Sunday, December 07, 2014

A Thanksgiving Miracle

Nehemiah Emeth (foreground) and Jonathan Ransom. Born November 15, 2014

"And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Colossians 1:17
Dear Friends and Family,
Thanksgiving has come and gone this year, but for our family, the Thanksgiving season of 2014 will be one that we remember every year - and indeed all throughout the year - for the rest of our lives. We will remember it as a time when God chose once again to show us the depth of his love and mercy, and poured into our family the blessing of two more precious lives: Nehemiah Emeth and Jonathan Ransom.
Most of you are probably already aware that at twenty weeks, the twins were diagnosed with TTTS, or Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, which you can read about in our previous blog entry "For Nothing Will Be Impossible With God." The outlook was not good, and yet God preserved them through everything, including a laser surgury in mid August, as well as many close calls as the pregnancy progressed.
For example, in mid October we had gone for a routine checkup at the OHSU hospital in Portland, and Geta started having a lot of contractions; she was only 29 weeks pregnant. After several days of monitoring and even some bleeding, everything stabilized and we were finally able to come home after a week. It was scary a little in the sense that we might have had to deliver then; but God is so good - he stopped everything so that the twins could have more time to develop and be more ready to be born.
Then, on the 14th of November - at 34 weeks of pregnancy - on another routine visit to the doctors (this time here closer in Salem), they discovered that one of the babies' feet were pushing down to the bottom of the womb on the umbilical cord. They informed us that this is a very dangerous situation in that if the water should break, one or both of the babies would be at serious risk of death. So they immediately sent us up to OHSU to be most likely delivered.
Again, God's sovereign hand of protection was upon the babies, and on the morning of November 15th, 2014, Nehemiah Emeth and Jonathan Ransom were brought into this world by c-section. They were immediately taken to the neonatal intensive care unit, and hooked up to machines that helped them breathe and gave them oxygen, as well as IVs, and a host of other monitors. The doctors and nurses there were always kind and helpful and it was a great experience there. Nehemiah and Jonathan received the best care, and made amazing progress.
In just two weeks and two days, on December 1st, they were released from OHSU, at which time they finally got to meet their big brothers Joseph, Elijah, and Jeremiah, as well as their big sister Ammishaddai. And on December 2nd, we all got to come home to be together as a family.
The doctors have told us that the twin that had the possible heart problem (Jonathan) does not have any problems, and will not need any further checkups for that. They have also cleared them to go on the airplane when and if the time comes.
God's amazing preserving hand has been so evident in all this time of the pregnancy, whether that was preserving the twins' lives, or providing for our family at every turn, we have so much to be thankful for. Thank you to each and every one of you who have been praying for us during this time, or watching our kids, or providing meals for our family, or any of a number of other things; God has used you to bless us in ways that are overwhelming. Thank you, we are so grateful.
As George Herbert, a 17th Century Anglican Poet wrote: "You have given so much to me. Give me one thing more - a grateful heart." Amen, may it be so!
This Thanksgiving season, though it has come and gone, will be one that is remembered by our family for the rest of our lives as a time to be so grateful, a true season of grace: a true Thanksgiving Miracle!
Longing for a truly grateful heart,
Andrew & Geta & family

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

For Nothing Will Be Impossible With God...

Dear Friends and Family -
As most of you know, we have been in the United States since December 13th, 2013, and that is due to the love, friendship, and unflinching generosity of so many of you.While we do miss Romnania very much, we have been greatly enjoying our time here in America reconnecting with each of you. There have been so many opportunities to be with people we know and love while we have been here, it has been truly a great blessing for us.
We have also gotten to do some pretty fantastic things since we have been here, such as visit Mount St. Helens, the zoo, and the Oregon Caves, as well as go camping, enjoy the Fourth of July, and even go on a missions trip to Mexico (Andrew and Joseph). These have been months and memories we will never forget.
God has also chosen to bless us further with the addition of twins to our family, and that has been not only a surprise, but also somewhat of a journey of unknowns. The babies were diagnosed with TTTS, or Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a complication that happens only in cases of identical twins, and that only rarely. In the placenta, the twins were connected by some blood vessels, to the point where one twin was giving all his blood and nutrients (the donor) the other (the recipient). If not discovered and dealt with as it was, it would have been fatal - the donor would die from lack of blood and nutrients, the donor would die from too much.
But God is amazing and merciful, the problem was discovered in time, and in mid August Geta had the laser surgery necessary to cut the blood vessels connecting the twins together. The survival rate in these cases is generally: 1 twin, 85%; both twins, 50%. But again, God has been so gracious to us and smiled upon these two new lives, and as of our last visit, the doctors are ecstatic about the progress they are making, amazed at how well they are doing. Our doctor just told us they don't usually see twins do this well after the kind of procedure they had to go through. The coordinator at the doctor's
office's words were: "you guys must have a lot of people praying for you."
Yes we do, and it is because of each of you that we have been so blessed. God has heard all of our prayers together that have been lifted up before him on behalf of our family and on behalf of these two new little babies. It has been so exciting to see God work every step of the way through this whole time. Truly with our God, nothing is too hard, nothing is impossible. Our God is able...  "For nothing will be impossible with God." (Luke 1:37)
Please continue to pray with us as we get closer to the time when the babies will be delivered; pray that the babies will continue to grow and develop well, and that Geta will continue to have strength and be healthy too. Also please continue to pray for us as we prepare to return to Romania in March of 2015 - that God will provide us with a house and property to live on and minister from, and most of all that He would show us where we can be most effective serving for His Kingdom!
Serving Christ Together with You,
Andrew, Geta and family
p.s. Thank you to Carmen Darland for taking this great picture of our family, spring 2014.