Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A journey of Hope

Oh, where to begin.

Let's just start by saying "God's been moving".  I found this really cool picture on Facebook the other, it struck a cord! 

Isn't that so true?  When God calls you to move....and you move....He shows up in a big way!

God's been stirring our hearts for several months.  We have felt a need to 'move'...but towards what?  We prayed, continued to pray, and prayed some more! 

Here's where God is taking us.....on a journey of hope.

Please allow me to share a little bit of Hope's story.

I first read of a little girl named Hope on September 29, 2014.  The only thing this little girl had going for her was indeed...hope. 

The following article was written by a precious momma named Kelli Bloomquist.

"In the world of adoption advocacy, I’ve kind of become the mom that everyone asks about hydrocephalus. When a parent is reviewing a file of a hydro baby and has questions or is looking for a medical team to take a look, I always seem to get tagged in their advocacy post. “Kelli has a hydro baby and lots of info.” I try to tell the good, the bad, and the ugly of hydrocephalus and pass along the information of our amazing neuro team at the Mayo Clinic. I forward a list of questions to ask with every update and a checklist of how to do a medical expedite as it’s imperative that hydro babies be treated immediately. I’m not a medical doctor. I’m a journalism professor. But I did listen carefully to everything our neuro team explained to us and continue to do research on hydrocephalus. For us, the farm is full of kiddos and animals and busy-ness, but I always feel like I’m doing something for the greater good of one less orphan in the world if I’m able to help just one hydro baby come home to a loving family and top-notch medical care.

Only a few days ago I was tagged in a post from a mom considering a beautiful little hydro girl who was untreated. In the world of hydro babies with pooled cerebrospinal fluid, “untreated” isn’t the best of terms to see in a file. We talked and I forwarded the info to our amazing neurosurgeon at Mayo. I later heard back from this mama that the neurology folks took a look at this baby’s file, MRI images, and they had a really good prognosis for her! Praise God! This family sent in their Letter of Intent to adopt her! One less orphan! One less hydro baby awaiting surgery! I was ecstatic! As a family, we prayed for this growing family and for this little girl. I woke up this morning over the moon knowing that yet another hydro baby had found a chance at love and life.

Yet I go to bed tonight grieving. To be quite honest, I choked back the tears when I put my six babies to bed. I cried as I loaded the dishwasher and these tears don’t seem to want to stop as I type this.

Another friend in the adoption community sent me a message today asking me about a little girl with hydrocephalus. A video was included with her file and this 14-month old beautiful little girl was happy, walking, smiling, and talking! I was amazed at how busy she was for being untreated! She was beautiful! She deserved a mama and baba! And guess what! Someone was considering her to be their baby!

But then an update came.

This beautiful little girl, whom Lifeline Adoption Services has named Hope, can no longer sit on her own, or giggle that silly baby giggle, or even suck on a bottle. She was left untreated and without anyone to fight for her, and she suffered what is believed to be a massive stroke caused by her special need. Now, baby Hope, has little hope at all. Half a world away in an orphanage, nannies feed her by dropping milk into her mouth. Every drop is difficult to swallow. According to the update, she has complete loss of function.

Baby Hope has little hope. A beautiful little girl who only a few months ago was giggling and talking and walking down her orphanage’s hallway wasn’t treated for her special needs while she waited for her mama and baba to find her. She had no one to fight for her. And so now, I cry for her. I know that my friend who sent the message is crying for her as well. She deserves that much. She deserves someone to cry out for her!

And so tonight, half a world away, two adoptive mamas and an adoption advocate sat down and via social media messaging discussed how we could get her the very best care in her final days. A little girl that none of us know and here we were trying to find a hospice home for her. In all reality, I think any of the three of us would have jumped on the next flight to her province to hold her, cuddle her, and whisper in her ear how loved she is in these final days of her journey here on Earth.

Baby Hope deserved hope! I will forever shout it from the mountain tops! These children matter! Children like Hope…..they matter!

We don’t know if the orphanage will allow Hope to be released into a hospice or special care facility, but we’re praying that they will. Please join us in praying as well. Please pray that baby Hope knows just how loved she is even if we are half a world away.

Hydrocephalus babies need to be treated sooner rather than later. The longer they wait for a shunt or for a simple surgery that allows for the cerebrospinal fluid to be naturally absorbed, the more difficult and the more problems that can occur….the more chances there are that things like this will happen. The fact that our beautiful MeiLi survived 2 1/2 years untreated is a miracle in and of itself. Hydrocephalus babies need to be treated as soon as possible and they need to be medically expedited just like thalassemia babies and heart babies. Baby Hope needed a medical expedite and she needed someone to fight for her.

So now, WE will fight for her. Please join us in our fight and join us in prayer for this little girl. She deserves that much."

As I read this article I stood in our kitchen and cried. 

How is this possible?  Why didn't this baby matter?  She mattered!!

After reading the article to Adam, I told him I would go to the airport right then and fly to China and hold this baby girl until she drew her last breath.  I wanted her to know that someone knew about her and cared about her. 

