Isaiah 43:5

Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. Isaiah 43:5

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Castings, Correction, Colors and Confirmation

"for the Mighty One has done great things for me-- holy is his name." Luke 1:49

Colors, casts, correction and confirmation have been many of the words Lucy Kim has heard and/or experienced in the last month since I wrote this post.
Our family continues to be so very grateful for your prayers!  Those prayers along with the e-mails, phone calls or notes of encouragement are a source of fuel for us. Thank you.
Inside St. Louis Children's Hosptial
Our first whirlwind trip to St. Louis, MO  (Oct. 14 - 15) was both encouraging and confirming.  Lucy's physician, Dr. Matthew Dobbs is not only extremely experienced and knowledgeable in treating Lucy's foot anomaly but he is also kind, compassionate and encouraging too!  While the journey will be a bit lengthy and physically tiring, Lucy's in the best possible hands for medical treatment of her foot and we are so grateful to our Heavenly Father.
Boarding an airplane with our youngest did indeed bring back many emotional memories for this Mama.  After all, only 13 months ago we were boarding a plane with her for the very first time in our journey H.O.M.E.!  Lucy let us know she indeed "got it" -- this was about a trip to "help her bad foot" (Lucy's words) and then we would "fly, fly back home".  With answered prayers that Lucy would be enveloped in a feeling of security, our little travel companion was such a great traveler!

Travel pillow made with much LOVE
(thank you so much A.S. & R.M.!!) -- she slept well :)

Something very secure about your daddy's arms wrapped around you!
Let me add yet another HUGE item of praise.  Our "guiding and providing" Heavenly Father has woven our red thread this time through a blog reader who read our last post, (who happens to be a neighbor living 1/2 mile away - thanks so much L!!) I had never met this neighbor but he reached out with a phone call and suggestion of an avenue to check into in getting help with flights to Missouri.  That call was a direct lead to apply with Miracle Flights for Kids.  And...... Lucy (and our family) qualified! Our first flight to see Dr. Dobbs was covered except for a small admin. fee for Merle and I.  What a blessed gift to our family!

Dr. Dobbs voiced his confidence that with the serial castings followed by two surgeries (to insert a pin and also work on her Achilles tendon, then six weeks later to remove the pin, followed by full time  bracing (two difft. types of braces - night time and daytime) Lucy's foot can be corrected.
Another doctor, another waiting room bed.....another day in the life of Lucy Kim!

Entertainment via "Kimmy" while waiting....

She loves her Daddy!!

I love her daddy!!!!

a standing x-ray of her foot

This is her reaction that they need to go back for MORE x-rays!
Excited to pick her cast color, our girlie girl chose HOT PINK for cast #1!  There is such precision that needs to go into the casting as it's literally pushing that vertical talus (bone in foot) into a horizontal (and correct) position.  Each cast putting it in better and accurate alignment.  Therefore no one but the experienced doctor can do her casting.
Anticipating casting
Lucy has virtually no calf muscles in her right calf, because
of the way she's needed to walk on her foot and also because
of the constriction due to her knee contracture and hip.

An expert in his field......Dr. Matthew Dobbs!

Finishing touches of the plaster portion of the cast
Adding some color to the boring white plaster!!

Thumbs up for a hot pink full length cast

And this is how we roll....

As I eluded to in a previous post, that if our Philadelphia doctor (Shriner's Hospital) was willing and his schedule allowed, he would do some of the casting in the series (saving us trips to Missouri).  However his surgery schedule is absolutely crazy (currently they are scheduling surgeries 2 years from now!!)  Again, we have received favor and castings #2, 3 and 4 will be done in Philadelphia by Dr. Van Bosse.  I'm pretty certain that doctors  living half way across the country from each other that are willingly and graciously working together is rather unusual.  A true blessing is what we call it.

Only five days after cast #1 was put on in Missouri, it was taken off and cast #2 was put on in Philadelphia by Dr. VanBosse.  Our wait was long as Dr. VanB. (another sought after physician) was running 2 1/2 hrs. behind schedule.  While waiting, Lucy observed the many other little patients (some without limbs, some with very, very deformed limbs and lots of others also sporting casts of difft. colors).
A special young lady w/o arms
we chatted with  in the waiting room.
A few months ago, I heard this girl play her
cello beautifully with her feet!

Passing time in the play area of the waiting room

Still our lollipop lovin' little lady!!
When Lucy's name was called to go back to an empty room, we were told her cast would be removed in this particular room and then we'd go to another room where she'd be re-casted with the doctor.  This was the point in our journey that I have been most concerned about for our girl.  Having broken two bones in her arm last December and needing to wear an arm cast, we knew from experience that the "cast removal machine" is a very scary monster in Lucy's eyes.

A sweet friend who has been supporting Lucy and our family in her journey home and now in her medical journey suggested wearing headphones and playing music when this very noise machine is used.  A great suggestion that we thought was worth the try, Daddy purchased a cute pair of Hello Kitty headphones.  While waiting in the room for the cast to be removed, Daddy got his little girl set up with her special headphones and some fun music.

 But.....she was NOT to be distracted!  Despite the fact that music was playing in her ears as a source of distraction, Mommy had her arms wrapped around her and  showing her that the blade does not hurt or cut skin, poor Lucy shook with fear!  I absolutely hated that neither Daddy nor I could take that fear from her.  This is one request I'd continue to ask you, her friends and faithful prayer warriors to pray about as we go forward in her medical care.  Lucy Kim has a minimum of 7 more casts that will need to be put on and removed (surgery, post surgery included).
Farewell pink cast...

Shaking like a leaf and holding tight to Mama!
Lucy is one of MANY patients.....

Foot after first cast

Trauma over...

Yellow was picked for cast #2
A care plan has now been mapped out for Lucy's foot care.   We will need to fly back to Missouri for eleven days in November.  During this time Lucy  will have casts # 5 and #6 put on followed by her first surgery on November 13th.  We'll look forward to being back home with our family on the 15th.  But not for long because Nov. 25th we'll make yet another quick trip to MO because we'll need to see Dr. Dobbs again so he can check her surgery site (to make sure the pin hasn't migrated) as well as to measure her foot and leg for braces so that they are made and ready for Lucy immediately after her second surgery.  Back home on Thanksgiving eve.  
Lucy's second surgery has been scheduled for December 23rd!  Which means a fourth flight to Missouri on December 22nd and returning home on Christmas Eve.  Lord willing this will conclude our trips to and from Missouri and Lucy can be followed by Dr. VanBosse in Philadelphia.
And this is the sunshiney yellow version

Setting up her "match game" with her transportation
vehicle always w/in arm's reach!
What about our other children at home?  Their "second parents" (Kim's parents who live in an adjoining house) will once again steer the home helm and they will remain in their daily routine in their own home and own beds!  "Pop-pop" and "Mom-Mom" have and continue to be an invaluable support system!  We are so very blessed by their love, care and continual hand of help!  
 He will provide as He guides this Sovereign "Red Thread" we call Abba Father!!

*****Stay tuned for some super exciting news about the very soon and upcoming premier showing of the documentary "Find Me" where  a portion of Lucy's story will be shown.  Please pray for our dear friends and production team (David and Kathi Peters) who are currently in post production work of Find Me, that GOD would be glorified and that this documentary will inspire many other families to seek the Lord in prayer about growing their families through the gift of adoption.****