him. Lately Jen and I have both noticed a great deal of "remarks" towards Andon from other children and even adults (I dont like your eyes, he's a monster, what's wrong with you etc) This is extremely hard for Jen and I have to admit for me as well at times...

Jen and I are also coming to that point in Andon's life where we need to make decisions regarding surgeries (to have or not to have). Andon has had about ten so far and has several to go. The decisions are no longer minor, they involve major reconstruction, possible "hardware" (bolts coming out of his jaw to extend it down and out etc) This pains me beyond belief and I must admit that while I trust that God has made Andon perfect and chosen the right parents for Andon, I am somewhat unsettled with the final decisions that need to be made. Know this, Andon's surgery to reconstruct his eyes and cheeks are cosmetic at this point! This has left Jen and I to seek the Lord in the most sincere and humble way. I love the Lord so much, I am humbled to think He has chosen both Jen and I to care for His perfect gift. I seek to honor God in all that we say, do and think. In regards to Andon I want what He want's.

What we do not need is sympathy. Jen and I will be the first to admit that Andon was, and still is, a major blessing to us. I can't imagine a more perfect gift for the two of us. His birth was a turning point in our walk, it was the first time I truly heard God speak to me, I am so thankful.

What we need is prayer. We need prayer that God will direct us through these decisions. We need prayer that God's plan is made clear and we will walk out that plan faithfully, boldly and with joy in our hearts. Jen and I are very excited to see how God will not only use this time to communicate His love and glory but how He will use Andon's life to reveal Himself.

25 comments:

Dearest Jessica said...

As you know we think he is one handsome boy and love him greatly. We will be praying with for guidance.

mommy zabs said...

you will have our prayers for guidance. I will share this with jeff soon.

Brittani said...

of course we will pray for you all. It is so sad that the world we live in is so obsessed with wanting everyone to look the same. I know that it is hard to see your baby in pain from other peoples harsh words. We will pray for guidance and peace. We love you guys

Jackie Sue said...

Praying...sorry I missed you this morning on fb...i should call you...maybe today, but I hate to mess with your family time...love y'all
Abba, Please give Jen and Jared ears to hear Your voice in the midst of a very noisy world. Please give them wisdom and courage to do whatever You call them to. I also feel led to ask You to give them a venue to share their story that will educate families not only about Your love, but how to treat all people with dignity and respect. In all of life we need reminders of how You work and the circumstances that draw us to You. We celebrate that You used Andon in all of our lives and most importantly in Jen and Jared's. He is a living billboard of Your enthusiasm for life. Please protect his little heart and help Jen and Jared to trust You with the hard things in his life. Andon is Yours Lord and we ask that You would very clearly reveal Your will in this situation. In Christ's name, amen.

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your heart. My heart hurts with you about the comments from others. I pray that God would give you clear direction and a refreshing sense of His presence. You are right, God made the exact right choice of parents for this little boy.
Love you all!

Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net said...

Me and my Andon (and our family) will be praying for you!!!!

Jessica said...

Your child is beautiful! And you have a family in TX who is praying for you!

Deborah said...

Andon is beautiful. My prayers are with you.

We moved back to the area west of Nashville about 8 years ago from Gulf Shores. My husband is from Flordia. We have decided after all this rain that we need to be Winter Birds and fly south!

Hope you enjoy Nashville, its a great place.

Kelly said...

Great post! I am thinking of you and praying for you guys! It is so hard to disern what is best for your baby! I pray guidence and peace! Andon is going to do great things and be great things to everyone he comes in contact with!

jamie nalley said...

I love you guys so much and Andon is such a blessing to have in my life each day.I love you...

Megan said...

Jared, you sound like a wonderful, God-loving father who will hear God's answer when it is given to you. You are all a beautiful family, inside and out. We will be praying for you to know God's desire for this situation. God bless you~

A "Bring the Rain" Sunday

Greg Mc. said...

Praying for you

Valarie Daly said...

