Liana with her two older sisters and during a coffee date with a friend of ours. (Photos taken by Jessica Bordeaux and Mary-Ann Flegg)
About 2 years ago, we found out that Liana has Turner Syndrome. One of the symptoms of this condition is short stature. It also has other life-long implications. Some of them, we can do something about it, others, we cannot. One of the symptoms that we can do something about is helping her grow through growth hormones. She will never be a tall person, but it could help her to be in the normal range for a short person. She would grow more than without it. There are no long-term side-effects, and it is a common treatment. I did not think twice about it before. It was obvious to me. We can trust God for the finances that it will take, and there might even be other, more affordable ways to get the hormones for her. The treatment would be a daily needle injection which Liana can get used to.
From time to time, I watch the TV show "Dr. House". One of the episodes I watched had a main character who was deaf. In the story, he got offered surgery which would enable him to hear for the first time in his life. However, his mouth and tongue were already formed, which meant that he would sound different than a normal person. He was ok with where he was at. He was a confident young man, but he was not normal. In the end, he did not get the surgery because being deaf was a part of who he had become. The story was interesting for me to watch because one of my daughters is in a similar situation and Elli and I will need to decide for her.
A few weeks ago, as I was driving, I felt God ask me, "Have I made a mistake?" I answered "No, Lord…" I knew that it had to do with my decision on giving Liana the growth hormone treatment. I started thinking about it a little deeper. Did God create Liana imperfectly? But didn't God give us medical advancement to heal the sick? Isn't it the logical decision to give her a chance to be a little taller? As I was talking about this issue, Elli said, "It is about her quality of the life." If medical treatment brings a better quality of life, it makes sense to get that treatment. Yeah, that makes sense to me because it is in line with God's father heart for us to have a better quality of life. The question is, does height really change the quality of life or not? Can someone's quality of life depend on how tall they are? Would Liana struggle with her identity because of her height? Or would that be caused by something else…?
I also started to wonder what I am communicating to Liana as I am injecting growth hormones every day. Am I communicating she is not normal? Isn't it going to be a constant reminder that there is something not normal about her? Shouldn’t I be more investing in how amazingly God made her instead of how much we can grow her height with the hormones?
If we give her hormones for cosmetic reasons, what am I going to say when she wants to surgery because she didn't like another part of her body? One the other hand, what if she struggles in the future because she is too short because we did not give her growth hormones? Would I regret the decision that we didn’t do anything about it when we could?
In the end of the day, Elli and I will ask God. However, I believe God is asking us to think about it. As I am thinking about it, I realised how inadequate I am and how much I need Him in every decision of my life.
For now, no matter what God will say in the future about giving growth hormones, God made Liana perfectly because God is glorified through who Liana is. I am humbled and realised more how much I need Him.
Thank you for listening to my journey and praying for us.