Chasing Daylight

     Last Monday evening, Khaleda’s mother and brother arrived.  Our dear friends James and Shelly received an random email asking them to consider serving as an escort to the US and within a very short period of time Shelly found herself making the same tortuous 15 hour flight I made not too long ago.  One major difference was the spectacular aid provided by individuals along the way. Supervisor Acosta ensured that transit between terminals were accomplished in a timely and efficient manner.  Better than a Hallelujah!   Thank you Hahn family.  

On the same day of their arrival, we experienced a second sweet blessing. Uncle Andy and Aunt Joyce flew in to serve once again as our interpreters.  They bridge the language gap between our two families – the glue that holds this whole thing together. Their willingness to alter life plans at a moments notice to show their love and support is humbling.  Like it or not, you guys are stuck with us forever. 


  I missed the airport arrival this time.  It still seems surreal to me because I remain in this tiny hospital room.  

Airport Arrival

    Another reuniting of our families was no small undertaking. While my blog could never serve as my official thank you to the people involved, it is one venue available to me at the moment. The details continue to unfold and give me great hope. 

    Dear Senator Thom Tillis – your willingness to support our family has been tremendous.  Your team never let up on their efforts to save our daughter.  In particular, Karen Ramirez treated our daughter like her own child from our first conversation and continues to do so. She saw this effort through from the initial call until the last plane landed. When conversations with other offices left me in deeper despair and with yet another sense of helplessness, I knew she was going to help the second I heard her voice.  While I can’t even pretend to understand the demands on your time, you should know that you and your team have displayed qualities of American leadership that reassure families like ours that this country is great.  And Karen, you may just start getting invitations to our family events. You are an angel!!

    Attorneys Hannah Little and William Hummel (along with your entire team) at Garfinkel Immigration – you are unbelievable! First of all, your compassion for Khaleda warms my heart.  We recognize that you spent hours above your normal work schedule to expedite paperwork, make phone calls and follow up as needed out of genuine care for our family.  You helped pull our team together and it was a miraculous result!

   To the team in our US Embassy in Kabul, I hope that our paths will cross one day and that you can hear our story from beginning to end.   It is a beautiful story of two families that couldn’t be more different in many ways but share a great unconditional love for one little girl.  Sometimes we don’t get opportunities to see the fruit of our work, but you can rest assured that your actions matter.  Your efforts and compassion to make mountains move do not go unrecognized.  Keep making it happen!

    This entire process could have never happened without a group of people willing to hear our voices in Washington, D.C.  Individuals with overwhelming responsibility not only heard our cries for help but acted swiftly regardless of partisanship or position. I received a personal response from one of these very special and influential people which beautifully  espressed the heartbeat of America. 

       “We were reminded that compassion and love for one another CAN defeat a formidable bureaucracy — over a federal holiday even. That in our small lives, we CAN do a good thing. One wonderful child reminded us that God is, indeed, great. And that if each of us tries, this world can be just a little bit warmer and easier for his work to be done ….”

   I’m proud to know there are people like you serving and making a difference in our country.  You are one of the greatest blessings to our family. I hope to meet you one day! Thank you – we are eternally grateful!

   Duke Pediatric Bone Marrow Unit and specifically Dr. Parikh- you have never stopped believing the impossible. You helped start this journey and you have walked every step beside us.  So many people would have seen our case as too much extra work and would have discouraged us. You have been our cheerleaders and supported us in every way imaginable.  Please keep fighting with us. 

    There are so many more blessings to share in time. 

     Our next stem cell transfer is scheduled for Tuesday.  Sameer has had all preoperative testing completed, and just as I expected he exhibited great bravery along the way.  In his spare time, he is learning to ride a bike and all about Rescue bots (Silas’s favorite).  In our attempt to keep him healthy for Tuesday, all bike riding has been indoors. He doesn’t seem to mind.



Friends Forever.  Sameer and Silas quite the pair. 

 The apartment is full of life and excitement.  Memaw doesn’t seem to mind at all. Thank you for your love and commitment.  

   On the other hand, it has been another difficult week for Khaleda. Two bladder surgeries and tremendous suffering.  Watching is pure torture!  A few days ago during the worst hours, she was crying for relief and saying all sorts of things about needing this to be over. She looked at me and said, “Mom, if you and Daddy could have seen the future would you have still wanted me?”   The screaming inside my head was deafening. How can she be thinking something like this?  There are no words that seem good enough to reassure her. Mike quickly responded, “Khaleda, there is only one thing we would change if we could have seen the future or the past, we would have worked to have you in our lives earlier.”  Aching hearts and streaming tears.   


