Saturday, July 19, 2008

Surgery Update

(edited to include pictures)

Max, Misha, and Vitali all went into Children's West on Thursday for surgery:

We had been quite concerned because there is a two phase recovery process that is used. With the boys we just did not feel this was the most therapeutic method for them emotionally. The mind of a hurt child processes things differently. Even though they probably wouldn't remember much from phase 1 we asked that we be brought in because these boys already have enough things they won't remember that will haunt them for a very long time.

We are blessed to have Melissa's parents nearby so the girls stayed there Wednesday before surgery and Thursday after surgery. Coordinating two surgeons, five procedures, and three boys is a tough task but this was done smoothly by the staff. The boys were scheduled as the last patients of the day and we were able to be with them until they were wheeled into surgery and with them when they came out. With us having three groggy boys coming out of surgery we had Melissa's parents helping. The girls stayed with our friends Kathy Melquist and Heather McElhaney who were visiting from New York.

All went smoothly. Max had a horrific experience with dental work in Ukraine and we were very concerned about this. He ended up needing all eight childhood mollers pulled. He has parlayed that into 8 consecutive nightly visits by the tooth fairy. Misha, our little sensory guy, did quite well. Misha loves to sing, has great rhythm, can dance and now has a great set of grilles after ending up with 5 crowns. Vitali had to have a recurring issue dealt with and he has been suffering the most. In recovery he peed on me and then threw up on both of us.
(Click on the picture at right to see a "before" of Max's worst tooth. Warning: If you are especially sensitive, you won't want to look)

The boys are all doing quite well now. We have been so blessed and continue to be blessed. When we decided to start this journey we were not sure "how" we could do it. The amount of money we have spent this last year has been staggering and we have done it without going into a dime of debt. I continue to be amazed by the generosity of so many people. I had two people approach me recently and gave unsolicited generous gifts and then Friday of last week after I had sent a $2,800 check for the dental portion and was ready to spend another $2,000 on Thursday to cover our deductible. A third person through some incredible circumstances told us she was sending a very large check that was just enough to cover both of these expenses. We did not share this need with any of these people much less the amount.

Every time I begin to question or become concerned about something like this I am blown away. We have been home now six months. The last almost two years have been an incredible trip. If I was writing a script I couldn't have created the scenario that has unfolded. I feel like Isaiah when he said:

"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

I have always said this adoption was not about us and I can truly say it wasn't. That being said I have received so much from this journey. I understand life in a totally different light. I have seen the best and unfortunately the worst of humanity. I have learned to be much more empathetic.

Last week I got to experience another incredible thing. Little Vitali has a dimple. This might seem like nothing much but when we came home he was a scrawny and angry rage filled child. The last six months has been tough. Not as tough as we thought it might be but tough indeed. In reality that dimple was always there but it was hidden under the rage and malnourished body of our little boy. For me that little dimple is priceless!( If you look closely, you can see Vitali's barely-there
little dimple that is just newly appearing!)



Joann said...

Thank that your prayers were answered and the surgery was successful. May God continue to shine on you and your family.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful that everything went so well. What a precious gift to see Vitali's dimple. Can't wait to see a picture of it.
Catherine Hendrickson
family #475

Tami said...

I'm so glad the surgeries went smoothly and the boys did so well. What a blessing they all are, indeed! :)

Nancy said...

Wow! God is GREAT!

The money! The success of the surgery!

The dimple!

Mike and Christie said...

That is wonderful news! So glad you have help.

We have a geriatric tooth fairy around here..... She is rather forgetful, but good thing the girls are forgiving and used to it by now.
I just have to pay a late fee.

Glad all is well and I knew exactly what you mean about it isn't about us, but we sure do get blessed don't we? :)

Nancy said...

I just spent the last 5 hours reading your entire journey (late 2006). THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing! After reading your blog I feel we can do it too!!! (hey, only 1 boy to start with here ;-))


Debbie said...

Thank you for sharing your incredible journey with us and how the Lord has provided and is continuing to do so. He is indeed to be praised! I'm glad the dental work went so well. Elaine needs a lot of work done, and we haven't yet adopted her! We are hoping for the generosity of the dentist and for the Lord to provide what is needed for her teeth--and for us to adopt her soon. It's God's story, and we want Him to have all the glory!

BethPie said...

Praise the Lord for his provisions!

I'm so happy their procedures went well. You have some incredibly handsome sons!! ;)

Deb S said...

You have a beautiful family! I just love reading your blog. It is easy to see how much you love everyone one of them.
Bless you all!
Deb S

David and Sarah said...

Oh, such sweet boys. What a lot to go through. Glad things went well.

Stefanie said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Praise God for your willing hearts to "take on" three beautiful but broken little boys. Praise God for his faithfulness as they grow and develop into the men that He has intended them to be. We too have been amazed by the faithfulness of God by our 4YO that has been home for two years. The physical and emotional growth has been amazing to watch. Your post is very timely as my Husband and I leave in two weeks for our second Ukrainian adoption. We realize also that this journey is truly not about us. There is nothing as exciting as being called to care for the orphans, as they are closest to the heartbeat of God.
God's blessing and strength as you fight the good fight!