On Wednesday, as we were fixing Lori's hair - we noticed that it was sticky behind her right ear. On closer inspection, there was a scab around her incision site with some drainage. Gross, I know. We left it alone and looked at it again later that night. It was still draining. The next morning, a phone call to her cochlear implant audiologist office left us in a rush to get to St Louis. We made arrangements and headed north. After checking her out in the office, they admitted us to the hospital and scheduled surgery for Friday morning. The next day, they came to take her back around 10:00. A few hours later, they let us know that they opened up her old incision, cleaned out the site, moved the implant device up about an inch into her thicker musculature, and cut out any infected skin. The culture did test positive for your basic run-of-the-mill staph. Since admission, she had received antibiotics through her IV - so they wanted to keep her and continue the meds. Looks like we'd be spending another night.
During a calm moment, Jay and I left the girls with Lori in the room and went to grab a bite to eat in the cafeteria. We asked the question of "why are we here?" and shared some thoughts. I thought I'd share some with you.
As we sat in the admission waiting room (for 3 borrrrring hours!!), a commercial came on the tv talking about how everyone has a story. Lori does for sure. And being in the hospital provided us several opportunities to share her story. We were able to stand outside the room of an ill little boy and encourage his parents who are just finishing their Home Study as part of their own adoption. The fears and uncertainties of adoption are setting in and plaguing their thoughts right now - we were able to offer the reassurance that God will see this through. Our nurse asked about Lori - I love how people are so free to ask about her - since it's obvious by looking at us that she is adopted. This gives people liberty to ask a few questions. We told her story again, and this nurse shared how her brother and sister-in-law had just announced that they were going to adopt. I came away from that conversation hoping that by seeing Lori - this young lady would be able to encourage and support her family through their adoption.
Another thing we talked about is that as children, Jay and I rarely spent time in a hospital. Maybe a rare visit to ailing grandparents through the years - but nothing significant. However, for our children, things have been vastly different and we are so grateful. As we hope to raise kids who are compassionate and caring, we love the time they get to spend in the hospital. We love that they get to hold her hand as they place the IV, that they know how to silence the IV (vital information at 3 AM), that they know how to order a meal, that they know how to maneuver a bed with lots of bells and whistles, that they know how to find a bathroom, that they know how to call a nurse from the room, that they know how to locate a vending machine, and cup of coffee, etc. I could go on and on. We love that they have spent long, mindless days staring out of our 8th floor window - knowing that many families spend weeks and months with no end in sight as their kiddos fight for their life. We love that they spent time talking and playing with our "roommate", who was a 4 year old little girl who had been there a lot longer than us - and never once during our stay did she have any family (none, nada) with her.
I love that Madison now says she wants to work in a Children's Hospital. Maybe the Lord is using this season to prepare her for her future.
Lori is doing well - she looks a little crazy - with a big patch of hair shaved off, a ghastly scar behind her ear, and a puffy face. This too shall pass. She's running around like nothing ever happened. We are blessed and grateful. Now, if she would only swallow the meds without a fight!