Ella’s Grace (Verse 3)

a series on the pursuit of happiness

2 min readAug 1, 2018

I understand now, that a pursuit of happiness is one that never ends.

And Then Nevada

Finally in Vegas, beyond the shadows of decadence and wildly lavish dreams, there was light, and a sense that perhaps someone was watching from above. It wasn’t where we’d imagined ourselves to be. Yet amidst a desert born of self-indulgence and greed, we were given the chance to mend a failing heart.

By the time we’d landed on that chilly December afternoon, Ella was barely four months old, a tiny thing who’d overcome so much in life, yet was incessantly asked to endure. Her feedings were struggles lasting hours on end, mostly futile attempts at the smallest amounts of milk, and medications that made a daunting process even worse. It sounds so ordinary, a baby taking her milk, yet it consumed and frustrated us, through the days and nights that seemed to never end.

Somehow though, she had to grow, and bear those months of suffocating pressure to gain the weight and the strength she desperately needed. It was disheartening to say the least, and almost impossible to accept, but our goal in raising Ella was to allow her an open heart surgery, to save her life. And no matter how hard we tried to wish it away, we always knew that as soon as she could, we’d take the chance to make things right.

And so we fled across the States, bringing everything we had, the hopes and dreams that seemed lost those months ago.

I’ll never forget how she stared back at me from the nurse’s arms, not knowing where she was. I’d kissed her one last time and handed her over. Her innocence, those fluorescent lights again, a tiny hospital gown, and dark questioning eyes, wondering why. It was the first time I’d ever left her side, forcing myself to turn and walk away, knowing I’d moved every single mountain I could. She was under someone else’s watch now, and somehow our lives would change.

That afternoon in the hospital, when we finally heard she’d made it through, I exhaled for the first time since Pensacola, and all the emotions of our incredible journey came rushing out.

I’ll forever be indebted to the wonderful people who brought light to our world, who helped mend a failing heart, who gave a beautiful baby her first, full breath of life. Theirs are truly the hands that heal.

We brought Ella home a few days before Christmas, and life started. Again.

P.S. This is the final verse of the series. Thank you so much for allowing me to tell our story. Please share this series with others as we continue learning more about one another, one story at a time.




lending my words to our collective Asian American voice