Monday, February 8, 2016

Day 8 - Eisley June

“We say YES. We say YES to adoption not because we are ready, gutsy, extra loving, secure, or financially capable. Rather, we say YES because we are expectant.
Though we tremble, we expect God to take our Yeses, redeem the broken,
and weave a great story.” 
--Rebecca Radicchi

Do you ever have moments when you look back and give a big “HA!” because you didn’t plan for your story to play out the way it did? When we started the paperwork for our second adoption from China, we decided we weren’t open to special needs that required further surgeries. We had already been through several with our first daughter and knew we had several more ahead. I had read lots of stories of people adopting heart babies and I admired their strength. But there was no way I was strong enough for that. Around this same time, we began sponsoring a little girl and I fell instantly in love. Though I knew it was highly unlikely we would be able to adopt her, I began inquiring about the possibility. She had a minor special need I felt our family could handle. We learned that her orphanage had a partnership with a particular adoption agency and there would be a greater chance of seeing her file if we were with that agency. We switched agencies knowing there was no guarantee, but hoped for the best. Months upon months went by with only small pieces of information about the preparation of her paperwork. Fifteen months into our wait, we began to question whether or not her file would ever be available and if we were doing the right thing by waiting. We made the decision to look at other files. One day I came across a picture on an advocacy site for a little girl. Her beautiful brown eyes took me in. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. There were no families interested in her and China said they would not provide any surgeries to help her. I mentioned to my husband that I had found a little girl that captured my heart. He asked about her medical condition. When I told him she had a serious heart defect, his immediate reply was “No.” The next morning he left for a two-week work trip to Iceland and France. I sent him a picture of this precious child and asked him to be praying. For the next month, we wrestled with the decision. I was torn between a little girl who had stolen my heart and a little girl whose heart needed us. We decided none of us are guaranteed tomorrow so why should we put this expectation on a small child. She needed a family –--- a family with access to good medical care. We didn’t have a good reason to say no. We took a leap of faith, said YES and began filling out the paperwork for “June”. I probably made the decision more with my heart than my head, and for that I’m thankful. Had we known what the next few months would bring, we might have chickened out.

“But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable.
He calls us to trust Him so completely that we
are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where
we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.”
--Francis Chan

We pushed hard to get to her as fast as we possibly could. We knew that her condition was very serious and she needed medical intervention quickly. We were able to leave right before travel was temporarily suspended in late September of 2015 due to the Autumn Moon Festival and the Trade Fair. When they handed our daughter to us, she was sick, scared and extremely malnourished. You could clearly see every rib in her rib cage. We spent most of our time in China in our hotel room because she was so sick. While in province, I asked our guide to take us to a hospital because I was that worried about her. “Pray without ceasing” became the norm for me while we were in country. We arrived home on a Saturday evening and were admitted to the ICU the next day. Our daughter had developed the parainfluenza while in China. My sister, a pediatric nurse, later told me she didn’t think we would be leaving the ICU with our daughter because her condition was that serious. Thankfully, seven days later we were discharged to finally go HOME.

The next three months were a blur of weekly medical appointments. Attachment was a difficult process as our daughter worked to overcome barriers and began to trust us. Initially, she stopped eating most of what we would try to feed her. She was unhappy a lot of the time and would wake every 1-2 hours at night. Slowly, we began to see more smiles and giggles. Eating became one of her favorite things. She loved music. We watched her gain strength and make progress in her developmental goals.

On 12/28/15, our daughter had her first surgery to place a PA band around her Pulmonary Artery in hopes of getting her Pulmonary Hypertension under control. It was supposed to be a relatively easy surgery (only 20 mins) and we could expect a hospital stay of 5 days. Except we are still here. A week after her surgery, our daughter developed an infection in her gut called Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). We watched her belly get bigger and bigger and her skin color change to all shades of red, purple and yellow. Since then, she has had 4 surgeries on her intestines which involved removing a portion of her colon and giving her a temporary ostomy bag, 2 bronchoscopies, many ECHOs, and she developed Ecoli in her gut and Staph in her ventilator tube. One morning we were informed there was a pump malfunction and it had administered ten times the amount of medicine she should have received. She was recently diagnosed with Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) Syndrome. She is still in very critical condition and we are preparing for the possibility of more surgeries for her heart and intestines again in the upcoming weeks. 

Through all of this she has amazed me with her strength and her will to continue to fight and live. We are in the midst of the weaving of her story and are still watching as the details unfold. We don’t know what the future holds or even what tomorrow will bring. But we are grateful for each day, for the excellent medical care she is receiving, and for the support of friends and family. She is no longer an orphan -- she is a daughter, a sister, a niece, a granddaughter and she is loved by so many. Even though we don’t know the number of days she has been allotted on this earth, her life has been “worth the process and more valuable than the costs”.

And through it all, God is still good.


levyzoo said...

Wonderfully written. And so true that she is loved & prayed for around the world! Hugs to you all. Darlene Levy

Tera Reelfs said...

That is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read!

LisaE. said...

What a beautiful little girl. It's easy to see why you lost yourself in those eyes. Praying for your family as she heals. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story of faith with us.

Andrea O. said...

It's been a joy to follow you on this journey. I remember when we first spoke in May. I was in China and we messaged back and forth and after so much time doing this work, I just get a feeling when a family will ultimately move forward, despite the fear and hesitation. I'm so glad you followed your hearts. You are what sweet Eisley needs.

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