Monday, June 28, 2010

Deep Breath

They are discontinuing things one by one on June. Today they discontinued her pulse ox, which measured her oxygen saturation. They told me to bring her bottles in so we could start feeding her from them to make sure she tolerates it. She took six bottles out of eight feeds today!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Lost Child

Sometimes I feel like Sara has been pushed to the back burner since June was born. So I have decided to make this blog all about Sara!

On Friday we walked over to the Science Museum that's next door. We were told they have an awesome kids section, and the RMH got us tickets for free. Let me just tell ya'll -- it was AWESOME! Even Michael and I were totally interested. I so want to go back before we leave. Something that I thought was really cool was the hurricane simulator. It gave up to 74 mph winds to simulate a Category 1 hurricane. Michael got in first with Sara. I was a little nervous that it would be too much for her, but she just laughed through it! My little daredevil! I got in it next and it really WAS a LOT of wind! Sara had tons of fun playing:

Sara has really done well since we got here. She spends a LOT of time in the playroom here in the house (which is really awesome!). We also spend a chunk of time at the Walt Disney Pavilion over at the Children's Hospital. She really loves it there. We should spend more time there, I don't know why we don't, actually. We try to make it out once or twice a week to do something "big" with her -- like the beach, splash pad, museums, etc.

The other night she got to see June for the first time since the day she was born. Two months is a long time to wait when you're 2 1/2! Here are a couple pictures from the meeting -- please excuse my no-makeup look:

Currently, my sweet little girl that I just praised throughout this post is throwing the biggest fit EVER known to man because she does not want to take the nap that she very obviously needs. I'm cutting this post short to go lay down with her so she will (hopefully) nap. Part two coming tomorrow!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Singin' my little heart out!

A close friend of mine told me to check out the song, "Your Cries Have Awoken the Master" by Mike & Kelly Bowling. Oh my. I YouTube'd it and they started singing the second verse and I went cold. Seriously! It was like that song had been written exactly about me, because it described my emotions the morning I went into labor with June Claire and it couldn't be stopped. You have to check it out. I'm still crying 10 minutes later!

I love it when a good song just touches your heart like that. I wrote that one down to burn onto a CD later. And I'm even going to pick it out on the piano and I might even sang it one Sunday. ;) Or not. I don't want to run people out of the church! :)

Today has been a good day. June Claire had a good day, except for a brief moment tonight when her heart rate went up in the high 200's and low 300's. She self corrected within a short time so that's the good thing. Bad thing is they have to keep an eye on her and possibly give another blood transfusion (that's #6, but who's counting?) But I'm not worried. Oh no. Because Michael and I have cried out to God and prayed more in these last eight weeks than we EVER have in our ENTIRE lives and I KNOW our cries have reached Jesus! He is gonna take care of us from here on out. Even if we take home bad news with us -- He is still here with us. The past two weeks I have really been struggling with my trust, with my emotions, etc. and I have just lost my peace. Well, I prayed and I prayed tonight and I finally broke through that fear. My nerves have been getting bad the past couple of days. It seems like I've been snapping at Michael and Sara and I hate that. Honestly, the whole living in a 6x6 (okay, I'm joking, but only a little) room and constantly being on top of each other (hello? sleeping in a twin bed with your 2 year old? not fun.) is wearing us all thin. I try to go for walks each day with Sara, but if you don't go before 6 am or 8 pm you're going to suffocate to death. It sure is a different kind of humid down here!

To keep myself busy, I've been thinking about all the "home improvement" projects I want to do when we get back. First up is DEFINITELY the nursery. Have ya'll seen those signs that are handpainted with Scripture? I want to get on for the nursery and for Sara's room. I can't decide what verse I want, though -- any suggestions? And does anyone have any suggestions as to maybe a good Etsy seller that will do them? I am nooooot creative like that. This is the girl who was asked to drop Art class in high school so she wouldn't fail and mess up her GPA. Yeah. It was THAT bad.

Tomorrow is a new day and I am excited for the fresh start it will bring us! We're on the downward slide now. :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Two months, oxygen free, and milk guzzling babies

Today June Claire turns TWO MONTHS old! I cannot believe it's been two months. This time two months ago (9 AM) I was laying in a hospital bed at Florida Hospital at Celebration trying not to bawl my eyes out and trying to process that I had just given birth at 27 weeks 3 hours earlier.

