Friday, March 19, 2010


I want to thank you all so much for your prayers and encouraging comments...knowing you were holding us up on Kevin's heart cath day really got us through a very long, tiring, emotional day. We are so grateful for the "village" God has given us! That would be all of YOU!

We still don't know anything. Well, we do know some things, but all those things have not been put into a big picture yet. Our prayer is that the Lord will speak through the doctors. This is a tough one for them, too. I think the major concern is that surgery could more than likely worsen Kevin's condition rather than make it better. Yikes.

It was a very long day, but looking back we can see so many blessings. Too many to count!

When we arrived at 6:30 a.m., we went through the admitting process and then straight to our "room" for the day. 526. To get to our room, we walked about two blocks (without ever leaving the hospital). I mean it when I say this hospital is bigger than our little town of Springville. UAB was a new experience for us, because we have only had surgeries at Children's Hospital.

Once in our room, we waited a bit more and then the anesthesiologist came by. As soon as he said "he can have some apple juice", I knew it was going to be a WHILE before they took him for surgery. Yep, I was right. They had an emergency case squeeze in (a heart transplant baby--God love that baby!) At 1:30 they came to get Kevin. (Thankfully, Rob's family came to visit and that helped the time pass very quickly!) Before the nurse took Kevin, she gave him some Versed, better known as "happy juice". It made him so woozy and silly.

He didn't have a care in the world. We walked with the nurse to the drop-off point for surgery (another two blocks). When I gave him to the nurse, he started boo-hooing. It broke my heart!

We hadn't eaten all day so we went to the cafeteria (about two and a half blocks) and had some lunch with our pastor. It was a good meal and fellowship and passed about an hours worth of time during surgery. We knew the whole surgery would take about two hours so we went back up to our room to wait the remaining hour until our phone call from the doctor. We read, prayed, watched some TV...the two hours was up and I was getting antsy. I went for a little walk, and when I passed the nurses station I heard someone say our room number "526". Then I heard a nurse say "what's the password?" (Our section of the hospital was very protected). A sweet little voice said "Ummmm...I don't know a password!" I immediately recognized that sweet little voice as Erica Hammond's! She and her family had been to the B'ham zoo and stopped by to see us.
If you all remember, Erica's sweet You You had heart surgery almost exactly one year ago in the very same hospital, by our very same group of doctors. What an encouragement she and Aaron were to us. And we loved seeing Jackson, Carter and little You You herself..all healed and whole! They helped pass the remaining time of the surgery and we finally got the phone call that all was finished and we could come to recovery.

Erica helped us walk the two blocks to recovery without getting lost, thank you, Erica! We went into a very quiet area just outside the surgery room where patients are taken. I admit, it was a little scary with all the machines we saw along the way. We found Kevin with two nurses around him, lying in a little crib type stretcher. He had just started to wake up and was crying softly. They had oxygen blowing on him because his had dropped considerably. He was agitated and hearing our voices really didn't help much. I tried humming a song to him, but he just didn't want any part of that stretcher. His oxygen was not stabilizing. One of the nurses (who happens to live in Clay!) had an idea. She got a stretcher for me to lay on, then three of them picked up Kevin and all his tubes and wires and laid him in my arms. He quieted down and drifted to sleep. It was so sweet. At that moment, a thought crossed my mind:

We've been home from China less than two weeks.

Being on a hospital gurney is the last place I want to be.

But being able to comfort my new son was an unexpected blessing.

How wonderful for the attachment process!

Not only did this sweet nurse from Clay go out of her way to help Kevin calm down, but she went overboard making sure I felt comfortable. She got me pillows to prop my arm, asked if I needed another pillow for my back, asked if I needed anything else at all...

That's when I asked her for a pedicure.

I couldn't help myself. It was out before I could even think about it. She and Rob busted out laughing. Rob said it was the first time he'd ever seen me blush.

Since Kevin was doing better, they wheeled us the two blocks back to our room. Aaron and Erica were there waiting on us. After making sure we were all okay, Aaron said a sweet prayer over our family, and they left to make the two hour trek back to Huntsville. We are so thankful that they would take the time to stay with us during a hard part of the day; God's timing is so perfect! We love you Hammond family!

Dr. McMahon, the cardiologist, came in to check on Kevin and give us some preliminary results. We had a lot of questions and he spent a long time with us trying to explain Kevin's heart defects, even drawing us a picture to help us visualize. Of course, he and the other cardiologists and heart surgeons have to meet together to discuss the best path to take.

One of the questions we asked was if the doc had followed any other heterotaxy patients with multiple defects, and if so, how was their quality of life? He said he had one patient who was nine years old, and they were to the point that they were asking themselves "what else can we do for her that we haven't already done"? He said the parents had come to the point where they had to make those hard decisions over reviving her or DNR (do not resuscitate).

