Avery was born with a hole in her heart. It was a small hole between her two ventricles, the most common type of heart defect. It was repaired in Beijing when she was 6 months old through the Half the Sky organization. Somebody (we have yet to find out who) sponsored her so she could have her heart surgery. We are so grateful! We are assuming her story goes something like this . . .
Her birth mother delivered her in a hospital and shortly after found out she had a heart defect. In China, if you can't pay for it it doesn't get done. Her birth parents could not afford to pay for the surgery. They took her home and loved on her real good for about a month (can you imagine what that month must've been like? the agony) then left her to be found and taken to an orphanage where they knew she would get what she needed. SHE IS ONE OF THE BLESSED ONES! We are grateful that her birth parents left her to be found and given the medical care that she needed. I'm sure they hoped for a family to adopt her and take good care of her because they were not able to.
My heart aches for her birth parents. I really want to let them know how grateful we are for what they did for Avery. I pray for their hearts to know and to have a peace about them. God is good, He can do it.
We've had lots of doctors appointments since we have gotten back from China. Avery's little immune system has taken a hit since being here and she's been sick with upper respiratory problems twice. Then we also have to get her caught up on her shots and meet with the pediatric cardiologist to check on the status of her heart and how the repair went.
When we first found out about Avery's special need my prayer was that God would show us that there was no sign of a heart problem. That the repair went great. That she would need no medicines, follow-up surgeries, or close monitoring because of her heart defect that she was born with. We met with the pediatric cardiologist on Friday. Avery was a great little patient, enduring an ultra-sound, EKG, a pulse O2 (ET finger), and four different blood pressures. The only time she cried was when I sat her on the scale for them to weigh her - silly girl. The doctor came in and said, "She has a perfect heart." Holy God are you serious? Did she say 'a perfect heart?' I think I asked her again and again about it and she said that her heart is in great shape. She doesn't even need antibiotics to get her teeth cleaned, she is not considered as having 'heart disease.' The repair went well, the patch looks good, it's not leaking, she's well oxygenated. SHE HAS A PERFECT HEART.
The only ONE that I know who is perfect is my Savior. And His heart lives on in His children . . .
I tell you this girl does not let much bother her. The big Golden Retriever, Rigger, not scared of it. Golf cart, not scared. New environment, not scared. Grass, well . . . still not sure of the grass! We went to Woodward last weekend, it was Avery's first time to be that far away from home, sleeping somewhere else besides her own bed (other than the 3 different hotel rooms in China and Dallas, but who's counting, right? me, still.), hadn't seen GaGa (Lyndal's mom) since we came home at Christmas, big huge dog, lot's of wonderful Woodward friends that came by to meet her, and the girl did not skip a beat. She is resilient and amazing and SO meant to be our daughter. I can't say it enough, but it is like she has been with us since her birth. We had a wonderful time at GaGa's and look forward to our next visit very soon - ready Ga Ga?
It was a rough week here at the McMurphy house. And when I say rough, I mean, rough. It all started when last Friday - you know the one, the one with the snow day? the billionth snow day this year? yes, that's the one - when I started feeling yucky. At first I thought it was something I ate, but no, nope, it kept getting worse. I ended up spending most of the next 24 hours in bed with a stomach virus. Thank God Lyndal made it home BEFORE the snow/ice hit. Otherwise, I would not have been able to spend much time in bed AT ALL. Then, about Saturday night the rest started getting sick. Nicci was down for about 3 days straight. She was one sick girl. The three little ones got a cold, but Avery's went worse. I guess her little immune system is really taking a hit. We spent 2 hours Tuesday evening in the pediatrician's office, got a chest x-ray and a breathing treatment. No pneumonia. Breathing treatment didn't do much. So, we had to go back the next day. She was finally diagnosed with viral bronchiolitis which basically means to 'go home and wait it out.' No antibiotics. No cough medicine. Nothing to help us get through our 4th night of not sleeping good. Nothing. And, I'm not much of a medicine taker anyway, but I just wanted her to be well! In the midst of that, Conner started feeling yucky with the stomach thing and he missed 2 days of school (that was really kind of nice, not the part about him getting sick, the part about not having to get up with all the kids, load them up, and take him to school at 7:25am. We got an extra 45 minutes of sleep. But this is about Conner, not me:) By about Friday we were doing much better. Oh! And Lyndal got sick while he was in Colorado working! Poor guy :(!
We were all well enough to go to Piedmont for my Grandmother's 86th birthday!
My cousin Peyton and Carlie - do they look like twins or what? They are about a year apart, but they are almost identical, minus the glasses!
I love this woman! I love my family! It was also the first time Avery had met my Grandma, Grandpa Kenneth, Aunt Cathy, Uncle Gerry, and a bunch of cousins. And we had not met my cousin's new little baby boy, Braylon! He is almost 4 months old and he's been sleeping through the night since December! He gets mad when you wake him up! Shut up! Avery clung to me for about the first 20 minutes then she was off singing and dancing, just be-bopping along! The only person who got to hold her was my cousin Kasie. We had a lot of fun together.
I am a wife to a wonderful man, and a mother of five beautiful, healthy children. If I had time, I would get organized, read, research stuff, exercise (pressing on!), and take more naps. We live in the great state of Oklahoma. Life is good. God is great!
A List of Common Adoption World Abbreviations and Terms
SWI - Social Welfare Institution, the orphanage, but also sometimes an orphanage and a home for the elderly
SN - Special Need, some of the families request a child with a special need, we have chosen not to
LID - Log In Date, the date your dossier is officially logged in in China
Travel Group - All the other families who have the same DTC/LID date as we do and we will all travel together unless one of them chooses a child with a special need. Usually all the referrals in a group come from the same orphanage, which will be another thing we will have in common with our travel group.
I-171h - a PPP that we waited 6 weeks on so we could finish our dossier
USCIS - United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
Bethany - Our adoption case worker at Dillon who is very patient and has a great sense of humor
Dillon - Our adoption agency, which we love, is based in Tulsa, but serves many parts of the country, and it's Christian based
PPP - Pretty Peace of Paper, once you have received the pesky one it becomes the pretty one ;)
PPP - Pesky Piece of Paper, which is any piece of important paper you are waiting on
Referral - The first picture you see of the child you have been matched with and a brief medical history