Thursday, November 29, 2012

Addie follow up

This past Tuesday marked three weeks since Addie's surgery. Last week we returned to the doctor for a follow up visit. They were pleased with the way her back had healed so far. We are glad to have no more doctor visits until January.
Pre-surgery artwork

We had a slight scare about a week after surgery. When we checked out to leave the hospital the doctor said to call if she was vomiting or running a fever over 101. We had gone a week and she was doing really well. Wednesday she began to vomit and at first we thought maybe she had eaten something that did not settle well. After about the third time we decided to call the doctor. They sent us to the pediatrician to have her checked for a bladder infection. By that night she had quit vomiting and seemed to be feeling better. They put her on a different antibiotic to clear it up. Thankfully that was the only issue we had.
A few hours after surgery

Thanks Lyndsay for my new dog.
We were concerned about how we would keep her laying down for 10 days, but it actually went better than we thought. The first week she felt bad enough that she did not really want to move too much.    

The last few days of laying flat were harder as she began to feel better. We had put her in a wagon so that we could move her from room to room without picking her up. This turned out to help keep her still also since there was very little room to move. 
Worn out from a long day.

After her 10 days of laying flat she was glad to be moving about again. It did take her a few days to fully regain her strength though. The first few days crawling was tough for her. She would crawl a few feet and then lay down. I would say at this point though she is back to where she was before surgery. She is crawling and getting around well. The last few days she has even been attempting to stand without holding on to anything. 
Excited to be going home!
The wagon she spent most of the week in after she came home.

As we think about the last few weeks we are thankful for what God has done. We praise Him for Addie. That even before she was formed in the womb He knew she would be a part of our family. We are thankful that the surgery was a success and that she has healed well. We continue to pray for her bladder to function properly. And that through it all He receives the glory and honor for what he has done in our lives. 

This video is brief glimpse into our journey to bring Addie home. The song is called "This Love" by Mandi Mapes. You can find her album on iTunes. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Update on Addie

I thought this would be the best way to let everyone know how Addie is doing. We had a very long day Tuesday. It began about 4:00 am as we got up and got ready to head to the hospital so we could check in by 5:30 am. Lyndsay and Landon were out of school Tuesday so we came to Birmingham Monday night and spent the night so we would not have to make the drive yesterday morning. After we arrived at the hospital and got checked in we waited to be put in a room to prepare Addie for surgery. About 6:00 am we went back and they took all of her vitals and asked 1,000 questions. Just before 8:00 am someone came and took her back for surgery and we went to the waiting room where our other family members were waiting on us.

The actual surgery did not start until about 8:45 am. Shortly after they started the anesthesiologist came out and said she did great and everything went well in getting her to sleep. Throughout the process we got several calls giving us updates on how things were going. 

About 12:15 pm her neurosurgeon came out to let us know that the surgery was finished. He said he thought the surgery went great. He said they had also done some test on her nerves during surgery and all of the results looked positive. He said Addie would be in recovery for about an hour. This seemed like such a long hour.
Shortly after 1:00pm a nurse told us we could come back and see Addie. We gathered our things and met her in the hallway on the way to her room. It was heartbreaking to see our baby laying there with tears rolling down her face and crying out for her Mama. They said she had been asking and looking for her since she came to. It only took a few moments with one of us on each side holding her hand and she began to calm down. She was still pretty out of it as we made our way to the room. 

When we got to her room it took a little while for the nurses to get her situated. It was hard to watch as they moved her from one bed to the other and her little face winced with pain and tears began to roll down her cheeks again. Once they got her 

settled they let the rest of the family come in and see her. Addie was still groggy, but you could see she was trying to take it all in. She did really well for awhile, but I think they waited too long to give her some pain medicine. Her whole little body tightened and she began to cry out from the pain. It was not just cry of discomfort or whining, but a cry of extreme pain. It was so hard to watch my little girl in pain and be able to do nothing about it. Thankfully the nurse was near and quickly got some medicine to bring her pain under control.

Thankfully the medicine kicked in quickly. She watched everything around for awhile and then she took a well deserved nap. She slept for a couple of hours and then woke up. The rest of the day went pretty well. She would sleep a couple of hours and then wake up to eat and drink something. She would be up for a couple of hours and then be back to napping again.

Overall she was doing really well by the end of the day. After her first round of pain medicine we even saw a few smiles from her. She was able to sleep pretty well through the night except for the occasional interruption  to check her vitals and get more pain medicine.

