I am typing by Anna's bedside at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. So much has happened since my last post that we were going to pick her up last week. I am sorry about the lack of posts during our trip, but it was an incredibly busy week, and about all I had time to do was take care of Anna and sleep a bit. I know many of you kept up with us either on Facebook or through Susanna's blog. I can never thank all of you enough for the thousands of prayers that went up for us and are still being lifted. I will try to express through this post what they have meant to us.
My son Damir (he's 15) and I picked up Anna from Pleven on Friday, March 29. Honestly, it was about what I had expected. We waited in the lobby and Anna was brought down to us. We received her and some papers and raced out the door back to Sofia. The staff did give me some food for the trip so I fed her on the way back. She proved a good eater, but took quite a while to down her jar of baby food.
I'm not sure I even remember my initial thoughts about Anna. Remember my husband came on the first trip so I had never met her when they put her in my arms and she was mine forever. I'm sure there was some shock as nothing can prepare you for what has been done or allowed to happen to these children. Now I know that she looked very bad (compared to how she looks now.) I had been told she was on a seizure medication, but when I picked her up, I found out that she had been taken off the medicine. I was not told why.
We went straight to the police station to apply for her passport. The lights were very bright and it was noisy, two things I am sure she was not used to. While we were there she appeared to have a seizure, so I emailed my adoption doctor back home. She contacted the head of pediatrics at Tokuda Hospital in Sofia and they both agreed she should be admitted. So our first night with Anna was spent in the hospital. On Saturday morning, an EEG showed that she was having constant seizures. She was also severely dehydrated. She stayed in the hospital for several days.
It was during this time that I had what I would call some crises of faith. God was with us. I never doubted that. But he allowed Satan to sift me. I know this because of the fear I felt. Fear is never of God. Satan was showing me some pretty horrible visions - things like I would spend all my time in hospitals from now on. As a mom of eight prior to Anna, I have been blessed with disgustingly healthy kids. We have had two minor surgeries over eleven years and only two broken bones. I just haven't ever had to deal with real sickness. And Anna has a lot of needs! But I prayed and I know that so many of you were praying and the fears subsided and in their place came a new resolve and strength. God is so faithful!
One of the things that helped me pull myself back together was Monday afternoon. God gave us such a time of joy with her! I was feeding her and she was doing well so I gave her a high five. Well she loved it and started trying to high five me back! I was stunned! She kept up this constant interaction for an hour. Here is a taste:
This gave me so much hope for what God will do in her life.
Damir and I were overjoyed on Tuesday when we finally got to take her back to the hotel. The rest of trip passed quickly. The trip home was not good. She would not eat or drink much at all. We made the decision to bring her straight to the hospital from the airport. It was disappointing because we wanted her to meet the rest of her brothers and sisters and see her new home. But she is getting such awesome care here at CHOA. She has been seen by a neurosurgeon who wants to operate as soon as Tuesday. Today she received an NG tube so we can get some nourishment in her. I hate it because she really eats well, but I am also relieved because the constant struggle to get her to take any liquids was wearing me down.
It is amazing how fast this little girl has wrapped us all around her finger. How spoiled she will be once we can get her home!
Please keep praying for her health. Also, please pray for our bonding. I hate that pretty much all she can associate us with is hospitals. We don't have any choice; her health must come first, but I want her to trust us and not just think we bring needle sticks and little sleep. Would you also pray for my employer LaGrange College? Without my insurance, we could never have brought this little girl home. I am so thankful for my job. Please pray that God will bless the College with more than enough students to make up for the extra costs we have placed on it with Anna's care. God is able to provide.
I will try to be a better blogger and keep everyone up to date on Anna's progress. I can't wait to see what plans God has for her.