Today we have a very special guest post by Misti St. Pierre, I am honored she would share her story with me and excited to share it with you!! She has a wonderful Shoppe on Etsy – Homemade by Momma Misti http://www.mommamisti.etsy.com/
Hurricane Katrina was heading for our hometown of Slidell, Louisiana. I was nearly 5 months pregnant with my son. Both our parents homes were damaged during the hurricane (the eye of the storm went over our city). We evacuated to Shreveport for a couple of weeks then headed over to Helen, Georgia. We had no idea what God had in store for us!!! We found a great church, Helen First Baptist, and my husband started college at Truett-McConnell. My dad and husband made several trips to LA to work on the houses. I had a pretty rough pregnancy, this was my second pregnancy, the first one ended in miscarriage a year earlier. Joshua was born in December 2005, 3 weeks early. He was perfect.
March 3, 2008 I started having extreme pain in my stomach. I thought it was another miscarriage. An ambulance came and rushed me to the hospital. My left ovary was huge, twisted and full of blood clots. It was a life threatening situation. My doctor removed my left ovary and fallopian tube. He checked the right ovary and it was fine. About 7-12 days later I began praying for our birth mother and baby...I thought I was going nuts! I mean, after all I could still have children, I still had my right ovary.
End of March early April 2008 Joshua and I rushed to Louisiana because my mom had to be hospitalized (my husband was in school). She was hemorrhaging and the doctors could not fix the problem. She was really, really sick for a while but the doctors finally found what was causing the bleeding and fixed it. She pulled through.
May 29, 2008 I started having extreme pain again! I thought surely it was my appendix or gallbladder causing trouble. Off to the emergency room we went! It was my right ovary and it was removed along with my fallopian tube. My husband and I were devastated! No more children! No more grandchildren for our parents! No more nursing. No more rocking babies to sleep. You see, we wanted to have 3 children, then adopt. Those were our plans. God had even greater things in mind for our family.
The night of my second surgery I felt like God put it in my heart that I would nurse another baby. I was rocking my son and he was crying because my milk wasn't coming in. I was crying because he was so upset so I said a quick prayer, “Dear Lord, You know we wanted more children and I wanted to nurse more babies. I don't know why all this is happening but You're in control and I'm trusting You.” That's when I knew I'd nurse another baby! My milk came in and Joshua went to sleep. I went and told my husband what I felt God had told me. I wasn't sure how it would all work out because it usually takes 18-24 months to adopt. I knew what I felt in my heart and I knew God would work out the details. The next night I couldn't sleep. I felt like God had something to tell me and that I needed to read my bible. I found my marriage question and answer bible. I opened it up to the question, “How do we know if we should have more children?” I thought, “Gosh! I'm not reading that. It'll make me cry!” So, I flipped around and ended up right back at that question! The answer was (paraphrase), “Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from Him. They are a blessing, not a burden. Be fruitful and multiply. But, many couples are unable to have children due to medical issues or infertility. For those couples, adoption is a great way to grow your family and share the love of Jesus with a child.” I thought, “Awesome! Adoption! Cool, thanks God!” and went off to bed.
The next day I received an email from one of my husbands former classmates. She said she was sorry to hear about my surgeries and that she'd be praying for us and she was 12 weeks pregnant and she had asked another couple if they wanted to adopt the baby. I emailed back and told her thank you for choosing life and was she sure that's what she felt like God wanted her to do...and I told her we'd be praying for her and the baby and the other couple. I didn't hear anything for a few weeks. My husband and I were praying and we felt like God wanted us to adopt the baby. I emailed her and asked if she had heard from the other couple. She said they told her no and they felt like God had other plans for them and she was going to go to the adoption agency the next week (this was on a Sunday). So, I talked with my husband and gave her a call to ask if we could pray about adopting the baby. She sounded thrilled and said several couples had mentioned us as an option to her! I then called the other couple to ask for their prayers. I was shocked to hear their side of the story! The wife said that the first thought that popped into her mind when they were asked was that the baby didn't belong to them, that it belonged to us! She didn't tell her husband because she wanted him to pray and see what he felt God was telling him. They went on a mission trip to Africa and during the course of the trip her husband told her the same thing! He felt like the baby didn't belong to them that the baby belonged to us! I had no idea of any of this when I called the birth mother.
We were praying for finances and confirmation! Everywhere we went...I'm talking about Burger King, the playground, in magazines...everywhere...people were talking about adoption. It was soooo strange! We were wondering if it was like when you buy a new vehicle...before you purchased it you only saw a couple, now that it's yours you see them at every turn. Well, the finances started coming! Someone had given us a full size pool table. We were able to sell that to raise some money to put toward our home study. My husband is a painter and he asked the family that he was painting for if he knew of anybody else that needed painting done because he was trying to pay off my medical bills (Yes, I canceled my health insurance right before my first surgery....after all..I was healthy! Not a good idea!). The man said, “Bring me the bills, I want to reimburse you for them.” He did and it was enough to pay the retainer fee for our attorney!! God is so good! My husband had several “unexpected” painting jobs. I made several donation bottles and placed them around town. A lot of people, including family, friends and total strangers, helped by donating money. I even met another couple (at Burger King) who was starting the adoption process...the wife was able to help a lot!! She told us which Home Study agency to go with, which bills are not covered by health insurance, how much to expect to pay for allll the home study tests, what to watch out for...definitely an answer to prayer (they have a great story too!). A little info about the home study...you have to get a lot of blood work done, answer a ton of questions, physical, HIV test, 911 screening, water tested, septic tank tested, FBI and GBI background checks,
adoption classes, meet with the social worker quite a few times, sexual offense registry (make sure you're clear in all states), agree to all sorts of terms...there is even more for out-of-state adoptions (which ours was). Our home study was over 100 pages total!!
