Long overdue update
I am in awe of our community…our tribe. When we started this adoption we were pretty nervous because we knew financially we couldn’t do it on our own, but we were being obedient and trusted God with every step and He provided…in so many ways. We have been shown so much love and support in the last year and a half, and we still have no words. No words to convey how thankful we are. Thankful for every prayer that has been said on our behalf. For the support of all our fundraisers…there were so many! For each check that showed up in the mail, always at the exact moment we needed it. For the welcome home party at the airport and sign in the yard. For the 8 weeks of meals! For the help with the big girls when we’ve had appointments for Hannah. For the time you have spent encouraging a tired mama, and playing with our energetic girls. For the gifts & snacks. For each phone call and text. And for the time you have spent with us…it all adds up to a super duper grateful family that realizes we are only a family of 6 because of your obedience to Him too.
Most days I would say that the last 11 weeks have flown by, other days it feels like it’s crawling by…but either way, I can’t believe how Hannah has grown, how deep our love for one another is, how she just fits so perfectly into this Motley crew…its the most beautiful miracle to watch unfold before your eyes. Hannah is picking up new words everyday, she still has a lot to say in Mandarin, which leaves us both confused and frustrated. She is so smart, so sweet and so happy! She LOVES her big sisters so much, she loves going for short rides in the car, she loves to swing, and she loves her mama & baba so.
Maybe I have a terrible memory (not maybe, that’s a fact) but I don’t remember the wonder of new things in Amelia and Emma’s eyes like I see in Hannah, everything is new and exciting…for example, last week at the store when she saw the Christmas trees, decor and lights…Hannah’s eyes were absolutely twinkling in amazement, she giggled and squirmed with such glee…and it’s contagious…we were all giddy watching her! Her smile can absolutely turn your day around. We are in love.
It’s been no secret that sleep has been an issue since we got home, baby girl isn’t used to sleeping alone, she’s used to having friends on either side of her…friends that I’m assuming would hold her hand at night, I assume this because she insists on holding my hand at night, it’s the most precious thing. Things have definitely improved over the last couple weeks, she only wakes up a couple times a night, sometimes it’s just for a moment, sometimes it’s for several hours. She always gives me the sweetest smile and any sleepy frustration melts away. As we continue to bond and attach, she is learning that we will come, every time she cries, screams, needs us…we always will! Its been a long 9 weeks of proving this to her, but I finally feel like she is getting it.
I’ve struggled with what to share here, with what is ours to tell, and what needs to remain private for Hannah to share some day. But we also don’t want our family & friends…our tribe…to be in the dark. So here goes…Hannah was born with a few complex Congenital Heart Defects. She had one open heart surgery when she was 9 months old in China. She is needing another open heart surgery in the next 12ish months. We’ve spent the last month having all sorts of testing done with more imaging to be done in the next couple weeks. All of it to help us decide between two very different surgeries, one would be the second part of what she has already had done, but it’s only palliative, the second, which we are clinging to hope is a possibility, would be a full repair. It’s all so overwhelming, all of this heart stuff…ask me anything about cleft lip & palates and I can walk you through the nitty gritty of it all. But with the heart I feel very out of my depth, so we are reading, researching and doing our best to be equipped to ask the right questions. One thing that we constantly think is…but she seems so healthy, how can this paperwork be right? And as our cardiologist said “you can’t forget how sick she really is”. So, we are like newbie parents all over again, questioning everything we do, trying to follow a list of rules, feeling completely unequipped for all of this. But God called us to this, so we are trusting Him with every step.
In addition to all of this we found out last week that there is a good chance that Hannah suffered some brain damage when she had her first open heart surgery in China, which accounts for the weakness she has been exhibiting on her left side. This is likely why she fell off the piano bench last week and face planted into the piano. After 6.5 hours in the ER, they were able to super glue it, and send us on our way. We are awaiting an MRI to give us a clearer picture of any potential neurological issues. Just hearing that this is a possibility definitely shocked us, but I say again, we are trusting Him with every step.
We ask that y’all continue to pray for our journey…for Hannah’s health, for sleep, for the hard decisions that we have ahead of us and for us to keep leaning into Him.