Monday, September 30, 2013

Almost One Year Home!

I cannot believe that in a week Anna will have been in our family for a year!  What an amazing, difficult, fun, crazy year it has been.  She has truly been an amazing gift to our family and always brings lots of pizzazz.  I still can’t believe that her foster home told us that she was a shy and reserved little girl.  Well that little girl is long gone!  She is a spunky, bossy, silly three year old.  Sweet as can be one minute and little miss 3 going on 13 the next.  Having 3 older siblings has definitely had an influence on her and she has no trouble getting into battles of “who can talk the loudest to get attention” with them.  Some days it is hard to remember that she hasn’t always been part of our family. 

Anna’s newest and biggest accomplishment is being potty trained!  She caught on really quickly and within a few weeks was having very few accidents.  Although she isn’t always accident free,  I’d have to say she has been one of my easiest to train.  Really this is nothing short of a miracle.  Back in January a nurse doing her urology testing told me that “THESE KIDS” can’t be potty trained.  Luckily, I held my breath and didn’t say what I wanted to, but let’s just say Anna isn’t “THESE KIDS” Yes, she has Spina Bifida, but she is her own person and she is a living miracle.  She shouldn’t be alive. She shouldn’t be able to walk and she shouldn’t be able to use the potty.  But guess what?  She is!  She shouldn’t even be part of our family but… She is! She has a God that is SO BIG!  And He has done great things for her.  One of her favorite songs is “My God is So Big” I love to hear her sing it because it is so true in her life.   I love that each and every day we can see God’s miracles and praise him for them.

This leads me into a BIG PRAYER REQUEST for Anna.  Last spring Anna had a baseline MRI done.  Initially we were told that everything looked fine.  Unfortunately, two months later when we met with the neurosurgeon we found out that wasn’t the case.  I won’t go into the details of the misinformation (not good.)  But what we did find out was that Anna has a significant build up of spinal fluid in her spinal column.  Realistically, a child with that much spinal fluid built up should have a spinal shunt put in to drain the fluid.  But as we determined earlier, Anna doesn’t follow the rules.  The surgeon looked at how well she is doing and didn’t see any reason to do surgery on her right then.  So, we decided to wait 4 months and have another MRI.  So this Wednesday, October 2nd she will have that MRI.  For the last four months we have been praying for a miraculous healing.  Every night as I tuck her in, I pray that this next MRI will show a significant reduction in the amount of spinal fluid.  Would you please join us in praying for this miracle?  I believe Anna’s God is definitely big enough to do this miracle in her body.  Please also pray for wisdom in moving forward if we don’t get the particular miracle we are asking for.  Pray that we can trust God no matter what.

Anna’s walking is coming along really well.  She pretty much walks everywhere now with the assistance of a walker or forearm crutches.  She’s pretty amazing with the crutches since most kids her age aren’t coordinated enough to use them.  The crutches allow her to have more flexibility in getting around than just using the walker, but she prefers the walker for SPEED. She had her first “running on concrete and falling face first” experience a few weeks ago.  Not a fun result but nothing too serious. Last week we met with her orthopedic surgeon.  Her left leg (the club foot leg) has several issues because of how her bones grew wrong.  Getting her left leg corrected is going to take a lot of time, and it will probably never be perfect, but we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to get it in the best shape it can be.  As we move into the spring the next step will be to correct the bone malformation in her foot.  Anna’s walking is going so well that the surgeon wants to continue to improve that.  After that surgery she may have a surgery to correct the rotation of her tibia.  This second surgery will be more invasive, so we will wait to see how things go with the first surgery before moving forward with the tibia surgery.  Basically, the better she does the more surgery she gets.  Not really the reward you look forward to, but in her case it will bring greater benefit to her mobility as she gets older.

Last week Anna started a ballet class!  She is so excited about it.  We are very blessed to have a ballet program near our home that is happy to let Anna be involved despite her disability.  We are hoping that the class will continue to improve her balance as well as being a fun activity for her.

Thank you for your continued prayers for Anna and our family.  It is hard to put into words what this year has meant to us.  One thing is for sure.  It has changed us. Anna has brought us so much joy.   She has made us cling in faith to Jesus.  She has made our family more fun.  She has loved us even when we have acted unlovable.  She has adapted and adapted and adapted some more.  She challenges me every day to love more, be silly more, and to step out in faith more. She is a living, breathing, miracle and I am so blessed to be her mom.  Tonight as K.C. tucked her into bed he whispered "I love you" she sweetly whispered back "I know."