Sunday, March 16, 2014

Advocacy: For Lena

What is hope?
What is risk?
What is worth it?
...and what kind of hope is worth the risk?

When adopting a child that you have never met, there are fears, risks and unknowns. But most of those unknowns are simple things, such as the child's size, personality and development. Usually the unknown isn't how long will my child live? Will she even make it until I get there? And how long after that?

Since the day Lena was born her survival was a miracle. Lena arrived at New Day Foster Home on August 1, 2011. She was one and a half months old and weighed only 3.2 kg (7lb). She was tiny, she was cyanotic, she curled up in our arms and we held her.

It took Lena 3 months to gain one pound, and when we had some of the top cardiologists in the city look at her case, they said that she was too weak for heart surgery. The doctors suggested that she weigh over 13 pounds before surgery, but at one-year old Lena was still shy of her goal.

Lena was tiny, but except for a few scary incidents of pneumonia and heart failure, she stayed mostly healthy, although never strong. In 2012 Lena was admitted to the hospital for surgery, but pre-operatively the surgeons did an angiogram and found that her pulmonary levels were too high, and so the surgery was called off. We made a lot of calls and found a hospital in Shanghai willing to attempt her surgery, so in early 2013 Lena had heart surgery. But just a few hours after the operation she began to crash and the surgeons rushed in to un-do her repair. Thankfully Lena stabilized and was able to return home to us.

Lena's condition is serious. Her heart condition is inoperable in China. In the US? We don't know.

Lena is a beautiful little girl with a funny personality. She makes the most hilariously grotesque faces, refuses to crawl because she loves to roll, has come up with amusing dance moves to her favorite songs, and is very close to her nannies and caregivers. Sometimes her condition scares us, and we wonder what life has in store for her... but most of the time we forget to worry, because we're so busy enjoying the life of this special little girl.

"Terminal" is defined as: "(of a disease) predicted to lead to death, esp. slowly; incurable." But the love that a parent has for a child lasts forever, and with hope, anything is possible. - Andrea, adoptive mama to multiple CHD babies

Adopting a child whose life is dependant upon a miracle is scary... but that's where hope comes in. Adopting a child for whom every single breath is a Gift is intimidating... but isn't that what risks are made of ?

And Lena, a little girl who has never known the love of a forever family all her own, is waiting. She's waiting for a daddy and a mommy to say, "You're mine, for as long as you are," and then to love her through whatever is next.

Are you that family? Contact for more information about Lena's situation, and how to bring her home.

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