June Claire, in two months you have come SO far! On April 21, you were on 100% oxygen. You were 2 pounds 6 ounces (lost down to 1 pound 15 ounces within a couple of days) and 12 inches long. You were fighting very hard for your life, and we were preparing for the possibility that Jesus might call you home. We could not even touch you because your skin was so underdeveloped. You had no eyelashes, no eyebrows, your fingers and ears and nose were not fully developed (neither were your lungs or other organs)and your eyes were still shut but you DID have a head FULL of black hair. Why on earth you felt the need to make all that hair before you made, I don't know....LUNGS, we will never know. :) Today, on June 21, you are 4 pounds 15 ounces, 15.75 inches long, you are OFF OXYGEN (praise the Lord!), you are taking two bottles per day (you don't quite take the whole bottle yet -- but you DID take all but 7 mL's last night for me!) and on Saturday you went into the bouncy chair and loved it! You are getting to be more and more alert as the days pass by. I noticed last night that you are only 2 ounces shy of what your big sister Sara Faith was when we brought her home from the hospital -- but while she was a long string bean, you definitely have little rolls already. And you have the chubbiest little cheeks. I am so in love with you!

I am so very thankful that God chose us to be your parents. I'm even thankful for the way that you came into this world. You have changed all of our lives for the better. You have taught us there is more to life on earth than superficial things.

I'm praying with my whole heart that by the time I make your three month birthday post, we are at home in Alabama, snuggling in our big bed with your daddy, your sister, and our sweet dog Delaney. She is going to love you!

-- I also wanted to update ya'll on baby Hadlei. She took 48 mL's of her mama's milk last night and digested all but 1.1 mL! That is WONDERFUL news! I'm sure it was just what her mama needed to hear, after all the bad news this past three weeks. Nothing will make you feel as good as seeing your baby eat and knowing that you provided it for her. Britni and I talk often about the day we bring these girls home and how big of a party (loaded with antibacterial hand soap, of course!) we are going to throw so our families can meet them. I hope that Hadlei and June will not only be cousins, but be great friends like their mamas are. :)

Britni sent me the cutest picture of Hadlei to upload with this post, but my phone is being a retard and I can't get it sent to my e-mail account. Sorry. :(

Friday, June 18, 2010


I only have one thing to say.



Thank you, Jesus!!!!

Show Us Your Life Friday

Kelly over at Kelly's Korner is hosting "Show Us Your Life Friday" and I thought I'd join in! I'm currently sitting in the playroom while Sara burns some energy and I thought I would make a blog post while I had a chance. :)

Today's "Show Us Your Life" is about how you got engaged. Well...funny you should ask! We didn't exactly have a traditional engagement. Here's our story:

Michael and I met and started dating in June of 2005, in England. Our first date was June 26. Things got serious and I started the process of applying for my Visa, I got a job lined up and I was thrilled that I was going to stay there with him. In October 2005, a family member passed away unexpectedly and the next thing I knew I was back in Alabama and could not get back to England because of the legal mess. I had a return flight scheduled for January so it was our hope that I would be able to return then. On November 13, Michael called me and said, "I can't wait until January. I'm going crazy. I love you so much and I need you here with me so bad...I don't want to wait until next year to get married. They granted me leave in December so pick a day, any day, in December that you want to get married on!"

Yep. That was my proposal. It didn't matter though, because I missed him terribly. We had to choose December 23 because of leave arrangements. He got to Alabama on December 22. I met him in Prattville (where they had stopped for the night -- he was traveling with his parents & grandparents) and we ate at Cracker Barrel for breakfast. His grandmother kept saying, "I want to see the ring, Michael!" and he was getting flustered because he was trying to make it a special thing when he gave it to me. Well. He eventually got so aggravated that we got in my truck to leave and he kind of tossed the ring box at me and said, "Here. Here you go." LOL.

