Our Sweet Mira
June 20, 2017 - November 26, 2017
Mira is pronounced "My-Rah."
Her name means "peace" or "wished for child" or "wonderful," all of which describe her perfectly.
Mira was our second adoption. We adopted her through Bethany Christian Services. We had an open adoption with her birth family.
Mira 's adoption was a domestic infant adoption through a private Christian agency. Her adoption was also considered special needs as she had a severe heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. For more about Mira's birth/adoption, check out these frequently asked questions. This heart condition was discovered on her birthmom's anatomy ultrasound.
Mira was born on June 20, 2017 at 2:37am and was 5 lbs., 2 oz. and 18 in. long. Briana actually got to help her sweet, young birthmom in delivery! What an incredible night that was.
She spent her first seven weeks of life in the best children's hospital under the care of the most wonderful nurses and most skilled doctors available.
Mira was small and mighty (hence her hashtag, #mightymissmira) and proved to have tons of personality. She was opinionated and sassy at birth, but mellowed into an easy-going and happy baby girl.
In her first weeks of life, Mira loved:
- to have her arms free and wave her hands.
- being dressed up with matching socks and bows
- having her head rubbed, especially they way daddy did it.
- sleeping, especially on her left side.
- cold stethoscopes
- getting unswaddled to get her diaper changed, at least at first
- loud talking
- having gas!
After 55 days in-patient, Mira came home on August 14, 2017 following a g-tube/Nissen procedure the week before. She received in-home nursing care through Greg Olsen's Heartest Yard Foundation, and was seen by her doctors weekly, and then bi-weekly. She was scheduled to have her heart cath in November, and then her Glenn in late December or early January.
Having Mira at home was amazing. She was a great sleeper and a very happy and curious girl! She amazed us.
Mira developed a persistent cough that neither her pediatrician or cardiologist worried about at first. We thought it might be a virus, so we tried antibiotics, then we tried an allergy-antihistamine, but neither helped. They thought it must be the remnants of a cold that would work itself out as she grew. On a Sunday morning in early November, Mira had trouble keeping her O2 saturations up and was feeling pretty miserable, and we called her cardiologist, who told us to rush her to Levine. She was admitted, and she had a heart cath scheduled for the end of the week. The doctors weren't sure what was causing the cough because all viral panels and infection tests were negative. She had a procedure to open up her Nissen to make sure she wasn't coughing due to aspiration of saliva. The day of the heart cath was the last time Mira smiled and looked up at us with her beautiful eyes. She was intubated and sedated, and during that cath procedure, they discovered significant pulmonary hypertension, which is to say her lungs were very sick and required her heart to work very hard to push them open. Coughing is often a symptom of pulmonary hypertension. It wasn't something she could catch like a cold, but something she probably was was pre-dispositioned to develop, and babies with her heart physiology are always at risk of developing it. As she grew, her lungs arteries became more narrowed. This made it harder for blood to flow through her lungs, and raised pressure within her lungs. As those pressures increased, her heart's right ventricle, her single pumping chamber, had to work harder to pump blood, eventually making her heart muscle too weak and fail. Our ICU care team was amazing, and they tried treating her with every intervention known for several weeks, but Mira began experiencing episodes of cardiac arrest. On the fourth episode, CPR didn't work and Mira passed away with us by her side. She fought so very hard.
Our family, friends, and community surrounded us with love and support. We received many, many homemade meals, well-timed mail including dozens of letters, cards, and packages from sweet friends. We could never finish all the thank you notes we need to write for the gifts, meals, donations, acts of love, words of kindness...
Friends from Briana's hometown organized a huge Chick-Fil-A Spirit night where Mira's story was shared in the drive-thru, at the register, and throughout the community. More t-shirts were made and sold by Chick-Fil-A, and now people all over can wear it and share her testimony. Loving people near and far helped take care of funeral expenses and donated to Greg Olsen’s HEARTest Yard Foundation in her name. Briana's amazing students worked on fundraising for and raised over $500 in Mira's honor, culminating with a beautiful balloon release with over 100 students participating on what would have been her half-birthday. She would have loved it. The support from our schools, coworkers, and students and their families was unbelievable. Our local newspapers covered the event and wrote articles telling Mira's story.
We believe our journey is meant to be shared, the ugly included, and hope that Mira's story continues to touch hearts. It has been the hardest, sweetest, most painful, most encouraging journey we've ever traveled. While we were hopeful that Mira would live a long life, we always knew that we could lose Mira. It shocks people that we chose to adopt a baby with a broken heart, but Christ chose to adopt us into His family despite our broken, sinful hearts. Mira's life is a story of obedience. She was worth the cost, the pain, the loss. Those five precious months of life were worth it. Our grief is gut-wrenching, and we miss her in ways words can't describe. We miss our baby so much it makes us sick to our stomach.
Mira's life so beautifully illustrates the Gospel. Christ died for us because He loves us and says we're worth it. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). In the days and weeks that followed her death, we were blessed with so many people who shared the impact that Mira had on them and their relationship with Jesus. We are so very encouraged by that. Many people prayed long and loudly with us for Mira. Though God didn’t answer in the way we wanted, He still answered. He still heard. After six miscarriages, ten years of fertility treatments, two years of paperwork, and thirty thousand dollars, countless hours of literal blood, sweat, and tears, we wanted to believe God would be willing to work miracles to keep her with us. A very human part of us wants to question God’s goodness. We have beat on His heavenly chest in anger, questioned Him, doubted Him, and still, we have heard Him, and we trust Him still. Mira was here to teach you to trust Him. Still. She existed to bring God glory, to show us how to love recklessly and without fear even when it hurts. How honored and humbled we are that of the millions and billions of people, God picked us to be her family, and that He thought enough of us to be the ones to share His mighty goodness with you. If you are considering adopting or foster care, please be brave and do it. If you're scared you'll be hurt, you're probably right but please do it anyway. We are called by Jesus to care for the orphans -- be obedient! Be obedient! Whatever The Holy Spirit has been trying to urge you to do, just do that thing! Don't get sucked into the mindset that if you do what God tells you to do, your life will be easy. Often, that is not the case. But you should still do it. You WILL find God in your darkness!
If you have known Mira (even if only through social media) don't let her story fade from your mind. God used an infant who never spoke a word to bring many closer to Himself. Rest in the knowledge that we will see her again!
1 Corinthians 15:53-58
"For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. Now when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will happen, 'Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! So then, dear brothers and sisters, be firm. Do not be moved! Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
“Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him.”