Thursday, November 13, 2008

~ Our Lucy ~


~Lucy's Story~

When we first saw Lucy's picture, we fell in love. If we had not seen her little face first, I don't know if we would have dug a little deeper when it came to her medical report. She was listed as having an Arachnoid Cyst and Left side Hemiplegia.

I had heard about the University of Minnesota's International Adoption Clinic, and that you could email over a child's medical report, they would review the information and a Doctor would call you with their analysis. This is such a wonderful program, and they work on donation if money is tight during this adoption journey, you pay what you are able.

We were told an Arachnoid Cyst is a fluid filled cyst in the brain. Sometimes children have them but they go undetected until a child falls and bumps their head and a MRI is done. Many children live with these type of cysts without any difficulties, but sometimes they grow and can cause pressure on the brain which can cause problems. If necessary, they can be shunted and drained. We learned from the Doctor that these cysts cannot be seen with a CT scan, and that was the only test that had been done on Lucy, so it was hard to know for sure if this diagnosis was correct.

Left side Hemiplegia, is a weakness on the left ( or right) side of the body. We were told Arachnoid Cysts do not cause Hemiplegia, so we knew this could possibly be caused by something else. From joining the Yahoo group for families whose children are from Lucy's SWI we were able to get some insight from a woman who had visited that summer and played with Lucy. She shared with us Lucy could walk, run, climb stairs. She used a Magn*doodle with her right hand, and appeared to keep up well with children her age.

We were also told based on facts alone, there was a high likely hood of cognitive delays, and even higher risk of learning disabilities and behavior problems. They said there appeared to be some delays and whether or not they are from brain injury or institutional care was hard to determine without a meeting her and a MRI. Obviously these Dr's are just going by what they have on paper, and are giving their best assessment based on that. We knew this, and had to make a decision knowing that these issues could be present with Lucy or not.

We sat on Lucy's file for over a week while we researched, prayed, and discussed the "what ifs"...What if the cyst is something much more serious?, What if she continually got weaker and couldn't walk? What if she had serious cognitive issues? But in the end it came down to , Why not us? Why should we not be this little girl's family? Why should we not be the one's to deal with this type of medical condition? I have to admit I had to ask myself a few questions about my dreams of having a little girl too. What if she could never do ballet? What if she could never play the piano? Questions about all the things I had dreamed of my little girl doing, and what I learned was "my" little girl will do many wonderful things. They might not be the things I had dreamed of for her, but they are the dreams God had planned for her.

And so, we became her forever family.

Last Friday Lucy had her first MRI here in the US to get a diagnosis. We found out from the Neurologist Lucy does not have an Arachnoid cyst, but a porencephalic cyst. A portion of the right side of her brain that controls motor development on the left side of her body never developed...basically a birth defect. Her brain continued to develop around this spot, making the only issue her left side. This is GREAT news for the fact that she does not have a cyst that could grow or cause pressure on her brain. There is nothing to do to correct this abnormality, no follow up MRI's etc. It was most likely caused by restricted blood flow at some point in infancy either in utero, or as a newborn. Lucy surprised the Dr by how much she actually tries to use her left hand. She is definitely right handed and her left arm is her helper. After observing her, the Dr said he would never put a cap on what she might be able to do in the future because she obviously is beyond where he thought she would be. So she will begin PT and OT to help increase her strength on the left side and learn to possibly use her left hand a little more. As for cognitive problems, behavior issues and learning disabilities...there are none.

Lucy is beyond anything we could have ever hoped or prayed for. As we sat in the Neurologist's office listening to this diagnosis, I felt such Praise. Thank you Lord for giving us the Faith to listen to your voice and step out of ourselves...We have been greatly blessed.

I share this story because I asked for prayers and you all prayed! Thank you so much. I also wanted to share so that anyone considering SN/Waiting Child adoption would be a little more familiar with a couple more medical conditions...should they come up.


  1. I am so happy for you Dawn.....this is really great news! Although scary at times, it pays to follow your heart and take a leap of faith.....and I am so glad that you did because Lucy is such a precious little girl that fits so perfectly into your family!

