My Heart Will Sing No Other Name

We left Nashville yesterday evening and arrived in Ann Arbor around 9:30 last night.  Before we left everyone’s morale had dropped quite a bit.  Amon was having a hard time…just really sad.  Everyone was definitely feeling the weightiness of the whole situation.  Harper disappeared into her room and emerged in a banana costume and announced, “Who wants a hug from the banana?”  Have a mentioned I love her?!?!?!  She’s just the best.

We said all our goodbyes and Big Daddy, Josh Kelley’s dad, took us to the airport.  It was pretty sad leaving and I had about a 5 second break down in Josh’s sister Jen’s arms.  I sucked it up and recovered.  Hahahaha.  Everett is smitten with this stuffed rainbow donkey piñata and out of all his little animals it was the one he insisted he take with him.  After checking our bag Andy, Becky, Meiya and Nia showed to to hug our necks and send us off.  It made us feel crazy loved for sure.  I wanted to sob…they are just too good to us.

The flight was super easy.  Everett did amazing.  He did however poop his pull-up right before we took off and I accidentally checked all his pull-ups in my suitcase so he was the stinky kid on the plane.  As we exited the plane one of the ladies gave him a set of wings and he has worn them non stop since.  It’s the cutest.

Our friends Andrea and Kyle met us at the airport in Detroit.  Right when we landed we were greeted by the most insane sunset I’ve ever seen.  This photo is doctored ZERO.  It was outstanding and I felt like God was all, “Hey, I show up wherever you go.”  Andrea and Kyle are so graciously letting us use their car while we’re in town.  When we loaded up in the car there was a stuffed bear wearing a Michigan shirt in Everett’s car seat, bottled waters in the cup holders, homemade peanut butter and snickerdoodle cookies sitting on the console and a giant bag of treats and goodies for Everett and us.  I started crying before we even made it out of the parking garage.  We are insanely blessed to know people like this.  I cannot say that enough.

We drove only about 30 minutes to our hotel and when we checked in the guy gave us another giant basket my new friend Aimee and some of her friends put together for us.  There we’re fresh strawberries, more homemade cookies and the cutest basket bursting with snacks, treats and more goodies.  Cue more tears.  We have walked this path and watched as God continues to show up in so many different people and ways.  He simply has blown us away.

We all crashed late, but slept hard and then had to be at Mott Children’s Hospital at 8:45am this morning so we snagged breakfast and hit the road.  The hospital is close to our hotel and we were really impressed with the facility and all the staff members. Everything is very easy to find and make your way through and there are staff members everywhere to help you get where you need to be.

 We spent about 5 hours there doing lots and lots of pre-op testing.  We waited hardly any which was so nice.  Our time was so full, but everything moved really quickly and efficiently.  Everett did have an echo that lasted 2 hours.  The kid watched an entire movie and got into a second one, but we we’re so thankful for the thoroughness of the doctors and techs.  Everyone was so friendly.

Our surgeon Dr. Bove did find on Everett’s chest x-ray that his diaphragm is compressing his right lung.  He is going to try and suture the diaphragm down during surgery as well, but if he cannot get to his diaphragm easily he will do this in a separate surgery as to not make Everett’s surgery more complicated.  It’s crazy they keep finding more things about his sweet little body.

We loved finally meeting Dr. Bove in person.  It was so comforting and nice.  He is calm and professional and kind and so knowledgable. Bonus…he had blood on his socks and dried blood caked on his shoes.  Josh Kelley said they must be his lucky surgery shoes 🙂  We both genuinely felt better after actually meeting him in person and are so thankful he saw something in Everett he felt like he could do to help move him forward.  So so thankful.

Everett did absolutely amazing.  He went the whole day on only breakfast, a sucker, 5 sticks of gum and some handfuls of goldfish.  And no nap.  He cried zero until the very end when they took his blood and then it was pitiful.  Afterwards we snagged a late lunch at Panera and went back to our hotel where all three of us crashed for a nap.

Josh found a really delicious authenticate Chinese restaurant for dinner that was down the road.  If you’re ever in Ann Arbor you need to check out Evergreen Restaurant.  We dined on potstickers and rice noodles with veggies and General Tsou’s chicken.  Unfortunately Everett’s fortune was not, “You will recover nicely from heart surgery.” 🙂  But Josh pointed out you must be alive to inherit money and land.  Hahahaha.

