One of our favorite Sunday night shows is called Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (EM:HE) hosted by Ty Pennington. We love to watch him as he leads teams of interior designers, contractors, renovators and volunteers tear down and rebuild new homes for worthy families. And did I mention they do it all in seven days? The sheer coordination of materials and manpower needed to pull off such a feat has to be something akin to arranging the choreography of seven majoy Broadway musicals at one time.
However, we just see the end of the journey for those who receive new homes made especially for them. The real feat for the deserving families involves convincing ABC and the EM:HE team that they are worthy of the effort. Most begin with a nineteen page hard copy and video application mailed in with several stamps and more prayers. Several months and thousands of votes later, it comes down to the morning of the shooting when they may or may not hear Ty say, “Good morning, <name> family!” Being selected as an EM:HE family is nothing short of a miracle.
For the Woodhouse family, being selected by ABC is only one in a long string of miracles that God has seen fit to give them. Welcome Home! chronicles the day-to-day miracles and “God-touches” that define the lives of Kim & Jeremy Woodhouse and their two children who just happen to have severe, chronic health conditions. And I don’t use the word, “miracle,” lightly.
Their son, and oldest child, was a miracle child, conceived after several miscarriages. However their joy soon turned to horror when he was 21 months old and stopped breathing. After several visits to the hospital, they learned that he had respiratory issues and chronic asthma. Meanwhile, Kim has become pregnant with child number 2, a lovely daughter named Kayla, whose health issues soon eclipsed her brother Josh’s.
Kayla has a very rare condition that leaves her unable to feel pain, hot or cold unless it is 20 to 30 times greater than that one of us may feel. Imagine having a fearless toddler who feels no pain! This is complicated by the fact that her
body cannot adjust to heat or cold and must be kept at a temperature of 62 degrees. A few minutes outside on a sunny day could literally kill her. Added to all that is a brain malformation that required brain surgery by the time she way nine years old. Can you see why they live from miracle-to-miracle?
This book is an inspiring story of their journey to extreme joy through learning to trust and have faith in the Lord’s leading and provision. Through it all, God has blessed them with just the right medical advice or just the right person with just the right skills or even just the right verse to help them provide for their children’s needs.
As you read Welcome Home! be sure to have a box of tissues ready, because you will need them. This is definitely a two-hanky book because you’ll cry in both sorrow and joy.