Monday, August 31, 2009

Stepping out in faith

Mia's surgery is one week and less than a day away (not that I am counting or anything). Mia was born with tetralogy of fallot and will have surgery on September 8th to repair her heart. I have to be honest and say that I have never publicly shared Mia's specific heart condition on my blog mainly due to the need I felt to protect her privacy. However I have been blessed by parents whose children have been born with TOF and shared their blogs and I felt the need to share Mia's story in hopes that it might help other families.

Dan and I did not plan to adopt a child with a "major" heart condition. Nope. This was God's plan. The week before we received our referral call we had been considering making some changes to our medical checklist. As I began to pray I felt that God wanted us to trust Him and "step out in faith." A dear friend had just received a referral for her beautiful daughter with TOF days before we made the change. She encouraged me that we could do this! With God's leading and her encouragement we "stepped out in faith" and told our agency that we would consider "major" heart conditions on a case by case basis. We made the change on a Thursday and over the weekend I felt a different kind of peace about our adoption process. I felt like because we had obeyed God that our wait was coming to an end and that very soon Mia would be revealed to us. Still I was guarded and didn't want to get my hopes up.

On Monday as I returned home from walking with my mom, there was message on our machine from our agency saying that they had a question about the recent changes that we made to our medical checklist. My heart started to pound as I knew in the back of my head that they had a child in mind for us but were trying to see what our comfort level was. After we talked, she said "can I put you on hold for a minute?" I responded "okay." What was probably all of 20 seconds felt like 20 minutes. As she got back on the phone she said "well the reason I was asking you all of those questions is because we do have a little girl in mind for you. She is 14 months old and has unrepaired TOF." As soon as she sent us Mia's file and I saw her face I knew she was our daughter. At that moment it didn't matter what her condition was. It wasn't that we didn't take her condition seriously, we just knew. Here in front of us was the face of the little girl we had been waiting for.

A bigger step of faith came when one of the international doctors that reviewed her file labeled Mia "severe risk" due to lack of her medical history, her heart condition, and a smaller head measurement. I was devastated when this report came back. I scoured the internet and adoption boards for "inaccurate head measurments" as this is fairly common in China adoption. It amazed me at how many families had small head measurements for thier children and they are perfectly fine. I then researched, in depth, her heart condition and though it was and still is scary we still felt a peace about it. Of course with certain heart conditions also comes the risk of associated syndromes so I got myself into a panic researching this. What I learned is it is good to have the information about the possible outcomes but sometimes there is a such thing as "too much information" and it isn't always so good thing especially when it causes you to get into fear. Fear can distract you and get in the way of what God wants you to do. Sometimes you just need to rely on the feeling of peace from God and to trust His plan.

Stepping out in faith and accepting Mia's referral has been one the greatest blessings of our lives! I am blessed to call this little girl my daughter and thank God everyday for the peace He gave us that April day!


TanyaLea said...

AMEN!! You are so right. Stepping out in faith has brought us to our daughter, as well, and we can't WAIT to bring her home! Like you, it didn't matter what the doctors said, we just KNEW she was ours, and we would meet whatever needs that she might have. She is our daughter in every meaning of that word, and we are her parents and will provide all the necessary care that any parent would for their children. God is faithful and I couldn't be happier for you!!

Thanks for sharing Mia's story. I will be praying for your precious daughter as she prepares for her upcoming surgery. God will be there and He will pull her through!
Blessings and Hugs,

La Dolce Vita said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I'll pray for the surgery. God bless!

Kim K. said...

Melinda - Please know that I'm here for you. Mia will get through this. I promise. After Josie's corrective heart surgery for ToF, her quality of life was forever changed. Prayers are flowing from West Michigan. Please know that you can call me anytime too.


Kimberly said...

It was nice reading about Mia's story. I'm glad you stepped out and this beautiful little girl was brought into your family. I pray all goes well with her upcoming surgery!

Shannon said...

I am praying for you and will be every step of the way. The Lord WILL carry you in ways you can never imagine. Now, only 11 days past surgery, I cannot tell you the peace I have looking at Georgia play knowing that her body is working the way that it should and getting stronger each day.
Also, I do not know if this makes sense but, there is still a part of me that is trembling inside from walking through something so felt almost close enough to touch the face of God.
We all will be here to help hold you up, I promise that you do not walk alone.
Now, even with it so close behind us, it feels like worlds ago. Georgia has healed SO quickly and I am sure Mia will too.
I wish I lived close enough to be there with you but I know that prayer is even stronger that proximity.
Hugs to you!!!!

Wendy said...

Melinda, thanks for sharing your story with the "world"; know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. It was kind of cool to see Shannons post as I stumbled on her blog through someone elses and our whole small group prayed for Georgia throughout her ordeal - THAT is an amazing story and I'm sure Mia will have the same "coverage"...since we are so close, please let me know if you need anything,help at home, etc. Let me be the hands and feet...

Love, Wendy (Abby's mamma)

Grace's Mommy said...

I stumbled upon your blog and was touched by your story. We also adopted a little girl with TOF, but domestically. Grace was born, seemingly healthy, but within 24 hours, she was life-flighted to the hospital and diagnosed. Grace has had 2 open heart surgeries at this point and is doing fabulous!

Thank you for sharing your story!

Sarah said...

I am SO happy you stepped out in faith and now have precious Mia to love . I am also thankful that she is so blessed to have you and your family to love her forever and care for her through her surgery and beyond. I have been thinking of you and praying for you all and all that lies ahead. Once the surgery is behind you I am sure you will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders.
Much love,

Lucky Momma to Ruby (also a ToF baby)

Blessed Family said...

You are right it is a step out in faith... but it is an awesome step. If you look back in my blog archives (sept 2008) you can see my sons surgery. I can say it went much better then I could ever expect. She is SUCH a doll, I can't wait to follow your journey.

Tara Anderson said...

I followed a blog from a blog and ended up here for the first time. I will be praying for your family and your precious little Mia. Unlike many of the blogs I follow, yours hits particularly close to home--my husband and I have been called to adopt a little girl with a severe heart condition, and it is very easy to put myself in your place! We haven't quite met the criteria to begin the process yet, but we're hoping for next year and trusting God's perfect timing. My heart is with you.