Friday, September 27, 2013

~*A Boy and His Buddy*~

One day a sweet boy living in China met his new Baba (Daddy) and his world was turned upside down. He had healthy attachments but never knew the love of a family. He had skills that helped him survive in an orphanage but those skills aren't very useful in a loving family.  He was one scared little boy.
No worries...we don't drive with his strap like this.
This other sweet boy struggled his entire life to form healthy attachments and relationships. The trust he had in his Mom and Dad was delicate. Upon the arrival of the sweet boy from China the fears that were growing in his heart exploded into rage. Having little self-confidence and very fragile trust he receded farther away from the family and the sweet boy from China.
Classic sign he's stressed, he smells his fingers.
Very slowly over the course of a very long year the fear is being pushed away by confidence, again. A bond began to form through sweat, dirt, bugs, cars, games and coloring.   
Brothers that sweat together.....

It hurts to be open and caring. Its scary to be vulnerable and allow a boy to become a brother, and eventually, a friend.  

Proverbs 18:24
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

~*The Story of a Princess*~

There once was a little girl who was very sad. 

She sat in lonely chairs or tucked away in a play-yard with other sad wee ones.

While she did smile big, it belied the truth, that she was a very, very scared little girl.

A mommy and daddy and brothers and sisters did not fill up the empty places, hurting places, scared places in her heart. 

The mama prayed and prayed for a key to the little girls heart...something to thin the thick ice protecting her very hurt heart. 
Thick wall protecting a scared, fragile heart.
One day, at naptime, the mama said a simple phrase she'd never said before, "Goodnight, Sweetie".  The mama took note of the sparkle in the little girls eye and the whispered "You called me, Sweetie?!?".
Later, the mama called the little girl, Princess, and she stood a bit taller and walked with a hop in her step. The ice was melting. 

The little girl, without ever knowing it, gave her mama the key to her heart.

Two simple phrases, out of a hundred possible nicknames, touched her heart and began to melt the icy wall.

She *is* a Princess and is now reminded of that, often. She *is* a sweetie and is told how, truly, she is loved and adored.

 1 John 3:1
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 


Thursday, September 19, 2013

~*Spina Bifida Clinic*~

To sum this up quickly but efficiently we learned that Dalton is healthy with great pressures in his brain from his Chiari 2 and while his Spinal Cord is tethered he won't need it released until he begins showing neurological symptoms. Also, his shunt is working beautifully. 

Analina's spine held many surprises for us. In the urgent/emergent category. She has Myelomeningocele and, also, Diastematomyelia. Her spinal cord splits completely in two and goes around a bony spur and reconnects underneath it. Her spinal cord is tethered in two places and she is already showing neurological symptoms and because of that we need to quickly get a few tests done first then schedule surgery.  

Analina will be fitted with a new/better AFO (DAFO Turbo). She will be given both OT and PT. 

The day was incredibly long and overwhelming but we are grateful for answers for our sweet ones. 

Psalm 41:13

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

~*Happy Birthday Little Man*~

I was semi awake after my husband returned from the restroom....he had only been home four days from China with our beautiful treasures and it felt wonderful to have a warm bed again after three long weeks apart.

As I lay there in the dark silence, contemplating my new life, I felt this involuntary trickle down yonder. As I bolted for the toilet, I shot back a "I think my water is breaking", to my still jet-lagged gentleman. 

I barely made it to the throne before the gush came. I sat there giggling! My previous pregnancies all had ended in c/section due to my body's inability to start labor or dilate. I thought that my water breaking on its own would mean I might be able to VBAC for once.

After what seemed a very long time, I realized it wasn't slowing down any, and my husband wasn't coming to check on me so I waddled (since at this point in my pregnancy all I could do was waddle) back to our love nest and probably threw a pillow at his sleeping head....jet-lag smet-lag, get outta bed sleepy head!

