Sunday, May 04, 2008

The latest on Emily

Emily and I are still in Shanghai. I was hoping that we could have gone home long before this but Emily's surgery proved to be much more complicated than the doctors first expected. The teratoma started in her butt but then it took up some space in her stomach too. The mass had grown so dramatically in the time that she was at the foster home. She picked up 2 pounds in a week and a half and if it had continued it would have crushed her vital organs in her stomach and potentially killed her.
The surgery took 6 hours and then some and it left a huge cavity. The drain that was placed worked for the first few days and then I woke up at 3am one night and was about to change her diaper when I pulled back the covers, the bed was full of blood. I just went weak in the knees and I had to talk to myself. My worst fear was that the wound got infected. Her incision was draining in three places and after summoning the nurse, she took one look and went to get the doctor. By the next morning there was a lot of commotion. There were three drains put in and poor Emily. I felt so sorry for her. They were poking her with sharp objects and it looked horrible. Over time, two of the drains have stopped seeping, but there is one last one that has not. The dressing needs be changed and Dr Wu is not comfortable with me leaving for Xian. Right now we have no date to go home.
For her part Emily felt really bad the first week after the surgery. Her little sunny personality was dimmed and she was so fussy, which is totally understandable. Before the surgery she had learned to blow raspberries. You could tell how happy she was by how many raspberries she blew. There were no raspberries the first week!! Then she started blowing them when she woke up. She does not usually cry: I wake up because I can hear the spit flying. That makes me smile so much. The bad part of the raspberries is that when she does not want to swallow medicine she fountains it out of her mouth, much to the consternation of the nurses.
Emily has also been the first baby in the 42 we have taken care of so far that has used a binky/pacy/soother/dummy, what ever you want to call it. In the worst part of the recovery she sucked on it all the time. It seemed to bring her so much comfort as they were doing IV's 24/7. Since then she has been sucking on it less and less and has gone back to the raspberries, and you cannot not do that with something in your mouth. Nancy bought a binky with a chain on it that can clip onto her clothing. I was so grateful for that. In the middle of the night and while I was half asleep I would just feel for the chain, find the binky and pop it back into her mouth.
The other funny thing about Emily....she loves her hands. She holds them both up and turns them while she studies them intently. Hours of amusement at the end of her arms, better than any toy because it never gets lost. She can cross the fingers on her right hand and she loves it when you play with her hands. She will go to sleep holding on to your hand, and the cutest of all is when no one is holding her hands she hold her own.
Through all of this I have been thinking of her birth family. Emily was abandoned on March 17, and when I think of all that she has gone through these last few weeks my heart aches for her. She lost her family, she went to an orphanage, she came to me and she had some major life-saving surgery. She was so well taken care of, with little fat rolls in all the right places and the most beautiful skin. I think of the family, desperate to find a way to save their child and not being able to find the medical care or the money for the surgery. I wish I could tell the family how she is thriving.
While I was here in Shanghai I learned that we have a whole lot of "finding ads" in the newspaper (this is the two month adverisement that is required by law before adoption dossier can be started). Callum, Cailean, Kaitlyn, Jack, Emily, Christopher and Breanna all have finding ads. I was so happy about that. We will be preparing a lot of adoption dossiers soon.
Next on the list: On Sunday I will be missing Benjamin's adoption. Kay will be taking care of that for me (Thanks Kay!!!). I hope to meet Benjamin's family next week, when I return to Xian. Next Sunday is Tiantian's adoption, and the week thereafter it is Jasmine's turn. Three adoptions in May. Way to go Starfish!!! I am so happy to know that these children will have the blessing of having a family. Soon after that I will go with Breanna to Hangzhou to Dr Li for her heart surgery.
I hear that both Rose and Nathaniel are walking and Erica and Breanna are pushing out some teeth.
I will let you know when we go back to Xian.

Life, Love and Laughter,

Starfish Foster Home


redmaryjanes said...

It is so good to see photos of little Emily. She is such a beautiful baby. I am glad that she is doing ok. I am so glad that you have the strength to go with these children and see them through the surgeries.
I will be praying for you.

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

It is great to see that Emily is doing so well... what a gorgeous little girl... take care

Waiting for Mia Hope! said...

God bless you for staying with Emily and giving her the love and comfort she needs. As an adoptive parent I often think of the birth family and how I wish I could let them know that their daughter is okay. I'm so grateful to you for helping these BEAUTIFUL children. Thank you!!! We believe in you and will continue to help all that we can. Hugs to you and Emily!

Jewels of My Heart said...

Oh, but she is beautiful.... thank you so much and thank You Jesus for helping this precious child.
God's speed to health and your forever family little one...

xtrahotmocha said...
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Elisabeth said...

Hi Amanda,

I have been praying for sweet Emily every day since we left the orphanage. I am so thankful for the pictures and progress you reported on her. I can still feel her warm body against mine and miss her so incredibly. I long for more and her prognosis!