On the Homefront
Thank You Lord!!!! September 12, 2007
We're HOME!!!  Thank You Lord!!!
Out of the Pediatric ICU! September 10, 2007
Just a quick post tonight.  We got transferred out of the PICU yesterday and things are looking up.  We may be discharged tomorrow (Tuesday) or Wednesday, depending on the comfort level of the cardiologists with a variety of issues with Jonathan's heart rate and rhythmn.  They are starting to call him the '"Ironman" because they are shocked that his less- than-perfect heart can endure a rate of about 50 when he is asleep.  And did I mention, he got out of bed today like he has been walking all along and not been laying around in a bed for a week?! 

At some point, Jonathan and I were talking about his surgery and why he had to undergo 2 surgeries and how the Lord uses the many doctors and nurses to "fix his boo boo heart" and make him well.  He looked at me and said, "Mommy, God do a good job!"  His daily prayers acknowledge the presense of God in his life.  Can't wait until his language comprehension gets to a level where He can understand that "asking Jesus into His heart" has nothing to do with more heart surgery (at least not in the physical realm!).

Love to all! 
Day ??? in Post-Surgery Fog September 08, 2007
Well, we are still in the pediatric ICU and so ready to be home.  The original expectation immediately after surgery was that we would be going home this weekend, and that is no longer the case.  John and I have been spending almost every waking moment at the hospital (John at work during the week) and, when we are home on alternating nights, focusing on falling into bed to get some much-needed rest.  Jonathan is doing beautifully according to the many doctors and surgeons that have been following up with him all week; however, we have experienced some hitches that are keeping us in a holding pattern for now.  For one, Jonathan's right chest cavity filled up with a significant amount of fluid after his 3 chest tubes had been removed so they had to do another anethesized procedure yesterday to put a smaller tube back in.  The good news is that the fluid was not an indication of that complication we mentioned earlier that could have kept us in the hospital up to a month longer. This was most certainly expected to be the outcome (based on the typical complications with this particular type of surgery)-- thank You Lord for continuing to be ever-present in the many miraculous details along the way.  We truly have a miracle child on our hands.  One of the nurses told us that most kids with Jonathan's heart condition don't make it to the age of 1, and here Jonathan made it to 3.5 before he had any medical attention/surgery!  And then he went another 3.5 years before getting the remainder of what he needed, all the while growing, thriving and not appearing to be completely blue! 

For now, the medical team is currently watching to make sure no more significant amounts of fluid build up.  So far so good.  The other hold up is that, as Jonathan's body continues to heal from the major surgery, his heart is still adjusting to all the changes and his heart function is not quite optimal yet.  He has been on and off an external pacemaker this week in the hopes that it will help stimulate and train his heart to the rhythmn it needs to be at.  Apparently, we all have a natural primary and secondary pacemaker in our hearts, and at the moment, Jonathan's secondary pacemaker is sometimes overriding his primary one.  There is no telling how long this will take -- maybe even up to another week holding the line at the hospital.  Ahhhh!  :-O  We would love your continued prayers for complete surrender to the Lord's purposes and timing.  The Lord is so good to us in granting us grace for each moment, but, it has been emotionally and physically exhausting -- the thought of many more days there just doesn't sound physically do-able at this point.  One day at a time, right?

Jonathan is getting stronger each day and is starting to get his smile back.  We had a rough couple of days with his depressed sort of moods and not-so-great pain management.  The problem is that Jonathan won't admit when he is in pain.  He has some sort of idea in his head that to be a good patient, you need to deny any presence of pain.  We sometimes wonder if he has any fears that we'll send him back to China if he is not the "perfect" son.  Of course, this breaks our hearts!  We are able to communicate with him on all this and try to reassure him that it is okay to feel pain and important to let us know, that we love him no matter what, etc., but convincing him enough to talk to us about what he is feeling is another story.  He definitely follows after his Mom and Dad (especially Mom) keeping all that emotion bottled up and being Mr. Stoic.  A quick example of how tough he is:  as they were pulling out the 3 chest tubes, I asked the doctor what sort of pain he was feeling and he said, "Oh, pretty much like he was just stabbed in the chest."  And he had to endure this 3 times.  The only pain he showed was 1 tear trickling down his cheek!  He is one tough little guy!

