Thursday, August 26, 2010

Our first family day out with Lily

This is very rare - my nine year old holds my hand

Guess who was hiding behind our heads?

Ahhh in the arms of big brother

Yum chips - actually I just want the bag :)

Lily's journey to a stronger heart - 5

Quick update - we were discharged from the hospital on August 20th.

Lily saying good bye to the nurses

She went home with an NG (nasalgastric)tube for feeds at night, they run continuously on a pump. During the day she drinks 4 bottles. As her weight increases we can increase the amount she eats. She is on a very strict schedule, as we don't want to feed her too much too quickly.

As of today she weighs 16 lbs and has gained a pound in one week. This is of coarse on our scale at home. On Tuesday we will followup with nutrition for an official weight check.

Thursday September 2nd she will get her cardiac cath - please pray for her that day as there are risks involved, but it is something that is essential before they will do surgery.

We are enjoying every moment having Lily home. She is so happy, and thrives on the constant activity in our home. She just loves to be right in the middle of her siblings enjoying every moment.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lily's journey to a stronger heart - 4

Our girl is back - and we couldn't be more happy. We have had a couple of great days. She gained weight today - although it was slight we will take it.

We are starting to work towards discharge home - maybe tomorrow, maybe Saturday. She will come home with a feeding tube in her nose to help her continue to gain weight. She hasn't pulled it out today so that is progress, yesterday she pulled it out twice. I think she is learning - if she pulls it out it has to go back in :). Chris is learning all about the tube he has surprised me at how willing he has been to jump right in and do what needs to be done he is an amazing dad.

Here are a few shots of Lily's hospital stay - taken once she was feeling better.

Ethan holding Lily for the FIRST time

Such great big brothers helping push Lily around the unit - first picture of all 4 of my children together :)

Yes glasses are more fun to play with than toys :)

There goes those hands


Ethan's race

On Saturday I left the hospital for a few hours to watch Ethan run a 2 mile race. He came in second place for his age category ( there were only 2 kids in his age group :) ). I am so proud of him - he has a competitive side and endless energy so this was perfect for him.

Before the race

Some encouragement from his sister

Go Ethan

Mim and Papa

That was harder than I thought :)

Congratulations Ethan

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lily's journey to a stronger heart - 3

So we moved out of the PICU yesterday - and we had a bad day. She coughed and fussed all day I would have to say I was feeling a little discouraged after our great day Sunday. It felt like we had taken a giant step backwards - but that's where we for that moment, and all we could do was love our girl and give her has much comfort as we could, pray and stand on the knowledge and belief that this too would pass, and it did.

With some help of some medicine she slept overnight for 6 hours straight without coughing once. Today she has played and smiled. We got a big mat for the floor and she rolled around and grabbed for her toys (you know - papers). She hasn't done this since we were in China.

It is hard to not be moved by what we see, to doubt so quickly when our circumstances seem to turn to the negative. Our God doesn't change - He is our rock His promises remain no matter how our situation changes around us. This is a lesson I feel I am continually be tested on - when will I get.

I wanted to share about the next steps for Lily. We need to see her gain weight and get stronger. We are scheduled on September 2nd for her to get her cardiac cath, she will be sedated for this procedure. They are doing this to look for pulmonary hypertension, and subsequently to determine her risks for surgery. The plan is for her to receiver the Glenn procedure then in 2 years she will have surgery again. If she has severe pulmonary hypertension she will be unable to get the surgery, and we will have to consider other options - this would not be the optimal choice.

Right now we are just trying to take one day at a time

-first get her over this infection
-second have her gain weight
-third have the cardiac cath done
-fourth look at all our options

Today has been a good day. It brings joy to our hearts to see our girl more like herself.

Tonight I am going home to spend some much needed time with my other 3 precious kids - especially my boys who have been so understanding and so willing to share there momma with a sister the have not even had a chance to bond with yet. Chris will stay with lily tonight, I think he is looking forward to hanging with his girl - in China he was with her 24/7.
We are all longing for the day when will be under one roof again as a family, but for now this is our knew norm (although a temporary norm).

Got to run - lily just pulled her feeding tube out - she must be feeling better :).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lily's journey to a stronger heart - 2

Wow it has been a crazy few days. Sorry I have not posted, I know most of you follow what's going on through facebook - although it is not a very detailed report.

