Sweet Sophia

07 Feb

So here’s the story of what happened to Sophia.  We were at our friends’ house and we had finished eating pizza.  Jacob and I were just starting to play a game (it was game night at their house, so people were talking and fellowshipping and playing games) when Lizzie and her friend came up to me and said calmly that the bed broke and Sophia fell off of the bed.  So I got up to go back to the bedroom and when I turned the corner I saw Benjamin shaking with a panic look on his face, so I ran in the room and found Sophia just standing there with blood covering one side of her face and a hole in her forehead.  So I scooped her up and took her in the kitchen.  As soon as I got a better look at her I knew we needed to get her to the hospital as quickly as possible.  So we got a taxi and Jacob, Sophia, Johnny and I were off to Clinica Biblica (a private care hospital in San Jose where the care is supposed to be the best and you just have to pay for your services as you receive them).

As soon as we walked in the emergency room they sent us to the pediatrician.  We walked in her door and she was on her phone and she took one look at Sophia from her desk and quickly got off the phone and took us back to an operating room.  She thought it would be best to get a plastic surgeon to do the stitching.  So we were off to X-ray while we waited on the plastic surgeon to arrive.  Back in the x-ray area this really nice janitor walked up to us and was so concerned with Sophia.  He asked what had happened to the princesa (all of this in Spanish, of course, doctors included).  So I told him.  He was so sweet with Sophia.  He assured her that God was good and He would take care of her.  And he stayed with us until they took us back to x-ray.  She did great with the x-ray and did not even move.  The guy who took the x-rays left to develop them immediately and within 5 minutes was back and he said that he did not see any fractures, but it was ultimately up to the radiologist.  So I was relieved with that news.  So we headed back to the emergency room to wait on the plastic surgeon.

Once he arrived, we went back into the operating room.  Now here in Costa Rica, our experience has been, that things work differently for the parents.  You are completely involved in the experience, even assisting.  So when the plastic surgeon had to numb her head, Jacob and I had to hold her down.   Needless to say, that was very difficult.  He numbed her and we were hoping that things would be easier from there.  Well, I am not sure as to what she was feeling or if she was simply scared of the fact that we were holding her down and she had a cover over her face, but she would not stay still.  He tried multiple times to start to stitch her, but it was just not working.  Sophia got so worked up that she threw up.  So they tried to give her a relaxing medicine through her nose and she was too smart for that.  When she felt it in her throat, she simply spit it out.

They went to talk over the situation with the anaesthesiologist and he would not put her to sleep since she had just eaten supper.  We tried bribing her with promises of toys and ice-cream if she would just let the plastic surgeon finish his job, but in the end it did not work.  The cute thing about it was that some of the medicine to calm her must have gotten in because she was so funny, when she was not screaming.  She was talking really slowly.  She would ask me to sing to her, so when I would, she would just smile sweetly at me.  She would rub my hand with her hand really slowly and just smile.  She was so sweet, but I think a little drunk from the medicine.

So the pediatrician came back to find the plastic surgeon gone and she was not happy, needless to say.  She and I both were not happy with the fact that the plastic surgeon suggested that we just use tape to close the wound that went all the way to her skull.  Our options now came down to going to another hospital or having the pediatrician do the kind of stitches that end up looking kind of like railroad tracks.  I asked her if Sophia was her baby, what would she do.  She said that she would do the stitches and not take her to the other hospital.  Being a momma and this being my baby girl, I was hoping for as little scarring as possible, and that possibility just seemed to have left  with the plastic surgeon.  My heart sank, but I knew I just had to leave that in the hands of this pediatrician and God.  The pediatrician was so wonderful with Sophia, she called her “Mi muneca (my baby doll) and mi princesa (my princess) as she worked on her and tried to soothe her as she screamed.  Johnny had gone to get someone who spoke English earlier to help us and I guess they could hear Sophia screaming from the waiting room, so at some point, she returned with her sweet mom and she came in and helped us hold Sophia and talked to her in English when we were no longer able to speak.  It was really hard to hear her calling out to me, asking me to make them stop.  She did not understand that we were helping her.  It was hard.  But when she was finally finished I picked up Sophia and she stopped crying.  It was over.