On the flipside, when he heard his two sisters' voices on the phone today, he started crying because he missed them so badly.  And again when they walked into his room!  He looked so sad, but leaned hard into Mia when she sat up on his bed next to him.  She patted him on his head, gave him a kiss on his forehead and said, "Don't be afraid Jonathan.  I'll take care of you.  Don't worry."  We are so very thankful for how close our newly-formed family is and how the Lord continues to bond us all so closely together through this experience.  John and I haven't seen much of each other with trading "shifts", but we have managed to keep our sense of humor and be a unified team in getting through this together.  I am so thankful to be married to that wonderful man of mine!  Another cool "fringe benefit" to being in the hospital, aside from holding puke buckets and dealing with bedpans and more bodily fluids than I ever care to see (HA!), is that we get to talk about the Lord and adoption to so many doctors, nurses, staff, (and hopefully roommates when we get one in the next wing whenever we are released from the PICU).  We pray that He will be most glorified in all that we say and do!  Thanks so much for all your supportive emails, calls, meals, and visits -- we couldn't do this without you!  We love you bunches!
Day One - Post Surgery September 05, 2007

Well - we serve a Mighty God, One who hears AND answers prayer!  Jonathan is in the Pediatric ICU (PICU) and is recovering from a very significant open-heart surgery during which the doctors performed four separate procedures.  Jonathan's surgeons said that the operation went extremely well, that they accomplished everything they set out to do, and were happy with the results.  Thank you Lord for giving Jonathan's team the wisdom, skill, and capability to successfully complete a very difficult surgical procedure!

Probably for the first time in his life Jonathan has pink lips, fingernails, and toenails!  In his first full day in the PICU, he was able to get his breathing tube removed, all IVs removed, and one of his drainage tubes removed.  He started chewing crushed ice, then pretty quickly moved to water and milk.  He was able to come off the post-surgical sedatives and is carrying on short conversations with his Mom & Dad.  What a great level of progress in a 24-hour period!  Go God!

The biggest risk for Jonathan now is the potential that some children who have open heart surgery have to develop a dangerous build up of lymphatic fluid in the chest cavity.  The doctors are a little concerned because he has had a higher level of fluid draining out of his chest drain tubes.  They are monitoring the situation closely and we probably won't know anything for sure for another day or two.

So, first we want to give God all the glory and honor for answering our and all of your prayers regarding the surgical procedure and Jonathan's recovery so far!  What an awesome privilege to know that our God cares about us enough to respond to the faithful prayers of His believers.

Second, we want to ask all of you to continue praying for Jonathan and the rest of our family during the recovery phase.  Especially over the next couple of days as the doctors attempt to rule out the fluid build-up issue.

Third, a HUGE thank you to all our family and friends who have been praying and calling and emailing and offering all means of support!  We can't imagine going through this without you - we love you all!

Check back here again soon as we will post updates as we receive them.

Surgery Complete! September 04, 2007


We are praising the Lord that Jonathan's open heart surgery today at Inova Fairfax Hospital is complete!  The doctors reported that it was surprisingly uncomplicated (for being so complicated) and John and I had a "peace that passes all understanding" all day today as we waited.  Your prayers were evident and very felt by our family.  Thank you so much!

“Praise the LORD!  Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.  Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forever.  From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the LORD is to be praised.  The LORD is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens.  Who is like the LORD our God, who is enthroned on high, who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth?  He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of His people.  He makes the barren woman abide in the house as a joyful mother of children.  Praise the LORD!”

-Psalm 113