We've done absolutely nothing to celebrate it officially. We've celebrated the stuffing out of Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day, and we're about to celebrate Mardi Gras down in Mobile. But CHD Awareness month? Haven't even talked about it.
How easy I forget that we have 2 kiddos with CHD. One child has a repaired, fully functioning, beautiful heart that should pump just fine for a long long life.
The other child has an unrepaired, patched up heart with a BT shunt--yet it is just as beautiful, though statistics say it will not pump for what we would consider a long, full life.
I did a little research around the web about congenital heart disease, and I learned that it is the #1 birth defect. Over 40,000 babies are born every year with heart defects in the United States alone. One glance at a special needs list of Chinese orphans will show how prevalent it is across the ocean. SO MANY. And two of those orphans are now in my home, forever sons, forever loved, no longer orphans.
Our Kevin of course has the most serious heart defect of our two 'heart sons' from China. Kevin's heart is functioning on a single ventricle. Typically when that happens, let's say here in the United States, the child would have a series of surgeries beginning when he/she is just a few days old. The surgeries would reconstruct the child's heart and give the child a much better prognosis.
Without the surgeries, it is fatal.
We brought Kevin home when he was 3 months away from turning 3 years old. His little heart and lungs had worked themselves into quite a mess, going far too long without any surgical intervention. By the time he arrived at New Day Foster Home, when he was just turning two years old, his pulmonary hypertension was just too high for the wonderful heart surgeons in Beijing to be able to repair his heart. And almost a year later, when we brought him home, it was just much too late to try to begin any series of surgeries for a repair.
(Kevin after just coming home, March 2010)
He did however have a BT shunt which stopped the progression of his pulmonary hypertension, and that is a huge praise!
(It is hard to look at these pics of him four years ago...such a hard and scary time! But it's so good for this mama to look back and remember what the Lord has done and how far HE has brought Kevin!)
Adopting Kevin broke our hearts for other orphans with heart conditions. If we can help in any small way to fund a child's heart surgery, then it is important for us to do so. GOD IS SOVEREIGN. There is no doubt in our minds that if God intended for Kevin to have a surgery in China, then Kevin would have had a surgery in China!!!!!! But for other orphans, it IS God's plan for them to have surgery. And it is also His plan for us to GET TO HELP THEM!!!! Isn't that wonderful?
So I am letting you know about a chance you have to help, too! If the Lord directs and guides you, you can help Noelle at New Day South.
Cute little Noelle!
She has already had her first surgery for her heart, praise the Lord! (I am not at liberty to say what her specific condition is, but I do know that New Day has been the vessel God has used to get Noelle on the road to a good functioning heart, praise the Lord!) Noelle needs a second surgery, and we can help by going to this site that our friend Meredith has created HERE and donating! Any small amount helps!!!! It adds up! New Day needs $10,000.00 for her second surgery, and almost half has been raised! Praise the Lord!
It's time for us to celebrate CHD month now....and to celebrate my CHD boys, and to celebrate New Day and other organizations who help children with CHD, and to celebrate my boys' life, and Jesus who has given them life! Every day is a gift!