Happy Birthday to our precious SaraGrace!!! She turned 6 today. How can that be? Having a birthday the day after Halloween has it's advantages--like being able to be jacked up on sugar for two straight days. This seems to annoy her parents--a fact she finds puzzling.
Awhile back in this post, I promised to write the miraculous story about her heart surgery. As you may remember, she was originally rejected for surgery in China and sent back to her orphanage 'to be made comfortable' until the end.
At that point, the family who had planned to adopt her backed out. We were waiting in the wings and immediately I emailed my friend, Amy, at Love Without Boundaries to see if anything could be done. Amy was already working on it and was able to contact Hope Healing Home to see if SaraGrace could be moved there for some TLC. It was hoped that she could gain some weight while a second opinion could be sought. The biggest hurdle was that at 14 months old, her heart defect had gone untreated so long. The unanswered question was whether or not her heart had suffered irreparable damage while she waited.
Jeff and I never had the slightest doubt about moving forward with her adoption. God had so clearly put her on our hearts and we knew He chosen her for us. We had an unexplainable peace that had come from Him.
Hope Healing Home occasionally was able to have heart surgeries performed on their babies by a surgeon in Singapore. The entire cost was covered by the doctor and hospital. The staff at Hope, sent SaraGrace's echocardiogram results to the surgeon to see if he would consider taking SaraGrace's case. The days and weeks ticked by slowly while we waited--hoping and praying that he would say yes. Every day that passed, we knew that SaraGrace's heart was at more and more risk to pass the point of no return.
During that time, God gave me the following verse for SaraGrace: "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you." Ezekiel 36:26 Whenever things got discouraging, I thought about this verse and it filled me with hope. We were told by the staff at Hope that SaraGrace was a quiet, sweet little thing. As we waited, I thought often of this verse and wondered if her 'spirit' would change after her surgery. Oh....if I had only known! We don't call her 'Spitfire' for nothing!
Finally, word came from Singapore. The surgeon would see her! She was flown to see the doctor and we again waited to hear if she would be a candidate for surgery.
Since China is exactly 12 hours ahead of us, I would rush downstairs each morning to check my email for any news.
One morning, there was an email waiting. Surgery was a GO! We were so excited!
Once she was in Singapore, she got sick and surgery was delayed for two weeks. We held our breath as the second date neared, praying that she would stay healthy. She did.
And then...another delay. Upon further testing and consideration, the surgeon was contemplating a full repair of SaraGrace's heart, rather than a partial, which would require a second surgery.
Another date was set. We got an email that surgery was about to start and then 45 minutes later, and email stating that the surgeon had decided to go with the full repair and needed to wait for the valve to arrive.
A week later, it arrived and SaraGrace had a full repair, open heart surgery. It seemed surreal to be getting emails about our daughter who was lying in a hospital on the other side of the world, but God surrounded us with His peace. Although I wanted to be with her, I can honestly say that I wasn't overly stressed by the situation.
Two weeks later, she was able to fly home to Beijing. That very same day, our paperwork was winging its way to China. Coincidence? I think not. God is so very precise.
Our first photo of SaraGrace after surgery...she was PINK!