In the end....after 18 long hours of extremely difficult labor we opted for a c/section, again. Instead of the cervix absorbing the power of those contractions and opening like a flower bud, all my contractions were absorbed by the baby's head and the previous c/section scars.  Poor baby came out all bruised and battered.
Mama trying to sooth a mad boy!

A year later we know this little man inside out. 

He's a lover not a fighter.
He's sweet as pie and twice as nice!
He does things at his own pace, life isn't a race.
Egg, rice and sunflower seed allergies make for an owie tummy, yet, other foods are quite yummy.

~*Happy Birthday*~ 
Donosaurus Rex!

Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 a time to be born 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

~*How Do Ya'll Do It?*~

Today we spent 6 hours at the local Children's Hospital for sedated MRI's for Dalton and Analina.  

Wow, can we say exhausting? 
How on earth do you all do it? 
You, Mama's, that spend a lot of time at the hospital or clinics with your children that have special needs. 

Dalton was the poster child for anesthesia. He went under extremely well...just breathing quietly until he was out.  He woke up incredibly fast and in no time at all he was munching on gold fish and drinking soda. 

Analina was extremely terrified and was very combative going into this. I stayed with her until she was completely sedated. The Doc. gave her both morphine and teradol. Why on earth would he give such a tiny girl so many heavy duty meds? 

She woke up looking for the biggest fight ever! She did not want anybody messing with her. Nurse Heidi and I worked quickly to get her comfortable and remove all unnecessary equipment.  She couldn't eat anything for several more hours and remained wobbly just as long.

This trip cemented in Dalton's mind what he already knew....that we're not going anywhere and he's safe. For Analina it made her relive all the trauma she endured in China. It gave her the one-on-one attention she craves. 

Soon we go back to U of M for the Spina Bifida Clinic and follow-ups with the Neuro Surgeon. This is going to be another all day event and one that will leave all of us emotionally exhausted.

Please keep my sweet treasures in prayer! Our concerns are for Dalton's shunt and pressure build up in his skull due to his Chiari II malformation and for Analina our concern is about another tethered spinal cord.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

~*Autumn Bucket List*~

apple cider
sit by a crackling fire
make s'mores 
caramel apples 
watch my children carve a pumpkin

avoid gooeyness as they shudder while gutting said pumpkins

apple picking
apple crumb pie
jump in the leaves
enjoy #psl's in honor of sweet sue

Acts 10:4
 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.

Sweet Sue Talbert, I will always love you and miss you and will never think of #PSL the same again! Or grilled cheese for that matter!

 Do you call it Fall or Autumn? 
What's on your bucket list?


Tuesday, September 10, 2013


We snuck away for a whole week and it was dearly needed by our family. While vacations are meant to be relaxing and enjoyable, for children from tough places it can be extremely stressful and scary. Broken routines and schedules, the unknown, the need to control something.....anything to feel safe, 

We could stay home and keep them safe from all the stress and avoid all the fits and behaviors or we could carefully plan out trips and just go.  Put them under controlled stress just enough to give them opportunities to succeed.  They have tools now for self-regulation of their emotions and they need to practice those skills often.  *Mom* needs to practice handling the stress so I know they need to!

With the activities we choose underwhelming vs. overwhelming.  They do not handle big crowds, noisy venues, or extreme heat very well so we chose camping BEFORE Labor Day weekend to travel. 

 We spent 2 nights at Hartwick Pines State Park and the rest of our time at Wilderness State Park in Northern Michigan. I grew up enjoying the trails, pines, and festivals at Hartwick and it blessed this Mama's heart to bring my own children there.  Below are the pics from camping there...soon I will show you our time at Wilderness...which is such a lovely campground and we enjoyed it to the max!

I will now leave you with highlights of our trip!

Mom, she's touching me!

Yes, I was sarcastically saying "DUH" to one of my children, not my finest moment!

The once famous "Monarch" Tree

The Chapel in the Wood

Somebody gots an attitude!

More tomorrow!