June 2, 2010 by Esther · Comments Off
Last week I met Leah for the first time, and it was unforgettable. Leah is scheduled to leave with our next surgery group on July 18th. The beautiful green-eyed baby was the first Kurdish child I’ve interacted with since arriving for the PLC Summer Internship. I was blown away mostly because Leah taught me a lesson in faith when I was least expecting it.
Being a Down Syndrome baby with congenital heart disease, Leah has had to fight off the problems that both of those diseases have caused. This week, she’s winning.
Leah was hardly able to roll over at the last house visit, but Leah and her mom have been working on physical exercises designed to help build her muscles and after a month of pouring effort into improving her mobility the results were worth the wait. Leah began to show off some of those hard-earned skills by kicking her feet and cooing with rings in her mouth. Leah’s non-stop action included playing with her older sister, rolling to the other side of the room and back with incredible ease, and starting to prop herself up on her elbows while lying on her stomach.
It was beautiful to see that this little girl doesn’t know what it means to accept her current circumstances as her future reality. She is dying, and yet she continues to live out her life as it is right now – daily conquering the little things that stand in her way.
And although Leah has a hope of going to surgery and living a normal, healthy life, she’s oblivious to that. As a baby she doesn’t understand what any of that means, but she does know what it means to be tired of trying. And though she has undoubtedly felt tired, she pushes on.
And I started to think about how many times I limit myself when I feel overwhelmed with problems that seem too daunting to overcome. How many times do I focus on a problem to the point that I amplify it, instead of looking past it to a more desirable, attainable future?
For Baby Leah – and for all of us – obstacles exist to be overcome.
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