Just under two years old, Ziad from Gaza came for an echo today. It showed DORV and pulmonary atresia, but because he is stable the original plan was to have him go back to Gaza and come in month for a CT scan and cath.

However Amar and Jonathan helped with having Ziad stay at the hospital for the CT scan and cath now because if he went back today they would have to stay in a hospital in Gaza, completely isolated for 28 days due to coronavirus quarantine.

In order to hospitalize Ziad today, this meant he would must pass a corona test today. The results were fast tracked, and all the staff was very helpful. In the end we waited six hours together for them, and though neither Georgia nor I expected the day to go like this, it was a really beautiful time. We were sitting together and talking. Initially when she arrived, Ziad’s mum was very apprehensive as Sheba was new to her. But over the hours, and this is perhaps one of my favorite things, she gradually warmed up to the circumstances and to us. Not just in spoken details about her life, but in her mannerisms, in her smile, and even by the end we understood eachother much better than at first though there was little change in how I spoke Arabic. But much of translation is dependent on relationship and certainly if one thing can bond people together it is sitting in a hospital eating dinner and praying the corona test results come back negative.

Ziad also got used to his surroundings and after about five hours of being together he started to smile. Georgia and I played peek a boo with him and found other ways to evoke his infectious laugh, like playing with our masks. It is a wonder to meet each child and see a little bit of how God has made them specifically. It was a blessing to enjoy one another for these hours.

At 8:45 we got the results: no corona! We brought them to the children’s ward and once they were settled we said goodbye (and goodnight). Half way to the car we realized we forgot something in her room, so I ran back to get the bag we had left behind. We hugged and she asked if we would be at the hospital tomorrow (I told her Georgia would be and that I would see her in two days) and we said goodbye again with much laughter and love.

So even though today was an unexpected journey, it was a really special day with a very special new family. Please pray for Ziad and his mother. He will be having a cath this week to assess his heart, and we trust in God that he holds his future.