I was heartbroken.  We all prayed for this little girl nicknamed "Hope" that was a world away from us.  We prayed that she would not suffer and that somehow she knew that she was loved. 

But...this was not the end of her story.  God still performs miracles.  Continue reading and you'll see...

And then just a few weeks ago I saw Hope's picture again.  What?  Didn't this little one pass away?  I mentioned to the person that posted her picture that I thought they were incorrect....I thought they had their facts wrong.  How could this little girl still be hanging on?

This little girl wasn't just hanging on....she was improving!!!  Check this out!!!

"There are millions of children awaiting a family and as you begin the process or have already been through it and choose to search waiting child lists, you’ll see the sad faces of thousands of children. Each one waiting for the one thing that all of us are able to give to them – a family.

Sometimes there’s a child’s photo and story that just kick you right square in the gut. For quite a few of us in the advocacy community, that child was Hope.

While Hope is obviously not her given Chinese name, it is actually quite fitting because what she did need was hope.

Beautiful baby Hope was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and was never treated. Untreated hydrocephalus without any medical treatment can lead to scary circumstances pretty quickly, and it appears that Hope had some form of a stroke. Five months ago, the update that was placed in Hope’s file stated that she was very weak and was no longer able to walk or even to sit on her own. Baby Hope couldn’t even swallow or drink from a bottle as she had previously.

Baby Hope needed hope – and lots of it.

I wrote about Hope earlier and it was featured on No Hands But Ours. I asked for prayers for Hope as an update was requested in hopes of getting her into a hospice home where she could live out her remaining days knowing how loved she is. The prayers that were said for Hope were immeasurable. Adoption advocates and parents offered financial donations for Hope’s care.

Weeks past, then a month, and while the prayers continued, an update was never given. The worst of news was anticipated.

On Wednesday, Lifeline received an update on Hope. Not only was she living, but the orphanage had committed to rehabilitation for her and had provided a video of her trying so hard to walk by using a baby walker. It indeed is a miracle! The fact that this little angel survived and that her orphanage was able to commit the funds and the time to help her on a one-to-one basis is extraordinary!

Here is a snippet from her Wednesday update: “Now she can swallow, she can have noodles and rice paste. Her motor function is also getting better. She can stand for a few minutes when she holds the handrail. She can walk freely in the walker. She holds the adult’s hand and is re-learning how to walk. She also has progress with her language. She can say “ah’, “baba”,”dandan” etc. If you call her name, she will turn to you and look at you. When she sees acquaintance, she will say “ah” actively. It seems that she is greeting them.”

We have indeed witnessed a miracle in and of itself! Praise God!

This sweet and beautiful little girl is a fighter and we’ve all seen that God has big, big plans for this little one. Now she needs a family to come forward for her so that she can thrive and grow in the arms of a mother and a father.

An account is currently being set up for Hope’s adoptive family-to-be on Reece’s Rainbow and a t-shirt fundraiser is in the works to help the family that steps forward for Hope with their expenses.

Hope needs a family to step forward for her now. She needs a family that is willing to expedite their process and get to her as quickly as possible.

For your 30 Day Share Adoption Challenge, please consider sharing Hope’s story, and praying that a family will come forward for her quickly. She is a miracle and clearly God has big things planned for this beautiful girl!

Hope is on the shared list. If you have any questions about Hope, please contact contact me or Brooke Henningfeld.

— Kelli Bloomquist"
So, as you can see....this precious little one needed hope...and a family! 

I am so blessed to say...WE are that family!  God has and is taking us on a journey of Hope!

Allow me to introduce you to:  Hope Delaney Farley

Please join us in praying for Hope.  She needs medical attention as soon as humanly possible!  This sweet little angel needs surgery...and probably more than one. 

We pray that God blesses her to get home....get medical care...and live a long, happy life. 

Adam and I aren't living in a fairy tale.  We know how this could go.  We intend to bring her home and do everything we can for her.  We want her to know that she does indeed have a mommy and a daddy that love her.  That she matters to someone.  That she is richly loved by her Father in Heaven!

We will be doing our best to expedite her adoption.  This means she could possibly be home in 4 months or so....for a China adoption...this is quick!  We are working fast and hard on paperwork. 

For Hope...every day matters.  She needs to get home!

This expedited adoption is a first of we are learning as we go!  God is and will open doors to get Hope home.  I know it.  I can feel it.  He has spared her life for a reason.  Our girl should have died in May....but she didn't! 

Needless to say, we have very little time to raise quite a lot of money.  So stay tuned for some fundraising ideas coming your way!

I've had several people ask how they can help get Hope home!  If you would like to be a part of Hope's journey home....I am putting a link to paypal on the right side of the blog.  We truly appreciate any assistance you feel lead to give.

We are excited.  We are scared to death.  But like I told our pediatrician....I'm more scared of doing nothing than bringing her home! 

Hang on precious little one....momma is coming! 

Please pray for our little girl.....a little girl named Hope...a world away...that mattered to a family in Kentucky.