Saturday, February 13, 2016

Day 13 - Maggie Mei Henderson

February 13th is a special day in our home.  It is the day when China issued their first round of Travel Approvals after the Chinese New Year break and we were given permission to go get our Maggie Mei.  

I met Maggie just 6 short months before then when I was serving on a mission team in her orphange.  She was playing outside with her class and smiled at me when our eyes met.  I was not planning to adopt another child, but in that moment, I felt something inside of me like the Lord wanted me to take notice.  I spent 5 more days in her orphanage and would drop by to see her after completing my tasks each day.  When I inquired why she was not one of the kids being placed, I was told that there was an error in her paperwork and it had been sent back. 

At this point, I had no idea what her special need was and I didn’t care.  The Lord was knitting our hearts together and opening my mind to what I anticipated would be impossible.  When I returned to the States, I shared her pictures with my husband and he agreed that we should pursue her.  When I contacted our agency, I was told that being placed with her would be basically impossible.  There were other families ahead of us and no one knew when her paperwork would arrive.   We decided to move forward anyway until God clearly shut the door. 

We completed our paperwork in record time and were logged in less than one week before her paperwork arrived in November.  I received a call from our agency where I was told that her condition was far more serious than anyone expected and they did not have a family who was open to her diagnosis.  They wanted to know if we were still interested.  Of course! God did not call us to a diagnosis.  He called us to a specific child for whom He was making a way.

Maggie was diagnosed with a single atrium, single ventricle, and pulmonary stenosis.  The surgery she should have had as an infant was not provided for her.  We expedited her paperwork and were reunited on February 23, 2014.    Surprisingly, Maggie was incredibly stable cardiovascularly so her doctors decided to let us wait a few months and bond as a family before surgery. 

We were bonding beautifully and had just spent a week at family camp when on June 29th, the unthinkable happened.  Maggie had not been herself for a few days and was admitted to Texas Children’s Hospital for observation.  The next morning, I was holding her in my arms when I felt her body go limp.   I stepped into the hallway and told the nurse that Maggie was having a stroke.   After an emergency CT, we discovered that she did not have 1 stroke, but 2 massive strokes with bleeds.   Maggie was placed in a coma and we were given the news that she would probably not make it and if she did, she would be deaf, blind, and paralyzed.

The ICU doctor, who we adore and are forever indebted to, took some extreme measures those first few days to save her life.  He created “cocktails” bedside that the pharmacy would not make for him and we are confident that his actions saved her.   Maggie spent 2 months in the hospital and over the next year made a 90% recovery. 

The thing that struck me most during that time, was the great lengths that God went to in order to make sure that Maggie was right where she needed to be when those strokes hit.  If she had been in China, or even any other hospital, she probably would not have survived.  It is clear that God has a plan for this child and I am just fortunate enough to get to watch it play out. 

Maggie had her single stage Fontan procedure 15 months after her stroke once she was deemed stable.  Because she was already 3 and had not had the surgery she needed in China, she had the 3 stage repair performed all at once.   Her recovery was rougher than most.  We have spent months in and out of the hospital battling complications, but she is improving with every week that passes by and returning to her spunky self.

Meeting Maggie in China, feeling God work on my heart to adopt another child, seeing Him move mountains to get her home in record time, and then watching as He healed her after 2 massive strokes and open heart surgery has done more to strengthen my faith than any Bible study or sermon series ever could.  She is a living testimony of God’s love for us and I marvel at His handiwork, in her life, every day. 


Andrea O. said...

Thank you for bringing Maggie's story to us! said...

What a beautiful story! I love how God so clearly has His hand ALL over your daughter's life!

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