No special, romantic proposal over here. It doesn't matter though, because here we are five years, two children, a dog, a house, and some heartaches later and we're still going strong. :)

I'd love to hear how your engagement story went!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Trusting in the Lord

Today has been a good day. Sara has been good, and it's been raining -- which means it's been cooler. We got to spend a couple of hours in the playroom this morning and then she got to play some more with the volunteers this afternoon while Michael and I sat with June Claire in her new LEVEL TWO (!!!) unit. She was so sweet today. She was wide awake when we went in there and stayed awake for a good 20 minutes while we just sat and talked to her. I don't know if I've said this before, but she is THE gruntiest baby I have ever seen! I don't know how we'll ever sleep! Then it was time for the volunteers to leave, so he came back to the room with Sara and I stayed over and got some snuggling time in. She was SO good. I took my Bible with me and read after she fell asleep. I haven't been studying any one place lately, just kind of picking it up and flipping it open and reading wherever it falls. Today, it fell open at Proverbs so I started with the first chapter.

Oh boy. It was all about wisdom and knowledge. About how we need to LISTEN to those telling us what we need to do. Someone once told me, I need you to listen with your HEART, not just your ears. That's stuck with me ever since. You can listen all day long with your ears and, as my Grandma used to say, it'll just go in one ear and right on out the other. But if you LISTEN, if you stop all that you're doing and let the words sink into your soul, infiltrate your mind...then it becomes something deeper. And how we need to be careful about what we listen to -- my Bible has the words "shun evil counsel" wrote above one passage. It says, "if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say come with us....we shall find all kinds of precious possessions, we shall fill our houses with spoil." Isn't that how sin is? It looks so pretty and glamorous to the naked eye. And then you start won't hurt if I just do it this one time. Just this one thing. I won't let it get any farther. And the next thing you know, you're neck deep. Give the devil an inch, and he'll take a mile sort of thing. Our pastor always says, "Bad company corrupts good morals." that soap box for now! Anyway, I read on down to the third chapter, and this passage caught my eye:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones."

Boy. My first thought was...I just HAD to read this today, of ALL days! All day long I have been having to put trust in different nurses for June Claire (since she moved to the Level 2 NICU) and it's been HARD. I felt like these nurses don't know us, they don't know JC's history, WE don't know THEM, and I just wasn't sure I liked the new arrangement too much. But those nurses choose to put their trust in God (at least a few of them do, I know -- because they talked to me about our faith after they saw me reading my Bible there), and He is sovereign over all. He will guide them. If I can just place my fear in Him, if I can turn it all over to Him and not worry, He will give me such peace. He will direct my path in a way that will be a testimony to His love and mercy. And we all know the less you worry the less stressed you are -- so there goes the health and strength thing!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Good friends, good food, good news, good life!

(Warning: lengthy post & incredibly picture heavy!)

First, let me just tell ya'll the really awesome news: June Claire has orders for the Level Two NICU now! This is huge! It's just another validation that she is INDEED on her way to going back home to Alabama. They repeated her eye exam today, and she is still holding steady at Stage 1 RoP (Retinopathy of Prematurity). This is okay, though, because we don't want her to progress to Stage 2 or beyond -- and remember, lots of times Stage 1 babies resolve their issues themselves.

I had someone ask me the other day -- "Why don't you seem concerned by this?" Well -- the easiest way for me to put it is this: you know how older, "seasoned" parents tell you to pick & choose your battles with your children? I am picking and choosing my battles with June. She can come home with a slight eye issue. She can have a quick laser eye surgery and she can wear glasses. I've worn them since I was 13. It won't kill her. Sure, in RARE cases it does result in blindness...but so? Even if she is blind, she is still alive.

She is still taking two bottles per day (she took 31 mLs last night for her nurse and I; her regular feed is 41 mLs so this is good!).

They also are going to lift the sibling visitation restriction next week! Or so I've heard. Sara will FINALLY be able to meet her little sister and spend some good, quality time with her. I can't wait to take that first picture of Sara holding June on the little pillow. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted a big family. I wanted 7 or 8 children. Michael? Not so much. LOL. But I have always dreamed about the day we would bring our second (or third...or fourth...or tenth) child home and all the siblings and family would be waiting at the house to meet the new little one. That's not quite how it's going to work out for us, but I still can't wait to take shots of that first initial meeting. :)

Today was a busy day. Michael re-enlisted in the USAF for another four years! This was a special re-enlistment because the First Sergeant, Commander and his wife drove all the way down from Fort Stewart, GA, to personally conduct the re-enlistment ceremony and to visit with us and meet June. Let me just lay this out for ya'll. These three wonderful people drove for over 4 hours each way to see US...and not only did they do that, but they brought a gift for Michael & I and for Sara. Not only THAT, but these are the same people who coordinated one (or two? I can't clearly remember) fundraisers and gave us the profit from them. Not only THAT (I wonder how many times I can say that phrase...haha) but they sent a huge box of toys and books for Sara. Families from the squadron have sent cards of encouragement and I know that they have prayed many prayers for us.

