Yesterday was Isabelle’s cardiac check up.

In case you’re new, or curious, Isabelle came home from China in May 2005 at 11 months.

With a half-dollar sized hole in her heart.

She underwent a very successful open heart surgery when she was 18 months old.

And she’s been one healthy little booger ever since.

In the spring after her surgery, she was released from cardiac care. Her surgeon simply felt her repair and recovery went well enough to justify her no longer being under the care of a cardiologist.

But, since our move, our new insurance provider wanted to have Isabelle re-evaluated with a new cardiologist, just to check on her heart since her surgery over four years ago.

And the timing could not have been more perfect.

In the last few months Isabelle has asked some serious, conversation-stopping questions about the telltale four inch scar down her chest.

And her face would get somber as she listened intently to the (child-sized version) story of her broken heart.

But she wanted to know more. She wanted to be able to see her heart.

She wanted to know it was better.

So, when she found out that she was going to have a special appointment with the doctor and actually get a chance to look at her heart, once she was certain they weren’t going to cut her open again, she was insanely excited.

Once the day actually arrived, she could barely contain herself.

She smiled from ear to ear through all the weigh in, check in, and EKG.

And once it was time to go for her ECHO, she all but jumped into the ultrasound technician’s arms.

And so began 45 minutes of watching Isabelle’s heart, beating away on that big, blue screen.

Isabelle chose a Dora DVD to watch on the almost life-size screen on the wall.

But I actually think she preferred watching the blue screen. Starring her heart.

With all of it’s sounds, movements, and measurements.

It really was fascinating.

As I’m often wont to do, I asked a million questions.

About hearts.

And heart defects.

And heart repairs.

As Isabelle rested under her warm blanket, eyes moving happily from one screen to another.

Once the doctor had a chance to look over Isabelle’s results, she had one thing to say.

“Her heart is gorgeous.”

And she continued, which was great, but totally unnecessary after that all- bases- covered statement.

“If there weren’t a patch on it, I’d have never known it wasn’t a perfect heart.”

And with that, I grinned from ear to ear.

Because to us, it is a perfect heart.



  1. Yay! So glad to hear she is healthy and has a gorgeous heart!

  2. What great news- and how cool that some important questions were answered! Love, Kim

  3. How beautiful! Her smile lights up the world.

  4. Miss Anna B says:

    She does have a perfect heart!

    So glad(especially for Isabelle) that you got the opportunity to be reassured!

  5. lighthousegal says:

    Hi Stefanie –
    I am an avid reader of your blog, but I think this is the first time that I have commented. This post made me cry. It just made me cry. We were hoping to adopt a heart baby or a club foot affected child, but China has told us that we are no longer eligible to adopt from there.

    Our oldest child has danced and sung since the moment she was placed in our arms. When she was about 2.5-3 they heard a murmur when she was in with a fever. We had her checked out by the cardiologist who did the echo and EKG and assured us it was a particular type of murmur. To this day I can't remember what the actual name is, but I have never forgotten whe he said the nickname for it is – a musical heart. I could not agree with him more!

  6. Heartfelt!

  7. Patricia/NYC says:

    Gorgeous heart, gorgeous girl!!
    SOOOO happy to hear Isabelle got a glowing report!!

  8. Great news ~

  9. Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!!
    Hooray Isabelle!

  10. adoptionroad says:

    Beautifully written Stefanie!

  11. living4Him says:

    Wonderful news! Beautiful smile. :-)

  12. God is good!

  13. That is wonderful news! Just last week we went through the same routine (EKG, echo, appt) with our cardiologist. My 14 yo has an aortic valve defect that we've been watching since he was six months old. He's always gotten good check-ups, but things have started to deteriorate in the last year or so. They are planning on doing surgery on him this summer.

  14. Gorgeous heart. She gets it from her mama.

  15. So glad to hear that everything is good with sweet Isabelle!!!!

  16. from one Heart Kids Mom to another – AWESOME! perfect timing too :)

  17. awww. mei is too cute.

  18. Tara Anderson says:

    Amen…a perfect heart, indeed!!!

  19. Great news Stef. We have 1 more OHS to go this June 9th to complete our daughter's repair. Can't wait to see the pics and her sats when her repair is complete.

  20. Praise the Lord! So happy to hear all is well, she is indeed a gorgeous little girl.

  21. We have alot in common, our 17 year old "baby", was born with a 1st degree AV bloc and since her 10th bday she has had a pacemaker, so once every 3 months we do pretty much the same. I am so glad to see everything is going perfect and yes both of them have "perfect" hearts!!! You are a great mother I hope you know that.

    Love and blessings, Kristy

  22. Yay, so glad to hear it was a great appointment!! What a perfect thing for the doctor to say. Woo hoo!! And you have reminded me I need to make Mia's annual appointment. Thank you!

  23. Wonderful news! Our youngest daughter had a moderate VSD. It closed on its own, surprising the cardiologist, without any surgery. But there is nothing more beautiful than hearing those words that the heart is now healed!

  24. I just love this. I love how you see your children.

  25. :) Wonderful news! :)

  26. Ok that may be the sweetest post I have ever read! Bless that sweet girl!

  27. *Overflowing* says:

    YAY!!!! Great update…I'm so happy to hear that all went well! Hugs, stacy

  28. Shay Ankerich says:

    Thank you for sharing this story today. This momma needs to hear as many wonderful stories about gorgeous hearts as she can!!! So thankful you all got such a glowing report and look forward to the day when our little ShayleeJoy has a gorgeous heart as well!

  29. Yay! That is great news! I love to watch the echo's. They are so cool. :)

  30. Praise God!!! Isabelle is beautiful inside and out!!!

  31. Such a cute situation for learning. So happy to hear all is STILL well. Maybe this is your doctor in the family.

  32. Ya know – yeah – you didn't "need" to hear the doctor's comments – but it sure was nice to hear anyway – right?

    And as for perfect – well – some things could go without saying – but saying DOES give them life!

    hugs – aus and co.

  33. Gorgeous & Perfect indeed!!!
    We love you Belle.

  34. That is awesome news!! Yay Isabelle!!

  35. Tears in my eyes reading this. So lovely…

  36. Colin and Jill Canada says:

    She is absolutely gorgeous – inside and out!

    So happy to hear she is doing so well.


  37. Such a wonderful update! And the photos are really cute too. I love how her nose scrunches up when she smiles! Congratulations on your gorgeous girl and her gorgeous heart!

    Our Blog: Double Happiness!

  38. Beautiful post!! So glad she is healthy! Our daughter has gone yearly to the heart specialist since her surgery in 2006. This year they told her she could wait 3 more years!! Yay!!

  39. Mei Mei s and Mayhem says:

    So glad to hear she is doing great. We have a heart baby too!!

  40. I am so glad her heart is prefect…she is "fearfully and wonderfully made."

  41. How great is our God?
    Gorgeous Post!
    Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

  42. Gorgeous indeed!!!!

    So glad all is well with that little cutie-pie of yours!!!

  43. thegypsymama says:

    Crying. I am sitting at my desk in my little office at work crying. This just touched me in so many different ways – mama love and God love and baby love all wrapped up in a beating heart.

    Thank you for this beautiful insider's look, Stefanie!

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