UPDATE: Zion is out of surgery and the doctors have some good news.
In mid-September, Christian authors Michael and Lauren McAfee officially adopted their daughter Zion, a little girl from China. Then, in early November, doctors found a tumor in their new baby’s liver.
Michael is an author, director of community initiatives at Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., and a teaching pastor at Council Road Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. His wife, Lauren, is an author as well and works in the corporate offices of the Christian-owned Hobby Lobby. When they first met Zion in China, Lauren wrote in a Facebook post that she was surprised at just “how natural it feels” to be a mother.
“God knew all along we would be family,” she wrote of adopting Zion. “I am completely amazed at the details of how he brought us together. It’s a miracle, and a beautiful story that has unfolded. I couldn’t have imagined feeling this blessed and lucky. What a gift. We praise Jesus!”
The McAfees lives were immediately filled with all the joys (and worthwhile challenges) that come with parenting. On Nov. 7, though, their new experience became something altogether different. They are facing a new and devastating challenge and are now in desperate need of prayer.
“How is this my day today?” Lauren wrote last Thursday. “Yesterday morning, Michael and I were waking up expecting another normal day, going through our morning routine with Zion, making her eggs, and giggling at her overly expressive faces at breakfast. We had no idea that we would get a call from her doctor that afternoon, and be sent straight to the ER to be admitted because a tumor had incidentally been found in some unrelated scheduled tests she had been through.”
“We are still in shock and scared,” Lauren continued, “and I don’t quite know what to say except that we are reminding ourselves of God’s promises, and praying for healing. Will you pray with us?”
On Tuesday morning, Zion went in for surgery to have the tumor removed.
“I cannot believe all she has overcome in her short life,” Michael tweeted. “I’m praying cancer is just another trial that God would use in her to bring him glory in her salvation and sanctification.”
Last week, when the first learned of the tumor in Zion’s liver, Michael — like any parent — said he was “shocked and heartbroken.” But he is confident in God’s faithfulness and in his ability to heal his young daughter.
“She cannot imagine the fight ahead of her,” the new dad wrote. “But I can promise you this, she’s up for it.”
Please be in prayer for the McAfees, for the medical staff caring for Zion, and for healing. Pray God grants them peace and comfort as well as courage and resolve in the midst of this trial and that in this season they will feel the love, grace, and mercy of the Gospel.