So...what makes this so special to us is that these people have never met us. Other than Michael meeting the First Sergeant & Commander a handful of times, we have never met these people since they are part of the unit location at Fort Stewart. All these families in this squadron, all those who donated time to prepare the fundraisers, financial aid, gifts, cards, etc...we have never laid eyes on them. That didn't matter to them, though, and they stepped up and helped out when a family needed it. For that, Michael and I will FOREVER be thankful. No matter how many new assignments we will ever have in the future, no matter if we ever come back to Fort Stewart or Fort Benning, we will NEVER, EVER forget that kindness. It has given us a testimony and we will USE it.

(I'm not leaving the squadron back at Fort Benning out, either. We truly appreciate the cards, gifts, thoughts, prayers, etc. that you all have given to us, as well. You know who you are, and may God richly bless you for your kindness. Can't wait to get back and SEE ya'll!)

Here is a picture of us, after lunch at The Cheesecake Factory...deeelicious! FYI, the mango key lime cheesecake is to DIE for!

And as always, I would appreciate it if you would continue to keep sweet Hadlei in your prayers. She went in for her third heart surgery today. I will not go into details today as I'm not sure if Britni has spoken to everyone she wanted to speak with about it, but I will just say that she did make it through it and she continues to hold steady in critical condition. She is a FIGHTER for sure. I know that Britni & her immediate family covets your thoughts and prayers as they go through this difficult time.

There is also two other families here at the RMH that I would like to ask you to remember. The first family we have become pretty close to. The dad is former military and they have a small son who turned a year old while they were here. The baby was born at 25 weeks (I believe) and he is really struggling. They got news yesterday that he will likely need a second surgery on his belly because he cannot tolerate feeds, and his gallbladder is swollen. They are also going to begin tapping his brain to draw out fluid from the brain bleed. This baby is named Jacob and he was born May 11. I did not realize this, but the way they tap brain bleeds is by sticking a needle in through the soft spot to draw out blood. How sad. :( He also has a grade 3 brain bleed.

The second family is someone who has been here at the RMH since her child was born two years ago. Since the baby was born, she has been on life support and the mother would not take her off. She said she felt like when God was ready to call her home, he would do it. I don't know the logistics of the situation, but the baby went home to be with Jesus today. The Commander, his wife and I were actually in the waiting room at the hospital when a nurse came out, calling for a family member to come back and be with her as she was taking it very hard. I didn't realize at the time it was this particular family. My heart breaks for them. Pray for peace and comfort in the coming days as they grieve the loss of their daughter.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Now Let Us Have a Little Talk With Jesus

I know I haven't updated in about a week or so. I'd like to apologize, but quite honestly -- my time has been spent either with Sara, trying to keep her occupied and feeling loved; or with June, trying to miss as few moments as I have to. I have come to the conclusion that there is no "me" time, and there is no "us" time in this season of our life. And I'm okay with that. Because I have two beautiful girls to show for it. :)

June is making amazing strides. Saturday she was moved out of her isolette and into her crib!! Praise the Lord! Saturday also started the process of weaning her off the cannula. Saturday she was turned down to 2.5 liters of pressure, Sunday she was turned down to 2.0 liters, and today she was turned down to 1. This also means she is no longer on a high-flow cannula. They are hoping to be able to put her at .5 liter of pressure tomorrow, and then....she will be off oxygen. I am so thrilled, but so very nervous at the same time. She's had all this help for so long and now it's her turn to be a big girl and do it alone...and mama is scared to death!

She also had her first bottle on Saturday. She took 5 mL's that day from the speech therapist. Michael and I took turns sitting in with her and watching. Later that night is when she was moved to the crib. Sunday she took 15 mL's AND I was able to put her to the breast for the first time. She really just nuzzled in but did latch on once for a couple of sucks. Then she fell asleep. :) Today she took 20 mL's and I put her to the breast again, but again...she fell asleep. It's okay, though. She is only 4 pounds and is not the strongest girl on the block. They decided today she can go up to 2 bottles per day, so Michael will be going over at the 9 PM feeding for that. When she masters 2 bottles per day, then they'll go to 3...and then 4, which is every other feeding.

