Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Joseph is making progress

Dear Friends,

We haven't forgetten your prayers for our little Joseph and our family and we would like to give you an update on Joseph's progress, so that you can "taste and see that the Lord is good!"
Joseph was two in August, and his intellectual growth is on track for his age. He now refuses to play with 'baby' toys and books, but has good fun playing with noisy toy cars and reading books for toddlers of his age. We are delighted that he has also started to say two-word sentences (e.g. "Goodbye daddy" or "hello Jojo") and he repeats a lot of sounds. His hearing deficiency has been declared medium and no longer severe and we praise God for the improvement. He understands French as well as English which is good news for our family in England! We thank God for his speech therapist, Béatrice, a very lively lady who clearly finds Joseph very entertaining!
His little body has shown some improvement, but he is still very limited. We thank God that on October 10 he pulled himself along for the first time, and he has continued to do this crawling action since then! Emmanuel also saw him roll over from his back to his front which is a very tiring movement for him and a good sign that he is controlling his hips, which is essential. We are delighted with his new physiotherapist, Anne, who is a very determined lady who knows exactly how to talk to Joseph.
We enclose a short video clip of Joseph, first with his brother Gabriel in Brittany in October and then with his mummy showing how he understands English!

Friday, March 6, 2009

March 6, 2009 Joseph is in God's hands

“…I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.

But I have stilled and quietened my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me…” Psalm 131/1-2

I love that image of a small child resting next to his mother. He accepts that he no longer needs her milk; there is no feeling of regret, the child is truly happy and feels peace in his new role of ‘weaned child’.

God has led us gently forward since Joseph was born, and we now find ourselves facing a different challenge. Instead of being the parents of a very sick child, we have now become the parents of a special needs baby. And I realised recently that God has given us the peace of the weaned child and a deep sense of trust for all the “great matters” that lie ahead of us.

We have been meaning to send out an update about Joseph since the beginning of the year, I am sorry we have taken so long. We still think back to the time when so many people prayed for him, and we have seen many blessings that have resulted from the hours of intercession of so many brothers and sisters in Christ.

So if you want to know whether God answered your prayer for Joseph, the answer is “Yes”. And here are the main blessings that we can count, and wish to share with you:

· Joseph is a very friendly baby, who smiles as soon as he sees you, and wants to interact with everyone.

· He has a lively mind, a sense of humour, a great interest in books and loves examining objects like any little 18 month-old!

· He is starting to speak! He wears two hearing aids all the time because he has a severe hearing deficiency but thanks to the aids, he can hear a lot and recently started to repeat animal sounds and to say “maman” and “papa” . The speech therapist and hearing aid specialist are delighted!

· He is getting better at supporting his back, and can even hold the weight of his body on his legs, if someone supports him around the waist.

· He eats really well, and is totally on target for his size, at 18 months he is wearing size 2-year old clothes!

· We are surrounded by a team of wonderful, kind-hearted professionals, who have provided an array of orthopaedic supports to maximise Joseph’s development and to prevent him from developing bad habits.

We know, of course, that God has not finished with Joseph (or with any of us!), and so if you have the chance to pray for him this year we would ask you to pray that he continues to develop well mentally and that he improves the physical control of his arms and legs. We would love for Joseph to roll over and crawl in 2009 ! So far in fact his body has grown just fine, the challenge for him is that his brain doesn’t always send the right ‘signal’ to his limbs. Joseph has cerebral motor infirmity but we have been told that if his body is stimulated, then his brain can ‘learn’ to control his limbs better. The physiotherapist told me that a child can learn to walk up to the age of about 4, so obviously the scale of development for Joseph is totally different to that of a “regular” child.

I often think of all those parents who took their children to Jesus to be healed when he walked this earth, and how willingly He healed them all. He is the same God and He can do what He wants with Joseph.

We praise Him for giving us such a special child, we are thankful for the continued support of our family and friends. Thank you for your interest in Joseph and your prayers for him. May God bless you

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Joseph is growing up!

with auntie Clare and cousin Olivia on the river Seine boat trip this Summer

with Mummy

..having fun at lunch-time, sitting in his special seat

Feeling proud of my special orthopedic seat!

Dear Friends,
We have been very busy since we last posted news about Joseph.

His therapy involves regular visits to the physiotherapist, speech therapist, hearing specialist and neurologist as well as days out at the park and visiting friends!

He turned one on August 18 and he is now bursting out of his age one clothes and fitting more comfortably in 18-month clothing! His growth is the first in a series of miracles.

After being diagnosed as profoundly deaf in May, the diagnosis has now been reduced to "moderate deafness", which means that he can hear, even without his little hearing aids, and also that he can chatter, which he does a lot. At church if we are holding him standing up on our lap he sometimes waves his arms and "preaches" to join in with the congregation!

He is very lively and aware of people and we were advised to take him to a playgroup a few hours a week, which has so far been a success. He laughs a lot, especially when his big brother, Gabriel does funny things, and the two brothers enjoy each other's company, which is wonderful to see.

We are very pleased that he is starting to control his body better, and is nearly rolling over from his back to his front. Babies born full-term often manage this at the age of 5 months, so Joseph' s timetable is clearly different (he is 13 months), but the physiotherapist is delighted with his progress and even admires his strong will and capacity to do the exercises without complaining. (We know, of course, that Joseph has been sustained and strengthened by a loving God since he was in an incubator, between life and death). He can be held (briefly) standing up, which he loves, and one of our big prayers is that God allows him to walk!

