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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And then...she smiles

It seems like it takes me a day or two back home before I'm able to blog again. Yesterday was unusually busy. Our kitty needed surgery, what I thought was a lost filling ended up being a crown, and my kids wanted and totally deserved extra attention.

I'm relaxing on the couch right now. Henry is munching on popcorn, and our kitty is cuddling up to me, cone of shame and all. As my mouth recovers from some very intense drilling yesterday, I can't help but think that my pain is nothing in comparison to what the kids are dealing with post-op. Chest tubes, central lines, wires, a stitched up chest. Such brave kids.

Facebook is my friend this week. The team is updating their pages, and I'm able to download pictures that bring it all back. I'll warn you now that the first pic has a bit of blood. There's an open chest. A heart that's not beating. Lots of instruments. But in this picture is something amazing. Dr. Rodriguez paints a smile on the patch that's used to close the VSD. This particular patch happens to be the one that's now on Maria's heart. Maybe this ooks you out - but this makes me smile.

While she didn't smile before I left, she's smiling now. Every day she'll just smile more and more. Here she is with her aunt.

Along this journey I met many amazing individuals. One of those individuals was a 2nd year med student named Mary. Initially Mary was shy and quiet. You know what they say about the shy and quiet ones. I'm married to one of them!! Mary is an unbelievable person. She is small but mighty. Shy but confident. Quiet but full of wisdom. Mary was my partner for the week. We watched ECHOs, scrubbed instruments, and just hung out together. Here we are on Saturday, after spending the day on the beach.

Have to add this pic. This is Friday night - the 3 glasses of wine night. In the middle is Lori - respiratory therapist. On the right is Erin - intensivist.

This is the first baby who was operated on. He had a really tough week last week as he aspirated breast milk following surgery, then coded twice. He was extubated on Saturday morning. From what I was told, he'll make a full recovery.

How could I forget this picture. I was told that defects go together. This is his hand.
I think his fingers are pretty cool.

I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures this week, as the team continues their work. Amazing people - giving their time and skills to save lives.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Last week I was on the same island as our daughter. Just 4 hours away from her. I couldn't help but think about her. Every. Single. Day. The past week's posts have focused on my trip with ICHF. My energy was given to those kids. But my mind never stopped thinking about her.

I don't have any updates on our adoption. I actually don't have anything good to write. I'm frustrated. We've had no updates. No pictures. Nothing. There's been no movement. I have to trust that she's healthy. And I have to trust that the process is moving, even when I feel like it's not.

We were given a Picasa link that has a lot of pictures of her. It was so exciting when we first got the link. Now it's just a source of frustration because there aren't any new pictures. I try to avoid the site. Yet I find myself unable to.

Right now I'm in detach mode. She is only a picture on my dresser. She's not a reality to me. This adoption is not a reality. At this point I don't see her coming home. Everyone I've talked to has experienced the same emotions. Why does it have to be this way?

In happier news, Odelande is home with her family. They got home on Saturday. Her mom sent me the greatest picture of her in the arms of her brothers. I can see these two protecting her and taking care of her as she grows up in this new country.

I guess it shows me that kids eventually DO make it out. It should help me believe that one day our daughter will be home, shouldn't it?

For now, I'll focus my energies on writing grants, finishing out my final months at work, and loving up Henry and Sofia as much as I can.

Please be thankful for the healthy children you have in your life. Be thankful for a decent medical system. Be thankful for toilet paper and paper towels and hand sanitizer. Be thankful that there are people in this world who give their time and skills to care for and save others. And be thankful that you have the opportunity to do the same thing.

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