preparing for surgery: the pre-op appointment

Elie when we first met Dr. Friend
at the pre-op visit with our amazing doctor.  she is in great hands!

"I just can't believe I am doing this surgery on this little girl in front of me.  I mean,  look at her, she is active and jumping and just amazing."   I have heard this line from our orthopedic surgeon multiple times over the past two years.  He never ceases to be amazed at the contrast between our daughter's xrays and her physical presentation.  The surgery she is having is common for children with cerebral palsy but not for children who can run and jump.  As he continually explains to me, most children with CP who need this type of surgery  have spent their lives in a wheelchair.

His words come again and I try to keep the pieces of my heart together.  I see it in his eyes and I know from the private conversations we have had.... the first five years of her life made a lasting impact on her bone structure.  She was carried too much and pushed too little.  There was no therapy until we asked to adopt her.  She spent many hours alone and waiting in a crib for someone to come.  I know this not because of words on a page but by the fact that she was old enough to have the memory.  I cannot undo time and the "ifs"  do nothing to move us in the right direction.  We grieve but we must also step forward.

She has an incredible story.  A story that is still being written every day and one that I now get to watch unfold in first person. As a parent it is always a struggle to watch our children hurt or suffer and we wish their lives to be nothing but rainbows and kisses.  However when we look back at our own lives, we realize that often the times of greatest pain and struggle became the defining moments in building our character.

I don't want my daughter to have this surgery.  I don't want her to have to miss the classes that she loves.  I don't want her to spend hours being still while her friends run outside.  I don't want her to experience physical pain and struggle to learn to walk again.  I don't want her to have more trauma or for this to pull at old wounds. But the reality is these things are coming.  I have been given one of the greatest roles in a little girl's life... mother.  And so we will go through every emotion of this together. And I hope I will do well to help her travel this road in a way that builds her story of hope and healing and trust that God will give us the strength for the days ahead.

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