thanks to everyone who prayed for me!
Joseph is well. Richard and I have never FELT prayed for the way that we have these past two weeks and we are both so truly grateful. We got to Auckland on Monday afternoon and since Joseph was not in need of hospital care, the whole family stayed together in the Ronald McDonald House. (I never appreciated what a beautiful concept the R.McD. House is until we were on the receiving end of its services.) I was only permitted to feed Joseph until 4am overnight because of a gall bladder test in the morning but he toughed out his first fast manfully. Another ultrasound of his liver and digestive organs was done first thing on Tuesday and more blood was drawn. Afterwards we spent the whole day waiting to see the pediatric GI specialist and presumably to hear more about the potential biopsy. In the meantime we regaled ourselves trying to keep Maria and Bernadette from writhing about on the hospital floors, running wildly down hospital corridors and fighting with one another just for the sheer thrill of conflict.
Finally at 4:30 pm the doctor reviewed all the test results, examined Joseph and astonished us with the news that we could go home. Immediately. Without any further tests. It was the complete fulfillment of even our most wildly optimistic prayers. It was wonderfully anti-climactic! We were bracing ourselves for horrible tests, horrible news, horrible waiting....and instead - "go home". Richard asked the doctor twice "Are you sure? It almost seems too good to be true...."
the view of auckland from our hospital room
We still have no diagnosis on Joseph and his liver function tests have not shown any remarkable improvement so he'll continue to have blood drawn weekly, but the serious conditions that the doctors were considering seem very unlikely now. They are hopeful that he will slowly get things under control on his own. We are too.
another peek at auckland from our window
Apologies are in order for not sharing the good news immediately - we arrived home to 2 days of no internet reception AND a 24 hour vomiting bug for Bernadette, undoubtedly a lovely souvenir she gleaned from those hospital floors.
This week also marked for us the one year anniversary of our arrival in New Zealand - a very full and intense year! It also marks the "half-way" point of our mission and begins the process of our discernment of what comes next. We have about one year to figure that out and get our ducks in a row and we are almost totally in the dark about what the Lord has in store for the Sealy family. On Divine Mercy Sunday we offered a chaplet for clarity, unity and peace about this next step. On Monday the ever lovely Kate, Supreme Babysitter of New Zealand, will sit on our babies while we step out for some serious soul-searching/brain-storming on the topic.
In the meantime, the ministry is chugging along well - Glen did the whole thing solo while Richard and I focused on Joseph and the youth are enthusiastically meeting their weekly challenges and climbing the peaks of evangelization. Hopefully this is the last blog about Joseph and henceforth we're focusing on ministry, good news and other non-stressful points of interest about this mission experience!
Thank you again, from Rich and I, to every person who offered a single prayer for our son or the simplest expression of support. We are overwhelmed with gratitude. Truly, thank you. And thanks and praise to God.