Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Day 13 - Lexi and Ivy Joy Sammons

Our journey to Ivy Joy started in November of 2009 when we came home with our beautiful 11 month old daughter Lexi.

She was our little heart baby with a VSD and an ASD, holes in the upper and lower parts of her heart. When we got home and met with our doctor, we were told that Lexi's holes had been quite small and had closed on their own. From that moment on, we knew that we would one day return to China for a sister. One with a heart defect that needed correction. One who was older, between 4 and 6. Both things making our daughter more difficult to find a family for, both things our family had a passion for. We knew the journey would not take place before Lexi was 4. A simple plan, but not exactly Gods plan.... Fast forward to August of 2011. Lexi was 2 yrs and 8 months 

and I was advocating for a few babies with congenital heart defects. Each time I would check on these children I would scroll past this one little baby who had been waiting and waiting. 


There were comments all over her pictures. People wanting her file, people who had her file, wives waiting for their husbands to say yes, couples waiting for their wait period from a previous adoption to be up so they could lock her file. But out of fear due to the severity of her heart condition, no one was saying yes, no one was actively pursuing her, and her file would be going back to the shared list in 72 hours.
This little girl was 17 months old the day we saw her file and she was called "Cheryl" in her photos. All I can say about her little photo is that she looked like a hunka chunka little cherub doll! 

The most adorable baby girl, with the most beautiful, soulful, deep piercing eyes. Outside of her blue lips, she looked healthy and well cared for. We would later learn that this baby had been loved by her China mommy for nearly 4 months and had been loved and well cared for by her nannies at the Hangzhou Children's Welfare Institute up until we came for her! 

After praying for "Cheryl" and spreading the word about her to many people who were emailing me for help finding a daughter and having no luck convincing them that she might be their daughter, I could not get her off of my mind. 

I prayed that God would present her family so they could get her home. And He revealed to me that He already did. Her family was found! You, He said are her family, now go get her! I presented her to Bryan. 

He was in love with her from the second he laid eyes on her and asked what we were waiting for. Bryan was sure that this little girl would be just fine. That the age was perfect and the timing would never be perfect anyway. The truth is, I knew she was ours. I could not look at her without calling her my daughter. I also knew that her heart defects were complicated. She had TGA, A large VSD, and ASD, pulmonary stenosis, 
Hypoplastic Left Pulmonary Artery, and pulmonary hypertension. She was very blue and her future was uncertain. 

 She had been labeled inoperable but none of this changed that she was our daughter. I loved her, we all loved her! She needed a family right away, regardless of what her future may be, one thing was for certain... her life was planned and was meant to be! She had a purpose and we would be honored to be by her side every day that was planned for her! Honored to be her parents and love her forever!
It was exactly one year ago today that Ivy was placed in my arms. She was perfect! 

Everything about her said, I was loved! 

She bonded quickly and loved boldly. 

She was 13 pounds at 19 months. Tiny but mighty has remained her motto. 

Since coming home, Ivy has had a very tough go at life. 

She has had 5 open heart surgeries, 1 in phoenix 

and 4 in Boston where we traveled after being told there was nothing else they could do for her. 

We have fought and fought, advocating for her every single day. 

We have had our entire lives turned upside down with the craziness of lengthy hospital stays, trips across the country for surgery leaving the rest of the family behind

and just the day to day of caring for a child that is critically ill. 

Never once did we think this wasn't worth it. 

Never once did it feel like we were doing any more than any parent would do for any one of their children. 

Ivy was worth and is worth every second we spend helping her fight for life and for hope. Every child is!

When we traveled to Boston in October we were given a 20% chance of survival for Ivy. But a zero percent chance if we did nothing. It was only a matter of time. She waited her whole life for a family, her whole life for someone to take a leap of faith for her, her whole life for hope! We were not waiting any longer. We didn't even think twice, when Boston said come, we came. 

She barely survived the heart cath they did prior to her second open heart and needed a week to recover from it in the hospital before they attempted surgery number 2.

She beat the odds but things still weren't going well. 2 days later she needed emergency open heart again. 

In November the same problem continued and Ivy needed open heart again, this time her mitral valve was replaced with a mechanical one. 

And finally, in January Ivy had her most recent open heart surgery to replace the mechanical valve with a porcine valve. 

We came home from Boston 11 days ago with our sweet girl!

She is finally thriving and doing well! insert photo 6 We wake up and have to pinch ourselves because we have never seen her this healthy. We know that every day we have with her is a gift and we would not change one part of her story because it's just that, her story! 

God has used Ivy in such big ways and He continues to equip us for each difficulty we encounter. She is amazing! Through all she has been through and overcome, she loves us so BIG!

We never knew the depth of the blessings she would bring to our lives, we are just so proud to be her parents and call her our daughter!!

 And while we have no idea what the future holds for our girl, we know that it will be far more amazing than anything we could ever have imagined!  If you have ever felt the desire to grow your family through adoption, you are in for the most precious gift and the most indescribable love you will ever experience! 

You can read more about our family here 


Lisa said...

Wow, wow, wow. Still LOVE reading Ivy's story! She certainly is tiny but mighty. She was obviously loved and well cared for in China, too! Thank God for that:) Wishing you all the blessings in the world and hope that Ivy is feeling better today!

maggie k said...

Echoing the comment - she is tiny but mighty. Can't help read her story without being moved.

LaKasha Strickland said...

I love little Ivy and until her I have never seen a child go through so much and be so strong. I never thought a child could endure so much but it is God strength and his will that has seen her through. She is such a little GRAND package. I have prayed for her for many hours and I will continue to pray that God blesses her heart,life and family. Hugs!

Debi said...

I have also prayed for her many, many times, and will continue to. I LOVE her pucker in that last photo! Priceless!

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