Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It all started 2.5 years ago......

As most of you know, we were blessed through adoption with a beautiful baby girl, whom we have named Keziah Kristina. When she was born, we were not allowed to see her at first until we knew what was ahead of us. You see, Keziah was born with a congenital melanocytic nevus. It was considered large and it was on her head, forehead and cheek. The social workers wanted us to be fully aware of what that all meant if we were to continue on with adopting her. They talked with us, saying that if we were to go ahead with adopting Keziah, are we prepared for the stares and comments from others, the many surgeries that are in her future, her self-esteem issues that will come up with this. Are we ready to take home a "not so perfect" child? Are we ready to deal with a little girl who does not look like our "dream" daughter? Yes, these questions were posed to us. And you say "how could they?". But they had to, as they were not only keeping our interests at heart, but also little Keziah's. For if she were to be adopted into a home with a family that was embarrassed of her, that would not be healthy at all.

After listening to the social workers, we were still determined to see her and take her home as our daughter. We knew she was created for us, and we knew Who created her. We rested in the comfort knowing that God will continue to be with us, holding us every step of the way.

And now we are here, 2.5 years later. Has it all been peaches and fun? No. Have we had to deal with comments and stares? Oh yes. Did I handle it all well? No. Was I sad for my little girl? Yes, at times. Do I mind questions about her birthmark? Not all, depending on the tone of the question. Thankfully to this day, Keziah has no clue that others look at her in a strange way. When she was about 27 months old, she was looking in the mirror, and I pointed her birthmark out to her. She stared in the mirror as if it was the very first time she ever saw it! Since that day we call it her freckle. "Daddy, do you like my freckle?" she asked a few months ago :o)

In November 2011 we met with Dr. Zucker at Toronto Sick Kids. After seeing a doctor at MacMaster Hospital, a doctor who had never seen this type of birthmark before, we were greatly relieved to have met Dr. Zucker. Dr. Zucker is known for his work dealing with the type of birthmark Keziah has. In November, he gave us an outline as to what he will do. It was up to us WHEN we wanted to start with it. He was prepared to do it now or when she was older. We decided now is best.

And so, her surgery date has been set. It is scheduled for April 12, 2012. It was April 10th, but has been bumped to the 12th. The surgery will take about 4 hours, in which Dr. Zucker hopes to insert a tissue expander in her forehead and in her cheek. Keziah will be staying in the hospital for 3 or 4 days after. Then we will be commuting to Toronto every week to have these tissue expanders filled with saline, to stretch the skin. Once it is stretched enough (about 3 months later), she'll go in for a big surgery in which they'll take the expanders out, cut off a good chunk of her freckle and pull the stretched skin over where the birthmark was. Because her birthmark is large, she'll need some skin grafts after that yet. But let's just focus on one thing at a time.


  1. Thanks for allowing us to share this journey with you. It is hard to open up about personal things, but we've been blessed too with sharing our story. Praying that this blog will also be a blessing for your family. We will remember Keziah in our prayers, and you too of course!

  2. Praying for the Lord's blessings and guidance for each of you as well as for the medical community caring for Keziah. You are in our prayers.
    Tim and Elly Hutten and family

    For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I will help you."
    Isaiah 41:13

  3. Keziah has amazing parents :-D !!!

    May God continue to be with you and give you strength as you continue on this journey ...

  4. Love your blog!! What a great idea this is. Nice for us who care to keep up to date and to know what to pray for and I think it will also be good for you to write it all down. Praying that God will give you peace and that you can lay all your fears and anxieties at His feet! We need to talk soon (again)!!

  5. I read that her condition can be cause for melanoma, but I was wondering if it would have been an option for her not to have it removed, and then if melanoma was eventually found, to then do the surgery?
    Or if it's safest to do the surgery right away so that melanoma does. It develop?
    Sorry, I did read the entire blog, but through the blog and my internet searches,means still hard to come to a conclusion wether the surgery was absolutely necessary or not.

    1. Hi Rachel, yes, anyone with CMN has a very slight risk of melanoma, so hats and sun screen it is for her. I am sure we could have waited and not removed - and then only remove if melanoma would be found. It's all a personal choice. We do know however, that if removal is the route to go, doing it when they are young is best. Their skin is much more elasticey and they heal up so much better. They also hardly remember much, if at all, when all these procedures are done when they are young.

      No, surgery is not absolutely necessary. "They" don't even know if removing actually removes the risk of melanoma! However, in our case, with it being on her face (and scalp), we felt surgery was necessary cosmetically and the fact that we could not cover it up from the sun like we would be able to if it was on her torso.

      Whether surgery is absolutely necessary or not depends on the child and their family. There are so many factors involved to reach a decision to remove or not - it just isn't simple to come to a conclusion for all who have CMN. Each case has its own unique pros and cons in regards to removal or not.

      Let me know if you have any more questions, or if I did not answer this question properly! :)