Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Listening to SaraGrace read...

flower girl
Sometimes, mundane things in life can become hilarious. Case in point...tonight SaraGrace was reading to me. The book uses some old-fashioned names for children, one of them being, Reggie.

SaraGrace has a hard time pronouncing her, "r's."

So she was reading, 'Weggie is not here."

Molly piped up immediately, "Wedgie?!! Why are you reading about wedgie's?

Gales of laughter followed, especially when SaraGrace came to a sentence in the book that started out, "....but wedgie..."

If you can't figure out why that is funny, you haven't been around kids lately. Hee!

Results from Jordan's Doctor Visit and MRI

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Jordan had his visit with the ear doctor last week. The results were not what we had been hoping for.

After his hearing test, we had been excited to learn that he had a working cochlea and hoped he would be able to have reconstructive surgery to build an ear canal.

That is not to be.

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The place where his ear canal should be is totally blocked by bone and the nerve that conducts sound is running through it. It's hard to explain, but basically, there are several factors that make it impossible to do any type of reconstructive surgery or open the area where his ear should be.

It IS possible at a later date to implant a B.A.H.A hearing device to help him pick up some sound. We need to talk to them more about this possibility.

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He has two options for his outer ear. One, he can have a prosthetic, which can be done in one surgery (they implant magnets to hold the ear on). Because it is 'cosmetic' the prosthetic is not covered by insurance. Lovely.

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His other option is to have multiple surgeries where they take cartilage from his ribs and slowly build an ear. This is totally covered by insurance because it is surgery. It is much riskier and obviously, multiple surgeries is no fun.

We have an appointment this Friday afternoon with the plastic surgeon to discuss the options.

Jordan was disappointed--we are all disappointed. However, we are very grateful that his other ear is perfect and he hears well in most situations. He is anxious to get his prosthetic ear because he is getting very self-conscious about the stares he gets. Normally, they do not do an ear prosthetic before a child is age seven though.

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God is good and He will help Jordan deal with whatever he needs to face. We are just thankful for modern medicine that will eventually give Jordan an ear that looks just like his other one.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Random Thoughts and Photos

First, a little business.... I am wrapping up the blanket set fundraiser and will get the details to you soon (after I have my hubby check my sad math skills). The blanket sets can be an on-going fundraiser, so if you didn't get a chance to order, or if you want to order more, please let us know.

We are working to launch another project which I will be sharing with you soon so stay tuned... God is up to something again!

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Now for fun stuff...photos! The weather is getting cooler--although we have still had the air conditioning on three or four days a week. The trees are just starting to change and they are getting very pretty. Every time the seasons change, I am in awe of the beauty God dreamed up. Did you ever stop to think about how much fun He must have had creating it for us? Did you ever do something for your child that you couldn't wait for him/her to see? Decorated a bedroom? Made a special craft project? A special dinner or cake? I can just visualize God making leaves turn red, yellow and orange for us. I overheard a woman talking to a friend the other day and she said,

"Did you see the maple tree at the center of town? Every year when it turns color and I am driving into town, I first see the church steeple...then the flag...then that tree and I just catch my breath at how beautiful it is."

I don't have a photo of that particular site--although I hope to go out and take some soon (sadly it's raining today and supposed to rain all week).

But I do have some other photos to share and I hope they put a smile on your face as you think about the God who loves you so much that He took the time to make your world look beautiful for you.

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And now for some beauty of a different variety....

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Re-post: Why I Am Not The Person For This Job

I have felt like God was leading me to re-post this blog post that I wrote awhile back. So here you go...

I am not the right person for the job of being a Mom to ten kids. There. I said it.

Over the years I have heard a myriad of reasons why people cannot adopt. Sometimes they look at me and say they couldn't do what I do...I must be a saint...blah,blah, blah.

I want you to know that I am definitely NOT a saint in the way that they are thinking.

The point of this post is to declare the truth of this verse. (God says) "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in (your)weakness." (Then the apostle Paul says) "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

You see, I never had any desire to have a large family. I don't even like kids. hahahaha Seriously....When I volunteer for something at church, it has almost always been a ministry to adults. I don't like kids crafts, kids activities, etc. Even as a kid, I preferred the company of adults. I did want have children, though...maybe two or three.

