Due to the unique situation of her birth (i.e. plan of adoption), Kez had an MRI done before she was 24 hours old! This was to make sure the birthmark was just skin deep and not going into her brain (which can happen with this type of birthmark). The results came in quickly and there was relief all around that it was only on the surface of her skin.
After meeting Keziah, we left the hospital for a few hours, to allow her birth family some time with Keziah as well as for us to digest everything that was going on. So far we had not called our family or friends about the news of Kez being born. We were still waiting for a dermatologist to have a look at Keziah. We wanted to know exactly what we were dealing with before we called anyone, that way we could answer questions the best we could. But those hours on our own were so surreal! No one knew where we were! No one knew that our little girl was born! No one knew what we were going through.
We went back to the hotel where we were staying and spent some time on the computer, researching congenital meloncytic nevus, pictures of it, what the options are for removal, how to care for it etc. We also had some time to sit, think, cry and pray.
The next morning was Saturday. Keziah's birth grandmother is a nurse and had inside connections with a very well respected dermatologist and so he gave up some of his personal time to come in and check Keziah out. To this day we are so appreciative of the role played by Keziah's birth grandmother, as well as this derm. He wrote up a report, gave the birthmark a name, what can be done about it and so started Keziah's medical file.
Once we knew exactly what was ahead of us, we could share our news with our family and friends. 2.5 hours later (it took so long to call everyone, just because each call was about 15 minutes long, explaining everything), we were wiped. My mom and dad came down to meet Keziah as well as to be with us. By this time we were really starting to feel emotionally exhausted!
That night, after a very good long hard cry, it was like I turned a corner. Up until then my cries were to God, but crying out, "Why, Lord? Why us? Why our daughter? What is going on? Why are we presented the option of leaving her behind? What does that mean? What is Your plan? What is life going to be like for her? Will she be ostracized? Teased? Bullied? Why will she have so much to carry on her shoulders? Isn't the fact that she is adopted enough for her to deal with, and now this, a physical imperfection? Why does she have to grow up in a world where perfection, espcially outwardly, has such an emphasis? What do You want us to do with all this? How are we going to handle it?" and so on. So many questions, so many tears.
And then it clicked. It clicked in my heart and mind: Michelle, if you believe that God is in control of everything, then you know that He is the one who chose Keziah for us and us for Keziah. So why fear??! Why lose confidence? Why think you can't do it? Besides, if God has the confidence that we can do this, then shouldn't we also?? And why should I think we need to handle all this alone? And if we can't handle it, isn't that okay, because then we let go and let Him do the handling? And if we had the answers to all our questions, why would we need faith?? In the Oprah world, this is known as an "ah-ha" moment. In the walk of faith, it is known as a "Spirit" moment. God's presence was ever so near us that night while we began to see through eyes of faith and trust, rather than through eyes that were covered with film of worry.
And so we woke up the next morning, Sunday, with renewed strength, courage and trust, and we took our darling home with us. I know I've shared a lot so far and don't mind to share these moments; however, the last hours we spent with Keziah and her birth family will remain under wraps and private. That, my readers, is just too personal to share. Some things are best kept this way for us to ponder and reflect on the intimacy and emotion that was involved. Besides, no words are out there to describe those moments anyway. I knew you would understand :o)
I know so far this "Life Changing" series (yes, there is at least one more...with more pictures and less words) has been quite wordy and detailed. Although all this happened 3 years ago, the blog is titled: Keziah's journey. And so dealing with her birth and the surprise of such a birthmark is part of it. I also know there are readers who are reading this because they've just received a child with CMN (or something they weren't expecting at birth). I want them to know they aren't alone. There is a network of people out there to help and support. And not only are there people, there is God, the One who is all loving, just, merciful and full of grace. Trust in Him. Have faith in His ways. Know that He knows what He is doing. And I write this as a reminder for myself as well. You'd think I'd learn by now but no. I am still "in training".