Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Busy Week~Fun Week~Big News (Soon)

The last week was a bit of a madhouse, fun and blessed, but constantly going.

We ended last week (Thursday night) celebrating Timothy and Thomas' birthdays at a local restaurant (thanks to a member of our family).  It really was nice to get out.  This was Timothy's first birthday with a daddy, mommy,  sisters, and brothers (not to mention grandma, an uncle, and friends).

This is one of those all time favorite pictures.  I look at my husband
and those feelings of exactly why I married him come flooding back.
I look at my son and see his joy and feel like he's always been with us.

Presents are SO exciting for Timothy!  The little froggy blanket (he got
for his birthday from us) we had stored in our closet for years.  All of the littles (including Ben as a little and Bekah who "officially" is a middle) have a different blanket.  When I saw one we didn't 
have a couple years ago, I bought it for any future child.  The children LOVE them.  We 
don't buy big expensive gifts, but ones that will be used and cherished.

Above and below aren't the best pictures, but they are
Timothy's first time blowing out candles.  The restaurant
gave them free gluten free cookies.  The candles wouldn't actually stand
in what we brought. (chuckling)

This is what happens when a homemade cream cheese pie with cherries is made...and not\
brought to a restaurant in a cooler.  It becomes cream cheese pudding (smile).  Everyone
still ate it and it tasted GREAT (thank you Anna), but 
we learned a lesson.  In 100 degree heat, put pies in a cooler.

Though we had two major meetings and casting for Timothy from Thursday to Sunday, this was just the start of the fun.

We were blessed to have a table sponsored for us at our local children's hospital's ADORABLE Character Breakfast.

We had breakfast until the parade of characters came through.

Joy from Inside Out was our favorite.  Jael told her that
she knows Riley and Joy started yelling to the room, "SHE KNOWS RILEY! HEY GUYS, SHE KNOWS RILEY! I KNOW RILEY!!!"

Our Batkids and Batwoman

He wouldn't let go of Max's hand and had us all laughing.

Ben wasn't sure what to think.

Serious giggles happening here.

Our little princesses were so happy.

We then went out to meet the characters.  With our family full of "characters" we fit right in.

I admit, this was the COOLEST costume
ever.  We all headed to him first.  Seriously cool!
This was Gabe's favorite (and almost everyone else).

You may guess this was Rachel's favorite.  You'd be right.

The Inside Out cast.  Apparently Anger was too angry to come and
Disgust was to disturbed by all the people.

Our mini Superman and the bigger one.


This is what happens when I turn my  

The Littles didn't know who many of these people were, but
they had fun none the less.

This was still the beginning of the day for us.  We piled into our van, split into two vans (borrowed my moms) and headed to meet some friends from Church.  We were headed to a HUGE Fourth of July based Christian concert.  It's free and we go almost every year.  

Nope, we usually don't give the kids soda, BUT it WAS SO HOT and the
kids actually needed the sugar!!!

The teens were playing soccer in the field behind our shade tent.  Anna may have
got a tad burnt.  They had strangers come and play with them throughout the day.

Beautiful girls (and our girl peeking in).

Timothy had no clue what was going on, but LOVED playing!

Okay, these twins...seriously fun!

An awesome friend of mine (shout out Amy) and our Gabe!

Did I mention it was hot?  Yup, Thomas felt it necessary to cool 
his friend Bryan down.

We stayed only about 2 1/2 hours with the littles (and Bekah). It was just too hot.  The middles (and bigs) know their bodies well enough to stay hydrated and feel if there's an issue, but we already knew we couldn't keep the littles there the whole time.

Timothy fell asleep after only about five minutes in the car.

This was it for me and the six youngest for the day, but still...the weekend wasn't over.

Sunday had one more beautiful surprise...a gender reveal for our Sarah and Ivan.


Our newest granddaughter Isabella!!!!

So that's the recap of our busiest week EVER!  Okay, maybe it just felt like it.  We have SO much going on.  Miracles are happening and God is on the move.  We hope to announce soon some big stuff.  I.AM.SO.EXCITED!!!!

Please pray God places everything exactly the way it needs to be so we can move move move (not

Have a blessed day friends!!!

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
    abounding in love to all who call to you.  
                                     Psalm 86:5

Thursday, June 16, 2016

God Moments and the Hospital

Today was just full of God moments.  Many I can't share because...
#1 It's not time.
#2 It involves others besides ourselves.

I didn't expect it.  We were at the hospital from nine am to three pm.

I woke up feeling (and acting a bit) like a bear.  For those that think I'm super mom, nope.  This morning my super cape was bear sized.  My poor kids.

Yet, from the second we stepped in the hospital...GOD EVERYWHERE.

I met adoptive parents and future adoptive mamas...and we had a moment that blew me away.  A moment that was ordained by God.....WOW.


Today Timothy got new casts.  The last one has started making a difference in just one week, even I could see it.

We discussed several medical things.  The doctor feels that Timothy will probably eventually walk, one way or another, without assistance.  This is a HUGE WAHOO!!!!!!

The hips are still under discussion.  He said surgery is very much a wait and see (to some extent).  Timothy is very mobile.  He walks on his severe clubbed foot and casts already.  Right now our focus is seeing how far we can get with his feet.  His feet will need some surgery, but how far his feet come will dictate which surgery.  We still hope (the small chance we were given) that he will not need amputations.  They don't scare us, but we always want what is least invasive.

It was a long day and Timothy was a bit tired.

