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, November 19, 2014

Lucy Kim will be on the big screen!

Blog readers that have been following our journey to Lucy Kim from the beginning of this blog will likely remember that we first saw our sweet girl in December 2012 when we watched a you tube clip advocating for her family to find her! see you tube clip here

Lucy Kim's journey home continued to be chronicled on  film and her adoption will be featured along with two other families' adoption stories in a touching documentary called "Find Me." 
Enjoy the  2 1/2 minute trailer!

Find Me - The Documentary from findMe international on Vimeo.

 From the time God first asked us  to step out in faith and bring another daughter into our family, we have prayed that God would be glorified through this journey.  It remains our prayer and now through the viewing of this documentary!

Bring a friend and help us fill the theater at the premier showing at Penn Cinema in Lititz, PA.  One theater for one night only on Thursday, December 04, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased at the box office at Penn Cinema-  Airport Road, Lititz or online at (search Lititz, PA and Dec. 4)
Merle and I with Lucy's Foster Mama - Xi'an, China
**If you don't live close to Lititz or are unable to come, this is what the producer had to say about viewing this documentary.... "After the premiere next month we will be finalizing the film and authoring a DVD that will be carried by our distributor Vision Video.  We will definitely let everyone know when it's available."

Monday, November 17, 2014

Home from surgery

A quick update on Lucy Kim....

After posting the last update, Lucy turned a corner and Lucy has improved each day since.  Thankfully there were no more high temps after hitting that 103 fever on Wednesday afternoon.  She was kept comfortable with ibuprofen and acetaminophen through Friday.  Since then she's been pretty much pain med. free!

On Saturday, Nov. 15th,  we left Room 3 in the Orioles wing of Haven House after being there for twelve days and as planned we left St. Louis, to travel back home to Pennsylvania.

We were all so glad to be reunited with our family!

Two days later, things are pretty much back to our groove.  Not for long though -- next week we'll need to fly back to St. Louis for a quick "wound care check".  Dr. Dobbs will remove Lucy's split cast and check the surgery site making sure that the pin that was put in didn't "migrate."  She'll be re-casted with a regular full length cast for another four weeks ( keeping the foot in a prone position while the pin is in).  Then close to  Christmas, she'll undergo a second surgery to have the pin removed and  if there are no complications, she will be done with casting!!  At that time Lucy will trade in casts for AFO's (ankle foot brace).
Our Pop-Pop is a big teaser!

3-D glasses for her coloring project with her big bro's
Thank you for your love and prayers!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Musings from Missouri (part 4/surgery)

On the morning of surgery, Lucy seemed her typical little self.  In fact she did her normal car thing and serenaded us from the parking lot at Haven House to the hospital parking garage.  When Lucy sings, we know that "all is right in her world."  The first eight to ten months home, we did not hear music coming from the back seat instead when we'd glance back we'd often see a somber look and/or that dreaded car sick look.  Hearing her sing was such a blessing to me as I knew that meant she wasn't yet having anxiety about her surgery (because I did explain to her what was going to happen and I wasn't sure with having just had a major surgery on her spinal cord seven months ago, how she was going to feel about hearing the word "surgery"?)
Hospital gowns and orange casts
Not long after we checked in, we we called back to the pre-op. rooms.  I questioned what time surgery was slated for and was told about 9:50.  Great!  This gave plenty of time to have Lucy's current (orange) cast removed and  then she would be molded for her AFO's (more about those in a later post).  I was praying that the removal of the cast would NOT trigger an onslaught of trauma for our little girl leading up to surgery time.

I'm soo excited to tell you that God overwhelmed Lucy with  a sense of security so much so that she did.not.cry.or.scream.!  In all the casts she's had since coming home (including breaking her arm) which is more than ten times, she's been so fearful.  Not so much today.  She had her hello kitty earphones on and Daddy put his arms around her on the bed and she took her daddy's hands and covered her eyes (which was such a wise move on her part) and Mommy held her other hand.  She was notably nervous but not traumatized like so often it appeared.  Still thanking God for that blessing as it set her up for continued calm as we ended up waiting until about 11:30 until she was taken into surgery.
Thumbs up for hello kitty headphones
Debating which song to listen to next
Thus the shoe size difference!

The drowsys settling in after having her versed

Last minute snuggles with Mommy
Dr. Dobbs performed what's called an open reduction internal fixation with k-wire fixation (pin insertion), long toe flexor tenotomy and a tendo-achilles lengthening.  Whew - how's that for a mouth full!  Surgery went well and within about an hour and a quarter the doctor was done the surgical portion.  After the surgery was completed, Lucy had her cast put on while in the operating room - a split leg cast was put on and overwrapped tightly w/ dark green ace bandage.  This allows for swelling of surgical areas yet still keeping foot in proper position.  Miss Lucy is a hard one to come out of anesthesia -- the recovery room nurse gave up and took her sound asleep four floors up to settle her in the room she would be in over night.

Nausea is awful
Lucy's inter venous sight was kept so that regular intervals of medication could be administered via her IV sight throughout the evening and early morning.  Pain was managed well all evening she struggled more with on and off bouts of nausea from the anesthesia throughout the night.  

Nausea was controlled and pain seemed to be managed which were the green lights needed to be discharged!  We left St. Louis Children's Hospital about 10:30 a.m. and headed back to Haven House.
Not long after settling back into our room, Lucy took a nice long nap.  I had a feeling when she awoke she'd have pain.  After about a two hour nap, Lu Lu woke up crying because of pain and was extremely hot.  I had Daddy run next door to Walgreen's and pick up a thermometer.  Poor baby had a temp. of 103.  As instructed, I called the Doctor's office (and my Mama!).  Since she has no other symptoms and about an hour after giving her tylenol her temp. was coming down the nurse at the dr.'s office just told us to keep a close eye on her and make sure the temp. did come down if it spikes too high, we'll have to head into ER.  

