Surgery Tomorrow

We have been getting all ready to leave bright and early Monday morning for Evangeline’s surgery. She is first on the list.

She had to have a hot soapy bath, be all washed down with antibacterial wipes and be put to bed in freshly washed pajamas and linens.


We braided her hair so it would be out of the way during surgery and for the first days in the PICU.


She is peaceful and relaxed.

Earlier this week she asked me if I thought the surgery would work. I asked her what she was hoping the surgery would do for her, and she said, “Make me grow?”

She wants so desperately to grow taller. She was four feet even when we got her, and is four feet one inch now, so she has grown, but we don’t expect her to grow much. She is just a very tiny girl.

I explained that this surgery wasn’t going to fix anything. It will just prevent her from being further damaged in adulthood and allow Dr. Campbell to place the VEPTR this summer.

She is so accepting and happy, and literally giddy with joy at finally being with her family.

She just overflows with story after story of her life before us. Daily I am moved to tears over the memories.

Yet the resiliency of the human soul shines through her, bright and hopeful in spite of it all.

She is pure joy.

And sweet Eliza didn’t leave my side today. She has been dreading this surgery with everything she has inside of her. She has fallen in love with me and wishes with all of her heart I didn’t have to go.

Tonight she talked about Her life in China too.

She told me every night in her bed in China she cried for her mommy and daddy.

In her simple English, she said, “Mommy, no good with no mommy. Not good kids no mommy daddy.”

No, sweet girl. It sure isn’t.

The deprivation that these children experience in orphanage life is beyond comprehension in our typical American lives. There is just so much they miss. It’s unthinkable.

Tonight Eliza took her very first bath ever. She always took showers in China in a room with at least fifteen other children. She was never alone. She has been here for six months, and just tonight she was finally brave enough to try a bath.

She loved it!

No matter what I said to her, she couldn’t get beyond the idea that I was leaving. Finally, I taught her a little song to sing when she feels sad and misses me.

It’s just a simple song, but it seemed to give her peace. She sang it the rest of the evening.

My mommy comes back.
She always comes back.
She never would forget me.

My mommy comes back.
My mommy comes back.
She always comes back to get me.

She wanted me to take her picture with Cappuccino tonight and sing that song to her as she drifted off to sleep.


In giving my life to these precious, extremely needy little girls, I have found my life in a way I never had before.

Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:39

They have come with big burdens and heavy crosses.

And carrying their crosses has been demanding and exhausting and incredibly fulfilling all wrapped up in a very special blessing.

Tonight as I prepare to leave my kids again and camp out at the hospital with Evangeline one more time, I am overwhelmingly aware that God has blessed us beyond anything we could have imagined or hoped for.

Even this surgery is a blessing.

And we would have missed out on it all if we hadn’t stepped out in faith.

Oh friend, run into your Father’s will for your life.

There is no greater joy.


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  1. Claudia Huisman says:

    I don’t have much to say this time other than to wish you good luck with Evangeline’s surgery. I’ll be thinking of you, wishing that all goes well… Take care of yourself too,
    warm regards,

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