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 THE BOYS PICTURE TO READ OUR FAMILY BLOG

Friday, November 30, 2012

So much JOY!

Jacob is healing.

He is one year post op brain surgery now.

He is slowly becoming interested in more things and seems to be growing stronger as he gains weight and grows! He was 25 pounds, 2 1/2 months ago. Now he is 32 pounds!

One of the things we hope for him, is the healing of whatever was done to his brain. We have hope that because he is young, his brain can compensate for what was done. They say in the medical journals children can develop and heal easier than adults in their brains. This would be an answer to prayer!

He will still have Cerebellar Hypoplasia. A small cerebellum. Which causes some of the same things his Arachnoid Cysts on his brain cause. Ataxia type symptoms. ( symptoms of a disorder that features cerebellar hypoplasia might include floppy muscle tone, developmental or speech delay, problems with walking and balance, seizures, intellectual disability, and involuntary side to side movements of the eyes) And he has difficulties with his emotions.

But now we see Jacob sit up longer and longer without slouching over to lay down. We see him stand longer! He is able to stand on his own by leaning on something. He is doing his many many self stims less. Which is amazing! He seemed to be driven to do these self stims over and over. It was to the point that many times we were in tears watching him. The other boys respond well to re-direction, Jacob does not. Whatever is happening we are thrilled, he's finally relaxing!

Tom really felt that Jacob could watch TV. But his Dr and I did not think this was possible.  Now I see, he does watch TV!!! He needs to stand quite close to it. He has favorite shows! And he likes football!!

He also closely watches rolling toys and cars going down a track.
He can't crawl but he is pulling himself to toys. He "looks" like he is trying to figure out how to un-assemble them! And if his hand is weak - he shakes it!! As if to get it to work! He likes toys that need to be manipulated- shaken, twirled. He doesn't like the electronic toys. he doesn't press buttons!

So many new things! So many improving things! So much HOPE! So much JOY!!
                                                   ~Praise God!~

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mosie

Faith is holding Mosie coming home from the Dr.
Mosie had to see the Dr 3 mornings this week to have his blood drawn for his thyroid.
It took 3 tries to get enough blood. 
They poked veins, fingers, toes to get enough.
Poor precious LOVE.

In the collar (right side) of his coat is his Armadillo from Hannah! (Hannah Hopes!!) He loves him. So he took it along to help him feel better.

But he never cries. He is such a precious boy.
He sits on Daddy as they poke him.
And he soaks up Daddy's LOVE through every pore of his being.
And he never complains.

Daddy cries.
Daddy wishes they would poke him instead.
                        Here he says "Oh Daddy, how many pictures?"

 It was very cold out. Only 10 degrees. Mosie has no fat on him. So we bundled him up good!

Do you know that these three boys GIVE so much more than we give them? These boys LOVE so much. We don't even know how to LOVE as purely as they do.
They have lived years without LOVE.
Their whole being depends on LOVING us.
                                            What a gift they are!
And God BLESSED US!!
                               With these three boy's LOVE!!
                                                 Oh! how we weep with JOY!
Oh! how we REJOICE in the GOODNESS of our LORD and SAVIOUR!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

God's Love, through you!

Life is so hard.

For all of us.

Unknown things can change your life in an instant. Hardships seem to never take a break.

Worst of all, bad things do happen to really really good people. People like us and people we love.

And then I get an e-mail or a comment with kind precious words. Words from someone who has no idea that God sent them to lift my spirits!
They may know their words will bless me. But seriously! God multiplies that blessing in ways unimaginable!

Or someone is touched by Jacob or one of our other blessings and wants to help. They help so freely with the heart of God that I weep. I'm ashamed. They teach me by their selflessness. God hugely multiplies their blessings!

Yes, even I need reminders on how to give with a heart for God.

As I get older, I really understand the body of Christ so much better.

