the best moment of my life.

we are headed home in the morning, Lord willing. girl is eating better (housed an entire potato earlier this evening) and is drinking a bit. not a lot, but hopefully enough.

there are 2 things that have been really shocking to me in our 3 days here. 1st: the physical stamina required, and how much my body feels like it's been hit by a semi.  i'm not sure of the percentage of time that i have walked and rocked and carried her in the past 3 days, but i know it's more than i thought humanly possible. for example, i carried emery for 10 straight hours this afternoon into evening. we had times when she was happy...smiling and waving at nurses and laughing at my funny faces...you wouldn't even know she had major surgery a few days ago. she isn't swollen and can smile really well, even with all those stitches.

but, we also had large amounts of time when she was so upset and frustrated today...maybe more so than yesterday. it's totally understandable. she's experienced something so awful and painful, and she isn't allowed on the ground to play, and she's in a strange and oddly noisy place. (oh and the neighbors watch Judge Judy all day long...my brain is melting).

which brings me to the 2nd shocker: something clicked on tuesday, and instead of feeling comforted when i hold her, she has reverted back to china. when she feels pain or hunger or exhaustion, she arches her back and flails backwards and doesn't stop. over and over and over she arches backwards with such force that each and every time i have to hold her with all my might just so she doesn't plummet to the floor. it's horrible. it's soooo very horrible. to see her reverting back and acting like the past 2 months never happened. it's my worst fear coming true. i am praying and praying and praying we will find our way back to where we left off before surgery.

today, she didn't want to be put down...in fact, she didn't want to be held either. she thrashed and screamed for what seemed to be hours. every time i wanted to punk out and put my sweet sobbing girl down to ease my own tortured arms, i remembered what she is going through, and i kept going. 5 more minuets. 20 more. 1 more hour. and so on. if i'm honest, i was (and still am) in so much back pain, i think i might put in for a reconstructive surgery of my own. oh and maybe a left arm transplant :) my body was shaking so badly by the end of the night, i was afraid it would give out. i wish i had kept up with my yoga or lifted some weights in preparation.

ok, enough of my whining. but i needed the back story to get to the good part.

in the middle of my 10 hour stretch of holding (somewhere around 5pm) i was crying because she was crying so much. my heart was breaking at her sorrow and i just didn't think i could take another moment. i asked the nurse to give her meds a little early in hopes that it would help. but it was too early. 1 hour too early. so i tried other things. formula? no. didn't want that. toys? no. didn't want that. diaper change? no. didn't like that one bit.
so i laid her on the crib, my arms shaking. i kissed her forehead as she was kicking me and trying to find a way out of her no-no casts. she flailed and clawed at her feet and my neck and face. my tears dripped on her as i tried to speak softly in chinese over my own sobbs.
suddenly, she calmed a bit. she looked up at me, with those amazing eyes...tears streaming in those sweet asian browns...and she spoke. for the first time.

she said the one word i have been longing to hear since i laid eyes on her. the moment i have dreamed of.

she said "mama".
yes, you heard me. "mama"
i was stunned.
so i said "mama?? did you say MAMA?????!!!!"

slowly, carefully, as if to choose her word with precision, she said it again "ma ma"  "ma ma"  "ma ma"

then she smiled. so very proud of herself.

if i was crying before, now i was really crying...pure sobbs of amazing gut wrenching joy.

"mama" i repeated with a giant beaming smile
"ma ma" she replied carefully, followed by a beaming smile of her own
"ma ma"

over and over.


as if she knew i needed her. she's supposed to be the one needing me, but in that moment...in my desperation...my pleads...my need for her to find peace, she gave peace to me. what a gift from the Almighty, this one. she speaks and it's like an angel singing to my soul.

in post op recovery. about 2 hours after surgery.

the sweet post op recovery nurse who fought for emery to go to the pediatric intensive care unit. i think she just might be an angel. she wanted to make sure emery was ok, and advocated to the doctors on emery's behalf. what a blessing! she came by today to check on our girl :) and got a sweet smile from the little lady.

my mom came for a few hours the first night and i am SO thankful she did! what a blessing to have her there...she even helped as my stand in for emery's chest xray (they wouldn't let me in the xray without taking a preg test to prove i'm not pregnant :) and there was no time)

in the picu (pediatric intensive care)

daddy came to visit for a few hours. he's been working hard taking care of the boys and traveling for work. we've missed him so much, but i know it's torture for him not to be here.

 feeling better this morning after eating a little bit...

 very determined little lady


  1. Oh, Angie! I have been following your story for some time now and just had to comment on this one. How incredible it must have been when you heard her say mama! Praying for you guys, and so happy that Emery is on the mend. She is so beautiful.

  2. Angie, just flew in from bloggie land, adoption community. What a testament to Motherhood and Pure Joy that only LOVE knows. Wow, you have really captured the moment, awesome slice of love in such difficult circumstances. My prayers for your family and Emery to get home so you can move into the healing stage from the surgery. All the best, Kathleen

  3. Oh Angie!! I just sobbed reading your post. Praying that sweet Emery continues to heal from her surgery and that YOU get some much needed rest. ((hugs)) God is soooooo good ;)

  4. I can't imagine what that moment must have been like...what a gift from her and your Father. Thank you for sharing it. Praying you are welcomed home by two drop kicking boys soon!

  5. Well, I'm thoroughly choked up right this moment, and have so many thoughts in my head, but can't get them out eloquently enough. So I'll just say that you're doing awesome, mama -- I have enough experience with some of these tougher moments of parenting to get a glimpse of how hard this is. We'll be continue to pray for all of you!

  6. Amazing, wonderful, beautiful gift! I was going to say...she WILL find her way back to the safety and security of your love...but maybe she already has. :o)

  7. What an amazing precious moment when she called you mama. Sorry this has been such a huge emotional week for you & Emery.

  8. Praise God for that moment that you so desperately needed! There are no finer words that our children saying "Mama" for the first time. And the magnitude in which is happened with Emery... Divine! All my love, support and prayers continue from MN. Kiss that little girl. She'll be back to the progress you were making at home soon. This too shall pass. <3

  9. Oh glorious day!!!!! How gracious is our heavenly father that He'd bless u, and encourage you when you SOOOO needed it. What a gift !!!!

  10. WOW! I'm crying at my desk. Our God is so good to us. He knows all of our needs. You are doing great!! I pray God gives you strength and blesses you with many many more "mamas".

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  12. Perfect timing!!!

    What a week you've had! You rock! SERIOUSLY!
    PTL she's on the road to recovery.

    Have ya noticed how thick Emery's hair is? All that good food and exercise she's getting! You go girl!
    Love ya!
    and prayers for speedy recovery (for you too!)

    (had to delete my previous comment - there was a spelling error....)

  13. whenever i have a little free time i love reading through your old entries. must you make me cry though?! =P this is seriously one of the most beautiful moments i've ever read about. you need to write a book to share your amazing journey & family with everyone. i think i need to pre-order like 10 copies for my family & friends. =)

  14. You are just what she needs. Through everything, by God's grace and by your faithfulness and your dependance on him and by your mourning over her losses, she is going to have everything she needs to heal and be whole and be all God made her to be. You're doing so good, girl. I love you!

  15. You had me in tears again, Angie! I love your heart for Emery. You make me want to be an even better mommy to Cara-bear! Thanks for the encouragement today!- Jamie



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