Welcome!! Grab a cup of coffee and visit with us! We hope you enjoy our story! (((HUGS)))

Welcome!! Grab a cup of coffee and visit with us! We hope you enjoy our story! (((HUGS)))
CLICK ON OUR HOUSE AND READ ABOUT THE REST OF OUR FAMILY!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Happy Birthday Paul Follower and Mercy Redeemed

Two children, born the exact same day, worlds apart, with a similar story. Their parents weren't able to accept them with their disability. Does that sound harsh? I can tell you that if it was me, nothing would separate me from my child. I do have an adult birth child with a disability, chronic disabling mental illness. And no that does not make me better than anyone.

Pauly was born in Bulgaria where families are poor and resources are few. Mercy was born in America the land where we are supposed to have the "best" of everything.It didn't matter.

Both born on the same day, we don't know what time to see who came first!

Both families could not cope. Pauly went to an orphanage. Mercy went to mom, dad, grandma, a nanny, an adoptive family in IA, and before we said yes, several other families said no. How could a 5 year old (Mercy) be so alone in this big world?

Pauly had a heart surgery alone at 6 months. He coped by developing autistic qualities. He's afraid to stop using them. He's stressed 24 hours a day. He can barely relax enough to sleep. Sometimes I just cry wishing I had been there for him when he had his heart surgery. He is such a lost soul who can only LOVE. He wouldn't hurt anyone, but he has been deeply wounded.

You might be able to tell they did not want their pictures taken! There were a few yells and grunts with frowns and heads down! But this was good enough. Then I let Mercy run away and Pauly tell me all about how he hates wearing shoes! LOL!!

They bless our lives so much. We Thank God daily for them!
Sometimes it's hard when there is no extended family who cares how they are doing except my mom- "Grandma". I want to walk up to strangers to tell them how amazing they are, but they avoid us like the plague in public. Their loss.

So my sweet pumpkins- (we don't have a "baby" of the family, we have 2 babies of the family.) :o)
We are doubly happy to see you both turn 7!! You both bring sunshine into our lives!!
I LOVE being your mom!

We also have a daughter Joy, now in Heaven (she had DS) who was born on their birthday as well in 1988!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Noah's first time camping

I forgot to mention that Julius and Pauly have camped with us for 2 years.
But this was Noah, Jacob and Moses' first trip.
We were concerned that so much outdoor time would be hard for them. But they LOVE it!
They weren't able to go camping with us before because they came home August 2012 after we had been up here, and then 2013 M.A. got sick.

Noah's face expresses everything he's thinking.
He's always thinking that you are his best friend!
He is very bonded to us.
He comes to me when I call him. He may hesitate, but he comes!
He likes to be with us, just hanging out, just loving each other!
He watches strangers with interest, but he stays near us.

Once in a while he gets sad.
But not often.
Now he lets us hold him when he's sad.
He has a hard time stopping when he starts to cry.
It breaks your heart.
He puts his whole heart into every emotion he has.

He still chews everything he gets his hands on.
We bring things for him to chew on.

He LOVES going outside!
Today he was a little sad, so Tom asked him what was wrong.
He went to the door, he wanted outside.
But it's nap time, he'll have to wait.
He doesn't take a nap, but Mosie, Julius, Pauly and Mercy do.

This is his "orphanage" position. He likes to do this laying on his back.
He stiffens himself.
We ask him to sit upright.

He has a wonderful sense of humor!
He LOVES to smile!

What JOY he brings us all.
I can't even begin to tell you how much I LOVE being his Mommy!

He's curious and gentle.
He likes to inspect new things.
But he never knocks things over or gets into things. He just looks.

He has quit "spitting".
I don't know about the girls from orphanages, but all 5 of our boys were super spitters. :o(
It's nice now to only hear it occasionally.
Now if we say "Noah- no spit!" He stops.

Time to play ball!
But Noah doesn't really care for balls.

 He wonders why we have this "thing"!



He LOVES affection. He LOVES kisses and hugs.
He no longer clings to people for the affection he longed for.
Now he gets his fill and has his activities he enjoys!
It's amazing to see how confident he is!

We are still working on getting him to walk.
He walks along walls and furniture. But he won't let go.
He pushes his weight on the gait trainer too hard, so it doesn't help him much.
We hope and pray he'll learn to walk on his own.
But if not, he does assist us when we transfer him.
He is such a blessing to all who know him.
We Thank God for a boy with such a LOVING heart!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Amazing Jacob camping!

Two years ago Jacob could not move his legs.
He was 9 months post op experimental brain surgery.
The top half of his body was much larger and stronger than his legs.
We stood behind him and moved his legs for him as he stood to teach him to "walk".
Eventually he moved his own legs. Now we hold his arms and he moves his own legs!
He soon stood up on furniture , and took baby steps walking along the furniture.
In these 3 pictures he is getting up to stand all on his own!
He is not hanging on to anything!!
Now his legs are strong!

