Urology Woes & Successes

March 1, 2014 heart defect, hypospadias, Kam, Urogenital System 1 Comments

So happy March, y’all! Are you as excited about spring coming to your neck of the woods as I am about it coming to mine? Whew. And I only live in the South. Can’t imagine how you folks in other parts of the country are still managing to maintain sanity right about now!

But hold fast! It’s coming!

I’m a big dork and missed my February post…partially because our Little Prince had his umpteenth surgery and mostly because, like I said, I’m a big dork.

I shared in January that Gabe would be headed to the OR yet again for yet another urological reconstruction. We knew that this time would require a large buccal mucosal graft from the inside of his mouth to build a much needed urethra through which he could urinate normally. Amazing, really. The tissue from just inside your bottom lip is nearly perfect for constructing a tube that most all of us take for granted. We prayed for this day and dreaded it.

A mere few days before surgery, the South was slammed {don’t laugh, people!} with a winter storm. We were blessed to be home that day and not stranded like so many others. Our kids played and we soaked up a fantastic morning in the snow…all the while, thoughts of Gabe’s upcoming operation lingered in our heads.

snow jan 2014-5825 copy

Monday came and the surgeon walked in smiling and simply said, “Big day.” We agreed. He went on to say that he wanted to admit Gabe to the hospital for a day or two and that post op would be very difficult. To give the graft the greatest chance of survival, he would have an anchor pressure dressing stitched into and across his groin and would need to lay flat for 10 days. No sitting, no standing. At all.

Our son was to turn 3 years old just a few weeks after this surgery.

A very busy, near three year old… laying down…for ten days.

I’m sure our faces, hubby’s and mine, were laughable. We just stared at the urologist. {The one who intimidates the heck out of me and whom I routinely make an idiot of myself in front of…}

This was to be a double surgery…Gabe, sweet baby, was also very tongue tied. We wondered if he was just speech delayed or if there were more to it. Five minutes with the speech therapist confirmed, he’s got a tongue that’s cemented down. 🙁 So that was getting “clipped” during the same OR visit as his urological reconstruction.

The ENT came in to tell us that his tongue had been successfully “loosed” and said that she just had to share with us…the urologist, the brilliant man in front of whom I fall apart and say the dumbest things, was telling everyone in the OR about our family…and about some of you.

She said that he shared with them how diligent we are with Gabe’s care, how it’s so evident that we love and adore our son, and that “somehow” we manage to refer many China adoption families {some from other states} to him for the care of their children. She said that he told them that he thinks so much of Jase and I.

We were floored. And humbled.

Because you know something? It’s not us at all. It’s the Lord. It’s His goodness in maintaining perseverance in us. It’s His grace that grafted Gabe into our family and it’s most definitely His hand that has led some of you to us for advice or encouragement about adopting a child with extensive urological needs.

Make no mistake. We would do this over and over again. We would choose him again and his SN again and the whole lot of it again. There are MANY special needs that we’re NOT equipped for. And no, we didn’t anticipate that Gabe would need this many surgeries. And no, I wasn’t open to some of them when checking off boxes on the waiting child application.

But I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

As the surgeon said would be the case, Gabe was admitted to the hospital and had a hard few days post op. The Lord was so faithful to honor the prayers of so many people who were lifting him up…

For TEN DAYS, this boy did not sit or stand. And what’s more, he didn’t fight us when we reminded him. His pain was managed well and within three days, he was off the meds. But he never complained, never fussed. We took turn about pulling him in a wagon when the sofa or the bed wore on his nerves. And we got through a long ten days successfully.



The jury is still out on whether or not this graft will be sustainable. We are 8 days post catheter removal and there are concerns. But still, we hold fast to Jesus and entrust Gabe to Him…knowing that His ways are higher and His heart is trustworthy.

Like my dear friend, Rebecca, posted a few days ago, please reach out to someone here if you are feeling led to a certain special need but are fearful. We would count it a privilege to speak to you and encourage you with honesty and grace.


One response to “Urology Woes & Successes”

  1. Vikram says:

    It would have been very tough for this little kid to undergo double surgery.
    May God Bless him.

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