Tonight as I was visiting a new friend's blog, I read about some delays she is going through in getting doctor's appointments for her sweetie that arrived just a few short weeks ago from China.
Immediately, I was reminded of us being in that same exact situation and the miracle that came from it. Jennifer, this is for you. God provides and His timing is always perfect. Never delayed. Always right on time.
Here is my (bit long) post to our agency's yahoo group written on July 23, 2006.
I MUST share an amazing miracle that occurred to us on Friday. Every time I think that God can't amaze me anymore, he blows me away with His love. It's a bit long, but I really hope you read it because I am still in awe at what happened. Here's our story:
Prior to coming home with Kai, we had contacted our insurance company to make sure that they would cover any necessary medical treatment he would need to repair his still open cleft palate. They said yes....no problem. We arrived home with Kai on April 14, Good Friday. On Monday, April 17, I called one of the very few cleft teams in Florida who happens to work out of Ft. Myers, so that I can have them evaluate Kai for his palate surgery. This evaluation is state funded. It is a group of doctors including a pediatric surgeon who specializes in craniofacial surgery, a dentist, an orthodontist, a pediatrician, and an ear, nose and throat specialist. When I called, I was told the soonest appt. would be July 10, almost 3 months wait. I was disappointed because I wanted Kai to be seen right away, but I had read so much about this team that it was worth the wait.
On July 10, we took Kai in for his evaluation at the local children's hospital. The lead surgeon was amazing. Scott and I were taken back my his knowledge, beside manner, experience and genuine sincerity. We thought he was great and agreed to see him in his office the following week, July 21, to schedule Kai's surgery.
The day before our appointment, I receive a phone call from the surgeon's office. The girl confirmed the appt. and I said we would absolutely be there. A few minutes later, I receive another phone call, this time from the office manager. She asks for me and then proceeds to confirm that I will be attending again. I say yes, that someone had already called me and then she continues on to tell me that unfortunately she has some bad news and she wanted to make sure I was aware before proceeding with the appt. So, I waited for the other shoe to drop. She then tells me that the doctor is not under our insurance plan and not even the office visits are covered. The first office visit, depending on tests, ranges about $400. I bit my lip so that I wouldn't cry on the phone and reiterated with her what she had just told me. She said, "Yes, I'm sorry. Your son's surgery will be an out of pocket expense." I asked how much....she said "thousands". At that point, I didn't even bother to ask HOW MANY thousands. I felt deflated. I told her I'd call her back.
I sat on the bed after hanging up the phone and just tried to absorb it all. I couldn't believe that we waited 3 months to get in to see this team to only find out now that he was not covered by our insurance. He is the ONLY doctor here that specializes in pediatric cleft palate surgery. I call the insurance company and the lady says to me. "Oh yes, we do cover that surgery, but it must be done by an oral surgeon on your list of providers." I said, "Yes, but an oral surgeon is someone who pulls wisdom teeth and does dentistry work. Granted, they can do this type of surgery but they don't specialize in it." I then went on to tell her that the success of this surgery would determine if my son could ever speak properly or not. She then apologized and said that there was nothing that could be done. That they did not have any contracts with pediatric craniofacial surgeons. I hung up and took a few deep breaths wondering what were we going to do. How could we raise who knows how many thousands of dollars for this baby's surgery, or should we just go ahead and use one of the oral surgeons the insurance company covered. I decided that I'd call the drs. office back and cancel the appt. until I could speak to Scott in depth about it and pray...pray hard for an answer on what to do!
When I called the drs. office, the girl insisted that I keep my appt. I told her that we really couldn't afford to spend $400 on a visit for a dr. that we may not even use. She said she would speak to the dr. about trying to negotiate something with the insurance company and that she would also speak to him about discounting the office visit the next day so that I could keep the appt. She would call me back.
As it usually happens, by that time it was 3 pm. Five o'clock rolled around and no phone call. That night, while putting Kai to bed, I prayed harder than usual. I asked God that whatever His will was, let it be done. The next morning, after Kai has his morning snack, I laid him down next to me for his nap. While he slept, I again prayed and did a rosary. I asked the Blessed Mother to intercede for us at the appt. Kai woke up an hour later. I dressed him and we were off to the doctor's office.
I arrive at the office and ask for Mary, that's the girl who was going to contact the insurance company. I was told Mary was not in that she had called in sick. I felt a pit in my stomach. I then asked if she had made any arrangements for that visit, the girl responded with "I don't see any notes in the file". Then she walked out of the room. As I sat there looking at my adorable little guy eat his cheerios without a care in the world, I was thinking about the $400 I would be shelling out in a little bit. Tears started welling up. I bit my lip and hugged Kai. A few minutes later, the doctor comes into the room. He was as cheerful as the first time we met him. He played with Kai for a couple of minutes asking him for high fives, etc. Then he turned to me and said, "How's he doing, Mom?" I said..."Great!" He turns and pulls out a pencil and a pad out of a drawer, then proceeds to draw a diagram of Kai's upper jaw and teeth. I sat there a bit confused watching. He then starts talking about what the procedure will entail. After about 30 seconds, I interrupt him and said, "Dr., I don't think you are aware. We have a bit of a problem. Mary is not here today. Your office does not take our insurance and she was going to speak to you about trying to work something out with the insurance company." He looked up from his pad and pencil as if he took in what I was saying and then continued explaining the surgical procedure. By that point, I was a getting pretty anxious at the thought that not only was sitting there costing us $400, but that I was about to schedule a surgery that was going to costs us thousands that we didn't have. So, I interrupted him once again, this time I was seeing him rather blurry through the tears that were once again building up. I said, "Dr. You don't understand....we REALLY need to know how much the surgery is going to cost before we proceed with discussing any procedure." He then stopped his drawing again and looked up....this time with total compassion in his face and he said to me, "the surgery is not going to cost you anything. If I can get $400. out of the insurance company then that will be my payment, if I get nothing....then it is my pleasure to donate the surgery to Kai. You will not receive a bill from my office." I almost fell out of my chair. I didn't know if I should hug him or shake his hand. I just sat there bawling. I thanked him over and over and he looked at me and said, "I have 3 adopted daughters myself. I do this for the children, not for the money. I travel to So. America 3 times a years doing cleft surgeries on children in orphanages in Ecuador and Bolivia. That is why I just joined the cleft team 1 month ago, because my schedule up to now has been so busy that I was not able to be a part of it." I just sat there dumbfounded.
All the pieces of the puzzle God was forming suddenly fell into place. The 3 month wait for the appt.? Had I gotten any appt. earlier than that, I would have seen an older surgeon, one who just retired from the team, and from what I've heard not very compassionate. God had EVERY intention for us to see THIS doctor, but he wasn't ready to see us yet. God knew we were going to encounter the financial issue. And he found a doctor who's heart was close to orphans and who does charity work around the world. I know I've said it 1,000 times but His plans are always so perfect and yet we don't learn to step back and just let Him have control.
In His Name,
To view a video I made of Kai's 1st palate surgery, click HERE and remember to please turn off the background music at the bottom of the page.