Archive for February, 2012

We did it!

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Laurel’s account now has $7,000!!! We did it! Thanks for helping  us milk both those wonderful donors for all they had! :)

THANK YOU!

I’m sure we’ll keep seeing Laurel’s numbers rise even though our matching grants are spent and her “month of awareness” is over. She’s worth every cent, every drop of sweat and every share on social media.

We will not forget her.

And we’ll not stop fighting to bring her a family.

Thanks!

$6,500!!!

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Donate to Laurel’s rescue fund!

We did it!!! We made it to $6,500! And a whole day early! Thanks to everyone who gave! (I so love pretty round numbers.)

But that’s not all folks! Because we achieved our goal a day early Anonymous Donor #2 has stepped forward!

So for the last day of February, and therefore the last day of Laurel’s month of awareness with Bring Hope to 12 in 2012, we have another anonymous donor to get her all the way to $7,000!

So donations are STILL matched dollar for dollar! Even though we reached our goal! We have a new goal! $7,000!!!

$1 becomes $2

$10 becomes $20

$50 becomes $100

Until midnight on February 29th OR until we reach $7,000!

To donate go here!

Side note: There’s another grant for people who commit to Laurel. It adds $2,000 above and beyond  the funds we raise for her.  It will be given to the first family who commits to her.  So if we do reach $7,000 we’ll have a cold hard $9,000 to offer that family.

If another donor wants to step forward and offer another $500 in matching funds we could make it a cold hard $10,000! Just email me at recordsky (at) gmail (dot) com!

Thank you!

 

End of matching grant day one!

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

At the end of day one Laurel  received $255 in her adoption fund! The matching check was for $283! (That includes the 10% donation to Voice of Hope.)

We have two more days to really make this donor pay up! Let’s do it! Click here to donate. All funds are still matched dollar for dollar! (See post below.)

And thank you so much for those who have donated! Much appreciated!

Matching grant!

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Laurel

I’m part of a group called Bring Hope to 12 in 2012.  Each month we are highlighting one orphan with arthrogryposis and then throwing all our fundraising efforts  toward them. For beautiful Laurel we  got an anonymous donor! (I LOVE those guys!) This donor will match dollar for dollar any gift no matter how small to Laurel’s adoption fund until either she reaches $6,500 in her grant fund OR until  the end of Leap Day, February 29th!

$1  becomes $2!

$10 becomes $20!!

$100 becomes $200!!!

And it starts TODAY (February 27th)!!!

Laurel’s donation page is here.

Right now she has $5,361.03. The Bring Hope to 12 in 2012 campaign offered to bring her up to $5,000. That goal was met!! Now we’re worried her donations will stop. Let’s do this! Let’s milk this donor for every penny! Please help us!

If you were ever going to give, please do so now! The donations are tax deductible. At the end of every day we’ll be adding up the gifts and matching them until we reach our goal of $6,500. Please give! Please share!

Many of you know about Laurel because I can’t stop hollering about her. I don’t qualify to adopt her because both my husband and I are a bit too young. At least one adopting parent would need to be 15 years older than Laurel who will be 16 in August. But I would love to have her with us! I know the potential there!

As you know Laurel doesn’t have much time! She’s facing life in a mental institution in her country just for being physically (not mentally) different. In case you missed it, that’s a life sentence! She has my beautiful, smart and sassy daughter’s exact condition and it affects her the same way! HUGE potential!

My friend, Tracey, has arthrogryposis that presents the same way as Laurel and Laelia too. Tracey writes about her experiences when she was 15 in a  post simply called Life at 15. She compares what Laurel is going through to her own experience. Great insight! Please read!

Thank you!

Recovery

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Standing kid!

Happy kid!

Sorry I have not posted sooner. We’ve been busy bees over here lately (including dealing with an outbreak of bees in our living room). Laelia’s recovery has gone a bit better than I expected mostly because I expected the worst. It’s been three weeks since knee surgery and she’s still a bit tender. Laelia’s  been getting physical therapy every day (at home by me) and doing  hundreds of steps a day using her crutches. In order to do that I had to redo her heels. She’s straighter now, and that has made her slight leg difference more noticeable. Three attempts later I think we finally found a good height for both heels using wooden dominoes and duct tape. Of course this will all change again in a couple weeks when she gets her leg braces.

 

On March 5th we’ll be in Philly getting casts  off and putting  KAFOs on. She’ll have to wear the KAFOs (leg braces) 24/7, even to bed. That will be hard, but we’ll get through it.

