Friday, April 29, 2011

Waiting and Praying for Hope

It’s been 2 years, 2 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days since our LID (since China received our paperwork to adopt Hope). We are trusting in God’s sovereign timing. We know His ways and plans are best.
We love you, Hope, and look forward to bringing you home soon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Summary Pictures

Yesterday around noon, someone found out that chicken broth tastes better when included as part of a fancy tea party!
Because she drank all her Gatorade/laxative mixture in time last night, Cherish's older friend let her borrow her clothing to wear to the hospital today:
Hanging out with "Signing Dog" that all the nurses and doctors were signing: (Thanks, Louise!)
Getting drowsy:
Papa Bear came to stay for the duration:
Getting rolled away:
Our sweet girl!

Procedure Day, Part II

Well, we are on our way home. Cherish did great—the “happy juice” worked well, and she didn’t mind leaving us when the time came for the departure.
The doctor said she looks good—no Crohn’s disease or Celiac, but he took some biopsies. We will find out the results probably on Tuesday.
By far the worst part of the entire experience for Cherish was the recovery. She was completely disoriented and scared(obviously), and in much pain (IV, throat, and stomach). I don’t want to even put into words the experience of recovery room #2, but I will say I am so glad Derek and I were both there, and that it is now over.
Cherish is doing very well now. Much better!
Pictures soon.

Procedure Day, Part I

Let me back up first: Cherish did great with the purge. I kept praising God. She smiled and we joked all the way through. Her fun spirit took away my stress.

For “Special Day” we pulled the couch bed out and put a movie on and continued late into the night. It was a good family night.

We had Cherish wear pull-ups throughout the evening and night—which turned out to be a good idea. She is quite flexible and just went along with whatever we suggested.

She never once asked for any food yesterday! It made mommy’s “job” of “obeying” doctor’s orders so much easier. No asking. No whining. No complaining. Thank You, Lord!

We are now at Wolfson's Children's Hospital, and we are awaiting the anesthesiologist. The nurses always wait until the child is “out” before giving the IV. Praise God!

She just got the “happy juice”….

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Preparation Day, Part III

Our sweet neighbor, Mrs. Linda, a mother and grandmother, REALLY helped! She gave Cherish challenges with rewards if she could drink the Gatorade (laxative) down to certain points by certain times. Though Cherish was in so much pain, she tried so hard to please Mrs. Linda. She was to finish the laxative solution no later than 8 p.m. She finished at 7:45 p.m. (I was jumping up and down cheering!)

Cherish is in a lot of pain and discomfort, but she continues to smile. I continue to be amazed at this child’s sweet spirit!

God is giving us all strength and providing wisdom through so many friends! We thank Him mightily!

After Cherish finishes purging (time?), she will have a bath and then an Albuterol treatment before she falls asleep and one more vile in the morning (per O.R. and her anesthesiologist).

We check in to the hospital by 8:20 a.m., and we’ll update from there. Thanks for praying for us and continuing along with us.

Preparation Day, Part II

It's 6:30 p.m. and Cherish has BARELY gotten any of the laxative into her! We are on a major time crunch and she is WAILING in pain!!!! This is so hard to endure, and there is SO MUCH MORE TO COME!!! We've barely scratched the surface of the pain and discomfort that is yet to come!

She wants to drink the Gatorade--because we've made it the "highlight" of "Special Day". However, she is TOO sick to get anything--including water--into her! (She doesn't know it's loaded with Miralax and is making her worse.)

We've been sitting outside in the sun making her sweat, so she'll get thirsty.

Lord, continue to help us and give us Your wisdom!

Preparation Day, Part I

Cherish is on a clear liquid diet all day today in preparation for her upper endoscopy and colonoscopy with biopsy tomorrow morning. (They will take place at 10:20 a.m. in the operating room of Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital.) The diet today includes no grape juice, no orange juice, no milk, no red dyes (thus, no orange, purple, pink…), etc. She may have chicken broth (with no pulp), other juices without dye, dye-free Tylenol (Thank You, God!), jello (green, blue, and yellow), tea, and Gatorade and ice pops without the red dyes.

So, Monday night I made jello in various forms: regular jello, jello jigglers, and jello ice pops (because the stores were full of lemon—a flavor she doesn’t like, and grape, cherry, strawberry, orange ice pops—all made with red dye mixed in).

In preparation, last night I told Cherish she was going to have a “Special Day” and she could have jello and an ice pop for breakfast. Guess what? She didn’t like the blue OR yellow jello—in any form—and now doesn’t want to even try the green. Failure so far.

I gave her apple juice and tea, then we were off to the doctor’s to be cleared for sedation. The doctor played the “bad guy” to inform mommy and Cherish that Cherish was not allowed to eat any food today—“not even one Cheerio that she may find on the floor.” So, today is a day of mommy obeying the doctor. (I didn’t want to tell her earlier, because I knew the news would be hard to take.)

After the appointment, I went to the health food store and found pear juice, fruit juice, & ice pops without dye. However, when we got home I realized the ice pops had coconut MILK in them! Ugh! No ice pops allowed!

When we got home, we dressed up in lots of jewelry and tiaras, got out the China that we purchased in China, and I warmed up the chicken broth (hoping to tempt her…). We proceeded to have a “fancy tea party” with tea and broth. It was a success!!! She drank a lot.

Diarrhea began at 1:30 p.m., and the laxatives begin at 5 p.m. Poor thing! She is going to be so sore!

