July 9, 2007
Surgeries 每 We have become quite familiar with the local hospitals, becoming one of their best customers. Since our last letter Esther, Stacey, Philip, Megan, Julia and Luke have all undergone surgery.
We first met Philip a year ago at the opening of the Tacheng orphanage and wanted to help. They were just getting started and the legal process to send him with us was not yet in place. A year later when we were back in Tacheng to setup a medical clinic we saw him again. His situation had become very serious and without intervention his chances of survival were very unlikely. This time we were able to bring him back with us to Beijing. The doctors have told us that he will never walk and would have severe brain damage. Since he's been with us he has had Spina bifida surgery, which the surgeon is pleased with the results. Then two weeks later he was able to have hydrocephalus surgery. The MRI showed that there was so much water in the center of his brain that his brain was actually only a 2 cm rim around the inside of his skull. Although the MRI shows major brain damage, the doctor could not believe how alert and intelligent Philip is - he said this is impossible with this much brain damage.
We were first asked to help Luke when we were starting a formula project in Jiangxi province. The orphanage had been told nothing could be done, to take him home and wait for him to die. We sent the medical records to Fuwai Hospital (Beijing Hospital that we use a lot) and they thought that they could help so we brought him home with us. The first time we saw Luke he reminded us so much of Paul (the little boy who died after heart surgery last June). Ironically, Luke's surgery which was similar to Paul's was scheduled just two days after the anniversary of Paul's death, so you can imagine it was a bit nerve wracking sitting waiting in the hospital as he went through four hours of heart surgery. The good news is that he came through successfully. He will need another one in six months to a year. He was named Luke because we felt God gave him as a replacement for Paul. In the hospital during surgery I kept reminding God of this. : )
We have thirteen kids still waiting for surgeries which are scheduled over the next few months.
New arrivals 每 Julia, Philip, Emma, Benjamin, Jade, Hudson, Keith and Vanessa have recently joined our family. They come from all over China and with a variety of medical issues. They each have their own special story which we are confident will have a happy ending.
Just a little highlight on Jade 每 she is in a catch 22 and needs a miracle. Just as she arrived she was taken to the hospital with severe pneumonia which was so severe that the doctors feared heart failure. After 3 weeks she was released but we've been told that she needs to have surgery ASAP. However her heart is so stressed and she is still so weakened that it would be quite dangerous.
Adopted 每 Isabelle, Janai, Simon, Chloe, Amelia, Holly and Bella have left to be with their permanent families. Each time this happens we have a deep sense of satisfaction and are so thankful for the opportunity to be part of making a difference in a life.
Formula Projects 每 The formula projects in Hohhot, Taiyuan, Jingdezhen and Leping continue to do well. This month 15 new children were added to the program. It is sad to know this many children were abandoned but we are thankful that we can help make a difference in their lives.