Friday, September 28, 2012

~*A Few Questions Answered*~

So, now that you've met our seventh blessing I have been asked by a few how I managed to go 9 months without saying anything on the blog or on the book of faces...

I had the wonderful distraction of preparing for two 5 yr olds!  It certainly wasn't to be deceitful as some might suggest. Our agency was *thrilled* for us, honestly, they warmly welcomed this little guy into our family fold!
      

How was this pregnancy?

Amazing!  Truly the easiest one YET!  I had some pelvic/hip pain due to premature separating of the pelvis from around 18 weeks (oh joy!) and that made it impossible for me to go for walks or hiking. I was so upset but quickly moved on!

Over the summer I switched over to a super high protein and low carb diet because it made me feel like I was running on all cylinders....but with the busyness of getting Devin ready for China I neglected to watch my protein/carb intake for 2 weeks and around 36 weeks the Doctor noticed my blood sugar and blood pressure creep up.  Switched back that day and BAM!  Problem solved!

So very glad it was that simple!
Eat high protein every 2-3 hours! That's it!

How do the older children feel about adding 3 at once?  
What do you think?

We added 3 at once last time and it had its challenges, however, it was such a blessing.  I've had so many offers for help and when one of my helpers came (Hi Mom!) we found there wasn't much she needed to help with.  

My children fold/put away their own laundry, they can sweep, do dishes, clean the bathroom, fix simple breakfast and lunches, etc.  We do hear from the critics that believe its simply slave labor or that the older ones are raising the younger ones.  I don't think you realize the dynamics of our family...our children actually LIKE each other!  Odd concept, huh? 

We understand that the vast majority of the population does not agree with our choice of embracing all children.   
Don't ask us when we're done; ask us who is next!  (But not for a long while...we want to enjoy these guys for now!) 

Seriously, though, we have an open door orphan policy in our house.  Our door will always be open to children in need. 

     

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

~*Family Fun*~

I started this post the day before Donovan was born!  I didn't want to delete it!  

"I can't believe they've only been here for 3 days!
 They just fit in perfect like they've always been here! 
Even in the middle of illness and fevers, fear and fits of frustration, they just fit right in!  

Daddy returned to work this morning before the littles woke up and upon waking there were no tears that Daddy wasn't here.  He called to check on me mid-morning to find that all was well; we even got some chores done this morning!"

Today (9/26) I opened a "Congratulations" card and out fell a handful of balloons!  How much fun is that?!

Family fun outside!  












The balloon popped while he was tying it off.



Even the wee one came outside!





The concept of Duck Duck Goose was lost in translation!




That's some hairdo! 


 
  In the end the balloons mostly popped. At first the sound scared the daylights out of Dalton but after a few moments he realized it was funny and went on to have so much fun!

Today was the first day we felt like a family and not so foreign.  This isn't an everyday occurrence but it definitely felt good to have one of those days already.  

We're getting there!


Welcome to the family our sweet ones!

~*Happy Birthday Little Man*~

One week and a day later you are still the sweetest little thing to grace our family!
  
Sweet little man under the Bili lights
 
We discovered your tummy doesn't like certain things that Mommy eats so we are adjusting the diet to help your tummy.  Allergy testing is most certainly in your future.
 
It was quite the fight with the nurses to put these socks on my shivering child!
  
 You are figuring out your days and nights and Mommy is so blessed to get lots of sleep.  
 
You are so loved by all!
 
On your way home! Poor little scratched up face from trying to get that bili mask off!
 
 Love,
~Mom~
 
Going home!
    

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

~*Why We Do This*~

In the mail today we received a sweet reminder of why we do this.  It brightened my day and, honestly, highlighted my week and its only begun!

I will share these wise words from this dear 'ole friend of my husbands but will not share from whom they have come.  

"I am *so* proud  of you and your wife.  Thanks for having the courage to do what you are doing and what the rest of us should be doing.  May God bless you greatly.  You and your family are in my prayers.  Our memories go back a long ways and I love them all!"  

One of our most supportive family members has been berated recently by another close family member regarding our choice to be Jesus' hands and feet on this earth.  It is truly heart breaking that others think we should leave these sweet little blessings to rot to death in an orphanage!  
We were ALL called to care for these precious treasures. There is no way around that.  Yes, we could sit in our comfy homes, have nice things, and send them clothes and food but nothing can *EVER* replace a family.  

There is something sacred about the family unit and nothing can replace the magic that happens to these children when they are brought into the fold.  
They ~*bloom*~!
The most amazing part is that *WE* get the honor watching them bloom!  For some its a slower transition than others but they all come to fullness in time.  We are willing to give them that time.  
Are you willing to give your time?

