Thursday, May 8, 2014

At the Hospital

Nicholas and I are at the hospital today.  He just had his ABG surgery: bone marrow graft from his hip to his palate.  We have been anticipating this surgery for years.  It is kind of a big deal, as it involves a night in the hospital and a few weeks recovery.

Nicholas was not too nervous.  He was actually just very happy that he does not need his palate expander any more.  And, he was also looking forward to a night alone with me.  

The surgery went really well.  The surgeons said it could not have gone better.  And, in true Nicholas form, he was strong and calm in the recovery room, even though he was in pain. He was trying to fight back tears although I tried to reassure him that crying is okay.

We are now in our room, watching The Great Muppet Caper.  It is kind of nice to spend some alone time with him, even though it is in a hospital.  And I miss the rest of the family.

I really don't mind this part of parenting.  I know many who don't want to consider "special needs" adoption because they don't like hospitals and are anxious about needles, blood, etc.  For whatever reason, it doesn't bother me.  Of course, I would rather my kids not have to deal with pain and discomfort, but I don't mind being here and taking care of the post- op stuff. I see it as one of the many God- given resources I have available to make a small difference.  It's something I had put on my "pro" list when we were considering more adoptions.

Of course, not only my adopted kiddos end up in the hospital. Peter was in the hospital for 3 nights 2 summers ago with an appendicitis.  And while I hated seeing him in pain, too, I appreciated the opportunity to spend time with him and show him love and attention.  I remember how much the meant to me when my mom showed me that care as a child. 

I think of Elijah and how he had surgery on his foot without me there.  Actually, he was not with any adult he really knew.  He went through it on his own, and that is just so sad.  He has learned to do hard things on his own and he is only 7.  Nick, also, had surgeries without a parent when he was a baby.  We might downplay the importance of sitting by our child's bed, getting him or her drinks of water, or helping them to the bathroom, but it is so important mostly in the messages our kids get: you are not alone.  Someone is taking care of you.  Someone loves you.

I don't say any of this to point out how great I am, but to point out how great parents are.  How fundamental just the basic meeting of needs is.  I hear and read often that people think they can't adopt.  Maybe it's money they lack, or bedrooms, or time.  But, I wonder how much would change if they instead considered what resources they do have:  access to healthcare, an ability to take time off from work for their kids' medical procedures, or maybe just friends who can babysit their other kids while they go to a child's physical therapy.  In general, we all have so much we take for granted and it is these things that kids truly need.

Ok, off my soapbox.  Back to the Muppets.


  1. I agree with you that there is something very special about being able to comfort and nurture our children when they are in the hospital. They are so vulnerable, that they have to let us close in ways they usually don't when they are well and at home. I hope his recovery continues to go well. Happy Mother's Day!

  2. Nicholas is a very brave little boy, and you are a wonderful mother.

  3. I agree with this! Not just hospital stays, but even doctor's appointments become special one on one or one on two time in a large family.