squeaking by {post-op post}

we're squeaking by today. day one home after surgery is never easy, but my girl is doing surprisingly well. she's not happy and is agitated a lot, but she is still determined to play and be up to her usual antics. she's dying to jump on the couch...it seems her main goal today is to catch one of us not looking and work her way up there. unknown to her, she has no strength in her legs from being in bed for 2 days and not eating...those little twigs aren't really working like usual. she already face planted into a toy piano this morning. i nearly had a heart attack...and so did she. 

the best part of this surgery?? she allowed us to comfort her...the whole time. she rarely flailed backwards or thrashed at us like the last time. even in extreme pain, she constantly wanted us close to her...holding her, patting her, holding hands or within eyesight of her crib while she was asleep. there is nothing so precious as holding your child when they are in pain and knowing God is allowing you to be a part of their journey. it's a beautiful thing.

i'm not going to post any new photos of her for a few days. she is so swollen and her nose is really starting to bruise today. but her lip looks so seamless...you can't even tell where it was closed! it's really quite amazing.

dr. taylor is one of the sweetest doctors i've ever met. he was the first person to tell me i needed to cherish emery's cleft because i would be sad when it was gone...i knew when he said that, he was the right doctor for us. he didn't want to repair her cleft to make her beautiful...his goal was to make the repair excellent because that's his job...the beauty was already there to begin with.

clint put em in the bath for a long time this morning to see if we can relieve the buildup in the nose stints...those things are no joke. the doc wants us to keep them in for 7 weeks...or at least that's the goal. he said most people don't make it past 3. now i know why. i have a feeling we will throw a giant party the day they come out.

when we picked up the boys last night on our way home from the hospital, it was a beautiful sight to see how compassionate and worried they were for their sister. they literally didn't take their eyes off of her and wanted to know everything about her surgery. foster especially was very concerned and has been carefully looking out for her all day. he keeps asking me how long it will take for her new lip it blesses my heart to see how much these kids love each other. there is something so incredible about watching your kids care for one another...like all is right in the world.

since clint is home this week, the boys are doing lots of boy things...

and i am so very grateful to clint's boss for allowing him a whole week off...it makes a huge difference to always have one of us available to monitor the couch climber :)

(our dolls wear no-no's too :)

we have been so blessed to have so many people praying for emery this week. we are hopeful that good days are ahead soon.



there are discharge papers floating around somewhere at the nurses station...we are in a sleepy holding pattern as we await the go ahead.

these two have been snuggling for the past hour...i don't think i've ever seen anything cuter :)

today is a new day. a difficult, challenging and yet hopeful new day.


surgery day...wow I'm glad it's over!

emery is finally asleep after quite a long day. we have marveled at how well she is coping...our little warrior girl. though she's in pain and she's had some inconsolable moments, she's been able to rest quite a bit. we are praising God for His care of this amazing girl.

emery looks totally different, and yet the same. i can't even describe how surreal it is to see her beautiful new mouth and nose. it's lovely to finally catch a glimpse of her new digs...her lips are teeny tiny and delicate now but also plump like mini angelina jolie's :)
i've cried several times this afternoon at the thought of never seeing her lusciously glorious cleft smile again. nothing in my life has ever been more treasured. i'm sobbing as i write about it.

one things for sure, this lip and nose surgery is like eating a piece of candy compared to her palate repair. she has 4 layers of stitches inside her lips, dozens circling the inside of her nose, and tube stints sewn in her nose to help keep its shape. she's on a constant supply of morphine and oxy. she's in pain even through the meds, and yet she has found a way to rest. it was a much different experience last time. i have trouble even thinking about how painful it was for her...but this time around I'm seeing firsthand how much stronger she is because of it.
what an amazing girl :)

resting again


pics and updates:

click here for our instagram feed...

we had lots of snuggle time with emery this morning before surgery. she was upset on and off because she was hungry, but overall, it was a great morning just the three of us. she was most upset about having name anklets put on...girl loves to have her feet free and blowing in the wind...and does NOT like anyone messing with them :)

i just kept looking at her, trying to soak in my last moments with her before such a big change. i'm so excited for her new beginning and to see my same old emery shining through her brand new lip and nose.

hoping to hear from the surgeon soon, and she should be out of surgery by 1pm.

thank you for praying!!

emery's been in surgery for about an hour....sweet girl was very relaxed and happy this morning. this kiddo is amazing :)


emery's surgery day!! {box-o-love}

i'm so anxious and excited to see emery's new little lip!! tomorrow is a big day!!

we meet at CHOP at 8:45am for pre-op...hip-hip-hooray for an early surgery time!!
if you would like to get updates on emery's surgery, feel free to checkout our live instagram photo feed (username: angiedweldon). i'll be updating via instagram (and short updates on the blog when possible)

i wrote a few weeks back about my tigress. since then, i've seen the tigress appear less and less. it's refreshing to see emery come into her own and be able to communicate in less hilariously revengeful ways.
but tomorrow, i know i'll see the tigress again. i know it will be a hard day. i'm holding on to the Hope i have that God can provide rest for emery, even when she feels the pressure to revert back to old ways.

isaiah 40:29 says: "He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to the weak." 
matthew 11:28 "are you tired? worn out?...come to me. get away with me and you'll recover your life. i'll show you how to take a real rest."

