On the Homefront
Thank You & Surgery Rescheduled! August 30, 2007

Thanks so much for those of you willing to donate blood for Jonathan's blood bank. We stand in awe of the Lord's overabundant provision for our family through all of your donations, prayers and support.  We have his blood bank needs covered for his surgery and are so grateful for those of you who were able to give.  What a gift!  Thank you!

We received word this morning that his surgery originally scheduled for tomorrow was cancelled.  Apparently the surgeons had other medical emergencies that have thrown off the schedule.  So we are rescheduled for Tuesday, September 4 at 11 a.m.  We are on a bit of an emotional roller coaster just getting geared up for this big event, then to have it pulled out from under us temporarily.  But we know the Lord's plans are perfect and are thankful that His timing is best.  On Tuesday, Jonathan will be following another surgery instead of being the only one on the schedule for the day as originally planned so please pray for the endurance and sharpness of the doctors among other things.  We hope to post a detailed list of prayer requests over the weekend.  Thanks so much for your ongoing love and prayers!

Blood Donations Needed for Jonathan August 22, 2007

We wanted to let you all know about an opportunity to help Jonathan.  This is a BIG request so please don't feel any pressure.  But, if you are local and don't mind giving blood, we need donations for Jonathan's blood bank prior to surgery.  To do this, you would need to contact us to get added to his donor list and then we could give you information on how to set up an appointment and more specifics on location, etc..  The donation center we have selected is Inova Blood Donor Center in Sterling across from Dulles Town Center mall (phone # 571-434-3600, on Nokes Blvd).   We just found out today that his blood type is A+ -- see, here is proof that he really is my son as my blood type is the same!  HA!  I was so excited that I get to be one of the few who qualify to donate and then I realized that these 2 bumps on my ankle just might be poison ivy (from being at the AWAA VA Reunion over the weekend).  Anyway, I believe only blood types A+, A-, O-, O+ qualify to donate for him.  It takes at least 72 hours to process a blood donation so I believe all donations would have to be made by next Monday August 27.  Thanks so much for your prayers to this end.

And the verdict is. . . .(drum roll, please!) August 09, 2007

After meeting with one of Jonathan's pediatric cardiovascular surgeons today, we were able to get the official date of Jonathan's open heart surgery:  Friday, August 31 at Inova Fairfax Hospital.  We had a great meeting with one of the 2 surgeons who will be operating on Jonathan and we think he's really awesome -- Dr. Collazo in Falls Church, VA.    The other one we haven't met yet but we are convinced that the Lord recently moved him to the area especially for Jonathan (we mentioned this in an earlier post).  His name is Dr. Shen and we hear is one of the best in his field (and he speaks Mandarin!) .  And by the way, we have really awesome pediatric cardiologists too : Drs. Tawfik and Hepner, also in Falls Church.

Dr. Collazo reiterated much of what I detailed in my last post.  There is not a lot more to add other than another God sighting.  All of the medical team on Jonathan's case met yesterday to discuss next steps and they are all scratching their heads wondering how Jonathan is still alive, is growing and developing so well, etc.  And I blurted out in our meeting today quite frankly, "It's a God thing!"  They are saying that most patients with the membrane I mentioned (see #3 in the last post) don't make it very long without having that addressed.  This membrane is most certainly a heart defect that he was born with so he has been living with it for almost 7 years. The surgeon looked a bit surprised when he walked into our room today to meet Jonathan for the first time and didn't find a sickly-looking little boy!  All glory to God for sustaining our sweet son's life until he could come home to the best medical care we can provide him!  We glorify the "God in whose hand is our lifebreath and all our ways"! (Daniel 5:23)  Another praise is that John won't have to take time off work (since he can't) for the bulk of the time Jonathan will be in the hospital as that is over Labor Day weekend.  He will need to recover fully for a few weeks after that before starting school and then lay low for a total of 6 weeks before resuming normal activity. 

John and I were commenting that it seems that we are on a "high" after each time we meet with a heart doctor of some sort!  This just must be something to do with seeing the Lord's tangible care for our family.  We can see His hand in this journey over and over and it is exciting to be in the midst of His presence!  Our biggest request right now is for prayer on the day of Jonathan's surgery,  He will have his heart stopped for 5-6+ hours and his body cooled while they work to help his heart do what it should.  The first prayer that popped into my head is that the surgeons and medical team have a good night's sleep beforehand!  We will be posting a list of more detailed prayer requests as we approach that date, but just wanted to tell you now that we so desire your prayers as it is powerful and effective!  Thanks for your love and care for our family!