Laelia got a card in the mail the other day from all her Cubbie friends at Cubbie club. So cute! She also got cards from her school friends. Laelia was approved to go back to preschool, but only for two hours a day (and no bus service there).  Her friends had missed her! It was so adorable!

Our two biggest issues during Laelia’s recovery were hair and eating. Okay so physical therapy and pain management are the real two issues, but those were expected. Eating and hair were  just hard for no reason.  She hated taking her medicine. I hid it in everything: yogurt, ice cream, smoothies, pudding, apple sauce, etc. It had a strawberry flavor already so that limited the things I hid it in. Giving it to her straight made her throw up (a gag reflex), and putting it in her food just made eating suck.  Laelia was too darn smart about it too. She would finally eat only the yogurts I brought her so she was eating like five yogurts a day. After a week (we gave her meds for six days)  she said, “I knew the medicine was in the yogurt, Mama.” Then she rattled off  every food item I’d ever hidden medicine in. I asked her if she knew because she could taste it. She told me, “I  didn’t taste it, but I knew because of your face. And you made me eat every bite.” But the reason she never confirmed it with me was because she was afraid if she knew it was in there for sure she’d have a gag reflex and  throw up. Smart kid.

With her hair we just started spending money on really good conditioner and calling it a medical expense on our budget. It took 40 minutes to get the knots out everyday. The reason is that she would sweat because of the casts and being confined to a bed so much. Then she would roll back and forth on her head, for comfort and some out of boredom. It just made her hair a tangled, knotted mess that stuck straight up. I had regular conditioner and special conditioner and spray/leave-in conditioner. We had to take the microwave off the kitchen  counter to fit our daughter on there length-wise and then wash her hair in the sink so her casts wouldn’t get wet. Here’s some before and after shots.

That last picture there (post beauty treatment) is  Laelia showing Uncle Phong her untangled hair. Uncle Phong is engaged to Laelia’s Aunt Linda, although in preparation for their engagement and eventual wedding we’ve had Laelia calling him “uncle” for probably longer (and earlier) than anyone was comfortable with. Hehe.  :)  (Click here to see the website my husband did for them to celebrate their engagement. I feel that link should come with a warning of sorts. Eh you’re on your own.) Laelia is going to be the flower girl in their wedding! She’s practicing walking now, and soon we’ll add throwing flower pedals while walking to her physical therapy regimen. ;)

And for those of you who were praying she’d get over her cough and be able to do surgery, we can finally share one of the reasons the timing was so important to us. My husband is donating his kidney to a person who really needs it and may die without it. If Laelia’s surgery was postponed then Charley’s surgery would have to also be postponed. Obviously that wouldn’t have been a good thing. But everything worked out. So here’s our new timeline for life events since Laelia’s surgery worked out.

New timeline:

March 4th – Laelia and I fly to Philly

March 5th – We get her casts removed and her KAFOs.

March 6th – Physical therapy in Philly and KAFO adjustments.

March 7th – Fly home from Philly.

March 12th – Doctor appointment for Charley.

March 20th – Kidney removal surgery for Charley.

March 20th until around April 20th (or 30th) –  Charley’s recovery.

Early May – We hope to travel to adopt our son.

Early Summer – We bring our son home.

Excitement

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

(The following pictures were taken from Flickr’s Creative Commons, a site which allows people to share their pictures and lives with others. Click on any picture to be taken to the original. Pictures used with permission.)

 