I understand now how the head needs the foot and the ear needs the arm. It used to just be a beautiful parable to me. Kind of like a beautiful quote. You remember it, and it comforts you to know it. But then knowing that the bible IS God's LIVING Word. It GROWS! It comes ALIVE! And one day, (or like me gradually, slowly,) you get it. You really get it! You realize you are LIVING it!

We truly, literally are the BODY of Christ!
Thank You for helping me understand this better. Know this. Live this!
You ALL Bless my life in ways you can not imagine!
I LOVE you ALL!!
(((HUGS)))
You are in my prayers :o)

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

God is good

Don't you love it when you have a great day! LOL!

Sometimes the world (even our adult kids) attack and nit pick our family so much..............we actually feel our JOY slipping away.

God is Good and He will never let our JOY be taken!

Today at every turn, God reminded me that this is what I LOVE to do. And this is why I LOVE to do it! Him. He is my LOVE, my reason. He is my LIFE!

My reward is a day where lots gets accomplished, the kids are happy and we all sit smiling and hugging while sipping egg nog after dinner.

God is SO Good!

If our big white dog did not have stomach distress- it would have been perfect! LOL!!

But then that is our reminder, the world is far from perfect!
We are not perfect!
As long as we have God- we have everything we need!

Now why does egg nog have to have so many calories?? ;o)

Monday, November 26, 2012

mother's intuition

I thank God for my mother's intuition. It is truly the biggest blessing God equips me with as a mom.

Recently we started having concerns about Gabriel. He's been on a medication since he was 16. At first it was dosed by spraying into his nasal passages. I took Gabe to the Dr to be diagnosed. But I left Tom to purchase the medication and follow up with it.

I really should have read the side effects. I regret that I was too busy.

It was very expensive, $75.00 a bottle. After a year and a half they switched him to a pill. The pharmacy said the spray was too expensive. Tom and I also found it not to be very effective for Gabe's problem. I also don't think Gabe was dosing it in his nose right. It's tricky.

He started the pill 6 months ago. And that's when he didn't seem like our same angel Gabriel.

These are the top side effects- 
•nausea, vomiting, weakness, loss of appetite, headache, feeling restless or irritable, confusion, hallucinations, muscle pain or weakness, and/or seizure;

Gabe has always been sensitive to medications. But you'd think he'd complain?? No not one word! He's had adverse reactions to meds before. 

He has totally lost his appetite. And now I realize his restlessness and irritability are so much worse on the medication. Tom and I were concerned that he was becoming rebellious. But that's not like him at all.  Hallucinations? His thoughts have become worrisome, I thought he was lying to me about odd things he said. He's not understanding us well or following through on conversations or directions we give him. If we question him about it, he answers our questions with odd answers. And we're not able to rationalize with him.

We discontinued the medicine immediately.

Could you say a prayer for Gabriel please? He just has not been himself. I was becoming quite depressed over his personality changes. I'm relieved to know what it is. But we don't know when he'll be back to his old self. 
Thank You!
He means the world to us. 
And his little brothers miss the "old" Gabe.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

no higher calling than.............

to be a mom.

My parents wanted me to be "something". My father found me to be frivolous because I leaned towards the arts. My art teacher told me to marry a rich man~ to support my art. ;o)

I am the income earner. I married a man, who wanted to be a father. Income provided by work provided by God. Not the person who's name is on the pay check.

And I really just wanted to be a mom. This was before I became a Christian at 22.

I was told I'd never have children at age 16. So I always knew we'd adopt.

But adopt special needs children? I had no clue how special needs children even came about!! When I was young these children were hidden or institutionalized.

Today I give God the Glory for teaching us ALL about adoption. For showing us that we are ALL adopted, by Him. Sinners, Liars, alcoholics, the list could go on and on. It isn't pretty and none of us are perfect. And yet God LOVES us with a LOVE like no other and adopted us as His own. and He treats us like Kings and Queens! Not the sinners we are.

He gave me my hearts desire. Many children. But they are not my children! They are His!

