There she lay, this frail little body, skin paper thin, grayish in color, tubes connected everywhere fighting off tremors that terrorized her body, day and night. The ravenous symptoms resembled living with a severe flu bug and a migraine headache 24/7. Stimuli of any sort was just too much for her nervous system to handle. Unable to be held, comforted or even spoken to, this premature newborn lying in a dark room was going through drug withdrawal.
Three months later she would find herself in her third foster home with new noises sounds, smells and stimuli to adapt to. With no more tubes connected, alarms going off or little needle pokes enveloping her she was onto the next phase of recovery.
Her body tone rigid, still fighting tremors in her muscles, she needed to focus on learning to eat from a bottle. With the process of feeding initially hindered by tubes and sickness, her innate suck swallow mechanism had been compromised and needed some therapeutic assistance. She simply could not successfully intake the proper amount of formula into her little body to thrive. That process would prove to her foster parents to be anything less than an arduous and fearful challenge to endure.
With winter approaching and the all to familiar cold and flu season knocking at the door this slowly developing baby would soon be diagnosed with RSV, asthma and chronic ear infections, requiring more meds, and a breathing apparatus to assist her difficult journey of recovery.
For the next three years this little girl would experience therapy after therapy, diagnosis after diagnosis. From ear tube surgeries and tonsil removal to daily Physical Therapy for muscle tone issues. She would combat symptoms pointing to the inability to walk normally without leg braces while learning how to socially integrate into environments so over stimulating to her nervous system that she would cause harm to her own body as a coping mechanism.
Was she to ever catch a break on this road to recovery? Would she ever relate to "normal"? Exhausted but thankful, her foster parents wondered if any of this would turn out for her good?
To the credit of the one sovereign and merciful God...it would.
Finally at the doorstep of adoption with much prayer, this little warrior would be renamed Amanda which meant "worthy of Love". As if her little heart had somehow fully grasped the depth of the meaning to her name, precious Amanda began to grow and thrive and heal in ways that were astounding to those around her. She learned to laugh and play and even create using new textures and tools, and musical instruments. She made friends and tried new and exciting things. This fragile Lily was beginning to bloom.
With the gift of the agency Antioch Adoptions by their side, encouraging them, to look to the future, Amanda's parents began to realize this little girl has a unique God given purpose for her life. Everything she had endured, experienced and participated in until now was preparing her for many special moments to come.
Amanda had developed quite a tenacity to overcome hardship and trying new things out of the ordinary. She was excelling in academics and got to a place where she began to love life and what it would present before her. She participated in sports such as soccer, track, softball and even boy's football. The harder it was the harder she worked proving not only to herself but to anyone who had witnessed her journey that God was doing a new thing in her.
Now in her freshman year of high school halfway through her football season Amanda found herself in a whirlwind of even more exciting opportunities as she was voted Homecoming Princess and ASB President for her class as well.
On display in radiant beauty, standing in the spotlight with her crown on her head, a stunning dress fit for royalty and her good ol' football cleats completing her outfit, Amanda was reminded how far she had come. Peering out into the cheering crowd, incredibly grateful, this princess took it all in knowing that she had initially come from rehab but now proudly stood in royalty.
Her Mom believes much of this extraordinary story started the day she was adopted. Antioch Adoptions gave so much to this family in times of great need. This story and many more simply would not be possible without the help of so many keeping Antioch Adoptions open by their incredible donations. This month is what they call "Double Impact" month for fundraising. What someone might give in dollars is matched 100%. Could you consider giving today to Antioch Adoptions so more stories like this can be celebrated in the future?
Author's bio: TINA URY currently resides near Seattle Washington, Over the years she has had many opportunities to serve the Lord in various areas from Women's Bible Studies, marriage ministry and Children's Ministry to writing, directing, acting and comedy. She really enjoys speaking to groups on various topics concerning the faith through humor, drama and the Word.
Tina is married to her amazing husband Colin of 24 years. Together the Urys have 2 biological boys and adopted their two little girls.
She takes interest in many things such as outdoor activities like hiking, biking, skiing to indoor luxuries such as reading and studying the Word. When she "grows up" she'd like to make a full time career out of ministering to people through speaking, humor and teaching from Gods Word.