Hands and house

Hands and house

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Box Monday - Protected

    Today I was sorting through some boxes in the garage and came across a bag that we still had not unpacked from the hospital 9 months ago...in there I found a letter that instantly brought me back to a story that I do not ever want to forget.

     This takes place on a very hot a sticky day in Guangzhou, China. We were on day 4 of our trip to China and day 3 with our newly adopted Georgia Mei. She was a very frail, weak 17 lb almost two year old. Looking back now, I had no idea how very sick she really was. We had traveled in a whirlwind to go and get her, getting the "go ahead" from our agency only the day before we traveled. If we had not gone with that travel group, it would have been at least a month before another group was going.

    So there we were, the Grandmas and I standing in the hallway of the medical clinic in Guangzhou, a very weak little Georgia limply laying against my chest as we waited our turn to go through the "medical exam" that every childs must pass to get their approval to enter the USA. Some of you already know this but Georgia had an unrepaired heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. Most children have open heart surgery for this condition within the first months of life and Georgia was just a few days shy of her 2nd birthday. At this point statistics get pretty grim for children of her age with this condition untreated.


    The US government had just recently put into place a rule stating that at the medical exam every child's vaccinations must be brought up to date....meaning kids were getting all of their shots in one day. I gripped the little red booklet from the orphanage listing Georgia's shot record knowing full well that they had stopped her vaccinations at under a year old because her heart was too sick for them. Tucked inside the booklet was a letter from our International Adoption Pediatrician and Cardiologist in Seattle. This letter asked the medical center to waive the shots because they could cause a "dangerous Tet spell during travel." A Tet spell is an incident where the child becomes very short of breathe, extremely blue (like a blueberry, face, hands, lips almost black sometimes) and can lose conciousness. In the few days we had Georgia so far, she had already had a handful of these spells (but had remained alert during them). The Cardiologist at home had told us that the only thing we could really do to help her was to pull her legs to her chest (constricting bloodflow) and try to calm her down. In the States, she would have been rushed by ambulance and given oxygen and medications right away. Here, we relied on cuddles and prayers.



     I had been told by other adoptive parents that so far no one had ever  been approved to waive their shots...every child had to be vaccinated. I counted and was pretty sure this would mean around 9 shots for Georgia. I held her close, tried not to cry and prayed. They called our name for the first examination (there are 3 stations). Our guide Maggie came with us and as I tried to keep Georgia calm the doctor listened and listened and listened to Georgia's heart for what felt like at least five minutes. He would listen and then take some notes and then listen some more shaking his head. He asked our guide if I knew that she had a serious heart condtion and she confirmed that I did. I took a deep breathe and asked her to ask the doctor to please waive her shots. I showed him the translated note from the doctors at home. He read the whole thing and shook his head.


   Maggie translated, "He says every child has to have shots, even heart babies, no exceptions." And we were ushered out of the room. At the hearing exam station, same thing. They were supposed to check her hearing but also listened to her heart (this is common for us now, every medical professional loves listening to Georgia's unusual heart!). So I asked again..., "no" and again at  the height and weight station, every person we came in contact with. All had the same answer, "Even the heart babies all must have shots."

My Mom holding Georgia while I went to the bathroom...

   So we stood in line, leaning against those white tile walls, trying to sooth Georgia who had cried hard at each 'station' and was looking pretty blue in the lips and face. I so badly wanted to just take her and run away from that hot, stuffy, medicinal place. Finally, we were next in line and I noticed a man standing behind the counter near the front of the office. I asked our guide if we could try one more time. I asked the families from our group to pray and we approached the counter. Our guide asked and the man behind the counter looked at the letter, shook his head "no" but then he walked away down the hallway towards the stations. About 5 minutes later he came back and in broken English gruffly said, "You...here!" and grabbed my elbow. What was happening???? I was terrified that I had upset the staff. He took me to an office and closed the door and through our guide said, "Do you promise to get her shots after her surgery?"

       ABSOLUTELY!!!!!! I could not believe it, somehow on the sixth try, God had done something to change the heart of this man! He had me sign a statement saying that Georgia was going straight to the hospital and that we would vaccinate her once her surgery was done. I walked out of that office realizing that I had just witnessed a miracle!