I Thank God for His willingness to share His children with me. And His great LOVE for them (and me); creates in my heart a desire, for me to do everything in my ability, to point them back to Him as long as I'm here.

Just as Sarah laughed when Isaac was conceived. I laugh as I watch the children He chose to share with me!

Giving God the Glory!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

How little boys start their days

6:00 a.m. I hold my breath creeping along the bedrooms. I don't want little boys to hear me! LOL! The bedrooms are inter-connected, we have a tiny hallway that is "open" to the stairs.

Mosie wakes up instantly. You can tell he's awake by his fast "puppy breathing"! He does that sitting up-letting me know he is ready to go!

We teach the boys to "sh" out of respect to the other sleepers. :o) The three new boys understood this right away. Julius and Pauly took about 6 months to realize "yelling" causes sleepy people to respond less happy! :o)

Then Noah starts moving around, he's looking for the lights to come on. Jacob is usually already sitting up chewing on his knee. For the most part Noah and Jacob wait quietly. Sometimes Jacob is restless and tries to lean over the bed rail reaching for a waste basket!!

Julius and Pauly whisper and smile as they watch. They have been here 16 months now! They know how this works! :o) I can no longer remember a time J&P were not here!

After my 4 helpers put on their robes, stretch and wipe the sleep from their eyes, I start dressing/changing one boy at a time.

I've already prepared everyone's oatmeal. Chocolate with a big marshmallow for the big kids, banana for little boys.

My helpers remove sleep sacks first and bring me one boy still in his sleeper, at a time.

Mosie is always first. Oh how he laughs and smiles and tolerates his precious little face washed! Dressing him is a challenge because he wants to wrap himself in your arms. What does he care about clean diapers, fresh clothes, when he only lives for our LOVE? After I've prepared him for the day, a helper carries him to Dad to feed him. He's filling out in his legs and tummy ever so nicely. He doesn't feel like air any more! He also understands a lot of what we tell him now!

Jacob is next. Jacob has little control over his emotions. If he's in a difficult mood he just wants food. Face washing is either loved or hated. If he's happy he'll talk and accept tickles. If he's not happy he cries. He does not seem to have a lot of control over his moods. This is the Ataxia. Molly taught me not to take this personally. (Thank you Molly :o) You can't predict his moods and it doesn't matter if he's slept well or not. It seems as though he "needs" to cry. Because after his frustrations his mood will improve. He's growing heavier quickly, and much stronger!! I try to make dressing and diaper change fast for him, so a helper can "walk" him to Dad quickly to eat.

Then comes Noah. Noah is a really fun guy! He's bubbly and full of sillies! He's helping me dress him. He likes his routine here. He chatters with me. He gives really nice hugs! Next a helper "walks" him to Dad to eat. He's growing heavier, but not as heavy as Jacob. He understands so much of what we tell him it's amazing!!

Those three are fed by Dad. It goes so quickly you'd be amazed. They eat wonderfully. They love all foods. Everything goes smoothly and quickly and they are now ready for our day!

Samson gets himself up. If he doesn't feel well or he's tired he decides how quickly he'll do his routine. While we are busy he is off independently serving himself, picking up things, putting his dishes away, dressing. Samson has the independence we hope that his 5 little brothers will have some day too! As Samson does his thing he pats little boy's heads. And he jokes with us. He can help the boys if they drop things. He can get them a toy. He is our gopher if we need a towel or tissue. He will "tell" on the boys if they get into something or he might tell them "no-no"..................maybe a few too many times! He just loves the boys! He no longer calls them "babies" and knows all of their names!

While my helpers are eating, Julius and Pauly jump out of their bed (climbing over the bed rail) and run to me! It's a flurry of pants on heads, diapers, wipies, shirts strewn across my bed as I dress them! LOL!! They can pull shirts over their heads, hold legs straight for pants. Both boys can undress- more than I'd like! LOL! I'd call them my twins but they are so different physically and ability wise. (kind of like Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarz. in the movie Twins, which I've actually never seen- LOL!) Even with all of their differences they are definitely "a pair". One big difference is- Julius can do/learn new small motor skills each day, but Pauly is still a guy using his adorable chubby little fist for everything! And Julius is veeeeery verbal, while Pauly'd rather watch!

