The month after their family’s time at Duke seemed to fly by. The cardiologist at home was so pleased with the little king’s progress. ”Four pounds! Four pounds! He’s gained four pounds!” he exclaimed in his Indian voice. Yes, it was true, their young son had gained four pounds in one month, once the hole was closed. Still, there was a tiny pin-hole that remained. So the girl and her husband kept up the prayer vigil, because they knew the hole was going to be closed completely. They both believed God would not bring them all this far, and leave a tiny little hole to bring problems later on.
That next year was totally different from the previous year. The little king was walking, running, talking, and playing just like any toddler would. He was enrolled in daycare, and the girl went back to work. Their son’s growth rate increased, and the medicines he took after the surgery were soon stopped. Christmas of that year was quite a celebration, especially since the king was growing so well. Everyone remembered how he had fit inside a regular shoe box the Christmas before. Not any more. The painful agony of fighting for his life was slowly becoming a distant memory.
The “terrible twos” lasted all of one afternoon, when the little king didn’t get his way. The girl watched him for a few minutes as he cried and stomped his feet, and then simply said, “Fine. You sit there and scream until you’re finished. When you’re done, we’ll play.” Ten minutes later, the little king decided he would rather play.
Age three came way too fast, and days were filled with curiosity abundant. Doors were opened; doors were closed. Drawers were opened; drawers were closed. Toys were turned, rotated, and studied, as the little king furrowed his brow in deep concentration. Many books were read, and favorites soon rose to the top. Many questions were asked. How? Why? Where? Imagination grew.
The girl’s husband drew pictures of trains, planes, fire trucks, as he and the little king talked about these things and more. Songs were song, rules were set, friends were made at daycare. Then one day, the best news in the world appeared: the tiny hole had closed! The girl and her husband were elated! Finally, after all those prayers, they had arrived at the end of the tunnel!
The cardiologist’s face suddenly turned solemn as he looked at the girl. ”But no sports. Do you hear me, Mom?”
The girl returned his look with a steady gaze. She didn’t say a word in reply, but in her heart, she thought, in the Name of Jesus, my son will not be limited.
There was silence between the girl and her husband on the way home from the doctor that day. Even though a major hurdle had been crossed, a major victory had been won, they both realized their son, the little king, was not out of the woods yet.
It frustrated the girl. Why no sports? Was he not completely healed? What was the problem? Why was the cardiologist so adamant? In the following months, the girl and her husband found out the reason for such caution: another patient who had a much worse situation was allowed to play T-ball, and fell dead on the field during a game. Yes, his parents had been warned by the cardiologist that he should not play sports, and they had not listened. But his condition was much different from the little king, right? So… why?
More questions. More battling. More prayer, into the night. More verses read, more confessions of faith in their God. He would not leave their son, the little king, without hope. Would He?
Two more years flew by, with more experiences and more fun, and more prayer. Then, one night as they were backing down the driveway at home, the king asked the girl and her husband as question they would never forget:
“Can I have a brother? I really would like to have a brother.”