I found out later that our birth mother got pregnant around the time that I started praying for her and the baby! He was born 9 months after my first surgery!! We were able to choose his name. I was even blessed to be in the delivery room! He weighed 7 lbs. 9 oz. He was perfect! I was also able to breastfeed him! We had an awesome church family and it was so amazing to see how God had worked out every detail. It was a great feeling to go to small group and have the baby in my arms that we had prayed for so often! We were witnessing an answered prayer! Our church family prayed for us a lot during those months!! They witnessed us moving there from Katrina, the birth of Joshua, both my surgeries, the adoption process and the baby being adopted by us:) A couple of weeks after Josiah was born he started spitting up a lot! The doctors just kept diagnosing him as having acid reflux. He threw up everything! When I say everything, I mean it would cover his shirt, run down my shirt, pants and then puddle on the floor.
My husband was supposed to graduate from college December 2009 but because he couldn't take a class he was able to graduate 6 months early. We were planning on moving back to Louisiana so he could start seminary. I was a little upset because I loved Georgia! I loved the mountains! I loved our church family and friends! By this time more of my family had moved to Georgia. We ended up moving to Louisiana May 11, 2009. I brought him to the doctor (in GA) usually at least twice a week. I brought him to the WIC office 2-3 times a week to have him weighed...he just wasn't gaining weight! When we moved to Louisiana, he was 5 months old and weighed 9 lbs.! He couldn't sit up by himself. He couldn't hold his head up. He was fading fast!! My nerves were shot!! I felt like nobody was listening to me. The moment I made it to LA (Josiah and I flew in a day after my husband and Joshua) I got on the phone calling doctors. We found a great doctor! She changed his medicine and had all sorts of tests done. Everything came back normal. Within a week the baby had lost more weight so he went to Children's Hospital for 5 days (at the same time my mom was in the hospital). The baby responded great to the medicine. He was still spitting up but he managed to gain 11 ounces in one night!! Truly a miracle! The doctors were aiming for 1 ½ ounce! We went home from the hospital, so did my mom. She was full of fluid and ended up back in the hospital a couple of days later. I think she wanted to come home so she could see her grandbabies. She was so worried about Josiah. Her health quickly declined and she went to be with Jesus on June 11, 2009. God gave us an extra year with her. Josiah had started spitting up more and more. We had to switch his primary physician. I brought him to a GI doctor in New Orleans. He told me that nothing was wrong and that he had “infant regurgitation.” I thought that was a bunch of hogwash! He made me so upset! He assured me that Josiah did not have GERD (the reason we were there). I asked about the coughing, gagging, throwing up before, during and after eating, screaming, arching his back, curling up into a ball, wheezing and aspirating. He basically told me it was all in my head...and asked me if I wanted to stay until the baby started wheezing because he wasn't wheezing then. I said, “NO! I'd rather not!” I was highly dissatisfied to say the least! I had never before been treated so rude by a doctor! I was crying my eyes out! He was not listening to me at all!!! These things were happening and he was NOT listening!!! I did call the hospital and complain (and I called back and made sure he knew that I wasn't crazy and something was wrong with my baby. He did send an apology letter). I brought Josiah to Dr. Khoshoo, another GI doctor, and he did some tests. Josiah had an upper GI (barium swallow. The baby swallows this barium white chaulky stuff and they do an x-ray to see how quickly or slowly his stomach empties), Ph probe (to check for acid reflux damage and to check his esophagus) and EGD (camera in the belly). The barium swallow showed that his stomach emptied really slowly, the Ph probe revealed horrible acid reflux and a severely damaged esophagus from all the acid, the EGD revealed that he had pyloric stenosis (his stomach muscle that is supposed to squeeze to digest his food was too narrow and a web of skin had grown across the muscle and was blocking it. The narrow muscle is a common diagnosis. It is usually found and fixed by 6 weeks old. Josiah was almost 10 months old before his was discovered!!! The web of skin however was not common. The doctor said he had only seen about 3 cases that were kind of like Josiah's in the last 15 years!). Surgery was scheduled for September 24, 2009. God totally moved us back to Louisiana at just the perfect time! Nobody in Georgia could figure out what was going on! A few months after Josiah's surgery, Dr. Khoshoo was in a terrible car accident and lost his life. God has been so faithful to our family! He has provided for our family beyond our wildest imaginations! We are so thankful that the other couple obeyed God and that we followed God's plan for our life! We felt so overwhelmed (in a good way)! Joshua accepted his baby brother right away! He loves Josiah! They even look alike! Now, Josiah is 18 months old and weighs 25 lbs.! He is a happy, healthy little boy! I no longer have to carry burp cloths and extra clothes everywhere! God, Dr. Cherie, Dr. Khoshoo and Dr. Adolph saved my son's life! I love to share the story of how God worked out even the tiniest of details and answered our prayers. We never had any plans on moving to Georgia. If God never would have brought us there, we never would have met our birth mother...God is in control! Trust Him! He is faithful! He hears our prayers and He knows our hurts and joys. Not only does He hear our prayers but He answers them and not only does He know our hurts but He keeps all our tears in a jar! He knows the number of hairs on our heads! He is a great God who cares greatly about us!
Misti, Thank you for sharing your amazing Story of God's tender care. I am deeply moved by your story. God's awesome power is evident throughout all of your stuggles and joy!!
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