Some of you may or may or know that my mama and daddy were foster parents when I was growing up. We had many foster children (about 21 I think) over the years they were able to do it. One of the children, our second to be exact, was a baby that was given up for adoption. It was a girl and we named her Amie. Mama got to name the newborns. I always thought that was cool. ANYWAY, babies usually stayed until their six week checkup and then they went on to their adoptive parents. In this case, that didn’t happen. Amie was sick. She was sick all the time. She cried all the time. We took her to the doctor and they couldn’t tell us what was wrong. Then they sent us to Duke. It was there that they told us Amie had cystic fibrosis. Back then the diagnosis was not good. They told us that Amie would not live to be a year old (unbelievers) and we began all the treatments to make her as comfortable as possible, we accepted the fact that she would not be adopted, and we resigned ourselves to the fact that she would proably die in our care.
We learned all about enzymes (back then it was a powder called viokase and you mixed it in baby food) that she had to take to digest her food, about chest pt where we had to beat on her to get all the mucous out, and all about breathing treatments. Back then it was called a mist machine. We, as a family, learned all about cystic fibrosis and how to treat it.
Amie was with us for almost 2 years when we got the call that there was a couple interested in adopting her. We were filled with a mix of emotions. Amie had become my sister. We loved her and were caring for her with everything we were. We didn’t want anyone taking her away. BUT at the same time, we were thrilled to know that there was someone out there who was willing to see past all that ugliness of her disease and love her for the sweet child she was. We got to meet the couple. They were so nice. They came to our house and talked to all of us. We told them the hard truth of her daily routine, but to be quite honest, I don’t think any of that mattered once they saw her beautiful face. They did adopt her and we have kept in touch all these years. One of my favorite memories is spending time with them and their family during summers in Wilmington where they live. On April 28th, 2008, Amie celebrated her 29th birthday. Praise God!! What a wonderful example of God’s greatness and power.
Knowing this child, going through all of this with her, affected our whole family. We all became advocates for cystic fibrosis. We participated in all kinds of fundraisers over the years for cf. When I was grow up, I worked for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for about two years. It helped to know about the disease. Ultimately, knowing this child, growing up knowing her and her family, helped us to save Nicholas’ life. Doctor’s argued with me when I suggested that cf was what he had, and it took us 6 months of moving from doctor to doctor to get someone to agree that he needed to be tested for it. There aren’t many people that can look back over the years and see the path that God led them down to help them in their lives. I know that things happen for a reason, and knowing Amie helped prepare me for my adult life and what I was going to go through with my own children. I am so thankful for that. God is an awesome, wonderful God. He gave the precious gift of knowledge for the future. I am so blessed to be able to look back and see why I went through all those things.
Saturday night, I got a phone call from my mama saying that Amie had been airlifted to Duke. All I know at this moment, is that she is in ICU, in respiratory failure and she is on the respirator. I am waiting on a call from Carolyn, her mom, and we (my mama and I) are going up to Duke tomorrow. Amie’s dad, Phil, is not in good health and cannot make the trip, so Carolyn is there on her own. Pleae pray for this family. I don’t know if she is eligible for a lung transplant, if she is on the list, or what. All I know is that my sister is in the hospital and the outlook is not good. I cannot imagine what they are going through at this stage in Amie’s disease. I hope it will be a long time to come.
If this experience has taught me anything, it has taught me that God has a plan for all of us. That everything MOST DEFINITELY happens for a reason and we are blessed to be able to marvel in His greatness.