Never Let Go

March 27, 2017 Andrea O., Attachment, attachment activities 0 Comments

“Never let go, Mommy. Never let go.” It took my breath away when my youngest said that as she threw her arms around my neck when I picked her up. As she burrowed her head into my neck, she kept whispering it with her warm cheek pressed firmly against mine, and her little hands grasping …Read More

Wisdom for Enduring Extended Hospital Stays

February 27, 2017 advanced heart failure, Andrea O., complex heart defect, February 2017 Feature - Preparing Your Child for Medical Interventions, heart transplant, hospital stays, Little Hearts Medical, Medical Momma, surgery 0 Comments

When we arrived home with our youngest daughter and fourth CHD child, Rini, in August of 2013, my definition of a long hospital stay was three weeks. When my husband dropped us off at the entrance of the children’s hospital’s Emergency Department straight from the airport, little did I know that my definition of an …Read More

The Road To Compassion

January 27, 2017 Andrea O., complex heart defect, should we adopt?, siblings 0 Comments

When contemplating the adoption of a child with complex medical needs, particularly those needs that may very well result in a shortened lifespan, families are often confronted by well-meaning friends and relatives with a variation of this question: “How will this adoption affect this children already in your home? How will this affect your marriage?” …Read More

Reluctant No More

December 27, 2016 adopting a boy, adopting again, Andrea O., December 2016 Feature - Adopting a Boy, either gender, medical needs checklist, referral, waiting for referral 1 Comments

Back in early 2005 when we first decided to adopt, we researched the different avenues of adoption and for many reasons we chose China. If I’m completely honest with myself, one of the reasons is that we were practically assured to be matched with the type of child we had already decided that we wanted: a …Read More

The Ledge

November 27, 2016 advanced heart failure, Andrea O., complex heart defect, complex heart defects, Heart System, heart transplant 3 Comments

On November 11, 2013, our 24 month old daughter was in the Cardiac ICU, on the national transplant waiting list, and on ECMO life support due to end stage heart failure. The following day, we would learn that she would receive the gift of life through cardiac transplant. During that tumultuous time, I had many …Read More

Dear Younger Me, Let Your Heart be Broken

July 28, 2016 adopting a boy, adopting again, Andrea O., heart transplant, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, Little Hearts Medical, surgery 5 Comments

Hey there, shadow of myself. Yes, I’m talking to you, the woman who is spending countless hours picking out the perfect color for the walls of the nursery where, in a few months, you will rock your “healthy, as young as possible” baby girl from China. I’m smiling right now, thinking of the woman I …Read More

adopting a child with congenital heart disease

May 25, 2014 advanced heart failure, Andrea O., ASD, complex heart defect, double outlet right ventricle, end stage cardiac disease, Family Stories, heart defect, Heart System, single ventricle heart disease, Tetralogy of Fallot, TGA, VSD 1 Comments

Four years ago, I could not describe the structure or mechanism of the human heart. Now, that magical and miraculous pump that provides the essence of life is something I think about every day. What an amazing odyssey it has been! This post is not enough to do justice to the complexity of the topic …Read More

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