Next, I could feel myself starting to get angry.  Angry at the system.  Angry at the plastic surgeon.  I started wishing we were back in the United States where we would have been back with our wonderful pediatrician Dr. Bass who would have not let things happen the way they did here.  But I knew immediately that those thoughts were not glorifying to God.  What was He trying to teach me?  So many things.  How many times have we fought with God, when He was trying to do something that was best for us and we did not want it and in the process we make things harder on ourselves?  How much emphasis do we put in looks that something as simple as a scar can make us think differently about someone?  Is that Christ like?  Is that where Sophia’s true beauty lies that I should get worked up about it?  Absolutely not!

That night as I laid next to Sophia, soothing her as she slept and continued to dream about it.  I started talking to God.  It made me think that if it was that hard for me to hear Sophia crying out to me when I knew I was doing what was best for her.  How hard was it for Him to see Christ suffer on the cross for us?  How hard is it for Him to hear us continually complain about the processes that we have to go through for Him to mold us?  Some scriptures came to my mind.

Romans 5: 3-6

3 and not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance,proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

I am praying that God will use this experience with Sophia for His glory.  I feel that He already has.  It was a growing and molding experience for us.

Sophia is up and running around like nothing happened.  It has not slowed her down one bit.  She is mi princesa and mi muneca.  Here is a picture of our sweet Sophia with her bandage…

Sweet Sophia

Sweet Sophia


Posted by on February 7, 2009 in Uncategorized


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8 responses to “Sweet Sophia

  1. Mary Learn

    February 7, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    God is so good. He takes care of us when we don’t know how to take care of ourselves, even when we try to keep Him from helping us.
    God will contimue to bless all of you.
    Love you,

  2. Rockie Lollar

    February 7, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    I am still wiping tears! How awesome your consideration and comparison of the whole situation to God allowing Jesus to go through all that He did for the greater good of saving all mankind! I loved your writing, Courtenay! I honestly felt as if I was right with you through it. God will use this in your and Jacob’s lives in remarkable ways, but no telling how this will be used in Sophia’s life! No telling what wonderful plans He has for her life! God bless you everyone! Hang in there! With prayers and much love, Rockie

  3. Amy

    February 8, 2009 at 1:07 am

    Oh my, as I read all you have written, I know why God has chosen you and your family to do His work. Your testimony continues to encourage me always, my dear friend. I love you and miss you so much. Give all those babies a hug from the Lewises.

  4. Sonya Price

    February 9, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Your story went straight to this mother’s heart! Romans 8:28 … is a constant thought in my head! Thanks for sharing … that is actually the 3rd time since just last night that I’ve read Romas 5:3-4! So .. there’s confirmation that I need that scripture right now. So if anything .. God used you to speak to me all the way back here in the US! Stay strong … prayers going up for you all!

    In His Grip,


  5. Momma

    February 9, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I love my brave Dia! Send Mimi a new picture of you. Tell Benja-boka and Lizzie-bunks Mimi loves them. Take care of your princess noggin.



  6. Jessica Little

    February 9, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Court, this story broke my heart! I would’ve fallen apart completely if Ava was screaming for me to have those doctors stop working on her. You are very brave, Courtenay, and God’s grace in and through your life is so evident. We’re eagerly anticipating your visit here. Ava asks for Sophia everyday when she sees her picture on the fridge!
    Love to you all!

  7. Amanda Roark

    February 10, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Courteney….I just love you guys. Here we are supposed to be encouraging you…and you end up encouraging us! I’m so thankful that everything worked out ok. It always does, doesn’t it? 🙂

  8. michael boyer

    February 10, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    tears are much louder than any words…my heart is truly with you all and i praise God for your transparancy with all of us. i pray that more and more of us would be willing to open up our hearts and wounds to one another. i love you all very much and i praise Christ for the testimony He is shining through you all.

    john 3:35


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