We are now T-Minus 3 weeks!! As of yesterday She’s FULL TERM!
I’m doing everything I can to settle down and WAIT WELL. For a few days we thought she was coming early due to her heart rhythm “not having much variance”… but then after an overnight stay her heart beat got “happy” again and she’s doing great and growing leaps and bounds just inches from her birth mom’s heart and 1200 miles from mine.
I wanted to update you on her health and what we are anticipating once she’s born and when we get there.
First…. her heart looks fine and so other than praising God for that we are praying that she handles labor and delivery in general well. Her birthmom is wanting to have a VBAC and I would love that for her, having had a C-section myself and knowing that healing can take longer.
Secondly, she has what’s called Agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC). This is a rare birth defect (congenital disorder) in which there is a complete or partial absence of the corpus callosum. It occurs when the corpus callosum, the band of white matter connecting the two hemispheres in the brain, fails to develop normally, typically during pregnancy. This is more of a wait and see type of thing. Many people with ACC are asymptomatic and are walking around probably not even aware they are missing that part of their brain. But others might have delays, such as those common already with down syndrome…delayed speech, development issues, and working to “re-wire” the brain to communicate without that band of connection. And the most severe would be to watch for seizures… which could present at birth but also hold off until she’s a little older. And I’m guessing then she would go on anti-seizure medicine.
And Lastly, she has what looks to be a Duodenal Atresia. This will be the thing that probably is most crucial to address and will probably keep her in the NICU for a few weeks. The duodenum is the first portion of small intestine after the stomach. When part of the bowel fails to develop normally in the fetus, a blockage of the duodenum can occur, otherwise known as an atresia or bowel obstruction. About 1/3 of infants born with duodenal atresia will also have Down Syndrome. Newborns with duodenal atresia will need an operation in order to fix the intestinal atresia. The goal of this surgery is to remove the bowel obstruction and allow the digestive tract to be functional. She will have to be fed via IV until her digestive system can handle feedings… which could take a few days to a few weeks.
That’s when we will be praying for her muscle tone to be such that she will eat like a champ! Abel was a slow learner and didn’t start eating well until about a week after he was born. But apart from some texture issues.. he’s a great eater now!
But most importantly… God can heal any of those things before she’s born or give her great recovery afterwards… or He can be made much of by the longer stay in the hospital! We will just cry out to Him for healing and trust Him to write a story that will be better than we ever hoped no matter the twists and turns along the way.
Will you join me in praying for Isla? I want to pray believing that He can heal and work wonders in her life!
Also… the thought of leaving my kiddos for maybe a month or more makes me want to cry and throw up and throw a fit. But I have to trust that God is at work even in their lives for their good in this. I have incredible brothers and sisters and my in-laws hang the moon and I love my church family! So I know that they will be in wonderful hands when we are gone. And with Southwest Airlines having great airfares… I bet if it gets to be too much I could fly home and see them and turn around and go back. It has been a difficult time of not having my parents in my life this past year due to their fears concerning our life choices with family and ministry. Having a new baby coming has only made that grief weigh all the more heavy on my heart. Something about expecting a baby makes you want your mom more. But I know that God is again, at work in the hard difficult places to bring about a greater joy than had there not been sorrow in the first place. He can restore the years that the enemy is seeking to devour. I’m resting in that. And if you are struggling with loved ones and broken hearts… I hope you will rest in that too. THIS Spotify Channel has been on repeat every day around here! Listen… and know that Grace WINS every time!
Now… Here is our financial situation. Ya’ll… last year I never would have imagined that we would be starting a ministry from scratch AND adopting a special needs baby in another state at the SAME TIME! But God’s timing is rarely our own… so I’m going to trust He’s got this!
We are using Catholic Charities of Nevada as our custody agency during our finalization period and we will finalize the adoption in Nevada. (this wasn’t going to be the case until this week when our lawyers advised us to take this route due to ICPC concerns) This means one extra agency fee. Thankfully domestic special needs adoptions aren’t super expensive but they do require people who are trained and licensed to make an adoption happen.
We have two pressing financial needs right now:
1. Is the remaining agency custody fees, legal finalization fees, flights to and from Las Vegas, extended stay in Nevada, car rental, and accompanying travel expenses. (we are also looking into options such as ronald mcdonald house which is about 30 minutes away or churches nearby having people who would lend cars and such)
2. A vehicle that will hold all of us Chappells. We’ve been a one car family for all of our marriage and it works for us… but we kinda need to fit all of us in it. The kids asked the other day when we were driving somewhere “where will isla sit when she gets home?” And we looked at each other and said in full belief “that’s for God to provide!” Ya’ll HE will. And maybe that’s through YOU! We can get about $2000 for this van which has served us so well… but we would LOVE to give it to a family/ministry who needs a vehicle!
We are humbled by your support and ask you to pray and give towards this final step in bringing our baby girl home. This feels like crazy timing… but we have felt that before and trust that God is the author of this little life and in looking back we can see His hands faithfully working for His Glory in 1,000 different ways.
Here is our GoFundMe page! Give if you can and Share if you will.
We are SO grateful for you!!! You are our People!!!