Yesterday was a day of huge significance for our family. About ten years ago we made the decision to answer the call laid out in James 1:27. Then in 2007 we started the process of adoption. I can not even begin to describe to you the feeling I got when the phone rang one afternoon in December of 2008 and the social worker on the other end of the line said that we had been chosen for a five month old boy. An appointment was made for us to come to social services and be presented with all of his information. After that appointment we prayed and sought the council of some trusted medical professionals and came back the next day to let them know that this was our son!
The morning of Friday, December 19, 2008 we met a social worker at the Department of Social Services and she took us to the far other side of the county to the foster home where our baby was living. As we pulled into the drive way the foster mom came out onto the porch holding a baby. My heart dropped when the case worker told us that the beautiful baby was ours! We went into the house, met the foster mom and her children, and held our son for the very first time. Monday, December 22nd our dream became a reality when that same social worker arrived at our house with that beautiful baby to officially bring him home!
A long three year process began to make him legally ours, but we knew the moment we saw him on December 19th that he was ours.
When we arrived at the hospital yesterday morning to see that Brinkley's ART line had been pulled we heard those beautiful words again. "Would you like to hold your baby?" I couldn't help but remember that sweet moment four years ago to the day when Reese was placed in my arms for the first time when I held Brinkley for the first time since his surgery (nearly two weeks ago). I must admit I was a little nervous with his chest tubes, but I was extra careful and gave him gentle cuddles that we had both missed so desperately.
Earlier in the year, a former student of ours and one of his friends had been arrested here in Charleston for attempting to climb the Ravenel Bridge (formerly the Cooper River Bridge). Facebook and Twitter were full of pleas and campaigns to Free Choco. We had jokingly started our own campaign to Free Brinkley. Free him from the PCICU. The nurses and doctors have been WONDERFUL in there, but we knew the sooner we moved out of ICU the sooner we go home.
Well, our efforts came to fruition yesterday afternoon. Around 3pm Brinkley was moved out of PCICU to 8D. (8D is the Pediatric Cardiac unit of the Children's Hospital.) We followed the team from PCICU to take him to his new room and then we promptly began decorating his room for Christmas. In our last visit with Dr Kavarana (the surgeon) yesterday he said that Brinkley's chest tubes would probably need to stay 4-5 more days. Yes, you did the math right. That means that our projected discharge date would be Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Realistically, we don't know how much longer we will be here. Dr Graham, the Cardiologist, said it best yesterday when he said, "Brinkley has made it clear that he is in charge." It is amazing how much a little 8lb 7oz baby can dictate.
It may be kind of nice to have a low key, stress free Christmas here in Charleston. The Bryant's have graciously given us their guest apartment so that we can spread out and enjoy the time with our boys. As is true for most families, holidays are hectic and quite honestly frustrating for us. We have so many places to be and everyone wants their share of our time. We never get to enjoy each other and what the holidays are really about for trying to get from one family member's house to the next. We are looking forward to celebrating with our families next weekend when things can be more relaxed and everyone can enjoy it a little more. Especially Brinkley with his new happy, healthy heart!