Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It Is Not Too Late

Claire was one of the featured kiddos during the Chinese New Year Celebration at New Day.
In case you missed it, here is a link to the article:

Claire's story

Colton was also featured on the second day.  Here is his story:

Colton's story

The goal behind all this celebration was to raise funds for New Day to continue to do their amazing work in the lives of children who desperately need  medical care and lots of loving.

If you missed the stories during the  New Year's celebration, it is still not too late to donate. 

Click HERE if you want to help New Day continue to provide care to these needy little ones.

Please don't ever think that any gift is too small.  If memory serves me right, I heard that if each person who "likes" New Day on Facebook would donate just $4, they would make the $12,000 goal during this fund drive.  Like the loaves and fishes, God multiplies even the smallest gifts to meet the biggest needs.

Don't you want to be part of that?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Beautiful Hair

Everywhere we go, people comment on Claire's beautiful hair. 

In spite of the fact that it is difficult to care for, I love her long, silky locks.

A little over a week ago, I was researching alopecia areata. It's an auto-immune disease that causes the body to attack its own hair.  Claire was diagnosed with this while she was in China and I was trying to learn more about it. I want to know why I'm constantly rubbing ointment into little bald places.  One link took us to a website that had a picture of a little girl with no hair at all.

Claire was looking over my shoulder and became very concerned.

"Girl.  No hair. Sad," she repeated over and over. 

It was the Locks of Love website.  I showed Claire that the girl didn't stay sad because someone gave her some of their hair.  She was so excited by this. She wanted to give the girl she saw her own hair. 

I put her off with a "maybe someday you can do that." 

But, like all things Claire gets into her head, she didn't forget.  Every single day she asked about the sad girl with no hair.  Every day she wants to make her hair short and give the girl some hair.

So, today, I got to see that it isn't her hair that makes my daughter beautiful.

 It is her heart.

Plenty of beautiful black hair.

The first cut was terrifying for mommy.

It was so thick.  It took a LOT of cutting to get that ponytail off.

Then a little touch up to make things smooth.

So happy to be able to brush her own hair without getting the brush tangled.

I am really cute with short hair!

Can't stop looking in the mirror.  She is so happy with the results.

Clean up.

Ready to mail tomorrow.
Claire is so excited that the little girl won't be sad anymore.  She is so excited that her hair will help another girl  be happy.  Claire says, "Girl happy.  Claire happy."

So, even if no one ever stops us again to comment on Claire's amazing, long, black hair, I see incredible beauty. 

Even though Claire's life has been very difficult, or perhaps because it has been difficult, Claire has learned the joy of sacrifice.  She knows that blessings are to give away and that love is big enough to reach into sad places and make a difference. I have a lot to learn from my precious daughter.  Her life bears the image of our God in a remarkable way!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Our Day at the Hospital

We woke early and got Claire ready to leave.  She was a little concerned that it was still very dark outside and very, very concerned that she couldn't have breakfast.  

Each night as I'm tucking Claire into bed, she goes over what she plans to eat for breakfast in great detail.  We usually visit that conversation 2 or 3 times before she settles in and accepts her kisses and hugs. Of course, the night before surgery, I had to tell her that she could not have breakfast the next day.  Before she was even awake enough to get out of bed, she was already talking about "no breakfast."

We drove through the dark to pick up Jenny who agreed to help out at the hospital.   By the time we made it to the parking garage, the sun was up and we could see where to park and head inside.  We checked in at 6:50 a.m.

As usual, it is a hurry-up-and-wait  process.  Wait for the lady who looks over the insurance papers.  Wait for the arm band.  Go upstairs and wait in the first waiting room for a long time.  Go get vitals taken once again and receive a beautiful outfit. 

Don't you think Claire looks pretty in light blue?
 From here, we answered all the pre-op questions--you know, the ones we had to go to the hospital one day last week to answer, and go over at least three more times before getting to this step. While the nurse was typing, they realized that they forgot to put a bed in our room, so one was wheeled in.  After the questions were finished up, we got to ride the bed down to pre-op and wait some more.   Claire wasn't too thrilled with this wait.  Nobody seemed to be able to find the orders for the blood draw so it took awhile.  Lots of strangers kept coming up and talking way too fast about things Claire didn't understand.  She was just ready to get this all over with and go home.  She repeatedly reminded us that she was hungry and wanted some breakfast. 

 It was nice to have Jenny there to provide extra distraction whenever Claire was about ready to bolt.  Jenny was awesome about keeping track of the bag of clothes and supplies, too.  

There was a bit of real fear as they wheeled Claire back to the operating room  I was not allowed to stay with her until she went to sleep, or to be there when she woke.   Hospital policy isn't always the most child friendly thing.

We waved good bye and then went to the second waiting room to sit until we were called.

The doctor came out to see me after about an hour.  Everything looked pretty good. There were no cysts. The scars were not blocking the airways. There are lots of scars, but it appears that the only impact might be that the scars on her vocal chords change the tone of her voice.  He did see some irritation and swelling that appears to be caused by reflux.  He is referring us to a gastroenterologist to evaluate why this might be occuring.

A couple ounces of apple juice helped with the waking up process.   Then we were wheeled back to a room to recover.  Claire was really impatient with the whole process.  She was irritated by the blood on her hands and the various tubes. So, we spent a little time carefully cleaning her up.  Then we had a long discussion about tigers and their teeth.   Hey, at least we weren't talking about breakfast for a few minutes.  :-)

Can't I get all these "pokes" off and go get some breakfast?
We got home around 3 o'clock.  Claire settled on the couch to watch Angelina Ballerina and eat a bowl of oatmeal.     Breakfast at last!

Thanks go out  to everyone who prayed.  It is good to see a healthy trachea and esophagus and rule out one more possible problem.  It was also a blessing to be able to get the lab work for liver tests done while Claire was unaware of the process. Any time we can avoid the stress associated with "pokes" is a blessing.

I don't suppose we will ever be fully aware of the miracles God is doing on a regular basis.   I believe He is at work mending and healing and restoring things we know nothing about. He deserves more praise and glory than any of us is capable of giving.  I hope that you will take a moment as you read these results, to say thank you to the God who is taking care of our precious girl according to His awesome plan for her life.