Jonathan's Cardiac Catheterization & Sophie's Therapy August 08, 2007
I was sitting in the pre-op room before Jonathan's VERY long cath (just over 3 hours) and starting to see glimpses of his past.  It became evident that he has memories from his first heart surgery and 3 week(?) hospital stay in Beijing at the age of 3.5!  It just made me think, "was he all alone?"  Did he have a nanny with him that whole time???  And now he has a mama and daddy to walk this through with him.  Unbelievable grace that the Lord gives to some orphans (and their "lucky" parents!).  We were told most definitely Mia would have died in China had we not adopted her -- they may not have known what to do and if so maybe not been able to.  So, even with uncertainties about our childrens' futures, the Lord has big plans for however long each of our kids are here.  And in the meantime the Lord challenges our status quos of "expecting" to outlive our children or even to have a comfortable, worry-free life -- I wonder where the Lord is in that comfortable place?  Not as close as He is now through the trials!  :-)  Sorry to get so philosophical.  I do get excited to see the Lord in so many adoption stories!  I am so glad we didn't miss this!  This life is not all there is --- I just wish I didn't try to cling to it so much!  :-O
Jonathan handled the cath pretty well and came out of anesthesia peacefully which was a huge answer to prayer since I was there without John.  (He was home with our sick girls).  We have the full debrief on Thurs afternoon with the surgeon, but the high level is that he will need a fontan surgery to reroute all his blue blood in his lower half directly to his lungs.  In addition they found 4 additional issues that will need to be addressed: (and I will probably get the terminology and anatomy wrong but here is my best attempt after a quick conversation with the cardiologist): 1) they need to fix what the Chinese doctors did/didn't so by shutting down blood flow from the heart to the lungs in an area that is counterproductive to the glenn they put in in Beijing; 2) there is some narrowing of the pulmonary arteries that they need to patch and enlarge; 3) there is a membrane that is blocking free blood flow out of the lungs and into the heart that needs to be removed, at least partially; and 4) there is a collateral vein that has formed from the left side of his neck down into his abdomen that needs to be rerouted.  The lungs and pulmonary arteries look strong and developed enough that he is a candidate for surgery so we are thankful for that.  It was a long 12-hour day -- they put us in a bed in the pediatric wing for him to recover and finally discharged us around 10p.  I think the primary thing was that his 3 incisions didn't bleed but his oxygen levels were staying in the low 70s for a while which was concerning.  Finally they returned to low 80s so we could go home.  Sleeping in your own bed is another one of those little blessings we don't take for granted anymore!  Thanks so much for your prayers!
I also wanted to mention that Sophie has a "moderate speech and language disorder" which means she will need weekly therapy for a while.  And also 9 weeks of attachment therapy.  She definitely has some trust issues, learning process issues, eating issues, etc that I would guess are just from the trauma of being a "SN child" in an orphanage.   Mia was fostered and Jonathan had a birth family for 3 years so they don't have these types of issues.  We are hoping the therapy will give her the help she needs to overcome some of the things that make her so highly frustrating to parent.  And then again, maybe at the end of the day we just conclude she is a strong-willed child and leave it at that?  But the therapists have given us hope that things can change for the better.  She is very repetitive in her communication (untrusting, I would guess) and often has delayed responses to our communication with her.  She has overreactive meltdowns a lot which wear me out!  :-) But we love her to pieces and she can be so sweet when she wants to be -- her smile lights up a room!  
Never a dull moment here!    More later!
My New Medical Profession! ;-) August 04, 2007

At one point in my life, post-advertising career and pre-children, I contemplated becoming a nurse.  Did I REALLY??  Be careful what you wish for, right?  My life has become not surprisingly full of a continuous stream of pediatrician visits, specialist visits (both nephrologists and cardiologists), speech therapists, attachment therapists, imaging centers for x-rays, labs for bloodwork, opthamologists, dentists, multiple pharmacies, etc, etc.  It's no wonder I haven't posted here in a while!  Becoming a mom of 3 has been pure JOY coupled with less of me and more of them and the aforementioned busyness!  In spite of the "aches and pains" that are associated with all of this coming and going,  John and I can't help but feel so overwhelmingly blessed by our growing family.  As if we needed any more convincing, this last adoption underscores that there is no other way to "be happy in Jesus" than to trust and obey!  Any apprehension we had of welcoming a 6-year old orphan with half a heart into our home has melted away with the amazing blessing this little boy has been to all of us in the Lossing family.  Thank You Lord, for Your plans are perfect!

Jonathan will, indeed, need open heart surgery this month.  His cardiac catheterization is scheduled for this Monday, April 6 at 1:00p.   This will be an outpatient procedure at Inova Fairfax Hospital to get a more in-depth look at the veins/arteries, lungs, heart, etc, and determine if he can be a candidate for surgery as well as determine any complications that need to be addressed.  The cardiologist is optimistic that the open heart surgery later this month (TBD) should be straightforward and will reroute all of his "blue blood" in the lower half of his body directly to the lungs (bypassing the heart).  Apparently, it is not necessary for a human body to have 2 ventricles to function so Jonathan's prognosis, assuming surgery goes well, is that he will have a fairly normal lifespan with some restricted activity (no competitive sports, for ex.).  The "blue blood" in the upper half of his body was already rerouted through surgery that he had at Beijing Fuwai Hospital in April of 2004 when he was 3.5 years old. 

Thank you for continuing to lift up our family in prayer.  We may be calling on some of you to help with the girls during the 5-7 night stay in the hospital for Jonathan's surgery.  We'll keep you posted!