Friday, June 29, 2007


Today was a wonderful day until about 6:00 PM. The happy, joyful Lilly is back! She is feeling much better today and has started charming the doctors and nurses again! Her chest tube came out at 1:00 today. We have had lots of cuddle time since all the tubes are gone now! They did another ECHO to check her heart and a chest x-ray. The ECHO showed a small pocket of fluid in her chest. The doctor said this was common after her procedure and the fluid should be absorbed by her body soon. The chest x-ray was fine. The plan was for her to be discharged in the AM. However, David called at 6:00 to say she had a fever of 101.3 and her white blood cell count was high. She will need IV antibiotics now. They are running tests to rule out possible sources of the infection. She is still happy and playing so she is obviously not feeling bad at this point. We are praying that the source of infection will respond quickly to the antibiotics so that we can get our girl home.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The road to recovery....

(above)The morning of the surgery. Lilly is not too sure...
(above) Today's Post surgery picture. No smiling yet.
Lilly is progressing just like the doctors expect. She has been moved to a regular room and all tubes have been removed today. She had some nausea the first half of the day and now she does not feel like drinking or eating much. We pray she will sleep well tonight and wake up ready to eat and drink. I will relieve Jan tomorrow afternoon so she can come back and get herself and the rest of the Bryant children ready for her sister's wedding this weekend. They are all in it. So.... hopefully she will be coming back down on Sunday to pick Lilly and Myself up and not to switch off with me. At least we are well prepared for these hospital stays.....we all remember the China Hospital Tour all to well!!!
The Bryant's in a very nice U.S. hospital...and I like the name of it too!

Post-op Day 1

Hello from MUSC! Lilly's surgery went well. The hole in her heart was closed with a patch without any complications. Lilly is doing well! Her breathing tube came out at 2 AM. She has been breathing on her own without difficulty since then. Her vital signs are excellent. She is having some nausea and vomitting. This is to be expected after having anesthesia. She is awake and alert, but she has been restless and moaning off and on which is so hard to see. They will not let us hold her yet because she still has a chest tube in. At this point, the doctor plans to reassess her around 12 noon and hopefully the chest tube and central lines will come out then. If all goes well with that, they plan to move her out of ICU later today if a room is available. If the floor is full they will keep her in ICU but she will be "floor status" and then I can stay with her for the night. Without any complications, she may get to come home anywhere from Sat. to Mon.

We are so thankful for God's provision of Lilly through her surgery and the first 24 hours afterward which is the most critical time! God has also blessed us with amazing doctors, nurses and other staff here who have been so attentive and kind. We have shared our story with many people here, and we pray that God will lead others to an increased awareness of the plight of orphans in China and elsewhere. Specifically, a sister of another patient who had surgery has always wanted to adopt from China, and Lilly's nurse last night said she too has felt a desire to adopt a child. Maybe God placed us here in their path to encourage them toward adopting a child in need of a family.

Thank you all again for your prayers.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New Update

Just received another update from the OR: "All continues to go well in the OR, they have closed the hole and have just now come off heart lung bypass. Lilly is very stable. I anticipate their arrival to PCICU in about 45 minutes or so. " (should be about 11 AM)
A special thank you to Shelbi and Tara (CWA moms) who brought a bag of goodies by the hospital. Thank you so much for your concern, support, and prayers.

First Surgery Update

We just received a page on our beeper from Cathy who is the Nurse Practitioner for Dr. Crawford, Lilly's surgeon. It said "Lilly is doing very well. They got started on time and they are now just starting to work on her heart and finding her VSD." Praise God! Cathy also said we should receive hourly updates until the end of surgery. Thank you for your prayers.

Lilly is in Surgery

We woke up at 3:15 and left the house at 4:00. Lilly was quite the trooper and was laughing as we were getting the car loaded. Even being woken up at an obscene hour didn't effect her sweet disposition. She did take a little nap in the van and woke up when the car stopped in the parking garage. Again, she was a happy girl oblivious to the events scheduled for the day! We got lots of hugs and kisses and snuggling time before Jane, the Nurse Anethesist, wrapped her in a warm blanket and took her to the OR. She went willingly thanks to some "happy medicine" they gave her.
We just were taken on a tour of "The Unit"- Pediatric Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit- which is where our Lilly will go right after surgery. It is very colorful and there was a sense of calm there that I wasn't expecting. It's not as scary as I imagined it would be! We should receive an update around 9:00 AM which is only minutes away. Keep lifting up prayers for Lilly, Dr. Crawford and Jane as well as the other staff in the OR.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Pre-surgery Thoughts and Pictures

The Brady Bunch minus one boy and Alice. Where is Alice? I could really use her help now!
One of her many hilarious facial expressions showing the joy she must have in her heart!

Lilly loves taking other people's glasses so we gave her some of her own! She wore them just long enough to take a picture or two. She loves her swing now and likes to go high!