Julius and Pauly practice their new eating skills as I feed them. They love their banana oatmeal so they cooperate so nicely! If they don't like what they are eating it is more challenging. (Julius is not a fan of egg salad!) I mention that because eggs are an easy fast source of protein for all of our kids. I used to like peanut butter for protein when we were in a pinch. But after all of the salmonella reports (here in MN two nursing home residents died from contaminated p.b.!) I use it less and less.

As we eat we sing Praise songs- often Toby Mac, Petra, Blind Boys of Alabama, Twyla Paris, Best Loved Hymns- very eclectic!  

When we are done eating we collect the three boys from Dad. And go to 4 areas up stairs to play, read our bibles, Give God the Glory! and start our homeschool. (dad cleans up- thanks dad!)

Homeschool for all 5 boys is role modeling play. Very effective and they love it. They don't even notice they are learning! After their surgeries, PT and OT will be added.

Before you know it it is 11:00 a.m. ~ time for lunch :o)

Tomorrow I'll share our afternoon schedule. :o)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Blessings abound!

We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday!

Three little boys who have never eaten Turkey breast, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and croissants, gobbled them up faster than we could grind them. Only Noah of those three can "chew" a little.

Just about every food we feed the 3 new boys, from egg salad to wild rice, is eaten quickly and happily. They have never enjoyed so much food in their precious little lives of 7,7 and 9 years. They enjoy tasting everything we give them!

We Thank God that we are the ones who get to share these kinds of blessings with the boys. Simple blessings we so often take for granted.

We Thank God that we are their family. We will NEVER take that for granted! We will never take for granted that God gave these precious boys to us!

Tom and I feed them.
I take the youngest two. Julius is starting to put random bites in his mouth. Julius and Pauly can eat bites now, but continue to swallow before chewing out of habit. They are only 5 so we're still working on it. Pauly with his autism does not like to "touch" food, and only accepts food on a spoon. He is not able to get food from the bowl to his mouth yet on his own. It takes me longer to feed because I am working on transitioning them to eat more on their own.

The 3 new love bugs have only been home 2 months. They get a break. :o) We just feed and love on them. :o) (Way too much fun!!) They have their little surgeries coming up~ that will be enough for them, for now! No hurries for new skills.

So much to be Thankful for. And that is just a tiny little glimpse into our day.

We didn't cook anything from scratch so we could spend more time with each other. I loved that the grocery stores were open so we could get things as we needed more! :o)
Everyone was asleep by 9 p.m.!! Even MA and SP.
Of course by 1 a.m. it was a new day for MA and she and I were up the rest of the night..............but what a blessing!

(((HUGS))) 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy~ Thanksgiving!!!

from the Archers
Tom, Elizabeth, MA & SP
Gabriel, Samson, Faith, Lysa, Kitty, Noah, Isaiah, Moses, Jacob, Julius and our baby Pauly ;o) 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

God crossed our paths...........

Today I give God the Glory for crossing our paths.

I am so Thankful for YOU, Dear Precious Readers!

I didn't set out to gain attention from my blog. I thought a couple friendships would be nice! ;o) Goodness knows I get nervous if I check the stats. So I don't! I wonder quietly why anybody would read. LOL!

But then I remember, It's not about me! (silly me!!) It's God!

And God uses everything for His Good! And I weep with joy because He sent you!!

Because of your love, prayers, kindnesses, generosity, we have been touched by Him working through your hands.

We LOVE you ALL more than words can express. God IS Good!

(sorry no pictures, I hit my blogger "max" again, I'll fix it later? :o) 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Marriage

Matthew 19:1-6 NKJV

19 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there.

