AND JUNE BUG MAKES FOUR

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  -2 Corinthians 1:3-4

It seems that it’s been a while since there have been any updates with Oliver’s adoption, and the days have felt long and hard. It’s been a season of quiet and God answering prayers with “not yet”.  We are so humbled that you stand with us in prayer daily, even all these months later. It is with so much joy, that we have some exciting news to share!!! I’m going to try and make a really long story as short as possible…so bear with me, but I promise you it’s a good one!

The Lord really put it on my heart before we even got to Uganda to pray for a sibling for Oliver, specifically a sister. We felt very strongly about Oliver having a sibling that shared his same culture and heritage and that he can relate with in ways that I will never understand, but when we got to Uganda and saw the direction international adoption was moving, we couldn’t see ourselves adopting from there again unless it was a divine appointment from The Lord. A small part of us has grieved that Ollie would most likely not have a Ugandan sibling someday, especially since God laid that on our hearts so heavily when we started the adoption process. But God kept telling me to pray.

Okay, let’s go back to April. I found myself in the ICU and woke up from a coma to find out I had been diagnosed with Type One Diabetes. I don’t think I had ever been so angry that God would allow so much suffering in such a small period of time for our family, and especially a disease that is downright ugly and never goes away. I remember laying in the hospital bed wondering how God would ever redeem this, or how he could possibly use my diagnosis for a greater purpose. I believed that he would, I just couldn’t even begin to picture how. I prayed hard that God would start to reveal things to me sooner rather than later. Diabetes is a hard diagnosis and I needed to know that God would use it. That it wouldn’t be wasted. That this wretched disease wouldn’t all be for nothing. I also knew that I wasn’t promised any of that, and maybe I’d never know the purpose in my diagnosis on this side of heaven. But God knew that redeeming my pain would increase my faith and the faith of those around me. And he answered my prayer in a way that I never even would have dreamed of. He gave me desires I didn’t even know I wanted. He used my pain and suffering and made it for good. And that is something that he does promise.

About two weeks ago, two different women that are both moms to Type One kids have taken me under their wing, shared all their wisdom and knowledge about T1D, and have given me so many supplies that are hard to come by when you can’t even get into a endocrinologist because they’re booked out till fall. I’ve spent a lot of time talking with them and hearing what it’s like to be a PARENT to a T1 child. My heart ached for them and what a day in their life looks like trying to manage their child’s disease. I was amazed at their strength. I thought that being diagnosed as a Type One was hard, but I know self-control, I know the complication of not managing my disease and I know that it can be fatal. Kids are sweet, and innocent, and they don’t always understand the seriousness behind everything. So it’s a parent job around the clock to make sure they kids are well taken care of, and I can’t even imagine what it’s like to send your kids off to school where you don’t have control over carb counting, food portions, snack sneaking, etc. In a way, a lot of what they go through reminded me of my parents caring for my sister when she had cancer. Care never stops, meds are around the clock, and the simplest fever lands you in the ER. I got home after spending some time with them last week, and I felt compassion in my heart beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. Let me just preface this by saying that compassion and mercy are my spiritual gifts. But that day, something was different, and my heart wanted something deeper, something that forced me to daily live outside myself, and to heavily depend on The Lord for strength. God put it on my heart that day to pray about what it might look like to care for or specifically adopt a Type One child. Yeah, that probably seems absolutely ridiculous because it’s already a full time job just managing my own disease, but since my diagnosis, I have had deep, deep compassion for others who have the disease and a desire for them to feel understood. Type ones make up only about 5% of the diabetes population which means there are few that know what it’s like to walk a day in our shoes. After hanging out with those two moms, it was like I started to feel hope in having Type One, and to have a mission to love others boldly, that they would feel understood, and that diabetes can take a lot from you, but it will never define you, or who you are in Christ.

