Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Phthisis. Retinal Detachment. Band Keratopathy.

Those are the three words written on sticky note by Lexi’s opthamologist.

I didn’t realize how much I had held onto a sliver of hope that doctors here in America could do something for our Lexi’s eyes until I read those words. When we reviewed her file and fell in love and decided to adopt, we did so knowing that she was completely blind, and knowing that she would likely always be so. And whether or not there was anything that could be done to give her some vision had no part at all in our decision.

But I still held on to the idea that maybe, just maybe, sweet Lexi could have some sight. Shadows. Light perception. Anything.

We wanted her to be seen by a pediatric opthamologist from Primary Children’s. It took several months to get her in, so that entire time I was cautiously hoping, hoping, hoping. When I finally brought her in, the eye doctor was very optimistic. I told her that she was completely blind, and he said, “Well, I don’t know about that. We’ll just have to see!” He then went on to talk about various things that could likely be done to restore some vision. He spoke with hope. This after just a partial eye exam. So, for a short time, my heart was beating fast and I became a bit giddy inside.

Then he did an MRI on her eyes.

As it turns out, there is absolutely nothing that can be done. He sympathetically wrote those three words down without being able to look me in the eye the rest of the time I was there. He told me there was no reason to have her seen again unless she experienced such discomfort in her eyes that we wanted to consider removing them and giving her prosthetics. I put on my brave smile, assured him we already thought that was the case, and proceeded to gather our things.

Then I walked out to the van with Lexi, and I cried.

I allowed myself the evening to feel all of the emotions that finding out your child will never see (in this life) can bring. Then I decided to put a lid on it. After all, feeling sorrow, pity, disappointment, hurt, and grief for my sweet Lexi will do nothing for her but give her a depressed mother. I’ve learned that over the years—after hearing things about my children that I just didn’t want to hear…

Several people have asked how her appointment went, and I haven’t been able to share. It’s been over a month now, and I’m ready. Ready, and oh so grateful for my knowledge that she (and Elli!) will see me someday. That she will no longer tell me, “Mommy, my eyes need batteries. Can you get me some batteries for my eyes?” That every disappointment related to blindness will be compensated for by Christ’s atoning sacrifice. That every tear of sadness will be replaced by many more tears of joy for her!

This knowledge is mine, and I couldn’t live without it.

I love you, dear Lexi.