Some thoughts from 33,000 feet

Please note I wrote this on the first day of our 2-day journey back to the US. I am just now able to get it posted.

Hey all. This is going to be a longer than normal post as I’ve been percolating on a lot of stuff this week. In case you’re wondering I (Anthony) am writing this one. As I’m writing my family is about 3 hours into our Trans-Pacific flight from China to the US and it’s midnight. I’m flying approximately 700 miles an hour over the islands of Japan. If my map reading is correct, Nagasaki is slightly to the West. I must admit, it was my hope that I’d be sleeping right now, but the events of these past weeks have afforded me little of that luxury. Recently, all the talk in my blog has been about Mia. This is for good reason as we have worked for 4 years to bring her home. It’s a true blessing to see her sleeping on my wife’s lap just a few inches away from me.

All that being said, my son Aiden is what is mostly on my mind right now. In case you hadn’t heard yet, he was taken by ambulance to Arnold Palmer hospital earlier in the week and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. No parent ever wants to hear that or anything like that about their child…especially when you’re on the other side of the world approximately 10,000 miles away. I can honestly say, there are few if any times in my life I can recall where I have felt pain like this. Emotionally I am grieved to the core of my soul…I’m not much for crying and my wife will vouch that I have genuinely cried as many times as you can count on one hand…with several fingers to spare, but this week I added another to the list.

This unexpected news got me thinking particularly about the day I first met my now 6-year-old son Aiden. It was March 27th, 2006 at Ochsner hospital in New Orleans. Carin had a C-section because Aiden was over 10lbs. I mean he just about came out of her womb with facial hair asking to borrow the keys to my car! He was like a miniature man!

I remember throughout Carin’s whole pregnancy people would always ask me if I wanted a boy or a girl. I refused to answer that question…in fact I can honestly say not once did I even answer that question in my own mind. My reasoning behind all of this was that I would give thanks for whatever way God chose to bless us when it came to the sex of our firstborn. As an about to be dad–the last thing I wanted to carry on my conscious for my whole life was hoping for a boy or girl and then getting the opposite of what I hoped for. I wanted my child to know that what I wanted from the day of their conception was them and nothing else. When Aiden was born that’s exactly what I told him the first time I got to hold him and it was absolutely true.

I vividly remember that one-way conversation. He was lying in a bed in the room he was delivered in…he was big…purple in color and wrinkled like a raisin…he was screaming violently. I grabbed his little hand and remembered telling him, “Son, I don’t really know you yet because you’ve just made your entrance into the world, however I want you to know that I’m your dad…and that I love you in a way unlike any other love I have experienced in this world. In that moment, I promised I’d try to be the best dad I could be to him. I took his continued screaming as an approval. Since that day, my love for him has done nothing but deepen and I suspect I’ll being making that claim until the day Jesus takes me home.

As a father, I’ve tried my hardest to oblige that commitment I made…to protect him from any and all things that would seek to hurt him. I’d do anything to keep him safe, but this week I learned my limits in my ability to do just that. This is the first time since I have been his dad that I have been faced with a situation in his life that’s totally out of my control. I’ve thought countless times since his diagnosis that I wish there was a medical procedure that could export his illness out of him and into me. I’d do it the minute I got off this plane and would never look back, but you and I both know that’s not possible.

Years ago I heard a pastor I deeply admire say, “a person will never know a greater pain then when they see their child suffering.” That made sense to me then, but has been confirmed in my heart now. That reality has forced me to turn to my heavenly father to seek a needed strength beyond my own—because I must be strong for my son. I’ve been reminded once again that the calling God has placed on my life to preach the Gospel to the hearts of people includes my own. This has been my battle cry over these past weeks.

As we approach Easter and prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord…By the Grace of God I’m focusing the thoughts of my heart on the truth that when Jesus came out of the grave…he showed the world that life and death–and all the circumstances we face in-between those two major bookends bow to him–because he is the author of all life and the ultimate conqueror of death.

This is what Jesus reminds his disciples of in John 16 as they face their own trial…the impending reality that their Savior is going to be crucified and life as they know it is about to get very hard for them. It is in that instance that Jesus reminds them of the blessed assurance of his joy and peace no matter how difficult things get in their lives. It’s a promise that still exists for every believer today and he bases that promise on the soon to be seen reality of his Resurrection. It is in that truth that I dwell today. I am constantly asking God to remind my heart that there is no trial or life obstacle–not even death itself that can separate the Christian from the love, peace, and joy of Jesus. This is what Paul tells us in Romans 8 and it is the promise I hold to.

