As I’ve said before, I slept through the part of Anatomy and Physiology that prepared me to care for our Dolly.  Whoops.  God has a sense of humor y’all.  He gave me a daughter with a defect in the one area that, as a nurse, I felt TOTALLY unprepared to deal with.

I’m prepared now.

Some parents aren’t.  Some parents are living the crash course as we speak.  Some won’t know how to be their child’s advocate.  I could go on for hours about why being the voice for your child is so important.  But, I won’t.  You get it.

Dolly will roll into surgery on 2/5, on her birthday, and three months from when she became ours.  God wink, in a major way.  We will be in the hospital for “a minimum of 10 days”.  We’ll be there during Congenital Heart Disease Awareness week (February 7-14, 2013).  Dolly seems to like to do things on days that have special meaning.  She was adopted on Orphan Sunday and became a U.S. Citizen on National Adoption Day.  Dolly does things in a BIG way.  This surgery will be big.  We’re battening the hatches, digging our heals in and getting ready to rock that Cardiac ICU.  You’ll get to rock it right along with us!

There are other kids out there who do it in just as big of a way, with just as big of a risk.  It’s time to get out your ribbons and throw some love to the babies born every single day with broken hearts, and to the ones who wait with no mama or daddy to advocate for them.

As I blog Dolly’s recovery, I will also be blogging about why awareness for the parents who are walking this road, as well as for the kids who wait is SO important.  I’m blogging about being the voice for the parents who DON’T have favors they can call in from the top hospitals in the country, who don’t have pediatricians and cardiologists who are amazing.  It’s time for me to be their voice, to encourage them to look for answers.  To let people know that there is so much hope in the tiny pictures of the kids all around the world who wait in dying rooms.

I’m also aware that Dolly will be pretty rough looking after her surgery.  When I was 20 years old, I spent my birthday in the hospital having surgery after surgery to fix something that some people weren’t sure could be fixed.  I spent almost 90 days inpatient. I nearly died when someone asked if they could take my picture with all those tubes hanging out of me.  I would have died a little more had that person then posted them to the internet.

While I might document Dolly’s bravery, I also need to respect her privacy.  This blog gets hundreds, sometimes into the thousands, of hits per day.  I’m proud of that, but it also scares me a little.  I won’t be posting full on pics of our Dolly immediately following the surgery.  It’s just my way.  I’m posting to an audience that I don’t know, who are generally very supportive, but I moderate, and post, about 10% of the comments I receive, because sometimes, people are a little weird.  If I don’t know the person in real life (like I know you actually exist), I don’t post their comment.  We like our privacy around these parts.  I’m sorry for anyone’s comment that gets lost in the shuffle.  I love you, and I love your prayers for us.  Thank you.

For those mamas and dads out there who want to know the real scoop, of what to expect, or if you have questions as we roll along, feel free to email me (my email addy is up there in the corner).  I’m happy to help.  Dolly needs time to recover in private though.  So, during that time, you’ll have to visualize it through my excellent skills with imagery (throwing some love to ninth grade english with that concept) or make due with some significantly cropped pics.

who is imagining thousands of ways to decorate Dolly’s wagon.  Like I said, we’re going to rock that CICU.  

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