Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Ten years.

Sunday we drove to Seattle to stay with my cousins before a day at Seattle Children's for Azlan and Zihao.

It's a good thing we did! We woke Monday morning to see many many inches of snow. It was stunning and well...Seattle was all but shut down for the day :) We left the older kids with our cousins since school was cancelled and we headed into the city.

Orthodontia, Pulmonary, Audiology, Cranio Facial, Speech, Plastic Surgery you name it. We were running or waiting non stop.

Azlan will start his first phase of braces in May.  This is in prep for his big distraction surgery on his jaw once his 12 year molars come in.  You can google halo distraction to see what he will have done but it's major. He will have the halo on for 10 weeks or so and when the doctors at Seattle Children's say "I'm SO thankful you homeschool him" you know it's a big deal.

Zihao's audiology report finally came back what we believe to be accurate. I've always felt he would just raise his hand b/c it was fun in that test. So this time I talked to him about how he really struggles to hear and he is to only raise his hand if he hears the sound in his ear. Both ears came back with moderate hearing loss. Honestly...so thankful. He needs help with hearing. So we have an appt with ENT for CT scan and then hopefully hearing aides.

As I wrote the date many times on every document I had to sign yesterday...I stopped in my tracks. Wait... was it really 2/6...?

The plastic surgeon came in. I asked him if he knew what today was. He said "2/6" I said yes...any significance? He quickly pulled up Azlan's history.  He lit up. "Azlan...today...do you know what today is?"

2/6 is the day Dr. Birgfield met Azlan. And met me. He was a resident doctor.  I was a mom with my heart beat being taken from me, wrapped in a warm blanket and whisked down the hall sedated.  I sobbed. Five month old Azlan's eyes seemed somewhat locked with mine.

2/6 was the day I said good bye to the most precious, beautiful, flawless face I had ever seen. Something so perfect in all of it's imperfection.  A face that melted me at the worst moment. A face I mourned ever saying good bye to.

2/6 was a day I dreaded since the moment I met him. I never ever looked forward to his cleft lip being repaired.  I sobbed my way through that day.

I will never...ever...ever...ever forget that day.

That day they whisked him down the hall in his crib and I can still see the sign on his bed that said "Walker, Azlan" and I kept screaming "No, no, no....! That's not my baby!!!" I couldn't see him. My legs were rubber. Dean was holding me. The nurse kept saying "he's there, Janice, he's there. You'll see". His face was swollen. His lip was whole. Complete.  And my heart was anything but.

The nurse put her arm around my shoulders as I wept. I was searching for him. I couldn't see him.  Why...why did they change him so much. Why was the world so unfair that he had to change?  Yes. Don't write me and tell me he wouldn't want to live his life with a wide open cleft. I know that. I know all the logical reasons but none of those mattered in that moment.

I had experienced a love like no other. A love that saw beyond. A love that saw perfection in the notable...imperfection.

I hope you get a chance in your life to love like that.

That love for Azlan is what started us down a road of adoption. Not because we needed. Not because we lacked. But because our love for Azlan opened our eyes and hearts to a world in need.

Oh my darling. I will never forget that day.


  1. I have noticed missing pictures from your home page. Does this have something to do with what you are going through?

  2. Janice, there is no denying your true love of your children, especially Azlan. I still remember you telling me this story the first time we met. I remember being in awe of how beautiful and loving your soul is! He is amazing and so are you and your entire family. Thank you for letting hear your stories! I truly adore you and eished I had an ounce of your faith, strength, perfect love, etc!! You inspire!