We knew going into this journey that adopting a child with some type of special need was our only option, and we had no problem with that. Before submitting our medical checklist to our agency, Roger and I talked about what types of special needs we felt we would be able to handle. Callie Beth was actually listed as having two special needs, which is one of the reasons she was listed as a SPECIAL FOCUS child, rather than just a SPECIAL NEEDS child. She was described as having a congenital vision abnomality (we later discovered that this is more than likely strabismus, and that her vision is fine.) Her primary special need, which is biliary atresia, was NOT one that we included in our choices, simply because we had no idea what it was. However, we still agreed that we wanted to review her file.
As soon as we had requested to see Callie Beth's file, I began researching biliary atresia, and I discovered that it is a VERY SERIOUS condition, where the bile duct from the liver is not completely developed. The procedure used to correct this problem is called the Kai Procedure, named after the doctor who created it, and basically what is done is a duct is made and rerouted from the liver through the intestines. For a child to survive, they MUST have this surgery to correct the problem soon after birth. Callie Beth was estimated to be about five weeks old when she had the surgery. She was extremely jaundiced, and without the surgery, she soon would have died. For a large percentage of children with this condition, surgery does not correct the problem and they eventually have to have a liver transplant to survive. We don't know what the future will bring for our daughter, but so far, everything looks GREAT!!! It has been over 2 1/2 years since she had her surgery, and there have been no physical setbacks. She is a healthy, happy child.
When we received Callie Beth's file, I sat down with Roger and tried to spell out the worst case scenario that could happen with her----a relapse, a very serious illness, maybe the need for a liver transplant, or maybe even death. We talked about it, we prayed about it, we talked some more about it, we prayed about it---until 5 AM the next morning---AND, we both came to the same conclusion. We both agreed that we had never before lived our lives based on, "what ifs." Something COULD have been wrong with any of our boys when they were born, or Molly Kate COULD have had problems, even though she was a non-special needs child. Anything could happen to ANY of us at ANY time. If we lived our lives worrying about what COULD happen, we would be miserable. We understood that there were preexisting conditions with Callie Beth, but we truly believed that God had chosen her for us, and if that was true, HE would take care of her.
SO, we DON'T know what the future will bring for Callie Beth, but we are rejoicing that she IS a healthy, happy, almost three year old little girl right now, who is waiting for her forever family to bring her home!!!!