The last 6 months have both flown by and seemed to go agonizingly slow. How is that even possible? I wish I knew. Here is a recap of the last 6 months of my life and why the blog has been so silent.
May 14th- We were told that after a year of testing my mom was being added to the lung transplant list at Cedars Sinai Hospital in LA. YIKES!
May 20th- We got THE call. A mere 6 days later. They had a lung and we were told to get to the hospital as soon as possible (we live 4 hours away). What?? We didn't even have time to wrap our heads around her being on the list and now it was real and really happening. Sheer panic. My mom and I packed, if that's what you can call it. We threw things into suitcases, threw the suitcases into the car, said tearful goodbyes and took off to LA. At the same time my sister, Carrie, got on the first flight out of Auckland, NZ headed to LA.
May 21st- Transplant day. After arriving at the hospital and being told the lung was in transit and they would have to do testing on it to make sure it was a "good" lung, and that basically they would come get mom at any time and take her in for surgery, we spent a VERY restless night. I slept in mom's hospital room and sat up every time I heard footsteps in the hallway. They came to get her about 7am. I went with the team down to the pre op room where mom and I said our tearful goodbyes and I gave her some last minute words of encouragement and hope. I went up to wait in the waiting room and my sister arrived a few hours later.
Carrie and I counted and we had about 3 hours of sleep each in the first two days post surgery. We were walking zombies full of stress, anxiety and on the verge of tears at all times.
The rest is a blur. Mom had one complication after another in the solid 3 months she was in the hospital after the transplant. She had 4 surgeries POST transplant! She was in and out of ICU, on a ventilator, then had a trach. We saw countless doctors, nurses, physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, pyschiatrists, and countles others. After spending the first week in a hotel close to the hospital, Carrie and I then moved into an apartment about a half our drive away. I tried to go home most weekends to see Ryan and the kids and Carrie's husband and son came out for a two month visit.
Mom got released from the hospital, to go to our apartment in LA, in late August. She was home for a week and then when we went to the clinic for a check up she was rehospitalized. For two weeks. That happened twice.
We finally came home to Paso in September. She was home for two weeks, got pneumonia and was airlifted back to LA. She was there for over a week.
This was exhausting to say the least. Emotionally, physically and mentally draining. I can't even tell you how much weight I gained because I am too scared to step on a scale. It's not pretty.
She is home now. Needs constant care. But I am soo glad she is finally home. And hopefully for good this time!!
During all of this we still had the adoption to think, worry, stress about. Things were moving so slow and I missed Shaina soo much.
August 17- VISA APPROVAL! I got the text that night, when Ryan and I were hanging out in our room. I read it. And SCREAMED! Joy, pure joy! Tears ran down my face. It was real. This was really happening. Shaina was coming HOME! But then the reality of timing set it. Mom was still in the hospital. I could not bring Shaina home and then take off to LA every week to be with my mom. I couldn't take her with me because they didn't allow children in the hospital. I was stuck.
The days that followed were silent on the adoption front. It took a month for us to hear more. Her visa info was sent to another agency who would then do the final processing. They needed more forms so we had to get those filled out, send in her birth certificate, passport photos, demographics page of her passport, etc. It seemed to take forever.
November 16th- last form was finally received for her visa processing. Now we are in the queue for her visa interview. When that is scheduled she will get her medical testing done and then.... we TRAVEL to Haiti to pick up our daughter and bring her HOME!
My hope had been to have her home for Christmas. I bought her Christmas jammies and gifts. But as the days went by with no word, this dream faded fast. We are now planning for January.
I have hated waiting. It has been a year since I have held my Haitian Senstation and that just kills me. I didn't understand why this process was taking so long. I got mad. I got mad at God. I questioned Him and His timing. I felt liking giving up. I didn't think it was ever going to happen.
But when I look back on the last 6 months of my life, I realize that God's timing is perfect! There was no way I could have left to bring Shaina home after my mom's surgery. Now that she is home, and getting stronger every day, I can be more assured that she is becoming more stable and will not need to be rehospitalized. Plus, my sister offered to fly back to Cali to stay with my mom while we are gone, but she couldn't come until after the holidays.
I may not be able to have Shaina home for Christmas. But, I honestly cannot think of a better way to start off the New Year.
2013 is going to be a GREAT year!!!!!!