I call this picture montage, The Different Faces of Excitement.

~~~

Excited to go to her first concert.

 

Excited about the game.

 

Excited to graduate high school.

 

Excited to start her own garden.

 

Excited for a first trip to Disneyland.

 

Excited to go prom dress shopping!

 

Excited about her new job.

 

Excited about her first trip to the zoo.

 

Excited to get her picture taken. Because that means she might get a family.

And a family means getting to experience all the little exciting things in life outside of the four walls of  her institution.

Laurel has almost $5,000 towards her adoption. I know she’ll have another $1,000 at least before the month is through thanks to donors I’ve spoken with.

Please consider Laurel for your family.

Please donate to her adoption here. It needs to be twice as big as this and soon.

Laurel is 15 years old and is in an Eastern European country. She has six months to get adopted or she will age out of the system and be assigned to an adult institution for life with no hope and no future. Can you imagine adopting her? Can you imagine the light in her eyes when she tells her friends she has a Mom and Dad?  Can you imagine taking her to see a movie, or ride in a plane, or go to the zoo? Can you imagine her graduating from high school?

Her face will shine!

 

Haha!

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

It’s like accomplishments left and right! :) Hahahaha!

The queen of interruptions.

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Standing tall!

New height: almost 38  inches. New height with crazy bed head:  a good 39 inches.

Haha! This is what happens when your broken camera takes five minutes and two battery changes to take  a picture.  We get a fish face that got tired and turned into a weird Mary-Kate and Ashley pose! Hahahahaha! And the wild hair gets tamed every day and still looks like this.

Okay Laelia has given me twenty minutes to blog. The little queen is being gracious today. I’d better write something fast!

It’s been a hard week, but as with other major surgeries it’s always  one week of bad (the first three days are terrible), then one  week of hard  followed by  a lifetime of permanent correction. The difference here is that there is hardware inside Laelia’s knees that are always working. Last time she had something in her bones, it was simply to hold them in place. Now it’s actively working to straighten her knees. This will be harder than usual, but she’s excited to have straighter legs. They are so straight now that she can’t touch her toes! Her poor OT and I will have to re-teach her her how to put her  pants on. :)

Unlike her other surgery where she was so “breakable” afterwards, this one requires her doing weight bearing ASAP. And she started standing the next day after surgery! It wasn’t pleasant, as you can imagine, but it wasn’t impossible.

Laelia is interrupting me to tell you about the pirate. She saw a man with a long beard in the waiting area and she yelled, “Mommy! A pirate!” She was completely thrilled. I wasn’t sure how to explain he was Amish, so I just let her think a pirate was there with his kid. Even pirates  need health care.

Speaking of interruptions, Laelia is the queen of them. This week it has been just me and her all day every day. Today she’s letting me blog, but only two minutes at a time before, “Mama my leg hurts! Mama move my pillow please! Mama I want a cookie! Mama I threw the batteries out of the remote again! Mama I want to watch Tangled for the thirty-sixth time!” (Not exaggerating there. 36 times in eight days. Tangled is the new Finding Nemo.)

Oh and I made her cookies. It was a nice break to bake something when Charley got home. Laelia wanted a red cookie, but for as much red food coloring I put in the cookie dough they still came out light pink. So I added a ton of blue and green to it. That made it pretty dark colors.

Three guesses what color our poop is now. Oops.

Laelia is interrupting this blog post again  to tell you that her imaginary friend was flying the plane to Philly! (The first plane ride.)  “Guy” has been Laelia’s imaginary friend for years. We don’t know where she got the name from since we don’t know anyone named Guy. But Chelsea made Laelia a tangible version of Guy that we accidentally left at home along with her sandwich for the plane and her walker that we had to return to Shriners. So she was sad, but when they announced the pilot’s name was Guy she was thrilled. I told the flight attendant that it made her day. :) Guy came after all. And he flew the plane!

Okay Laelia is taking a little nap. Time to blog some more! Interuption free!

She wasn’t really asleep. Now I’m back.

Okay she promises to sleep now…

So now that I have my blog to myself again, I wanted to briefly talk about Laelia’s care. Taking care of a little one dealing with discomfort or pain all day, every day, without breaks, who screams for you when you take two minutes to use the bathroom (ahem)  is one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever done. And I’m serious. I’m behind at work, laundry, bathing and I’ve all but declared email bankruptcy since I don’t see me even reading all of them, I’m a day late at planning Laelia’s school meeting and I don’t even have a doctor’s note yet, but it’s rewarding work. Sometimes I can use my magic to make booboos better. Sometimes I can distract her out of losing it. Sometimes my cuddles are more powerful than surgery cuts. And often I just hold her and we cry together. But every day she gets better and better and it feels rewarding.

