awesomeness of friends: 1, scheduling snafu: BIG FAT ZERO

it takes a village

It was beginning to look like I couldn’t participate in the Run for Children’s race today. Bryan had to be at an all day video shoot, which left me and the kids alone, and they’re too big to push in a stroller.

I thought of getting a babysitter, but quickly realized our one car would not get us both where we needed to go anyway. And then came the humbling reality that the $35 entrance fee was a tipping point in our start-up budget.

Things did not look promising.

On a whim I twittered what you see above. I figured, what could it hurt? It was one part joke, two parts hope, with a dash of low expectations. I mean, the chances of the right people reading it AND caring AND being able to help were slim, right?

Multiple people responded.

So now I have one friend loaning me her car, another friend watching my kids, and a third friend sponsoring my entrance fee. And even though I stepped out and asked for these things as if I were confident, I suddenly feel humbled by these acts of generosity.

Thank you, my friends.

Even though the race is over you can still donate to the Children’s Hospital Uncompensated Care fund, which provides children who qualify – like my friend, Zoe – with free medical care.

Last year readers of this blog pulled through and funded a new laptop for this family to make hospital trips (and their life in general) easier. I know my readers can pull through again by donating here to keep this fund available for families in need.

Putting your kindness to good use

Just got this IM from my friend, Jenny – the friend we raised money for to get a laptop:

Just a quick note…..I’m on my mac in the cafeteria right now! Shes in surgery and I updated the website with details. I should be able to post updates from the recovery room later today.

They were able to get a MacBook with the money we raised, which I believe also came with a printer and a copy of Parallels. Zoe is in the hospital for a routine biopsy to check the health of her heart, a procedure that’s been delayed for many months because she’s been sick.

You can read Jenny’s latest update – made from the laptop! – here.

Got a Buck?

I’m just going to come out and say it: My friend needs a new computer, and I’m asking you to help me get her one.

(Whew – that felt good. I’ve been trying to ask you this for several weeks now, and I’ve just had tremendous writer’s block).

Ruthie and ZoeYou may remember I’ve talked about friends whose daughter, Zoe, had a heart transplant almost two years ago when she was only a month old. You can read my posts about it here, and you can read their blog to catch up on what’s going on.

Jenny and I talk on a regular basis, and it just so happens that we both like to geek out on Quicken as a means of keeping track of our finances, so we talk about our receipts and our spread sheets and our reconciled bank statements and how far behind we are and what are you doing to track this and such. I warned you that we are geeks.

However, lately her end of the conversation has gone a lot like this:

“When I turned off my computer last night, the fan kept running for the next six hours.”

“Zoe pushed a button on the the CPU and it crashed. Now I can’t get it to turn back on.”

“No, don’t send me an email. My computer hasn’t worked since yesterday morning.”

And so on.

In addition to the flaky technology, Zoe is now in the hospital for the second time this winter. Both now and the previous time she was there, my friend Jen spends the entire hospital stay with her, and cannot not leave the room for fear she will pick up a virus and bring it back to Zoe’s lowered immune system (in this case, it’s Zoe who may have the virus they don’t want spreading to other patients).

A new laptop would not only solve their flaky computer problems, but Jen would be able to bring it with her during hospital stays and routine doctor visits (and there are a lot). She can use it to update her blog about Zoe’s condition, correspond with family, stay on top of their personal finances, and entertain Zoe with DVD’s – things she cannot currently do without leaving the hospital room.

[update: a laptop would also mean Jen could use a web cam to call home and talk to her four year old son who is not permitted to visit the hospital].

This is obviously not an expense covered by insurance, and your donation would not be tax deductible. But I can bribe you. I know there is always room for a bribe. I will send one of my CD mixes to each person who donates money.

And not only that, but all donors will be entered into a random drawing to win a gift certificate for the t-shirt of your choice from the infamous Baby Brewing collection, the brainchild of Mommy Needs a Cocktail.

And not only that, but if you mention this need on your blog and link directly to this post, you will get a second entry for the chance to win the t-shirt.

The contest will end Sunday at noon, but the opportunity to give will be available for an undetermined time.

To donate using Paypal or your credit/debit card, just click this button:

To give you an idea of what it’s like to be the parent of a transplant patient, Jen once explained it to me like this…

Imagine being 38 weeks pregnant FOREVER. What does it mean to be 38 weeks pregnant? It means you always have a bag packed, and any plans you make might have to be canceled.

Jen missed our book club meeting last night because Zoe was admitted to the hospital yesterday afternoon. This may not seem like a big deal, and it’s not when you look at the big picture, but repeated disruption of whatever “normal” life looks like for this family becomes discouraging. Particularly when you think of their four year old son who can’t even visit the hospital.