But then, God gave me the gift of infertility. He opened my eyes to a whole new world. The 'gift' at the time didn't feel like a gift. It hurt. Deeply. It was devastating every month to find out that my arms would be empty once again.

After 7.5 years, He blessed us with our first son and four years later another, both through the miracle of adoption. When our youngest was four, I attended a women's retreat where we were challenged to pray, "God, break my heart with something that breaks yours."

I began to pray that prayer and several months later, God showed me the need in China. A year later we traveled to adopt Jillian and we came home changed.

Dramatically changed.
Never had I seen with my own eyes living conditions that caused me to feel so uncomfortable with my own. Why was it that I lived in such luxury while others had so little? Was it possible that God wanted us to share more of what we had with those who had so little?

And so we began to pray that He would show us how we could help--and that He would break our hearts enough to take action. And in a few short weeks, He made it clear He wanted us to adopt again.

As the years passed, He has sent us again and again to China and once to Guatemala. Each time I ask Him what He is thinking asking ME?! I mean, I'm willing, but wouldn't it be better to send someone who would do a better job? You know like someone who could:
*cook
*stay organized
*do lots of fun kid activities
*read lots and lots of stories, play games, etc.
*someone who had lots of patience
*someone who didn't yell
*someone who had a natural love of children and always wanted to play with other people's kids

I mean, really, WHY would He pick me?

The verse in 2 Corinthians 12 is my answer. When He chooses someone so ill-suited for the job, it makes it clear to everyone that HE is the power behind the person. He is the one who gives the needed wisdom, strength and anything else we need. He is the one who does most of the parenting by guiding, leading, pursuing my kids. As I acknowledge my total dependence on Him for help, He gives me what I need for the job.

"How do you do it?" I am asked repeatedly. I can only say that I pray a lot. It isn't always easy but He does promise to help.

We often hear this verse quoted, "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:19. Really? ALL things? Even adopt a child? Yes, all things. If He is calling you, He will enable you. You can do it!

Could there be a child waiting for you to say, "Yes, Lord?" Could you be the answer to someone's prayers? If you say no, maybe God will choose someone else to bless, but you will forever miss out on what He has planned to bless you with.
Are you breathing a sigh of relief because you are past the age of being an adoptive parent? Or too young to be one? Haha...you're not off the hook my friend! God commands us to take care of orphans. There is always something you can do to help. You can help the orphans directly through organizations like Love Without Boundaries or Morning Star Foundation, enabling them to get the care they need while they don't have families. Or you could help a family bring a child home--either a family you know personally, or through an organization like Shaohannah's Hope. We can all help! You will be blessed more than can imagine.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Misc. stuff

For those of you who ordered blanket sets, they have all been completed and mailed (with the exception of one family who wanted theirs sent after they move, and the family who ordered 10 sets yesterday).

So...if you do not receive a blanket set from us within the next few days, please let us know. We hope there were no mistakes, but we might have made some.

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So..the other night, Miss Zoey got a nosebleed. This is a fairly common occurrence when the weather gets cold and dry. However, this time it didn't stop.

I held and changed the wads of toilet paper many times and finally had one of the girls go get Jeff.

The bleeding just would not stop and it was coming out in pulsing spurts.

Jeff Googled ways to help, many of which we were already doing, but he finally decided to use the nose-pinching option. By this time, the blood was coming out of both nostrils and we had gone through almost an entire roll of toilet paper.

After pinching her nose completely closed for 5 minutes, blood started seeping out of her eye.

Oh, yes it did.

It was quite alarming, to say the least.

Ugh.

All in all, her nose bled for 30 minutes. For Pete's sake, I was thinking she was going to need a transfusion. ha. And let's just say that even though I have more padding now than I used to (sadly) the tile floor in the bathroom got very hard after awhile. Bless her heart, she whimpered a bit but never cried, even when her nose was completely pinched shut for 5 minutes and the toilet paper wad kept going into her mouth.

A Chinese friend of ours has a daughter with the same condition and recommended putting vaseline in her nose now that the weather has changed. So we are going to try that. I know we can get it cauterized at some point and may have to do that.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Coming Alongside


I have been so amazed and encouraged by all the people who have written to us over the past few days to reassure us about Zoey's upcoming surgery.

Ya'll are awesome!

Most have been parents of a child who had a similar or identical procedure and who told me more of what I needed to know. Some were professionals who took care of children with prosthetics, and offered a kind, encouraging word.

