Monday, April 4, 2011

Shine Lily Shine

Lily had an appointment last week with the surgeon concerning her fistula. He referred us to Cincinnati Children's Hospital for her surgery. Since she has a surgery in China when she was a baby, this surgery would be to correct the problem AND to correct what was done in the Chinese hospital. It just wasn't done well at all. The surgeon was so nice. He has done many of these surgeries before, but not so many Re-dos of the surgery, so he thinks we should go to the man who "wrote the book" (literally) on correcting Lily's issue. When he said, "If you want the best..." I just broke down in tears. I am not sure what set me off. Lily was sitting on my lap looking at my wet eyes with concern. I think it's just because I feel so bad for my Lily that she has had to deal with this and her hip among MANY other things and she doesn't even realize it. She probably doesn't know what it feels like to feel good in her body. I know that rickets causes joint and bone pain. Twice she has woken up in the middle of the night in tears pointing to her knees. When he asked me if we wanted the best I just thought OF COURSE! Yes, we want the best for this girl! For once in her life, she needs the best! So he recommended we wait a few more months to let her settle in before we go there for a consult.

While we were in the waiting room of the lab a nice older gentleman approached me and told me that he is a Shriner and that we should take Lily and Hope to a Shriner's Hospital for their surgeries. Up to this point all I knew about Shriner's is that they are a fraternity of men who rode in the fun little go carts with funny looking hats on in parades. He gave me his card. I felt like it was a divine appointment. Then I remembered one of my best friends from childhood has worked at the Shriner's Hospital near our hometown for years. I called her and inquired. You mean ANYONE can qualify??? I couldn't believe it. It seems like almost always we are in the category where we make too much money for certain assistance, but not enough money that it doesn't put a burden on us. Ashley told me all about it. She calls Shriner's the best kept secret! And the hospital that works on orthopedic issues is in Shreveport, where our families are from. Wow. Perfect! So we applied for Lily's hip concern and we are eager to hear from them for a consult! We are so excited about this. Lily's hip appears to be missing some bone. It's why she limps and is off balance. Praise God for Shriner's Hospital and Mr. Seney and my friend Ashley for all the help! If they can help us, we will be able to get ALL of Lily's care for her hip provided free of all charges until she is 18!

Lily is doing great. She sleeps with Phoebe now. Bonding with her SO much more now. She is learning more and more English everyday. She even cracks jokes! It's amazing how she can only know a little English but is able to correctly communicate jokes! She was even rapping today. She eats great. She doesn't really care for everything we make her eat, but I am fully in charge of what goes in her body. I can't wait to measure her and see if she's growing. She drinks Shaklee protein and meal shakes every single day and takes Shaklee vitamins. Oh if she had only had one measley little Shaklee vitamin every day for the last 9 years! I have a strong desire to implement a vitamin program in her orphanage to make sure this doesn't happen to any other kids. Speaking of orphanage, whenever she hears the word orphan or orphanage she says, "Orphanage NO!" She wants to make it clear that she doesn't want to go back! We say NEVER!

Lily is learning to love on me more. It's slow...turtle slow! But I have faith that in time she will understand her new family. It definitely helps when it's just our family of 7 around. It's so hard to stay secluded. So many places to go. Baseball and softball almost every other night. Daniel says he can see how the experts are right to recommend seclusion until your child bonds. It's an odd place to be in...I don't know if many people would understand it. I didn't before we got Lily. I never ever thought it would be this difficult. It's not bad by any means. In fact, it would appear to most people that she has bonded perfectly to our family. But 9 years of orphanage life doesn't go away so easily. I have thought about taking a trip with Lily, just the two of us. Even going to a hotel for a couple of nights...uninterrupted. All focus on her. I may do that.

She ran around outside for hours Saturday at Phoebe's softball games. She even got a suntan (yay for Vitamin D)! She is darker than most Chinese. Hope's complexion is fair with black hair. Lily's complexion is light brown with dark brown hair. The orphanage was perplexed by her brown hair. I guess it is rare in China. While she was running around she came to me and tried to express what she was feeling to me with a disturbing look on her face. I realized she was HOT! I am sure she was hot in the orphanage in the summers, but she was sweating, panting, red faced and had the sun beating down on her. I smiled with delight! She wasn't used to the sun. You can tell she has seldom been out in it while she was in China. I've never been more grateful for the wonderful sunshine! GROW LILY GROW!!!!!!

While she was playing Daniel and I just looked at her in awe and talked about what she was doing just 2 months ago. How her life has changed! It's like she has a new start in life. A second chance. A first chance really. You know, when we give our lives to Christ we are made new. It's like Lily running around in the sunshine! We must be people of light. Set apart revealing His glory, bringing others to this newness and freedom. Just as Lily was physically bound by her life as an orphan, without Christ, we are bound in sin. I am so grateful for my freedom in Christ. As horrible as physical bondage is, there is nothing worse than an eternal spirit bound by sin. We all need a second chance. We all need the SONshine!

(Neilson teaching Lily how to play sharks and minnows)

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