Finally I have a few moments to update you all on our sweet, amazing oldest daughter. I apologize for the delay in getting this posted. I am so grateful to all of you who write to check in on how Hasya is doing. It means the world to me.
Goodness, where do I even begin?
The past few weeks have been so busy for our tiniest treasure. It’s been one doctor’s appointment after the next and therapies galore. Through it all, Hasya has been an absolute trooper. Some days I look at her and I cannot help but get tearful. To think that just a few months ago this tiny little girl was lying in a crib on the other side of the world with very little human interaction and barely enough food to sustain her–just wasting away.
When Anthony and I committed to adopting Hasya last year, we went into the journey full of faith but knowing with all of our hearts that bringing home such a medically fragile, neglected, abused teenager–who knew no other life but the one confined to a crib–would stretch and challenge us more than anything else we have endured in our married life. If there is one word of advice I would give a parent adopting a child, it would be to go into it expecting challenges, but trusting God for the grace and mercy to be the best parent you can be. Having zero expectations leaves no room for disappointment.
As many of you who have followed along will remember, from the time I met Hasya in Bulgaria last August to the time we brought her home, she cried. She cried inconsolably. No matter what we did to try and alleviate her pain, her sadness, her aches, her emotional distress, her anxiety…nothing worked! She was absolutely miserable. There were days when we wondered if Hasya would ever be content. Would she learn to trust us?
Would she ever feel safe?
It took three months!
Three months of hospital stays, broken bones, 105 fevers, a battle to tolerate food, constantly being pricked, poked and prodded, spica casts and splints.
Three months of hard!
Tired and weary, we stood firm and trusted and believed that God would breathe supernatural peace into every fiber of her little being.
He who is faithful answered.
Slowly but surely we began to see a beautiful butterfly emerging.
Slowly the peace which passes all understanding came.
Ever so slowly….
I look at my angel girl, and honestly? I cannot believe that she is the same child. Every day we see a little more of her sweet smile and her adorable personality shining through. Oh, the giggles! She is learning that laughter is a good thing. Hasya is learning to love and to be loved.
Gone are the days when she could not tolerate being held for more than thirty seconds. She loves feeling the warmth of our embrace and our faces squished up against hers.
Gone are the days of inconsolable crying. We hardly hear a peep out of her.
Gone are the days when she could tolerate sitting upright in her wheelchair for only four minutes at a time. These days she sits in her chair for most of the day.
Gone are the days when there was no laughter, no joy. Today she loves to smile and giggle.
Gone are the days when she was nothing more than a lifeless little being. Joy indescribable is bubbling over.
It just makes me cry! She is astounding doctors and every therapist she works with. They are amazed at her tenacity and resilience–her ability to endure.
Has it been easy? No way! But sometimes hard is a good thing. Sometimes pressing through the hard times allows His glory to shine just a little brighter, a little more lovely.
And how lovely she is!
Medically, we are definitely in a better place. Her femur is completely healed. Hallelujah! After some trial and error with medications, we have finally found the right ones–no side effects whatsoever. Thanks to the right combination of meds, her limbs are no longer as stiff as a brick. She can move much more freely. The aches from stiff, contracted joints are under control and she has much-needed relief. Her seizures are also being controlled with the help of a new drug that will not reduce her bone mass any further (as the previous one did). And sleep! Oh my goodness, for the first time since coming home, she is sleeping through the night (and so am I!).
And more good news is that Hasya is growing. At her last weigh-in she weighed 30 pounds! That’s five extra pounds on her tiny frame. We’ll take it. At fifteen years of age, she is 39 inches long. How much will she grow? That’s hard to say. Doctors still figure that her maximum growth potential is the size of an average six year old. We’ll trust God with all these things.
Nutritionally, things are going well. Do you remember that she absolutely refused to eat a single thing by mouth for several months? Nothing! I could not even get her to open her mouth. Every day we tried different foods and flavors. Ever so slowly she got it…she remembered that food in her mouth is a good thing. What started as just one or two mouthfuls at a time became a little more and a little more. Today she is eating a whole bowl of food by mouth at every meal. We’re still not having much success getting her to drink, but it will happen. I have absolute confidence in our smart girl and her Father in heaven who only wants the best for her.
She’s working hard! We do a lot of stretching, rolling, floor work, weights, and various therapies every day. The goal now is to get her more weight-bearing. We hope to get a prone stander soon and are looking forward to getting her bearing weight on her legs. Can you even imagine the feeling of standing on your legs for the first time in fifteen years? Goodness, I cannot! It will be a very gradual process, but I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that she can (and will!) do it. A couple of weeks ago Hasya got fitted for feet/leg braces (AFO’s). We’re waiting for those to arrive–getting her feet accustomed to being at right angles will be huge. From lack of movement and lying on her back her entire life, the only position her feet know is to point downward.
All these things are going to take lots of time. Thankfully, Hasya has the rest of her life to become the best that she can be. We’re in no rush and will continue to go at her pace, not ours.
What else can I tell you? Oh, her glasses. We have two pairs which we are working with (both pink, of course!). The first pair were a real challenge because they have a strap that goes around the back of her head. With the constant rubbing against the headrest of her wheelchair we just could not get them to stay on her face. Now we have the pair she is wearing in these pictures. They have the little ear piece that twists all the way around the back of her ear to hold them in place. They do great…until she pushes them off with her hands. We are persevering with both pairs and hopefully will find the ones which works best. Many have asked whether she can see with them on. It’s hard to tell. The only way we will be able to get an accurate idea of whether she can see is if (no, when!) she begins to reach for things we give her. According to her doctors, because so many years have passed with no intervention, there is a possibility that her brain has shut down and will not cooperate with the glasses. For now we choose to believe by faith that she will have some sight–if and until God changes that.
Naturally, the road ahead is still filled with many unknowns. Decisions will need to be made about what to do with her scoliosis and her bilateral hip dysplasia. For now, her orthopedic doctors are happy to wait it out, let her body grow some more, and allow her to get stronger. We are having a body brace made that will give her some wonderful extra support when she is sitting in her chair. We’ll cross the bridge of making any major decisions when we get there.
That’s about all I can think of for now. I cannot even begin to tell you what a sweet little blessing from heaven this lovey is to our family. She is pure joy and just makes life so much sweeter. Some days I cannot believe that God chose us for this job. What did we ever do to deserve her?
“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.” ~~ Job 2:25
Giving all the glory to the ONE who is restoring everything that was stolen!