God is so good to send friends alongside when we are feeling a little discouraged, don't you think?

Zoey hasn't said much about her new leg, although we have decided to go with a fun fabric laminated onto her leg rather than the fake, shiny skin look. Hopefully, we can have fun picking out what she wants.
We are also going to make a mold of her little foot so that she can always have it. Another mom sent pictures of her daughter making one and shared how much it meant to her daughter to have the momento.

God is good...His plans are good...He loves us with a perfect love.

Coming Alongside

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Post You Have To Read

Please...take the time to go read this post.

AMAZING.

And then pray and ask God what He wants you to do about it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Our Visit to Shriners Today

Today Shriner's Hospital was hosting an amputee clinic so that families could visit and talk to other families who had a child with a prosthetic. What a great idea!

We decided to take the whole stinkin' family. Except for Taylor. He said he would rather go to school. He's a bit squeamish about hospitals. We wanted all the kids to have an idea of what was coming and what it would be like for Zoey after surgery.

We were able to visit with two families. The first family had four bio kids and a little girl adopted from China. And what a cutie she was. Oh. My. Word. She had us cracking up with her coy smiles and funny faces. She let us see her prosthetic, her bare leg and even invited Zoey to touch the spot where her stitches had been.

Amazing.

I went there expecting to feel better about the upcoming surgery.

I didn't.

The leg was heavier than I thought it would be...longer than I thought it would be (up and over her knee). It still looks obviously fake compared to the other leg. As in...shiny and you can tell it's fake from across a room. But probably the worst feeling was that the two kids we met didn't walk totally normally. I guess after hearing how great the kids do with their prosthetics, I thought they would walk normally.

Zoey was not feeling good about it either.

There was some good news--they will not cut her leg above the ankle area. They are actually going to leave her heel so that she can still walk on it when needed (middle of the night trips to the bathroom, etc.).

We scheduled the surgery for the week after Thanksgiving. My heart is kinda in my throat right now. I have known for soooo long that this was coming but when it comes right down to it, well....it's just a bit hard to think about losing her little foot. Will she miss it? Will she be mad at us? She can get around now with what she has. Although admittedly, it is getting harder and harder for her because her leg length difference has increased to about 4 inches. But to go from getting around decently to having to wear a device to get around...well, that is a bit of a leap and I hope we are all ready for that.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Update on Baby Joy and Baby Julie

Happy news! Baby Joy is out of the hospital and doing better! Thank you for praying. I will keep you posted whenever I have any news about her.

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And remember baby Julie who is listed with Love Without Boundaries here? She is listed as *URGENT* because she needs to be moved for surgery as soon as possible.

We went over the $5,000 goal for baby Joy by 21 blanket sets. With the triple match, that means we have raised $924 for baby Julie. She only needs $2,180 more to receive her heart surgery.
That means that if we can raise just $1,256 more, her surgery will be covered! Can we do it?! I'm thinking we can!!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Working...

I am working on a little sumthin' to show ya'll soon, but please forgive the lack of posting in the meantime.

And let's just say that the start of the kids' school year is kicking my butt. I am so tired! I move like a turtle in the morning and getting into the shower first thing is starting my day off very badly. Who wants to climb out of a warm bed and get sprayed by water? Not me. I would much rather go downstairs and curl up with my Bible and a cup of coffee until I start to feel human.

And let's not even start talking about homework because I might start to sound bitter.

I just can't wait until the kids start needing matching socks every day. Then the madness will truly be in full swing.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Baby Joy needs prayers

Lynsay, from Morning Star Foundation, emailed me to let me know that baby Joy is back in the hospital with pneumonia. She is very sick. Babies with heart conditions are at greater risk when they have any type of lung infection or virus because their lungs are already compromised. When blood is flowing incorrectly through the heart and lungs, it weakens them.

Please pray for her!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Having Fun with Grandma and Grandpa

We have been enjoying our visit this week with my parents who drove out to see us. One of the hard things about this move has been the distance to Jeff's family and mine.

The first day, we went to Plymouth so we could show them all of our favorite places. After lunch, we took our french fries outside to feed the seagulls. So fun!





What's not to enjoy about this scene? I love the water...

Last stop of the day was the beach.

Checking out a mussel that they found.