Today was definitely a better day, but it had a few challenges as well. The neurologist came by this morning and seemed to be encouraged by Addie's progress. He thought her incision was looking good so far. He said he wanted to take her off the morphine and just give her Tylenol and Motrin at alternate times. This way they could see how she handled the pain and be able to know when she was ready to go home. 
We were glad to have some friends, Norm and Danielle, come by to visit. We also appreciated them bringing us lunch. Just before they arrived Addie's was beginning to act more like herself. She was smiling and laughing and acting a lot better. She had a great time playing with them while they were here. 

During surgery they had inserted a catheter and left it overnight. This afternoon they decided to remove it and go back to inserting and removing a catheter several times a day. Ann has been doing this for about 2 weeks at home, but we were very nervous about it now after the surgery. We called the nurse to help because we were not sure how much or how to move Addie. I felt terrible when we lifted her legs and in the sweetest little voice Addie said "Owww." Big tears and crying quickly followed. It hurts me to watch her cringe in pain as we lifted her lower body to remove the diaper and put on a new one. I'm amazed though at how quickly she returns to laughing and playing after it was over. 
This afternoon the neurologist came by and said that everything looked really good and we should be able to leave earlier than expected. This is encouraging, but also a little scary. It will be nice to be home and in our own environment. It will also be difficult because Addie is supposed to lay flat for 10 days and that is almost impossible for a 2 year old. The next couple of days will be fine, but soon she will feel better and want to move around. If you have suggestions on how to keep a 2 year old still, feel free to share those with us. 
I'm amazed at what a fighter our baby girl is. She is so strong. She still has a long road ahead of her, but she is making great progress. 
We are thankful for everyone who has been praying for Addie and for us. We also appreciate everyone that has called, texted, emailed, facebook, and everything else to offer encouragement and let us know you are praying. Also pray for Lyndsay and Landon at home with Pops. They are doing well, but I think they are missing little Addie and Ann pretty bad. At this point there is still a lot of uncertainty about what the future holds for Addie, but we know that our God who brought us together is faithful to sustain us through whatever the future holds. He never promised us it would be easy, only that He would be there. And He is more than enough. 

Please forgive any typos or bad grammar, after 2 long days at the hospital I'm sure there are some mistakes. I'll proof read it again later and fix it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

October 17th 2011

I was leaving work to pick Lyndsay up from dance when Ann called, she was very excited and asked if I had seen the email. When I told her no, she said hang up and look at the email I think she is ours. Words are not adequate to express the feeling I had when I saw this picture.

I read her brief profile and felt this was our little girl. Unlike most, Addie was not matched to us, the email we got was sent to everyone else using our agency that was adopting from China. Ann and I decided to pray about it and call the next day if we still felt like she was ours. We both felt really strongly the next morning, but I was reluctant to get too excited. I did not want to get my hopes up about this beautiful girl only to find out she was not coming home with us. After we told them of our interest they sent us her file and a handful of pictures. 

Much of the information was in Mandarin, some was translated. It is funny now to look at the different pictures and we can see her little personality being expressed. We were told that other families were interested and each had until Friday to let them know they wanted to continue pursuing her. Friday we heard from them and only two others were still interested. They said they would let us know Wednesday what the committee decided. It seemed like the longest 5 days. Wednesday came and went and we never heard. We knew God was in control, he would bring us the daughter he had created for our family. But at the same time we were anxious to hear something. The next day they called to tell us that if we wanted to continue Addie was ours. It was so exciting telling the kids that we would be bringing Addie home.

The next few months were filled with a lot of what the last 9 months had been. We prayed and waited for things to happen. Each step bringing us closer to the day we could bring our baby girl home. Today, a year later, we are brought joy each day by the angel they described as "a girl with a small face." I think back to the months before we saw her beautiful face and prayed for God to work things out to bring our daughter home and can see how along the way God was working things for our good and to His glory. The process of bringing Addie home has given me a greater faith, and also a better realization of the relationship God desires with us. It has been a realization that the moment He adopts us is not the end, but just the beginning of our relationship. He does not just desire to make us His, He desires to have a relationship with us. I longed and waited for the day to bring Addie into our family. Now that she is here we share the love and joy of a family each day growing closer in our relationship. I'm thankful for this wonderful gift that God brought our family. I'm also thankful for a heavenly Father who desires not only to save us, but to have a relationship with us.