The Time Has Come

Angel Maddie

Five years ago, a tiny baby girl was placed in our care only to have us rush her down shortly thereafter to the hospital for open heart surgery– her second. It was an absolutely crazy time and a whirlwind of emotions. We knew then that her condition would require us to one day face another such challenge.

The time has come. Maddie’s cardiology team feels that she is finally ready for the Fontan, or the last surgery to complete the rerouting of her circulatory process. Surgery date is April 3, 2014.

This is, as you can imagine, huge for our family, both for good and bad. Good in the sense that, if successful, she will finally reach oxygen saturation levels that are more normal. She’ll be able to run and play with more strength and energy. Bad, however, because the surgery is high risk. Her complexities make this procedure delicate. And even if all does go well, the recovery is long. Putting life on hold for up to 6 weeks is hard on a family, not to mention how hard it will be on a little five-year-old healing from the pain of open-heart surgery.

My friend Shannon gave this box to Maddie as soon as she learned what was to come.

Brave girl

Brave Girl. Without a doubt.

The options for Maddie’s conditions (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return, Dextrocardia, and Asplenia) are limited: have the surgery, despite the risk so that she has a chance of thriving, or don’t have the surgery and watch as her quality of life declines. We had to give her a fighting chance.

There are so many unknowns, so many dark directions our thoughts can go. Answers to prayer helped us decide that this was the best choice for her. Sometimes that knowledge is the only thing that keeps us going.

I have been unable to keep up regular blogging for the past year but I want to be able to keep family and friends informed about Maddie’s condition, and how we’re coping as a family, and all the blessings that we continue to see as we prepare for this event. Please check back frequently for updates.

Thank you for all of the well-wishes, prayers, and support that so many of you have already given us. We feel strengthened by your kindness.

We go forward in faith.

6 thoughts on “The Time Has Come”

  1. Never doubt your decisions and find strength in your faith. I believe God placed Maddie in your life because He knew you both would have the strength, support and conviction to give Miss Maddie the best life possible, all the while surrounding her with unconditional love, wonderful childhood experiences, and a family that would open their arms and hearts to her. Know that we love you all very much and are thinking about you every day.

  2. “The Blessings of Angels” … “Brave Girl” … “Go Forward in Faith” – Jeannie, my dear friend, you said it well! Keep holding on, and in those moments and hours where you feel you can’t, remember the Lord will carry you!

    The picture in this post is still one of my absolute favorite. That vivacious smile is priceless!


  3. Jeannie, I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to know you and your beautiful family. You have been a great example of giving, loving and Christ Light person to me, and it reflected as well in your home and kids. Maddie is a strong and brave little girl, she and her life story is a miracle for sure. I always love to look your family pictures at Facebook because I always find LOVE in each of your faces and smiles; I know that Maddie has that feeling in her heart and that was provably her blessings # 1, to find a family like you to provide, to care and to love her. My prayers are with you for tomorrow surgery and recovery time, I love how our Faith in our Heavenly Father give us the strength to take hard decision, because we trust Him and we know He knows what is best for each of us and He guide us for what is best. All my love and prayer are with Maddie, You and your Family. Love, Vivianne Smith

  4. May god’s angels surround you and your family and Maddie at this most challenging of times. We will pray for you daily my dear friend!

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