Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Front Row Seat to Miracles (Esty's Health Progress)

I am SO EXCITED to report about all God has done in Esty's physical health!!

I've waited for so long…hoping that I'd have a good report but everything was always SO BLATANTLY FULL OF BAD NEWS.

As you may remember, when we picked her up from the orphanage back in January, she was sick.

Very sick.

So sick she was within 1-2 days of dying.


But God orchestrated all our paperwork, clearances, fundraising and plane tickets so we were there on the Monday before she died. 

And God directed our steps all the way to the International clinic where she was given the medical attention that put a halt to the kidney infection that had gone into her blood.

And then, we came home to America.

And we began investigating all her renal health issues.

We did endless tests. We were at the hospital weekly.

And no matter what test was run, they all had bad news: she was in a desperate state of health. 

Stopping the blood infection in China was not enough.

When we got the results back…it was hard to not cry.

For a solid 15 minutes, the pediatric urologist showed me test after test and each time would say, "Well, her bladder should look like a round ball, but this is how her bladder looks," and on and on through every test. 

There was no good news. 


I was just simply astonished.

And then, we went to the nephrologist. 

He too reported difficult news. "She is a patient who is on the path to total dialysis and/or kidney transplant."

How does a mom take it all in????

I couldn't blog. 

It was just too much.

Naturally, we began some intervention. 

Fast forward 6 weeks.

Today, we had another serious test to see how the pressures are being managed in her bladder. You see, she already had Stage 4 reflux into BOTH kidneys. This is often solved by immediate surgery.
Our team wanted to try medication and daily self catheterizing. We've done that faithfully for the past few months.

Today, the test began and our urologist immediately exclaimed, "Oh my! Look at that bladder! It almost looks normal!"


And fast forward to the end…she has NO SIGNS OF REFLUX INTO HER KIDNEYS!!!! The meds and cathing have WORKED!!!!

I was dancing around the operating room in my funny jumpsuit and hairnet! 


Now the deal is, she must stay on this plan the rest of her life. Monitoring her progress with further testing will always be part of her life. We cannot reverse the damage already done to her kidneys by years of neglect…but…

The future of dialysis/transplant is now DECADES off into the future, no longer an imminent concern!!!!

Are you kidding me?!?!?!?!


And Esty? Well, she was busy playing an iPad game where she applies make up to a mermaid. She did look up and wonder at my silly dance party but then just kinda shrugged her shoulders and went back to choosing a nice party dress.

Someday I will tell her this story.

A story of a God who sees her. Who saw her broken and needy. Of a God who cared for her every step of the way, even when she felt alone. The story of a woman across the world who heard Him speak of a waiting orphan in great need. The story of how He lovingly matched their hearts. The story of how He rescued her just in the nick of time and provided all the right medical care at the perfect moment. The story of how she would be obedient to take her medicine and learn to self catheterize and He would work more miracles to extend her life. The story of how He wanted her named Esther…because He wanted her in place for the special work He has for her to do.

I will tell her this story.

She will know how the God of the Universe loves her. And how valued she is. And I pray that she will embrace Him wholeheartedly and live out the marvelous plan He has for her life.

What an honor it is to have a front row seat to watch this miracle unfold!!!

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  1. Oh, I am soo glad. Thank God for how He leads.
    And if down the road you do face kidney transplant...well my brother had a rare kidney disease (the same one and around the same time that Jim Henson of the Muppets had and died from.) One of my sisters donated a kidney. Apparently the expectancy for the transplant to last before having another is something like 10 years. It has been around 24 years and he hasn't had to have another transplant. He has some side affects of the various drugs, but they are managing those.
    So, I will keep praying for you and all of yours. Praise God for people who move when He says Move.
    In Christ,
    Sandy in the UK

  2. That is absolutely outstanding news! We have two children with Spina Bifida, with one having neurogenic bladder, cathing and meds are part of the routine now...we're grateful that God has allowed this child to come out of China before he had much more kidney damage. But now we look at augmentation, because cathing alone is not enough. I pray that he won't need it but if he does we've got an amazing health team assembled. Praise God for miracles!

  3. Your daughter completely radiates the most beautiful joy!!! Praise God for the healing he has done and will continue to do!!

  4. Oh, I just found your blog from No Hands But Ours, and I was wondering, wondering...and yes! This is the same little girl who grabbed at my heart when she was on the (then) Cornbread and Chopsticks site. Oh my goodness! I adore her and am grateful to our God who rescues and redeems, and so very grateful for your family who listened to His voice and responded to His call.

    We also have a 10-year-old with spina bifida. He is an absolute joy and delight. He's been home with us for just over a year.

    Praise God for the good news regarding Esty's kidneys!

  5. Loving it! Good to hear from you. Let's do that FaceTime thing real soon!

  6. Everytime I see that beautiful smile, it makes me so happy!

  7. I saw your guest post on another site, and it is as though our daughter's are identical (and for the record, we say she "uses" a wheelchair and even as a nurse myself, prior to bringing my daughter home, I refrained from words like "bound"). My daughter was almost 4 at the time of her adoption, and had been cared for at New Hope Foster Home in Beijing, receiving excellent care- however, she was transferred back to her orphanage a full 2 months prior to my arrival to adopt. By then, like your daughter, she was very, very sick. Fevers, (104.5 the day she was handed to me) that lasted 2 weeks, 2 different antibiotics and thankfully those worked though it took a lot of time. As a nurse, I knew she had a kidney infection based on the symptoms. Stage IV reflux into one kideny, III into the other, hydronephrosis, one kidney severely scarred, the other abnormally small, etc. Months of cathing resolved that and 2 detethers later we are now on our way to Malone and Mitrofanoff with Dr. Levitt in Ohio. (google, too long to explain). At any rate, I just felt a kinship to your story. My daughter cannot walk nor will she ever be able to- the rest of what comes with spina bifida is pretty much par for the course (the bladder/bowel issues). There is a wonderful online support group through FB that you would probably greatly benefit from- all adoptive parents dealing with similar bowel/bladder issues. Wishing you the best. There is nothing like the spirit of a child with SB.

  8. Praise God for your family. I was born with Spina Bifida and have endured many challenges that your daughter has encounter and will encounter over her lifetime. I believe that your daughter will be succesful at anything she puts her mind to, especially with the love from family, friends, and God.


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