Friday, February 27, 2015

Show Hope & CHD Awareness: Kya

I recently signed up to be a Show Hope blogger. My latest assignment is to share my favorite adoption story. As most of you know, that would be Kya's story. And since it is still (barely) Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Month, I thought now would be a good time to write that post.

I think a large majority of you already know Kya's story, but I will go ahead and share it anyway.

Two or three years ago, the Keen family started attending the church our family went to at the time. We enjoyed their company, and got together with them for Thanksgiving. It was a lot of fun, especially for my two youngest brothers, who became fast friends with their three boys.

The Keen family pre adoption.

When I found out they were planning to adopt two little girls from China, I was even more excited to have met them. I couldn't wait to see who these little ones would be!

They continued to weed through paperwork as we became closer friends. Our families got together often to share a meal or holiday.

Finally, one day in August 2013, they received their referral for a little girl living in an orphanage in Shaanxi, China. Soon after, I got to see her picture while on a visit to their house. We all thought she was just beautiful!

"Wei Yulin"


While they knew this little girl had digestive problems as well as a heart condition, they were not told the full extent of it. Instead, they were informed that while she would require surgeries, both were  "fixable". So they accepted the referral and began to prepare for Tracy's trip to China to bring her home into their family.

On December 15, 2013, Tracy met in Kya in China.

Kya had just been released from the hospital in time for Gotcha Day, and Tracy soon realized this little girl was much sicker then she had been told.

Not only that, but she was emotionally heartsick, not understanding love. She just wanted to be left alone.

But slowly, over time, her little smile began to appear...(above pic is of Kya with her friend, Elyana.)

After arriving home with Kya, they began the process of settling her in and beginning her medical treatment.
Although at first, she only wanted Mommy, she soon became a "Daddy's girl."

Her tiny little smile grew into a beautiful large one...

I was blessed to meet her in February. She was so beautiful, toddling around the house in her walker, wearing a tutu.

In March of 2014, she underwent a surgery to help her little tummy work correctly. (More details from this surgery here.)

After a stay in the hospital, they brought her home to recover and prepare for what was next-her first heart surgery. She was happy to be at home with her family.

Sleeping with big brother, Colton. He adored her!

Beautiful smile...

During this time, our family got to see her again. We had a great time!

Wearing her new hat by Cassie.

This is probably my favorite picture of me with her.


In April, she went in for her first heart surgery.

Soon after arrival at the hospital on the day of the surgery.
Her heart had to be stopped to perform the surgery. And it never really began to beat again afterwards. She spent close to two months in the hospital.


Her time in the hospital was truly a roller coaster. At times, she seemed to be getting better, only to worsen again.
Finally, there was nothing further to be done for her. Her parents had to make the awful decision to take her off the machines.

From Tracy:
Kya Marilyn Keen
Born October 22, 2011.
Adopted and Loved Forever.
With Jesus on June 2, 2014
You will be glad to know God heard our pleas. Kya was in our arms when the machines were turned off and she stormed the gates of heaven. She lasted two minutes before she breathed her last and struggled no more.
And just so you know, we’d do it all over again if we had to. We love our bear.
Kya's story touched my heart in so many ways, and I hope it touches yours, too.
To learn more about Kya, you can visit her blog or google+ page.

 Memorial video. It has music, so you may want to pause the music at the top of this blog and turn up your speakers.

To read more stories of adopted Chinese children living with CHD, visit 28 Days of Hearts.
For ways to get involved in orphan care, visit Teens Interceding for Orphans
If you read through this post, thank you for taking the time to do so. It was on my heart to get this written out, and I am so glad I did. Her story has inspired me to do something for orphans, specifically those in China.

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