Plans are elusive aren’t they? You mull them over in your mind, you search the internet and make phone calls, lists of the possibilities, calculate the costs, the time off work, the lodging, the food, the travel, the travel time… on and on. I love the idea of planning – essentially the dreaming. I also love the well executed plan when everything lines up and the pieces all fall into place. I like to make plans a reality. My husband is a plotter and I am a planner, and we both get distracted. He, by the details, me by the next big idea. And yet, here we are… making all kinds of plans for this year. And reveling at how our plans from last year are affecting us this year.  One major change of plans for us is selling our half of Infusco to our partners. This has been huge for us. We have had an amazing two years with Infusco Coffee Roasters. It became apparent that our time with Infusco was complete when we saw that we weren’t able to give enough attention to either Infusco or our family. Something had to change. We wish Infusco the very best as they move forward without us. 
I have also been on the phone a lot with health providers from all over the country. I believe after a morning of phone calls we have all the paperwork in for Jack’s secondary insurance which is a huge burden lifted from my shoulders. My inner momma bear has really been coming out. It’s a little surprising to me still. The intense feeling of protecting my young and making sure they get the care they deserve. Especially as I get to know Jack more and more. He is an absolutely beautiful soul. He adores people who stop and talk to him. He loves to eat his apple sauce, makes funny faces with his sweet potatoes, and is just the cuddliest little bear you’ve ever seen. He strokes my face and my hair with his paw like hand which is so soft on your skin you could stay like that all day. It’s pretty much impossible for me to complete ANY project at my house with my two babies in my arms or playing at my feet. Lucy too has really been growing up. She’s become one of my very best friends. We do everything together and she enjoys everything I do which is just so fun. We play with princesses, have daily dance parties, tea parties, book snuggle times, and she loves to help me cook dinner – which can get interesting!  We both struggle with our own insecurities as well. Which is humbling and has driven us a lot to prayer. Since we’ve returned from Boston, it is apparent that she is jealous of her brother and she is very clear that she would rather me take care of her than him. She is still quick to give a helping hand to him, but much prefers me catering to her than him. My mom says it is “making sure her love tank is filled”.  And let me tell you, that tank empties quickly. We are in the throws of learning to discipline a toddler who is constantly learning new ways of bending the rules and testing our authority. A friend encouraged me greatly with these truths:

 – the more I treat Lucy like a problem, the more she acts as one

 – discipline is not a one time thing but a lifetime of learning

 – God will give us the tools to carry out that which He calls us to do. He will not leave me or forsake me. He knows this task of parenting is too big for me, but will strengthen me. I will never be a perfect parent. But I am a praying parent, and will pray for my babies always. I will seek to show them the love of Jesus that has changed my life from the inside out. I will strive to be patient and consistent. I will seek to put their interests above my own while allowing God to be the spring of life that wells out of my heart and onto those around me. When I fail at these things, I will ask for forgiveness quickly and honestly. 

So then… as we prepare for this year. I have to say these verses my ever forgetful soul from Matthew 6:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 Forthe Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 

 The Plan:

March 17 (tomorrow!) We will be having Jack’s very FIRST surgery! Ear tubes. I see it as a kindness from the Lord that he has eased me into this whole surgery deal we have now. It is an outpatient procedure and the most straightforward of all the surgeries. I actually almost forgot about it as I was on the phone so much with Boston getting the more major surgeries planned. Then I got a phone call saying that Jack needed to fast after midnight, and my chest tightened with the realization that this marks the beginning. So far everything has been theoretical and planning. But at some point, the planning ends and living begins. Tomorrow, it starts. 

May 6th we leave for Boston for pre-surgery tests. His first syndactyl release of both hands and feet will be Friday, May 9th (5 hour surgery). Two surgeons will be conducting the surgery together. Both more than qualified, and used to working together. We will be in the hospital for 2-3 days and will be returning the 12-13th of May. 

4 weeks later, we will return to Boston June 8th for his first cranial surgery on June 10th (7 hour surgery). We will be staying for a minimum of 6 days. This surgery they will actually remove bone to shorten his head, release the fused portion of his skull (headband from ear to ear) and pull the forehead forward (anterior orbital advancement is what they call it). 

Sometime after that (we’re still working on the date) we will return for a 4.5 hour surgery to create a left nostril, remove some bony prominence in his nose that will allow for us to clear his clogged tear ducts. We were hoping to combine this surgery with one of the other ones, but the first two are major enough that there just isn’t enough time to make it all happen. 

And there you have it. 

In the works we are also entertaining the idea of getting our house ready to sell so we can be completely debt free as we move forward with our family. Please pray with us on this as it will take a miracle of timing and finances. For all of this stuff. Three trips to Boston in the next 6 months, raising two babies, stepping away from Infusco, and hopefully selling our house. Life isn’t boring around here!  And I’m only typing out the stuff that’s coming to mind right now on this quiet Sunday afternoon. Our lives are beautifully complex. Which is why I love them. I love change. I love how I can watch winter turn to spring out my front window. I will even enjoy the mud a little more once I get some rain boots 🙂


Published by: shanninvanderark

A stay at home mom/Occupational Therapist who has two children, one recently diagnosed with Apert Syndrome, a new coffee roasting business, and a whole lotta stories to share on the journey

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One thought on “Plans”

  1. So many things are going on for you guys! I will be praying for Jack tomorrow and your mama’s heart. None of this is easy, but grateful for a God who always takes care of our precious babes!

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