Our week of bad is over. Now the week of hard begins. Physical therapy gets kicked up a notch. Respect and no whining (and using the potty) get reinforced. But hard is not bad.

We have a gal living with us since she couldn’t stay where she was. She’s looking for a permanent place to stay. I was worried that Laelia would keep her up all night (and she  has a bit) and that  it would be stressful. But it’s been really nice. Our house guest does dishes for one thing. :) And Laelia looks forward to seeing her for a bit every night before bed. It’s been a blessing.

Our first full night home was Monday. Lois from our church brought us a meal. It was the first real thing I’d eaten  that day. It gave me the strength to stay up until 2:00 am finishing up my work from home and taking care of my daughter. We got another meal last night too. It’s been a life saver. Truly.

Laelia is interrupting to ask if I’m stiiiiiiiiiiillll blogging?  Now she wants to say that she hasn’t taken any pain medicine and she’s feeling better! (I snuck some into her yogurt before bed, but she doesn’t have to know that.) She is going all day without pain meds now, and just getting a half dose before bed. She says her legs are annoying right now. I’ll take “annoying” over “painful.”

Thanks everyone for your prayers! I feel like lately I’m always saying thank you, but I don’t mean it any less. Thank you.

Gotta go. The little queen is wanting someone to play with. I tried to tell her that that wasn’t exactly twenty minutes with all the interruptions, but she said she counted in her head. To what I wondered. “To twenty! Lots of times!” Ha! I tried to give her a math lesson but math hurts her legs. Yeah. *sigh* I’ll add that to the list of intangible things that hurt your legs, spoiled little queen. :)

I wuv her.

Laurel

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

This is Laurel. Her birthday is in August.

When they asked “Laurel” to pose for this picture, I’m sure that smile she gave betrayed her hope. Why else would they take my picture? They must be looking for my family! I know for a fact that hope starts to run thin near the finish line. There’s no family in sight. Not yet. And that’s a problem. Because Laurel  is  15, and that’s the worst age to be with no family in sight.

When I turned 16 I got my driver’s license, my first boyfriend and my first surprise party from my friends. It was the best year of my life. I looked forward to it with delight. Laurel thinks ahead to her 16th birthday with dread.

In her country upon her 16th birthday  two things happen: 1.) Laurel becomes no longer available for international adoption and 2.) she is placed in an  adult mental institution where she might be confined to a bed all day, everyday for the rest of her life  OR she will be out on the streets, forced to beg or her body to be used.

If you read this blog at all you don’t have to guess that Laurel has huge potential. You don’t have to wonder, “Will she be independent? Will she be mobile? Will she talk back to me like she knows everything?” Yes, of course. She has my daughter’s body, and my daughter’s mind… if it had been drug through years of living without a family to stimulate her.  She’ll need encouragement and family love. She’ll need to feel safe. She’ll need maybe a little more time with Mom than other kids before leaving to start her own life. But her life could be wonderful. Or it could end. In August.

I almost want to say Laurel has six months to live. And even though she’s not dying, it’s a true statement. Her life will end and hope will be gone in six months.

I learned today that a new $1,000 grant is available on top of anything raised through Reece’s Rainbow. My family is throwing in our fundraising efforts as well. If you are hesitating because you cannot afford an international adoption, then come up with another reason. We will help you. You’ve got us in your corner. Our son is in that  part of the world for crying out loud! Laurel has  us choked around the heart!  In fact, there’s a group we’re a part of  called Bring Hope to 12 in 2012 who have promised to throw huge fundraising efforts towards this child. She’s one of their 12, and will be the focus of interest for the entire month of February. Don’t worry about the money. We’ll get it. I know it.

Worry about the child. Is she yours? Right now only a family can save her. Just because she ages out of being eligible for adoption in, what, late  July?  does not mean she becomes an adult with any rights. We cannot send her a plane ticket and have her move in with us. (That was my hair-brain plan upon learning about her.) No, her fate is sealed. She needs rescue. Because of a terrible situation, a ridiculous system and some downright unintelligent rules she’ll be lost in a matter of months!

This is an emergency. Please share her link (http://reecesrainbow.org/26309/laurel) all over Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Share her story with the world. Help us find her family. I would consider this a personal favor to me. Thank you.

Time is running out.

The cough that prayer cured.

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Future Doctor

We are back from Philadelphia with a princess in full leg casts. For those of you following  the story, our daughter had surgery on both knees to try and straighten them. (Because of her arthrogryposis her knees are stuck in a bent position.)  They did some releases in the back of her knees to straighten them as much as the contractures would allow, then they inserted eight plates into the fronts of her knees to stop them from growing. That way when the back of her knees grow, but the front of her knees don’t, it will straighten the knees over time.

