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!