September 18th, 2016

Hello Everyone!  It is hard to believe we have been home almost 3 months.  I think it feels like much longer, but we are thankful to be together as a family of 5.  A lot has happened over the past month since I posted and I am not going to be honest it has been tough.  Grace had her first surgery on July 25th.  This surgery was step 1 to stretch out the skin on her lip for the final repair in a few months.  On day 3 after surgery the left side tore apart and on day 6 the right side tore apart.  To say we were devastated it an understatement.  Our doctor assured us that this would not set us back and we discussed what we were going to do next time to assure it would not happen again.  We felt good that we had a plan and focused on Grace healing from the first surgery.  

She LOVES the water!  Here is a sweet picture from her at the pool.  She loves splashing around and sticking her face in the water.  It is hard to believe that this is the same child who screamed like crazy on her first 2 baths because she was terrified of the water!

August 14th, 2016
Grace also had her first popsicle.  At first she was not sure about it because it was so cold, but once she got a good taste she LOVED it!!

August 17th, 2016
How can summer be over and school starting.  Today Sydney and Claire go back to school.  Sydney in 5th grade and Claire in 2nd grade.  Grace is going to miss her BIG amazing sisters like crazy.  How can my babies be getting so big.  

August 18th, 2016
Happy Birthday Grace!!  We cannot believe our sweet girl is 2!  We are so thankful that she is celebrating her birthday here with her family.  She is a tiny peanut, but she is so strong and brave.  This sweet little girl has been through so much, but her JOY touches everyone she meets.  We are so thankful God chose us to be her family.  Happy Birthday Grace Mei!!  We love you to the moon and back!!

Grace wore Claire's birthday dress that she wore for her 1st birthday!!  It is Grace's special dress for her 2nd birthday!!

We also decided to do a few pictures of her before her next surgery.  We LOVE her BIG smile and wanted to capture it before it was forever changed!!  She does not like getting her hands dirty so we were not sure what she was going to do.  With a little help from Mommy she realized she liked getting her hands dirty!!

Grace got her first bike for her birthday!!  Thank you Mimi and Mr. Jim.  I am sure she will be riding all over the house in no time!!

She also loves her Rody.  Thank you Reed family!!  

Grace had her first trip to the Zoo with Jude and Heather.  We had a great time.  She loved looking at all of the animals, playing on the playground, and of course riding on the carousal.  

Grace also had her first play date with her friend Kenzee.  We love you Paige and Kenzee.  We look forward to many more of these play dates!!  I think we can both agree adoption rocks!!

As I was getting ready one morning I walked in the closet and found Grace doing her stretches.  I thought it was too cute.  She has seen her big sisters do their stretches and she was going to do the same.  She is copying us a lot now and it is just too cute!!

September 8th, 2016
This is a day we have been dreading for a while now.  Surgery day.  I feel like not knowing what to expect is better than knowing.  After going through the last surgery we were not looking forward to this one.  We had to be at the hospital by 6:15 so it made for a very early morning.  Even this early in the morning Grace was a happy girl!!

We are sure going to miss this BIG smile, but know her cleft must be corrected.  Surgery lasted 2 1/2 hours.  The doctor reported that everything went great.  He even put in extra stitches to assure we stayed together this time.  When John and I saw her for the first time we could not believe what he had done.  It looked amazing.  We spent the night in the hospital and were home on friday afternoon.  Again this girl is crazy.  She was up and wanting to play the same day of surgery.  The hardest part is keeping her down.  Here is a picture a few days after surgery!!  Everything is still really swollen, but looking good.  

September 11th, 2016
Today started out a great day.  Everything was looking great and we were happy to be 3 days post-op.  Sunday afternoon John and I were both in the living room with Grace.  I was about 1 foot from her and John about 2 feet from her.  She was playing with her toys in front of me and Leia (dog) came around the corner and knocked her down.  She fell backwards onto the rug and went I went to pick her up I saw that the left side of her face had torn apart again.  There was so much blood and we were panicking.  We called the doctor and he did not answer so we started to make arrangements for the girls and were going to head to Baptist ER.  The doctor texted he was in a meeting to send a picture.  We did and he promptly responded to meet him at his office he was on his way.  We got the girls to the neighbors and met him at his office.  Once arriving at his office he said we needed to go back to surgery.  He called the hospital to start paperwork and got all of the needed on call surgical staff to the hospital.  We went in to the ER. The incident happened at our house at 7:30 and she was in the OR at 9:40.  Once the doctor opened it up to clean it out he noticed the start of an infection, which explains why it tore apart.  The infection had probably been there for a while.  Even with the fall it should not have torn apart.  He did an antibiotic wash and was able to reattach everything.  Grace ended up having another 2 hour surgery, but we were thankful he got everything back together.  We also found it a bit of a blessing that Leia had knocked her down, because it would not have healed with an infection.  We started a high powered antibiotic and started praying that the antibiotic would kill the infection in time for the surgery to be able to heal.  

This was one of the hardest nights of our lives.  I cried more and harder than I have in a long time.  Why does our sweet girl have to keep going through so much.  When is she going to catch a break.  Please God let it stay together this time.  Please God rid her body of this infection.  

Tuesday morning I noticed a little bit of something coming through the scab.  I thought it looked like puss so I called the NP into our room.  She agreed and we cultured it.  Still praying and hopeful it was going to stay together.  We were in the hospital until Tuesday afternoon and got home around 5:00.  We kept Grace in our bed with us to make sure she stays on her back and does mess with anything. She is also wearing arm braces to keep her arms straight at night so she cannot mess with it.  We kept these on since the first surgery because she got so upset wearing them the first surgery we wanted her to be use to them.  

Wednesday everything continued to look good.  Swelling was going down, which we thought was a good sign the infection was clearing.  Grace got some surprise balloons and loved them.  Thank you Toole family!!

Thursday the culture came back and we found out that Grace has a type of MRSA that is resistant to the antibiotic she was one.  We were devastated because she had been on an antibiotic for 4 days that was not fighting the infection.  We went and picked up the new antibiotic and started that at 1:00 Thursday.  By Thursday night I could see where the incision was starting to come apart and again we were hopeful it would stay and maybe need a few revisions, but still trusting it would remain together.  

Friday morning the right side had come apart in the night.  The infections ate through the sutures.  We are all in a state of shock that this is happening again.  Why does our sweet girl have to keep going through this.  We now will have to wait several months for everything to heal.  We all need a break from surgery and everything that goes along with it.  We are all completely exhausted because we are still not sleeping well at night and Grace continues to refuse naps.  We are upset, sad, heartbroken, and a bit angry.  I have been a wreck for a week now.  This is so hard.  We know this is the enemy fighting back because we rescued one of God's precious children.  We know Grace is beyond amazing and going to do BIG things one day.  We know it is going to be OK because we have the King of Kings, Creator of the Universe on our side, but this it still so hard.  We will keep fighting because we know our God will ultimately prevail in this fight.  He will see us through this and will do glorious things through it.  

Please pray for us for strength, healing, and rest for all of us.  For our hearts to be healed.  They are broken for her right now.   Thank you in advance for all of your prayers and support.  God has given us an army and right now we need you to FIGHT for us with prayers!  

Here is a quote from a sweet friend of mine (thank you Amber).  

The devil whispered in my ear, "You're not strong enough to withstand the storm."  Today I whispered in the devils's ear, "I am the storm."