Saturday, February 22, 2014

Day 22 - Mackenzie Billigmeier


At the beginning of 2010 the agency we were with decided they were going to close, and they offered to switch our dossier, which had been in China for almost two years, to another agency. We agreed, and when we told our agency that we were thinking about switching to China's special needs program, they encouraged us to do that.

We did, and exactly one week later we received the file for a little girl whose special needs we immediately started researching...

In August of 2010, we were in China. And we had a daughter. She was two-and-a-half, and she was precious... and she was also obviously not healthy. She turned blue when she cried, and she couldn't walk for long without respiratory distress. She had little clubbed fingers on her chubby hands, and was the size of a twelve month old. She grieved heavily, but when she smiled she lit up the room, and our hearts.


 Our little M 's file stated that she had Tetralogy of Fallot, and Microtia on her right ear (we knew this could mean a possible hearing loss). We had spoken with our cardiologist at National Children's Medical Center, in DC, and we saw him a week after we got home with little M.

After running tests, it was determined that our girl not only had TOF (tetralogy of fallot), but she also was diagnosed with DORV (double outlet right ventricle), and ASD (atrial septal defect). Her cardiologist told us that she would not have lived past the age of three without surgery...


She had surgery four weeks after coming home...


After surgery her little blue nails were pink, and she could breath, and play without turning blue...


And she had a family. We stayed in the hospital with her the entire time, and one of us was always by her side. Little M was in the hospital for almost three weeks. She ended up having some fluid issues, and the fluid building up on her lungs was causing her problems. Even after we left the hospital we went back daily for chest x-rays for a couple of weeks, and little M was on diuretics for six weeks.


But she recovered from surgery quickly, and the change in her energy level was amazing.


Our little M is completely deaf in her microtia ear, and we were surprised to learn that she has profound hearing loss in her other ear...she has had two minor surgeries on her ears, and received her hearing aid in July of 2012.

She sees her cardiologist once a year, and is doing amazingly well. She has quite a loud murmur, and the pressure on her pulmonary valve is monitored. She has caught up to age level in all areas. She really is the most amazing little person I know, and to look at her now, you would never know that the healthy looking child you see once struggled to breath because her heart was failing her.

Little M is so much more than her medical diagnosis. She has THE best smile, a contagious laugh, and she is adorable, and so sweet. She is a wonderful artist, and loves to do crafts. She loves My Little Pony, dinosaurs, puzzles and legos. She loves her family, and her friends. She is bossy and sassy, and loves to play games. She is her daddy's girl, and she talks and sings non-stop. She is just like any other child...she has dreams, wishes, and big plans for when she grows up...

I am so thankful that we were brave enough to trust God enough to say yes to some needs that sounded scary. And I am so thankful that our daughter has the chance to grow up.


We have been blessed in a thousand ways to have our daughter. Every beat of her little heart is a miracle, and we cannot imagine our lives without the blessing that little M is. She is perfect in every way,  and we thank God every day that she is ours.


To read more about little M, you can visit our blog at www.craftynester.com.



2 comments:

Drea said...

What a beauty!

Drea said...

What a beautiful daughter you have! Thanks for sharing your story!

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