Thursday, May 12, 2016

Malia's Bone Graft Surgery

This girl of ours continues to amaze us!  A week before her bone graft surgery, I took her to the doctor for her pre-op appointment.  I broke the news that she had surgery coming up.  First she was mad.  Then she started to cry.  She was upset that we hadn't told her earlier, even though she had requested that we only give her a weeks notice before the surgery.  We ran a few errands and then headed to Tim's for some comfort food. 
It turns out this girl has been doing a lot of thinking, and she is amazingly wise!  So she tells me this..."Mom, the other night I was lying in bed, wondering why people have disabilities.  And then I was wondering why I have this (meaning cleft lip/palate), and I realized that maybe it's so other people can see Jesus through my story!"
Yup!  I choked back the tears and agreed! (Well, maybe the tears didn't choke back so well!) 
So, in sharing these photos...Malia has decided she doesn't care who sees them.

Malia was a champ this time around!  She always gets more and more nervous as she gets closer to being sedated.  I'm learning to speak up more, even in the OR.  It really does help to give suggestions on what works for Malia.  She cried a bit, but was incredibly brave and strong.  She managed to focus on taking deep breathes and squeezing my hand. 
The surgery went very well, although the surgeon is concerned about how well the graft will take around one of her teeth.  So that's something you could pray about when you think of her.
We bought an iPad for the kids for Christmas and it's been such a gift during these hospital stays.  It is one of the few times Malia actually gets to use it!
As usual, the nights spent in the hospital are rough.  The first night was awful!  I don't want to say too much, but we entered the room as two police officers left.  Lets just say the following words were overheard..."teen airlifted, found unconscious and beaten, alcohol poisoning, kit..."  And it all seemed to be "normal" for this gal and her family.  We had all managed to dose off and then were interrupted when a relative came to visit this gal around 10:30 pm!  They thought it was a great idea to visit loudly, eat, and watch a movie till past midnight! 
Malia was exhausted the next day and asked for earplugs and managed to have a decent nap.
Then her Auntie Rita came for a very special visit!  These two are kindred spirits and they love each other well!  We couldn't be more grateful for this special lady!

Day 2
Malia's surgeon and nurses were once again astounded at how well Malia handled her pain, how she managed to drink, and how well she handled everything.  Apparently they never have kids leave after two nights in the hospital...but Malia did!  She's such a trooper!!
Malia was very swollen and bruised.  The bruises were hard to capture on camera.  Her skin tone hides them well.  These photos make the bruising look a lot better than it actually was!
Day 3                                                                 Day 4                
Day 5              

Day 6                                                                      Day 7          


Day 10                  
We did a little math, and so far this year (19 weeks), Malia has been on a liquid diet for about 12 weeks and a soft/mushy food diet for about 2-3 weeks!  That's a restricted diet for 14-15 weeks!  And for the most part, she does not complain!  She did let me know, in no uncertain terms, that blended chicken noodle soup is disgusting!! 
This was Malia's fifth surgery in a little over a year.  We are DONE with surgeries!  But the end is in least temporally! Malia will have another surgery in about 6 months to release her upper lip.  And then she will have a 5-6 year break!!!  Yah!!! We couldn't be more excited about that!!!





Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Today is a bittersweet day.  I miss my mom.  I wish she could meet my youngest four.  I wish I could wish her a "Happy Mother's Day". 
My mother in law is not doing well and was admitted to the hospital a few days ago.  It's so difficult to get in to see her.  The rooms are super small, barely big enough for Wren's chair to pass between the beds.  There's no chair for a loved one to sit at her side.  There are two people that share her room that have a very contagious illness that necessitates care givers to gown up.  I tell my kids not to touch anything, but it still kinda freaks me out at the thought of them contacting this illness.  So today I will continue praying that she literally feels our love, and feels the arms of her Saviour wrapped tightly around her.
And then we had Wren's child dedication in church this morning.  Wren was more than a bit confused about all the fuss, but some day she will understand that she is a gift that God has entrusted to us and that we desire for her to have a relationship with Him, and that we will do our very best to raise and teach her well!

Raising a child takes a village...or in our case a community of believers.  I love this picture!  It hit me square in the chest at what this picture represents.  It represents so much more than our pastor praying for us as parents and praying for our kids.  It really represents the church, or fellow believers walking along side us, praying for us, supporting us, encouraging us.  I am so incredibly grateful for the people that choose to show us in so many ways that they care, that they've got our back.  I may have bawled when I received a very undeserved, but incredibly encouraging text from my brother.  I don't deserve to be honored in my role as a mom.  I fail so very often.  But then, receiving this text...well, it just puts the wind in my sails and makes me all the more determined to be the very best mom I can be!  Thank know who you are!!

Thanks to Nathalie for taking these pictures for us at the drop of a hat!  You have no idea how much we value these pics.
And then there's this crew!  My heart about explodes that I have the privilege of being their mom!  They really are incredible!  And so very handsome and beautiful...inside and out!

And as I often do, especially on this day to honour mothers...I pray for the birth mom of each of my kids.  I pray that somehow she will know her child is safe, is loved, and is happy.  I thank God that she chose life!  I thank God, that somehow in all the possible things that could have stood in the way of us ever meeting...He made a way! A way for me to be their mama!
Happy Mama's Day to all you amazing birth, by adoption, and those that chose the greatest sacrifice of placing your child into another woman's arms.