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Levi’s Story

This is the story of Levi David Ewing, our little miracle - the Bigga Boy.  On Monday, July 23rd what we thought was a simple case of strep throat was diagnosed as a brain tumor.  A 1.5 inch tumor located right in the middle of his brain plugging up hole where brain fluid normally drains.  This created excess fluid build up making Levi extremely sleepy and sick to his stomach.  From Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City to St. Jude's Childrens Hospital in Memphis Tennessee the epic of how God is working in and through this little life will be inspiring to tell. We will take all the prayers we can get.  Thank you for helping us to love on our sweet boy.

Update for July 30th, Levi had a rough day yesterday being very sleepy and not opening his eyes much.  At some points he was awake but unable to open his eyes so we stayed by him almost the entire day standing next to his bed.  I think he threw up 5 times after nursing so they have decided to stop nursing for now and just give him fluides via IV.  Very painful as a father to look at him, knowing he was awake - playing with my face and hands but not opening his eyes.  He is getting lots of love as God has placed very special people all around us to care for him.  Our nurses this whole week, both our day and night nurse follow Jesus.  An amazing sign from God that He is in this even when we feel so alone.  To be able to pray with the ones who are taking care of Levi has been a huge encouragement.  He has also placed other families around us here in the ICU that are going through very difficult times with their babies.  This has given us an opportunity to pray for them and encourage them - trying to be strong when they are weak and vice versa.  One family was from Olive Branch Mississippi and they attend The Great Commission Church there.  Their little girl Micah is having rods put in her back for spinal curvature.

They are draining fluid off of Levi's brain this morning as he prepares for an MRI which will give doctors the info they need for surgery tomorrow. (Aug 1st) They have decided to go in and try to get another biopsy that they can use for labs and send off to determine treatment. The main problem with this tumor is that it is very "vascular" - meaning it has a lot of veins running to it. When they cut it, it will bleed ALOT. The danger of taking it out completely due to this fact outweighs everthing else. The plan is to determine the type of tumor and start the appropriate treatment (chemo, radiation).  More to come after we get results from the MRI. 

Levi is awake this morning as his binky just fell out and he reached out, picked it up and put it back in his mouth all by himself!  Good news to start the day.

Latest Journal Update

The Difference a Year Makes

Merry Christmas from Team Ewing!  So much has happened since my last post in August when I announced our move from Kansas City to Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Change is never easy - especially when it's a change you've never encountered before.  While the physical move went rather smoothly the mental and spiritual move has proven much more difficult.  I've said a couple times that even when we know we're doing what God wants us to do - it doesn't mean that it's going to be easy.  I wonder if we get that wrong more often than not.  As my previous pastor once said, "God's will is the right place to be -but that doesn't mean it's the safest place to be."  The risks to be obedient are worth it even if it doesn't make sense in the short term.

Our family has a dinner exercise that we sometimes do called, "Highs and Lows".  This is where we go around the table and recall the best and worst parts of our day.  I'll do my best to hit the "high" notes as well as the "low" notes so far.

Physically we moved okay.  We and the trucks arrived on time and we were able to cram most of our earthly belongings into a storage facility.  It's an interesting task, you should try it sometime!  We moved what was left into a three bedroom apartment.  6 people now living in a space about a quarter of what we're used to.  My original plan was that we'd sell our home in KC and be out of the apartment in no more than 3 months.  Well our home just did sell with a closing in January.  Honestly I never thought it would have taken so long.  We found a place here but unfortunately we won't be able to move in until February - that's almost 5 months if you're keeping track.

Mentally it's a been a difficult transition.  Living in KC our entire lives and being surrounded by friends and family was a true blessing.  Doing life in a new town two states away from them has been an emotional and mental grind.  We often don't notice when it's happening but it takes considerable time and lots of effort to build real friendships - the ones that last.  Not to mention family.  No matter how you love them (or they annoy you!), those are the people God placed you with.

One of our biggest local challenges has been trying to find a new home church.  Desperation Church had been our community for 10 years.  You just can't replace an extended family like D.C. that has walked with us through so much.  I think we've been to 5 or 6 different churches.  We've never "church shopped" before and I can tell you it feels very strange.  You want to jump right in and get connected (because we're social!!) but you hesitate to do so because you don't know if you'll be staying.  It stinks.  I think more so for the kids who left such close relationships.

The biggest news of all is one that most of you already know about - the arrival of the new addition to Team Ewing.  Brianna Hope Ewing was born on November 6th.  We've been blessed with a beautiful baby girl.  I haven't written about it here as it's a very emotional and personal story.  How can we add to a family that's been through so much?  How can we add a new member that won't have known Levi?  I'll try to do that at length in another post I promise.  What I will say for now is that she is a tremendous blessing and we named her HOPE for a reason.  She's already been hearing a lot about her big brother Levi and that's a wonderful thing.

So everything I mentioned in regard to this transition was done with my wonderful wife being very pregnant.  A move, new job and a baby all in the course of 2-3 months.  People here said, "you're wife must love you if she's willing to go through all this".  Yes she does and I am very grateful.  So that's the Cliff's Notes version of our life for the past 4 months.  Exploring, searching, waiting.  All mixed with love, excitement and sadness.  This is our second holiday season away from home and our second without our Bigga Boy.  

Life feels like a dream sometimes and I ask myself,  "is this really my life?".  That may be a poor confession but a true one.  So those are the Highs and the Lows for Team Ewing.  We'll take them together.  Merry Christmas to you, wherever you find yourself during the holidays.  Know that you are loved and missed.  Have a happy one.




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Comments

5 Comments

Jo Ann Bateman
By Jo Ann Bateman
Dear Nathan ,Alicia and family~ So happy to see this post from you and especially about your new blessing ! I know how hard all this must be but also about the rewards of it too. You may not see it now but will down the road. I know that the plans that HE has for you are good ones and just enjoy the new journey that HE has you on. We continue to keep you all in our prayers and we know the best is yet to come!
God bless you all~ Jo Ann and Jim Bateman xoxo
Andrea Marino
By Andrea Marino
I live in Indianapolis and if you need anything at all please reach out to me! God bless!
stacey petersen
By
We miss you guys! Praying God leads you to the exact church you are suppose to be at! Love you guys!
Nelson Rumore
By Nelson Rumore
How did you all know God was leading you there?
Vicki Croan
By
Nate, I love you and your family. Don't even know what else to say. You know I love Levi, and that will never change. I think Bigga often. Merry Christmas, Brother Nate!