Chapter 5 - Help From Our Friends As soon as we got home we began reading about spina bifida in the medical books we had. We did searches on the internet to know more. We also did a lot of praying! What we found out is that "spina bifida" can include a whole range of possibilities, starting with spina bifida occulta, in which there are no symptoms at all except for perhaps a dimple or mole on the back, all the way to severe "mylemegingocele" which includes paralysis. With the move, we hardly had time to dwell on this new development, and before we knew it, we were touching down at Los Angeles international airport. What a bunch we were-pregnant mommy, kids, suitcases, a guitar, books, a computer, and our daughter, Danni, still in her cast riding in an airport wheelchair! A dear relative we had never personally met greeted us and drove us all the way to San Diego. Arriving there, we met Doug and Jean for the first time and they helped us get set up and settled in. They were a tremendous help and blessing in the months to follow, as well as many others that we met there. There is a long list of people that helped us during this time that I'd like to mention here, but I hesitate, as not everyone likes their name stuck on the internet for all to see. Suffice it to say, we are eternally grateful to each and every one of you and know that great is your reward in Heaven! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you! We were strangers in a strange land! Even though both Esther and I are Americans, we had not been there for many years and it was almost overwhelming! In Brazil, when you go to buy diapers there are one or two brands to choose from. At Wal-Mart, we could hardly figure out which brand to buy on the long aisle full of different brands, types, sizes, materials, etc. It was a bit of a culture shock! Ha! Our first goal was to get Esther set up with a doctor and to begin regular check ups. We were eager to find out from professionals exactly what we were facing with the new baby. We didn't have medical insurance, having just arrived, and most of our support up until this time, had come from donors and supporters in Brazil. Our income was small and medical bills, we found out, in the US are sky-high compared with where we had come from. So, we decided to sign up for Medi-Cal, California's version of Medicare. Exams and doctor visits became a major part of our lives. We learned more about spina bifida and began going to the San Diego chapter of the Spina Bifida Association. They are a great bunch! We got to talk with them, meet their children, ask questions, and get answers. Everything fell into place wonderfully, and I believe that God knew exactly what He was doing when He inspired us to move. I believe that He wanted to give us this precious gift, this special child, and He was orchestrating our move, our destination, and everything loooong before we even knew anything about it. Remember how I said that God can see way ahead of us on the road of life? Well, He was miles ahead of us! < Previous - Next > "He is Smiling!" An Atlantic liner was caught in a storm. For two days the wind raged. Passengers were frightened,. At last an anxious passenger climbed by great effort to where he could see the pilot. Coming back down among the passengers, he spread the glad tidings of peace. Said he, "We are all right. The ship will make port; for I have seen the pilot, and he is smiling." With the great Pilot directing our life we can smile on through every storm and smiling, be at peace.