Welcome home, Amelia!

We left the hospital yesterday around 3 p.m. Amy was literally grinning ear to ear for the last three hours of her stay there. The nurses and doctors were thrilled to get a glimpse of the "real" Amy before we left! She brought dark chocolates out to her doctors and nurses, and even thanked them without prompting. Very cute! She is skinny, and pale, and shaky, and her eyes are still crossed. But she is totally Amy! I am so abundantly thankful for that. What a blessing!

When you are three, you get to ride out of the hospital in a wagon, not a wheelchair. What fun. Amy took a trike ride over to the family lounge when I went to collect my food from the fridge. While there, I met another mama whose daughter was admitted the same day as Amelia with viral encephalitis. She was quickly moved to the ICU when she started have seizures that couldn't be stopped with medication. Yesterday, around the same time our doctors came to tell us we were going home with our daughter, this mama met with a team of doctors discussing whether or not to continue life support. I felt completely overwhelmed and inadequate as I hugged this mama in the lounge, while Amy did circles around us on her trike. There will be time enough in the next weeks to struggle with the questions swirling in my mind about why some live and some die, some babies get encephalitis and some don't. It made homecoming all the more sweet to know the death that might have been in store for us instead. God's grace amazes me, and baffles me. I am horrified for this other family, yet falling on my knees in thanks for our own outcome.

The photos still definitely highlight the changes in Amy's vision and symmetry of her face. I am still praying for complete recovery from the brain damage she has suffered in the past week. I am also begging for continued healing, as a relapse is possible, even months or years after her illness. I also need to think through a whole host of decisions I made quite easily in the past and will come with more difficulty now: raw milk, immunizations, church Sunday school, playdates with friends, small group, outdoor play...I need to figure out what is truly best for Amelia as she recovers. This morning I've been hard at work scheduling appointments for everything from an immunology work-up to repeat MRI and follow-up with our local doctor for Amelia, and ultrasounds, blood tests and consults for myself and baby #5, who wavers still on the edge of miscarriage as far as I can tell.

What sweetness to see this sign waving in the breeze when we pulled up in the last waning light of sunset last night! The York kids and the Thul kids worked hard to make a cheery sign. It's still out there, celebrating our small miracle this morning. For us, indeed, these words ring true today...
For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)