Matthew 9:36
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

John 10:14
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me
   

Friday, September 21, 2012

~*The Labor Lowdown*~

This is the labor lowdown post....the birth story...many will be interested and many will be bored...skip this post if you'll be bored!

Quick background information...I had my first c/section in April 2002 due to failure to progress...I never went into labor, never dilated, nothing.  My second c/section was in February 2010 due to failure to progress.  I did go into labor but never dilated...AT ALL...not even a smidgen!

We were VBACing (Vaginal Birth After Cesarian), again, this time or at least that was our plan.   

I was due September 25th and we were hoping to make it to that date if not closer to October to give our little ones more time to adjust.  However, God had other plans!

My water broke at 3 a.m. and I happened to be awake when I felt the strange involuntary trickle...I made a mad dash for the bathroom as I threw back a "My water is breaking"  toward my drowsy husbster!  Get to the throne and ~GUSH~!

Contractions started within a half-hour and we stayed home to try and get as much work done at home as possible.  We made it to the hospital about 12 hours later at 3 p.m. 

I was so disappointed to hear that I was still NOT dilated. AT ALL.  My contractions were off the chart and the on call Doc (who is stinking awesome!) explained to me what was going on....Contractions cause pressure in the uterus to rise and usually that pressure is released through the cervix as it opens.  With mine not opening the pressure grows and grows and is absorbed by the bottom of the uterus itself at the two previous incisions.  

It was determined that my cervix just does not dilate. At all.  Ever.  So, we jumped right on the c/section because those bad boy contractions were off the stinking chart!  There was no breathing through them!  When they pulled Donovan from my tummy it was discovered that his little head had taken the brunt of the pressure of the contractions.  He was badly bruised on his face and head and had minor bruising on his arms and legs.  

I think the worst part of the c/section was that the anesthesiologist certainly didn't understand the difference between panic attacks and contractions!  He did the spinal and hit a nerve causing an incredibly painful shock to run down my leg to my foot which was so powerful my foot jumped off the stool.  I cried because it HURT!  He gave me the "oh pawsh, that's just a zinger"...DUDE!  Let me do that to you in the MIDDLE of a contraction!  

Within seconds they whipped me around onto my back, again, in the MIDDLE of a contraction!  I'm stiff as a board because I'm dealing with contraction pain and still reeling from the painful "zinger" and Mr. Insensitive Anesthesiologist gives me the "You need to calm yourself down RIGHT THIS MINUTE" speech.  I didn't do as he requested on command because DUDE I'm still dealing with this nasty contraction and my whole body is shaking!  

I was still waiting on the contraction to pass (as he should have been doing, too) and he gets downright furious and tells me he's giving me something to calm down since I can't seem to do it.  Had he waited, oh, 30 seconds I would have been able to relax but he was in a hurry to get back to texting on his phone (NOT EVEN KIDDING!).  So, he drugged me...Someone needs to go back to charm school and they so need to ban cell phones from surgery!  

  One of my biggest concerns was my recovery.  My last c/s was terrible.  The incision did not close due to a large blood clot and we had to pack the wound 2x daily for over 6 weeks!  Plus, 3 rounds of antibiotics to get that sucker to heal up!  However, the fabulous Doctor I had this time took her time on each layer, suctioning well before moving on and the final layer of skin was glued. Why is that significant?  Because I had staples last time not even ON the incision!  I had 2 or 3 completely OFF the incision and those were the most painful to have removed!  

We would have been discharged on Thursday morning, which is insanely early for a c/section, however, Donovan had very slightly elevated bili-rubin levels.  It took quite a bit of wrangling and getting two Pediatricians on our side and an improved blood test only 12 hours later to convince the Head of Ped's to discharge us on Thursday night.

It feels so good to be home! I know I was only away for 2 nights but it felt so much longer!

Donovan is the sweetest little baby and we are so blessed to enjoy this little surprise!


Psalm 127:3-5a
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him. 

 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are children born in one’s youth.

Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them.


 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

~*Seventh Blessing!*~

While we were in the process of adding to our family via adoption we were still very open to having more blessings by birth.  I was very much enjoying my time with our littlest one, Peanut.  After her birth I wanted another one right away, yet, as that didn't happen, I embraced the time I had with just her as the baby!

Several months into this new year I was delighted to discover I was expecting another blessing.  Due to my long past history of miscarriage we kept this quiet until our Doctor agreed it was safe to share the blessed news with our family.  

At that point in the adoption we were nearly to the end, had our LOA*, I800*, and were expecting to travel in June/July....then the unheard of 6 week wait for Travel* Approval* hit us hard!  We realized that it would be unsafe for me to travel at that point, coupled with health issues for our caregiver, the decision was clear.  

I would be staying home.  

Our sorta secret seventh blessing!