As most of you already  know we almost didn’t have surgery last Wednesday. In fact we were ready to go home every day we were there. And people were praying. Lots of people. And everything worked out. But it worked out in this miraculous way.

When I was a little girl I read this boring  biography of Hudson Taylor. (Note:  NOT boring if you’re  NOT  ten years old and it’s NOT required reading.) He’s the guy  who prayed a lot and God provided, often last second or in a way that would make a good movie.  Our last week seemed like that.

For reasons we cannot share yet, we needed this surgey to happen now. We had no idea what God was doing by delaying it. From all we knew it couldn’t be delayed or a lot of things would go wrong. So all we could do was pray this was happening for some great reason half the time and  beg the surgery would  just  please work out the other half of the time. You see our daughter had a cough.

Thursday night I was lifting Laelia by her stomach and she coughed. But it wasn’t just one cough. It was a coughing trip. I thought I had squeezed the wind out of her or something. Then she finally said, “I just coughed like So-and-so at school!” Needless to say I yanked Laelia out of school the next day, cancelled the bus and mailed the form I was suppose to send with her that day. She had a very slight, occasional yet persistent cough all day.

Our good friends  have a  son who has the same condition as our daughter  and who also fly the same 3,000 miles to the same doctor in Philadelphia. He  had a cough once before surgery. He was fine and then the night before coughed just a couple times before surgery. That was all it took and his family was sent home to California. One slight cough and surgery was cancelled. Now Laelia had one slight cough. This was bad.

Saturday morning I called up Shriners to break the coughing news. Turns out I needed to run this by the anesthesiologist but  they weren’t  in on the weekends. I talked to a few people, was transferred six times, and finally the on call/charge nurse said to come on over. 3,000 miles and three airplanes over. So we did. And we prayed.

Sunday morning rolled around and we boarded  three planes with  the coughing monster.  The weather had changed and we  had hoped it was just allergies. She never had a runny nose or watery eyes or upset stomach or fever or  sore throat or anything else. And she would be happy and hyper and fine and then once an hour double over and cough her head off. And it was a cough with a little something going on. Not a dry one. But still I’d forget about it until she’d do it!

Monday our appointment was at 2:00, but everything at the clinic ran late and  we didn’t end up seeing anyone for three hours. Three hours! Finally we saw the doctor, his fellow  and the nurses and told them in person about the cough. I guess no one I had spoken with on Saturday had passed the word along.  At first the surgery was cancelled, and we started  making alternative plans (that sucked). The nurse coordinator outright told us  Laelia would  not be getting surgery. It looked like Laelia and I would  have to live in Philly for several weeks at one point.  But they had to get the anesthesiologist involved for the final determination.  Being after hours (now almost 6:00 pm),  we had to come back the next day when he’d be around. So in other words, because of our late appointment we had one more night  for the cough to get better.

And it didn’t.

So Tuesday morning she woke up coughing this horrible cough. She saw the anesthesiologist with the cough and he had her cough several times while listening to her chest. She was borderline with no other symptoms and even though we could hear something in the cough, they couldn’t hear it when listening to her chest. He had to pass us along to the head anesthesiologist who would make the determination on whether or not we’d be having surgery. Right before we met with him she coughed this wet, awful cough.  We planned to  pack our bags  home that  afternoon and try to get flights back that evening.

Then  we met with the head honcho anesthesiologist.  He asked her to cough. She didn’t want to. He asked her again. She coughed for him. And it was this beautiful dry cough. Then another beautiful, dry cough at his request. Then another!  She didn’t cough again through our entire appointment with him, including a trip to the PICU for surgery instructions. I thought she was cured! It was a miracle!

As soon as  we left the hospital she  started back up coughing again. It was like everything she’d experienced for days was just put on hold until she could pick it back up again when  we left.  The same ugly cough was back! Surgery was scheduled for the next morning at 6:30 a.m. She  had one more night  to stop coughing or it would be cancelled. But at least we were no longer going home that night. We held out hope it would just go away. Maybe she would stop coughing!

Of course she kept coughing. She coughed all night. I couldn’t give her  allergy meds  since we may have surgery the next morning. I just waited it out with her and held her hand. I didn’t even know if I should prep her for surgery and scare her needlessly.

I had a very small panic attack that night which defied logic because I was ready to go home and at peace  with surgery being cancelled. My panic  was obviously  not listening to how rational and peaceful I was. Charley noticed I wasn’t breathing and his reaction to that was to hug/smother me. I’m lucky  to be  alive. :)

