Actually it's from Ohio to Ukraine, back to Ohio, then to China

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


It has been an amazing day today, and I just cannot stop praising God! I don't think I have posted much (if anything) about this, but our friends Lora and Morgan had a little girl in March named Mya. Mya was born with "Pulmonary Atresia with Intact Ventricular Septum (PA/IVS)," which is doctor-speak for the right side of her heart didn't develop. She had open-heart surgery at six days old, but the damage had been done and her heart wasn't going to be strong enough. She has been on the transplant list since the third week of March and at 2:15 this morning, her parents received the call we had all been praying for...a heart was available!! She went into surgery mid-morning and after lunch we received word that she was off the heart lung bypass machine and doing perfectly! She has been stable and doing well since then.

I don't think I could even count how many times I have cried today! I had such a hard time getting any work done today because I just couldn't stop thinking about Mya and praying for her. We serve an amazing and awesome God!

I would like to ask you all to pray for Mya - that her body accepts the heart, that she continues to get stronger every day, andthat she is protected from viruses. Don't forget her parents too! Just as important though, I ask you to pray for the donor's family. The family made a very difficult decision in the midst of their pain, and for that so many of us are grateful. I cannot forget that we are all rejoicing while they are mourning, so please lift them up in prayer. I pray that they are able to find comfort and a peace that comes only from the Lord. There is no way to be thankful for Mya's gift without thinking of the family who lost so that Mya could live.

I ask that all of you consider organ donation when you pass on. Just so there is no question, here's what I think about my body when I die...I am celebrating in heaven with Jesus, so I could care less what happens to my earthly body! I prefer that my organs are donated, but if that is not possible, then give me to researchers or put me in the trash can - I don't care! I'm sure that will make my parents wince to read, but I honestly mean it.

Thank you again for your prayers!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

how could I forget?

I cannot believe that I forgot what happened last Monday!! Thanks for the reminder, Dad. So here's what happened...

I took off work early to head to an appointment, and I get a phone call from my mom. She was lying Wes down for his nap and happened to notice that his stomach tube wasn't in. Now let me just tell you, there is a balloon inside Wesley's stomach holding that bad boy in place, so coming out is not a small feat unless the ball deflated. Here's a picture of what it looks like (at least its similar to Wesley's):
Now you can see what the whole button generally looked like. Anyway back to the story... Mom drove with Wes to our house to get another mic-key button and I headed to my appointment. I thought that she would just put the button back in and all would be well. I called after I was finished with my meeting, and guess what? Wesley's stomach hole had closed up and the button wouldn't go back in!!

Let me give you a little history here. When we met with the surgeon back in March, we talked about when the stomach tube could come out. Damon and I both wanted it to come out soon, but the surgeon said he wanted another swallow study done in June or July, then the tube could come out. We were also told that it could take a month or two for the hole to completely close, so we decided that we wouldn't want to keep Wes from swimming all summer and would wait until August or so.

Back to after call later, we were told to come to the emergency room at the downtown Cincinnati Children's and get it put back in. His surgeon was out of town, so of course we couldn't get a straight answer on whether we could just leave it out. Damon and I talked and wanted it left out, but because the surgeon left in his notes that he wanted it back in, we were stuck with a decision to make. I figured that if the doctor was going to put it back in, then the sooner the better for Wesley's sake. So we headed to the ER (or ED - Emergency Department - as they actually call it). They took us right back after checking in, even before some very sick children, so I was sure they were going to prep Wes to "dilate" and open the hole in his stomach that no longer existed.

Wesley on the car ride to the hospital
(obviously, he forgot where we were going)

Doctor after doctor after nurse came in and talked to us and looked at Wesley's stomach. We kept saying we didn't want it back in, and they kept expressing amazement at how quickly the hole closed with no leakage. Finally a doctor called Wesley's surgeon who said...WE CAN KEEP IT OUT!! He knew we hadn't used the tube in a couple of months, and he was confident that Wes was okay without it.

So now our "safety net" is gone and we're doing just what we were before (feeding Wes only by mouth). It's crazy to think that just one year ago Wes wasn't eating anything in his mouth and was on a feeding pump 24 hours a day. Here's a picture of Wesley with the backpack pump on...
I cannot believe how small and young he was!

So if you're curious what the "hole" looks like (who wouldn't be?!), then there are pictures below, but I have to warn you, they might be a little gross.

This picture was taken the day after it came out, but its not red anymore.  The three large whitish scars in a triangular pattern out from the hole are where the stomach tube after surgery last April was stitched into his skin. Needless to say, those tore out on their own, which hurts me to even think about, but Wes didn't complain, so I don't know when they even came out!

This was what it looked like on Friday. The small little white thing on the growth is a piece of skin, at least I think so based on the stretchiness of it. Wes also told me not to pull on it, so I'm guessing it's live tissue.

Friday, May 14, 2010

an announcement...

I've gotten your attention, but please let me ramble on for a minute. The weather here in Ohio has been good lately, except for the rain and humidity. Personally when the weather is humid, my hair either goes crazy frizzy or just lies flat - sometimes both at the same time. Never wonder why I don't put many pictures of myself on here, now you know.

Keep reading, the announcement is coming... So I hope everyone had a good Mother's Day. We went to First Watch with my parents and Damon's mother. If you haven't been to that restaurant, you should try it! I'm not a big breakfast food eater (not so much into eggs), but they have these mushroom caps baked with cheese - wowie zowie! Damon and Wes like eggs and sausage, so we're all happy.

Damon bought me a nice camera for Mother's Day for me to carry in my purse, so I'm hoping to be able to post more pictures here. I have a nice camera, but its too large to carry around in my purse. Well it is not technically too big to carry around in my purse because I carry a purse that our 20 pound Boston Terrier would fit in, but you get the point. I have to make room in that large purse for things like fire trucks and flash cards and water bottles and a bunch of other things that don't belong to me.

Keep reading...just kidding, I'm not going to make you wait any longer. As you may have noticed (or maybe not), I have changed the title of our blog from "Our Ukrainian Adventure" to "trying to think of a new title." We have begun an adoption from Moldova. We are asking for a little girl (two if Staci gets her way) at least one year younger than Wesley who is (are) healthy. Now we asked for healthy last time and we adopted a child without an esophagus, but that's not the plan this time. We aren't doing an independent adoption this time, we are using Carolina Adoption Services. Damon and I would appreciate your prayers as we begin the paper chase for the dossier. I forgot how overwhelming and invasive the whole adoption process is, but its all coming back to me.

If you have a suggestion for a title, we would appreciate it. Damon and I are coming up with some bad titles, but we're still thinking.

And before I head to bed, here are a few pictures from a local fire house breakfast/fundraiser.

heading into a pancake breakfast at a local fire house

Wesley and I sitting on a fire truck
(he refused to get inside just yet...)

Wesley and Daddy

in front of the truck by himself

FINALLY inside a truck! Damon had to carry him into the truck because Wes was too afraid to get in. Once he was in, he didn't want to touch anything and he didn't want Damon to either.

in front of the equipment
(notice how the jackets are as tall as he is)

the three of us

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