So lets go back to Thursday - this was a bad day. She coughed the entire night Wednesday and all day Thursday. Every time her little eyes would close she would wake up with the most awful cough. She was SO tied and miserable (momma was a little tied too). I felt so helpless. Thursday night the wonderful nurses (Amanda and Pam) took Lily with them out to the nurses station so I could get some much needed sleep. She continued to cough, we gave her breathing nebulizers and benadryl (which didn't do much). At 5am they finally gave her some tylenol with codeine and she fell asleep.

Friday - she continued to cough but not as bad as the medicine was suppressing it, but she was tiring out, she was working harder to breath, she was so lethargic, I was getting very concerned. Her oxygen saturation's were dropping very low, so that evening they decided to try some oxygen. This is something the doctors had been holding off on as heart and lungs are very fragile and they were worried to much oxygen would force fluid into her lungs and cause pulmonary edema. Because we have no history of what has really happened to Lily over the last 2 years we don't know what her little body has already had to indore and if there has been damage to her lungs or not - the doctors are making decisions based on incomplete information.
Initially the oxygen seemed to ease her breathing her oxygen levels rose, we had her on the tiniest amount of oxygen, but after a couple of hours her breathing started to get really bad, it was so loud and she was retracting (using her abd muscles to breath), she also spiked a fever. They did a chest x-ray and her lungs looked worse - what we had feared happened she had pulmonary edema. At 3am we were immediately transferred to the ICU, she was given lasix to get the fluid off. They placed her on a high flow nasal cannula, which gave more pressure than oxygen. After a while her breathing slowed down.

Saturday - she continued to breath easier, they continued to watch her closer and adjust things as they needed, she actually began to relax and even play a little. You know I felt she was doing better because I even went home to sleep, and Chris spent the night with her. Ahhh much needed rest and a chance to see my other kiddo's - who have been just amazing through this.

Sunday - today has been like watching a miracle unfold. She has played - not with toys, but paper of coarse. I have had her up holding her and in her swing. She has interacted with me and smiled at me. She is on no oxygen (she actually pulled it off) and her saturation's are in the 70's normal for her (at her lowest she was 20's), her breathing is so much calmer. She still has a cough but it is so much better. I am so grateful to God.

Tomorrow we will probably go back to the general pediatric unit, and switch our focus back to her nutrition and gaining weight. We will probably be here for a good part of this week.

Later I will share about the plans for her heart, but for right now I just wanted you all to know the miracle we are celebrating.

The doctors and nurses have been amazing - we can not express adequately how grateful we are for the care they have given Lily.

I feel like this was a dry run for when she has open heart surgery, maybe that will be a breeze after this.

Thank you so much for all your words of encouragement and prayers - it really helps.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lily's journey to a stronger heart

And so the journey begins (a little sooner than we expected)........

So many of you have been so sweet offering love, prayer, and support all day I wanted to quickly let you all know what is going on as of right now.

Lily woke up this morning with no fever, but was still refusing to eat. We got to the clinic for our appointment at 10am as soon as they weighed her and saw she had lost weight from yesterday the doctor decided to admit her.

We are on the unit where I work so if we have to be admitted, this makes it a lot better - I work with an amazing group of people.

Since being in the hospital they have drawn blood work and placed an IV - our nurse, Shelly was fantastic she did it all in one stick, and there were a LOT of labs to send. When the results came back some of them were very concerning, so one of the labs was drawn again and the repeat looked much better.

We met with one of the nutritionist and it was decided Lily was at very high risk for refeeding syndrome. This is something that can happen when you increase a malnourished persons feeds to quickly. Because of this they said she needed to feed with an NG tube and nothing by mouth for right now. She is getting feeds continuously and they are increasing the rate very slowly. She will have to get blood work done again in 6 hrs.

Due to the feeding issues we could be here for an extended time.

Lily had a fever, but we didn't give any medicine and it went away by itself.

Lily's oxygen saturation's (this is the level of oxygen in the blood normal is above 92-100%) has been anywhere from 39 - 70. When she cries it really drops low, now I know why she looked so blue at times in China. This is her norm so it is nothing we have to worry about - crazy.

She is still very irritable, but with all that she has been through today who can blame her. I placed her in her crib and she started hitting her head with her hand - a reaction she had stopped doing about a week ago. It is hard to see her regress, but I know it is just temporary and it is her way to deal with stress. Her IV is in the hard that she normally grabs her ear with so this was making her pretty mad, but she soon discovered she could use the other hand and grab the other ear - smart girl :).

