“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.”
~ Chinese proverbThis beautiful girl is my sister, Chayah. When she was only a month old, she was found, abandoned, but not lost. A red thread connected her to my family, separated a world away from us in China for the first six years of her life but always destined to become a part of us.
Her name – Chayah (pronounced Ky-uh) – means life. Literally, it means “to live, have life, remain alive, sustain life, live prosperously, live forever, be quickened, be alive, be restored to life or health” in its original Hebrew. A name whose meaning we desperately need to ring true now as Chayah faces battle after battle in her short eleven years of life thus far.
Chayah was born with NF1, a genetic disorder that has caused her to need many surgeries. Now she faces yet another diagnosis – Moyamoya disease – and, as one of her nurses put it, “one of the most serious surgeries they perform” at Children’s Hospital of Chicago. It’s a scary diagnosis and a scary surgery – especially when you’re only eleven years old. It seems especially unfair in light of Chayah’s life history – she has hardly had an easy life. Still, she is one of the sweetest, more resilient people I know.
As we face her surgery and do our very best to support sweet Chayah, we can only ask for the prayers of others to lift her up as we remember the miracles we have been shown with her thus far. She crossed an ocean to become ours, and she means everything to us. She’s made it through countless surgeries unscathed – something even more miraculous given this new diagnosis – children with Moyamoya require a totally different amount of anesthesia and receiving the regular amount can be deadly to them – but each time, she’s come out strong. Her attitude is inspiring – I don’t know if I was her, if my attitude would be anywhere near as positive as Chayah’s. She is truly a shining star and makes us proud every day through her strength and kindness.
I am going to be putting together some mini-sessions soon to benefit Chayah’s medical costs (all proceeds going directly to the cost of her surgery). If you’re interested, keep an eye out for more information. In the meantime, Chayah could use your prayers. Pray she can be strong and brave yet again. Pray she face yet another challenge with a smile on her face. And pray for us, her family, that we can be what she needs us to be right now.
I love you, Chayah. You’re an awesome little sis. You, Sarah, Chrissy, and Staci are my treasures. I love you girls forever. Xoxo – your big sis and biggest fan, forever.