Update on Jerrensia...

(Doesn't she look like a young Della Reese?)

Hands That Heal has been so busy lately. We went from no patients coming to the US in 2010, to working on 4 patients, all from God's Littlest Angels orphanage (GLA), all at the same time. God gave us a rest in 2010 to gear up for 2011. God is moving in so many ways it is making my head spin. I can't wait to fill you all in on some of the amazing ways that God is using 'the least of the least of these'!

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (NIV)

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

I love how The Message version of this passage is written:

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (The Message)

26-31Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That's why we have the saying, "If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God."


Speaking of a child that God is using for His glory, here is an update on Jerrensia: This is paraphrased from Jen, Jerrensia's host mom! Thanks so much Jen and Jay for taking such good care of this princess...

The first week has gone really well... better than I anticipated actually. Jerrensia seems to be taking everything in stride. She plays really well with my boys and overall seems very curious about her new world. The car seat doesn't bother her though you can tell she'd prefer not to wear the puffy coat. She's eating and sleeping well too. She's still very cautious around men. Jay's parents came to visit yesterday and she didn't want to have anything to do with Jay's dad. She was initially very cautious around Jay but she's warmed up to him in the last couple days too. I can now leave the room when he's holding her and she won't cry! She really doesn't babble too much, but she sings and dances constantly.

In terms of the doctor's appointments, here is what we've had thus far, and what we have ahead:

Wednesday 1/12
Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy Assessment:

They did a fairly thorough evaluation of the range of motion and fine motor skills. I don't think we really learned anything new in this appointment. Her hips are the biggest issue, of course. She has incredible upper body strength which will be in her benefit should she need orthotic bracing. The range of motion in her knees is extremely limited. They gave us a sheet of exercises to do with her at home to help "stretch" the skin because it's so tight right now. She has something going on in the right side of her body. When she is sitting or reaching for objects, she's overcompensating with her left side which is throwing her spine off center. There is an overall weakness on the right side. In terms of fine motor skills, she's moving food around in her mouth and mashing it at an age appropriate level. They recommend we start her on table foods and she's been doing great with that. Developmentally, she's still around 9-12 months with picking up objects and being able to deliberately put them down in specific places, as well as use her index finger and thumb to pick up food rather than just grabbing it by using her fist. She hasn't worked at developing the fine motor skills because of the need to use her hands/arms for mobility. Her feet are the size of a newborn baby because they're not weight bearing yet. Apparently feet don't really start to grow until a baby starts standing.

Thursday 1/13
Pediatrician Checkup
Our primary care physician did a slightly different evaluation on Jerrensia. Spina Bifida was ruled out, her heart seems perfect (no murmurs), and her lungs clear. She did an light test on her retinas and the right side shows a bit of cloudiness-- not as reflective as the left which she thought was a possible indicator of a level of blindness. The right eye is also "lazy" primarily when she looks up, though I noticed it strayed when she was looking straight at me a couple days ago. Both of her ears tested low (right side lower than left) using a tool that bounces sound waves into the ear drum and measures what comes back. Both her eyes and and ears were enough of a concern that we received referrals for a pediatric audiologist and pediatric ophthalmologist. Those appointments are January 27th and February 1st, respectively. She had initial thoughts on her legs and possible courses of treatment, but I'm looking forward to hearing Dr. Maples assessment.

Moving forward, we have 2 - 1 hour physical therapy sessions every week (Tues/Thurs) and 1 - 1 hour occupational therapy appointment following the physical therapy session on Tuesdays.

In other news, Dr. Maples had a cancellation and will be able to see Jerrensia on Monday!!! Woo hoo!!

Jen Kroll


So, that is the latest on Jerrensia, and more to come on Sonia, Ken, and Michno soon. If you want to get the latest on Sonia, go here.

Thank you for all of your support for HTH. On behalf of the HTH team, and the precious ones that we work for in Haiti: THANK YOU!!!

Rebekah Hubley
Founder and Director of Hands That Heal


Are You Still Out There???

(Jerrensia and Jen--Her amazing host mom)

If we still have any readers checking on us, we are still here... :-) Being the Founder of HTH, I, along with our nurse coordinator, Stephanie Mueller, keep this blog up. Both of us have had one of the busiest/hardest years of our lives. Both of us have children with special needs, and some of our children have had an eventful year. In saying all of this, 2011 brings us both to a year of healing and moving forward.

We did not have any children come to the US on Medical Visas in 2010, which was a blessing from God. We just had our first medical visa child of 2011, and Jerrensia Charles could not be a more beautiful way to start off 2011. I will be getting weekly or bi-weekly updates on Jerrensia from her host family,and will be posting them here.

Please pray for Michno and Ken, as they are 2 and 3 on our waiting list to get their medical visas. Michno has his passport and is just waiting on one more doc letter and then we can apply for his MV. We are still waiting on Ken's passport and then we will be able to proceed with his case. Both boys have host families waiting and praying for them. Please pray for patients for their host families as they wait. It can be very agonizing as host families to wait, knowing that the treatment is right at their fingertips while we wait on bureaucracy.

Thanks so much for praying for HTH, and for faithfully checking in on us!!!

Rebekah Hubley--Founder and Director of Hands That Heal