Chris is handling things at home - his mom bought dinner over tonight and my mom is feeding us tomorrow. We feel very loved and cared about. It's hard to be away from the boys so soon after returning but they are being amazing and handling things really well - I am so proud of them. Mia came and visited Lily and was very interested in all the tubes and wanted to know what everything was for. She was very loving towards her sister she is such a sweet girl - she melts my heart.

I am doing good - I know we are where we need to be, and as hard as it is seeing Lily go through all of this I know it will ultimately make her stronger. We know God has her in His hands and we are resting in that.

Thank you again for all your words of love and support - it really helped.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lily Update

This will be short as I am one tied momma, but I know many of you have wanted to know about Lily's appointments.

The pediatricians visit yesterday was fairly uneventful. Her weight was 15lbs 6oz so she has gained weight :). She checked her over, but knowing we were seeing cardiology the next day she deferred any further work up to them.

Today we saw the cardiologist. They did an echo of her heart, which is like an ultrasound. It showed that she did have tricuspid atresia, VSD, and ASD (which we didn't know about). He was positive about her heart and said it was favorable for surgery. Before they can do surgery they want to do a cardiac cath, she will have to be sedated for this, they will be checking for pulmonary hypertension. This will probably be done in the next 3 weeks and her surgery will hopefully be done in September. The focus right now is to try and get her as strong as possible and to gain weight - easier said than done. Over all it was a positive appointment - the reality and seriousness of her condition was certainly hard to hear, not that it was anything new it was just different when we were dealing with all this in theory and now it is all very real. We are very much attached to this sweet girl and to have to see her go through all of this is heart wrenching.

To be honest things have been tough since we got home. Lily is so not herself. She is constantly irritable, her cough is worse, and she started with a fever last night, that she has continued to have all day today. She has refused to drink from her bottle all day so this evening I have been feeding her with a syringe to get fluids in her and avoid an ER visit tonight.

Tomorrow we have an appointment with the international adoption clinic, where they are going to do blood work, a chest x-ray, and more of a head to toe evaluation, and we will also see the nutritionist to see how we can get more calories in her. I am very excited for this appointment as there are so many things going on with Lliy it will be good to have someone looking at everything. If she is still unwell tomorrow there is a chance she may have to be admitted to the hospital.

Right now we are just taking one day at a time.

Thank you all for your encouraging words and prayers,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

We're Home

We are finally home :).

We arrived home at our house at 10:30pm last night. Our flight was delayed in Chicago so we were home a little later than planned so some of our welcoming committee couldn't be there. It was amazing to walk out of the airport and see our boys, family and great friends. We were exhausted from our trip, but were so energized by the love and hugs from family and friends.

One of the best things about being home is to have our whole family back together again. We missed Benjamin and Ethan so much, but are so proud of them for being so great while we were gone.

Thanks to both our mommas we came home to a clean house, and food in the refrigerator :). My wonderful sister bought us lunch over today - if you know Chris you can guess what we had (chipolte) - thanks Abs and Steve.

Lily traveled well - thank you so much for all of you that prayed for her. She had no issues with her heart. She had moments where she was fussy, so we did some pacing in the plane. We didn't get much sleep so it was a long 22 hrs, but our beds felt amazing when we collapsed in them last night. Coming through customs at Chicago airport, we turned over the brown envelope, that they then open, checked the paperwork - and Lily officially became a US citizen. This was an emotional moment for me - it felt like the final hurdle of a long journey that started 1 1/2 years ago - we were coming home with our daughter :).

We were all wide awake at 6am today, but our now dragging, trying to stay awake until tonight (I have already taken one nap). Lily has been unusually fussy today, I think she is just exhausted from traveling, and settling into a knew environment. She is taking her second nap of the day - I pray she sleeps tonight.

It has been wonderful to start introducing Lily to her extended family - grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, I know there will be lots more introductions over the next few weeks.

We see the pediatrician tomorrow, and the cardiologist Tuesday. The rest of the week will consist of unpacking, laundry, hanging out as a family, and starting to form our knew routine with the 6th member of the Yeatts family :).

Here are a few pictures of our last moments in China

Traveling on the bus Hong Kong

On the plane to Japan


Lily right after she became a US citizen

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 13 - Oath Ceremony

Today we went to the US consulate. There was about 50 families there all adopting. We each had to have our paperwork verified so that the visa could be issued, and then we took a group oath stating everything was true. Tomorrow we will be given a brown envelope that we are not allowed to open. When we arrive on American soil we give this envelope to the immigration officer, and at that moment Lily becomes a US citizen. It was quite an emotional moment, of coarse I shed a few tears :).

