As we have just passed through the Thanksgiving holiday and head into Christmas, I am indeed thankful. I am thankful that God allowed us to be able to bring Jamil to the USA. Many things were stacked against us, but God found a way.
I am thankful that we have connected with uniquely qualified doctors and that we now have a firm diagnosis of what Jamil, and those of us that love him, are up against. Jamil’s oncologist, at OU, had a sister with exactly the same medical diagnosis as Jamil. She is quite acquainted with Neurofibromatosis type II and any new advances in treating the problems associated with it. There is actually a special clinic, just for NF2 patients, at OU.
I am thankful for the plethora of good times that Jamil has been able to experience over the past 3 months. Many first time experiences for a young man that seems to take them in stride and not be too overwhelmed by anything. He is always willing to try anything at least once.
I am thankful for the good health that has allowed him to enjoy the new experiences of the past 3 months. He has not had a nosebleed since we landed in the USA. He has rarely had a headache. Both of these seemed to be semi-frequent problems while we were still in Uganda.
I am thankful that God has pointed us to the precise legal team that we need to navigate the immigration system. One attorney based out of OKC and one based out of Washington DC. Update on this is found below.
I am thankful for the family and friends that have showered Jamil with love and prayers over the past two and a half years, but especially over the past 6 months. We showed him, today, the number of people on facebook that said that they were praying for his MRIs and he was astonished.
At the same time that I am so thankful, I am also quite confident.
I am confident that we serve an awesome God that is still in the business of doing miracles. Jamil needs a miracle and that is exactly what we are believing our God for. As many of you know, our last medical update, in September, showed that Jamil’s tumor had progressed from his eye socket, back through his skull and into the cavernous sinus, a big blood vessel on the bottom side of his brain. At this point, we have not been advised of any surgical solution to remove the tumor from his brain. Intracranial meningiomas can sometimes be treated with a special radiation called gamma knife. Jamil may not be a candidate for this as he already had some form of radiation in Uganda. Jamil’s doctor says that there are some promising trials for a chemotherapy for this problem on the horizon, but as of now, there are no chemotherapy options. Jamil’s prognosis and projected longevity are based on how fast the tumor grows. We will hopefully know more about the tumor’s pace when we have his next appointment on December 8th.
I am confident that even if the plan that unfolds is not what I would choose, God is in control and has a plan for how it all works out.
I am confident that God will give Jamil, and those of us who love him, the courage to face what the road ahead might look like and the grace to accept it.
I am confident that God will direct our legal team in the best way to keep Jamil in the USA, in front of the best doctors, and with access to the healthcare that he needs.
I am confident that our many friends and supporters of Due Unto Others will continue to petition God on Jamil’s behalf. Thank you.
So that all of you are up to speed, here is the timeline and plan as we know it today.
December 1st we are getting 4 MRI scans. The first is a repeat scan of his head to determine if the meningioma has regressed, stayed the same, or expanded. This information will help us know a more long term plan. The other three MRIs will be to screen his neck and back to make sure that no other tumors or problems have developed there, as can be a problem with NF2.
December 2nd we have a court date in Stephens County Court to petition for legal custody, in the USA, of Jamil. We have custody from a Ugandan Court, but we need legal custody here to move forward. If this custody is granted, we will then apply for him a juvenile green card. This is for abandoned or neglected minors from other countries. This is similar to what many of the children from Central America were coming here on, earlier this past summer. This is done through the state department and if granted, would allow Jamil to be in the USA for 10 years. This 10 year green card, combined with his 10 year Ugandan Passport, would allow him to travel anywhere in the world and then be allowed to come back “Home” to the USA. We are unsure how long these two steps might take as the number of applications for this juvenile green card have risen sharply over the past couple of years. He has be adopted in our hearts and minds but not legally at this point. We will base the need for the legal step of adoption on how his medical reports are looking.
On December 8th, we have an appointment in the NF2 clinic at OU. Jamil will see his primary oncologist and we will be able to discuss the MRI reports and what the tumor is doing. He will also see a neurologist, endocrinologist and I think an Ophthalmologist that day. We will be able to discuss any problems that Jamil may have in those specialties because of his NF2.
We will be posting updates after each of these important dates. In the meantime, Jamil has been doing well with his school work. He has gone through a full year of math work in one semester. He is working diligently on his reading and English studies.
Please continue your prayers for Jamil. We can feel them daily.