Last Friday, we found out about a girl in Africa who had been really sick and was taken to the hospital where she was diagnosed with TYPE ONE DIABETES. Yes, the same disease I have. The doctors don’t even know how she’s alive. It’s pretty rare that you hear of Type One in Africa, and even if they ever do see people with T1D, it’s basically a death sentence since there is a huge lack of resources to manage their disease and doctors don’t know much about it. This sweet girl desperately needed a foster family that would love her big, point her to Jesus, and know how to manage her Type One. Justin and I spent time praying about it and it was so clear that God had lined everything up and called us to be her family. We already got the papers needed, and Justin is kicking butt at taking care of her, checking blood sugar, counting her carbs, insulin, waking up in the middle of the night to check blood sugar, etc. We call her little June bug (that’s a nickname), because it was June that God started to do a big work in my heart, that we found out about our this sweet girl, and the day I had made up that nickname for her, we found out it was her birthday. IN JUNE! Not a coincidence. We don’t know how long this will be, but it will be at least as long as it takes to complete Ollie’s adoption. We don’t know what the future holds for her, but we are so grateful for whatever time God gives us with her and our hope is that she would have a chance at being healthy, that she would know the love of a mother and father, and ultimately that she would know how much our heavenly father loves her.

As for me, I’ve been home almost four months now and had no idea if I’d be allowed to go back. My blood sugar has been really stable lately and I just got a continuous glucose monitor inserted in my arm that tracks my blood sugar 24 hours a day that takes so much stress of of us and allows me to correct highs or lows before they are too bad. After seeing God line so much up the last week, and that I’ve been staying in range, we felt a huge peace about me going back to Africa, and I keep hearing this voice from Him that says “I called you to this and I will surely take care of you.”

So….I am flying out in two and a half weeks and will be back with my boys and our new daughter just in time for Justin’s birthday. AND my momma is coming with! That means the kids get to meet their Jjajja for the first time! And I’m just so excited that my mom gets to see her grandkids birth country and the place that we’ve spent so much time. I know Justin is SOOO excited to have me back as he’s been pretty lonely, and caring for two kids on your own, and one of them with Type One, in Africa is no easy task. I love that man deeper and harder than I ever have. Watching him love two kids that are not biologically his is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. He serves and loves them well and my heart is overflowing watching it.

I have wondered all this time why Ollie’s adoption has taken so long and maybe it’s because we were meant to care for this sweet girl and this is the only way the timing would have worked out to do so. And maybe God allowed my diagnosis so that I would have good knowledge on how to help this girl with her diagnosis. And maybe my first out of town trip last weekend is what it took for me to realize that I was stronger than I thought. What if I was never diagnosed with Type One? Would I even consider caring for a child in that capacity? Most definitely not, because I didn’t know the first thing about T1 prior to my diagnosis. The Lord knew that we wouldn’t have been able to handle two children while Ollie was sick. And praise God that Oliver is totally healed!

The tears won’t stop flowing because I am so overwhelmed at God’ love for me. And that he redeemed a dark season for us. And that he is using my diagnosis for his glory and his children in a mighty way. And he did it far sooner than I ever expected. The crazy thing is that God didn’t even have to do that for me. He doesn’t own me an explanation, or anything for that matter. But He loved me with a love so deep that he made beauty from ashes. My faith has increased and my understanding of his abba love is far greater than I’ve ever known. I’m humbled that he chose me to love his daughter in this way. What I love most is that June bug doesn’t have to do this on her own. I love that she’ll see me having to check my BS and give myself insulin every day too and I hope that gives her comfort. We may not share blood, or the same skin color, but we both know how much Type One blows and I love that God gave me her to give me strength, and he gave her me to love her and walk this road with her. She is the answer to my prayer. And if knowing how to care for this sweet girl was the whole reason God allowed my diagnosis, I’d do it 100 times over again. What a redeeming God we serve!

We don’t know how long we’ll be in Uganda for or how long Ollie’s adoption will take to be finalized (at this point its looking like a minimum of 4 months, I mean unless God does something wild and miraculous, which I know is possible). We don’t know how much time God will allow us to have with her but we’re grateful for every moment we’ll get. We’re opening our hearts and home and welcoming her in knowing that we could have to say goodbye, but the privilege to love her is so worth it. You guys, this means Ollie has the sister that we have always prayed for. And who knew we’d be fostering a school age child?!? Thank you Jesus for answering prayers in mysterious ways that leave me in awe of your majesty. May we never lose our sense of wonder.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – PRAYER REQUESTS – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

-That traveling for me would be just fine and won’t affect my BS

-That God would continue to provide financially as it’s been a long 6 months of not being able to work much

-That God would provide donated diabetes supplies for us to bring to her since they are so limited on what’s available there and this is SO VITAL to keeping her alive

-That he would have his healing hand on this sweet girl

-That she would feel a part of our family just as much as Ollie is and ultimately know the love of Jesus

