Friday, January 22, 2010

One Year Ago - Tomorrow

On January 23, 2009, just one day before Emma's first birthday, she was taken to a hospital in St. Petersburg to have corrective heart surgery.
Emma had a very common problem that many infants face...patent ductus arteriosis (PDA). Basically, the "hole" in her heart which allowed blood to bypass the lungs in utero stayed open. In most cases, the first breath of life causes this "hole" to close. In the States, this condition is fixed early on - maybe even before leaving the hospital. Emma's was not. She lived with this for her first 364 days. The only information we were given on referral was that she had finally had corrective surgery the day before her first birthday! We did not get any information about possible organ damage or to the extent this "hole" affected her little body. God works in such mysterious ways. You see, I spent my first two years out of pharmacy school doing a fellowship in neonatal medicine. We saw many, many cases of PDAs. Our hospital and pharmacy department was so advanced that we tried (and succeeded in many cases) to treat PDAs with IV Indomethacin dosed based on blood levels. This is not a normal lab test that regular labs do so my director set up his own HPLC lab in the hospital for us to go in and "run" the test ourselves. I spent hours doing this...sometimes driving to the hospital in the middle of the night to run these levels. We would take this information to determine the correct dosage to give babies. It was very complex and cutting edge, but because of this, I became very educated with PDAs. I know I have digressed, but I wanted you all to know just how "comfortable" I was with Emma's referral "diagnosis". This is why I feel certain that she was meant to be ours. Our agency coordinator was doubtful that we would accept Emma since we had requested a healthy child. Immediately, I said YES to Emma's referral. I had no doubt that she would be anything less than perfect.
I can tell you that I am 200% positive that her cardiac diagnosis is the only reason another Russian couple did not adopt Emma.
So this weekend, we will remember Emma's struggles and her surgery. We will mourn the fact that she did not get to celebrate her first birthday as she was lying in a hospital bed in Russia. We will, however, give thanks to the Lord for allowing these circumstances to place Emma with our family, and we will celebrate her "first" birthday with her forever family in grand style!

20091224-(26 of 225)

17 comments:

Stephanie said...

Wow, this kind of thing really justifies my belief in miracles.

Tara said...

Happy 2nd Birthday, Miss Emma! So glad that there have been no lasting effects or damage. God always has a plan and glad y'all were a part of each other's plan.

Kristine said...

Oh, she is so precious! Happy Birthday Emma!!!

Barb said...

Wow - that was just awesome to read! What a cute photo!

Henley on the Horn said...

What a doll baby! Happy 2nd birthday, beautiful girl!! May you be spoiled rotten:)

Love Being a Nonny said...

I don't believe in coincidences...everything is ordained by God. Aren't you glad your precious girl was one of those things?!

Over-Caffeinated X 4 said...

If you miss the red threads in life, just start an adoption and you will find them everywhere! :)

Happy Birthday Emma!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

She was most definitely meant for your family..... what an incredible story!! You are so blessed with this little girl.....

Happy Birthday Emma!! Hope your day is extra special:)

xo,

Lisa

Ashley said...

What a miracle - and an absolutely adorable miracle at that!!

С днем рождения Emma!! (Sorry I think that is correct - I only know how to say it - I have to copy the spelling from somewhere else;)

Blessings, Ashley

Ally said...

TOTALLY a God thing! I like this post.

Tisha said...

Happy Birthday, Emma! What a heartfelt and poignant post. It is amazing how God uses every single circumstance in our lives and brings it all together. I hope you have a GRAND celebration indeed!

Blessings,
Tisha

bevysblog said...

Happy Birthday to Emma! My Jackson had a hole in his heart (VSD) until he was 6. Thank goodness it was never life-threatening and was the size of the head of a pin. Even so, God is praised for the closing!

Bama Girl in AZ said...

Happy Birthday to Emma! Miracles do happen!

Jodee Leader said...

Happy birthday to your sweet girl! She was the perfect addition to your family! You are sooo blessed!

Jo said...

She was meant to be a part of your family!

Hope this finds you all celebrating the best 2nd birthday ever!

Jo
I passed along your suggestion. Nick has been able to drink {and swallow} with much less pain. Thanks again for everything!

teg said...

Did you know Emma shares a birthday with Fuzzpa?! January 24th, right? Happy Birthday to Emma!

Heather said...

Wow, God works in mysterious ways.

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