Lilly is doing very well and has been having lots of fun especially when she is outside! She has been keeping all of us smiling and laughing at her adorable expressions. She is such a little ham, and we are so in love with her. It is so evident that God was in control of our adoption. She fits in perfectly with our family and as my sister said "How could you ask for more?". We couldn't. We are blessed to have her as our daughter (and sister) and so grateful that God brought us together to be a family. I am also grateful to her "China Mom" for giving her life and risking perhaps her own life to leave Lilly in a safe place.
Surgery is still scheduled for this coming Wednesday. We will update as we are able. Thank you for your thoughts and concern but especially for your prayers.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Another prayer answered

Last night we opened a package from MUSC. We were very surprised to read that Lilly's surgery has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 27. This is indeed an answer to pray because we had been told to expect a 4- 6 week wait at a minimum. Her paperwork was just faxed to MUSC by her cardiologist last Friday so our total wait will only be 2 and a half weeks. This is such a relief. We only have 12 more days to be on "high alert for germs!" We also only have 12 more days of keeping our sweet girl on "homebound status."
Thankfully Lilly is well at this time. If there is any cough, fever, vomitting or rash between now and June 27, they may postpone her surgery. Please join us in praying that God will protect her from illness so the surgery can be performed that day. The surgeon's name is Dr. Crawford if you will lift him up as well. I pray that he will be well rested and that God will guide his hands.
I am sad when I think of all that Lilly is getting ready to endure, but I know that she will be a much healthier little girl in the end.
The picture of her sleeping shows her snuggling with her blankie that my dear friend Beth sent her. I hope it will bring her comfort and security especially when we are not allowed to be with her. I will post more specific info about her surgery next week.
I am clinging to Isaiah 41:10. Thank you Jennifer for directing me to this verse!
"So do not fear, for I am with you: do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you: I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Few Pictures and a Thank You

Fulton lost his first tooth on Wednesday. He loves to hold Lilly!

Katie and Lilly having fun just being sisters!

I want to send a special thank you to the friends and family members of the Barbees. You all were so faithful to us during our long, difficult time in China. The comments that you left were so encouraging and to think that you took the time to do that when you do not even know us. Thank you for the prayers that you have lifted up for Lilly and our family. Words simply can not express the gratitude that I feel in my heart towards each and every one of you. To Bobby's sisters: You have showed us more support and love than members of our own family whom we have yet to hear from. Thank you so very much for your love and prayers! After hearing of Sunday lunch and grilled cheese Sunday dinner every week (practical examples of the love shared among you), we told Mrs. Jackie in China that we wanted to be a Barbee too. The love that your family has is so amazing. It is a gift from God as I am sure you already know! David said that he hopes and prays that we will have that kind of love in our family when our children are grown. Lord willing, our family does plan to come to Locust one day soon and meet all of you. What a blessing that will be!!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Lilly had her follow-up appointment with Dr. Williams, her cardiologist, yesterday. Thankfully no further testing had to be done because it was all done at Palmetto Richland. Of course, he said she definitely needs surgery to repair her VSD. MUSC should call me in a few days to schedule the surgery. Dr. Williams said the wait time is normally 4-6 weeks. He also stressed the importance of keeping her well. (Lilly already has contracted another respiratory infection and is wheezing again.) They will obviously not do surgery if she has any infection. In hopes of keeping her well, we plan to keep her home as much as possible. (Sorry Polly's class, Lilly will not be joining our Sunday School class until after surgery.) We also plan to implement new handwashing and "kissing Lilly" measures with all of us (no more kisses on the face from her sisters and brothers!) As some of you may know, I am pretty vigilant about germs anyway; however, Dr. Macpherson said she gives me permission to "obsess" about keeping her well. Our hope and prayer is that surgery will be scheduled sooner rather that later because it is going to be stressful trying to keep her away from germs. This is made more difficult by the fact that she is in a new country and is being exposed to a whole new set of "bugs" as Dr. Williams said.

Thankfully, Lilly is still a happy baby. She sleeps well during nap time and at night although she is an early riser. Her appetite is great (being on oral steroids helps!), but so far she hasn't gained much weight. She weighs 17 pounds, 10 ounces. She can wear 6-9 month clothing and is 19 months old. Even though she is tiny, she is developing new skills all the time. She can already push herself up to a sitting position and is working on crawling. "Baby Net", SC's Early Intervention Program, will be coming to assess her on Wednesday for any delays she may have. If delays are found, they will provide services in our home at no charge to us.

Thank you again for your prayers and support. Dr. Williams asked me yesterday if I would do this over again knowing what I know now. I was a little shocked at the question, but then I quickly responded, "YES!". If I could have chosen our path, of course I would have chosen for her VSD to be small and not require surgery which is the case for most babies and children with this heart defect. However, this is the path that God has chosen for Lilly and for us so we will do our best to glorify Him through it!