-That we would continue to be bold in our faith and willing to say yes when God calls, even to the hard stuff

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HOW YOU CAN HELP

Justin and I knew that it would take bold faith to say yes to foster little June bug, but God was so clear in what he was calling us to and we have no doubt that he will continue to provide as he always has. Saying yes meant taking on the financial responsibility of her, her medical bills, meds, food, etc. And we don’t have 9 months to gather items, having baby showers, etc. I have two and a half weeks. EEEK! It’s going to take a village to make sure this girl has everything she needs before my mom and I leave! And we have seen it done when you rallied around our family to help us raise the money for Ollie’s adoption. It has been a humbling year to accept so many generous gifts, and I was terrified about asking for you to jump on board again for little June bug, but my friends continually remind me that is is A JOY for them to give and to serve in this way. Not everyone is called to adopt, but we are all called to care for the orphan in some way. And maybe that’s by supporting another family that’ is fostering/adopting.

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FINANCIAL SUPPORT

We need to raise $8000 to cover my flight back to Uganda, and the next four months of rent, utilities, gas, water, transportation through town, from the airport, and to and from Kampala for specialist appointments, tests, dr appointments, her hospital bill from last week, monthly medication, insulin, diabetes supplies, food, etc. This is just our Uganda living expenses. We know we can’t do this on our own, but we faithfully said “YES” knowing that God would provide for June bug because he called us to this! We have extended our YouCaring site so that donations can be given through there that will allow us to stay with Ollie in Uganda and to bring June bug into our home and to keep up with her disease. We are so incredibly grateful for every single dollar that has allowed us to give Ollie a family, and now the same for June bug. You are the hands and feet of Jesus and caring for the orphan in such a beautiful and tangible way.

{ DONATE HERE }

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TANGIBLE NEEDS

There is a huge lack of resources and medications in Uganda and we want to do everything we can to make sure June bug stays healthy and alive so we are trying to collect a several month supply to bring to her since we can’t get a whole lot there. Getting her a Dexcom would be a HUGE blessing and would be so incredibly helpful especially since endocrinologists are not well versed like they are here and it would give us so much better control of her blood sugar to get her stable.

Diabetes Supplies
-Dexcom Recevier/Transmitter (used is fine)
-Dexcom Sensors
-IV Prep Wipes
-Humalog/Novolog Insulin (pen or vial)
-Lantus Insulin (pen or vial)
-Syringes
-Pen needles
Accu-Chek Aviva Plus Test Strips
Accu-Chek Smart View Test Strips

She is 6 years old and THE SAME WEIGHT AS OLIVER (who is 1), so she looks as if she’s about 4. She is extremely malnourished so her waist is tiny, her belly is distended, and her legs are really long, but so thin. So finding clothes to fit her little frame is tough. Dresses are the easiest since they can just hang on her. Hand me downs are also great! She currently has four dresses in Uganda, one pair of underwear and that is it, her only belongings. She doesn’t even own a pair of shoes.

Clothes
Dresses: 3T-5T
Shorts: 2T-4T
Shirts: 3T-5T
Underwear: 2T-3T

-Amazon Gift Cards
-Target Gift Cards

-Or anywhere for that matter where we can purchase items needed for her

*Gift cards to Amazon and Target can be used to buy diabetes supplies, insulin wallets, frio cooling bags to get all the insulin to Uganda, insulin vial sleeves, syringes, test strips, etc where they are available the cheapest and also for other items needed such as bed sheets, kid cups, school items, and just about anything else you need for a child that I have probably forgotten and that’s way overprices in Uganda because it’s imported. Whatever items are not donated will need to be purchased since we don’t have a single thing for a six year old and I leave in two and a half weeks. Holy moly!*

 >>>  DONATIONS CAN BE SHIPPED TO  <<<
Keary Cheney
PO BOX 230209
Encinitas, CA 92023

If you live local to North County in San Diego I am more than happy to meet up with you to pick things up!

*In order to gather everything we need and have time to pack, we need to receive all items by Friday, July 10th.*

We are so excited to welcome a daughter into our family, help her gain weight, get healthy, and give her a loving, Jesus filled home. We love her so much already! Let’s kick some T1 butt together, little June bug!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

xoxo
Justin and Keary

JUNEBUG-1 copy

 

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