Friday, January 31, 2014

~*7 Round 1*~

Duuuuude! He's turning 7!

He was 3 when we heard about him and committed to coming to get him. I still cannot fathom that....he was 3! He's only been home a year (and some change)! That jump from 3 to 7 just seems so huge. 

That's the thing about international adoption the waits are so long and the paperwork is ginormous. You commit when they are wee ones and by the time all parties agree on the terms and conditions they are no longer wittle.

Dalton decided this year for his birthday he wanted a marble cake and yellow frosting with flowers, a snowman and a shoushone (bear)....a mishmash of all things Dalton!

 O'Dell family tradition is to have it the next morning for breakfast and thus we polished off this sucker the next morning!

He had a great time but missed seeing Aunt Rachey and the cuzins!
Analina's face of stone....big feelings because its not our birthday, yet.

My little ole man looking over his glasses.

Donovan finding something to do.

She brought those big feelings to me and sought out me out, great job, sweetie!

Smiley birthday boy!

Reading his cards.

Stone face but glad to have mom's lap.

Always getting into stuff...

Next up to turn 7? Ana-banana!

Proverbs 23:25
May your father and mother rejoice;
    may she who gave you birth be joyful!

(We may not have birthed this sweet boy but we sure are rejoicing!) 


Friday, January 24, 2014

~*Spina Bifida Christmas Party*~

We were blessed to attend the West Michigan Spina Bifida Organization Christmas Party back when it was actually Christmas. We have not become involved, yet, in the events they hold, outside of the Mom chats over coffee, but we'd like to jump into the community to plug our SB blessings in. 

We have been surprised that Analina, who clearly walks differently than others and wears an AFO to assist her, and at times needs wheeled help, has never vocalized that she notices a difference between herself and others. 

When we arrived at the parking lot Analina's face had turned to stone, I've heard it called the "survivor stare". Its this place they retreat to inside when they are afraid. She got out of the big van and immediately lit up. She saw several other little girls and boys in wheelchairs, with AFO's, or hobbling like her. Excitedly, she exclaimed, "They're just like me!" 

 She breathed a sigh of relief, relaxed, and literally fit right was as if she were saying, "Hey, these are *my* people!". 

We enjoyed a wonderful evening of yummy food, great conversations, and a surprise visit from Santa who gifted each of my seven children with a small gift. Here are a few of the highlights. 

Face of stone or survivor stare...she got nervous.

Fake but a little better...

She's starting to warm up

Dalton loved it!

Peanut being nutty!

That's better! (And that was the best punch ever!)

My sweet husband!

The man!

She was happy to simply hug her gift, no need to even open it! That candy cane? Made her night!

She was so happy to have that walker!

Comparing lego kits, they bleed legos!

My Peanut loves her Minnie!

Most Asian girls think that Dora looks like them...the resemblance is uncanny!

Liking his heli!

He's stunned, I think.

My girl loves her a baby to hold!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

~*Ana Update*~

We only remained home for two days until we needed to leave again....the ice storm we weren't expecting hit our county hard. We lost power until Christmas Day. 

We spent one night at a hotel then spent the next 3 days at my parents house. With eleven people in a small house you would think it would feel crowded but it worked out well and we had a great time.....

That is, until we all got sick! 
Stomach flu.....and bronchitis. 

Our littlest guy was hit the hardest with two antibiotic injections and oral antibiotics when those didn't kick it.

As for Analina, she was most affected emotionally by all the upheaval. She begged to go home the entire time we were at the hotel and, while she did relax at Nana's a lot, by Christmas Day she was ready to be home after dinner. 

 She was not able to walk until 10 days post op. Her stamina was severely affected and she spent most of her time sitting in one place. She is now able to walk carefully and slowly. She could do stairs by crawling up them or sliding down. Once in awhile she would gets a spurt of energy and walk up/down them. 

While she seemed happy enough it was difficult to see her diminish so much. She gathered all her favorite toys and would sit in her fave chair and play there....her cohort in crime is 3 yr old Peanut and they are so sweet together. She is back to limited strength in her right leg....we have a walker for her to use when she's up to being out and about.
Playing "walker" with Ana, who was having an energy spurt!

Her drain was removed at her post-op appointment and she was so scared she screamed bloody murder! I felt terrible for the Ped's Plastics Doc. We couldn't hear to converse about how well it was healing. However, her incision is healing up superbly! We are so grateful she's not had any issues with the incision. Her drain was looking iffy for a few days (oozy and angry red) but I treated it quickly and those symptoms calmed down.

Now, one month Post-Op, she is doing very well. The headaches are nearly gone, she complains less and less of back pain, and her energy is slowly returning. When she's tired it is obvious and her ability to balance and walk is affected. She will dip real low when she steps with her right leg as that leg is weaker than before. 

We are so grateful for her healing! We are so happy that she is trusting us, again. We are so happy she is our sweet princess girl! 

John 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”