Two years ago his legs were so thin and his left leg shook. The muscles were so weak.
We can't believe it!
Getting up like this is his idea!!

                                                                   What an amazing boy!!!

Jacob doesn't like to go outside.
He's very much a loner and likes to keep to himself.
If you invade his space he will inch his feet towards you to push you away.
But we are drawn to him. We LOVE him!
He is our precious son, so we "walk" him outside with us.
Here we just helped him climb into the wagon.

                                                      He's thinking about where he is. :o)
He doesn't try to communicate. He talks to himself a lot. Attention makes him uncomfortable.

                                                    He's thinking he likes the wagon!

                                           But he doesn't want anymore pictures!! LOL!!
                                                    Hats are worn to keep flies away.

                                     He wants big brother to hurry up and pull the wagon!

Sometimes he blesses us with a goofy smile! :o)
He also has a beautiful smile when he's caught off guard.
The goofy smile means "I love you, but I'm busy!"

                                                        This hat fits a little better.
                                                      He doesn't really like hats.

Kitty thought maybe he'd like the stroller, but he's too big. It did support him well enough to catch the ball. In the wagon he can't support a catch while sitting.

He's still not sure if he likes balls this size. He has a great arm and would prefer a smaller ball to throw far and hard! We have some balls that are soft so he can't break anything!

All of our clothes are "camping" clothes :o) We wear them in the dirt and the water. We don't worry about keeping them nice while they explore the woods. We wash them every 3 days. Sometimes they don't match very well! LOL!! But there's no one here but us! We don't care how we look! We're too busy having fun!

We Thank God for Jakie!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The gift of watching a little girl's hurting heart heal!

When we decided to go camping, we knew this little princess might make our camping trip the worst ever.
Why?
She has Reactive Attachment Disorder. RAD.
No she did not choose it.
In order for her to survive so many who rejected her emotionally, she learned it.
My heart aches to hold her, to hug her, to kiss her sweet face.
She says no.
I respect her feelings and wait to be accepted.

While camping we are in very close quarters sleeping and eating.
The rest of the time we are outside- weather permitting.
Miss Mercy likes her "space". She like to pace and run and spread her wings.
Since she doesn't talk she expresses herself physically.
How would she cope with having to be so near to all of us everyday?
At home she likes to lay in her bed all day on bad days.
We discourage her from isolating herself. We try to get her to leave her bed.

When camping she sleeps in a small playpen next to her sister Kitty, and her brother Julius in his playpen.
My bed is only a few feet away, and Isaiah and Lysa are sleeping a few feet the other direction.
There is no "space".
We were worried, how would she cope?

Even tho she's non verbal, she makes consonant and vowel sounds.
When she's frustrated she "clicks" her tongue loudly.
Night after night while camping the first 2 weeks camping, she would not stop clicking!
In frustration I spent a good part of the night telling her "shh" every time she started.
It worked! She is now sleeping better than she sleeps at home!
Now if she wakes up I catch her singing to herself! :o)
Beautiful!

She learned that negative behaviors get the most attention.
She knows many.
She hates her face washed, her diaper changed, her clothes changed.
She doesn't like to be told what to do.

But today she laughed when her face was wiped after dinner, and she stopped screaming at Dad when he moved her from under the table because her sister changed her shirt!
We all looked at each other and said "Who is this little girl?"
She smiled at all of us!

She hears me tell her brothers "Tongue in" :o)
So she has decided to see if I'll tell her the same.
She hears me tell Pauly "Hands out of your mouth", and so she puts her hand in her mouth.
She wants me to tell her the same.
I want to treat her differently.
After all she does not have Down Syndrome.
Altho she does have a developmental delay.
I expect more from her because we expect her to catch up developmentally.
She doesn't like that and ignores me, and hides.


But I don't give up.
And she rewards me with the sweetest toothless smile that just melts my heart.

And she smiles at me longer each time as if to say "I do love you mom, I am happy here!"
The rejection that hurt her melts away and she accepts us.
No hugs yet for me. But it's coming. She lets me stroke her hair.
She has been so happy camping. It is the best thing we've ever done with her!
Each day she loves it in the woods/outdoors so much.
She loves the cramped quarters, she loves the outdoors, she loves us.
And oh how we LOVE her!!

Tom and I give most of the credit to Faith, Lysa, Kitty and Isaiah.
They loved her through the tantrums, the rejection, the self injurious behavior, the loud nights of sleeplessness.
They truly LOVED her unconditionally.
She rewarded them by allowing them to touch her.
I'd like to say I felt the same towards her when times were very challenging.
But it was hard. As  much as I LOVED her I questioned my ability to be her mom.
Her needs felt overwhelming.
I'm human, I let it get to me too often.

18 months and 1 long camping trip later, we see so much of her inner beauty shine.
She's always been beautiful on the outside.
But her brokenness hid her inner beauty.
What a blessing to watch her heal!
We Thank God for making her our precious daughter!
We Thank God that He can heal her wounded heart.
We Thank God for using us!