"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Journey Begins

We are home from Philadelphia. Again. It's amazing how such a short trip can pack such a wallop. Victoria is getting to be quite the little traveler. Give her a cup of ice and she is a happy camper. Did I mention that she learned how to throw things on this trip? The only thing she doesn't like is when the plane takes-off. Then, she wants me to hold her head with my hands. It is really quite sweet. She wraps her arms in a tight grip around my hand until she is sure we are safely in the air. I don't understand why the airline put us in the back of the plane despite my request. I guess they figured carrying a 40 pound child in a cast (who can't fit through the aisle) all the way to the back of the plane makes total sense! I should be grateful though, because at first, they didn't even have us seated together. 

The highlight of our trip is always getting to hang out with my dear friend, Catherine and her family. We can have fun, even when it's not fun.

They are just like family to me!

Victoria really lives the high life at their house! 

Here we are waiting to find out when surgery is going to be. First, they said 9 am, then it was noon. Poor Victoria ended up waiting 17 hours until she was able to eat! I was supposed to wait for permission from the nurse, but I finally just snuck her a Pedisure. Don't mess with a momma!

Look at her sad little face. She definitely remembered where we were!

She got the cast and pins taken off her right hand. I foolishly thought she would be able to use her hand immediately, but not so. She doesn't even want to look at her hand or have anyone touch it yet. I am sure it is very sore, since they had to break her thumb and re-position it. I am just not sure that the surgery was worth it. Part of me feels like I just want to stop trying to "fix" her.  I want her to be able to enjoy her life. 

Victoria was really thrilled when she got the news that she would be wearing a splint for three weeks.

At least her cast matches her toenail polish.

We ended up not having to stay over-night at the hospital. Catherine, Victoria and I did the first logical thing that people do after surgery. We went for pizza downtown. We were in a kind of a rough area, but everyone was really nice. Even the toughest looking people have a soft spot for a kid in a spica cast.

Victoria is back to not sleeping. Yea.

How do you all like the colors? She is so neon, she may glow in the dark.

I can't really tell if her legs are spread more widely apart than they were before. What do you all think? She will have the casts removed in three weeks and then she will wear a brace for three months. Guess what? Victoria gets her casts off at exactly the same time we will begin doing the dressings on Francesca's hands three times a day. Oh boy. I gotta go do some deep, calming breaths now.


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  2. I think her legs are positioned further apart. Her hand breaks my heart. Owie! So glad you have Catherine!!! Catherine's rock.

  3. If she will let you, massage some good quality coconut oil in her hand . . . you will be pleased at how it helps it heal and it also helps with itching etc. Katya loves having us do that on her incision line now that the skin is completely closed. Sometimes she whimpers and points to her head till we rub the oil on, and then she relaxes and seems to think it feels a ton better. I THINK it's itchy and the coconut oil helps with that. ?! Anyway . . . poor sweet dear, and her Mommy! You have been through so much with your girls and the fact that you get back up and do it again and again tells me what an amazing Mommy you are and how defintiely you were created by God to be the Mommy for your kids! I'm so proud to know you . . . Sending blessings to all of you . . .

  4. Can I just say that I have been following your blog for awhile and I think you are just awesome! You took on the monumental responsibility (and joy of course) of adopting 2 girls with special needs that you knew would require lots of surgery, yet while I know you must be tired and get frustrated, you handle everything with humor and just keep plugging away! I pray that both Francesca and Victoria heal quickly and that you are able to get some respite and time for yourself! (ha ha I know!) Even on those days when you write that all three littles need mommy and you have to sit and hold them all day, you do it! Most moms with less kids and less special circumstances don't do that! So I just wanted to let you know, you are a great mom, your children are beautiful and I love your humor even in tough situations! Thank you for sharing you crazy life with us!


    Samantha Collins

  5. I second using a little coconut oil massage, if the skin has closed up. Feels great, loosens things up, good bonding, and smells good. Good luck!

  6. I just wanted to add I think you are doing the right thing. I can't imagine how hard it is to see her in pain, itchy and miserable in all these casts, little hands all stitched... But I would have made the same decision you did. I think any function she gains from all this will be such a gift to her later in her life, when she's a teen wanting to do sports, hang out with friends, etc.
    Prayers are with your family. If I had your address I'd send some very excellent treats your way :). You have a great attitude and a strong heart.

