Iris has a new look. It’s not one we would have chosen but it has happened. It is the look that is one step involved in many steps to come that will hopefully fix her beautiful little eyes! Because of that, we like this look. ;D
Iris and my time in Port Moresby (PNG’s capitol city) went well. Iris did very well with all the traveling. She loved the boat the travel, the truck travel, the stay over night at a guest house and she even popped right up with a bleary smile when I woke her up at 4am to leave for our flight! She could not have been sweeter and I really appreciated it! On our last flight as the plane lowered to land in Port Moresby she turned to me with a concerned look and said, “Mommy, my ears are broken!” 🙂 I guess she had one complaint about our trip, and I don’t blame her!
Our mission’s government representatives in Port Moresby picked us up from the airport and took us straight to a store to grab something to eat for the week. That was when it hit me, we were a LONG way from our village home! I actually had some culture shock as we were led through the most modern grocery store I have set foot in in two years! Iris had a blast being pushed around in a normal shopping cart as I tried my best to swallow the gasps that I kept hearing escape my mouth as I saw things I never dreamed I would see available in this country! Blueberries, spring mix lettuce, bins of nuts, marshmallows, and so on. I ended up just covering my mouth with my hand to remind myself I should not make a scene. Wow- that was crazy. Staying at the mission guest house held several treats for us such as a pool, tile floored, air conditioned room and a TV!
While in the capitol, Iris had a series of visits to the eye clinic. I really appreciated the ophthalmologist there who was a Papua New Guinean woman. She happily shook Iris’ hand and was sweet and friendly to her. I was thankful that the first meeting went well since we had been trying to get Iris pumped to “meet the doctor” for weeks! This friendly interaction made Iris much more willing to sit like a big girl and let the doctor proceed with all the crazy eye tests. *I was SO proud of how Iris behaved!* When the ophthalmologist had done every test she felt was necessary she spent almost forty minutes explaining to me in detail what was wrong with Iris’ eyes and what needed to be done. I will not use this blog to explain in detail all of those details because I am not confident I would spell all the long words right! 🙂 The bottom line is that Iris has an eye condition that needs prompt treatment through surgery.
We have known for quite some time that surgery was a very real possibility but I am an optimist! I think I had been clinging to hope that somehow it would never come to that, somehow Iris eye’s would just become straight one day and everything would be over. Is that optimism or just denial? 😉 I sat in the good doctor’s office with Iris on my lap as she said to me, “I recommend she have surgery as soon as possible.” I felt my throat seize up and I got that panicky feeling like – oh my, I think I am suddenly going to start sobbing! Thankfully the Lord helped me remain calm and I listened carefully and took many notes as everything was explained to me.
Several visits followed in which Iris was given glasses to help stimulate her eyes until surgery. It was pretty funny in a way because even though I was in the biggest city in Papua New Guinea, we were still in a third world country and the clinic had exactly ONE pair of glasses for us to “choose” from. Haha! They even made calls around and came up with nothing else. They are by no means the ones I would have chosen for Iris but considering the circumstances, I was thrilled that they even had that one pair! Naturally Iris received much gushing praise and encouragement that she looked “amazing” & “beautiful” in her new glasses which helped her embrace them… although the first few days she wore them I thought for sure they would break for how many times they were cast to the ground! 😛
The surgery that Iris needs is not available in this country and Australia will not be an option for a variety of reasons, one of them being finances. Needless to say Iris’s diagnosis has changed a lot of things for us. There is no doubt that Iris’ needs will get our attention above anything so that is what is happening. We are beginning to make many plans in order to return to the states in order for Iris to get the surgery she needs. No matter how crazy this all feels and how hard it is, we absolutely praise the Lord for this diagnosis of Iris and how it will help us make sure she gets the treatment she must have, when she needs it! We are completely aware of how The Lord is lovingly looking out for our sweet little gal and have very reason to trust Him with all of this!
A lot of our time in the capitol was pretty emotional (for Tom and I) as we were forced to face what all these changes would mean but the time there was also a sweet gift. I treasured the opportunity to have an extended “girl date” with my little sweaty pie! Of course I missed Tom and Jude but it was really special to be able to focus only on Iris for those days. Whether is was taking a dip in the pool together, long wrestling and snuggling times or just swinging in a hammock together while I talked with Daddy on the phone, it was all very sweet and I loved it. The government rep’s who live in the capitol were also very sweet to us and took us to a few special stores in the city and Iris had more new experiences there than I can count! It was such a blast to watch her take in and react to so many new things, like how she got to see a dancing Elmo toy in a toy store and forever after referred to it as “when we went to ‘Elmo’s world’!” Haha!
So, these Iris updates might continue for a while. We are trusting the Lord to help us find the best care possible for Iris and to provide for and give us peace for every step of the way. As hard as it feels, it is a privilege to be reminded of God’s care for us and His ultimate power and control over circumstances, even when we did not plan them. We are confident that God will work in this time for the good of not only Iris and our family but also the Tigak church.
Would you consider making a special gift to help us cover the costs of this trip? Please click here to find out YOUR options for helping US get back to the States!