This just happens to be Iain’s memory verse for the week, and it says it all. As a family we have done some faith-building things in the past, but I don’t think we have ever needed prayer more than this week. Yes, it even warranted pulling out the blog!
First, let me catch you up a bit…
Over the past 6 months God has stretched our family like I never thought possible. It was exactly 6 months ago this past Saturday that our family gained a new family member. She is not legally a ‘Dodson’ yet so we still can’t share her picture or name on social media and since I share my blog on social media that means here as well. Sorry about that! You will just have to trust me — she is beautiful and looks just like a Dodson.
D has had a rough start in life, as most foster children have. I am not comfortable sharing all the details. It’s not my story to tell. You will just have to trust me there as well. I will say, she was born with a very complicated and serious set of birth defects. These birth defects led to several surgeries during her first year of life. Due to her family situation and foster care, not much has been done for her medically since those surgeries. We have learned lots over the past 6 months about caring for her medical, emotional, and physical needs, and it was been quite the challenge.
One of the results of the birth defects is that she has a non-functioning bladder. This is one of the problems that can be helped with surgery. The surgery is not really a fix but more of a modification. We believe it will improve her quality of life. We have known from the beginning this surgery was on the horizon. We had planned to tackle it in the summer when our schedules were a bit more flexible and when the activities that D loves were over. Due to medical complications and circumstances beyond our control the surgery has been bumped up and will be happening this Friday at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) in Little Rock. To manage D’s complicated medical problems she regularly sees 9 specialists at ACH and they all agree it is in her best interest to do the surgery sooner rather than later, so that is what we are doing. The new surgery date does conflict with our adoption finalization court date so our court date has been pushed to April. This little girl has been ours since the day she moved in with us in July; for us the court date is only a formality.
Help us through this prayer! We know God is in control. We know God wants the best for this precious one. We know when God called us to be her parents He knew what He was doing and He will not give us more than He will equip us to handle (though it does seem like it some days!).
Here is how we need you to pray for us:
1. Pray for wisdom as we prepare D for this procedure. She has no idea what is coming. She can’t comprehend it.
2. Pray for the rest of the family as we prepare. While D might not understand what is going to happen, we understand all too well and frankly, it’s scary. We have never had a child go through anything like this. She is going to wake up in pain and the discomfort will continue for some time. We need wisdom on how to help her through it.
3. Pray for our doctors and nurses. ACH is an amazing place that we have learned pretty well over the course of 2 special needs adoptions, please pray for them as they care for our little one. The surgery will last 10-12 hrs! In a nutshell, they will be opening D up, taking 12″ of her small intestines to make a new bladder, attaching it to the old bladder and creating a new way for her to drain the bladder. Pretty amazing and scary stuff!
4. Pray for food issues! As with so many foster children D has some pretty intense food issues. Starting Tuesday night at midnight she can not eat or drink anything. Currently this is her biggest concern. She will be in the hospital for 2 days prior to surgery while they ‘clean her out’ and during this time and for some time after surgery she will be ‘fed’ intravenously. I think this is going to be very hard on her. She has food obsessions, and I’m worried! She has to remain on intravenous feedings until her bowels ‘wake up’ after surgery so pray they wake up fast!
5. Pray for the rest of our kids and family. This time will be hard on all of us. She will be admitted on Wednesday (March 4) for 2 days of surgery prep. The surgery is Friday (March 6). After surgery she will stay in the hospital for 7-10 days. I will be at the hospital most of the time. Joey will be back and forth a lot. My mom and our sweet friend, Kim, will be helping us with the kids at home. It is always hard being away and I think in this case it will be even harder (especially for this little one).
Thank you in advance for supporting us in prayer. I will try my best to keep you updated on here as well as through social media.