Monday, December 26, 2016

Up Until Christmas...Blessings and Prayers

I promised myself on the 23rd that I would update the blog.  I again made myself a promise on the 24th, even contemplating bringing the laptop to my mom's (where we celebrate Christmas Eve).  Yes, I realize the thought of having an extra hour to write on Christmas Eve, may just have been a sleep deprived hallucination (chuckle).

The 25th came and when our annual Christmas nap never even materialized, I gave up.  My brain kind of turns to ooze without a Christmas nap.  Am I the only one?

 So here I am.  My body somehow knew that I could relax on the 26th.  I apparently knew, in my subconscious, that I couldn't relax until after Christmas.  Now, my body relaxed a tad too much.  It doesn't want to move.

I have now realized that I didn't share my heart surrounding Christmas.  I didn't say thank you all for praying us through the last PA trip.  I didn't even share the newest medical developments.  So here I am.  I think I'll start from the beginning.

I didn't picture our family being this big, full, or busy when I said yes to my husband almost 23 years ago (within days of 23 years).  I didn't see the joy, the fullness, or the loss (which much of the time has grown us the most).  All we knew is we wanted to follow God.  We have followed Him into experiences that we could not have contemplated in our wildest imagination.

This newest, traveling across the United States for specialists wasn't on the radar.  Who does that?!  Now we wonder what would we have missed if God had not brought us to that point?!!

A doctor and his team who are kind and go above and beyond...
A family that opened their homes and hearts to a family they didn't know (and I feel like I've known them forever)...
A Church that is the first Church (after our own Church) where I feel completely at home...and they've joined the effort to support our family.

We would have missed so much.  I'm so glad that God propelled us to beyond what is comfortable...and that HIS momentum brought us to a place where blessings abound.  It's not always comfortable, but it's SO worth it!!!

This last trip was emotionally harder, being away from my husband and children.  It was harder than the weeks we sometimes spent away on an adoption journey.  Our life, just before leaving on this trip, had just been shaken up.  Someone very important to us had walked a road that broke many hearts.  (We still pray for restoration, knowing God can build bigger and stronger.  Such a cool image!!!!)  Our kids and our hearts personally had felt like they were put in a mixer.

Our First Flight Home from PA.

His favorite toy is a toy phone that sings.

He loves his hospital bear.

When we arrived home, we made it to baggage claim and waited for our family.  With our mobile ark of a van, we can't park in typical parking garages so it took a tad longer for the group to get here to pick us up.  We knew we would hear them before we saw them.  It made my heart smile.

Surrounded by squeals and little arms made my mama heart burst.  Truthfully, just days before Christmas, our kids exuberance didn't seem to bother the travelers around us, but brought MANY smiles.  They are just that way...HUGE BLESSINGS.

My husband's arms....happy sigh....

We spent the first night decorating our tree (a little late this year).

Ben and Timothy Hugging

The ornament that always hit my heart hard, even if looking for it.  It's Jonathan's ornament.  'Til we meet in Heaven son.

The tree came together fairly quickly.

We then sat down and opened boxes that had come from "Elves" across the United States.  They had heard, with back to back adoptions and so much medical, that our Christmas was minimal.  What beautiful presents from the heart so many pitched in to send.  They even took care of Thomas and I.  It was started by one precious new friend that I have never met...and exploded into a gift avalanche.

I then opened a card from a small Church that we have never visited...yet has cared for our family in so many ways over the years.  They feel like extended family and have ministered to our hearts so often. They sent some funds to help us through Christmas and our medical expenses.  These ended up being more needed than we knew.  God knew.  There was so much medical instantly due.  I sat down and cried...GOD KNEW.

Yes, after opening these gifts...I must admit I was overwhelmed.  We were tired...soul weary (because of situations) and cared for so completely.  Thank you friends for allowing God to use you to care for our family!  Thank you is not enough.  There was so much effort and MANY people involved.

These were just some of them.  UPS, a Real Estate Office, so many friends and family of our friend.....

One precious lizard lover even sent Anna a baby bearded dragon (Tricho) and a whole set up.  
This is the breeder.


Cared those that didn't even know us...MANY people that didn't know us.

Loved by a Church we have never stepped foot in.

As the week progressed it was (and is) a very happy thought.

Wednesday and Thursday brought new medical information.....

Wednesday brought a sedated CT scan for Benjamin.

