Three weeks ago on Monday, March 19, I (Carol) went to the boys’ school to pick them up at noon. Titus was busy playing on his favorite part of the playground, a rope swing that swings out over a small drop-off. A couple of months ago, a ball was hung out above that drop-off so the kids could try to kick it (about three meters in the air). Titus was quite proud of his talent on the swing, and for weeks he had been keeping a tally of the number of times he had been able to kick the ball.
When I arrived, the same thought went through my head that always does when I see him swinging wildly through the air: “What if he swings one more time and falls off?” But this is the age-old struggle of motherhood…how to let our kids be kids without stifling them with our protection. So I greeted him with, “Great job, Titus! One more time, and I’ll watch you!”
When disaster strikes, it always seems as though time stands still for a moment. Hearts miss a beat, movement slows, and it feels like if we could just force our bodies to move in that brief moment, we could avert the danger. But we never can, because the clock doesn’t actually stop.
Titus fell at the peak of his gangly ride through the air, and as he thudded to the hard dirt below him, he tried to catch his fall with his left arm. He cried from the pain for a couple of minutes, and it didn’t take long to discover his arm hanging limply (and crookedly) just above the wrist.
After getting x-rays at an orthopedic hospital in a nearby city, we knew that he would certainly need surgery to put the bones back in place. We decided to take him to Singapore for the surgery, so he had to be in a temporary, partial cast for about two days. He handled the discomfort like a champ…and admittedly enjoyed all the extra attention he got from his injury.
One operation later, Titus is healing up nicely and behaving like his old self again. He is already pushing his physical boundaries with running, jumping, riding his bike–even swimming with a bag taped around his cast! His only obvious change is a new aversion for swinging from trees. In three and a half more weeks he will have the cast and pins removed, which we plan to have done in-country.
Although we wouldn’t choose to experience this bump in the road if it were up to us, here are some ways God showed his love and provision to us:
- Titus only broke his arm, rather than experiencing a head or back injury.
- Our coworkers and friends pitched in to help in any ways they could.
- We already had contact with an orthopedic surgeon in Singapore, since Jared had sprained his ankle last year and needed a professional opinion on the x-rays. I sent this doctor a photo of Titus’ x-rays via a popular messaging app, and he wrote back within five minutes with his diagnosis and recommendation! He ended up doing Titus’ surgery two days later.
- Furthermore, this same surgeon’s clinic took such excellent care of Titus. They were friendly, professional, and even kept me in the loop via messaging (I stayed back home with the other boys). They made this traumatic event into an almost-fun experience for Titus.
- Even though searching for last-minute plane tickets was a total bear of a task, we did finally get through it! We are just grateful Titus’ life wasn’t hanging in the balance as we tried to navigate our way through this emergency.
Experiences like this are such poignant reminders of how precious the gift of life is. Thanks to each one of you who prays faithfully for us. We know God works through prayer, and we can only bow in thanks and praise to Him that He has given us this family of boys to raise, which, along with its pain and trials is such an unspeakable blessing.