You’re safe.

2:30 AM

Little foot steps approach our bedroom door and I hear the tiny voice speak that has interrupted our sleep.

“Mama…will you read me a book?”

Kid.  It’s the middle of the night.

“Iz…I love you, Bug, but it’s the middle of the night.  It’s time for sleep not reading. Go back to bed.”


“Mama…will you read me a book?” Her pleas suddenly coming with tears.

“Iz….honey…please….it’s not time for books.  I promise to read to you in the morning.  It’s time to sleep.  Go back to bed!”

Door slams.

Cries commence.

Drama ensues.

Craig woke up for a millisecond but I lay awake wondering why my best girl needed this small bit of reassurance from me at such an hour.

It was the second day I wasn’t home to tuck her in…but that’s not unusual since I head out for errands at night or to the gym after dinner a few nights a week.

Maybe it was the scene at dinner that had her heart troubled.


5:30 PM the day before

“UH OH – YA-YA!” Evan gabbed as he dropped food from his high chair onto the floor and looked at me with a bit of mischief and pride in his eye.

I smiled and playfully waved my finger at him, “No, no!  Not nice Evan.  Food is for eating, playing.”

“Uh oh!” another dog treat of psketti riddled the floor from his high chair.

This little guy is something else.  

Iz giggled from across the table and took on the role of big sister. “No! No! Not nice, Evan!!”  Doing her best imitation of a good scolding in this house.  

I looked at her face as she giggled and smiled and shoved food in her mouth from her Hello Kitty plate.  She sat on her knees…not quite big enough to reach the big table sitting normally.  Between bites she’d stop and make her best buddy laugh.  

Evan’s sweet mouth would release the sweetest sounds of laughter as he watched his big sister and best friend make silly faces.

I felt my stomach turn and then I spoke.

“Hey, Iz.  I want to remind you that tomorrow you’ll be going over to your Tatay and Nana’s house.  Tita Candice is coming down to watch you for a few days.  Daddy and I are taking Evan back to the hospital for another operation for his face.  The doctor hopes to fix his smile.”

“AW!  Yay!” She exclaimed.

Tears suddenly filled my eyes. My gaze shared between Iz and Evan as I tried to reassure them that all would be ok.

“We aren’t doing this surgery because we think Evan isn’t perfect just as he is.  We have to do this so it will make it easier for him to speak and to eat.  But, his smile is perfect.  He’s beautiful.  He’s perfect.”

I looked at my little dude.  Psketti all over his face, his hair, in his ear.  Grinning his lopsided grin.  

I found the one spot on his chubby cheek that wasn’t laden with food and rubbed his baby soft skin and said through tears, “Buddy…you’ll be alright.  It’s going to be long and painful.  But we’ll get you back to being you.”

Suddenly…I was sobbing.

I felt tiny hands on my face.  I looked up and there was my best girl now standing by my side.

“Don’t cry, Mama.  Don’t cry.”


2:43 AM

I lay awake and my heart didn’t feel right.

I climbed out of bed and walked into Iz’s room.

My best girl was still awake.  Tear stained.  Hugging her Ducky.

“Iz…it’s very late.  I’m not going to read to you but I will lay with you for a few minutes until you feel better.”

I found a spot on her bed, which is a feat in and of itself since she is a closet hoarder…every animal, book, toy, Barbie….has real estate on her twin bed.

I tucked her in, held her tight, and whispered, “I love you, Iz.  Go ‘night ‘night.  I’m here.  Daddy’s here.  Evan’s here.  You’re safe.”

Within minutes her eyes fluttered shut and her breath was deep as she fell asleep.


The power of a mother on a child to reassure that all is well.

It’s amazing.

My gut has turned inside out at the thought of tomorrow.

Another surgery.  More painful than the last.

And my reassurance and kisses of “You’re safe…” won’t be able to make the pain go away.

Fourth surgery in 14 months.

You’d think it’d be easier to hand him over…but it just gets harder.

Evan is older…he’s more aware.  He’s been almost as normal as they come these days…eating like a regular toddler, taking steps, babbling, getting into everything and anything he can put his pudgy hands on.

His heart is doing it’s job but there is still so much risk with general anesthesia.

Every fear….every worry has enveloped my heart and mind.


As we face surgery day again…I plead once more prayers for my boy.

1 – For a successful surgery.  Pray for the hands of his surgeon that he’ll be able to repair Evan’s lip and palate fully.

2 – For safety during surgery.  Pray that his heart, brain, kidneys, and other organs stay safe while under anesthesia.  Pray against infection and bleeding issues.

3 – For recovery.  Pray that his heart is able to recovery quickly from being under anesthesia.  Pray that pain is controlled.  Pray for his organ’s to “wake up” from being under anesthesia.  Pray against bleeding and infection.

4 – Pray that he stays safe from the moment we step into the hospital until we return home with him.


I will update as often as I can.  Please visit our public Facebook page dedicated to Evan’s prayer warriors.

Thank you again, friends.



  1. Alice Clark says:

    My prayers and thoughts are with your family. God has brought you through so much, and he won’t fail you now. Prayers and love brought my Mom through cancer this year. I know all the prayers made the difference. She is 81 and just had her latest scan last week that showed she is still Cancer Free. I’ve asked my friends and family to pray for Evan and your family. Love to you all!

  2. Praying, sweet friend <3

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Your post was beautiful.