Friday, August 17, 2012

One Year

We hit our one year home mark!   Things are going pretty well.  Life is busy and five kids in a variety of activities keep me busy, but it was surreal to hit the one year mark.

We had a doctors visit in Seattle a couple of days before the exact one year to the date.  One year ago we were there for the same testing and overview, but where last year I fell asleep on the bed during Emery's echocardiogram since we came straight from the airport after clearing customs from China, this time I was able to enjoy watching her four chambered heart and correct valves.  Last year I nodded and took in that her diagnosis was correct, this year I enjoyed seeing the successful surgery.  Last year I carried Emery in, this year she skips in to show Dr. Matt that she got her ears pierced(she thought that was why we went to the doctor's appointment because of course he would want to see her new earrings!).

Last year she did NOT want to be with me, this year it was a pretty nice girls trip and we got our regular pizza and frozen yogurt together with not one meltdown or fit,  it was so lovely.  A year ago I really didn't know where our path with Emery would lead, I felt peace, but I didn't know if there would be a successful outcome with a fully fixed heart.  Now she has no restrictions and even caught a slight cold this week and I didn't go into a panic.  She runs down the airport tarmacs, I don't need to juggle bags and carry her because she does not turn blue and struggle to breathe.  If she gets tired of running, it is her legs that are tired, not her heart and lungs struggling.

We have had an interesting year full of changes and ups and downs.  She still struggles to figure out her place in this world.  When she thinks about or remembers China it is rough at home and she rejects me.  It might always be that way.  Her English has come a long way and she can communicate well, we still have shut downs at times for little to no reasons, but not anything like one year ago, and we work on expressing feelings and answering questions.

It was fun to have Emery with us on the fourth of July and think that we were so close to meeting her last year.  It was amazing to celebrate her birthday with her, not us having cake and singing to her across the world.  Things are not perfect, but we have come such a long, long way from a year ago that it is a gift to look back and see the progress.  She is moving forward in school, starting piano and dance and continuing swimming in addition to just playing and being a girl.  She is growing out her hair like Rapunzel and Mom and has even gotten her brothers to play princesses with her(they are either the prince or the horse).  She is figuring out relationships with friends but is able to interact and communicate with other kids outside of the family and loves having friends that are girls.  She LOVES skyping her friends from China who have been adopted also.

 We have been so very blessed and especially since the surgery, have been able to really move forward with relationships and interactions with family and friends since we aren't going to medical appointments out of town at least every month.  It has been fabulous.

So, we come to not totally the end of our adoption journey since it will be a part of our lives forever, but an end to this part of our story.  Thank you to all who have supported and prayed for us.  So many prayers have been answered regarding this precious girl who has charmed just about everyone she meets and has survived and thrived when the odds were so very stacked against her.  What a great gift her life is.  I am grateful to be part of it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Home Again, Home Again

Sleeping in my own bed has never been so wonderful!!! 

We are home.  Emery is on antibiotics and wearing a mask when she goes to the doctors office for visits, and NOT going out in public until she has a clean bill of health.  Even Emery is pretty 'done with' hospitals for the time being.  Our hospital does not have a designated pediatrics ward and the iv insertion was just plain horrific.  But she wasn't on oxygen very long, was able to be responsive to the medications and is very happy to be back home.

I am beyond grateful that it was all caught at her routine post op visit and it didn't progress to being life endangering.  And I am grateful that my sons got to come hang out in the hospital during the day.  It was nice not to be the one solely entertaining a 5 year old who is already tired of being in the hospital:)  She loved playing with her brothers in the hospital, and they loved going to the hospital cafeteria.  So it was great all the way around.

Here's hoping for smooth sailing from here on out!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Minor Setback

At our post op visit early Monday morning, Emery's oxygen numbers were pretty low. So, the doctor decided to admit her to the hospital so that she would be on oxygen. A couple hours later she had a fever and xrays and blood work showed bacterial pneumonia. So, we are back in the hospital, she is off oxygen again and responsive to antibiotics.

