One Year Post-Op Visit...

I had my one year post operative visit this morning with my surgeon. It is surreal to think that at this time last year, I couldn't even drive a car, and this year I just hopped in my little SUV and drove downtown for a check up. It is a very big milestone for me, to have this last visit, and I am excited to say it was not only a big milestone, but an encouraging one.

My x-rays are showing every sign that the fusion of my bones is coming along as it should be. X-rays alone can't show whether I have full fusion, but they can show whether the areas where there should be fusion are getting darker (ie. the bone is getting more dense) and whether my hardware is all in the same place it was when they first installed it. They can also tell if there is flaking or shifting, and thankfully I don't have any of that. They said my hardware is all in the exact same spot it was when they drilled it in a year ago, and I have dark areas where there should be fusion. I won't have full fusion for another 6 months to a year, but the groundwork is looking really good. I could have a CAT scan sometime this year to make sure everything is as it should be, but they see no reason now to check, since all signs are good.

I am so incredibly thankful that I have done so well on "the other side" of the surgery. I don't take for granted the fact that many people are still struggling at this point, and have a much longer and painful recovery. Every day that I get to go somewhere and do something I couldn't do before the surgery, I am reminded how much I have gained.

We went with some dear friends to Disney a few weekends ago, and walked non-stop. The last time I had been to Disney was over 4 years ago, and I was confined to a wheelchair because the walking was too painful. I was only 25. Now, to go back with the same friends and be able to visit multiple parks, and walk and stand for hours on end, it was quite the contrast. I see everything through these eyes, through this change. I am so appreciative and excited to get to experience life this way.

I don't think you can really know the joy of simply being able to walk until you have not been able to. I didn't know how valuable being able to put one leg in front of the other without pain was until I couldn't do it. Being able to walk is freedom, being able to appreciate it, is joy.

For the first time in over 4 years, I have no more scheduled post-op visits. I will go back once a year from now on for a check-up. It is nothing short of amazing to me. A year ago, I couldn't imagine the life I'd be living now. I was in so much pain, and every day felt so long and tedious, it didn't seem possible that I would ever have the ability to do what I do every day now.

It does get better. I'm still getting better. By the end of this year, I should be fully recovered, and have more energy and strength than I do now. And just like I couldn't imagine what I'd feel like now a year ago, I can't imagine what "better" will be like then!


"Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD." Ezekiel 37:4-6

disrupted...

In the adoption world, when an adoption fails, it is called a "disrupted adoption." I'm am sad to say that my husband and I are among those who have experienced this painful event. It has taken me a while to process this and let myself grieve over the loss of that hope. But now that I have had some time to do that, I felt sharing our experience may be helpful to others who hope to adopt someday, or have experienced the same thing we just did.

I won't go into all the details, but I do want to share a little about what happened. We were matched with a young woman who felt she needed to make an adoption plan for her unborn baby. We were thrilled that we could step in and provide a home for that child, and as the baby was due right before Christmas, we thought we were going to have a child very soon.

I rushed about getting the rest of our nursery put together, buying diapers, formula and all the other supplies one needs for a newborn. We knew that there is always a chance that a birth mother may change her mind, at any point along the way. So even while we were getting ready to welcome a baby, we had to keep our feet on the ground. It is such a hard thing to do....because you have to be excited about this potential child that could be coming home with you in a matter of weeks. But you also can't get your hopes up...

It's pretty impossible to do that. And when we were at the hospital, waiting to get to meet the baby who we thought would be ours, we were told she had changed her mind and we needed to go home. I realized then, that as much as I had known there was a chance that could happen, and that I needed to not get my hopes up...I had done a terrible job keeping my feet on the ground. I was crushed. We were crushed.

We were not sad that the baby would stay with its mother, we were just sad that we would leave the hospital, without a child of our own.

To make matters worse, we have lost money because we paid a lawyer named Mark Miller, to handle the case. He came highly recommended to us from several sources, so we are extremely disappointed with the way we feel he mistreated us after the adoption failed. We have filed a complaint with the Florida Bar because of what we believe are unethical charges. (If you are looking to adopt in the state of Florida, and would like more information, please contact me at mytroubledbones@yahoo.com to discuss our experience.) We are now about $5,000 short of the money we need to adopt.

Our costs at this point have already reached $10,000 and we are not even signed with a private adoption agency. Between the home study costs, and this disrupted adoption, we have spent a lot of money. And we will have to spend much more to adopt a child in the future...in all I am sure we will get close to $40,000 by the time we bring a baby home. That actually isn't too bad, in the world of adoption, but it is a lot to us, and we don't have a penny extra, or to lose.

After going through all that, we are now back in the waiting game (with a lot less money to move forward). It has been a wonderful few months, realizing how far I've come compared to last year at this time. But it has also been incredibly difficult, to let go of that excitement and hope, and realize we have to once again be patient. I know that we will become parents someday, and it will most likely be through adoption. I know that this happening to us does not mean we are doomed to be childless. You have to put yourself at risk if you're going to ever gain a reward of that magnitude. There are no guarantees in life, and I don't expect anything to be easy for me.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
C.S. Lewis

Please keep us in your prayers as we continue on this adoption journey. It is a sometimes scary, sometimes wonderful road, but I can't wait to meet who waits at the end of it.

To view our online adoption profile, click this link: http://isaiah435.blogspot.com/