Entries Tagged 'Healing' ↓

New Developments…

Last night, we had the tv on a show called Yo Gabba Gabba. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a kids show that is very very random and colorful. Usually when our other kids watch tv, Hope roams around the roam playing with stuff. Well, last night, I looked over at her, and she was watching tv. Then, the character said, “Come on Kids! Let’s do a dance…follow me!” and he started doing arm motions. Hope began following him, and doing the motions! I was flabbergasted! I have never seen her watch tv or do any kind of hand motions following anyone before. We all started clapping for her, and kept rewinding the show, so she could do that part again and again. It was very very fun!!

Then, this morning, Hope had her ophthalmologist appointment with the new doctor we went to a few weeks ago. After a detailed exam, he said that she most definitely has Retinopathy of Prematurity. He looked at her eyes, and said that her optic nerves in her right eye were tracking, and that it looks very promising. Her retina is still reattached, and everything looks great. He said that we need to keep her glasses on because she probably sees really blurry without them, and her eyes need to be trained to be able to focus. So he did the exam that she got back in December that tells the dr what strength of prescription she needs. It turns out that her sight has improved, and she gets less of a prescription than she had before! When I took the prescription into the optometrist to fill it, she said that it was quite a significant improvement, going from a 22.0 to a 19.0. She said that for every point, there are 4 points in optometry, so she said it was like being reduced 12 points….she said that it was a really good sign. So we are very excited about her progress!!!

Another thing we have noticed is drastic improvement just this week in her verbal skills. She has been speaking in sentences suddenly, and often talks about jackets, the park, vitamins, and choo choo trains. Its so so cute, and her voice is so sweet and breathy! We have really enjoyed eachother this week, as she has been home on Easter Break, and have had some great bonding time together.

We want to invite all of you to her Gotcha Day/Birthday Party on May 2nd. It will be held in Aliso Viejo from 11am-2pm. We want anyone who has been following her blog to know that you are totally invited, and we would love to have you. If you can come, please rsvp in the comment section, and I will email you directions.

Well, that’s all for now! More to follow…

A Special Moment

Yesterday, the girls and I went to a Christian conference in Anaheim. During worship I was introduced to a woman who was recently healed of blindness! She went blind when she was in 2nd grade, and the Lord opened her eyes a few years ago partially, and then on Friday night of the conference, she got the rest of her vision back! So when she heard about Hope, she wanted to pray for her. She held little sleeping Hope in her arms, and prayed and sang over her. It was so beautiful.

A Trip to the ER

Yesterday when I picked Hope up from school, they mentioned that she fell asleep while she was eating her lunch, and slept for 2 hours. That is so unlike Hope to fall asleep midday, so I knew she must not be feeling good. Last night, I went out with some friends for birthday dessert, and Todd called me to say that Hope was acting really funny, and it seemed like she was having seizures. She had a super high fever too. We called 911, and they took her to the hospital. Turned out it was called febrile seizures, which are basically high fever induced. Her fever was 104-105! She had an ear infection, and was throwing up, so the doctors gave her an antibiotic and some ibuprofin and tylenol. Once her fever came down, we got to go home.

While we were sitting in the ER, she was sitting on my lap with just her diaper on. I was drawn to her belly button. I had never really looked closely at it before, but with nothing to do, I began to really examine it. I was feeling so much emotion, thinking that she at one time was attached to a cord that linked her to her birthmother. Someone who wasnt with her anymore. Someone who didnt know she was in the hospital with a fever. I felt a profound sense of loss for her birthmother, to not be able to experience this little treasure. I dont know who she is, or what the circumstances were. I know that she must think of her little girl often. Maybe she is in heaven now. Maybe she is somewhere in China wondering about the little girl she once knew. I felt an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness that I was with her. That somehow God saw it fit to match us with this little person, halfway across the world. That out of every child on the earth, she was the one that He picked. He knew somehow we would be a team. That somehow we would have what it was that this little girl needed. And that we needed her. That we get to share her life, and be her mommy and daddy. Family. Though I didn’t give birth to her, the feelings are not different. I’m still her mommy. Shes my girl. Im so glad.