    The power of prayer is simply AMAZING!

    I hope you all enjoy a wonderful weekend!


  2. What AMAZING news. I have prayed for your family and have continued to follow along on your journey. Lucy is just precious, how blessed you are blessed she is that you didn't give up on her.

    God is good and continues to show this everyday.

  3. Smiling a BIG smile over here for your family and Lucy :) This is wonderful news and I'm so glad you posted about it. I pray that others will read Lucy's story and Mia's story (and so many others) and realized that children with SN have a need like all others, to be loved and to be a part of a family ~

  4. So happy to hear the news about your sweet beautiful Lucy! She's an incredible little girl and I'm sure you all feel so blessed to have her in your family. There is a great power in prayer. Take care.


  5. Oh Dawn! I am SOOO happy for you all. As you know we could have typed Lucy's story word for word! I'm so relieved that our girls do not have to worry about brain surgery and shunts. PTL Our God is an awesome God. I'm praising Him and so happy we followed our hearts! :)

  6. How wonderful!!!!!!!!!! I am SOOOOO HAPPY for all of you!! What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing!!!!Lucy was meant to be your daughter that is all there is to it!!:)
    Do you mind me asking what agency you used?

  7. Thanks for sharing your story! What great news! I am so happy for you.

  8. Thank you for sharing this personal information - your diligent research, prayers, and faith will inspire many others. So happy that the testing and appointments went so well. It was definitely God's will that Lucy is your daughter. She is so precious. Blessings, Wendy

  9. Dawn, Thank you for sharing your story. Just tonight, Greg and I were talking about all of our what if's we had before we met Cate. It is truly a step of faith. We feel so blessed. I am so happy for you. Love, Kim

  10. Dawn, thank you for sharing about Lucy's SN. She is truly a treasure from our Heavenly Father...what a gift to your family. Your stepping out in faith is and will be an encouragement to others. We just received our LOA yesterday and are on cloud 9. Blessings to you and have a wonderful holiday season with your little girl!

  11. Hey Dawn~
    This was such a joy to read and what an amazing story of faith! Lucy is truly a joy....I can only imagine how much more so in person. :)
    I'm so glad to know her diagnosis is a good one and hopeful and that she is far exceeding the Doctor's expectations!! She is a little miracle.
    Love her double-handbag look! hehe

  12. I remember our brief chat about PT and/or OT the day I stopped by. From watching Lucy that day, I fully believe that with the therapy she will gain so much more strength and use of her left limbs.

  13. Lucy is such a blessing to us and to everyone she meets. I wish all of you could spend just 5 minutes with this little girl she is incredible.She is not only so smart she is beautiful, gentle,loving, and very very smart.I often ask how this little person could change our lives so much, when you are with Lucy you forget any and everything else in the world. Her personality makes you think of nothing but her. We are blessed, God has been so good to us by choosing Lucy for this family.
    Not to mention what a great Job Dawn and Toby and the boys are doing with her.
    We love you precious Lucy
    Grammy and PaPa

  14. HEY! Just checking in on you.
    Thank you so much for sharing her story! I think it's important that people adopting know about SN adoptions! Alot of times, people are really scared (which is a normal feeling) to chance it.
    I know what you mean about SN adoption. We knew God was calling us to SN, but we had a strong "Faith" (which is our baby boo's name) in the fact that He would not give us anything that we could not handle. She had her corrective surgery in China, & she has done Great! It is just a God sent! She is a perfect fit & so is Little Miss Lucy!! She is soo the Momma's little Princess! I can tell that you two have a ball!
    Blessings to you & sweet Lucy!

  15. I am so glad to see this post. I have been praying for Lucy. And thank you for posting this and for posting how you were challenged with your adoption decision. It is so hard and it helps me personally to know that you took a leap of faith.
    Lucy is absolutely beautiful and amazing.

  16. I am moved to tears by your story. It is so joyful... & even if the outcome had been the worst scenario presented to you, I know that you would be so happy to have your daughter. I am really happy that Lucy does not have to suffer through surgery, and that she can look forward to the life with your family that God intended for her to have. You are all just such a special family. Lucy makes me smile!

