Faith, Hope, and Love
On the Tuesday after Lizzie’s surgery I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I think my body finally just said “pppllllbbbbfffffllllrrrrtttt” from exhaustion and I caught whatever funk Lizzie had been fighting the past several weeks. So Josh sent me home and daddy took charge. By the time I was cleared to come back on Saturday Lizzie was doing amazingly well. Josh, of course, is taking all the credit. I am so thankful for our Air Force family and the command at his work for being so understanding during the past several months, they’ve made a very difficult situation tolerable.
Y’all, she literally squealed at me when she saw me. She was so excited and she jumped into my arms once I got close enough. She lovingly scratched at her brothers and you could tell she was so happy to see us. She’s like a totally different little girl from the past 3 months. My Lizzie is back. It’s so hard to get excited but it’s also so hard not to get excited! Lizzie has laughed and smiled and stink-eyed me all day, especially when I pulled out the camera. She noticed mine and one of her doctor’s painted fingernails this morning. She grabbed the doctors hand, then mine, then rubbed her fingernails. So this afternoon I ran across the street to the Walgreens and bought some nail polish. She got her first mani and pedi today and sat still while I painted her cute little fingers and toes. She even let it dry.
Now there is still some big ground to cover in her recovery but we are praying this past surgery was exactly what she needed. She’s breathing easier, she’s tolerating feeds better, and her heart isn’t having to work so hard any more. To me the biggest sign is her spunk is back in full force. She’s rotten and wonderful and I just want to squeeze her chubby Chinese cheeks off! The prayer now is she remains healthy and infection free, that she can continue to be weaned from her O2 to a level she can go home on, and the g-tube can be placed without difficulty. IF all goes well we’re only talking a few weeks and we can go home with the help of home health nurses. Woohoo!
Christmas Eve marks Lizzie’s 100th day in the hospital. ONE. HUNDRED. DAYS. It isn’t at all how I envisioned her first Christmas home with us. In many ways being stuck in a crib in an institutional setting at Christmas time isn’t any different for Lizzie than it has been in the past, and that kind of makes me sad. I also cannot help but think of her birth mother, who was pregnant with Lizzie at this time 3 years ago. How she carried her baby, and loved her baby, and how she had to give her baby up when she realized she was unable to care for her sweet daughter. How she left her in a hospital parking lot so she would be found and cared for, even though she risked being caught (there are no Safe Haven laws in China). My heart hurts for that woman, who so unselfishly gave of herself so her baby had a chance. It makes me think of Mary. It makes me think of Jesus. On Christmas Eve, rather than being sad, we will celebrate our Savior and this amazing child who now has hope. A child who has taught me more about the love Christ has for all of us and has increased my faith by leaps and bounds. As I write I realize there are actually a few differences in Lizzie’s Christmas that she hasn’t had in the past, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love (1Corinthians 13:13).” Lizzie has faith and hope and most importantly, Lizzie has love.