(Note: I’ve never had a panic attack in my entire life. I think this was brought on by being woken up in the middle of a nightmare about not breathing and then my heart was already racing so fast it was just downhill from there.)

We arrived at the hospital  at 6:30  sharp (3:30 a.m. California time) and she coughed in the waiting room. Once again I mentally packed my bags thinking we were going home.

Then she coughed up the elevator and through her dress change and during her vital checks. In fact she coughed up until the anesthesiologist entered the room. Then she was fine, as if she’d never had a cough in her life. And it was his decision to proceed with surgery after checking her chest for the tenth time.

It was like something out of a movie. If I had reached the right person who told me to stay home when I called Saturday night there would be no surgery. If our appointment had not been three hours late and I’d met with someone who listened to that awful cough on Monday there would have been no surgery. If she had coughed during our Tuesday appointment with the head anesthesiologist there would have been no surgery. If she had coughed during OR prep for the anesthesiologist’s final check then no surgery.  When it really mattered, she became a perfectly healthy kid. But the rest of the time she was coughing!

Surgery went well. She opted not to have the knock-out meds and waved goodbye with such bravery  as they wheeled her  into the OR. She admitted she got scared and cried when they put the mask on her face, but overall she  was very good.

Back in the waiting room  I let out a breath I’d been  holding for six days. I was relieved for a brief moment before it hit me that my daughter was in surgery. But five hours later and she was out. Her epidural had worked, her cough had cleared and they had gotten a few degrees of range in her knees! In the coming two years the plates  in her knees will hopefully  get her even straighter!

No cough!

Epidural working!

One of the first things Laelia said after waking up from surgery was, “The next one to have surgery will be my brother. I’m gonna hold his hand and make sure he’s alright. I’m going to give him his medicine too!” (She seemed a little thrilled with that thought so I gave her a look. She quickly amended,) “Because I love him.” :) Someone is happy that this is her last big surgery for a while. :)

The first day after surgery everything went right that could go right. Everything. Then the day after that things went wrong. Laelia’s epidural had slipped a bit. The doctor recommended they pull it out and see how she did. We’ve made some stupid decisions before, but this one had two hard  days of consequences to it. She was in constant pain. And they threw every medicine they could think of at her. She had IVs in both hands and was on morphine, Valium, Tylenol, Codeine, something for the itching, something new for the panicking and something strong to help her sleep. As the first hard day progressed and they could not get on top of the pain they finally started doubling all doses.  She went 35 hours without sleep because of pain.  She made the nurse cry. She made us cry.  She was darn pitiful. Finally, since she was eating, drinking and pooping, I asked them to  discharge her and we would be right  down the road and come back if there were any problems. We took her back to the  Ronald McDonald House. Just being outside the hospital worked wonders. She got her first real sleep and so did we. Four solid hours. She woke up a new girl!

For as hard as her recovery has been, it is not as hard as the surgery she had  a year and a half ago when her epidural failed. That was much harder.

Sunday night we took two long plane rides home. We’d only been home  about twenty minutes before she threw up all the contents of her stomach, including her pain meds. She had a painful, sleepless night last night and a  painful morning all morning. I finally snuck enough pain meds into her food to get her resting again this afternoon. She is refusing pain meds and it’s hard to get them into her!  It’s my four year old verses my sanity! She  cries and cries that her legs hurt, but when I offer her pain meds she won’t take them and spits them out. Also they have me doing physical therapy with her already (if you can imagine this please say a prayer for me and for her) so just add that to the torture. All and all it’s been a hard week.

But we knew it would be  bad going into it. What we didn’t expect was any of the good times. It was downright thrilling to have to make the pediatric crutches Laelia uses longer because she  had gained a couple of inches overnight! Laelia was also praised for being the sweetest little thing in the PICU. And she was so diabolical even through her pain. She had a speech about what hurt and what she wanted done about it that she threw at anyone entering the room–even the janitor!  She directed her menu like a queen. When she was transferred out of the PICU she had me first take her to every floor of the hospital on her way to her recovery room  so she could tell them all that  she had just had surgery in an attempt to get presents out of the Shriners staff who seem to always walk around carrying goodies. (If it weren’t for all the medical stuff this place would be Kid Heaven!) She walked out with a monkey from the OR, a bear from PICU, a doll from the therapy floor and a doggie from somewhere.  It is a privilege to be this little girl’s mommy.  She is a  joy!

Today Laelia stood up tall by herself with the help of crutches and her casts.  She looked at me and  asked through  gritted teeth, “Mama? Am I tall enough for the big  rides at Disneyland?”

That little player is determined to get a trip to Disneyland out of this thing too. :)