Updates to come...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday Adventures

The smile that hides the pain:
 Getting ready for an Easter Egg Hunt at
Pappy and Nanny's neighborhood:
Searching for more eggs--
 Happily showing the prize she got
and her--ummm--EMPTY(???) Basket?
 I had to take away the chocolate candies
(due to her milk and egg allergy),
and she didn't blink an eye.
THEN, she sweetly GAVE AWAY most of the remaining candy!
(We have noticed her extreme generousity to others lately.)

 Onward to Cherish's precious friend's party...
"Mom, are you sure I need to wear shorts under my dress?"
Yep, Cherish. I think so.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Church Easter Egg Hunt and Hosanna Marketplace

This past Saturday our church had an outreach to the community, and it was wonderful to see how many people came out to enjoy an Easter egg hunt. After the hunt, we were all able to experience the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday.

The non-aggressive, non-assertive Cherish
(who came away with 1½ eggs):
 Onward to the Hosanna Marketplace:
Nanny as one of the Israelite ladies:
 Handmade tamberines:
 Petting area:
 Necklace making:
Grape stomping/wine making:

Jesus Christ is RISEN! He is ALIVE!
Have a blessed Resurrection Sunday Celebration!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cherish's Belly Aches, Part II

Well to give an update, last Monday we found out that Cherish is allergic to cow’s milk and egg whites. Thus, we removed every trace of anything remotely related to milk or eggs in the ingredients of every product imaginable—including vitamins—that goes into her mouth. However, her pain remains 24/7. So, we are on the countdown to next week’s upper endoscopy and colonoscopy if the pain doesn’t stop by next Monday.

Her two allergies were discovered through a blood test, and the same blood test showed negative results for wheat allergy and Celiac disease. However, a friend of mine—who has Celiac disease—said hers didn't show up in the blood test, but it was seen during her colonoscopy.

So, since Cherish's pain remains 24/7 after removing dairy and eggs for eight days now...

Today I looked into possibly taking her through a dairy-free, egg-free, AND gluten-free diet. While at the store—with Cherish in the grocery cart not feeling well—I became discouraged. I kept praying for wisdom, but a sense of urgency and heaviness kept coming over me.

There are SO MANY products that are gluten-free—which is wonderful!—but add the variables of dairy-free and egg-free to it, and well…I was wishing I could hire a personal shopper to shop for me and teach me after I have food in the pantry, in the refrigerator, and in my daughter’s belly.

Instead, I continued to pray for wisdom, bought fruits, veggies, and simple carbohydrates (like brown rice), and picked up a recipe book from the library that has recipes for all kinds of allergies. (I hope they’ve combined some allergies to come up with some recipes for me.)

One baby step at a time.

I praise God Cherish is a bit better since going off dairy and eggs. She is not confined to the couch or dropping to the floor quite as often throughout the day. THANK YOU, JESUS!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We're Sorry You Missed It...

There was a double wedding at our house last night. It was so beautiful! Daddy officiated.
The first bridal party confirming their oaths:
 The second bridal party about to kiss:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cherish's Belly Aches

Cherish has been suffering with “belly aches” since June 2011. It began about three days a week back then—coming and going on those days. She saw several doctors during this time.

However, she has gotten so much worse. She is suffering CONTINUOUSLY—24/7. The pain is bearable with a mixture of Motrin and Tylenol.

About three weeks ago she was transferred to a place that is similar to Mayo Clinic—but for kids. She had lots of blood work done a couple of days before our vacation, and she had an upper G.I. exam done a day and a half after we got home.

She was in the hospital for the tests and first had an ultrasound done of her full abdomen and her middle and lower back. We went to a small waiting room then to await the upper G.I exam.

A few seconds after this picture was taken, Cherish was ushered back to the x-ray room. She was expected to drink about a quart of barium immediately, then lie down and begin the x-rays.

Didn’t happen.
She went into hysteria.

After several attempts at various ways to get Cherish to drink, the technician said a feeding tube placed down the nose would be the only option. Derek agreed, and I exited.

I heard bloody-murder screams two hallways away. Derek told me later that he and three nurses had to hold her down on the x-ray table as the technician inserted the tube. Then, the insertion of the barium. Then, the x-rays. All while Cherish was screaming and being held still by four adults. The nose tube came out and Derek said she immediately fell asleep on the table. During the exam.

Out she came…asleep. Resting on daddy. The remainder of the day went well. We stayed for hours waiting for the barium to move down her system. X-rays were taken every 15-30 minutes (for a total of 50-60 x-ray images).

(One of the staff members made her this butterfly bracelet.)

On the way home, we stopped at Chick-fil-A for Cherish to play on the playground and have a milkshake. (She drank about 4 oz. of the milkshake and played for about 10 minutes.) Unfortunately, she had been fasting from her pain medication, so it took until about 11 a.m. the next morning for the pain to be controlled.

Since then, we’ve found out the two tests came back normal, so now she is scheduled for an upper endoscopy and a colonoscopy. If you’ve ever experienced the trauma of “the cleanse” the day before, you can imagine all the hardship facing her. (Plus, she's been taken off Motrin by the doctor. Yikes!)

Until then, we are testing different flavors of Gatorade, trying to find one she likes—or at least can tolerate.

Side note: Her new symptom is the loss of appetite due to the immense pain. She used to eat even in pain but not anymore. My guess: the pain is a lot worse. It gives me the determination I need to continue with the testing—even though it kills my heart to see her hurting worse from the tests.