We were in the midst of summer Permanent Change of Station (PCS-military moving) season but weren’t on alert because we were historically “winter” movers. My husband had orders in hand for his next job which would be at least a year away, with backup orders already in place if needed. One afternoon, out of nowhere, my husband got a phone call in our kitchen and quickly ran outside to take it. He came back in the house (to put it nicely) devastated, he had been selected for a job in Virginia which would require him to sit behind a desk at Headquarters Marine Corps for two years. His head was spinning, but the selection was final. Being out of the cockpit for two years was not what he wanted. It was hard seeing him so frustrated and all I could do was pray for him. During my prayers I kept coming back to John 13:7 “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” So, I was at peace and had convinced myself God was clearly saving my husband from a future casualty that would leave me widowed (yes, this is how military wives always think). Little did I know…

Our orders to Virginia came fast and we had about one month to find a home, close on it and find renters for the house we owned in North Carolina. During this stressful process we found out we were expecting again! Being a nurse with ultrasound training I enjoyed watching the 20-week anatomy scan as we learned we were having another boy! The ultrasound looked perfect from the start, viewing the brain, face, heart, abdomen and spine. Then she began to scan the lower extremities and the tech immediately saw my face and knew I could see what she was seeing.

I couldn’t breathe. 

She asked if I needed a break to process what we were seeing, all the while my husband was clueless and confused sitting in the corner of the room trying to control our wiggly screaming toddler with food and toys. I told her to continue because I didn’t want to alarm my husband. When the scan was over, and the tech left the room, I tried to stay composed while explaining to my husband our precious baby boy would be born with a clubfoot. After multiple ultrasounds and genetic testing, we are hopeful this is an isolated anomaly with a great prognosis but long road ahead.

God always knew

1. My husband’s current job in Virginia (though not his idea of fun) means he is non-deployable and home {almost} every weekend for the next two years. To have him home for help and support during the intense treatment process ahead is a HUGE blessing. Something most military wives don’t have the privilege of experiencing.

2. After doing an exhausting amount of research we discovered we now live a little over 2 hours away from a Pediatric Orthopedic specialist ranked top 1% in his field specializing in the Ponseti method of clubfoot treatment. The Ponseti method is now considered the “Gold Standard” of treatment for clubfoot in America. We completed our first prenatal appointment with him to get an idea of the road ahead. It was overwhelming and a lot to process, but overall very optimistic.

The prognoses that our son will walk and lead a normal life is phenomenal, but it will come with intense treatment including 6-8 weekly cast changes starting at birth, 3 months in a full-time brace on both legs, then about 5 years of splinting and continued therapy. With the Ponseti method typically only minor surgery is required. We were increasingly hopeful learning several athletes including Troy Aikman, Mia Hamm and Kristi Yamaguchi were also born with a clubfoot! This condition is twice as common in males and effects 1:1,000 births annually.

I feel blessed my son was chosen to be in our family because there is no doubt he is meant to be ours’. To be ours’ at this time in our lives and current duty station location. God chose us. I love his little feet already and can’t wait to kiss them. We thrive on challenges so we are steadily preparing for the journey ahead. We are excited to have already gotten plugged into clubfoot support groups that has started walking us through our future journey. My husband is an absolutely amazing father and has taken this news by the horns endlessly reviewing research for the best long-term outcomes for our son.

God’s plans don’t always make sense, sometimes we even fight them. But have faith, because we can only see the “now” while God can see the future. He clearly had plans for our orders and those plans were to help heal and support our future son.

God’s plans are always so much bigger and better than ours’!

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