We we’re able to facetime with all the kids back at home.  The first time we facetimed with Amon it did not go so well.  He broke down into tears and Everett is really empathetic so when he sees someone else really crying he almost always cries too, so then Everett broke down into tears as well.  They both recovered, but then proceeded to do the same thing 2 more times.  It was adorable/sad/funny.  We opted to try again later when Amon was in better spirits and the second time was way better.  Everyone is missing each other and Everett has asked to go home lots.

He had his pre-surgery bath tonight.  He’s been cut off from food and drinks and we’ll scrub him down in the morning with special wipes the hospital gave us.  We have to be at the hospital at 6:15am and he is their first case.  The nerves have really set in this evening.  I do feel a sense of peace and it was really really good to meet our surgeon in person, but I still have these nervous feelings that make your stomach churn and make it hard to go to sleep.  Josh is up working and I’m here typing away.  Everett fell asleep in between the both of us which was a far cry from last night when I tried to sleep with him because I wanted this sweet, snuggly, sleeping moment with him.  After the lights we’re out he tossed and turned for a few minutes and then said, “Mommy, you go sleep with Daddy.”  The kid booted me from his bed and fell asleep once I was gone.  Haha.  He sleeps by himself at home so I guess I really threw a kink is his routine.  He is such a trip.

Now I’m just trying to remember to breath and my mind keeps running this line:

My heart will sing no other name…Jesus

I simply know this, God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He will not change based on the outcome of Everett’s surgery.  If we came away with anything today it’s that this is really Everett’s shot.  I know, that I know, that I know our God is good and no matter what I want my heart to only sing His name.  May God always receive the glory He so rightly deserves.  Sunday I sat in on my FIL’s class at church.  They are reading a book called The Good and Beautiful God.  I loved what he pressed the class to really learn and tuck away in their hearts…that God is present, pure & powerful.  He provides, pardons and protects.  I keep reminding myself of those truths.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for praying for him and our family.  Thank you for believing and hoping with us.  I will try and update everyone as soon as we can tomorrow.


  1. cousin amy says:

    Praying, praying!! Love you all, Laura!!!!

  2. Vanessa in Texas says:

    Continuing to pray for Everett (and your entire family). God’s got this.

  3. Jamie J. says:

    I’m glad you can feel so much love surrounding you. Sending lots more love and prayers your way!

    Banana Harper is pretty much the best. I mean, c’mon!

  4. Amanda Clark says:

    Thinking and praying for Everett, Josh and you! Praying God will shower you all with His mercy and grace tonight, tomorrow and the coming days! Love and prayers.

  5. Courtney says:

    Frequent reader (for YEARS), very infrequent commenter (um, can’t remember if/when I ever commented actually, but I tell people stories about stuff from your blog and I make your gooey butter cake for all of the races I produce, so we’re basically BFFs dontcha know), fellow Tennessean (down South in the ‘noog)…sending all the good vibes north to Michigan!

    We’re rooting for you to inherit that large sum of money, Everett! Hang in there mom and dad and take care of yourselves!

  6. Karen in californiA says:

    Our little family here in California is praying for Everett. And for you and Josh. I’ve followed you for quite a while, but never commented. But I just want you to know we are praying for your boy.

  7. I’ve never commented before, but just had to tell you how hard I am praying for you all.

  8. MeliNda says:

    Praying for you all this morning!! Can’t wait to hear the praise report on how well the surgery went!!

  9. Cindy patron says:

    Laura, praying for your whole sweet family today. And praying specifically for every step of this journey for Everett.

  10. Big prayers for sweet Everett, his heart, the surgeon, and your entire family from… (clap, clap, clap, clap)… deep in the heart of Texas! God and your mama will be right there with you every step of the way…

  11. Christie grant says:

    I am awake to pray you into the hospital with God’s peace.
    His mercy endures forever and it is new each morning. May the joy of the Lord be your strength and may you lean on Jesus to sustain you during this time.

    Prayers for the doctor and all surgery and hospital staff to have God’s wisdom, love and skill to knit Everett’s heart tenderly back together
    Lord, keep Laura and Josh safe in the palm of your hand as they. wait patiently and expectantly, and I pray they fully trust in you.
    God you are the great physician and our faith is in you and your redeeming love for us.