Waking Up

On Thursday we had an appointment with an ear surgeon.

It was a boys day.

We found out the Ben's hearing (especially in one ear) is getting dramatically worse.  The benign tumor in his ear can eat away at bone.  He needs a fairly complicated surgery fairly quickly.  This will mean drilling through bone to get to his tumor.  There are risks, but we have a wonderful doctor.  His surgery is scheduled for January 11th, 2017.

This is our basic January schedule...
January 5th: Timothy has his first surgery in PA (nicking his Achilles, this is supposed to be an extremely painful surgery)
January 9th: Timothy has leg casting in PA (first after surgery)
January 11th: Ben's surgery on his ear
January 20th: Timothy casting in PA
January 25th: Timothy has major surgery in PA.  They will place his hips in their sockets.  This surgery is pretty extensive.  The ball of the hips is in the wrong position (pointing straight up) and they will have to reposition them.  He will have metal plates in his hips, wires, and such.

We will need our village during this time, both in prayer and support.  Please pray these surgeries go wonderfully with complete healing.

We are blessed.  Timothy is in our arms as he faces these surgeries.  He's not alone.  He is surrounded by giggles and love.  He has come home. He blesses us so much.  Ben is not in an adult mental institution in Eastern Europe.  He snuggles into my arms and curls around my heart.  His scars have mostly faded and he remains a constant gift of grace and laughter.  Even with his challenges, Ben has proven to be a conscientious brother to a much smaller Timothy.

While we are walking through this, two more remain though.  Our daughters Grace and Glory.  Yes, you heard right...two daughters.  We were approved for two, but were only seeking Grace.  We wanted to remain open to wherever God called.  We have added another little girl to our adoption...Glory.

Both girls have extra of the 21st chromosome...Down Syndrome.  Glory has a heart issue as well, though we don't know the extent of it.  God made it obvious.  It's a long story, but again...couldn't be ignored.

I know, looking above at the intense medical that the beginning of our year holds, we hear many say that they don't know how we do it.

We want to encourage you.  God gives you the ability to do whatever HE puts in front of you.  WE are not doing this.  God is.  HE and ONLY He gets the credit.  This would be impossible without Him.

Part of what He has given us is our village.  You all have all helped us walk this not always easy road.
With hearts that don't understand how you do it, our large family, with many small bodies say the biggest thank you we possibly can.

With our January filled with medical and our next adoption payment due who knows when (it depends on the foreign government's approval time of our adoption) we are asking for intense prayer...very specific prayer...committed prayer.

We have seen God answer in miraculous ways before.

So village, would you consider committing daily...or as often as you pray for our family...Grace and Glory?

*Would you pray that the next payment of $8450 comes in by the end of THIS year (2016)?  Yes, this is only six days (and this does make me gulp).  This is only the next payment.  We don't have the time to concentrate on how at this point.  We know God can and we trust in Him.
*Would you please pray that our adoption is fully funded by the end of January, 2017?  We have a lot in front of us and we are resting in faith.  To not have to wonder would be a blessing we cannot imagine.  

Thank you friends for joining us in prayer on this amazing journey.  I also need to ask for one more prayer.  It's a big one...sigh.

My friends Scott and Sandy Ferguson (and their youngest daughter Jenna) have been walking their daughter (and sister) Alyssa (14) through and intense and painful battle with brain cancer.  They have been praying her through...fighting her through..  With tumors growing back (and surgery to remove them many times), with treatment and experimental treatment, the tumor is back and throughout her brain.  Hospice has been called in.  Can you please...PLEASE pray for their family?  PLEASE PRAY FOR ALYSSA.  My heart hurts for them.  Though we know who holds eternity, this is beyond painful.  Please pray they feel God holding them closely through this time.

Thank you friends and brothers and sisters in Christ...


In the next post I will share about Christmas Eve and Christmas.  I will share the gift of blessings given us.  I will share our family....and of course many pictures of the precious gifts sent and the laughter and fun Christmas brought.  God has been very good to us.  

Celebrating Christ will continue throughout the year.

Hugs precious friends....
"Before they call I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear." Isaiah 65:24

1 comment:

  1. We would LOVE to pray for Alyssa. It would be great if you posted contact info so we could send our words of encouragement too. :o) But I understand if you can't.
    Always praying for you all, so happy you are home...........for now! (((HUGS)))


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