Zoey walks on the beach with grandma
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The next day was the first day of school...

Backpacks lined up and ready to go, next to Daddy's briefcase.

We had to take this after school since it was raining in the morning.

After school, the kids begged to take Grandma and Grandpa to a nearby farm we recently found. It's a really cool little place and we will be going back there this fall for sure.

Yummy apples!

Why is this man holding all these bags of candy?

And why does he have his wallet out?

Oh. He must be a grandpa.

To all these little munchkins!

My mom and dad...I heart them!

Today, we drove to Cape Cod after we took the kids to school. The little kids were all hyped up to go to 'Cake Cob.' It never disappoints.

The view from Nobska Lighthouse. That is the ferry to Martha's Vineyard in the background.

Not a great photo of the lighthouse
(it's not leaning--that is just camera operator error)

Obligatory Tourist shot
(wait...is the lighthouse leaning the other way now? Or is the photographer really lousy?)

Lunch on a restaurant deck overlooking the water. This looks so nice but the person who told us about this place neglected to tell us it was a 1.5 mile walk to get there. We only had one stroller for Zoey.
Yeah. You can imagine it, right?

There was a whole lot of complaining going on.
The kids even complained a bit, too.

We did some shopping in the cute shops and picked up a few on-sale-because-the-summer-is-over sweatshirts to remember our visit.

All in all, it was a beautiful day and we had fun. We even made it back to the school on time to pick up the kids.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Meet Baby Julie

This little sweetheart is the one who Jillian and Molly have decided to give the overflow blanket funds to. Julie is listed with Love Without Boundaries, one of our favorite charities. LWB saved the lives of our SaraGrace and Katie-bug. We are forever grateful to them!!

Isn't she cute!?!?
Her page is listed on the LWB site here. This is what they wrote about her:
Name: Julie-Kaifeng
Gender: F
Province: Henan
Remaining Amount Needed: $2,180.00

Precious Julie is only 6 months old, but has already been through so much. She was born with two heart defects – Patent Foramen Ovale and Pulmonary Hypertension, and is currently in the hospital finishing treatment for pneumonia. We are hoping that she will be well enough next week to have surgery to heal her heart. Once Julie recovers from her surgery, she will be able to join our Foster Care Program. You can help Julie have a chance at life and know the love of a family by becoming her sponsor.

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We will continue to take blanket orders and see where God takes this!

We can still get the following fabrics...




These fabrics were donated!

This is not a flannel like the other blankets. There is quite a bit of it, so we should be able to make at least 10 blanket sets out of it. Blanket will be ladybug with red gingham for the pillow.


We have enough of this combination to make 5 blanket sets


Love this!! We have enough for 3 sets.

Monday, September 06, 2010

We Made It!!

We made it!

We have passed our goal of raising $5,000 for baby Joy! We could only do it with your participation and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

God was all over this project and I'm hoping I will have time to tell you some of the stories in the near future.

We actually went over our goal by 15 sets!!! I was praying that if God wanted us to continue with this project for another child, that He would send more people to purchase the blanket sets. So....

I will have the girls choose another child to raise money for. It was so cute...when I told Jillian that we had gone over and that they needed to choose another child, she said, "Mom, wouldn't it be cool if we could do this for five kids who needed help?"

So who knows....maybe we will be able to help five children.

Christmas is coming and people need to buy presents, right? So please spread the word because we are willing to keep making blanket sets!!

So sorry it took me all day to post but my parents arrived tonight and I had to spend the day cleaning and grocery shopping. I wouldn't have wanted my mom to think I was slob. Hee... My mom is the one who taught me to sew and my girls had so much fun showing her their sewing area tonight.

Again....THANK YOU ALL SOOOOO MUCH and please don't stop spreading the word!


Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Goal has Almost Been Met!!!

Woohoo!! We are almost there! We have orders for 96 blanket sets!

That means we only need 3 more!

Who will put us over the top?!?!

We have some newly donated fabrics that we will be posting ASAP, so if you want to choose from one of them, just note that and you can wait to choose.

If we go over our goal, we will choose another orphaned child in China to donate the extra money to--there is a never-ending need.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

And the winners are....

The winners of the fuschia silk blanket sets are:

Jillian chooses first....

Molly chooses second...

Kim Kenward

Angie Miller

Congratulations, Ladies!! I will get your sets to you next week!