2 months later

Time really is flying by.  It’s hard to believe we’ve been home for 2 months today.  I have totally neglected my blog and it’s for a couple of reasons.

The main reason I haven’t written in so long is that I feel terribly guilty that Macey is doing so well and that our transition has been so ridiculously smooth and easy.  If you aren’t in the adoption community you’re probably wondering why I’m feeling guilty. If you are in this little circle, you know exactly what I’m feeling.  We decided to adopt from the Waiting Child program in China for a couple of reasons.  We didn’t need healthy and we didn’t need a baby. We are fortunate enough to have had 2 healthy bio kids already.  We also didn’t wait for a placement … instead I plucked Macey off of our agency’s shared list.  The kids on that list are all special focus meaning they’ve been on the shared list for months. Macey’s special need was one that most people run from – abnormal head CT scan.  Hence the reason she had been available for over a year by the time I spotted her chubby little face.  We struggled with our decision to move forward with her only after finally accepting that she may be mentally retarded or have other developmental delays, learning disability, executive function issues, etc.  Bottom line, we thought we were bringing home a daughter with issues. We should have been bringing home a daughter with issues. Or at least AN issue.  We realized immediately that “the lights were on” and we were pretty sure there wasn’t any sort of developmental delay. Each additional day solidified our early hunch that she was fine.  After we got home, we had a little speed bump after her first appointment with the pediatrician.  She heard something in her heart that she suspected to be structural as well as an abnormal heart beat.  She referred us to a pediatric cardiologist who kindly made room for us in his schedule that was booked out till after Thanksgiving. We were convinced THIS was it. She was going to have some issue and it was going to be serious. She was born with a PFO, which is very common and most heal/close on their own and even those that don’t aren’t usually an issue.  However, coupled with her irregular heartbeat, it was more of a concern.  Her cardio appointment was on November 7.  Ironically it was the day after election day. Something else we were stressed about prior to the worry about little M’s hear.  I think I held my breath for those two weeks.  I just needed to know what was going on with my baby girl.  And guess what?  NOTHING is going on with her. Well, other than her heart beating so powerfully strong that it causes a rush of blood that is audible to a doctor’s trained ear.  They looked and listened, and there is not a single issue with her heart or heartbeat.  Like I mentioned, she just happens to have a very powerful heart, which is probably a big reason she survived!  She also has sinus arrhythmia which means her heart rate accelerates as she inhales and it decelerates as she exhales.  Not totally normal, but common enough to not be problematic.  Now or ever!

Macey is healthy.  I love typing that and I sleep well now knowing that.  But there’s a big part of me that feels like we cheated, like we shouldn’t be this fortunate.  I’ve heard so many stories of those we’ve parallel pathed on this journey, some who we were honored to actually meet while we were in China, whose kids aren’t doing as well as they should be, or aren’t going to do as well as they’d hoped or planned for. It breaks my heart and it makes me feel so terribly guilty.  The last thing I wanted to blast on my blog is how easy it’s been and how well she’s doing. It just didn’t seem right or considerate. I know many of those same families we’ve talked to, chatted with, followed and/or met will be just as happy for us as we are hopeful for them. I’ve never been so humbled by or grateful for anything else, as I am for my vibrant little girl.  She has brought us more joy and perspective than we ever could have imagined.

The second reason I backed off my blog is that I had to really recover from our trip so as not to say anything that Macey may be offended by in the future.  To say the trip was emotionally draining is a huge understatement.  I can’t even put into words how tough it was for me personally.  And for me as a mother and wife … good Lord I think my heart got torn out, ripped apart, stapled together and shoved back in.  Add to that being in a place where you can’t communicate and are witness to countless crude acts, are getting stared at, are being talked about and criticized.  Sprinkle on a dose of hunger. Yes, hunger. I was so damn hungry while we were in Hohhot, Macey’s hometown.  I got bad belly on the second day, which was the day after Colby got it and I could barely stomach the food after that.  And guess what folks?  It lasted 6 long weeks.  Don’t get me wrong, after we got home, I was able to eat better than I was able to in China, but still, I was a sick chick for weeks.  Not fun at all. It also wreaked havoc on my immune system that I’m still working against!  Who needs a treadmill!  So back to the misery that was our trip.  There were parts that were amazing and China’s natural beauty is a sight to behold.  That is when you can actually get to it and if it is then actually visible.  But for the most part, it was the most challenging two weeks of my life.  (Second only to Parker’s dad’s sudden death which will always be a haunting memory.)  I didn’t have high expectations but many of the people and places were disappointing.  I hated hearing the one child rule discussed so casually.  This is a quote from one of our guides “so yes, we just give up our girls because the boys bring so much more honor to our families.”  I could go on and on, but I won’t because this is also the country which gave birth to my daughter and for that reason I will bite my tongue from here on out!

I will close by saying that Macey is thriving. She has grown out of her once baggy 18 month old sized clothes. Her saggy wrinkles have been replaced by the most adorable fat rolls ever. Her sallow skin has turned beautifully brown.  Her gums no longer bleed when we brush her teeth.  We went shopping for new shoes because her little baby size 5s are now whopping size 6s!  2 months ago she couldn’t navigate a crack in the sidewalk and would instead resort to crawling … but now she can run around the house being chaser or chasee!  Her vocabulary is up to about 40 words and she can speak in 2 word sentences when prompted.  She is the best gift we ever gave to our family and we are so incredibly grateful to have her in our lives.


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