I will be praying as you go before our heavenly father with this petition, and once you have heard from HIM, the great physician, I will be praying that you will be at peace with your decision. It is so painful to see how other people hurt us or the ones we love by their words. You both are amazing parents and Andon is beautiful. We miss you all here in Florida!

Vera said...

Saw your blog on Angie's blog... Praying for y'all. I have been right there making these types of decisions and know how hard it is.

James' Full House said...

Visiting from Bring the Rain. Your son is adorable. I love his name..
You will be in my prayers. As a mom I can understand you wanting to the very best for your children. I pray that God will give you the answers you are looking for.

brandi james

Stephanie in Arkansas said...

Ok, I live in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and found your blog through Bring the Rain. I would really like to know more about Andon in terms of what exactly his condition is so that I can more fully understand your needs and the decisions ahead. Also, I wanted to tell you that after reading your post about what people say I was wondering what awful disfigurement your son had. Then I saw his picture and....he's beautiful! Really. I saw the picture and thought "that's it?" I don't know what issues he has, but as for his appearance, you have an adorable son, and I know that God is looking out for you. I will keep your family in my prayers, especially in terms of guidance and peace. As for your Andon, I would like to be able to pray for his specific needs, but otherwise, your son is handsome! Kids may notice that he looks a little different, but other kids will love your child and above all else, God will look after and protect him.

Torrance Reed said...

you guys are in our prayers!!! love you guys and keep pressing toward that mark! God knew what He was doing when He made you all Andon's parents, He makes no mistakes... just know we got ya in our closed hands, bowed heads

Jess said...

I just found your blog a few moments ago, but from what I've seen, your son looks adorable! I will say a pray for peace about whatever decisions you are faced with, but just know that you are wonderful parents and your son is precious!

brandiandboys said...

praying God gives you guidance and wisdom.

Beth said...

I just found your blog through Angie's blog and of course I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I live outside Orlando and have family in Nashville (small world, huh). Anyway, as I was reading through some of your old posts I noticed the name Nancy Dunn. I'm not sure if it is the same Nancy Dunn, but when I was growing up in West TN there was a Nancy Dunn that lived there who was a tremendous friend to my mother and our family. She truly blessed our lives. She actually published a book of devotionals titled "Dear Daughters" that I still pick up today when I am searching for inspiration. I'm the mom to 3 wonderful boys, our youngest who was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation last year. If you're interested you can see his carepage here: http://www.carepages.com/carepages/AydenJCobb

Samantha said...

Praying that God directs your steps and gives you wisdom and guidance in each decision that you make!

I don't think it was an accident that you ended up on my daughters blog last week! I'm adding your site to follow and will keep your family in my prayers!

Anonymous said...

Oh, that just breaks my heart that you have unkind comments to deal with and that Andon would have to hear anything like that!! He IS so beautiful and does have such a beautiful zest for life! He is such a testimony to God. I know that is a tough decision to make and has been on your mind for a couple of years. We will pray! We love and miss you guys! I need to call you and hear first hand how you are doing. Love, Christie

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys,

This breaks my heart. Dennis and I will be praying for you to see God's direction and receive His guidance. (Den will pretty much have all of Ludowici praying for you by the end of the day :).

Jackie (Pattison)

Wendy said...

Hi Jen, I found you through Angie Smith's blog and just had to tell you that Andon is a beautiful boy! Truly, his sweet spirit shines through in his smile and he is just adorable. I'm so sorry you've had to deal with cruel comments -- I know, as a parent, there are few things more painful than someone being unkind to your child. I will be praying for wisdom and peace for you and Jared as you face decisions ahead, and for protection for little Andon from people's tactless remarks. God bless you!

jill said...

I totally agree with Wendy, Andon is truly beautiful and his light just shines through his eyes and his smile! What a gift you have! Though, I do know how much words can hurt and how you want to protect your little boy. I'll definitely pray for your family for wisdom!