So it’s about 4:30 now and Elyana and I both have a bad case of insomnia. She’s been doing so much better lately sleeping through the night, but sometimes she just wants to be close. Reminded that we are near. In the past few weeks she has switched from saying “up” when she wants held to a very sweet, melt your heart “A hold you?!” …that I can’t resist…even at 3am. So here we are, up and rocking/snuggling/eating bananas in the night.
Don’t let all that paint some glamorous baby magazine picture….
Most nights she wakes I’m not so perky as I stumble out if bed, eyes squinting, while praying a few pats on the back will quickly send her back to dreamland. I’m usually exhausted while John is the one who tends to wake with a whole load of compassion & wisdom.
John is so amazing & understanding with Elyana, even when he is half awake. It’s like God has given him a window to her heart & it’s him who patiently reminds me when I am weary… “Cindy, 3 months ago she was still in an orphanage.” Amazing what remembering does. It’s so easy to get knee deep in the “day to day”…forgetting the real needs or hurts of others. Forgetting where they’ve come from, and the hurts that need healing…..still. We see the outward appearance and think. “All must be well”, when there’s still those deeply hidden scars God wants to remove. He desires to remove all of them…even the ones out of view.
As a mom and child of God, I must allow God to keep my heart soft to the needs of others. My “to do” list cannot trump the healing God desires to work in and through me. And when I grow weary, I must remember as a child of God, this is my commission, my calling, my charge, and mission to carry out as a soldier and daughter of the King.
For He also has adopted me, patiently healing my messed up heart. He is loooonnnggg suffering, gentle and kind. And it’s this Holy Spirit I must allow to live in and through me so that my daughter can also find true & lasting healing.
Is there resistance? Oh yes, and our friend Tracy (Kya’s mom ) will quickly tell you fierce stories of resistance. And compared to what others have faced, we have tasted little. But despite resistance, we will love. And love does require holding and also consistent discipline. We do lots of “time ins” as Karyn Purvis so wisely names them. And boy does Elyana despise “time ins.” She can’t stand it when she is missing out on the fun, so she eventually decides to say “all done, nice & love.”
We’ve made big progress in the past few weeks. And the farther we get from Gotcha Day, the more I see her attach to us….the more I realize how deeply she needed healing, and how desperately all orphans need families. I always “knew” before, but now I “know” and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. For once God shares His heart burdens we cannot so easily walk away. I’m grateful that as I see her heal, God reminds me to not grow weary, for there are so many others waiting for this same healing.
In an orphanage, Nannies do the best they can, but a family is gifted a window into your heart…your needs…takes time to love YOU…even on cranky days. A true, godly family is a safe place…where your heart can find security and rest. A place where both physical and spiritual needs can be fed, and Christ himself is to be seen living and breathing through us. What a beautiful design by our Master & Father in heaven.
It’s my prayer as I rock a (finally sleeping) little girl (smelling of banana)…that God will continue to keep my heart humble and soft to needs all around. That I won’t ever forget the transformation I’ve witnessed God can make in the hurting heart.
A Quick update on Elyanas physical progress. When we got her she was a baby in so many ways. And was happy to remain there for a little while. But it wasn’t long before we said bye-bye to bottles & all things resembling congee. Rice cereal was soon a “toss”. She doesn’t freak out when we take her plate anymore, but can be possessive of her food. Overall she is eating healthy & putting on a normal amount of weight. She loves fruit and veggies, and has decided recently chocolate is something quite wonderful.
We have been to Columbus Children’s two times, and visited our family doctor this week. Doctors at the mylo-meningocele clinic were pleased that she is potty training and can control her bladder functions. So it seems there is no nerve damage in the bladder. We aren’t sure about the bowels yet.
We are scheduled for an ultrasound of the bladder/kidneys and an MRI of her spine and brain mid-April. The MRI is to give them a baseline & make sure her spinal cord isn’t damaged in any way.
Specialists believe her nerves were damaged in her legs from birth, causing the numbness (especially on the left lower left). So orthopedic ordered AFO’s to be made…which are to get her up and going. We went a week ago to get them in Columbus.
So far we can compare her progress to a young child 1st learning to walk. She’s trying to balance in stiff orthotics, and often those feet won’t do what she wants.
(yes Elyana was climbing the walls waiting to be fitted!)
But, we are amazed that, so far, she shows no frustration towards the braces. She never asks to have them off, but does ask for them on.
We are trying to have her sleep in them, since we’ve been told most bone growth occurs at night. She woke up crying almost every night the first week & we guessing it’s because of the braces, because before the braces she was beginning to sleep sound all night.
She gets very sweaty in them & also loves sleeping with her legs tucked under her….so we are guessing it must feel irritating.
The first night she finally got to try them out…we took this video. ( you can hear Jenna cheering her sister on.)
We can barely remember life without our sweet and silly Elyana, but will never forget the wait to hold her. It felt like an eternity. And now..she gives us plenty of opportunities to ” hold you “…..even if they are at 3am.
Update on Kya:
Kya and her mommy have been home now for a week! We are so thankful she is making progress and Tracy writes: “the day after getting home the hospital was calling to schedule Kya for her pre-ops and her actual first heart surgery. This surgery will be to “band” off her lungs to stop the amount of blood going to the lungs which is making them so soggy. Her O2 levels will drastically drop after this surgery, yikes, but then it will help to lead her into the second surgery called the Glenn heart surgery. Not sure why it’s called Glenn but I am guessing either some guy named Glenn either came up with this surgery or died in the process, lovely thought. After that, she will have the Fontan surgery, who names their kid Fontan? Seriously, these are the names of the different types of surgeries and you can easily google them to see what it is they repair.”
We just love Tracy and her ability to find humor in all these tough circumstances. Kya seems to be doing well, but her mom says that all the surgeries have certainly been a set back for attachment and trust. Please keep Kya, her brothers, and Mom (who is single-mom while Dad-airforce pilot is away) all in your prayers! We know God is in the business of moving mountains.
Have a great weekend! I’m off to squeeze in a few moments of shut-eye!