Exactly one year ago today, on my birthday,
my husband Jacques gave me "the gift of life".
In my mind, my birthday will never be about me anymore.
For the rest of my life, I will always think of this day as
My heart was forever changed on Sunday, August 7th, 2011 when I received a reply to an email I sent to my sweet friend Patty...who was actually a complete stranger at the time. I saw this precious face below on a China Waiting Child Advocacy website, with a plea that this little girl was considered "terminal" and desperately needed a family to bring her home. Patty offered to share two cardiologist reports that she had obtained on this child they called "Juliana" with anyone who was seriously interested.
This pint sized angel wrapped her little self so tightly around my heart, that at times it was physically difficult to even breathe. If you have never adopted a child before, you probably think that I am a nut, but any parent who sees the photo of the child you KNOW God has intended for you, has experienced exactly what I am talking about! Pure bliss...
Patty and I emailed back and forth over the next few weeks. After dozens of emails had been exchanged, I no longer considered this woman a stranger. She was my friend, a prayer warrior, and ultimately the woman who would "deliver" my daughter Lily to me. You can read about that here.
So the night of August 7th, I asked Jacques to listen to the cardiologist reports on this little girl, who unbeknownst to him, had already stolen my heart. I don't think that the term "doom and gloom" could even begin to describe the reports that I read aloud. In no uncertain terms, the cardiologists described how Juliana only had a maximum of two years to live. Her heart defects were extremely complicated and rare, and they did not feel that she was even a candidate for the third open heart surgery she needed to give her a chance at life. The first words out of Jacques' mouth when I finished reading were, "How do we bring her home too?"
I was shocked...
Never in a million years did I ever expect Jacques to think it was a good idea to bring home this terminally sick and dying child. Only God could have orchestrated that moment.
And they all lived happily ever after...
Not even close!
Jacques and I already had permission to bring home a little girl from Shanghai (Mackenzie Ty) through our adoption agency, and Lily was listed with another agency. Family after family turned her down after having her medical file evaluated by a cardiologist. And so she sat, on this other agency's list for a very long time. At that time, Jacques told me to be patient and wait to see if her family found her. He didn't want to create any waves, and it was very unlikely that the agency she was listed with would release her back to the Shared List so that our agency could lock her for us. Our agency was aware of our interest, and our consultant would call once a week to check on Lily's status. Each week we were told that a family was seriously considering bringing her home. My heart ached week after week. I wanted nothing more than to call this little girl my daughter.
Obviously Jacques got the hint, and on September 12th, 2011, the very last birthday gift I opened was a card from Jacques saying that he wanted to “Double our pleasure and double our fun” by bringing home Juliana (Lily) too. Jacques was on board all along to bring home Lily, but this was his way of saying that he gave me his 100% support to pull out all of the stops and start fighting to bring our daughter home.
The agency that Lily was listed with got updated photos of her on, you guessed it, September 12th...my birthday. My day could not have gotten any better after seeing this sweet face:
After what could literally be described as the fight for her life...
Lily became our daughter.
Today, exactly one year later,
I have the absolute honor and pleasure of spending
the afternoon with my girl.
As you know, Lily has been very cyanotic (blue)
ever since her open heart surgery.
After a call in to her doctor on Monday with some
new, alarming concerns,
her cardiologist wanted to see her in the clinic today.
The only thing I want for my birthday this year,
is "the gift of a normal life" for my precious daughter.
Happy Lily Day To Me!!!!!
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy,
and where thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where moth and rust do not destroy,
and where thieves do not break in and steal."