  17. Dawn, thank you for sharing about Lucy's SN. I read your post through tears. I love your atttitude of "why not us". I'm so thrilled that Lucy doesn't have anything serious. I hope your willingness to share will help someone else consider a child with special needs.

    Lucy is just beautiful!


  18. Great news! As you know, we also struggled with Maggie's referral, but were blessed as you have been by asking "why not us?" I pray that others who are on the fence about SN adoption will read this and be encouraged to step forward.

  19. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Lucy was meant to be your daughter. The fact that you chose her, having her medical information in front of you -- with all of the unknowns and all of the "what ifs" scrambling around in your brains...despite it all, you chose her. There is a reason for that, and there is a reason that her tests came back so positively. God, her Creator and Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he put her file in your path.

    What an amazing answer to prayer...what joyous news!

    Thank you so much for sharing this. You have helped MANY people with this post. You have also helped MANY children still waiting for their families with this post. God bless you all, and He will continue to strengthen your sweet Lucy. God is GREAT!

  20. I have goosebumps Dawn. I love that you took a leap of faith and never looked back. When God whispered, you listened. I am so thankful for Lucy's great news, that is a miracle. I truly believe that your love for her will help her succeed at all of the goals the doctors have set for her. Love can move mountains. She sure is precious, how could you not have fallen in love with that face. I did the first time I saw her too! What a great testament she is to a SN adoption. Bless you!

  21. I love this miracle story and hearing about your faith. Thank you so much for sharing this!! I pray it speaks to someone who is just in that place to hear it. God Bless you all!!

  22. So glad to hear the great news! You are so blessed to have Lucy for your daughter. She is just adorable!

  23. Little Lucy is so 'big hearted' that I think that regardless of what 'SN' she was born with... she will over come it and be fine... of course with some help but she is a tough little cookie and a smile to boot...

  24. Dawn~ Thank you so much for sharing this amazing story. My eyes watered and I got chills after reading Lucy's story. Lucy is truly a miracle and gift from God.

  25. I am a bloggy slacker - my time on the computer is limited these days, so I am just catching up. This post made me cry and laugh all at the same time.

    God is so good! What a blessing! I think the beauty of it all is that Lucy was perfect no matter what the neurologist told you and your heart knew that and trusted it. Dawn, thank you so much for sharing this. You have no idea the far reaches it will impact.

    Lucy brightens any and every day, she is a treasure, a gift. Thank you for sharing this precious child with us.


  26. Dawn,

    I am filled with tears and joy as I read this post. I wish I had known all of this sooner. I could have been a good listener for you.... Will had a growth in his skull and had hemipelgia as a baby. he did not use his right side I believe and his face even drooped and looked a but crooked. I posted about his surgery and PT and OT briefly last Christmas. I am so glad that God called you to be beautiful Lucy's forever family. I am so glad that the medical news was so positive!!!

    May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!!!


  27. Thank you for sharing your story. Your Lucy is precious! My husband and I are actually in the middle of deciding whether or not to switch to Special Needs (we meet with our Social Worker on Dec. 11th). I can tell you that you (and Lucy) have made our decision easier.
    Thank you,

    Gin =)

  28. Dawn~

    Thank you so much for sharing Lucy's story. It brought me to tears! God is so good. His plan is always the perfect plan and often is even better than we could have ever imagined! Lucy is truly a precious gift from Him. I always love to visit your blog and see the pictures of Lucy smiling that gorgeous smile of hers. Thank you for sharing your family through your blog!

  29. Thank you for sharing such information. I too advocate for SN's adoption. There are many great International adoption teams out there that can help interpret medical reports.

    I too will pray that Lucy continues to make great strides. She's such a sweetie, obviously loved by her family and so many! You are truly blessed.

    Thank you for sharing your story, inspiration to so many other families.



  30. This is am amazing story...and since we are waiting for a SN child.....this just brought me to tears....thank you so much sharing....your love and faith is so evident....I can clearly see that you are having the time of your life with your sweet little girl! ;)
    Holiday Hugs,