A lot has happened in the last 2 months since our last post. On October 16th, 2 days after returning from our second Russia trip, I had a stroke (hemorrhagic stroke in the pons area of my brain…to be exact). (Barry is typing this) I woke up around 12:15 am and my head was spinning and the right side of my body was tingling and going numb. Then I got violently sick all of a sudden. I got Barry to call 911 and he got me to the bathroom. The paramedics got there quickly, but I wasn’t able to talk by the time they got there. Fortunately we were at home in our bed when it happened and we live across the street from a hospital, so it wasn’t but just a few minutes later that I was in the ER. It was terrifying for both Barry and I (even though I was not responsive, I could hear everything that was going on, and could hear the doctor talking to Barry about if we had a living will or power of attorney).
I stayed in the SICU for 3 days and then a regular room for 5 more days before being transferred to Healthsouth rehab hospital for the next month. I am still in a wheelchair. My vision is still double and jumpy. I can’t hear much in my right ear, and even though I can move my right arm and leg there is no feeling in the right side of my body. The neurosurgeon in Birmingham said that it was what is called a cavernous malformation that bled, and that there is nothing I did to cause it or anything I could have done to prevent it, and unfortunately nothing can be done to prevent it from happening again, except to pray that it doesn’t. He said sometimes they don’t bleed again for years or decades, and sometimes never, but that he couldn’t guarantee that it wouldn’t happen again sometime soon. Not the news we wanted to hear, because the original suspicion was something that you can take proactive measures for.
Meanwhile, Barry and my parents left for Russia to pick up Elijah on November 13th. (I’ll post later on 3rd trip specifics). It was beyond crushing to not be able to go, especially because we knew on October 16th that I would not be able to, and I had a month to think about it. Not to mention the worry we both had that our third trip might be put in jeopardy because of the situation. So I’ll leave you with a few pictures of Elijah…
Here he is in one of the pictures they sent us when we got the referral.
Here he is on our first trip in May, when we met him for the first time at the orphanage.
This is from our second trip (after court) in October, playing outside at the orphanage, right before we saw the rainbow.
This one is from trip 3, after the 30 day waiting period. He had just gotten his new Russian passport. Doesn’t he look so proud of it?
And here he is now, back home in Dothan at the park!
Sorry it took so long to make a new post. I’m sure you have heard the recent news regarding the ban on US adoptions in Russia. Please keep the orphans and all the families affected by this new law, especially those who are currently in the process of adopting, in your prayers.