Seeing Miracles

When I was little I loved to hear the Bible stories of the miracles Jesus performed during His time on Earth. The thought of “magic” healing or food falling from the sky, was just enthralling. But those kinds of miracles are not seen in this day and time. Right? Oh, but they are! And I have seen so many miracles with my own eyes.

I think the majority of mothers will tell you that their child is a miracle. There is nothing more amazing than feeling some thing…someone…grow within you. Feeling the first flutters and then movements and finally the hard kicks against you. There is no way to wrap our heads around the process of creation of a baby. But it does make you think of how amazing and all powerful God must be. And when you read Psalm 139:13-16, you become even more amazed to realize that God tells us He knits us together. He forms us before anyone even knows we exist.

Yes there are scientific explanations of cells dividing and multiplying and becoming organs and growing. But that doesn’t really explain it. Because how does that process begin? Yes, I know, the egg and sperm join and it starts the process, but where did the egg and sperm come from? Yes from the female and male but how did those develop? Who or what decided a woman needs to have eggs and a male needs to have sperm? How did someone or something “program” the cells to know what to do and what to become? Have you ever thought of the millions and millions and millions of intricate details that have to happen for a person to be formed? There is no way it was an accidental spark or Big Bang that led to the creation of the world and somehow to animals and people and plants….If it were, it couldn’t have been replicated over and over and over again through reproduction because no accident could program so many pieces that have to all fall together to make life happen.

I have seen the miracle of life through carrying and giving birth to two children. But I have also seen miracles beyond that. Some were small, every day kind of miracles that could have easily been overlooked or dismissed and some have been huge, unmistakeable miracles.

One of those big miracles happened a little over 6 years ago. My youngest son is adopted. He was placed with me through foster care when he was just 3 days old. He was an itty bitty thing and I realized fairly quickly that something was wrong. Over the first many weeks he did not interact like my other children had. He didn’t seem to make eye contact all during bottle feedings or to track anything with his eyes or even have responses such as flinching when something would come near his eyes (like 2 year old brother’s fingers when he would point to the baby’s eyes and accidentally poke him!). After a couple of months I noticed he wasn’t smiling back at me or copying me as I made faces. I knew that something was wrong. I didn’t think he could see.

I talked to my son’s pediatrician about my concerns and she tried to assure me that everything was probably fine but humored me and sent us to an ophthalmologist who quickly confirmed he was completely blind. He didn’t even react at all to lights. There was nothing. His eyes themselves seemed fine and healthy. His optical nerves were there and fine. The doctor said it was a brain issue. He was diagnosed with Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI). And the doctor didn’t know if he would ever gain his sight.

I should mention at this point that I grew up learning sign language and was very involved in the Deaf community from a young age. I had a degree in Deaf Education and was a highly certified interpreter for the deaf. But blindness?? I had never been around anyone with significant vision loss. Still, I felt a peace. When I said ok and didn’t seem upset and even told the doctor that I didn’t think this would be permanent, I think he assumed I was in denial. He was a Christian doctor and I remember praying with him that day before we left.

I immediately went home and researched what things I needed to do to make it easier for the baby to connect with us. I started talking to him before I would touch him or pick him up. I made sure he was close to me and could hear my heart beat by wearing him in a sling. I bought toys that were recommended for children with vision issues. I talked constantly around him so he would know he wasn’t alone. And I just accepted that this was something that I needed to learn about so I could support his needs, either long term or short term. But I still never felt concerned.

The doctor had referred us for an MRI of his brain to see if they could determine the extent of brain issues that were causing the blindness and that could potentially cause other issues. Because he was with me in foster care, biological mom had to give permission for the procedure which would require that he be put to sleep. He was only 3 months old at the time, so there were some increased risks with anesthesia. His biological mom came the day of pre-op and they explained the procedure and that she would need to sign paperwork the following morning when the procedure was to be done. The next day she didn’t show. Because she was not there to approve it they could not proceed. I called the caseworker and I was given the authorization to approve the procedure but after talking to the anesthesiologist, I declined because of the risks with putting him under at such a young age. This was not a medical emergency that I felt warranted that risk.

A couple of weeks after the cancelled MRI appointment, he went with his brother for the supervised visit with mom during which he was abducted, which I have written about in a separate post. The very next day, after this traumatic and emotional event, he started reacting visually. I first noticed it seemed he was beginning to react to lights. Then he was reacting to any visual stimulus. And very quickly he was starting to track my movements and make sustained eye contact. It was truly amazing. No one believed it at first. I called the ophthalmologist and made another appointment. A little over a month after he was taken we went in and stunned the doctor. He was seeing. He was responding. And everything was happening much more quickly and completely than the doctor had seen with other CVI patients. It was almost like that intense time of shock and trauma somehow powered that part of his brain to life. The doctor was amazed. I told him I knew it was a miracle and shared my belief of what happened.

As I mentioned he was in foster care when he was placed with me. I already had his older brother who was 2, and had gotten brother when he was just 2 days old. We had gone through many times of changing from reunification to the adoption track and then back to reunification and back again. It had been grueling on all of us. I believe that God’s plan in this baby being blind was that it could be used to support termination of biological mom’s rights because she could not safely take care of two children, especially if one had special needs. The system and the courts knew this. God was making a way to end the back and forth games and to lead the courts to terminate her parental rights because she was not able to provide for their needs. But when she used her free will to abduct the boys and run with them, that part was no longer needed. The events that happened would lead to her being sentenced for child stealing and eventually giving up parental rights. There was no reason for the blindness to continue. That baby is now 6 1/2 years old and sees every little piece of fuzz on the carpet. He doesn’t even need glasses. Yes, he has some delays which are likely a result of suspected and admitted drug use in utero (which could have been the reason for the CVI), but even those challenges do not slow this little boy down.

You can explain things away however you want, but for things to happen the way they did at the time they did… that was a miracle. There is no other way to describe it. I believe miracles happen all around us each day. There are big things that happen like the creation of child and the healing of the blind, but there are small miracles around us, as well, if we take time to notice.

Small miracles come in the form of a person giving you a message you need at just the time you need it. It can be a smile that cheers you up when you are feeling down. It can be an unexpected financial gain. Miracles happen all the time but may go unnoticed. They are all those little things that you just can’t explain. The things we tend to call “luck”. It’s not luck. It is a direct blessing from God. It is a little miracle just for you.

Take time to appreciate the miracles that are in your life. They are there. They are little hugs from your Heavenly Father who wants to remind you that He is in charge and that He loves you. And that is the biggest miracle of all.

3 thoughts on “Seeing Miracles

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