Jedidiah (Loved by the LORD), 10, is the one in the middle, wearing blue. He is my always smiling, affectionate boy. In private, I call him, the child of my heart. The orphanage told us he was 'knotty' (naughty). We believed them when we heard that he lit a firecracker on the way to school, burned his hand and his eyebrow and spent a week in the hospital. That was in China.
Last Tuesday, we were at Ric's parents new house, helping them move in. It is out a little ways from town, not far from main roads, but surrounded by woods and fields. When one of the children told me that Jed was riding too far away on the bike, I sent word that he couldn't ride it anymore. He came in a little later, smiling as usual, and asked if he could ride the scooter. I said no. Awhile later the kids came in to say that he was walking beyond the area where I said they could play. I first sent the girls and then Dominic to call him to come back. I later, went out and called him myself. He did not respond to any of us although we could still see him. This behavior was a total first. Although he and Simon wandered away from us when we were walking in China, neither one of them has ever disobeyed a direct command. As we were about to eat dinner outside on the deck, I decided to let Jed stew a little and perhaps regret that we were having a great Chinese meal and he was pouting in the woods. I couldn't eat, however and eventually went out to find him. I knew he would be feeling guilty and worried about the depth of the trouble he might be in. I couldn't find him. Neither could anyone else. I called Jerry. After we all looked for an hour and it was beginning to get dark, Jerry called 911. The local police and fire department came with alot of people and a tracking dog. Jerry is a volunteer fireman so many friends of ours were there. In the midst of this kind of trauma, it is comforting to have such a show of support. Although, we still weren't sure if he was deliberately hiding or was genuinely lost, we were way past mad, and worried to tears. Our daredevil child, who couldn't speak English or even write down his phone number, missing in an area with woods, ponds, creeks, wild animals and occssionally homes with people who couldn't understand him.
God was Gracious. The couple who found himwent out to look near their home, about two miles from Ric's house. They said that they must have been directed by God, because Jed just looked like a piece of plastic laying in the leaves. They had driven past him once before the husband discerned the shape of a small person laying face down in the leaves near a small shed. They picked him up and took him to their home and called 911. The first report we got was that he was unresponsive and the ambulance was taking him to the hospital. When he arrived at the hospital we were assured that his vital signs were good in spite being unconscious. So good, in fact, that there was suspicion that he could be faking. No reaction to being hooked up to IVs and catheterized, laid that idea to rest. A chest xray and CT scan showed nothing. After 40 minutes or so he began to blink a little and his legs started twitching. The doctor decided to try an anti seizure drug to see what kind of response he had. He recovered very, very slowly, with much weeping, and hugging me and telling me he loved me and saying he wanted to go home. They put a phone with a Chinese translator on the line, to his ear, to ask him if anything hurt, did anyone hurt him. He said just his knee, from falling down.
Let me put an aside here to say how wonderful it is to live in a small town. I was too stressed to do anything but make a three sentence phone call to one of my daughters to ask for prayer. We had a crowd of people join us at the hospital, transport the other kids, pray with them, and communicate with our older kids, who were with us, saying that they were praying and asking if they could do anything. Thank you to all of you who did pray and are continuing to pray for Jed.
It has taken until today to unravel most of the mystery of what happened. Jed admits hearing his siblings call him back but ignoring them. He played for awhile in some kind of water (a pond?) and then went on. He won't admit to 'being lost' and says he doesn't remember falling down. When asked if this ever happened (the falling asleep part) in China, he says yes, more than once. Did it happen before you went to the orphange at age seven ? Yes. Ah, perhaps that explains why he was sent there. Did it ever happen in school. Yes. Were you taken to the hospital ? Yes. Did you have medicine ? Yes. Where is the medicine ? In China. This child's paperwork, says he is very healthy. Really, a child who has grand mal seizures ? (I am jumping the gun here, since we haven't yet seen a neurologist, but not much else leaves you unconscious for and hour). Why did they lie? Because, the reality is, 10 year old boys rarely get chosen for adoption , so what chance would a ten year old boy with epilepsy have? Who would choose him ? Certainly Not Me ! That would scare me to death. And yet , by God's Grace, he is here. The child of my heart. And , by God's Grace, knowing that He has taken what was bad (abandonment, illness) and intervened to bring good (family, medical care, the knowledge of God and the blessings of America), we will be okay. Not that I won't panic when I am responsible for his care during a seizure. Not that I am not stressed at what lies ahead. But believing that 'where He calls, He also enables' , I will choose to trust in His Grace.