As a dear friend of mine put it, it was a year of God allowing really hard things, but putting things in place to overcome and not be destroyed.
Today is the one-year- anniversary of Abigail’s open heart surgery.
The memories and emotions flood back to me like it was yesterday. Her in my stretchy wrap carrier, tight against my chest. Me, swaying and bouncing her with the pacifier in her mouth, trying to convince her she wasn’t really that hungry (because she wasn’t allowed to eat since 10 am and it was now 4:30 pm and the surgery schedule was running late.)The surgery team approaching us to let us know it was her turn. We walked together to the doors of the theatre and then I had to place her in the their arms. I handed my baby girl to near strangers to cut her open. Before I even turned around I felt the hot tears swell in my eyes. All we could do now is wait. Pray and wait.
Minutes ticked into hours. I paced the outdoor corridors even though there was a cold misty rain. I tried to sleep. I tried to eat. I tried to act normal but it was impossible. Waiting, praying, waiting, praying. The head surgeon finally comes to find me. “Everything went perfect” he said. My eyes got hot with tears again. He said I had to wait a little longer to see her. I continued to pace and stay nearby, waiting and praying, for their call.
I remember approaching her bedside, 9:40 pm. She looked so tiny and helpless with all the tubes and wires coming out of her. She was still heavily sedated so I waited and prayed and waited and prayed. When she first opened her eyes and looked at me it was like I was meeting her for the first time all over again. My sweet baby girl, my Abigail Nainyori. Beloved one.
Today Abigail is strong. She is feisty. She is smart. She is learning more every day. She has a huge personality and the smile to match it. Her last check up was in February and she was in the 53rd percentile for weight! Up from the -1 percentile this time last year. She prefers to run instead of walking. She loves shoes, especially if they are new (to her). She speaks more Swahili than English, but has bits of Masai mixed in as well. She loves to blow kisses and give hugs. She is full of life and love and joy.