Thursday, November 03, 2011

Upcoming surgeries (life all mixed up)

Yesterday we received letters from the hospital detailing my daughters' upcoming heart surgeries.

{My husband and I recently brought our girls home from Ethiopia, and they were both born with Down syndrome.  You can read more about their heart conditions here.}

The surgeries are scheduled for November 11.  A week from tomorrow.

So far the whole thing has been super surreal.  Consulting with surgeons and cardiologists and all of that, while my sweet little ones chatter and play, and then we all go home as if nothing happened.  No big deal.

But seeing those letters, with instructions for fasting and times to arrive at the hospital and details about staying overnight, made everything a whole lot more real.  And scary.

I've decided that there's just something about heart surgery.  Not that I would want my child needing ANY sort of surgical procedure, but when it comes to the heart, well, it's extra frightening.  Has it been too long?  Will the surgeries be successful?  Will Mekdes even be a candidate for the open heart surgery she so desperately needs?

So many unknowns.  Not to mention I have no idea how I'm going to survive the hours that they're actually in surgery.  No clue.  Those two blocks of 180 minutes or so are going to seem like a torturous eternity, I am sure.

I'm suddenly just really aware that there are so.many.things. that are completely out of my control.  I feel vulnerable.  I'm handing my beloved daughters over to someone to {hopefully} fix a problem, and I really don't have a choice in the matter.  Because of course they need the procedure.  But it's risky.  And there's no guarantee that it will be successful, especially since this is something that should have happened long ago. 

But the thing is, God is in control.  And while it hardly seems fair that two children with such an incredibly difficult start in life now need major heart surgery, I know that Jesus is no stranger to suffering.  I also know that Mary, Jesus' mother, watched her son suffer, and she must have felt so helpless too.  All of that to say that I'm in good company.  And I hope to really think on those things as I'm pacing around the waiting room and praying my heart out for my babies.

People naturally continue to ask if we "knew" about the heart defects when we pursued these adoptions.  I always tell them yes, we knew it was highly likely. 

But I don't look at it as "choosing to adopt a child who has a heart defect"--as opposed to choosing a "healthy" child or a child with a different medical need.  Plain and simple, it's really just choosing life.  Life for my daughters, and life for myself, and life for our family.  It's simply following after Jesus and finding His face in my children. 

And it honestly wasn't too hard making the decision to adopt Tigist and Mekdes.  I don't know that there are two sweeter souls on this planet!  (Though I do confess that during the process there were many times when I nearly hit the panic button.  I'll share more about that later.) 

But heart surgery is hard.  Letting go is hard.  Trusting God with (two of!) my most precious of gifts is hard.

Still I recognize that this is grace and redemption and faith and love and beauty and pain all at once.  Like so very much of life.  Good and bad, all mixed up.  My daughters have to have major surgery...yet it's something they need, that they can finally receive, and so in that sense it's a gift.  And of course our family will surely endure this trial and God is working something through this, He truly is. 

I gotta say that life in our family these past few weeks has been incredibly difficult from a health-perspective--to the point where I've begun to ask, what else will go wrong?  And yet there have also been some incredibly beautiful things happening too (that I can't wait to share with you).  All at once.  All mixed up.  Life.

A week out from surgery, and it's finally starting to set in.  I feel woefully inadequate for the tasks set before me, but am ever aware that God is more faithful than I can imagine.  And really?  He's been looking out for my daughters a lot longer than I have.  Through both the good and the bad and the all-mixed-up stuff too.   


Blog Template by