Thursday, August 13, 2015

Baby Zees surgery and the oh so bummer no Chuganooga summer

MY plan was to wait and schedule Zees surgery in August after my bigs had started back to school. We made a summer bucket list complete with big plans for us and a personal goal of having lots of very intentional time with my kids rather than just letting our summer together coast by.

But God. I love those words by the way, even when they jack up MY plans.

We went in for a heart cath in late May to prep for surgery in August. The doctors came away from that procedure confident that he was ready for his surgery ASAP. Not a rush by any means, but he was ready. I prayed over that news and agonized with the decision of what to do. Sometimes making these BIG decisions as a single mom really blows. Just FYI.

The more I thought about it the more I realized that there were just too many "what if's" in waiting on surgery. What if his recovery took longer than expected and he was still trying to get better when RSV season comes along? What if something unexpected happens between now and August and he is too sick then for the surgery? So many things to think about. Ultimately I listened to God and scheduled the surgery for June 24th (smack in the middle of summer), trusting that God would work everything out.

People said "How long do you think he will be in the hospital?". My guess was 2 weeks although I knew it could be longer. I had a spreadsheet for 2 weeks worth of fun play dates for my kids, people to keep Jojo, meals from an awesome small group at church....everything was all planned out. Two weeks.

Two weeks quickly became a month. One open heart surgery became two. Complications were abundant. The spread sheet ran out.

My bigs and I have tried to do a "just us" trip every summer before school starts back. This year I promised them that we would make it happen. We would go to Chatanooga (Ella Mae has always called it Chuganooga) because they love it there. We would stay at the Choo Choo, spend mornings at the pool(s), go to the aquarium, catch frogs in the evenings at the lily pond.....and just have 24/7 fun. But it didn't happen.

Zee not only came home still on the ventilator (which I had high hopes of leaving behind), but also with a PICC line for IV antibiotics and an injection that had to be given twice daily. There was literally no way I could leave him, and taking him with us would have defeated the whole purpose. 

People often have concerns about how adoption and/or foster care will affect a persons "own kids". I hate that term by the way. Well, this summer it affected mine. They were disappointed. I am disappointed and I feel guilty. Bad guilty.

But here is the bottom line: foster care, adoption, mission work, being a pastor, leading a small group, serving widows, being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves....whatever it is you do for God requires sacrifice. It just does. And the same goes for my bigs because they are on this journey with me. And they are amazing and the lessons they have learned so far and will learn in the years to come will always greatly out weigh any guilt I feel or disappointment they feel. Because what God tells you to do is always the right thing to do. Always.

And now that I look back over some pics from our summer, I realize we did manage to have a lot of fun together, in spite of me living in a hospital away from them for a whole month. Because God is always right. Always.

Catching lightning bugs
Zip line obstacle course with the BFF's
Visiting Zee at the hospital and playing at the Children's Harbor, which turned out to be one of their most favorite things to do this summer

Ella Mae rode her very first horse at The Red Barn

Aidan got a ball signed at a Barons game

I got to spend a whole weekend with the bigs at a hotel near the hospital...we even ordered room service

We had backyard VBS at our house with 20+ kids every day who heard the Gospel
Aidan was able to share his own testimony.....
.....which led his sister (and maybe even others) to faith in Christ
We celebrated Jojo turning 2 and welcomed Zee home from the hospital

And spent lots of time with our BFF's

We ended the summer with hand cranked ice cream with Aidan's soccer team
So I guess when you look at the big picture, maybe it was not such a bummer summer after all.



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