Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Day 5 - Lia Feith Jones

Another year has passed and I've pondered many times what to include in our story.  Ours is a different story than some you will read, and yet in so many ways we are all the same.  Each precious child featured here has endured more than most of us as parents will endure in a lifetime.  For us, just like most, we chose a special needs path to an orphan in China who was loved by someone, but treasured by no one as part of a family.  Her future was bleak growing up in an orphanage with a congenital heart defect.  Why would anyone want to choose her when they could choose a healthy child or one with a minor defect?

I have no answers but GOD!  He alone led us down the pathway that would forever change our lives for the better.  He alone led us to our daughter half a world away.  He alone, through the hands of some very skilled surgeons, led her through her second open heart surgery.  And He alone will carry us through any obstacle that lies ahead in this journey.

By the time Lia was abandoned at 18 months old, her heart defect was extremely severe.  The doctors in China bypassed the typical first surgery and went into the 2nd step, the Glenn, to repair her Tricuspid Atresia, Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome.  Soon after becoming part of our family at 4.5 years old, she had her 2nd surgery, the Fontan.  The surgery went well and she had few complications other than drainage tubes that took longer than expected to stop draining.  We spent about 15 days in the hospital and came home with four different medicines.

Today, three and a half years later, I am over the top excited to share that the only medicine she takes is one baby aspirin a day.  She is in second grade, reading on a 3rd grade level.  She can play the piano, tumble, and run and play just like any other child her age.  She bruises easily and has a difficult time in the cold, but other that that, she lives life just like any other 8 year old.

The thing that is different about Lia is that she prays a little different than many children her own age.  Every night before bed, she prays for the little boys and girls with no mommies and daddies and for the kids who need heart surgeries.  She loves deeply and dreams big.

Last weekend she had the opportunity to be the flower girl in her big brothers wedding.  While trying on dresses, I was overcome with sadness as I imagined how she may never wear her own dress because we really don't know what her future holds.  However, as I quickly pushed that horrible feeling away, I reminded myself once again that none of us are promised tomorrow.  Today is a gift and we will treasure every second of it.

We each have today and we can choose to live it fully or waste it.  Lia has chosen to live life to the fullest.  She has taught us to love in ways we never loved before and she has shown us the beauty in miracles.

Just like the song says,"Livin might mean takin chances, but they're worth taking."  "and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance." (I Hope You Dance, Lee Ann Womack)

Today we will choose to dance and dream and live like there is no tomorrow.


Beth said...

Lia's beauty shines form the inside out. I love her to pieces. Thankful that you and your family were obedient to His call !

Drea said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us!

Sarah said...

Hearing how your daughter is doing is an inspiration for me, thanks for sharing. And I know those horrible thoughts that cross our minds too. But am thankful God helps us push past them to live in the now!

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