Well, it's official... I'm completely out of the swing of things when it comes to knocking out blog posts! I'm not sure why I feel the obligation to let everyone know why I've put blog writing on the back burner, but my hunch is that it has something to do with the people pleasing side of me that worries about what others think. For some reason I fear that there is one lone person out there that might assume there is a direct correlation between my lack of blog posts written and me having a lack of passion or interest in all that God is doing in our lives! Rest assured, more now than ever before, I am passionate and invested in our adoption journey and I am in awe of God's faithfulness! I have never had such peace about God's timing and His divine orchestrating of every detail as I do now! The sole reason I have completely slacked at posting is because life has been cRaZy nutty here this summer and all the twists and turns that come with it, have made sitting down to write be the least of my worries!
Here's a quick update of the past 2 months and all it's happenings!....
Needless to say this has not been the "summer break" Jude (or his mommy and daddy) had hoped for! He has spent more time out of commission with being sick rather than doing any summertime playing! I think we'd all agree, that's no fun for a 5 year old, summers are suppose to be spent on the slip'n slide and running barefoot until dark. So we are all more than ready for him to be back and at 'em for good!
It all started in June when Jude came down with a strange virus that lasted for a solid 10 days. We were at a loss for what was going on with his poor little body! First we thought he had just come down with strep again (7 times in the past 12 months, and we've unfortunately become pros at strep throat!). What threw us for a loop this go around, since it had never happened previously with his strep, was that day 2, he woke up vomiting (side note: we've managed to make it 5 years without him throwing up, which I think deserves a high five- but this also meant we had one scared little boy who didn't understand what the heck was happening to his body- boo to throwing up! It's NO FUN!). We thought that maybe he had caught the stomach bug on top of having strep, and although the vomiting did go away after 24 hours, he was not perking back up in the slightest and his diarrhea continued and had us worried about dehydration ! To make a long story short (or at least attempt to), after 7 days of Jude being incredibly lethargic, not eating anything, getting a doozy of a shot in his thigh for the strep we thought he had (which didn't do ANYTHING to help him- it only gave him a serious fear of needles), and our doctor at the time being more concerned about talking about himself rather than our kiddo, we switched doctors to get a second opinion! My only regret is that I wish we would have switched doctors years ago! The new doctor was SO much better, asking questions, listening, and she actually determined that Jude in fact did NOT have strep. She wasn't sure what was going on with our little man, but she said it wasn't normal either and worried that he might have mono or something else. She ordered Jude to have quite a bit of blood work done (which was a heart breaking moment for this mama to have to reassure her scared boy that everything would be okay after the giant needle experience earlier in the week!). Once the results came back, other than determining that his potassium levels were pretty low, everything else came back normal. The doc reassured us that no news was good news and that this probably just meant he had some strange virus! Sure enough, after 10 days, he started to perk back up and we slowly but surely saw our normal Jude return!
Jude then had a week and half to play his heart out like normal and "recover" before his already scheduled tonsillectomy was due to take place the beginning of July! We did our best to bulk him up since he had lost so much weight from previously being sick, especially knowing that after his surgery, he would loose even more weight from only eating liquids and soft food for awhile. Joshua and I both felt comfortable about Jude going into surgery the day of, because he really had bounced back to normal. Removing his tonsils and adenoids went great and he was such a trooper after surgery! We braced ourselves for the worst as far as recovery goes (PS... if you're a mama getting ready to take your kiddo in for a tonsillectomy, don't google anything about it! There are some serious horror stories- save yourself the worry!) BUT we were pleasantly surprised when Jude handled it like a champ! He ate, drank, and took his meds like such a trooper and quite honestly this recovery seemed like a breeze compared to his virus a couple weeks before! I'll be the first to admit that my biggest complaint was a selfish one, and it was just that both Joshua and I were super tired from getting up every 4 hours through the night to give Jude pain meds. But all in all, I bragged on how well everything had gone and thought we totally lucked out with Jude tolerating this recovery so well! The doc told us that there was no activity for 10 days, but after that- he should be good go!
Sure enough, after 10 days, Jude was anxious to get back to the pool and play with his cousin! We were all going a bit stir crazy quite honestly! We still made sure he took it easy at the pool, no wrestling or crazy stunts- and he appeared to be doing great! It looked like summer was finally under way and that Jude could at last get back to his normal fun! That is until the evening of day 14....
