Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Heart Healthy

A year and a half ago (before ever hosting Nastya) we were told that she had a sister that she did not really know and this unknown sister was unadoptable and had an extremely serious heart condition. We then found out on the night that we met Nastya that her sister's name was Katya and that they had never been separated before this hosting trip. We immediately knew that if we were going to adopt one we would be adopting both. Many things about this were frightening with all the unknowns. She was quite a bit older than we ever considered and she was diagnosed with some type of heart problem that we had been told was serious. We were earnestly praying about what to do but in our minds it seemed impossible. We were unable to ever get a clear diagnosis about her heart and at one point in the waiting time (before meeting Katya) we learned that she had been sent to a sanatorium for treatment for her heart. This sounded serious!!! We were also told that she ran and played and seemed very normal. It was all very confusing. The only thing that was clear was that God was calling us to adopt these girls. We kept returning to the fact that we could absolutely trust Him. We said we did but could we put that into action? Many times I feared that we could not and the scary possibilities seemed unending from many sides. Information was hard to come by. But by His grace, we amazingly had the peace and assurance to continue on the road that He had already layed before us. We knew that if He called us to this that He would equip us for whatever lay ahead.

And that He has, although thankfully that does NOT include any sort of heart problem!!!

Today we finally had an appointment with the most wonderful pediatric cardiologist. An echocardigram was done as well as other tests. Everything looks perfectly normal!!! Can I just tell you the incredible relief that this brings to her!?! She was truly scared that she had a serious heart problem and had been told not to run too much. She is very athletic. Sometimes Katya does experience some chest pain but it is due to panic attacks (as we had now guessed as we would talk with her during these rather infrequent 'episodes'). Actually I think these panic attacks were somewhat worsened due to the fact that she thought she had something wrong with her heart. She would get stressed about something and then feel a little panicky and then panic more as she felt her heart speed up. So it will be interesting to see if this knowledge helps her to calm herself when she feels upset.

Another amazing blessing during the echocardiogram - the doctor showed us a view of her heart from the bottom and we could see the four chambers. The walls of the heart dividing the chambers look exactly like a cross!! How cool is that? The doctor went on to explain that Jesus had died on the cross for our sins and had placed a cross in our hearts to show that He desires to lives in our hearts and to show us how much He loves us. We even have a picture of Katya's cross! Praise God for such wonderful news today and for creating her so perfectly and keeping her so very healthy. And for not allowing misinformation and fears of the unknown to keep us from adopting our precious daughter. He is good!! So good and perfect that it blows my mind. His plans are always what we would choose if we could see all that He sees. And if she had turned up with a heart problem I am certain that the Lord would have provided for whatever we needed to walk down that road. For now we are thankful that is not the case.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter, Family, and The Sound of Music...

It was a lovely Easter weekend. We had our first mini road trip with the girls and headed north about 6 hours to Zach's parents' home. It was wonderful to spend time with them and to introduce the girls to the dairy farm. I suppressed my giggles as our previously prissy Kateryna chased chickens, watched cows being milked, stepped in cow manure, rode on a tractor with Poppy, and planted a garden with Gran. All the kids had a fabulous time but I especially was happy to see her enjoying herself and only once cringing at the smelly cow poop as I made her scrub it off her shoe :) I'm heartless! They each picked out a baby cow that they named and will get regular reports on as they grow and mature to have their own babies and become milk producers.
We also enjoyed lots of piano and guitar playing, singing, and dressing up with Gran. We have recently been watching The Sound of Music and it is the current favorite. So, Katya and Allee decided to put on a show for us. They memorized at least five songs and made up dances to go along with them. Here is a sample of the show... It was really impressive!!!! Future performance times and ticket sales will be announced soon. The girls plan to make it big time in the show business now!

Last but not least we had egg dyeing, egg hunting, a wonderful time to praise our Saviour on Sunday morning, and lots of yummy food. We are now home detoxing :) Oh, except that my Benjamin's birthday is TODAY!!! And of course the traditional birthday cake wake-up could not be left out. So it was one more day of sweets after all. But tomorrow is another day :) I plan to post about Ben's birthday on the other blog tomorrow...

Tonight, I did fit in my first run since the 5K. I am now hooked on these and plan to do another next weekend. Anyone interested?!?
Jenny, I got your post on the last blog post that I did and would love to email with you but can't figure out what your email is. Please email me at stephaneep@hotmail.com