Four days and counting

We have now known Lola for 17 days. We have been home for 4 of those days. It’s hard to even find a place to start as I try to explain what our journey has been like thus far. Our four children are doing well together. That has probably been the smoothest part of the whole process. We are seeing compassion and love flowing freely between them. Charlotte has been especially understanding and patient, even in the hard moments. She loves her sister so much and wants to help her heart heal.

I have to admit, this is certainly not an easy road. I’m so very tired. But I love Lola so very much. We have this broken little person in our house and I feel like I have to fix her. And I can’t. I’m not that good. Nobody is really. Not even Karyn Purvis herself (attachment therapist goddess) can fix a child.

I’m putting my daughter in the hands of her creator. He will heal her heart. And Calvin and I will rely on His strength to parent and love her every second of the day. Yes. Right now, this is hard. But the right things are rarely the easy things.

We had our second appointment at Vanderbilt today. We met with a cornea specialist. Lola was not happy about going back. She cried most of the way there until she fell asleep. When I parked I snapped a picture of her and prayed that by some miracle I could get her into the building. I also asked others to pray. Elliott came to the appointment with us. Lola is always in a better mood when a sibling is around. He unhooked her carseat and handed her a stuffed animal. Lola was pretty happy when she woke up and held my hand and Elliott’s hand as we walked out of the parking garage. Then she realized where we were. I had to scoop her up and run in quickly before she got too upset. This worked pretty well and soon we were sitting in the waiting room and Elliott was doing English flashcards with her on the Ipad. Great distraction. I was still praying that we would make it through the appointment without a melt down.

We were finally called back, and once again Vanderbilt did not provide Lola with an interpreter. I have asked twice in advance and twice there has been no interpreter. Sure. Stick something in my kids eye without her understanding a word. Great. The nurse who started the assessment was super nice and Lola seemed to like her. After talking for a few minutes she excused herself and came back a few minutes later with a young Chinese doctor. He was a resident doctor doing a round in the “eye specialty” area. He spoke to me first, without a trace of accent and asked if he could speak with Lola. I agreed and he turned to her and began to speak some fantastic Mandarin. He didn’t just speak with her, he got on her level and held her hands. He told her why I was bringing her to the doctor all the time. He told her that we wanted to help her. Then he explained that they needed to numb her eyes and that they also needed to look into her eyes with a big machine. She smiled at him. Her body relaxed. She turned and gave me a kiss. I praised God. The young doctor stayed with us the entire time. When the cornea specialist came in he continued to let Lola know every detail.

I am over the top grateful for this very special doctor who didn’t have to help, but did. He saw a scared little girl who needed compassion and he responded.

The good news… after the past two days of poking and probing… we have been informed that Lola is a candidate for surgery. In the coming months Lola will undergo cornea transplants and muscular surgery. Lola’s cornea specialist and pediatric ophthalmologist are going to take the next three weeks to come up with a plan, we will meet with them at the end of this month and go from there. Even after surgery Lola will still have a visual impairment but we are praying for the best outcome. We are being pretty aggressive with her treatment plan because as her parents we believe deep down that we need to explore every option. We have a great team at Vanderbilt and a God who can work miracles. We have a long year ahead of us. The surgeries will be difficult and her healing will take time. It’s a huge commitment for us and for our little girl. We truly covet your prayers as we work through all the ups and downs of this process.

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About the author


Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.


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  • Oh my darllings, I am so overwhelmed at what God is doing through you that I don’t even have the words to explain it. All I know is I love you guys and I love her. I wish I knew her and I will soon. Grandpa and I will always be praying.. Have patience with her and just let her know how much you love her. Being adopted can be so special, I know that for certain. Love you hand in there, God never fails.

  • Great news that she is a candidate!!! And praise God for that amazing doctor! That brought tears to my eyes. I know that he was a complete blessing, those moments of not being able to communicate are so hard, especially when they are upset and there is nothing you can do to help them understand.

  • Praising God with you Erica! Oh the blessing of understanding . . . my heart melted when the doctor spoke to Lola and then she gave you a kiss. What a precious and perfectly timed gift from God to have that doctor give her details and assurance that mommy and daddy are acting in great LOVE for her. Praying for wisdom in the plan for surgeries and strength as you walk this road. Love y’all!

  • In joyful tears reading your post! What an amazing God we have! God bless you all, in constant prayer for your beautiful family! Love you all!

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