God's Brave Women - Brandi's Story
January 18th, 2016 my phone rang with a call from Michigan. I thought to myself, is this it? Our adoption specialist greeted me and continued with, “We have a child that we would like to tell you about!” My heart was racing. Could this be it? Could this be our child? She shared about a little boy, 10 months old, who had hemophilia. (A medical condition where the ability to clot blood is severely reduced. Even the smallest injury can lead to critical bleeding.) She told me to talk to my husband and give her a call back ASAP if we were okay with this condition and wanted her to send us the referral.
It felt as if we were at our ultrasound and we had just heard, “you’re having a BOY! But there’s something wrong…he has hemophilia”.
I relayed the information to Glen and said, “Hemophilia, did we say we were open to that? What is that again”? Glen remembered that we had marked, “willing to discuss” as we did with most all of the conditions. We knew our child would have special needs, but we also clearly checked the box that said mild or correctable needs. It suddenly became real to us that this was an actual child with a real physical need, a serious one.
We prayed for God’s wisdom, and then Glen grabbed the computer and started researching hemophilia. I couldn’t believe what we were reading and the awful pictures we were seeing. Phone calls and meetings with specialists also gave us a clear view of what his life would be like. We did a lot of researching and a lot of praying.
"The more researching we did, the more fearful I became of his condition. The more praying we did, the more at peace we felt. God was clearly leading us to this little boy."
I will never forget the day we laid eyes upon our son. I saw him and he saw me, and at 14 months old, he pointed and yelled, “Mama.” He recognized me from pictures we had sent. He instantly knew I was his mama, and I instantly knew he was my son.
Silas’ health journey has not been easy. In fact, we have had to trust the Lord daily for his safety, health, and for wisdom in making decisions. There have been bumps and bruises along the way but there was one particular bump, just above the right eye to be exact, that continued to internally bleed and swell until his eye was swollen shut. While we were waiting to hear back from his doctor, I ran to our bedroom, slammed the door behind me and yelled, “I can’t do this!” I fell to the floor sobbing and cried out to God, “Where are you, God?! How am I supposed to live like this? I’m not strong enough. I’m not brave enough. I can’t do this! I just can’t!”
"And in that moment of me saying I can’t, I felt God holding me as He whispered I CAN."
I immediately thought of the scripture in 2 Corinthians 12, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” His power is made perfect in my weakness. Well, I was definitely feeling weak so I needed the Lord’s strength.
Wiping the tears away, I picked myself up off the floor and went to explain to the kids why mommy was screaming at God. By God’s grace I was able to explain to them how when we feel like we just can’t do it anymore, God reminds us that He can.
A couple hours later we ended up in the ER for tests and scans. There was great concern about what was happening to his eye under all that pressure. Would his body be able to handle this kind of injury before any further damage would be caused to his eye or head? For the first time in my life I understood what it meant to pray without ceasing. All we could do was pray. I can’t tell you how many times Glen and I huddled up and prayed and prayed, saying, “God we trust you. We pray that you will protect Silas and walk us through this”.
When it was time for the CT scan, the nurses told Silas that he would need to hold still for the scan. They wrapped him up like a mummy and said, “Okay now, hold still”. That lasted for a few seconds before my two-year-old son began to wiggle. I bent down close to him and told him he was almost done, but he needed to hold still a little while longer and he was doing a great job. It wasn’t long before tears appeared as he cried, “I can’t do this”. I began to say, “Yes, you can”, and then remembered God’s words to me just hours earlier. Instead I said, “Silas, you’re right, you can’t, but who can?” Immediately he yelled, “God can! God can do it, help me God”. There on the CT table was my brave boy yelling, “help me God, you can do it”.
"That is my prayer… that I would be able to model to my children what it means to trust the Lord in all circumstances."
I told a friend the other day, I am not brave.
Saying yes to adoption was not brave, it was trusting in what God was calling us to.
Having a son with special needs, is not brave, it’s trusting God with every moment of his life.
That day in the ER, I was not brave, I was trusting in the One who can.
My friend responded, “sure, but I think it takes bravery to decide to put your trust in God”.
And she is right. As I look back now, I think of how easy it could have been to give into my fears and say no, we can’t handle this or we just don’t want to. I remember being so concerned about his physical needs when really his greatest need was for a family… our family! It is abundantly clear that God chose this sweet little boy to be ours from the very beginning, and I am beyond blessed that he calls me mama! I am grateful we have a loving God that leads us and equips us with strength, if we just ask and are brave enough to place our trust in Him.
Brandi has a passion for pointing women to Jesus through writing, speaking, leading Bible studies and one-on-one discipleship. She has been working with the ministry of CRU since college, both overseas and in the States. She met her husband Glen while doing campus ministry, and they are now serving with FamilyLife and living in Little Rock, AR. Along with ministry, Brandi homeschools their three beautiful children; Corban, Elia, and Silas. She is refreshed by spending time in nature, walking, laughing with a friend, reading to her kids and date nights with her husband. To read more about Silas' journey into their family, visit their blog at glenandbrandi.com or you can contact Brandi directly @firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
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