If you have ever felt a pull on your heart for adoption, I just want to encourage you to go for it. Imagine life without a mommy to hold you when you’re sick. A daddy to tickle you and read you a book at night. There are so many kids out there, who really really need someone to love them. Could that be you?

The glasses came in!!

We got the call late this afternoon… We all happened to be together so we headed over to pick them up and got there right before the optometrist closed. We waited in anticipation and the optometrist came out with her little glasses! They are very very thick, like magnifying glasses and bubble shaped. He put them on her and she looked a bit surprised. Then she started tapping the glasses excitedly, and smiling. She was eating chips, tapping her glasses, and looking pretty well pleased.

We aren’t sure exactly how much she can see so far because she can’t tell us, so we’ll just be observing her to see how it goes. After adjusting her glasses she was set to go and we headed over to In-N-Out for a celebratory dinner. We must have been quite the sight as we hovered over her. We ended up telling a few people in line her story, and Hope was getting a little fan club right there on the spot. We even told the cashier and he must have appreciated it because he gave us a couple extra orders of fries. ๐Ÿ™‚ As we ate dinner Hope had the cutest little smile on her face. The best way to describe it is that she seemed to have a look of relief on her face. She enjoyed eating her french fries and kept looking up at the lights. We were excited when our friends the Kellers showed up who happened to be eating dinner at In-N-Out as well, and we all got to have dinner together!

It definitely seemed that Hope was reaching for things that she normally wouldn’t have been able to see. We don’t know what her vision is like at this point, but we do know it’s better than it was! The doctor said it will probably take a while for her brain to program the eye to see, so we are thinking it will get better over time. We had no problem at all keeping the glasses on her, because she wasn’t trying to take them off, which was something we were really worried might happen. So far we just have some french fry grease to clean off them! Here are some pictures of our celebration….

No Big News…yet…..

Well, today we went to CHLA to get Hope fitted for a contact lens. She had fun doing the eye exam where they shined a light into her eye to determine which prescription to give her. Then it came time to put the lens in… Forget it! She screamed her head off and made it completely impossible to go near her eye, much less put a contact in. They even had to papoose her, which was agonizing to watch, but she wouldnt keep her head still or open her eyes. I was realizing the extent of her inner strength, and thought about all that she has endured in her little life… Anyway, once they determined that there was no way to get that contact in, they wrote up a prescription for glasses, and it will take about a week til we get them. Bummer!~ We were so excited for her to see today! Updates to follow…….

December 10

That’s the day Hope is scheduled to visit the optometrist and will either be fitted with a contact or glasses. We are so excited and can hardly wait for the day! We will keep the updates coming! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope is going to see!

Hope was scheduled for her second eye surgery today as the doctor wanted to go in to remove more scar tissue from the retina. Kim left for doctor’s office in downtown L.A. at about 4:30am and at around 8:30am she called me (Todd) with good news!

The doctor put Hope under anesthesia and examined her eye to discover that it has no remaining scar tissue as he thought it would have, and that it actually has healed to a degree that he has never seen anything like or even thought was possible! He said that the retina in her right eye has fully reattached and the eye looks completely normal and he thinks that she can now be fitted for a special contact lens or maybe glasses and then be able to see with fully usable vision out of that eye! Kim said that she then reminded him that she had told him we’d be his first miracle back in July! (To which she said he gave a slight chuckle of acknowledgment) ๐Ÿ™‚

As far as the other eye, the retina is still completely detached and torn and and the eyeball is noticeably smaller than the other, so Hope will probably be fitted with a prosthetic eye for it sometime soon. But we are very excited about the report for the other eye and the next step is to schedule an appointment with a specialist pediatric optometrist who will guide us on getting Hope her corrective lens!

Well Kim may have more detail/corrections to add to the post later, but I couldn’t wait any longer! ๐Ÿ™‚

Please Pray for this Precious Family

We have learned through our China chat group that there is a family right now that upon arriving in China to pick up their daughter learned that she is in the hospital fighting for her life. Please visit their blog and pray for them as you are able. I can’t imagine what they are going through and they really need our prayer support right now.


