The scary part of adoption is...

... the not knowing.

When you adopt, especially from another country, there are a lot of unknowns. I knew that I would have a hard time with some of those mysteries: the accuracy of birth dates,  who their parents where, why they weren't with them now, etc. But I really wasn't prepared for the unknowns that hit our family this week.

On Tuesday morning, Andrew woke up from a nap, disoriented and unable to use the entire left side of his body. It continued to get worse, causing our poor little guy to become extremely scared and agitated with his failing body. That morning Andrew was himself and after the nap, he wasn't. I had no idea what had happened, all I knew was that we needed to get to the hospital immediately. Unable to get a hold of anyone, I loaded all four kids into the car and drove praying and crying to the ER. The left side of Andrew's face started to droop as if he had had a stroke and it appeared that he couldn't see anything. My heart was crying out to God and my lips were uttering whispers to my savior that He had never failed me before and I knew He would be with me, whatever happened to Andrew.

At the ER, we were rushed back to start monitoring, drawing blood, getting urine samples and trying to figure out what was happening. My brother came to take Asher and Alethea, Craig was there to help with Simon, and my friend Jenn was there to help in anyway she could. Mom and Dad started to drive down from Georgia, knowing that things were not getting better. For five hours, Andrew was not able to move his hand or foot on the left side of his body. His face was still drooping on the left side, and his tears, agitation and anger did not stop. That ER room held our fears, anxiety and questions for seven hours as we waited for answers.

It is hard to watch your two year old be catheterized, have an IV put in, go through a CAT scan, and have a spinal tap done. All within a three hour span. And he has only been a part of our lives for seven months, which makes it even more heartbreaking. Andrew didn't have the comfort of knowing we would always be there for him, having his best interest, like Asher and Alethea do. I can't imagine all of the uncertainty that filled his heart as he was poked, prodded and unable to move.

One thing it did show us is that Andrew is a fighter. He was heavily sedated so that he could have the CAT scan and spinal tap done. Instead of sleeping, our little guy was talking, trying to pull himself off of the bed, and attempting to move around as if nothing was wrong. Our nurse said, "If I had that much sedation, I would be snowed." Not Andrew. He was determined to fight and keep on going, no matter what. Andrew's fighting under sedation reminded me of all the fighting he has had to do his entire life. From the moment he was born, he has fought. Fought to stay alive, fought to be noticed, fought to be fed, fought to be loved. And in our family, he fights for security, attachment and for the desire to belong, no matter what he does. I can't wait to see how God uses that spirit for His good in the future. But for now, I am so very grateful Andrew fought to stay alert in that bed as we searched for answers.

Unable to do anything more for Andrew, they transferred him to a children's hospital that had a pediatric neurosurgeon on staff. Andrew and I loaded into the ambulance, ready to spend the night at a new location, which hopefully could help him. Once we arrived, the questions began. And I had no answers.

"Does Andrew have a family history of epilepsy?"
I don't know.

"Is there a family history of blood clotting?"
I don't know.

"Does anyone in Andrew's family suffer from strokes?"
I don't know.

I don't know, I don't know, I DON'T KNOW!

I had no answers for the doctors. And it killed me. I wanted to be able to help my son, to tell them about his parent's medical history, but I couldn't. I could only answer, "To the best of knowledge, no."

Andrew under went 12 hours of EEG monitoring, an hour long MRI where he was completely under, EKG screening, more blood tests and a sonogram of his heart. We received the results back from some, but not all of the tests. Everything kept coming back as negative, which was good, but left us with very little reassurance that we would leave the hospital with the knowledge of what caused his episode.

On Thursday night, they released Andrew from the hospital. We knew a little bit more than when we first went in, but not much. He is better, happy to be home, and has regained his mobility completely. We are grateful for the amazing care at the children's hospital, my family who dropped everything to be there for all six of us and for my friends who have prayed and loved on us over the past couple of days. But my heart is still anxious and questioning the unknown.

Through it all, I have seen how God has made me strong for that moment and for the past couple of days. This kind of event could have driven Craig and I apart, but instead it has brought us together. My attachment to Andrew has grown leaps and bounds. There is no question in my mind: Andrew is my son. Andrew is more attached to Craig, myself and even my parents, as they spent hours with us in the hospital. I can see the positive and my faith is strengthened because of it.

Now, we wait. Wait for the results, wait for him to have a seizure if that is what caused it, wait for it to never happen again. We wait, because we don't know. And a part of that not knowing scares me, but mostly it forces me to trust that God loves Andrew more than I ever will. My faith meets the real life situation of the mystery and I am going to choose to let my faith lead me into whatever happens next. Even if the future is scary.


Janna said...

We can relate SO much to all that you experienced this past week! About eight months after Hope came home she had a night of multiple seizures. She and I spent he first night at Sarasota Memorial ER, followed by three days at ACH. She went through many of the same tests as Andrew. My mama heart aches with yours, as I can relate to the pain of the unknowns. I can also relate to the thankfulness. While I would never have chosen for our family to endure that ordeal last August, the attachment and trust that was formed during that week between Hope, Scott, and myself continues to astound me. Our good God knows what He is doing, and He knows ALL about our resilient Ugandan children who He has blessed with fighting spirits. :) We will continue to pray for answers as well as for God's grace to be poured out in abundance on your family.

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