Donovan Kwade
8lb 3oz
19 1/2 inches
at 8:33pm 





Sunday, September 16, 2012

~*Sunday Sickies*~

Ugh...as I type this I have a fever, chills, headache, body aches, etc...wasn't it so lovely of my sweet man to bring me some germies along with some pearls?  

So not his fault...he was pretty miserable for a few days, too!

How's it going around here?  

Ups and downs continue...

Bedtime went perfect!  
The safety rail was all she needed to feel more secure!
And going back to bed at 3 a.m. after potty break she cried a bit and called for Mama but Daddy went in and she was having none of it...Mama went in and she settled right down.  

Its tough being sick and having to put out fires between the olders, dealing with adjustment issues with the littles, dealing with anxiety with our only middle.

We're getting there...everyday is better....everyday has ups and downs.  But that's life anyway!  

Ok, off to try and break this fever...pass out some more medicine because they are dropping like flies around here and off to love on my children without spreading these germies...Hee hee...at least you know there's lots of hugging/kissing going on if we're all getting this!  

 Again, no pics....will try to Monday or Tuesday but don't hold your breath! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

~*Night Night*~

We have learned a bit about our children in these last few days...Sunshine still doesn't make the wisest choices when under stress but he's far more relaxed than what we thought he'd be!  He is still very lost, though, in how he interacts with them.  His anxiety level is at an all time low for the past 3 weeks, which is something we are praising him for...yet, we are, also, still having to work on attitude toward his older siblings. 

Peanut is the sweetest thing with her siblings!  She truly has gone from being the baby to being a big girl!  Kitty is at a place of transition right now...really wanting to be hands on with her new sibs but needing to be hands off so Mom and Dad meet their needs.  She has Peanut she can spoil, though!  

J.J. is the quiet leader pulling out books and puzzles but staying hands off with meeting their needs.  He silently cleans up messes or repositions bowls underneath mouths overflowing with food.  Truly a servant leader. 

Analina is truly stubborn.  Bless her little heart.  I think its that stubbornness that helped her survive in the orphanage.  She's such a sweetheart but when it comes to doing something she does not want to do it can be like pulling teeth to get her to do it.  She's our whiny whirlwind, at times, and our sassy sweetie other times! 

Dalton is having the slowest transition.  He easily scares and will stick to Baba like glue all day if left alone to do that.  We are slowly moving him toward family activities but letting him set his comfort level and pace.  He responds sweetly if Mama takes over caregiving duties but usually has a small moment of panic at first.   

After Thursday nights bedtime chaos we realized Analina needed some help.  We installed a safety rail to the bed.  We encouraged her to play in the room with big sister to associate good things with this room.  

Bedtime itself went much smoother; albeit still many tears!  Dalton would have tried to break out of the house to avoid bedtime if he could have...not even kidding...this little boy who was falling asleep on the sofa wanted nothing to do with bedtime!  One sip of water and we never heard another peep, though....if only it were always that easy right?  Analina fussed on and off but overall she went to sleep extremely easily!

Its now after 4 a.m. as I type this and after a bathroom run Miss A did not want to go back to sleep but she was exhausted and fighting it.  Took her an hour but she's now asleep!

I'm finishing this now at  9:30 and we actually slept until 6:37...that's pretty late for them!  

Have a blessed Saturday and thank you for every single prayer!  We appreciate them all!  Keep 'em coming!    

Friday, September 14, 2012

~*The Ups and Downs*~

Last night was awfully quiet around here...staying awake for 28 hours (minus a few small naps) will do that to a person or three.  

Analina is still largely running on Shanghai time and she was up for the day at 1 a.m.  I was up with her for a few hours then Baba (daddy) stayed up with her so I could get another 2 hours in.  Dalton was up for the day super early, as well.  

Getting little miss back to sleep for a nap in her bed (28 or so hours up, 5 hour rest last night, up for another 10 hours) was NOT happening.  We finally resorted to putting her down in the crib still up in our room.  We'll have to transition her to a twin bed because she was not going to sleep in one without a massive fight!  Wondering if a safety rail would make her feel better. She doesn't NEED it but it might help her feel safer.   

Dalton was so tired, still, that he was pretty much a zombie, poor little guy...He's a sweet zombie, though!  
Moments before he threw up and nearly passed out...poor little guy!
There are moments with tears and moments with giggles...here are a few pictures from the last 24 hours!

Freshly bathed and eating dinner before crashing for the night!








It was at this moment I cried because it hit me hard...he's a brother!



  
Watch Peanut...she's watching carefully to see what Analina is doing so she can copy her!
 






There are so many changes for these sweet little ones.  Between culture shock, jet lag, fear of the cats, fear of cars, stores, so much to be overwhelmed with.  We are so proud of our two brave warriors!  

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.