3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made[a] them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’[b] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?[c] 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
                                                 ~~~~~*~~~~~

"What God has joined together-let man not separate"
But boy, the world sure does try to separate, don't they? God never said it would be easy. He promised to see us through it.

Today the world has given "family" new meanings. Are you tired of your spouse? Are your parents not what you wished for. If you were pregnant and your child showed a disability would you abort the pregnancy? Lots of "excuses" satan gives us.

The things God joins, He joins for Good. Who are we to question Him!
Today I pray for all of us as we face our daily trials and challenges to stay in His Word. We all have difficulties. Let's encourage someone today! :o)

                             Life is fragile~ handle with prayer :o)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Giving God the Glory!

I put this picture on the right side bar. It says GIVE GOD THE GLORY!!
I am challenging myself to write daily posts glorifying God until the New Year. Roughly 45 days. :o)

It's a personal mission that was laid on my heart last night as God held me. When I pray I imagine God holding me. :o) It feels wonderful!
Clouds hold a special place in my heart. When I was 18 I felt the Lord used clouds to speak to my heart. It has stayed with me ever since.

So today I Praise God for making all of us unique! 
Like my Noah.
We can share diagnosis' like DS or FAS. But we are still individually created by God's Hand! Praise God!
Can you imagine? None of us are the same!!
Noah laughs with a laugh that is contagious. His voice has the sweetest "little boy" tone to it. We LOVE to hear him "talk"!
My Jacob, so unique Drs can only guess about him.
But our family has a secret! We already know! We know God holds Jakie in His Hands. He is already caring for Jakie's every need! He will not forsake our precious little boy! Praise God!
Jakie finds joy in little things, that joy draws our attention to him. His smiles light up a room!
My Moses. A tiny boy with a BIG name!
He will move mountains, thanks to God! God has already used him to touch the hearts of so many. He truly is chosen by God. Just as God chooses us all. We have never seen him cry, and some days he laughs so much our cheeks hurt from laughing with him!!
My Julius. Named after the Roman Centurion in Acts 27 who cared for the prophet Paul. He truly is his "brothers keeper". He watches over Pauly and cares for him so gently. God gave this boy a heart of LOVE for others. Sometimes he lightly kisses Mosie's head. As if to say, he LOVES his brothers. God gave these boys to each other, to us, to the world! Praise God!
My Pauly who struggles to communicate. Who LOVES with his entire being. Autism adds to his struggles. But he does not miss out on anything because of it. When he breaks through and lets people know what he thinks. It is shear joy to watch him express himself. The world may not know, but God gives us the gift of understanding with Pauly. Others don't have time for children like Pauly, who have social difficulties. We feel sad for them, they are missing out. 
MA who was once our community's star citizen with DS. Working, living, independently. How quickly the world forgets us when we don't do the things they find amazing. All of us here find MA amazing every day. Even as she struggles with alzheimers. No matter how hard her day is she still finds time to help me feel better if I'm feeling down! God blessed our family with her!
Our Samson. Yup another big name! After all he already had a BIG personality when we brought him home from TX 14 years ago. He had never been able to hear, and did not know what his old name was! He is now the big brother to 5 little boys as unique as he is and he is loving every minute of it!

So today we are Giving God the Glory. Truly, He created us, He put us together. And we rejoice in His goodness! Blessings abound! Thank You God! For not only creating each of us so uniquely, but giving us to each other! For making us a family.

Friday, November 16, 2012

~update~

The money will be refunded after the baby's new family pays the attorney.
We can again, use the money to find our Belle.
Thanking God~ For His mercies are new every morning.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

We were no longer "chosen"

Today was a sad and joyous day for us.

The precious baby girl was born. We don't know when.

She did not have Down Syndrome.

She was placed with a family who would pay much more money to adopt a "healthy" baby girl.

We thank God she has a family.

We wept for the baby we thought we were adopting.

A Dear precious friend had sent our baby girl a car seat to the agency for her to fly home in. From Florida to our home in MN.