Please keep this family in your prayers. And if you can, please donate.

Thank you.

[update $635 raised so far – amazing!]

Zoe’s Family Says Thank You

Zoe is leaving the ICU today, and she continues to make great progress in her recovery. Since Zoe was born, her family has not been able to attend church or even spend much time with friends due to her susceptibility to infections and illness, so they shot some footage that I was able to edit into the following video. This was shown at church this morning.

As a side note for any media geeks who care about this sort of thing, this project was my first attempt at leaving behind Windows Movie Maker, and using the more robust Adobe Premier video editing software.

Zoe’s New Heart

Thank you, Internet, for your many prayers, thoughts, emails, and comments.

Zoe came out of surgery around 1:30 or 2pm yesterday, and so far she is doing really great. When the surgeons hooked up her new heart and took her off the blood bypass, it began beating spontaneously! It is still completely amazing to me how such a thing can happen, especially on someone so young.

Things That Are Life Changing

IMG_2878About a month ago I posted about my friend who had given birth to a baby girl in need of a new heart. Zoe was born on July 2nd, and has been on the transplant list to receive a new heart since shortly after she was born. The family learned of Zoe’s heart condition at Zoe’s 20-week ultrasound in February, and in the months that followed it was determined a heart transplant was the only option for Zoe.

This evening they recieved the call they had been waiting for – a heart for Zoe has become available.

PLEASE, dear Internet, stand with me. If you pray, please pray. If you meditate, or think positive thoughts, or light a candle to remember, please do so with me as Zoe goes into surgery tonight to receive a new heart. In your thoughts and prayers, please consider these things:

– Peace for the Faultner family as they rush to prepare for this life changing event.

– Strength for little Zoe to endure the very lengthy surgery.

– Strength and wisdom for the doctors and the other medical staff, as they perform this complicated surgery.

– The donor’s family, as they are experiencing a tremendous loss at this time.

Beyond these facts, I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment to write any more. I am truly amazed at how such a thing is even possible, that two forms of life can be fused together to support each other. I will keep you posted.

Coming in for a Landing

Zoe was born on Sunday, a day earlier than expected. This brought the drama of a little panic and rushing, but in some ways I think this was better than the anxiety of waiting. She came into this world as healthy and as strong as our wishes and prayers had hoped for, needing no assistance to breathe or keep her heart beating.

I spent most of the day, and all night Sunday in the hospital with Jen as she recovered from her C-Section, because her husband went to a different hospital with the baby, and her mom took her older son home.

Spending the night on the post-partum floor of a hospital without a baby in the room was very surreal. It felt very cruel, in fact. Grief is a giant shadow looming over you in the wee hours of the night when babies in other rooms are crying.

My neighbors probably think I’m a little wacko with the eclectic musical selections I play. Our houses are close together and my windows are always open and I usually blare my music at top volume. So when they hear anything from Michael Jackson, to Beck, to Gnarls Barkley, to Vinyard Worship music they probably don’t know what to think of me.

This morning as I decompress from the last few emotional days I’m sobbing and singing as I listen to worship music, hoping the words I’m singing will make some sense to my broken heart and confused mind. I need to be reminded that none of this is about me, and it’s not even really about Zoe, but it’s about acknowledging the sovereignty of God when life doesn’t seem fair. For me, fear sets in when I forget that God is in control. This morning, music has been the healing salve that calms my heart.

That, and a little rum and a hot bath.

Reading: Season of Waiting

The church I attend encourages congregational participation in the worship experience by providing opportunities for our congregants to share original poetry, responsive readings, essays, and personal stories during the course of the service.

You’ve seen some of my projects, but I wanted to share another. This past Sunday a friend shared her story of faith through difficult circumstances: on Monday she will give birth to a baby girl whose heart is broken, and she will need a heart transplant as soon as possible after she is born. Aside from knowing her and being close to the situation, I felt moved by what she has been learning about herself and God. She writes, “I have to give up the idea God exists to fix this for me; that if I just believe the ‘right way’ He’ll be forced to help me; but He’s not my voodoo jukebox and ultimately Job never knew ‘why.'”

I once had a boyfriend who thought Christians blamed everything bad on Satan and gave God credit for all the good things. But sometimes things just Are. I learned this when Gordy had cancer and ultimately died. I was angry, because he was a good person, and I had a short list of people who I felt deserved cancer more than he did. I begged God to take anyone but him.

But the fact that he died doesn’t change who God is, and I had to come to peace with that.

You can find a copy of my friend’s story on our church’s website. There is no permalink to the specific article, but click here, then scroll down to the essay titled, “Season of Waiting.”