These kids are such jewels.

Timothy showing you his new casts.

Today we are tired.  Today was also such a gift.


The Lord is good to all,
    and his mercy is over all that he has made.

Psalm 145:5

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Drug Withdrawing, Time, and A Gift

Three years ago on June 15th, 2013 I got off a plane feeling weary and broken.  My brother and I had spent 15 hours or so on a plane with my drug withdrawing almost ten year old.

Benjamin had been kept in a shed, sensory deprived, and had bite mark scars over his face.  He was suffering as drugs exited his system.  He was attacking me as his skin felt like it was crawling.

I came home hypervigilant and broken.  The word PTSD was thrown around by those who had experienced it. Ten to twelve months later it only began to ease.   It was one of the hardest things I've ever experienced in my life.

Yet, three years ago blessing landed on that plane as well.  Hope landed on that plane.  Joy landed on that plane.

Ben has challenged everything we've known as parents like no other.  He also has made us laugh, cry with the smallest accomplishment, and stretched us to be better people.

With time his true personality came out...silly...loving...stubborn (chuckle).  I won't pretend it is all easy, but it is a journey we are so thankful to be on.

Happy Family Day Benjamin!  You are a gift we didn't even know to ask for!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."  James 1:17

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Chuckle...Giggle...Free Shipping???

Yesterday we did a big happy dance.  We found a local doctor that has experience with seizures and Celiac Disease.  It's so rare that many doctors haven't heard of it.  It really takes a doctor with a Celiac specialty.  We were so excited to find a doctor to walk through this with Sarah (especially while she's pregnant).

While I was searching though, I found something that (I admit) had me laughing.

Ummm....that's a big nope....even with free shipping.

Monday, June 13, 2016

It's Amazing What Hope Does (Timothy's Medical Journey)

I just got back from a focus group in the local children's orthopedic hospital.  It's amazing spending time with moms who are walking much of what you are walking.   Actually, occasionally it's fun to just "adult".  (Yes, I'm using it as a verb. Smile)

We spent this weekend taking walks and contemplating a lot.

We've been asked several questions since our big medical post about Timothy....and we've asked several questions.

We've received emails back that gave us a lot of clarity.

So here are the answers to your questions (and some of ours).

Does Timothy understand what's going on?
To an extent, yes.  We have a kind mandarin translator named Cecilia (a friend of our friend Debbie).
She explained most of what was going to happen to Timothy the night before the appointment and the day after she explained what the casting was for.  We are SO thankful for her!

How long will Timothy wear casts?
This really depends.  We go in once a week for new casts.  His clubbed feet are obviously very severe. How long we cast depends on the outcome (what the casting does).  There is still a slight chance that with casting and surgeries Timothy's feet will be preserved.  It's very slight and unlikely, but we are praying if it's best for Timothy long term, God will grant us favor in this.  IF the casting works, it will most likely go on longer.

Will he ever have surgery on his hips and how will it affect him and his future?
With so much discussed last Thursday, we needed a lot of clarification.  I just received an answer today.  Yes, he will have surgery on his hips eventually.  It would do more damage than good right now (which is what we needed clarity on).  Timothy is very mobile.  Their focus is on his feet right now and keeping him mobile as long as possible.  Eventually they WILL focus on his hips.  This was a HUGE relief for us.

Will Timothy ever walk without aid?
We don't know.  He may, but he also may use a form of crutches.  We are so thankful for this hospital and all the talking they're willing to do with us.  They are not pushing anything, but trying the best they can to make this the least invasive as possible.


A Sweet Story...

The Love Tank:  At the hospital Rachel started to get really grumpy, so I pulled her on my lap.  I kissed her head and asked her if she needed her love tank filled up.  She just looked at me with a grumpy face.  We were waiting for the doctor, so I started rocking her and singing her a song.  I pulled her in and rocked her for a bit longer.  She relaxed, smiled and looked up to me.  She hugged me and said her love tank was full now.  I gave her a big hug and an extra kiss and told her I was giving her extra so it would overflow to others.  She smiled and got down to play.  After a bit she climbed back on my lap.  She said, "Mommy, it's weird.  My love tank goes down when I'm not next to you."  OH MY MAMA HEART!!!!

Many are saying of me,
    “God will not deliver him."
But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, 
the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord
 and he answers me from his holy mountain.
Psalm 3:2-4
 Thank you for joining us on this journey we call life!

Prayer Requests

1.    Continued prayers for Tom and Elizabeth (blessing and protection).
2.  Prayers for our grandchild (in utero) and mommy as the pregnancy progresses.  Sarah has to be so careful with the severity of her allergy to wheat (seizures) and she also has to gain a lot of weight (she lost and couldn't gain before her Celiac diagnoses and was only beginning to gain before her pregnancy).  She's doing great, but could always use the prayers.
3. For our little man as he transitions.  Specifically that he sees us as different (attachment) and has some stranger fear (showing he sees us as his security) and his sleep. It's easy to look at little ones newly coming home as "friendly".  That may be a bit of it, but often they have no concept of family and view everyone as caregivers initially.  Please also pray that, if it's within God's Will, this casting on his feet works.  God knows what needs to happen and what's the best for him.
4. For direction as we move forward with so many changes and future changes.
5.  That we can get into a good co-op (there's a waiting list with the one we want) with home school for next year.  We have one lovely one two of the children are blessed to be able to go to, but we are looking for a place for some of the higher learning classes. 

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