This past Tuesday night around 11pm Jude called out from his bedroom. Daddy went to check on him and he was complaining that it felt like he had a hair stuck in the back of his throat. Joshua turned on his bedroom light to check it out and Jude started to cough/gag into his blankey. Once he pulled the blanket away from his mouth Joshua noticed that there was some blood on it. He called for me to come in there and bring the flashlight so we could look into Jude's throat. But by the time I got there, Jude was already in his bathroom coughing and spitting up a disturbing amount of bright red blood into the sink. I remembered the doctor saying this could happen when the scabs fell off, (although I was pretty sure we were past the normal window of when this would happen) but the doctor had said the best thing we could do is not freak out because it would only scare him more. Keeping this in mind, we managed to keep our wits about us and I called the doctors office to have the on call doctor paged. He called me right back and at this point Jude had been bleeding for about 5 minutes- he told me if it didn't stop after 10 minutes to head to the ER. In the meantime, just to have him swish ice cold water in his mouth and spit. Sure enough, his spit started to become more clear and I could tell the bleeding was slowing down. After 7-8 minutes, it seemed to be under control, and so Joshua and I took a deep breath and looked at each other like, "Well that was crazy!". I was able to look into his throat with the flashlight at this point and see that it still looked pretty bloody and in fact the scab on the right hand side of his throat had fallen off and there was a little hole there. I worried that the same thing was going to happen if/when the scab on the other side came off, so I climbed into bed with him for about an hour and laid there just staring at his sweet face and mouth to make sure there was no more blood! He quickly fell back to sleep and seemed to be okay, so I reluctantly went back to our bed hoping to get some sleep myself. I laid there, eyes wide open, worried that he would start to bleed again and not wake up and choke on his own blood- but eventually I dozed off while praying. I woke at 2:30am and went in and checked on our little angel who was peacefully sleeping and all seemed well. It seemed like I just laid my head back down on my pillow and blinked and the next thing I heard was Jude calling out at 5:15am! I sprang out of bed and ran into his room where blood was pouring out of Jude's mouth as he was crying for me. His eyes were as big as saucers and I could tell his look was a combination of fear and the fact that he was about to vomit. I scooped him up and brought him to the bathroom. I'll spare you the details because frankly it's so disturbing and the images are forever imprinted in my mind!
Immediately I knew we needed to get in the car and head to the ER because this was way worse than the first episode earlier in the night and I saw no sign of it slowing down. Joshua quickly grabbed the bucket we use to wash our cars from the garage for Jude to hold in front of him and we jumped in the car and floored it to the hospital that's only like 5 minuets down the road (what a blessing)! By the time we were pulling up to the emergency room doors, it appeared that the bleeding had again stopped and I sat there second guessing if we should have even come. I always fear being the crazy mom who overreacts (Although, I gotta say... I think any parent in this situation would wig out- so I don't feel too silly showing up at the ER.) All this to say, I was on the phone with the doctor I had spoken with earlier in the night and he said to go ahead and go on in, that he was on the way and they would check him out to make sure he was all good. So, bloody bucket and all, I brought Jude into the ER, while daddy parked the car. Immediately the gals behind the counter jumped up and were like, "What in the world happened?!" as they noticed the blood all over Jude's face and covering his PJ's. They quickly got him checked in and in no time the on-call doctor I had spoken with was there. He took one look at Jude's throat and said he needed to go in for emergency surgery to have his throat re-cauterized. My heart sank a bit as I realized this meant Jude would have to get an IV and I knew this would be tough for him- he is just so over needles at this point! We talked to Jude about how even when you're brave, it doesn't mean you you're not scared, and how it's okay to be scared- but to not let the fear win out. He did awesome and listened and obeyed to everything the nurses asked him to do, all the while he had broken out into a cold sweat and was shaking uncontrollably. Broke my heart! I cried for him. They quickly wheeled him back for surgery and the doc said it would be a super quick procedure, like 5-10 minutes! He said just to hang tight in the waiting room and they'd come get us.