Another good report!

Kim just called from the ophthalmologist’s office and the doctor just ran a checkup on Hope’s eye. He said that the results are better than he had ever expected for Hope, and that her retina is already 75% reattached. He is going to reexamine her in a month to see if there is any more scar tissue that could be blocking vision, and after that if all goes well he will fit her with a contact lens in that eye and expects that she will be able to see light, shadows, shapes and movement from that eye. He said that it wouldn’t be vision where she could sit and watch t.v. for example, but that this is still a remarkable improvement from what he ever thought possible.

Kim also said that as he was saying the last part, heย had a big smile on his face, as if to slightly concede that she was right regarding the last comment she made to him. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kim also said that she saw the ultrasound he was looking at and the retina looked fully attached to her, but she thinks he is just being ultra-conservative in his report to us. Other good news is he said she can finally go swimming again now, and it’s ok again for her to poke her eye! (That last one is a relief to us all because we were constantly working on trying to keep her from poking it).

Doctor Update

We went back to Hope’s surgeon for a check up today. He said that her retina has already started reattaching itself. He said that it was coming along very nicely, and much quicker than normal. This is mainly on her right eye. He isnt really checking her left eye, as I think that he thinks there is no vision in it, due to a tear in her retina. But we are just praying for both eyes to reattach and for her vision to be restored. Regardless, we love this little girl. She is a blessing to our lives, and her lack of sight isn’t too much of an issue on a day to day basis. She navigates very well, and her siblings are always quick to jump in and help her. They have taught herย so many things! She is super smart, and picks up things in seconds. Jonathan especially loves teaching her little commands. So far, she knows:

stand up, sit down, spin around, high five, clap your hands, pray (puts hands together), jump, honk your nose, dont touch your eye, drink your bottle, eat your food, change your diaper, take your medicine, dance, lay down, wave bye bye, give me a kiss, and more!

She is developing a special bond with each of her siblings, but whenever she cries, she calls for GuGa. (Brother in Chinese) Its so neat to see the love that they have for her, and the desire to help.

Thanks so much for all your prayers, and for your encouraging emails. We love you!

Today’s Checkup

Today Hope had her second checkup since the surgery. The doctor did an ultrasound of her eyeball, and said that what he saw was “extraordinary”. Her retina has moved back into place, and is now in position to reattach itself. He said that it was remarkable that it happened so quickly, only a week and a half since surgery. He said it was something that usually would take a month or two. He said he was very hopeful for a great outcome. So I asked him what a great outcome would be in his opinion, and he said it meant that she may be able to see light, shadows, and possibly movement “if we’re lucky.” Well, I know that she already sees light for sure, because she turns her head to look at it all the time, even before surgery. And I know she sees shadows, because she navigates around stuff. So to me, it wasn’t all that spectacular. I wanted him to say something more like “we are hopeful for a full recovery” or something like that. But he was really impressed by the way her eye went from completely detached, to now bumped up right against the retina. I asked him if he has ever seen any miracles as a doctor. He said, “Well, not yet anyway. ” So I said, “We will be your first!” and he gave me a little chuckle.

Hope has a lot of people praying for her. We are excited about what God is doing, and we are believing Him for a great outcome! Thank you for keeping her in your prayers! We love you!


Tonight Hope was feeling her way around the house with her eye patches on. She likes to play with the door, so I was listening to the sound of her opening and closing her bedroom door. Suddenly it got quiet, and I knew something was up. I rounded the corner, and she was taking off her eye patches. I took a look at her eyes, and she kept looking over towards the kitchen light. So I took her into the kitchen, and she was looking up at the light smiling. I held up a little jam jar, and she grabbed it right out of my hand! Then I quietly held up a grape. Grabbed it! Held up a spoon. Grabbed it! She was giggling, and kept tilting her head, and looking at me.