  7. I 3rd using the coconut oil. :) She looks awesome! LOVE the colors. :)

  8. I think you are amazing. I love your sweet little gals and I look forward to reading about your crazy adventures in airplanes. I keep you in my prayers. Much love, debi

  9. You know what you need right now? A puppy. Maybe two. That would just make everything complete.

  10. Love your blog. It's such a joy to see your girls blossoming (even when the pathway is painful and hard). I truly believe the surgery on Victoria's hand was worth the pain. Thumbs are incredibly important, and the long-term benefits will far outweigh the temporary suffering. You made a good decision! Hope it heals quickly, and may God continue to bless you with strength, peace and endurance during this intense season with the girls!

  11. Although it is just my opinion, I think you're doing the right thing for Victoria. You're doing a great job and all of your kids are very lucky to have you as their mom. Praying for a quick recovery!

  12. Yes, yes, you are doing a fabulous job!! You are in the trenches and I pray you see the befifit as time goes and your girls continue to grow and bloom. Praying for the girls as they both recover, and for mom and dad too!
    I started reading here after you were home with the girls. I recently went back and read from the begining, wow. I admire what you are doing. I love your humor, I have snorted out loud several times. Thanks so much for sharing.

  13. next time when you get to gate ask if they have handicapped sting. Always ask at the gate not check in,they almost always accommodate us from the gate. Check in doesn't have a clue. And be sure you tell them she is " how old" and just looks like baby or they assume its a baby so you can board with the regular folks. Get pushy mama!

  14. Catherine, Miss V looks great! Hard to believe she's that itty bitty girl you brought home almost a year ago. I think her hand looks wonderful, and I pray it will work just as wonderfully after all heals. Her casts are "happening". Love the colors, and I love where Dad signed! Too sweet. Dollar General sells some Detangler...white bottle with a white/teal/black label and a fish on it. I think I pay $1.25 per bottle, for 10 oz. It's a no tears formula. It may help Victoria's hair. I use it on my waist length hair and the granddaughter who has curly hair. This can be used on wet or dry hair. Sending love, thoughts and prayers to you and yours.

  15. I can only imagine how hard it is to make medical decisions for your girls and how strong the pull is to just let them "be" and stop fixing. I admire your strength in making the tough decisions and then dealing with all the difficult circumstances. I think you are giving Victoria and Francesca health and quality of life benefits for their future that they will be very glad you did. As hard as this all is on Victoria, I think it might be even more miserable if she were older and nearly impossible for you to manage (imagine longer legs sticking out at that angle and more weight to carry). Hang in there and look forward to enjoying the fruits of all these struggles in the future.

  16. I'm sure if both girls could express themselves, they would both much prefer their present life, casts and all, to their former orphanage existence.
    Prayers for the whole family!

  17. Aww, I wish I lived closer. I would so be over to carry babies and do your laundry :) Really! Alright, so I would make my kids clean while I play with your girls but that counts doesn't it?!
    It seems like this season is so long because it is soooo intense but in a few months when Victoria is moving and Francesca is back to spreading her good cheer you'll be praising God! We are praying for you! You will have to link back to this post on the day you post that both girls climbed into the car and fastened themselves into their seats by themselves!!! That day is coming and this day will be a distant memory! For you AND the girls!! Sheri

  18. V will appreciate all tihs hard work when she's older! Especially since (hopefully) she won't remember it all so much!! You'll never forget I know - but maybe she'll be blessed with a splotchy memory of life with casts! coconut oil is a great idea...I'm not sure about the puppies ;)

  19. Another opinion of a total stranger, but I agree you are doing the right thing for Victoria! This is a gift to her for the rest of her life, and these surgeries may not be able to work when she is older and can make more of a choice. I think it was little Wesley whose adoptive parents were heartbroken to find that his hips could never be re-seated in sockets, because it had not been done when he was small in the orphanage. Eventually yes you will reach the point of diminishing returns, and hopefully she will be old enough to have an opinion, but at least through the computer and to a stranger it seems clear you are nowhere near that yet. God bless you and help you get through this!


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