Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mighty Moriah and Her Marvelous Spine

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
Marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 
Psalm 139:14

Moriah just turned 10! The day was celebrated with all things mint green, which is her current favorite color. We recently repainted her hand-me-down desk with a fresh coat of mint. And we gave her a mint green bean bag chair, hamper and baskets to help her organize her things. We ate some mint chocolate chip ice cream, of course. She recently cleared out her play kitchen and lots of toys that she has outgrown and now has a more grown up room. Her current favorite things to do are listen to L.M. Montgomery books on CD and color complicated coloring pictures. Such normal ten year old things.

The next few months will be anything but normal, however, as we are finally going to address her congenital spine issues. On the day she was adopted, I commented to Andy that something didn't look right with her spine. There was just a weird little bump about half way down her back that shouldn't have been there. There was nothing in her file about spine issues, but we got it checked out when we got home. MRI's and CT scans and X-rays followed which revealed several significant issues with the way her vertebrae are formed. We have been in watch-and-wait mode for many years. That little bump has become a very large and noticeable hump which causes pain, loss of flexibility and discomfort.

Over a year ago, we were told by our surgeon (who also operated on Joshua's scoliosis) that the time was right for surgery. His next sentence was that he was moving to New York. We were in a quandary. This is a major surgery and the idea of finding a new surgeon was daunting and discouraging to us. We tried to convince our insurance company to let us travel to New York so he could do the surgery, but they wouldn't agree. We had resigned ourselves to switching surgeons and hospitals but really lacked peace about the whole thing. Late last summer we got an e mail from our surgeon (the one who had moved to New York) saying that he was moving back! We were so thankful. We hadn't even thought to pray that this would be a possibility.

The Lord has now worked out all insurance issues, allowed us to have the hospital and surgeon we are comfortable with and given Moriah enough growth and strength to move forward. So it is with great hope and courage that we have scheduled March 6th as the day she will be admitted to the hospital. She will spend a week in halo traction to give her spinal cord a little practice in being in a straighter position and then on March 14th she will have a spinal fusion with hemi excision. In plain English,  the surgeon will remove the misshapen vertebrae and replace it with a cage and polymer and use rods and pins to straighten the rest of her spine and stabilize everything. It will be a long surgery and her recovery will take an additional week to ten days in the hospital. We are hopefully the he will be able to get a lot of correction and she will have a straighter spine when he is done.

We are placing our hope in Christ. Moriah's name comes from Genesis 22:14. Abraham had taken Isaac up the mountain of Moriah to offer him in obedience to God's command. "So Abraham called the name of that place, 'The Lord will Provide' as it is said to this day, 'on the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.'" We have seen his provision for our precious girls through her ten years of life to this point and we trust that he will bring her through this as well. We are comforted by so many who have prayed for her through the years and we are feeling upheld by those prayers now.

Prayers for all of these kiddos would be appreciated.
All of this is rough on each of them in different ways. 

When we saw this sign in Greeley recently she had to do a little dancin'

The green desk freshly painted.
Craft kit to do in the hospital.

Mint green birthday stuff.

Lots of mint!

That unique spine as seen on a recent CT scan.