Throughout the remainder of the afternoon and up until now (6:45 p.m.) we've been keeping either acetaminophen or ibuprofen in her system and a damp wash cloth on her forehead  to keep pain (and fever) at bay as well as her foot constantly elevated as her toes were getting puffy/swollen.

That's the update from St. Louis, Missouri.  Thanks so much friends for your love and prayers.  Please keep praying that Lucy will continue to heal, we can keep her pain managed without the use of the stronger narcotics we have in and that fevers won't spike.  We are scheduled to travel back to Pennsylvania on Saturday and we want a fever and pain free girl en route!

Musings from Missouri (part 3)

          (click on a picture to see larger)

The day before Lucy's moved up surgery date, Monday, Nov. 8th was another spectacular day to be outdoors.  Sunshine, warm and windy at 68 degrees.   Knowing we're going to be "hospital or house bound" the next few days, we drove about 20 minutes from where we're staying here at Haven House to to see the Gateway Arch here in St. Louis.  Daddy and Lucy took the ride/walk up to the top of the arch (because of Mom's fear of heights, she gladly waited at the bottom).  Daddy reported that Lucy girl loved looking out the small windows all over St. Louis and other parts of Missouri!  This girl obviously does not have the "fear of heights" thing goin' on like her Mama!
We then lollygagged around the historic museum at the base of the arch.  We enjoyed looking at the beautifully displayed artifacts of early American history.


G-o-i-n-g U-P!!

Big girl wants to sit by the door

Peeking out the small windows at top of arch

On the way back from the arch, we pass the zoo and at Lucy's biding we made a second visit to our animal friends.  The zoo was open for one more hour and the weather was still so beautiful so we put our girl back into the stroller and enjoyed visiting several exhibits we missed on our first visit.

We loved the seals!

Whoa is that cascading water I see?

S-n-a-k-e-s!!!  YUCK!

tight hugs when it's a critter she doesn't like up close!

This is one BIIIIG turtle!

Boa constrictor

With surgery in the morning we headed back to our home away from home for our supper made by the lovely "Miss Georgia" (she cooks for the guests of Haven House - breakfast and supper - Monday through Friday) and to get Lucy Kim bathed and to bed early. We had been told to report to the hospital at 8:15 a.m.
Dear Miss Georgia!
This is a little sitting area outside of the dining hall  at H.H.

I'd love to learn more about the history of this wonderful place "Haven House," Merle noticed this on the side of the building?!

Here is one of many sentiments from those who have stayed here that was written and posted on an employee's door.  This place is truly a haven to those families in medical need.  This family is very grateful!

After tucking L.K. in for the night we chose one of the reading/listening options we brought!  (Don't judge :)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Musings from Missouri (part two)

Wednesday, November 5th was a sunshine filled day here in Missouri with temps in the mid sixties.  After our appointment with Dr. Dobbs we decided to capitalize on the beautiful day and the free entertainment by taking Lucy to the St. Louis zoo.  The zoo is only minutes from St. Louis Children's Hospital.  Remembering our  visit last year to the zoo in Guangzhou, China, I wasn't sure how thrilled Lucy would or wouldn't be.  (back then  she was still our little "Miss So Sad" and not so impressed by much of anything).

We moseyed  around the beautiful, well kept zoo.  There weren't many visitors so we could stroll at our own pace.  We had fun observing the elephants, zebras, giraffes, monkeys and  various other two and four legged  creatures.  Lucy seemed to like seeing all the animals (though Daddy needed to often lift her in and out of the stroller in order to see) but she seemed equally interested in the water gardens/water falls.!  She is fascinated with cascading water.   The three of us enjoyed our  little day trip excursion.


Friday, November 7th we had another "special" planned.  Thanks to today's technology and being able to virtually meet others, I connected with J.T. shortly after arriving home with Lucy last year.   She lives in the mid west and I on the East coast.   Our initial connection was because of how strikingly similar our girls looked. After some dialog back and forth, we soon learned the girls  were adopted from the very same province in China and their birthdays are only one month apart!  But the icing on the cake was finding out this family was also a part of the bigger family of God!  Shortly before our trip to St. Louis, we learned they lived only a half hour or so away in Illinois from where we were staying at Haven House in Missouri!  We planned a meet up!  Can I just say how fun and encouraging it is to meet other's in the body of Christ who are very like minded.  God's in the business of connecting His children.  Our visit was an added blessing to this medical trip to Missouri!  
Xi'an cuties

Sharing a book

Food and fun with her new little friend

Mamas with their girls
During our visit with our new friends, it was comical and intriguing watching these two little girls interact.  Immediately they seemed comfortable with each.  Almost as if they already knew each other (they are NOT from the same orphanage) - in no time they were reading books together, racing around on Lucy's little car tandem style, giggling and mutually being selfish with "their stuff".  Two peas in a pod!
As "older"  parents, it was a joy sharing and hearing about how God drew us into parenting (again) via adoption!  Putting that "yes on the table" and stepping out in faith was a scary prospect filled with both trials and smiles but oh so very worth it.  We talked about how that sheer act of "letting go and letting God" drew us incredibly closer to the very One that asked us to trust Him.

Thanks J&C for your sweet and loving hospitality!

Lucy's surgery date has been moved up and is now planned for Tuesday, November 11th!  Your prayers are deeply appreciated as we inch closer to this next surgery in her healing journey.  Look for updates following surgery........