All in all, we are excited and so proud to watch Joseph grow. He is such a strong-willed, fun-loving little boy that there is no doubt in my mind that God is intervening in his life, and in his body, and doing him good. We know that God does good, and is good, and we thank him all the time for having saved Joseph's life and for every step forward he is taking, every day.

We pray for all those who have prayed and are praying for Joseph, that God will bless you for your support. Please continue to pray, that Joseph manages to control his body and legs, and also opens his little fists more and more freely (when he is excited, he clenches his fists and stiffens his legs, but he can relax them at other times).

Thank you again for your support and prayers.
God bless
Michelle for the Fleck family.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Update on Joseph

I have been meaning to update the blog for a long time, I'm sorry it's taken so long. In the meantime we have been trying to contact all our English-speaking friends directly by "snail mail".

The news about Joseph is both marvellous and uncertain...Marvellous because his personality is becoming more apparent, and I thank God that he brings a smile to everyone's face, and is interested in people and the world around him. I also thank God that he loves being cuddled by our friends and I always say "he must know that you've prayed for him" as he seems so delighted to look into friends' eyes and give them his cute little crooked smile!

The news is uncertain, because we are becoming gradually aware of his physical difficulties, as his brain is supposed to start taking more control of his limbs but it isn't doing everything it should. Joseph sometimes gets frustrated because his little hands form a fist instead of opening up to grab a toy, so we have been told to coax his hands open as often as possible. His hips and legs are very stiff and won't let him roll over, although he is trying hard. Again, we have been told to try to relax his legs. He will soon be fitted with a special seat to support his back as he can't control his backbone properly yet, and the seat will help him to do more things, like sit with us in a high chair at the dinner table, otherwise he would slouch and this would be bad for him.

I thank God for the wonderful team of doctors, physiotherapists and pediatricians who are visiting us and seeing us regularly. They seem to have real affection for Joseph and want him to develop well. My prayer is that God rewires Joseph's brain, so that he overcomes the problems mentioned above. We pray that God allows him to develop as much as possible, and even beyond all expectations. The doctors can't be sure of how much control Joseph will eventually have of his limbs, as every child is so different. But we believe that God allowed Joseph to live and we also believe that He has a plan for his life. And His will is good, acceptable and perfect.

Thank you for your prayers for Joseph. I will update the blog the next time we have some significant news. We are awaiting a diagnosis regarding his hearing, as the last test was not good, but we have been told that his brain needs to mature, so they will retest on May 30.

God bless all of you, dear Christian friends.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Joseph is home and doing well, praise God!

We arrived home in France on 19 November - the date Joseph had been due to be born! Since then he has been thriving, and now weighs 3.300 kg, about average for a newborn baby. According to the pediatrician who examined him last week he has normal muscle tone and eye control - we just thank God for His grace and encouragement; our hearts are filled with hope, no matter what the future holds we know that God is GOOD and is in total control of Joseph's life. We are delighted to have him home - he is so full of life, and I just love looking at him and thank God for all He has done to save our little Joseph.
We are so grateful to all our brothers and sisters for their prayers and christian love. I believe that the Lord continues to fight for him and I thank you all so much for your support from many miles away. God bless you all and Merry Christmas to all of you!

To watch a video which summarizes the early days and shows Joseph leaving the hospital on 7 November, click here.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

November 4 2007 - Joseph will soon be home

Dear friends in Christ,

During the last few weeks Joseph has steadily gained weight (he now weighs 5 pounds 13 ounces) and improved his breathing abilities and the doctors are now ready to let him go out into the big wide world!
He had an MRI scan this week, but we will be told the results after we leave the hospital, as it would seem that it is extremely complicated to analyze a brain scan of a premature baby, and it will take a while to prepare the report.
We prefer, however, not to dwell on what is happening inside Joseph's brain, we are just overwhelmingly happy that we have our little baby son and can enjoy cuddling him and feeding him. The prospect of taking him home is almost unbelievable and I can only say 'Thank God' for bringing us to this happy point after the trauma of the early days. When I look at Joseph as he was in August he seems like a different baby compared to the chubby one I see today. It is clear that God has intervened in his life and I pray He will continue to lead him, and us, on a daily basis.
And, we will never forget the immense support we have been given from our brothers and sisters in the States and elsewhere and we will never tire of thanking God for your faithful prayers. Praise God for what He has done and for what we hope He will do in Joseph's life! And many many thanks to all of you for your continued prayers for Joseph and his development.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness" 2 corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday, October 23

Dear faithful friends,
I have just returned from a long, happy day at the hospital, feeding Joseph, on demand and cuddling him. He no longer has the tube in his nose and the nurses are coaxing him to take all his nourishment orally. He is a bit weak still and had to have a blood transfusion today, but I managed to cuddle and breastfeed him while he had the blood dripping in via the intravenous line in his little arm!
Despite all he has been through he is a responsive baby and seems completely aware of everyone, and I am convinced that his progress is thanks to God's intervention after hearing so many prayers from you all and our brothers and sisters in France and elsewhere.
We are starting to make serious plans to go home - we haven't been told a date yet, but we think it might be in a couple of weeks!!!
So, praise the Lord, and thank you all for your prayers for Joseph, we will post a photo or film of him next time!!

Gabriel and Joseph + Mummy

Gabriel and Joseph + Mummy

Joseph, Papa + Mummy

Joseph, Papa + Mummy

Joseph smiling!

Joseph smiling!


A cuddle with mummy