Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Day 25 - Joshua, Joy & Rebekah Peterson

Our family has adopted three beautiful older children who were waiting in China with heart defects.

Joshua came home at age 8 in 2011 – now age 11.

 Joy arrived at 6 years old in 2012 – now age 8 

 And Rebekah Grace, age six, joined our family a few weeks ago in January 2015.

None of them received any intervention in China other than a few diagnostic echoes and we were given minimal medical information prior to adoption.

Before we committed to each of our heart kids, our agency required that we ask a cardiologist to review all the information on their congenital heart defects. We met with the cardiologist who would be initially diagnosing and treating our children upon our return from China. This doctor took over an hour each time and explained the defects complete with pictures drawn up side down as he detailed what we might be facing after the adoptions. He laid out the best and worst prognosis in a way that helped us prepare to make the best decisions possible.

This year, after surviving a heart transplant with Joshua and being told that Joy was medically stable with her pulmonary hypertension and PDA, we committed to Rebekah Grace who has a large VSD and severe pulmonary hypertension. Each defect is so different with a seemingly infinite amount of variables, and although we understand a little bit more of the language, there is still a learning curve with each new diagnosis.

Rebekah had her first heart catheterization a few weeks ago which showed that her lung bed was naturally protected by her body and in spite of her presentation of severe pulmonary hypertension, she will be a candidate for a closure of her VSD. This will require open heart surgery in the near future and give her a near normal anatomy and life span.

Joy was especially thrilled to gain a sister from China. She takes her job of showing Rebekah the ropes quite seriously.

Joshua was able to take his family on a Make A Wish trip which had been postponed because of his heart transplant. During the trip about one year post transplant, we were stunned at how much he was able to do. His energy level is through the roof!

Joshua is loving life and living large these days. He is still on nine medications and in therapy but not much slows this kid down.

Some days, I wonder if it isn’t me who got the heart transplant. My heart has been changed forever by these three survivors who waited years with heart disease that would have been repaired or addressed within the first few months of life in the United States. Joshua, Joy, and Rebekah are true heart warriors and our family wouldn’t be the same without them!


LisaE. said...

Yay! Love your heart story. Joshua has come so far!!!! The pictures are wonderful and the smile on their faces say it all.

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