** please lift emery up in prayer. she is still congested and we meet with anesthesiology when we arrive to determine if they will approve surgery - we expect they will approve her because she doesn't have a fever or any other symptoms
** pray for dr. taylor, the nurses and anesthesiologist to be well rested and focused
** no complications and a QUICK hospital stay so we can recover at home
** and pray for emery's sweet little tender heart...pray she will allow us to comfort her and be present in her pain.

packed with our hospital bag, is a precious reminder.
we came home yesterday and found a box outside our door. when i opened it, i immediately started sobbing. when we were in the adoption process, i cried at the drop of a hat. everything made me think of china. of emery. if i only had a quarter for the number of times i sputtered tear duct showers at the sight of a mom with 2 boys and a girl. or a cute dress at target. or when anyone said anything remotely related to adoption...forget it. sobaholic.
and now, everything still makes me cry...as if this entire life changing event has softened my already sappy heart into mush.
i dripped teardrops as i read each sweet note and gingerly held each item. as if i was given a box of gold.  this dear friend has quickly become one of the people i will always remember and hold dear in my heart. i treasure the ways she has loved our family...and my sweet emery. this person {who will remain nameless because i know she didn't send lovelies for recognition} encouraged me so deeply...in a way that can only be seen as a gift from God. truly the most perfect of all timing.

i think i smiled for at least an hour. in fact, every time i look over at the little pile of goodies i smile.

(a surgery day craft for the boys :)
(fabric: quite possibly the perfect gift, in my opinion)

i say all this because often i get caught up in my own little world. yes, i see other people going through stuff...but hey, i've got my own stuff i'm going through. (insert selfish justification here). i might send a text or give a hug in person...but how often do i take time to really think about what would encourage a friend? what would be meaningful for a friend who's child is having surgery? lost a job? a loved one? is having a crappy week? moved into a new home? brought their baby home from across the world? or for no particular reason at all?
how often do i take time out of "my time" to be purposeful for someone else?

a little love goes a long way.

thank you dear friend for giving so much more to me than a box of goodies.
when i hang that banner on em's hospital crib tomorrow, i'm going to smile from ear to ear...and think of you :)


my quest...

my quest for asian dolls has led me down a slippery slope this evening.
any activity involving a sharpe or a glue gun usually has me making a mess of some sort.
tonight proved that a little determination (and scissors as a back up plan) can create a style more suited to our family. (thanks to maria for the sharpe suggestion!)

from my time living in china a few years ago, i met many a beautiful chinese girl who longs for blonde hair. it is a sad truth that there are blonde-clad advertisements everywhere in china. it makes me sad to think young girls (of any culture) should be persuaded to look or act differently than who they are. it's deeper than hair color. like really deep...much more than i understand or have the ability to write. especially as one could argue i am doing the exact same thing tonight, just in the opposite direction. i'm not immune and have often felt inadequate when i compare myself to my very talented and beautiful friends. but that's a story for another day :)

i know one thing's for sure...we're going asian around here...and getting creative.

you see, if you are in the market, you will find there is a strange shortage of dolls of the asian persuasion.
i have found a few (which i adore) and now, tonight, i found one more.

when this little lady came to my salon tonight, we talked about a minor root touch up :) but then decided no guts no glory. i think she loves the finished product...

after i discovered sharpe marker dye is also akin to a mohawk styling product, this gal got a shampoo, wash and dry as well.

the transformation is quite lovely.

she joins a family of 3.

"flora" found here (my all time favorite)
"cailin" found here (thanks mom!! she's lapped the house in the stroller at least 47 times today :)
this is the only site i've found dedicated to reasonably priced diverse dolls

dodging helicopters

we bought these helicopters when we were in china with emery.
the first thing we said as we handed the vendor our 100 yuan ($16):  "it will be a miracle if these actually work!"

we opened the box this morning and found the instructions:

clint and i laughed. we warned the boys they might end up on a shelf, and not in the air.

after some finagling, much to everyone's surprise, they actually fly. in fact, they are crazy incredible.

for the past few hours...we've been doing this:

mixed with this...

 (any word on whether or not hair dye works on dolls? i'm scheming to make this little lady asian :)

 (i was stoked to find all of our toys at a consignment sale this fall. my goal is to never buy anything new again.)

ok, time to dodge helicopters and make dinner. so much more to say, but for another time.

** if you think of it, please pray for em...she woke up with a snotty nose yesterday and coughed all night. with her surgery in 2 days, little gal needs to be in tip-top shape. please join me in praying the cold will pass so her surgery won't be delayed.


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