I feel more like she is MY baby now. I can go in her room, change her diaper, change her clothes, pick her up when I want, etc. and I couldn't do that before. Getting her out of the isolette with all of the tubes, wires, IVs, etc. was a huge process, and it really wore her out. It's really nice. :)

Wednesday is a big day for her -- she'll be having her fourth head ultrasound to determine the extent of the damage from the brain bleed. One of two things will happen -- either they will be okay with everything and there will be no treatment, or she will need to have a shunt placed. They would do that surgery in the near future and then do a second surgery closer to age two to lengthen the coils. We have placed it in God's hands and we will be happy with either outcome. Please keep us in your prayers, that we will have calm peace and understanding no matter what the results are.

We are also facing some huge decisions right now, and would like your thoughts and prayers. Last night I was having a particularly hard time processing what needs to happen and what doesn't need to happen, and that hymn popped into my head...

"Now let us have a little talk with Jesus, let us tell Him all about our troubles. He will hear our faintest cry, and He will answer by and by. Now when you feel a little prayer wheel turning, you will know a little fire is burning. You will find a little talk with Jesus makes it right."

Well. I'm pretty sure my cry wasn't very faint last night. It was loud. It was frantic. It was stressed out. It was even demanding. Forceful. I NEED God to move. I NEED to know what to do. But -- the answer will come. We still have a few days before the decision has to be made, and I'm confident He will provide an answer in the perfect timing.

"I may have doubts and fears, my eyes be filled with tears. But Jesus is a friend who watches day and night. I go to Him in prayer, He knows my every care. And just a little talk with Jesus makes it right."

I have had sooo many doubts and fears and troubles these past seven weeks. My family has sort of fallen apart since we've been here. Britni had sweet Hadlei, and my heart longs to be there to comfort them. To bring her some juicy gossip magazines, her favorite Starbucks drink, to bring some bright colored daisies, and most of all just to hug her and tell her Jesus is there for her. Then my cousin, Michael, who is as close to a brother as I will ever have, is having heart issues. He was hospitalized last weekend and they had to do a heart cath. All I could have done was sit in the waiting room, but that's better than nothing! My little sister was taken to Birmingham and put in the hospital because of her seizures. I wanted to visit her. And many, many other things...I just miss home. It is just hard. But Jesus has me here for a reason, and I need to be patient and ride this season of life out.

Also, I wanted to give you an update on Hadlei -- she had the first heart surgery and was off the bypass machine within hours! What an answered prayer that was! She remained stable for those few days. On Saturday (I days are a little mixed up) they closed her chest back up (they had left it open, with a shield placed over it -- you could see her heart beating!) and she had a hard time with it. I believe Britni was called in a few times. As far as I know, she is stable for now. Hadlei is a fighter. She is such a strong little girl! I know that God gave her to Britni for a reason...I don't know what that reason is, but one day we will know. She loves that baby so much, I can hear it in her voice when she talks about her. I ask that you continue to pray for Hadlei as she heals and faces the next round of treatment. Pray for strength for Britni and her mother, stepfather, and sister as they board this roller coaster ride called NICU life.

I apologize for the lack of pictures -- I'm in a rush, trying to get back over to the hospital, but I will make another post tomorrow with lots of them. I promise. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Five Question Friday

A fellow blogger did the "Five Question Friday" thing...and because I'm absolutely procrastinating on going to sleep ( two year old took TWO HOURS to go to sleep tonight -- I'm savoring every blessed second of quietness, even though I will be paying dearly for it at 6 am when I get up to head over to see June Claire!) I'm so posting this at 1:30 AM. Copy and paste and let me see your answers! I'd love to know more about ya'll!

1. If you could go back to college would you change your major? Or, if you were to go to college right now...what major would you choose?
-- I do plan on going back to school as soon as we're home and settled with June Claire (hopefully the fall term). I was enrolled to start in the summer quarter, but, baby came 3 months early, so those plans got pushed to the side. I have been debating between elementary school teacher and NICU nurse. After our experience, I'm definitely choosing NICU nurse. I love the way the nurses have been there for us and how we've been able to feel so comfortable with them and put our whole, complete trust in them (and God) to take care of JC.

2. What do you love most about your home?
-- I love that it's OURS! I get to paint, change flooring, change counter tops, do WHATEVER I WANT! (Can you tell I've lived in base housing??)

