"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8 NLT
My thoughts are not there yet. I am overwhelmed and scared. The enemy has me right where he wants me, down in the depths. Please pray for my spirit to be lightened, that I can fix my eyes on things above not on earthly hardships. For my hope is in the Lord.
The most difficult part is knowing if his particular remedy is the right one for our child. This is a very big and weighty decision. There are several types of shunts and all come with their own pluses and minuses. Some are less risky to put in but carry more risk for the future. Most will have to be monitored closely and possibly replaced several times. Because of all of these factors we feel that it is wise to get more opinions. That isn't very easy since there are only a few pediatric neurosurgeons in each large city. Thankfully, the Lord knew about this long before we did and placed a person in our life who can help us. In fact we traveled in China together to receive our daughters and are on the same timeline to travel together again to receive our sons this fall. We serve a truly amazing God. He knows what we need and He helps us every step of the way. So instead of travelling to several different cities and trying to get appointments with different specialists, our friend, a neurosurgeon in Michigan is going to help us get some opinions from the pediatric neurosurgeons he works with. If they agree that the procedure our surgeon is suggesting is the best option for Anna's situation then we will most likely do the surgery in mid-August. This is actually great timing since we will most likely be travelling to China in mid-October to bring Samuel home. If the other neurosurgeons feel that this procedure is not the best one for Anna we will have to decide what the best way to proceed is.
As I mentioned before, her condition continues to remain stable. There is no rush except for the fact that it would definitely be easier to get all of this done before we add another little one to our family. I am working on resigning myself to the idea of mid-October travel to China, as late September seems impossible at this time. Due to Chinese holidays in September and the first week in October it looks like our earliest "Gotcha day" will be October 8th. You know what is crazy? October 8th is Anna's Gotcha day! We were hoping it would be earlier because of much higher hotel rates starting October 15th. We are trusting that God, working through the generosity of friends and family will help us raise the money to cover these increased travel costs. I will post more on how you can help with that next week.
For now, please continue to pray for my heart. Pray that I would be able to focus on what is before me each day and not feel overwhelmed. Pray that I would offer grace and peace to my husband and children even as I feel stretched and weary physically and emotionally. Pray that God would give all of the doctors wisdom as they view Anna's information, and that God would give us peace regarding the timing of the procedure and which procedure will give Anna the best outcome.
I am so thankful to have all of you with me on this journey. When we adopted Anna it was through many tears and much fear. The Lord has blessed us beyond compare by bringing Anna into our lives. Her life has and will be filled with many trials, but also many victories. Our faith will be strengthened and above all, no matter what, we will glorify the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I want to close today's post with a something I have learned from my brother in law, Travis VandeNoord, a two time cancer survivor. I always enjoy being at his home for prayer before meals because He closes his prayers with a different ending than our typical, "In Jesus name Amen." He knows what means to face a difficult illness, even death, at a very young age. This is his benediction-