On Sunday, Khaleda saw her biological mother for the first time in three years. It was an emotional experience. I could only imagine how I would feel walking into a hospital room and seeing my child after so long in that state. She stood by the bed and wept. I didn’t know exactly how to respond. Does she want me to stay or go? What is she thinking? How do I comfort her? What does she think of me? So many questions to ponder. I look at her and can’t help but love and respect her so much.
Once she had an opportunity to examine Khaleda and the attached equipment, we made an IMO call to a dear mutual friend for help translating. While sharing the same hospital chair, smashing both faces into my phone screen, and each wearing one earbud for simultaneously listening, she would ask me a question and then I would answer her. One by one, we reviewed the purpose of each device and Khaleda’s current medical condition, an overwhelming and monotonous task. After listening to what seemed like minutes of conversation between them in Dari, our mutual friend said to me, “Amanda, she says thank you so much and that she hopes one day she can repay you.” Repay me – oh my goodness. Quickly, I reminded her that she has more than repaid me by sharing her daughter with us. After years of infertility, this child, in every detail, was our answer to prayers. Khaleda fulfilled our selfish desires to be parents and has been one of our family’s greatest blessings. The idea of a sense of repayment is unthinkable. In this beautiful mother, I have witnessed an awesome expression of the most selfless love – to by choice give up your greatest treasure to accomplish a greater goal. Amazing grace – how sweet the sound.
Despite all of the equipment and lines, we continue to exercise. Another mother on the floor said to me, “I watch Khaleda walk these halls regardless of how many people are required to help her or how much equipment is strapped to her body, she is my hero – such a fighter.” It is true – she is a fighter, but that doesn’t mean things here are always peachy. Yesterday, when I said, “Okay it’s time for exercise.” She looked at me from behind her oxygen mask and mumbled, “Mom, you are just evil.” Maybe so, but she will take it all back WHEN we walk out of 5200.
It’s been many days since I have seen my son. Receiving daily pictures gives me comfort. Aunt Joyce recently sent the one below. Such amazing and handsome little boys. I wonder what their future holds? Who will they be? How will this journey affect them? So different physically and culturally with different languages yet a deep connection. Brothers at heart. Tonight I asked Silas to remember his prayers. He said, “Dear God, please help Kaka get better.” Despite their young age, they are deeply affected.
Yesterday at 6am, transplant steps started moving. A brave little boy, in a foreign land, allowed nurses, whom he couldn’t understand, to stick him multiple times and attach strange beeping equipment. As he was rolled away to surgery, he cried out for the security of his mother. I now know that feeling all too well. I can only hope that he will understand the immensity of his gift when he grows older. He is the miracle child, Khaleda’s gift!
The procedure lasted about 2 hours and was overall successful. The cell count harvested was considered to be excellent. Once the harvested cells were properly treated, we were ready to initiate a transfusion to Khaleda. Her part of the procedure was approximately one hour. The day was a huge success. We jokingly said Khaleda has another birthday!
Now it’s a waiting game. The human body is a miraculous thing. These tiny stem cells know exactly where to go and what to do for her body. At the moment, our goal is to support her in every way medically to prevent infection and keep all organs functioning normally until the new cells engraft and start working. Stay tuned for her progress. Oh yeah, and whatever you do – don’t stop praying!!!