       For me nights are the worst, it is dark, quiet and everyone else is sleeping.  New problems or symptoms always present at night, and the goal is to just get to the morning.  Oh how the rising sun carries even deeper meaning for me these days.  (Let the light shine out of the darkness.)  I remain in constant prayer trying not to panic or worry but the minutes drag by as I wait for dawn. I contemplate the hard questions that Khaleda asks me repetitively. “Why is everything hard?  What else do I have to go through?  Am I dying?  Why is this happening to me?   I’m ready to be done. I want to be normal.”   I’m forced to put my faith to the test in a real way- a painful refining process.  I remind her that through this we are becoming the people we were created to be in order to serve the purpose we were created to serve. It doesn’t take the hurt away or make the days easier to face.  Recently, Nick Vujicic’s words hit home to both of us.
   Today we are stable and awaiting new cells on Tuesday. Just two more days.  We continue to fight for our confetti party.   Even in a hospital bed with no hair, she is beautiful!


14 thoughts on “Chasing Daylight

  1. What an amazing story. Amanda you and Mike are the most wonderful human beings I’ve ever had the privilege to know. Please keep your wonderful faith, energy and courage going in this battle. We are praying for you guys daily. God is good and will provide.
    God Bless


  2. We are continuing to pray for all of you. Your strength is amazing. Khaleda is so lucky to have you beside her. May God bless you.


  3. Good morning Amanda.

    Thank you so much for the updates on your family. Your words and especially your actions have truly defined God’s love.

    I have also been inspired by the works of many people. Often times we lose our faith in people. Too many times politicians get lumped together in their greed. But generally I believe that people want to do the right thing for the right reason at just the right time. Is God’s timing, not ours. Even politicians!

    I wish we could do more. I hope that text messages as well as the cards and food have helped. Receiving that text message from Khaled with the smiley face really makes my day. I know that she cannot do that every day, but again i hope it makes her smile.

    Thank you for the updates. I have shared your story with many people and they are praying for you. Please know that you are in my constant thoughts and prayers.

    Please remember that God continues to wrap his loving arms around each of you. Also please remember that God loves you and so do I.

    Hang in there.




  4. Amanda, we read your blog this morning, with tears streaming down our faces. The power of the Living God is so evident in all that is happening in and through your lives right now. We are continuing to faithfully pray for everyone and our prayer is that one day Khaleda will stand and give God the glory for all that He has and is doing in her life. Our prayers are also with you and Mike for God’s mercy, grace and strength to continue to uphold you. We love you all and are so thankful that we have had the privilege of knowing you through Pastor Morrie and your church. May God’s Light shine brightly in your room tonight.


  5. Amanda, we read your blog this morning with tears streaming down. What an amazing story of the faithfulness of our God. Your journey is truly one that is bringing Him glory. We are continuing to pray for Khaleda that God would work a miracle and one day she will stand and give Him glory for what He is doing in her life. How grateful we are that we have had the privilege of knowing you through Pastor Morrie and your church. May God’s mercy, grace and peace continue to hold you up during this time. And may the Light of God’s love shine through the darkness at night in your room. Love and hugs, Morrison & Shirley


  6. Your story is compelling. We continue to pray for you and Khaleda every step of the way. Mike, your Mom sends me your emails whenever she hears from you and Amanda. Our love and thoughts are with you, your family, and all those who are involved with Khaleda’s health and recovery. May you continue to feel God’s love and strength on this journey.


  7. Praying for your entire family and everyone involved! Especially praying for Khaleda…that she is healed by the stripes of Jesus…for strength and encouragement…for peace in her mind, body, and spirit…to know His love, His mercy, and His grace. Stand strong and know that you have people everywhere praying and lifting you all to Jesus, the Healer, the Comforter, the All in All. We love you and are lifting you up daily!


  8. Amanda and Mike-
    There simply are not the words to accurately express how helpless we feel and how much we love you all and are praying for more steps forward and healing. You are all in our prayers each day and we send our love and support during this tremendous journey.

    Lisa and Drew


  9. Prayers, prayers. Humbled to be following your blog and to be Denver neighbors. Thankful we were asked by a dear friend to pray for your family and Khaleda.


  10. Thank you for sharing your story of hope with us; allowing us to join you on this journey. Today’s challenge is tomorrow’s testimony; two families and one girl – a testimony in the making that will encourage so many more to come. I stand in awe. May you find a supernatural Godly peace and reassurance that He is in control. All prayer warriors intercede for a full recovery lovely Khaleda. Amen and much love x


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