Wednesday, April 2, 2014

~*Out Like a Lamb*~

March was a bit crazy for us....we're looking forward to a quieter April. 

Highlights and lowlights include:

Mini gave up the ghost. We're so grateful for {Sylvia!} We're looking for a replacement vehicle now and praying we can find a good one in our price range. 

We have had two children struggle through the entire school year and three that have excelled. 

We learned that Ana-banana will need {hip surgery} in the autumn. I was only able to buy her 6 months of freedom. The spinal cord repair was extremely difficult on our entire family, especially Analina, so we have pushed this off as long as we can. 

Donosaur discovered his climbing legs! This boy sees a chair and is up it instantly. While its super cute it is, also, a safety issue. He climbs onto the dining table and walks around on it. He pulls chairs to wherever he needs it and climbs up, I even caught him at the stove with a chair the other day. We're struggling to break him of this habit. We've learned that wearing him out good is essential. This boy is a whole other breed! Yes, boys in general climb but this child is completely different from our other boys. 

How was your March? I would love to hear about your blessings and challenges!

1 Peter 5:8
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

~*Ortho Update*~

Analina's hip joint is very complex, not unlike her spinal cord, and will, therefore, need extensive repair. Complicating matters is the size her femur, which is far tinier than her left femur. She will, also, have her Achilles tendon cut, again, to allow her foot to find a better neutral position. 

I was only able to buy her 6 more months of freedom because of the urgency of her situation. In the fall she will have the repair done. Her recovery will include 6 weeks of non-weight bearing restrictions in a cast with brace to keep her hip immobilized. 

I have to tell you that I am very grateful for that 6 month reprieve. Analina's emotional state is extremely important to us and she needs as much time between medical procedures as possible. She's still mad at us about her spinal cord repair. 

She will be re-x-rayed in the late summer and at that point we will schedule surgery for the autumn.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

~*Ortho Decisions*~

We take Analina this week to see the Orthopedic Surgeon to decide together what is in the best interest of my sweet gal. 

Her right hip is dislocated, which is very common for kiddos with Spina Bifida. It affects her repaired club foot leg, which by nature is much weaker, the muscles and even the bones are tinier than her leg side. Her leg length difference is increasing every few months and her leg is not getting stronger, it never will. 

The treatment is to cut the femur, reshape the ball and reshape the hip joint, and put everything back together with screws and bolts and rods then slap on a cast and send her home to recover. 
My concerns include the surgery and recovery, the fact that she is not currently in pain, that she is not an average little girl with a hip problem but a girl with Spina Bifida with hip dysplasia...the dynamic is different with just that one point. 

If surgery is needed we are hoping to wait until she is older. The spinal cord repair knocked the stuffing out of her and this is just as intense, if not more so, than the spinal cord repair. 
We will be discussing wheel chairs and praying we can get one on order soon. It takes about 6 months to complete from start to finish. Why does she need a wheelchair? While she can hobble/waddle for short distances doing the mall, a zoo, camping, etc, is difficult for her and as she gets older she will not want to use a stroller. She will want to be more independent and feel more like a big girl.

We need your prayers. We need the Lord's guidance in determining what is best for our sweet girl. Surgery or not? Now or later?  So much to decide. 

Hebrews 13:16
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

~*You Are My Army*~

How many recipes, videos, comics, etc go viral on facebook because people are sharing it like crazy? A lot, right? 

Why are the profiles of orphans not going viral on facebook? These children have literally no way to advocate for themselves. They can't stand at a street corner holding a sign seeking families the way homeless and jobless do on busy street corners. 

They rely on us to advocate for them. I see you take that 10 seconds to click "share" on dozens of recipes, funny quotes, cartoons, music videos, but when an orphan's profile is posted with the phrase "please share this" it gets shared by my mom (thanks Mommy!) and a few other hardcore adoption advocate friends of mine. 

We need an army of folks helping to spread the word.

 You are my army!! 

You are prayer warriors and you are the army of the orphan! 

This is not an attempt to guilt anyone, on the contrary, this is my attempt to "rally the troops"! 

Please, take less than 10 seconds to share the profile of an orphan when its posted by someone.   

Thank you, my army of praying warrior friends!

