Sunday, March 9, 2008

Life is good!

Right now I am sitting in my beautiful backyard looking at our flowering peach tree, the camellia that is blooming, the flowering plum and just soaking up the sunshine & listening to my ipod. It is almost 80 degrees with a hint of a breeze. Dan took Drew to the park to play with their remote control trucks and Ava is taking a nap. A perfect Sunday afternoon.

At church this morning we talked about suffering and submission to God. I keep hearing this theme of submission or surrendering and I am trying to see what I need to surrender to God. I guess I need to surrender this entire situation and quit worrying about it. Easier said than done, but I am going to try. In the car on the way home Dan and I discussed again what we should do about coming to a decision regarding surgery. We thought maybe we should schedule surgery at Stanford, but still ask questions as we think of them.

When we got home I had an email from Dr. Mainwaring, a pediatric heart surgeon at Sutter, waiting in my inbox. Is that an answer to prayer or what? I have only met this man a few times, but I really love him! We sent him an email through a friend with a few questions we had and he took the time to write out a thoughtful and loving response, even though he has absolutely no obligation to do so. Here's a bit of what he said:
It is evident that you love your son very much and want to make the very best decision for him. It is a paradox, because it is the love for your son that makes this decision so difficult—it is an indication that you are great parents and care so much, and you should always view this as a virtue (and not a liability). If you didn’t care so much, then all these decisions would be much easier.

I think it is great that you have turned to your faith in God to help you through these difficult times. The scripture that you quoted from Proverbs suggests that if you have faith in God then he will make your pathways straighter—no doubt confusing in light of the fact that you have been presented with no less than three potential paths. Which one should you take? Unfortunately, the Bible makes no comment about Drs. Hanley, Raff, or Azakie. But I do believe that your faith will ultimately assist you not only in making a good decision for your son but also give you the strength to negotiate that event.

He answered some other questions and closed with this:
Finally, as far as what I would do, and what I can advise you to do, I know Dr. Hanley quite well and have a tremendous amount of respect for his sound judgment and his surgical abilities. He is considered one of the premier congenital heart surgeons in the world for a reason. I don’t know either Dr. Azakie or Dr. Raff, and therefore cannot comment on their qualifications either in a positive or negative manner. So if I had to make this decision for my own child I would choose Dr. Hanley, and would trust his judgment as far as what operation would be best for my child.

I am so thankful to Dr. Mainwaring for taking the time to really consider our situation and write such caring words to us. Especially since it really helped us come to a conclusion. After we read this email, Dan said he thinks we should go to Stanford. The fact that we keep hearing from cardiologists and surgeons with 30+ years in this field that they would trust Dr. Hanley with their own children means a lot to me. So tomorrow I am going to call Stanford and see about scheduling surgery. I feel a tremendous burden has been lifted and I am looking forward to moving closer toward surgery.


Valerie said...

The post I have been looking forward to! Dr. Mainwaring is one of the kindest and most loving people I know. When I was sitting in the "holding" area before they took Lexi in to surgery, I could not stop crying, all of a sudden I felt someone near me and was holding my hand, it was Dr. Mainwaring. I then knew everything was going to be ok.

I am happy you are feeling some "releif". You both made the right choice.

I Love you,


Anonymous said...

Yea, God!

Samantha said...

I am glad that you have found some peace with the decision that needed to be made. I will continue to keep your entire family in my prayers.

Heart Hugs,

a grateful kate said...

i love you and yours to a ridiculous degree!

Molly said...

Wow... what an eloquent response from Dr. Mainwaring. That kind of loving kindness seems to be very absent in the medical field, and his response appears to be an answer to many prayers! Yay God! I'm really happy that God has granted you guys peace in your decision because I know that's SO important!

Kathy said...

WOW...what a response you got! An answer to your prayers indeed! know we love Dr. Hanley...(I was secretly hoping you'd choose him!)
When the surgery date gets near...I'll send you an email with all the nurses we LOVED!

Anne Marie said...

Ahhhh- Andrea, I can just see you sitting in your backyard, soaking up the sun as this great burden is being lifted. Your decision seems sooooo right- God seemed create the perfect setting (the sunshine, blossoming trees, loving email full of guidance) for you to feel truly confident in what way you decided to go. Life is good!

Lexi said...

I couldn't agree with everyone more!!!! That e-mail couldn't have had perfect timing! It's so amazing that God's plan ALWAYS comes together with greater timing than we could chose!!! We will be praying for the rest of this path for your guys!!!!

Allison said...

You must feel so much better having made up your mind! Good for you!

Lindsay said...

I am so happy that you have the feeling of peace that you ahould have when making a decision like this. Obviously you made the right choice for Drew if you feel so relieved. Your conscience can be a good sign! God answers prayers, just sometimes not as quickly as we want them! Now you can sit back and relax more until that day knowing that the decision has been made!


Shannon said...

Wow, what a wise and compassionate doctor. I am glad you have reached a decision. You know my thoughts on the options but its just as important to find peace with the decision. Its a wonderful path to having this settled and both of you in agreement.

Anonymous said...

God is truly awesome and His timing is perfect! I can't think of a better vehicle He chose in Dr. Mainwaring as he is knowledgeable, respected, and compassionate. I'm so happy you and Dan have reached a decision that you both are at peace with - Dr. Hanley is 'Da Bomb! Love you lots, Laura Mulder

kritiostodd said...

What an amazing answer to pray! God has such a way of bringing us clarity when we least expect it, at least I've experienced that a few times :-) I can sense the amount of confidence you have in Dr. Mainwaring, and I bet so much more in Dr. Hanley! We will continue to pray for all the prep work involved (spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc) before, during, and after the surgery!

Jen Smith

Vanessa said...

I know this was not an easy decision for you guys. I'm glad that God put someone across your path that gave you confirmation in your decision. Dr. Mainwaring seems like an extremely nice man and the fact that he took the time to email you back means alot. I know this is a huge weight lifted off your shoulders.


Anonymous said...

Andrea-That is amazing! Thanks for the goosebumps! :) Aren't you blown away by how AWESOME God is, how He is able to provide for us at just the right time!
hugs!Beth W

Heidi McMillan said...

What a great response and testament that God is aware of your prayers and answers them. I am so happy that you guys are at peace for the hard decision that you have to make. I know that the Lords angels are close by. Thank you for sharing this journey.

Peter said...

Wow, great news. Glad to hear that a decision has been made : -)