Wednesday, May 10, 2017

One year Post Surgery

Exactly one year ago, we kissed our sweet baby girl and told her see her soon and watched the doctors push her into the operating room. It was hard, but it made me so grateful to know that the one who guided the surgeons hands had held my baby girl's heart since before she was born. We sat in the waiting room not sure about what to do with ourselves. My amazing coworkers from India had written me cards that were to be read on Abby Grace's surgery day. I knew the surgery should take 5-8 hours so I planned out how many cards I could open per hour so I scheduled them for encouragement throughout the day. We had several people stop by to pray with us and help us not worry. It really was a day that I can look back and see how truly God is in control and in our moments of greatest need, He gives us more. As I opened the note from my sweet friend, the first tears of that day streamed down my face, I was amazed at how her words, written over a month before, thousands of miles away could touch my heart in such a deep way. It was a reminder that we are not in this life alone, but as believers, we are family. We support each other in joys and in trials. I love that sometimes, ignorance is bliss... A surgical nurse would come give an update every few hours and when they came back and said, "She is off bypass and doing great. She will coming to ICU soon" we figured that the worst was over and we thanked the Lord for his work in her heart. We waited and waited. We had no idea how long of a time frame it would be from closing up to wheeling her in to where we could see her. Finally, the nurse came back again and said that after the surgeon took her off bypass, he thought he should put a bigger patch on the VSD and so he put her back on bypass and put a bigger patch on it. When the surgeon was finally done, he came to see us and tell us how it went. He said it was the biggest hole he had ever patched. He said something had just made him want to go back in and add a bigger patch even though it was not easy. I told him that we had so many people that had been praying that he would be guided and would know just what to do and that God had used his hands to go back in and patch up that hole and Abby Grace's life would forever be better because of his wisdom and use of skill.
Our God is so great, and so amazing to give us such good gifts, and even on what could have been one of the worst days, we found hope and joy and did not need to dwell in fear or sadness. Then I thought about how life was going to change for this little girl. I am so humbled to be THIS special girl's momma. All of a sudden the closets were full of dresses, pink bows, baby dolls, as well as medical supplies. The first weeks of carrying her around with an oxygen tank were hard but it became normal. I joked that since I already had carried around twins for years, it was no big deal to have a baby on one arm and a oxygen tank hanging on the other. And she got better so quickly. Before, when we were in the hospital, all the dr.'s and medical students would come listen to her heart to hear such a unique heart beat. It was called the "absence of silence" because so much blood was going the wrong way, whooshing through the large hole in her heart into the lungs with every heartbeat. Now she has a normal heartbeat. Its just amazing. Pretty much anything that has happened with this girl is nothing short of a miracle. When I see her running, jumping, swimming, laughing, and even screaming, I think about where she was before, unable to walk or cry for very long because it took so much out of her to get upset. Our first weeks in China, she would point to her bed and imply she wanted a nap or to go to bed because living life was extra exhausting for her. Now she is like a energizer bunny that keeps going and going and would be fine skipping naps and gets sad when its bedtime.
I am so grateful for the lessons learned in this last year, and for the life altering choice to bring Abby Grace in our family. I would not have it any other way! One look at her little smile and I melt, even more in love with her and the one who saw fit to create her, and who has made her heart whole again. God deserves all the praise for His work in her life, and also in mine. He has made me realize my own dependence on Him and my smallness in light of all He is. He is sovereign over us, giving us strength within our sorrow and brings beauty from our tears. I am so thankful for the lessons learned in the valley, and I would not wish them away for a million mountain top experiences.


  1. Our Beautiful Granddaughter and her super specials brothers. Thank you God for giving them to our family!

  2. When I look at her I can see how much love has changed her. Love is such a special blessing from the Father. So glad that he showed us what love is. We miss you all. Maybe one day we can FaceTime or Skype.

  3. Beautifully written. What a testimony of God's love, His Presence in all situations, and the trust that produces unwavering faith in hi goodness.!