     Thank God sweet Georgia did not get those shots. A few hours later she had a massive tet spell in a McDonalds and lost conciousness...which (once we were Statewide) the doctors told us could have been fatal. I can only imagine what would have happened if those all those vaccines were in her system.

Our sweet protected Georgia Mei

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance...
Psalm 32:7

In my Memorial Box? I will place that letter which I found today asking them to waive her shots...

A Memorial Box is a place to remember the things that God has done...to remind us when things are hard and to tell the stories to our children.
To learn more about Memorial Box Monday and read other amazing stories you can click









19 comments:

Rachel said...

Is it crazy that I find myself wanting to pray and interced as I read your story? That I am overwhelmed with God's goodness and His ability to reach hearts, and to protect His little ones?

Isaiah 40:11

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Oh friend... I can see Him doing this for you, for Georgia. What goodness and incredible mercy... even in every "little" thing!

Ben and Rach said...

That's an amazing story. I remembered it from your pandalily blog once I started reading it. She really is a little miracle!

natali said...

amazing how He provides isn't it?!

Jolene and Dan Powell said...

A true testimony of why it is so important to keep praying! Georgia Mei is a miracle. What a story, and thank you for sharing.

SarahTien said...

I almost made it thru without crying...even though I had read the story before. it still felt like God was doing the miracle all over again! I am a nurse (with all my medical supplies and knowledge within reach) and seen tet spells and they scare the cr*p out of me. God protected YOU as the mama from knowing too much i think. :-)

stephanie said...

I'm not even going to say I'm crying...

what a miracle! the more you write about Georgia and how very sick she was the more I see how it was truly only by the hand of god that you got her home and through surgery to where you are today.

keep writing!!! You give me so much hope that God will lead us down paths we long to be on.

The Richerts said...

We have a mighty God!! I sobbed as they gave Livi her shots -- praying that all the fragile children in our group would be given protection from side effects. You are right -- God turned his heart and saved your (HIS) girl.
Blessings,
Barbara

Tara Anderson said...

What an awesome testimony!!! Caden hasn't had any of his vaccinations yet either...also due to his heart condition...and I'm dreading that medical exam! It's nice to be reminded that God is in control there, too. :)

Wife of the Pres. said...

Wow.

I had never heard the whole story.

I am TERRIFIED of the shots for our guys. I have not asked our cardiologist to write a letter but maybe I should.

I think Joel will need a LOT and he just had OHS in December. Scares me a lot. Then Jameson, we have no updates on his heart. His medical info. is 2 1/2 years old. He looks healthy but we don't really know. He is nearing the age where they can begin to need valve replacements.

The biggest worry for Joel is whether or not he has PH b/c of his heart being unrepaired for 10 years. We just don't know. We are getting mixed messages about his health. I am TERRIFIED we're going to have a repeat experience. I know that is not from God, but the fear is there.

Then the shots … OK, I need to ask our cardiologist for a letter.

Heather said...

Wow .. I too followed your entire journey and had not heard that entire story. Amazing! God certainly has HIS hand in the details. What a wonderful "find" for your sweet girl some day to tell her of God's love over and over for her and how protected her in that small exam room.

Tiffany said...

Oh wow! That is incredible! What hearts God will move to ensure that His babies get home safe & sound! What an amazing story.

Kat said...

Tears in my eyes. God is so good!!!!

Barbie said...

What a beautiful story of God's heart for His children.

Renee said...

Another one with tears here! What a wonderful story and example of God's love for his little ones...and the power of prayer. Praise God for this miracle!

Sherri said...

So glad God protected you and your sweet girl!

Mom Of Many said...

Oh Yippee Jesus!! I love how God worked on the heart of what appeared to be the last possible option - He is sooo faithful....we often call Him "Jehovah of the Last Second"....and He was indeed that for little Miss Georgia! Thank you for sharing!! xo

Gretchen said...

I remember when this was happening. I also remember thanking God for His protection over this precious little girl. I just knew that He had plans for her. She will do great things for her Father!

Holly said...

That totally makes me cry.
oh what a God we serve!
Thank you so much for sharing! His provision is perfect.

Mom2three said...

I just found your blog today and it has really touched my heart. This story just gripped my heart. Being the mom of a heart baby, I know how serious this can be, though our defect was so different. Isn't it amazing to see how God works all those details out for us. It will be amazing to see how God continues to work in each of your children as they grow to see specifically what He has planned for them.

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