I called the doctor, and told him, and he said that it would be too early to be able to make any conclusions about that, but he did find it encouraging…….. ๐Ÿ˜‰


We just want to say thank you to all of you who have emailed us and encouraged us about Hope. Its so neat to know that we have so many people out there who are rooting for her, and praying for all of us! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

She has been doing well. She has to wear these big patches on her eyes for the next two weeks. They are outlined in pink, and she looks like a diva with huge sunglasses. She is taking it really well, and hasn’t been trying to pull them off, which we were worried about.

We took her back to the doctor the day after surgery. He took a look at her eyes, and said all looked well.ย  Basically, his report is this: her left eye has a severe detached retina, with a tear in the retina. He pretty much left that eye alone, except for removing some scar tissue. But he said that the right eye did well in the surgery. The retina was severely detached, but no tears or holes. He removed 90% of the scar tissue, and he said now we just wait for the retina to re-attach itself which will take 3-6 months. We will go back every week or so to check her eyes, and make sure they are healing up well from the surgery.

The news was a blow at first….especially the part about WHY she is blind in the first place. But the Lord has been showing us that HE is the healer, and He will heal her heart, and that LOVE conquers darkness. So we have been soaking that little girl in prayer, and we are so delighted that the God of Heaven chose our little family to be the ones that get to be with her and raise her up. We believe that God has AMAZING plans for this little girl. Although we grieve at her past, we rejoice in her future. And we will never stop believing that God does miracles, and He is the one who can heal this little girl!

Thank you for your love and your prayers! You’re awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

We’re Back from the Hospital

Today was such a hard day. We went to the hospital this morning with high hopes that today was the day that Hope was going to see! We were sooo excited! We got there at 5:30am, and went to admitting, then to the exam room, then to surgery prep. She had to drink a medicine to make her sleepy, but it took a LONG time for it to go into effect. All the other kids who drank it about the same time, were laying in their beds, nodding off, but not Hope! She was jumping up and down in the bed, practicing her drum beats on the mattress, and laughing and giggling. She looked like a drunken sailor. Finally, although she never got “sleepy” she was drunken enough to wheel into the anesthesia room without realizing that they were wheeling her away from me.

I spent the next few hours walking around the hospital, eating McDonald’s, and just waiting. All of the sudden I had a heavy feeling come over me like I knew the diagnosis wasn’t good. I kept trying to brush it off, but it didn’t go away. About 20 min later the nurse called me into the consult room to meet with the doctor. I was on the verge of tears because I was realizing that although my hopes had been SOOO high, I had to be prepared for the doctor to tell me what I didn’t want to hear.

He explained that Hope is one of the most unusual cases that he has ever seen. He said that she doesn’t have PVPH, what he originally thought she had. He said that it was clearly trauma, and that he strongly suspects that she has shaken baby syndrome. He showed me the pictures of her eyeballs, and her retinas were both almost completely detached. He wanted to do surgery to remove the scar tissue, so after a quick conversation, he went into surgery.

At that point, I just waited.ย  It took about 3 hours of surgery, and then they called me into the room to talk to the Dr. again. He told me that her left eye was considerably worse than he thought, and that not only was her retina detached, but there was a hole in her retina. There was nothing he could do for her left eye. He said that surgery on the right eye went considerably well, and that he removed 90% of the scar tissue. Now it’s time for the retina to reattach itself. It will take about 3 months. He said that the best case scenario would be that she would only be able to see light and shadows. It was kind of discouraging. Then they took me in to see her. She had big patches taped to her eye, with a big gauze wrapped around her head, to keep her hands from taking off the patches. They had her arms in slings, to keep her from bending them and ripping off her patches. It was so sad to see her that way. They let me rock her, and I just kept telling her again and again that we love her, and that she is going to be ok.

Now we go back in the morning to get the patches removed. They said that she shouldn’t be in any pain from the surgery, and to just give her tylenol. I will post tomorrow once we get the patches taken off, and let you know if there is any other news.

I was really feeling discouraged, not even about her eyes, but mainly about the fact that she was treated so badly as a baby. It makes me sick to think of it. But the Lord came in the midst of the darkness, and spoke to my heart. He said, “My Love is More Powerful than Hate. My Love Conquers All.”