    May the kiddos at home be filled with patience and love with one another enduring this time with courage.

    Lord, we depeend on your grace. In Jesus’s most precious name we pray. Amen.

  12. Continuing to pray for you all! Also, I’m breaking my work dress code and wearing my panda shirt under my scrubs today in honor of Everett .

  13. Shannon says:

    I’m a follower of your blog from NC. Praying for you today and in the days to come. This song has been on my mind the past few days. It gave me comfort during some difficult times. I found this video that someone made and it seemed to be meant for you all.

  14. Praying! God loves Everett more than you ever could. (Believe it or not) He was healed over 2000 years ago. The price has been paid. You are just waiting to see the results. It is finished! Praying for peace, wisdom, healing! Love from Mt. Juliet.

  15. I am praying. Praying for Everett, praying for Dr. Bove and all those helping him, praying for you and Josh as you sit and wait, praying for your kids at home, praying for those family and friends that are watching your kids. Words can’t express my heart right now. Tears flow and it is crazy, because I don’t even know you. But you are wrapped in my thoughts and prayers today and you are loved.

  16. HEATHER says:

    Praying fervently for Everett, his surgical team, you and Josh, and your kiddos at home. I shared Everett’s story with my small group and they are praying as well. So grateful for the love showered on y’all!!

  17. Carol Short says:

    Praying for your family!

  18. Your faith is beautiful and amazing. I’m praying for all involved!

  19. Christina says:

    Prayers are going up in Kentucky that all is going well with your little man. We met last year at C4c and spent time chatting about foster care, adoption, and books. It was so fun to meet and I hope everything goes great today.

  20. Kathleen says:

    Praying for you and the family! Remember the miracles that have been worked in the past and know this can be done, too! Not too far in the past, children with CHDs had no option for any kind of life saving surgery- look what they can do now!! I know many children who have fought through so many things people said were impossible to overcome! I personally think children born with CHDs are also blessed with an extra special resiliency and fight. Shuai can do this and so can God!!!

  21. Still praying big bold prayers for your sweet little guy, and everyone involved in his care. Sending love and hugs to you today.

  22. Heather says:

    I’ve watched your beautiful family grow over the years (in many ways!) through time at MCE, updates via Jen (she was my daughter’s teacher), and all the mutual people around town we know in common. I’m a HUGE Michigan sports fan, and the stories often veer over to Mott, so I’ve read and learned a lot about it over the years. You are in the right place. The best place. I’m so glad you found it, and my prayer is that all goes right and that his little body is healed AND that y’all will have peace throughout today and the days to come.

  23. Heather Herman says:

    I’m praying over Dr.Bove & everyone involved in Shuai’s surgery. Praying over you & Josh and all the Kelley kiddos still here in TN missing you guys. I pray that God in all his mighty power heals Shuai’s heart like only He can do. I’m so thankful for your blog and your transparency during difficult seasons. I don’t always comment or email but you Kelleys are on my mind a lot! I hope you guys are headed back to TN in no time! All my love & prayers!

  24. Cathy troyer says:

    We continue to pray…

  25. T Haggerty says:

    We are with you in this expectancy of great wonders and goodness and healing virtue from God. He is sooo faithful. Remember, “I am My Beloved’s, and My Beloved is mine” as you go through this.

  26. Man, that sunset! Been praying off and on all day here in Texas… Amon’s heart surgery was only a few weeks after I started following you and I was privileged to pray through that too.
    To be honest, between some of the comments above, and the stories of things people have done for you, I was tearing up – so much love for your boy (and you!) all across this country. Good thing God can listen to us all at once, bending his ear about you.

  27. Prayers sent from VA. May God bless your precious baby, the surgeon, and your family!

  28. Jessica Dooley says:

    As a fellow Christian, without children (yet), reading this in tears, not understanding how people endure some of the things we are called to walk through here on Earth, my heart just shouted out to me He LIVES! He LIVES! Praying for your sweet family!

  29. Maria G says:

    My prayers for Everett. May God wrap you in his arms and comfort you and your family.


  1. […] may remember our surgeon’s bloody shoes and socks.  Well Josh Kelley later further explained they we’re also clogs with a heel.  You guys, my […]

Leave A Comment