Sunday, March 25, 2012


We leave tomorrow for JHU for Tatum's palate repair surgery...I have many emotions going through my mind, and a ton of things to cross off my 'To Do' list before we head to Baltimore. Most of all, I need to remember that Tatum will be in the best care with some of the world's finest doctors and nurses. We have spoken openly with Tatum regarding her surgery. She seems to understand that she has a hole in the roof of her mouth and that Mommy and Daddy do not. We've told her that her surgery will hurt a little, but that Mommy and Daddy will be there to hold her hand and make it all better. We have asked this brave little two year old, who we have only known for 6 months to trust us like she has never trusted us before...and you know, I think she gets it. We've told her that we don't want her milk and her yogurt to run from her nose anymore (even though she doesn't seem to mind and just smiles and wipes her nose).She is so brave and strong and this week is just another test of her braveness.

We are fortunate enough to be staying in the Children's House at Johns Hopkins while Tatum is having her surgery. There is room for one parent to spend the night in the hospital room. I will stay with Tatum through the night and every moment there after. I want her to know that Mama is always there for her. I am off work this whole week and then going back part time the following week before Easter and returning full time after that.

I hold Tatum's biological parents close in my heart right now. I mean, I always do, but even more so right now. I often wonder how this little beauty was lucky enough for everything that has happened in her life. Don't get me wrong, she has suffered--any orphan has. But, she was so lucky to have a government program in China perform her cleft lip repair when she was just 5 months old. Tatum was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity for international adoption in an orphanage that didn't seem to interested in participating....and now, we are the lucky ones. We are blessed with such a beautiful little girl inside and out. She is the most head strong, strong willed little girl I have ever met....but to me that just means she is destined to do good things in life. She is here to challenge us, and let me tell you, we are up for this challenge. We want only the best in life for Tatum....and will help her attack each and every door that is opened for her in life. This week is just the beginning of the rest of her life. She is saying good-bye to the life she has always known....a life with an open cleft palate. We can't wait to hear her new voice, see her blow bubbles better, and eat and drink without even the littlest drop falling from her nose. We can't wait for Tatum to face this new life head on, just as she has with everything else in life to date.

 We love you Tatum McKenlin Elliott!!

We have to be at the hospital at 7:30am on Tuesday morning....more updates to follow!!

*Deb, Scott and Julia-thanks for checking in on our family---have a great vacation!!*

Thank you to all our friends and Tatum's teachers for the thoughful gifts to take with us to the hospital to help Tatum pass the time while in recovery. We can't thank you enough.


Sharon said...

Best wishes and prayers to Tatum for a great surgery and a speedy recovery. She will do wonderfully because she has two loving parents by her side.

Debbie said...

Diane, I wish we lived closer so I could do something to help!

I know Tatum will get lots of hugs and kisses while she undergoes this, she is such a special little girl and such a blessing :)

Was teary reading this as I can tell how much Tatum means to you both.....everything.

Sending you support and love from the UK.

If you get the channce, please let us know how Tatum is doing. Dx

Jen said...

Lots of prayers for Little Tatum as she undergoes her surgery tomorrow. Praying for peace for Mom and Dad too! Blessings to you all!

Jen said...

Lots of prayers for Little Tatum as she undergoes her surgery tomorrow. Praying for peace for Mom and Dad too! Blessings to you all!

Tara said...

Best wishes and here's hoping for a speedy recovery!! You all are going to do great. She was meant for you to have you know?! Hugs!! I miss you!