Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Our Adoption Story: Part 2

From the beginning, we knew that our sweet baby would have Down syndrome. We also knew that there was an "issue" with the baby's bladder that would probably require surgery. At some point during the months in between connecting with the birth mother and Francie's birth, we learned that the baby had bladder exstrophy. This was something that we were completely unfamiliar with, but it didn't scare us away. At that point, we were 100% sure that the Lord brought this baby into our lives, and we were committed to her (although we didn't know if the baby was a boy or a girl at the time!) completely. We basically viewed it exactly the same way we would if I was pregnant with a baby and got that diagnosis. In that situation, we would get as much information as we could, talk to doctors, come up with a treatment plan, and love the baby unconditionally. And that's just what we did.

We met with a pediatric urologist at the children's hospital in our town, and he was so wonderful. We were really hoping that the baby would be able to have surgery at our children's hospital so that we could be at home with our support network during the recovery. (The baby was going to be born out of state.) The doctor was really honest with us and told us that the absolute best place to go for bladder exstrophy surgery was Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. When a baby is born with bladder exstrophy, the bladder is on the outside of the body. That first surgery ("closure") is really complicated, and it's so important to have a successful closure for long term health. Johns Hopkins is basically the best place in the world to have this surgery. The surgeon there is renowned for his work with exstrophy. That wasn't what we were hoping to hear (simply because the recovery after bladder exstrophy is long, and we knew it would be hard to be away from home), but we so appreciated this doctor's honesty and the fact that he had the baby's best interest in mind.

So, at that point, we knew that we would be going to Johns Hopkins immediately after the baby's birth for surgery. Yes, it was going to be tough, but we knew that we could make it work, and we trusted the Lord to provide for all of our needs along the way.

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