3. What types of books do you like to read (if you like to read at all)?
-- I like to read anything and everything I get my hands on. No joke. I will read the Business section of the paper, even I know good and well there is not a business nor economics or whatever that entails bone in my body!

4. What is the grossest thing you've ever eaten?
Well. There's this thing called morning sickness. And when you have morning sickness, food you normally love to death just doesn't work for you. Mexican, you were my sweet, sweet love at one time. I ate you 4 times a week when I was working. But then morning sickness came, and I made this green chile casserole (I just gagged out loud while typing that -- my husband is looking at me like I"m crazy) and it ruined you for me. Gag. GAG.

5. If you HAD to be a character on a TV show, whom would you be?
Hmmm...don't kill me. I would probably choose Jacqueline of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I think she's gorgeous, she doesn't feel like she has to be stick thin, she owns up to her mistakes. Or I would be Teresa. She pops out so many beautiful girls and still looks amazing!

Now there's my five. Come on, you know you want to answer it for yourself!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I've really struggled with posting this photo. Every time I look at it (it's sitting on our dresser in a frame) I burst into tears and then automatically praise God for how far he has brought June Claire. This picture was taken the day she was born. The NICU transport team that traveled to the hospital we delivered in took it and gave it to me, because they did not really know if I would ever see her alive again. As you can see in this picture, she looks absolutely terrible. So, so sick. But still beautiful to me. :) This is visual proof of her progress -- she has gone from THIS:

to THIS:

Isn't she so beautiful with her eyes open? She has such big eyes, just like Sara. She still has a bit of growing to do, though, to catch up to those huge peepers. :)

I apologize for the lack of activity the psat week or so -- there's just not been a whole lot to update on, and I've been struggling while I've read blogs and lurked online, I haven't done a lot of communicating. Things just seem to be catching up to me this week. I have been here six weeks and I'm ready to get back my own bed...washing my own dishes...doing laundry...dusting...decorating...complaining about the dog on the furniture and how many times I have to pick Michael's glass up off the desk. I will never take those things for granted again. Now, I'm not saying that staying in the RMH is horrible -- it's been a HUGE blessing and the people here are wonderful!

I have a few prayer request for you. My cousin, Britni, had her first child, adorable Hadlei Grace, last week. Hadlei was diagnosed in the womb with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. HLFS is basically where the heart is more towards the right part of the chest versus the left, and it only developed halfway. Well, when she was born, they found out she did not have HLHS but instead has Heterotaxy Syndrome. Not familiar with it? I wasn't either. Heterotaxy Syndrome only affects 4 in 1 million babies, and each case is different -- there are no two the same, EVER. Hadlei is in very serious, critical condition. Her heart did indeed only develop halfway, but it also produced too many veins, and the doctors cannot tell where they are going. She was born with her small intestine twisted upside down, her liver is on the opposite side of her body, and she is missing her spleen. Missing a spleen is something extremely serious -- it means you have no immune system. She is scheduled for her first open heart surgery on Tuesday morning at 8:00 AM. PLEASE, please pray for Hadlei as much as you can and spread the word to any other prayer warriors you know of. Britni is a single mama, she'll be 24 this month and this is her very first little one. Think about how ya'll would feel if it were your baby. This surgery on Tuesday will be to attempt to fix the two PDA's (her body produced two, there is usually just one -- and if you remember, June Claire was born with hers open and we needed it to close; they needed Hadlei's to stay open) because something about the veins were not fused. This is a very big, very serious, very delicate surgery. They will be leaving her "open", in that they'll just be using some type of glue on her chest instead of staples, so they don't have to completely re-open her for the next surgery.

Part of what makes Hadlei's condition so devestating is that she is the perfect picture of beauty and health on the outside, but her organs on the inside are so sad. :( But you know what -- God creates each and every one of us perfectly PERFECT, according to His will! Each way that her organs are turned wrong, or developed wrong, etc....He did it ALL with his own hands. He placed them just so!

There is NO doubt WHATSOEVER in my mind that God blessed my family with these two situations at the same time. NO DOUBT. He is preparing our hearts for a great and mighty move and I can't WAIT to see what's in store!

(If I explained Hadlei's condition wrong; someone in my family please feel free to correct me. My little ole Southern brain has a hard time digesting all that info!)