Huge News About Ruby…
Almost exactly 3 years ago Sarah and I were sitting down with our social worker with a burden on our heart about the heroin problem in the Cincinnati area. We told our social worker about our desire to open our home once again in hopes to do what we could do for heroin-exposed children. While requests in foster care are not at all how the system works, our social worker heard us. A short time later, little Ruby Geneva came to us, 3 months old and 10 lbs, skin peeling but her feisty little smile beaming. (Ruby is the one in moms lap stealing the show in the above picture)
What are we up against? As Sarah took Ruby to doctor’s appointments, we had some knowledge about what effects exposure could have, but we were really unsure of what to expect. We found out that she was exposed to heroin and other drugs, but effects unknown (even today we don’t know how much exposure affects our day-to-day or the future.) We visited the high-risk clinic at Cincinnati Children’s hospital where they informed us that Ruby had some brain mass missing; she had Cerebral Palsy from a head trauma while in utero. The doctor informed us that likely she’d just grow to function without that part of her brain, but the effects would be unknown.
What our prayers looked like…
The unknown was great as we began to care for Ruby, as with any child that has come into our home through foster care. In many ways, that’s the hardest part of foster care. This is where I should put something like ‘we prayed every day, every minute and got on the prayer chain asking for her brain to be healed…’ That is not what we did. There were occasions where friends and small groups prayed for her and I remember them asking God for healing for Ruby, but our day-to-day prayers didn’t sound like that.
You may have clicked on this article looking for a story that would encourage you in your own struggle, one of your family or friends or your own child. When I click on an article like this, I often find myself combing the words for some kind of formula or how a family walked through illness unto a healing. Sarah and I pray together regularly. Since she came to our home, our prayers for Ruby have been ‘God, provide all we need to care for Ruby and help her to live life to her fullest in You.’
Therapists and doctors’ appointments abounded, to the point where it basically became Sarah’s job to make sure all the appointments were arranged well and not overlapping. The hands of physical therapists, high-risk child specialists and doctors were used greatly in this process of Ruby’s development. She gained weight. She grew teeth (fast!). She walked. All these things were such great blessings that took a lot of effort on our part.
Committing to loving and caring for Ruby as her parents for good in March 29 of 2017, we adopted Ruby and her younger brother, Samuel.
…and then, at last weeks’ doctor’s appointment…
An annual checkup for Sam and Ruby’s first time meeting the Cerebral Palsy (CP) doctor ended with: “She doesn’t have Cerebral Palsy.”
As soon as Sarah reported to me, it took me a minute to wrap my mind around it. Cerebral Palsy is not the type of condition that goes away! Ruby was healed of something that we didn’t even think to pray to God to heal. Glory to God for His beautiful provision of this little girl in our lives, and the fact that she does not have Cerebral Palsy any longer. She is tenacious and spunky, at times she’s like caring for 3 children…I thank God for the time and support you all have given to us over the past 3 years specifically so that we can walk this path with her.
“How I Love Ya!”
Yesterday I took Ruby for a walk to a local park to let her swing and run around. I walked around this little playground and just grinned with joy, thanking God for this little girl. As we neared the house, she began to loudly sing “How I Love Ya!” over and over. This is her version of ‘Hallelujah’ from the hymn “All Creatures of Our God and King.” At service this past week, one of our songs included this word, and Ruby was in the back row, beaming ear-to-ear and singing ‘HOW I LOVE YA!’
In Matthew 5 and 6, Jesus references The Father God who ‘knows what we need before we ask.’ The context of these verses tells us that we do not need fancy phrases, specific language or perfectly-planned healing services for God to hear our prayer and provide for us. As tired as we have been the past few years, we did not have fancy words to offer or special plans. We didn’t need to. That wasn’t part of the formula.
What’s sometimes left out of stories of healing are the facts of what we will continue to do: we will continue to go to Cerebral Palsy doctor’s appointments for follow up, we will continue to follow up on referrals and therapies recommended to us. As I wrote before, these have been the means God has used for all the progress we’ve seen in Ruby’s growth and development.
It’s safe to say Ruby doesn’t know the story that I just informed you about. She will one day. And the conclusion that I give you today is the same that I want her to know the day we tell her: “from Him, to Him and through Him are all things.” To God be the glory for this beautiful life we get to be part of and the powerful act God has demonstrated to us through Ruby’s healing.
Next time you sing with your church, remember this little girl and join us in singing ‘How I Love ya!’
We couldn’t do this without you. Thanks for loving us and praying for us. The Father hears your every prayer,
David, Sarah, Markus, Lena, Myra, Josiah, Ruby & Samuel Chapdelaine
If you would like to learn more about the Chapdelaine family and their ministry, Click Here.