A lot of the paper work we did in the US was all for this moment.

We are spending our last night in Guangzhou eating in our room and relaxing. Tomorrow we leave on the bus for HongKong at 4:00pm. It is a 3 1/2 hr drive. We will be up early the next morning to catch our plane home - wow I can't believe I am saying this.

This may be my last blog entry from China - we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone that has been following along and left us such encouraging words. I hope you will continue to check in and follow Lily's progress.

It has been an amazing journey, but we are all very excited to come home and see so many of you.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 12

Today was pretty relaxed. We hung out at the hotel most of the day. We had to stay in our hotel room during the morning in case the US consulate had any questions. Chris took Mia swimming while Lily and I waited - no questions everything was good. Tomorrow we go to the consulate, for an oath taking ceremony.

We went back to Shaman Island again for dinner at Lucy's (it sells good American food :) , and a little more shopping. We are getting good at catching taxi's and getting around by ourselves.

While I was hanging out with Lily this morning I was just thinking about how much she is already such a part of our family. Although there are many things we don't know about our daughter, like her real date of birth, what her birth parents were like, or why they gave her away, there are things we have already discovered in such a short time.

This is what we already know

She HATES to get her diaper changed
She couldn't care less about toys - a piece of paper will entertain her for hours
She smiles when you tickle her
She hates her feet touched
She hates wearing socks
She loves music
She is stubborn
She loves to be held - when she wants to be :)
She loves to lay on her back and play
She knows what she wants
She looks good with her head shaved :)
She loves playing with her sister
She is the missing part to our family

We can't wait to spend the rest of her life discovering who she is.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 11

I can post pictures again - not sure why :).

This morning we had a photo shoot with all the other adopting families in our group. A lot of the children wore traditional clothes that they had bought when we were shopping yesterday.

As you can imagine, Mia was totally in to it, insisting on incorporating her umbrella. Lily tolerated it, and actually did well, not covering her face for every shot.

Some of the families will start leaving as of tomorrow. It all depends on when you had your consulate appointment, some had it Monday, ours is not until tomorrow.

We have really enjoyed getting to know the other families - they are a remarkable group, all with a huge passion for orphans. Some are on their 3rd and 4th adoptions. With all the sadness and ugliness in the world it is inspiring to see such goodness, love and beauty.

We are going back to Shaman Island this evening with one of the other families for a little more shopping and to eat dinner. They are from NJ, and have adopted from Russia, Ethiopia and now China.

Enjoy the photo shoot

All 25 families

All the adopted children with some of the mommas

Family picture (just missing the boys :( )

This is the outfit she wanted - I wonder why :)

Benjamin and Ethan we are missing you like crazy - only 4 more days :).

Day 10

We were very excited to wake up this morning to Lily having no fever and wanting to drink her bottle. She is still a little more cranking than normal (she's normally not cranky at all), but much better.

Her TB test was negative so no chest x-ray :).

We spent the afternoon on Shaman Island which is an area of Guangzhou that is very European looking and has lots of little shops. I great place to by all things Asian. We got some outfits for the girls. Mia had been wanting a beautiful, special jewellery box (her description) since she got here - so she found that :). We bought Lily a jade pendant to give to her when she gets older, Mia already has one - this is something that is very traditional Chinese.

It was a fun afternoon - very hot, we finally got a stroller as it is too hot carrying Lily around in the pouch. She did OK in it.

This evening we had a special treat and went on a dinner cruise with the other families. It was a great way to see the city, and something other than McDonald's to eat. Check out the pictures on facebook, and you'll see what we got to eat instead :).

Tomorrow will be a slow day, and then Wednesday we start the process of finalizing Lily's US citizenship, we will have the swearing in on Thursday. Friday we get the paperwork, and take a bus back to Hong Kong. Saturday we fly home.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 9

This will be a short post today. We are still unable to post pictures.

Lily has had a fever all day, and has pretty much slept on the bed. She has actually just in the last hour started to perk up a little, it is 9:30pm here. She has only had one bottle all day, so I am hoping she will drink some more.

Chris and Mia went out this morning with the rest of the families, and Lily and I stayed at the the hotel.

I felt so bad for her, she didn't want me to hold her, she just covered her face with her arm and rocked herself :(.

I am praying for a better night tonight and no fevers tomorrow.

Tomorrow we go and get her TB test read, it looks negative to me :).