This is an important promise that Jesus has made to me–because I deeply believe the promise I made to be a good father to my son was much more than just a promise. I believe it was my covenant pledge to a child whom God had known from all of eternity—the child he then ordained to be my son. On this Earth he has given me the sole responsibility of being his Father no matter what he faces in life. So the more I reflect on this diagnosis the more I realize my pain, grief and sorrow are proper human responses to a situation like this. In John 16 Jesus says it’s OK to feel this way. They are emotions God has created us with in part to deal with the difficulties we face in life. They are a necessary season we must go through to heal, however genuine Christianity says that while grieving is necessary–the evidence of the Grace of God in our lives means that we can never permanently dwell there. In short, because of Jesus there is always a warm Spring that follows the cold Winter.

In this case, my Spring is moving past the grief and sorrow of all this and helping my son to see that in Jesus he has already conquered the trial that has been set before him. The troubles and pain we all face in this life remain in the grave Jesus walked out of–they are firmly resting under the heel of his foot. Now I must believe this Gospel truth so that I can live in that blessed assurance of his Joy and Peace. This is the Gospel I preach to my son and myself–and I am ever thankful that God has revealed it to us both.




~ by Anthony Orzo on March 31, 2012.

5 Responses to “Some thoughts from 33,000 feet”

  1. Anthony and Carin,
    Thank you for sharing your feelings and experiences over the past two weeks. I loved reading about Mia and your adventures in China. I’m praying for God to give you all the strength and perseverance you need to handle the things you will have to deal with Aiden thatand that Mia will grow closer to you all each day. I’m looking forward to meeting her and seeing you all at the bank. If I can help in any other way please let me know.

  2. RELIEF is what I feel at this point for Anthony,Carin,Aiden,Addie and Mia. They have some hurdles ahead but I know they will overcome all of them, now that they are all together. So glad you guys are home and things will only get better from here on in. Aiden is a good little boy and will do what is needed for him (otherwise look out for Nana and Mimi) Addie is her own special person and will probably do better than everyone. As for Mia she is a warm, shy little girl but I know her big brother Aiden and little sister Addie will show her the ropes. There is nothing like HOME SWEET HOME.Love, Hugs and Kisses. Mom PS BaBa thinks she might want to change her name. 😉 XOXOxoxoxo

  3. That’s funny Mom.

    Tell Grandma we’re both stuck with the name so we can deal with it together.

  4. Dear Anthony and Carin,
    I am praying for your family today. I am praying for dependence on the Lord for your strength as you walk through these difficult days. I am also praying for peace, knowing that though these circumstance may have caught you off guard, they have never rocked our Lord. He is on the throne and all things are under His feet, as you know. I am praying that the God of ALL comfort comforts your family, demonstrating the great love He has for you. That you would know how high and wide is His love for you. We know the enemy would love nothing more than for you to be in despair, wondering why/how this could happen when you are only doing what you are called to do. He wants nothing more than to remove the joy from our hearts, and for us to live in the pit of despair. But these are the times when our Lord steps in and wraps us in His arms and promises that He WILL take care of us, these are the moments when we trust Him even when things look dark and bleak and yes, sometimes hopeless-Because we know that He is a faithful God who will supply all our needs! He is the God of hope!! We don’t know the future but we can rest that He does! Praise the Lord!!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions with us. We all continue to pray for you, and your family. They are all being lifted to the throne room of God!! And we look forward to seeing how He will answer these prayers in the coming days. We have seen so many answered prayers already!!! I also pray for rest for your family. Enjoy the blessings and the small things He gives you today.

  5. Anthony, I so know what you are going through with Aiden. When I found out Jonathan was losing his eyesight and there was nothing that I coud do, I felt all of the emotions that you are feeling. I wanted to quit my job and take him around the world to see all that he could see while he had sight. However, after much praying without ceasing; God assured me that He knew Jonathan would go through this before we ever knew Jonathan. He also assured me that Jonathan would be able to reach people that no one with sight could ever reach for Him. Everytime Jonathan looks at me and says “Mom why can’t I see like you do?” It still breaks my heart, but I reassure him that God has great plans for him that we cannot even comprehend. Yes, Anthony I too have told Jonathan if they could transplant my eyes into him, I would gladly do it. But I know that is not the plans God has. Anthony, I now consider it an honor to a parent to such a special young man. I get to see up close and personal what God can and will do through such a tough situation. It’s a roller coaster ride, but I know Who is in control of this ride; and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We love you guys and miss you. You will continue to be in our prayers:)

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