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When we accepted her referral from China, we were told she had an abnormal CT scan. That's really all we knew.
By the time we got her, she had been in a Chinese foster family for a year, so she was finally able to sit up and crawl... but, there were many challenges.
Gabriella could sit and crawl, but she would fall ALL the time... when we realized these falls (just from sitting) could literally take her life, we purchased a soft padded helmet for her which she wore for the first year home.
While the doctors had no suggestions and continued to do tens of thousands of dollars in blood testing, after her MRI, to find the root cause of her cerebellar atrophy, they came up with nothing but her diagnosis:
Diagnosis: "Severe cerebellar atrophy"
I knew within 6 months of Gabriella coming home that there was nothing "atrophying" in her brain. She was indeed getting better and stronger in our care.
So, in the follow-up appointment, our neurologist changed the diagnosis verbally to: "Severe cerebellar hypoplasia" ... basically, her cerebellum is not atrophying or dying.
Gabriella eats 90% organic food and takes a number of supplements each day. The ones I attribute her most significant help from came from Univera's Essentials drink and Metagreen capsules.
She has very limited wheat (only in her organic bars or pizza), no corn, soy, and minimal dairy (although she still ingests way too much dairy because we are lovers of cheese and yogurt).
We try to keep our diet as close to veggies, fruits, nuts and beans as possible.
While all this is good, and I believe it made a rapid improvement in her health while still in China during our adoption process, it wasn't what made the most significant difference in her ability to walk or not.
She gets physical therapy at school twice a week for up to an hour, but without exercising at home, that wasn't going to make much difference either. She loves riding her bike (with training wheels), exercising on her own, going up and down the stairs, and walking all over Costco several times a week.
Her AFO's have stabilized her ankles and have made a difference as well. Before them, she couldn't stand unassisted for even 1 second. After them, she could stand for a second or two.
What made the difference was coming before the Lord and fasting and praying and seeking Gabriella's healing in February 2011 when she began to stand from zero seconds to 4-6 seconds on occasion... by Christmas 2011 she could stand for up to 12-15 seconds on occasion.
Because I saw great growth over the year as a result of fasting, January 2012, I decided to join Jentezen Franklin's fast that he encourages his church to do each year for 21 days... I felt like I was supposed to fast longer, and so I did. And, God honored my prayers. Gabriella started standing that first week in January 2012 for up to 30 seconds... then a minute, then, two minutes, then 3 minutes... by February 6 (the final days of my 40 day fast), Gabriella stood for 6 minutes and 13 seconds...
See this post for more information: http://sweetprincessgabriella.blogspot.com/2012_02_05_archive.html
Her miracles could not have come this fast through her potential hour of physical therapy in school each week... Her miracles came because the Lord heard my prayers... And, if He will listen to mine, He will listen to yours.
His word says in Jeremiah 33:3, "Call to me and I will answer you."
Hebrews 12:13 says, "Make straight paths for my feet so that what is lame may not be dislocated but rather healed."
Over 2012, Gabriella has taken a couple unassisted steps a handful of times. But in December 2012, she took 9 tiny steps... a miracle!
She WILL walk and talk, run and jump, hop and skip and play basketball... in JESUS name!