|photo by Stacy DeVries Bostrom|
Naya and I have been home a little over a month now. It's been a heck of a month.
I'm thankful for so many things. My mother, father and sister for giving of a LOT of their time to be with Naya and I, helping me as I learn how to be a mother. My friends and family for their encouragement and honesty regarding how unnerving and difficult it really is to make that transition from a life about caring for ME to a life about caring for US. My close friends that are making that effort to meet me where I'm at and even travel to be able to spend time with me/now us. My employer for being so supportive and flexible for family and bonding time. My puppy Lailu, for seeming to understand that I want to give her more attention but still need a little time to figure out how to balance everything. Naya, for her love, patience, great temperament and amazing ability to adapt. And to God for pulling me up out of each low point I've encountered.
Last week had some hard news. When I first had Naya's medical file from China reviewed last year, it appeared that she would need some serious heart surgeries, but that her heart was repairable and she should be pretty good to go after the issues were taken care of in surgery.
Last Monday at her cardiology appointment I learned that is not the case. The details are still a little blurry to my scientifically-illiterate mind, but basically there is not a way to fix her heart long term. This doctor has a plan for two surgeries that will get her heart to the place where it should be able to function well for 10-15 years. At that point he hopes there will be medical advances made that will create more options for her than a heart transplant. Otherwise he said that people in her condition that get the surgeries he's suggesting would typically live into their 20's and 30's.
So of course that is scary and heartbreaking. One moment you see this child and her unlimited future, the next you're wondering how many years you have left with her.
That was a week ago today. My heart and mind have been so encouraged by the words of friends and family that have a feeling of certainty that she is going to pull through this. The immediate response of prayers has meant the most to me. I do believe that they change things. So I'm asking each of you who pray to please commit to praying for Naya's heart.
"And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up" James 5:15
I know God has a plan for Naya's future. And I pray that includes health and long, long time here on the earth, and that her very life will be an example of God's faithfulness. Her story this far has been a miracle to me, and I believe it will continue to be.
We'll be overnight in the hospital next Monday for a cardiac catheterization. That will determine whether she is in a position to move forward with the first surgery the doctor suggests. At that point I will be looking to get second opinions from some of the top pediatric cardiologists in the country, and we will see if other options present themselves.
Here's a couple of my favorite pictures from this month, as Naya and I have grown to know and love each other more.