I heard a great quote the other day, 'I am too blessed to be stressed!' That would be a good motto for me to aspire to.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Minor Setback

We are inpatient at the local hospital. Emery picked up a bacterial pneumonia, the doctors think, so a couple of days on iv antibiotics will hopefully take care of it. the nice thing is that it was caught very early, at our post op appointment this morning, and she has been able to have her brothers come play and ad stories and a couple of her aunties have stopped by to see her, and dad held her hand while getting blood drawn plus she is hoping he brings her ice cream after her nap time. Not too shabby!

Our cardiologist has been on the phone and is monitoring her from a distance which has been great. She is on low oxygen which is really helping and has a private room since pneumonia needs to be isolated;). I think the plan is for her to be inpatient for a couple days on the antibiotics, get off oxygen and then go home. We shall see. IP am grateful that it was caught and treated very early, she was fine yesterday, and so she will be on the mend soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Home Safe and Sound

We made it home safely yesterday. It was a long travel day but Emery did great. My husband picked us up and then went inside. Our boys didn't think we'd be home until late yesterday night at the earliest, but we were able to get on to an earlier flight. So then Emery and I knocked on the door and the surprise on their faces was so fun, better than Christmas faces;). It was the best surprise I've ever done.

It is so nice to be home. Emery slept over 10 hours last night and woke up coughing to clear her lungs this morning. So much coughing really hurts, but she is being very strong. I loved not sleeping in the hospital chair recliner thing;). Emery is worn out from the travel, but doing really well. She is walking really well, not really that much slower than before the surgery and it is her legs that tire out not that she has to stop to catch her breath. We saw a few family friends yesterday and Emery is EXTREMELY proud of her scar, as well she should be, and does not hesitate to show it to anyone she knows(we'll get to modesty later;)) The adults and boys think it is awesome and her friends that are girls have been nice enough to just not say anything at all:)

I feel so blessed that with this adoption and post adoption process everything has gone pretty much according to our best case scenario and we now have a little girl with a fully repaired heart and pulmonary system who has a great life expectancy prognosis and even our attachment didn't really take a step backwards during the last couple week which I had been concerned about. Whenever I would start to get concerned or worried, the answer to my prayers has always been that God had granted me peace and I should rest on that peace, and while I know that there was stress to be sure, I felt His peace.

In the hospital one of the chaplains stopped by several times. The first time she asked if anyone back home was praying for us. I had to smile. I told her we had people and prayer chains lifting Emery up in prayer from Maryland to Chicago to Tennessee to Montana, Idaho, Utah, Australia, California, Canada, Alaska and places in between but that I would love to add hers to the others that were keeping Emery buoyed up;). Thank you for those many prayers, we felt them, they carried us, and God answered in an amazing way.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Girl

Almost ready to go home, should be home tomorrow!!!!!!! There are only so many flights to Alaska a day and we won't make the connections today but the hospital is kicking us out! Time to go home where there isn't room service for Emery, someone to clean the room each day, a button to push if you need anything and people that act like they are happy to see you all the time. Vacation's about over;). Truly, I think the staff is going to miss the daily bows. and we have been cared for very well. There has been a great team of doctors who have watched over her recovery on top of great surgeons who check in on us. almost all of the nurses have been great. The social worker has been a gem and our Child Life Specialist has been wonderful. the respiratory therapists that come every day have spoiled Emery, she is going to want a 'massage' every day. Even the x-ray, echo, keg, and nuclear medicine techs have been fantastic, Emery thinks they take so many pictures of her because she is so pretty, I'll admit to possibly encouraging that line of thinking;)

Thank you for the continued prayers, last weekend was a scary time with the sudden respiratory issues that I have tried to downplay, but it was pretty bad, and now she is doing great. I know there are a lot of prayers being answered and once again I have so very much to be thankful for, not the least of which is that I get to see my guys!!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fun Times

Hello Kitty came to the hospital play room...and they had matching bows! Doesn't get much better than that;)