Monday, January 25, 2010

Hyperbarics: Round 2 - Here We Go!

Jeromy is in progress of round two of Hyperbarics (oxygen therapy) with Eli. He will be doing 1 dive 4 days a week and, this time, Medicaid is paying for it. Praise God!! Please pray specifically that this will be a breakthrough for Eli to have better head control. Our first round was 40 sessions in 20 days which turned out closer to 25 days. I (Stacy) took Eli to Spokane, a one hour drive, and started the first session of the day at 7:30am. After the first dive we wasted about 2 1/2 hours eating and hanging out in the van. Eli, at the time, was so fragile that going into stores usually caused very unpleasant things to happen (ie. holding his breath, turning blue, wretching, and then screaming as loudly as any child you have ever heard). We then went back for dive # 2 of the day and arrived back home around 2:00pm. I know God gave me, and our whole family, the strength to endure this span of time. He also provided the encouragement and financial resources. Hyperbarics at the time was not covered by Medicaid, it was $5,600.00. Thanks be to God's provision we had most of the money in savings. It was there to start building our new house, but we felt God was leading us to use it for this purpose, for Eli. The state however ( Eli was still in Foster Care at the time) did not want us using all of our own money and asked us to find support from other people. I still have not figured out why, maybe because I needed a lesson in humility. We asked at church for anyone that wanted to join us to give and they did. We recieved almost half of the money from our church family. Thank you to all that gave. Did it help Eli? Well it is hard to separate out what helps and how much, but I can tell you that he has changed. He is getting better. He is a happy boy. Wretching is a very far and few between event. We can now take him just about anywhere without fear of being overstimulated to the point of disaster, and in general he is very happy. He coos and smiles and laughs and makes us smile everyday. Oh and the money, God has blessed us abundantly. He continues to provide materials and money for our house and it is looking beautiful. Jehovah Jireh!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Veggie Tales, LarryBoy & Gavin... relation?

A few months back a story began to unfold. This story was about Gavin's imagination and determination in discovering his life solutions. The source, LarryBoy!! The rest of the story is revealed in my letter to Mr. Mike Nawrocki (the voice of LarryBoy)...

Dear Mr. Mike Nawrocki,


I am sure that you receive many emails, letters and such, so I will try and keep this brief. I am writing this email because of the interview that I heard on the radio with (I believe) Chris Favry Live on Moody radio. After hearing your testimony as to how Veggie Tales came into existence and how you originally were seeking to become a medical missionary in Africa, I thought I should write you this letter.

My wife and I have two girls (Kali – 10yrs, Ayla – 8yrs) and two boys (Gavin – 4yrs and adopted, Eli – 2yrs and a foster child). Both of our boys have special needs and it is a bit of a story as to how the Lord led us to this point but what I wanted to focus on was Gavin.

Gavin has a condition called arthrogryposis. His joints stiffened in the mother’s womb and consequently has very limited use of his arms and legs. He drives around in a power wheelchair with his mouth and is learning how to function in this world with his capabilities.

What eventually struck me was this; Gavin loves to watch Larryboy. He looks up to LarryBoy as a great hero who can do many things. Of course, I see all of the humor of Larryboy and enjoy watching the show myself (yes, I am a big kid too). Gavin, however, sees it from a different perspective (which of course took me a while to see). He sees a superhero, which he wants to be, that can do great things with no legs or arms. LarryBoy can do many super things without legs and arms. What he often likes to use is (of course you know this) his plunger ears.

So, how I finally pulled this all together was when Gavin kept telling me over and over that he wanted a LARRYBOY HELMET! Yes, he wanted a helmet as well so that he too could be a superhero with great functional ears. It touched my heart after I really understood what was going on inside his mind.

I write this to you because I now know that you have a heart for special needs children as well as medical missions. In a way, this was a great medical mission touched from Veggie Tales to my son Gavin. You have given him hope to be that superhero. My prayer is that he will eventually see that he too can be a great superhero for our Lord Jesus Christ and touch others for his name sake.

God bless and thank you.

Jeromy Scheel


..reply from Big Idea...

Dear Jeromy,

Thank you for taking the time to write this incredibly touching story of Gavin and his love for LarryBoy. Our staff is moved to hear this story. Your letter has been forwarded to Mike Nawrocki. The inspiration that Mike Nawrocki's Super Hero LarryBoy has obviously given to Gavin is awesome. Hearing this story makes us feel both honored and humbled to know that our VeggieTales have benefited Gavin in such a profoundly meaningful way. It encourages us to continue doing what we do.

As a token of our appreciation, and in celebration of Gavin's courage and bravery as an authentic SuperHero, we would like to send him a LarryBoy costume. May he wear it and continue to be courageous!

I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Big Idea - Makers of VeggieTales

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Favorite Things - The Hot Tub

One of my favorite things is our hot tub. We have so many fun family memories of time spent in the tub. It is a great place to play word games with grandma and grandpa, like going through the ABC's naming places, animals or names of people in the Bible. It is a great place to relax, though that happens, like never. It is a fun place to hang with friends and have summer parties. And tonight I love it because it is a great place for the boys to have fun doing therapy. Stretching is fun and Gavin has been practicing standing up. Due to his arthrogryposis standing is almost impossible, not only does he have very little muscle, but his legs and feet are not in a position that they can make contact with the floor flat-footed. But in the hot tub he can stand on my legs, giving him good foot contact and with the water helping to hold his body, he is able to stand with only me supporting his knees. He is soooooo proud of himself.