As Joshua and I sat in the waiting room, my mind replayed images of the CSI looking scene in Jude's bathroom that we would have to clean up once we got home. I was trying to figure out how we could get it cleaned up before Jude saw it, thinking it would totally freak him out. After a little bit, I realized we were waiting longer than the doctor had originally said we would, but I just told myself that they would surely come get us once Jude was in recovery. Eventually the doctor did in fact come into the waiting room shaking his head and sighing (not the facial expression you're typically hoping for from your doctor!) He quickly told us, that Jude was okay- BUT that while they were putting the tube down his throat Jude's mouth immediately filled up with blood and began pouring out of his mouth and nose! A blood vessel/artery had busted resulting in him loosing a significant amount of blood fast! Thankfully the doctor was able to get the bleeding under control but had to cauterize a pretty large area in order to do so. He also had to vacuum out his stomach due to the amount of blood that inevitably drained into it. (Another side note: did you know that it takes less than 1/2 teaspoon of your own blood in your stomach to make you throw up?!... The nurse told me that. Consider that little known fact a freebie for you just for sticking with reading this long post!) He said that it was a good thing we went ahead and came on in because we would NOT have wanted this blood vessel to burst at home! More than likely it would have resulted in a blood transfusion. He also decided to go ahead and admit Jude to the hospital in order to keep a close eye on him. So we spent this past Wednesday hanging out in hospital room 10, cuddling with our sweet boy, realizing how fleeting life can be, and counting our blessings that we are blessed to have doctors and hospitals near by for moments just like these! They released Jude Wednesday evening around 8pm under strict instruction to take it super easy this next week and only eat a soft food diet. They cannot guarantee this won't happen again, although they say the chances are super slim. There is nothing we could have done to prevent this from happening, they say it is so rare to have any bleeding after 10 days, but every so often there is this fluke chance of bad luck that it'll happen. We pray that we steer clear from anything else causing another bleed- but more than anything we trust that God is in control and will prepare us for whatever is to come! Hopefully an uneventful rest of the summer!!!! (So you know how I was worried about getting the bloody CSI crime scene cleaned up before we got home so Jude wouldn't freak out? Well my awesome parents came to my house, washed all the sheets, and cleaned the entire bathroom! Its looked spotless when we walked in the door! We are truly blessed!)
A cRaZy summer right?! ... Here is my new perspective.... thank goodness God's timing is SO much better than ours! My impatient heart has been hoping for our referral for quite some time! And quite honestly it still is longing for the day we get to see sweet Isa's face for the very first time! But let me just say that as we were sitting there in the hospital room earlier this week I thought to myself, "Thank goodness we are not out of the country right now traveling for court!" and I also thought "I can't imagine this happening in the midst of accepting a referral and scrambling to get all our paperwork together!".... but GOD KNEW! As I was reflecting more on it today, it hit me like a ton of bricks... all the way back at the end of March our agency, much to my surprise, told us that it would be VERY WISE for Joshua to NOT go on his school club sponsored trip this July that he was planning on chaperoning to Ethiopia. They thought there was a good chance that we might already have a referral or that we would be in between trips. After much prayer and conversation we decided to take their advice and Joshua cancelled the trip because he was the one heading it up. We were torn because we truly thought this could be a life changing trip for so many of his students, but we felt like it would be foolish to ignore the strong advice from our agency. That being said, I have to admit that I did say several times, "If we end up in July when that trip was suppose to happen and we don't have a referral, I'm going to be so mad and bitter!" (I know, not very grace-filled, sorry about that!)... So here we sit this week, the week that Joshua was suppose to be in Ethiopia, and we DO NOT have a referral.... but I DO have my husband home and I can't imagine having gone through Tuesday night on my own! But... GOD KNEW! He knew we needed him home! I can't think of any other reason we would have cancelled that trip, but because our agency told us it was important, we did... but GOD KNEW that would be the only way Joshua wouldn't go. He uses His people to accomplish His work. So NO, I'm not mad at our agency that we don't have a referral right now- I'm grateful that God used them to accomplish his plan and that HE is the author of this story, and I am not! I read a blog post earlier in the week that talked about God's "Prevenient Grace"- God working ahead of time for a particular event in the future. I'm so glad we got to experience a glimpse of that this week with God at work all the way back in March, causing us to cancel a trip, for this week so that daddy would be here with us! Good stuff, God stuff!
Let me leave you with a quick update where we're at in this wait! The unofficial number that we're showing on our list right now is #7, but I've also heard we're #5... either way, it doesn't really matter- we're right where God wants us. We are next in line for a babe over 12 months old but under 18 months... so we could technically skip a couple spots if a child meeting those parameters comes into the care of Hannah's Hope OR we could end up waiting until we're in the #1 spot anyway. There is no way to know! But again, it doesn't really matter, because it'll happen exactly how God wants it to! My heart does skip a beat every time my phone rings between 4pm-5pm because from what I can tell, that is typically the time when others have gotten "the call" for their referral... but I'm doing my best to not be consumed with it. Jude is doing a good job of keeping my mind off it! (o;