I'm thankful he doesn't sugar coat. We need to hear hard things like that.

However, I did say (again-- without thinking), "That SUCKS!" Because it does, folks. Life sucks sometimes. But praise be to God, this isn't the only life we have to look forward to! Life on earth may suck, but our REAL life, our eternal life in HEAVEN with JESUS is going to be GRAND, PERFECT, FREE OF HEART DEFECTS, JOYFUL, NO TEARS, NO DEATH, NO PAIN.

As one sweet friend reminded me, our quality of life here on earth is not good, no matter if we're perfectly healthy or have a sick heart or cancer. But our quality of life in Heaven is what we look forward's waiting on us. And that is why life sucks here on earth, because THIS IS NOT OUR HOME!!!!!!!!!!!

And it is okay for life to suck...because God WILL gain HIS glory. And that is what it's all about.

Our job is to praise Him when life sucks and praise Him when it's great. Our job is to obey Him in FAITH no matter what. Our job is to stick ever so close BESIDE Him. Our job is to bring Him glory.

Because it's really not about life sucking, is it?

(And by the way, just so you don't have any false pretense that I'm this strong person, I'm BAWLING while I type this. Even though I know all the truths, it's still hard. It's still scary. Yes, I want different circumstances for Kevin. But in humility I understand that God's ways are not mine. He is sovereign. I waffle between trust and rebellion. And I can't explain it, but this place where we are...this place of an unknown feels good. It feels right. I'm sad, but I have an unspeakable joy. We're depending on the Lord completely. I've heard people talk about this peace and joy, but until now, I've never really experienced it like this. Peace and joy in the midst of a cloud. Only God!)

So....while the doc was in the room, Kevin began throwing up. I called Shalita who stopped Katie Lyn's dance class and they all prayed together. Thank you Lord for answering that prayer so quickly...he stopped throwing up!

In fact, he began to eat. And eat. And eat! He did so well, they began to talk about sending us home, even if it was midnight! WOO HOO! And so it was...we got home close to midnight. Thank you Ann and Tom (Kylie's parents) for feeding our children dinner and staying until we got home. And thank you big sis Katie Lyn and Danay for taking care of the kiddos all day while we were at the hospital! Yall ROCK!

Now, we wait.....

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The Princess's Mommy said...

And we wait with you...and we pray with you and we cry with you and we rejoice with you and we are constantly amazed at your faith and courage. What an inspiration you are and that's why we all love you so much! Sending you big ol' hugs right through this computer screen!

Love you,

Mike and Barb said...

Oh, Laine, this just tears at a Mama's heart! What a difficult road to walk, and there is really no sugarcoating it... however, the peace you feel is real, and it will carry you through. I love your perspective of eternity, my friend!
God is in control!
Much love,

Steve and Jan said...

And we all wait with you. Our Mama's hearts are heavy right along with yours.

Praying for God to continue sending blessings your way and to make His presence known to you at all times.

Wish I was there to help you in some way. Just know I am praying for you.


smallseven said...

First off, I just want to thank you for being SO real. I've always loved that about you. I also love the fact that you want to be exactly where God wants you to be with all things in life. (attitudes,etc.) I will not stop praying for little Kevin and your sweet family! This post REALLY spoke to me. My issues are not near as severe, yet I can totally relate to all you we're saying.
love you,

MamaHen said...

I agree~we will all wait with you. Rob and Laine, you have no idea how much you encourage me. You point us to our God.

The Byrd's Nest said...

Ditto what most people have written....I cry with you...I wait with you...I pray alongside you and we will all continue to hold you up when your arms are way too tired.

I love you and you know I am here for you if you ever need me.

Aimee said...

YES! YES! YES! Laine! AMEN!!!!

I am crying with you...tears of pain, and tears of joy!

Oh, the sweet fellowship you are about to experience with our Father is priceless. And you are SO right, you can only experience this kind of intimate fellowship in the midst of a storm. His peace is perfect and His mercies are new every morning. He will be pouring out immeasureable grace to sustain you through the dark times. You will love Him more than you can imagine. I promise.

I promise you that you will be praising Him through this storm and on the other side, no matter what! May He receive ALL the glory! May Kevin's life be a picture of His glory!

I am praying for you sister!

PS. So glad you got to visit with the Hammonds. I know it was such a blessing to be around someone who has "been there".

Amy said...

Oh the lump in my throat as I read this. Thank you for that real and encouraging post. Your faith is amazing and the strength you have is coming from an amazing source. We will continue to pray for you all and for clarity among the doctors as they decide their course of action. Big Hugs from the Hatchers!

Sherri said...

Not one of us knows how many days we have with any of our kids. So you are pressing on, which is what you should do. I, too, admire you for being "real" when voicing what you are going through.

I have been praying for Kevin for a long time. May God be glorified. You are being covered in prayer, sweet friend.

living4him5 said...

