Happy New Year, everybody! We literally ended the lunar 2012 with a bang (lots of them) and have rung in the new year with... even more bangs. The fireworks are still going strong and it looks like, judging from all of the oranges out for sale and the fish decoration on the doors, this is going to be a year full of prosperity.
Over the last year we have seen over a dozen incredible, life changing miracles. It's really hard to choose a favorite, but Alea's certainly ranks up there. She arrived at NDFH a year ago in February, and we were a little bit scared. Alea's only hope, the only way that she would survive, was if she was able to receive a liver transplant before she was 18 months old. Time was ticking down for our sweet girl who experienced a lot of discomfort because of her failing liver. Her poor distended belly was hard to look at and she was most comfortable sitting upright in someone's arms, where the pressure from her diseased organ was less.
Alea needed a miracle. She either needed a liver transplant in China, a visa to get to the US for a transplant, she could be adopted right away, or her liver could just be healed. Each of the four options for Alea's healing required something amazing to happen. Organ donations are not a culturally accepted practice here, so the chances that she would receive a new liver in China were quite slim. The cost for Alea to have a transplant in the US was quite large, and a lot of hoops were going to have to be jumped through for her to get permission to travel overseas. Alea only had 8 months until her body would begin deteriorating to the point that a liver transplant would no longer help her. For adoption to be an option, Alea was going to need to have her paperwork completed and expedited, as well as a potential adoptive family to come forward and be fully prepared for her needs. And they would need to move fast. And then for Alea to just get a new liver... well, that would be a miracle.
We raised money and looked into getting Alea a visa. We put out a plea for an adoptive family to come forward and the responses were overwhelming. We prayed every day, laying our hands on Alea's distended belly, that her liver would be renewed. And we put Alea on "the list" to receive a liver, if one were to become available. We knew that if she were to be survive, the impossible would have to happen.
Well, the impossible happened. At 8pm on a Saturday night a liver became available and Alea went into surgery by 10pm. The team of surgeons worked through the night and Alea was out of surgery by 10am. The surgery was successful and now, well, just look at her...
Alea's story is one of our favorites, because there wasn't anything that we did to save her. We were totally helpless, just as she was, simply waiting for a miracle. We could pour love into her, make sure that she was eating a good diet, and keep her clean, warm and happy, but we couldn't save her life. Only God could have saved Alea, and he was the one who rescued her and renewed her life.
So today, the 12th day of Chinese New Year - Chinese New Year itself - we want to celebrate Alea's miracle.
We haven't quite met our goal of $12,000 yet, but who knows what can happen in another 24 hours? Right now there is a matching challenge going on. Every dollar, up to $1000, will be matched! That means that if you donate $5, it becomes $10. If you donate $25, it becomes $50. And it also means $1000 more to help save the lives of children like Benjamin, who arrived Thursday afternoon and went straight into emergency surgery. He's a tiny little boy who was born with multiple GI defects, but we believe that his life is one of promise, and that he will survive. He is currently in ICU, and the acute care fund is saving his life right now. Thank you!