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

~*RAD Update*~

I have been awfully quiet on the RAD front, not because anything has changed, rather because we're in the thick of it all, and nothing has changed, yet, somehow everything has changed!

With a new therapist last June came new parenting skills. Its like learning a new language. There will inevitably be those embarrassing moments where you think your asking where the bathroom is but your really saying something about where the chicken butts eat dinner. i.e. We won't always handle the RAD behavior very well...the stress gets too much and we get scared and go back to the "old" dysfunctional way of parenting. 

Since we're using the example of learning a new language I must admit that the one year I took Spanish I passed with a D+, the teacher honestly told me the only reason I passed the class, at all, was because she liked my brother who she'd had previously. I freaked when it came to conjugating verbs. My brain seriously shut down! 

Which, coincidentally, is what happens to RAD kids when fear sets in! They freak when there is an appointment, a trip to the store, talk about adopting again.  Anytime, really that I step out the door without them. 

One of my sweet ones had a massive RAD meltdown today. About nothing, yet, about *everything*. It was a doozy of a meltdown with an intensity we've not seen in this one in over 3 months.

The thing about RAD is that it takes a lifetime to heal. Not only emotionally heal but for the brain itself to rewire itself. There are physical changes to the brain as a result of early abuse, neglect, and abandonment. There is actual DAMAGE, physical damage, done to these children's brains during the most important years of brain development! That takes years and years of hard, sweaty work responding to their behaviors with the appropriate responses, to heal. 

I lived in Connecticut for about 3.5 yrs of my life. In one job I was the only white girl there with 90% of all customers being Spanish speaking, and we all know how well this white girl spoke Spanish! Yet, in the midst of the need, I learned enough functional Spanish to communicate with my customers. When I left that position and no longer spoke broken Spanish daily I lost it. I can't get much past "Hola" these days. 

Parenting these children is more than a lifetime commitment, it is the commitment to see them emotionally healed and physically healed, no matter how long it takes. As regular human beings, we, as parents tend to drift back to the style of parenting we were raised with, no matter how dysfunctional it is. It even takes, us, as parents, a lifetime to get it right. 

If you've made it this far, thank you! I want to include the link to a fabulous article that explains the science behind the brain damage that occurs in these children. Its a bit long but so informative! Please, take the time to read it! You can find the article {here}.

Proverbs 16:24
Gracious words are a honeycomb,
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Jeremiah 33:6
“‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. 


~*Peanut Turned 4*~

Mid-February our Peanut turned 4! 

Girlfriend couldn't decide between Elmo and friends and Minnie Mouse so Mom simplified things and chose Minnie Mouse and all involved were quite pleased!  Because of the many food allergies I cook/bake around I discovered a great allergen free cake recipe that works great. Also, how on earth did the hubinator not get pictures of Aunt Rachel!??!!?! Sorry, Rachie! 

The famous scrunchie nose

Logan lost in the electronics

Ana-banana handled the festivities quite well

Such a good unwrapper

So many photographers

Always helpers to swoop in and unwrap for you

In December Peanut told us she wanted a big girl bike

I think she likes it

Zhù nǐ shēngrì kuàilè

Blowing out her candles on the bike! Priceless! 
 A few days after the party we had this happen! 
The snow and ice were too heavy, it lived a good long life
Our princess Peanut had a great day and enjoyed being celebrated and while we had many, many RAD behaviors leading up to the Party they handled the day OF quite well.

Proverbs 9:11
For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.

Friday, February 14, 2014

~*Meeting Mr. Cuteness*~

The journey begins back in June of 2013 when my sweet friend, Pat Marcus of Superkids Charity, was gearing up for another Superkids trip. She began telling me about this little guy with big, scary sounding diagnoses. His file had been viewed and reviewed a dozen times and family after family passed on him. Thus began our prayers over this little guy.

Initially, we were simply praying this little guy's family would step forward. As time passed and his file disappeared and then eventually reappeared on our agencies list we decided to seriously begin praying about the possibility of our family bringing him home. 

After many months of prayer and paperwork China agreed we were the family for him! So, we move forward and get our homestudy done and pray through each and every step!

Yes, we know that this will mean extra challenges to our already bursting lifestyle, home and hearts. However, I think *he* wins big...He finally has the chance to have a home, a family, a heritage!

 John 13:34-35

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”