This has been an emotional couple weeks for me. When Abby's blood counts crashed, in much the same way they did when she was first diagnosed with Leukemia, my fear was that her cancer was back and we would be saying good-bye soon. When they kept getting worse, all I could think about was the million plus times she has asked me when she was going to get her new baby brother. Adoptions take time and money. Time that I was scared Abby was out of. Do we want to adopt no matter what? Of course. But, welcoming a new baby who Abby didn't get the chance to meet would be bitter sweet.
So while doctors and nurses filed through her hospital room, we decided to step out in faith and begin our next adoption. They calls have been made and we are filling out reams of paperwork... loving every minute of it. We trust that when the money is due, God will provide.
Abby is out of the hospital BUT being watched closely by her team of doctors. She is producing a miniscule amount of white blood cells so obviously any infection in dangerous. Am I still nervous about Abby's health. Honestly, yes. I have watched 9 kids relapse in the last week and my heart breaks for them and their families. We love Abby with all our heart (just like they love their children) so we will keep fighting with all we have.
And while we are fighting the beast (cancer) we will remind ourselves to fight for the moments where she gets to be a "normal" kid.
Wow... what a special day. Seems like some of Abby's wishes are already coming true. First, here's a quick update on "Abby's Wish":
About $10K of the $25K needed to adopt has generously contributed. Since this may be our last adoption, we are considering the possibility of a baby and a sibling as well if the opportunity presents itself. We have begun the early steps of yet another home study (apparently three prior adoptions still don't make you qualified).
Wishes Come True
Abby was given special permission today (she's still in quarantine) to attend a big surprise. Out of all the "hospital" kids in Oklahoma, ten were chosen to be at the dedication of a kid play area at OU Children's Medical Center ("The Zone").
Troy Aikman has been part of this effort for 10 years, and recently Garth Brooks has joined the cause. We got to spend a couple of hours with Troy, Garth and Trisha Yearwood. No hurry, no throngs of people.
They sat and talked with each child. Took all the photos we wanted. Signed anything we wanted. Asked us about Abby and our family. They were warm, authentic and attentive.
Troy was very friendly and attentive. He talked with Abby and told her about his daughters. He took Abby's photo and put it in his pocket. He said, "I'm going to take you picture home and show my girls tonight."
We talked with Garth about our adoptions and he asked questions about it. I was able to speak to Trisha later for a few minutes and she told me they have some friends who are really interested in adoption. Michelle and I both commented later about how friendly and caring Trisha was.
They all loved Abby. Abby gave them a photo of herself and her little "Praying for Abby" card. It was a real thrill for us to get to attend as a break in our quarantine monotony.
NOTE: Abby wants to send "Miss Trisha" some photos, a thank you card and a painting of hers. I know she and Garth Brooks (they are married) live here in Oklahoma. If anyone knows how we could mail something to them, please contact us privately and let us know. We'd like to send Troy a thank you card too, if anyone knows his address. firstname.lastname@example.org
They just fell in love with Abby. We know the feeling.
They (the hospital photographers I assume) wouldn't let me bring my professional photo rig in but I did grit my teeth and get some photos with my little pocket digital.
Abby had to wear a mask everywhere except the actual event.
Troy Aikman and our Child Life friend Kristin
talked to this kids.
Troy told the story about 10 years of working with
kids in hospitals, setting up these "end zones" where they can play.
Garth was incredibly friendly and genuinely interested.
He seemed in no hurry and was gracious with photos and autographs.
I've always heard he was a pretty nice guy, and I got to see it first hand.
Before everyone else arrived, me and Abby got a picture with
Garth before shaving off our goatee's and taking off our cowboy hats.
We were worried people would think we were weird since we
looked so much like Garth.
Michelle and I were both very touched by how caring
and genuinely thoughtful Trisha was. She really seems like an
exceptionally caring person.
One last photo with Garth and Trisha. We'll definitely be
hanging this one on the wall at home.