I am waiting and praying (crying) with you. God is so very great and HIS supernatural strength and power with deliver this precious child. Please know there are lots of folks in Illinois praying for the Ferrill family.

We love you!
Amy <><

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with your wonderful friends! You are such an inspiration to me and I just know God has got something amazing planned no matter what! We love you!

amanda said...

It was so good to see you yesterday and meet Kevin. He is so preciouse. I pray for Kevin and I pray that the doc can come up with a direction for Kevin's condition. You are so right when we leave this "temporary home" we will have no more suffering what a happy day that will be. Think of you often and sending prayers your way.

Our Journey to China said...

We are praying and waiting with you, Laine, Rob and all the kiddos. You all have such a big part of our hearts and we love you all, even those we have not met yet. :) We are here if you need anything at all - please call. Our love and prayers are with you!!
Love, The Boyd Family

Connie J said...

Oh, Laine, we are lifting you and your little man up. Dear sweet friend, I wish I were nearby.

Greg and Steph said...

I am praying for you! Our God is able to more than we can imagine. I am praying for you to have peace and strength through this. I am also praying for Kevin's healing.
Dr. MacMahon was HG's doctor. I'm praying that he and the other doctors have wisdom and discernment.
Praying for many blessings to flow over your wonderful family!

April said...

The last 14 months I have never stopped praying for "Little Man". I have been and will continue to pray for a miracle. He is such a special little boy and I have a mother's heart for him. I was sitting here bawling reading this. I do want you to know I'm expecting a miracle even if it is a lung/heart transplant. I have been praying about being his mother-in-law someday.;-) *wink*

Greg and Steph said...

We are adopting again! Charlie is 3. He has some of the same medical conditions as HG. We are not DTC yet, but we are working hard to get there by April 26.
My mother is reading your blog and praying for all of you as well.
We love you guys!

Keisha said...

Oh.. Lanie,
I am praying for your precious little man. God has a plan for us all.. an Amazing Plan that we can not begin to fathom!!!
Keep your chin up and keep giving God the Glory and never lose FAITH of what He can do!!!

TanyaLea said...

Oh Dear Laine~ I am with the others here...crying right along with you, praying along with you and trusting in the One to Whom we all belong. You don't have to be a rock all the time, and I'm glad to see how "human" you really are...yet you stand unswervingly firm in your faith in our Father! You are a beautiful example to all of us and I just pray that I would be even partly like you given the same situation. When I seen that photo of Kevin in your arms after his surgery, I just started bawling. And just typing this, made me cry all over again. My heart is heavy with the hurt that so many are suffering from. But especially these little ones. Both Kevin and Nathan (also from NewDay) in the hospital and going through some very, very difficult times. Answers yet unknown to us on this earth...answers only our Heavenly Father knows for certain.

We are praying for you all and know that I am sending the biggest virtual hug I know how right on through this screen!

love you,

Trace Car Driver said...

tears. thank you for the update. i know it was a hard one to post. thank you for being so open and honest with us.
how sweet that you were able to lay with kevin and comfort him. what a blessing!
we will continue to pray pray pray!
will leave you with a quote from my pastor: "don't doubt in the dark what you know to be true in the light." WOW. god is still good, and he is still on the throne. so glad you can feel his peace! we love ya'll!

Aaron and Erica said...

And WE love YOU Ferrill family!

I just got back from Iowa last night so I'm catching up...

I'm praying for that continued peace that comes from Him, I'm praying for the Dr.'s to have wisdom, and I'm praying that through it all God will be glorified. Our family and our church are praying for you as well.

I had Aaron read this post late last night and he "composed" some thoughts that I'm going to email you later.



Tina said...

Laine, thank you for sharing yourself and your family's journey with us. Like the rest, I am crying with you, praying with you, and waiting with you, sharing in your sadness and in your peace.

Kristi said...

Oh, where have I been? I think I checked in early Friday and when I saw nothing guessed you were going to wait until the specialists converged. I am so thankful that God is providing you peace at this time. And I will continue to pray that He will uphold you to find the miracle, whatever it may look like. Because we know that He led you to Kevin, and also that we must "Hold unswervingly to the faith we profess, for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23
I'm still standing firm with my mustard seed! Huge hugs and love to all of you!

DiJo said...

Hey You!
My heart just hurts for you and I hate that you are sad.... I can just feel it as I read your words describing your experience... Yet, so thankful for the blessings in it... Your faith makes me smile.... You are a rock Laine, and you have one beautiful foundation holding you up!

Hugs from MN,

Stefanie said...

Oh my... I can't believe it's been a week since I've checked in with you... and you've been going through so much!
My heart is just breaking for all you're enduring but what a blessing to hear He is giving you the peace that surpasses all understanding.
We are still praying for Kevin nightly, we will certainly begin praying for a miracle to happen with his heart.