Classier than James Bond

Darbaz walked bravely out the door today on the way to his first post-discharge echo. He was dressed in his nice polo, gray pants, and snazzy new orange shoes with his hair brushed suavely to the side. I couldn't help being reminded of classic heroes like James Bond when I looked at him. Throughout the day, he wore a smile that radiated confidence. He sat proudly in the doctor's chair posing for pictures after his echo, and even after he got his finger pricked for his INR test, he happily showed it off, blood and all. Just like those classic heroes of the movies, he appeared fearless in the face of his trials. But unlike those movie heroes, his struggles have been real, so his courage is all the more admirable. 
His mother has also shown admirable courage, and as we entered the hospital again today, she declared how much she likes this hospital because it is so nice and has such a big parking lot. We all laughed at this because only a few weeks before, when she and Darbaz were still staying in the hospital, she had not liked the hospital at all. It's funny how trials can seem so much less difficult in hindsight – and even beautiful. 
I've noticed lately the different stages that almost all of the mothers and children seem to go through while they are here. When they first arrive, mother and child are both at least a little nervous about the new surroundings and often downright fearful about the coming surgery. During the stay at the hospital, the actual surgery, and the post-op recovery in the hospital, there is still a lot of tension and anxiety. And I really admire the faith that the mothers must have to keep in good spirits during that time. Then when mother and child return to Shevet after their hospital stay, there is much rejoicing. I love seeing the changes in their attitudes. The mothers are much more relaxed, and the children grow stronger and more active every day. Finally, when news comes that a mother and her child can go home, they become radiant and remain that way throughout the rest of their stay all the way up till they are waving goodbye to all of us as they drive away in the van. This progression from fear and anxiety, to gradually regained confidence and peace, to sheer joy is so beautiful, and I love getting to watch a mother and child go through the whole process. The triumph at the end of the trial is always so sweet. 
Darbaz and his mother are only in the third stage of the journey, but I love seeing their growing confidence and renewed joy. At Darbaz's echo today, we heard all good news. Darbaz has been healing wonderfully after his extremely complicated Fontan surgery, and he is not having any more problems with fluid around his heart or lungs. The hole that the doctors purposely left in his heart to help his body adjust smoothly to new pressure after the surgery will have to be closed in the future. But that can be done by catheterization and may even be able to be done in Kurdistan after Darbaz and his mother return home. That is what we are all praying for. 
It has been so wonderful to see Darbaz and his mother make this journey together. I love seeing Darbaz's growing confidence and strength and his mother's growing joy. I am looking forward to getting to see the last stage of their journey – the stage where they will be able to return home with beaming faces and new hearts. Thank God for the work of grace that He has done in Darbaz's life and that He will be faithful to bring it to completion. 
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