Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I took Collin to school this morning and we hadn't been there long when the neurologist's office called. I left Collin with his teacher and excused myself to the hallway, because I knew it was going to be about the MRI and I wanted a minute to myself just in case. We've never had good luck with MRIs. Collin's first MRI was incorrectly read as normal, his second one showed low white matter, and his third, in January, showed a possible decrease in white matter from the previous one. This MRI was to determine whether we were facing further degeneration. We were praying that no change had taken place.

Change had occurred, though. For the better. Turns out, Collin's brain has started myelinating faster, which means that his white matter has INCREASED. Not decreased. Not held steady. Increased. Apparently, Dr. Awesome said that the MRI 'looked pretty good,' which, as you know, is comparable to someone else doing a big elbow-flapping happy dance.

We also had done an MRI of the lumbar spine because Collin was born with a fairly deep sacral dimple and there has always been question as to whether he has a tethered spinal cord, which would likely mean surgery at age 2 or 3 to 'release' the end of the spine. That MRI came back completely normal.

I went back in to the classroom and just sat there feeling completely overwhelmed with thankfulness. I was surrounded by all of these amazing moms and their sweet children in a place where Collin feels welcome and free to try things and I had this huge, glowing, happy news I was carrying around.

It's true that, in a classroom of children with various disabilities, Collin was by far the most delayed. Even though Collin's MRI is improved, it's nowhere near normal. I know that our situation would not be one anyone would choose. If I had been able to imagine that moment in the classroom back when I was pregnant or before, I would have found the very thought abhorrent and terrifying. And I guess that that's when it hit me that this is one of the biggest ways that all of our prayers for help these past couple of years have been answered. Nothing circumstantial was taken away - no hardship magically disappeared. But God spent these months reworking our hearts to bring us to the point where, instead of raging that we even have to worry about EEGs and MRIs or lamenting that Collin needs to go to a school for the visually impaired, we can truly experience contentment and gratefulness in our situation. Not to say we don't still have bad days or weeks. We do. But I'm guessing this is what it means in the bible when it promises that God will work out all things for the good of those who believe in Him - who keep looking for him even when it makes no sense or feels pointless. Not that everything will be smooth or that you will prosper in the way you hope/expect (coughJoelOsteencough). But that when things do go wrong, even very very wrong, it won't mean destruction via despair or pain. It will signal the beginning of beautiful things - maybe tough and unexpected, but beautiful nonetheless.


  1. You know what I'm grateful for? The fact that I have don't have a big old scientific objective brain like Dr. Awesome so that I can in fact do a big elbow-flapping happy dance. Which I just did. Believe it.

    Oh and having a big old laugh at Joel Osteen's expense. ;)

  2. Great news! I love seeing all of these "happies" in your postings :)

  3. Reading your news and your reflections, and looking at Collin's pics, it just seems so true that you all were meant for each other. You know? Like God was saying, "I need somebody to love this boy and for this boy to love." And found just the right match.
    Keep up the good work, good spirits, good news.
    Much love, Courtney

  4. Annie - one thing I have learned in life is that when we are down, there is no place to look, but to God. He has every situation, no matter how painful and perplexing in His sight and stands by to help when we only have strength to utter His name.

    I rejoice with you in the good news of MRI! May God continue to bless each of you. Collin is so precious and you are a wonderful, sensitive mother!

  5. I am Baby Emily's mother, Mary Johnson and I have been praying for baby Colin right alongside Emmy. Praise God...Thank you Lord! Colin is SUCH a handsome baby. I could just squeeze him and kiss his jaws all day long! Keep up the good work! God is healing you!
    Mary Johnson

  6. That is fantastic news, Annie! I know that you still have good days and bad days, but your attitude and your approach to the life you have with your sweet boy is truly inspiring. Way to go, Collin!!!

  7. I have so enjoyed seeing you guys at VIPS the past few weeks. Collin is such a joy to be around and I am so happy for your news on the MRI. I always struggle to find the words to express how I have felt about all that has happened with Ethan. Reading your blog, I feel like someone else is doing that for me. Your words are honest, encouraging and hopeful. I hope you had a nice vacation and look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!