Journey to China

This blog documents the Spitlers' progress towards the adoption of Xia Ping He (Noah Spitler) from the PR China. It also documents Noah's medical process in pursuit of a total repair to his CHD (congenital heart defect).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Very Brief (but good) Update

Hi Friends,

Noah is doing very well; we have good news to report.

The appointment with Dr. Long, (his pediatric cardiologist) went very well,
and we learned that the distribution of blood to his lungs is very good.
Noah will be restricted from rough activity (bike riding, sports, climbing
playgrounds) for at least a few months- until his chest is much stronger.
Dr. Long will continue to monitor Noah's heart and lungs, as the vegetation
(clot) still exist in his heart, and could remain there for a long time.

Noah had a second appointment this past Monday- in Atlanta (Emory
Univ/Egleston). This appointment, with infectious disease doctors, also
went well. They decided to end Noah's course of antibiotics (Nafcillin and
Rifampin), and even removed his PICC line! (A big yea!)

So, after starting with 13 "holes or tubes" in his body back on July 14th,
Noah is finally down to zero!

Noah was quite pleased to get his PICC line out, but no one was happier
than Momma! For the first time in a month, Robin didn't have to hook up or
disconnect an I-V every 4 hours; and she got a much-needed 9 hours of
uninterrupted sleep Monday night!

So, that's the quick update. I know Robin will post more details and
pictures soon. Thanks again for all the prayers and wonderful support. God
bless each of you.

Adam (for all the Spitlers)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fun Times & Miracles

I cannot truly express how happy I (we) are to be home. It is so nice to sleep in my own bed and be surrounded by my family. Going through difficult times sure does make you appreciate the blessings that God has given us. We are finally settling into life back in "the Boro". The weather is great and is giving us a hint that Fall is approaching. This is my favorite time of the year! I love to see the changing leaves, the pumpkins and the cotton growing in the fields. Didn't see many cotton fields in California.
Noah is doing great and is running almost everywhere he goes. This is a new scene for us because he is doing it without loosing his breath. What a miracle. He is a precious boy and we love him so very much. The girls are great too. Olivia has a thriving small business that she is so into at school. She spends most evenings crafting things like bracelets and pot holders. She is having fun and learning some good lessons in the process. Madison is almost finished with her first season of volleyball and has really enjoyed it. She is doing well and is looking forward to playing more in the future. Adam continues to work hard at keeping our family glued together and is doing a great job. I am so happy to have my best friend by my side again.
I am including some pictures of some of the welcome home signs that our good friends in the neighborhood put out for us. They were so great and we really enjoyed them. Our neighbors were a great support for our family. We couldn't have made it through everything without them.
Thanks everyone! We are blessed to know you all.

Last Saturday our family went to Gulfstream for "Family Day". We had a lot of fun eating cotton candy, touring the plant and hanging out with friends. We also went by and saw Adam's grandma. We had a nice visit with her and also saw Adam's aunt.

Last night Noah and I saw down and put together two big necklaces. They were made from the beads that Noah received at the hospital. They have a program called, "Beads of Courage". These beads represent all of the things that Noah had to do in the hospital. For every procedure he had done there was a bead that stood for that procedure. They ranged from heart surgery to blood draw to dressing changes. I am including some photos of Noah and his beads. This is much like getting a trophy when you win a contest. As you can see, Noah has a lot of trophies.

Finally, I want to include two stories about some recent miracles that we have been privileged to hear about. In the last two weeks we know of two ladies who have been fighting cancer for many years. They both had been told that there was nothing else that could be done and basically they were doing everything to make their last days really count. In both cases these God fearing and God believing ladies had many people praying for them. One of the ladies I have known for years and she is the kind of person that lights up a room with her love of the Lord. She is simply amazing. They each had a final scan that showed that their cancer had just disappeared. The doctors told them it was gone. There was no logical reason for it to disappear but it did. This has been a big reminder to all of us that miracles still happen. God, the maker of the Universe as well as each of us on this Earth is in control. I know that our family has learned this through the last couple of months but this is still another example that supports that fact. Now, does this outcome happen to everyone? No, but it does show that miracles are not just something that used to happen but they still happen today. I am so thankful that I belong to God and He loves me. He wants me to know Him up close and personal, not from a distance. I am so thankful for prayer and for the opportunity to pray whenever I want to---in good times and bad.
I want to thank you all for the prayers. They have been needed and still are needed. We love you all and I pray blessings on you and your families!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bittersweet Weekend

It was a great first weekend back together as a family, but as life often is, also had some bitterness. Today marks a difficult milestone for us - 6 months since an aircraft accident that claimed the lives of 4 great men; Dave, Kent, Reece and Vivan. As we celebrated the joy of our family being reunited, we were still reminded of these families who must wait until Heaven to be reunited with their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons.

We are dedicating today's blog to Vivan LeRoy Ragusa, II; my good friend and Christian brother. I miss him for many reasons, beyond just flying with him and seeing him at work. He was a strong follower of Jesus Christ, and that empowered him to be an impeccable Dad, Husband, and loyal friend.

Vivan also cared deeply for our Noah. His interest was truly genuine. Some of you might remember that Noah's initial diagnosis came with some concern: Dr. Hanley might not be able to take Noah as a patient because of his (older) age. When Vivan heard this, he began calling and emailing friends of his who were surgeons at Johns Hopkins. He had a "second opinion" or "backup option" all lined up for us should San Francisco not be able to take us. So, though Thursday was a joyous day for the Spitlers, we were a bit sad, knowing that Vivan would've loved to see Noah come home from California with a "new heart". We were especially honored that Vivan's wife (of 16 years), Jane, was able to celebrate with us.

Please join us in praying for Jane and their three sons, as well as the families of all lost that tragic morning.

Thank you,

Ps 46:10 "Be still and KNOW that I am God."