We had her bag packed, waiting to go get her, at a moments notice.

The agency has all our money. We paid up-front. We are out thousands of dollars.

If that wasn't frustrating enough.

Yesterday we found out Tom's fingerprints for Adam Walsh had to be re-done- thus our Home Study cannot be complete without them. We did our Finger prints the 23rd of October, we thought after not hearing so long they had "passed". Four of us had to do them, we have not heard if the other 3 were accepted. This makes me mad.

We need a lot of prayers. Thank You (((HUGS)))

In the mean time we are all holding FIVE SUPER PRECIOUS BOYS close to our HEARTS!! What a GIFT from God they are!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving!! We Thank God!!

My little man Isaiah is growing up so big! He just LOVES his brothers.
Each day he thinks of something new for the boys and him to do!

Pauly is in the striped shirt. (this was late October- because Nov 1 Pauly and Julius got their hair cuts :o) Noah in white chair, Julius on the floor.
Here Isaiah set the table up so they could sit together!
Noah always has his soft toy to chew on. He can chew and drool and wet down  a toy faster than I can wash and dry them!
Pauly "is on the phone".
I LOVE to look at Isaiah's patient LOVING face, as he plays with his brothers. What a blessing he is to the boys. He teaches them LOVE~ patience and kindness. I'm so happy he uses his Bible teachings throughout his life!

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)
1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Beautiful Inspiration of Hannah

                                               Hannah Hopes!
This young lady is beautiful inside and out! She has a HUGE heart for God. And she touches the hearts of many many people; children and adults with her gift of sharing God's LOVE!

A few weeks ago when we were trying to figure out what was wrong with Jacob. Hannah sent us some encouragement!! Hannah sent each of us a reminder of God's LOVE!

It wasn't a big box. But what was inside the box was HUGE! Hannah had picked out a special stuffed animal for each of us here!! Each of us!! As I opened the box and took out each animal. I read the tag with the name of the person it was for. On the tag is a drawing of "The Cross with Jesus' robe hanging over it", and it says "Hannah Hopes" and "God is Love".
It's beautiful. You could tell she had thought carefully over which animal was for who. A turkey for Tom. So sweet! Kanga with Roo for me- how did she know I loved Kanga and Roo!!??

Everyone here was filled with smiles and laughter, as we hugged our animals.
Thank You Hannah! You have a wonderful gift for spreading God's LOVE. God's LOVE gives us Hope! We cannot live without that Hope! We all need it. Sometimes we forget. But you helped remind us. You shared His LOVE with us!
We LOVE you!!! (((HUGS))) Thank You!!
And don't stop doing God's work! :o)
Kitty (9) Lysa (10) Faith (11) Isaiah (8)
SP is adding this bear to her collection!
Samson (17) always happy to get a new friend!
Pauly (5) Julius (5)
Noah (9) Jacob (7) Mosie (7)
poor Jacob, his emotions never match the occasion.
And the *star* of our show Miss MA :o)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Three little words that scare me!

Any day now??!!

Then we get asked by friends- "Are you ready?" LOL!

There's a plane to catch- or beg to get a seat on in a moments notice!! And bags to pack!!

We've got brand new bottles on the counter to sterilize. (The boy's bottles are too big.) We have a laundry basket full of baby clothes in pink in the laundry room, a snow suit in her crib, a Minnie Mouse towel in the bathroom! :o). We have size one diapers in her 3 sister's room, we had bought them for Mosie, who needed a size 2 and now..........wears a size 3!!! (YEAH!!) All these things are scattered all over the house far from Dad's suitcase!

Our John Walsh prints have not cleared yet for our homestudy. I'm trying not to worry. Usually by this time they request SPs to be re-done, but this trip we begged the officer to please send a note saying this is the best he can do. He didn't want to, but after he did them he said o.k.
Otherwise every adoption we pay $45.00 for prints that should cost $15.00, because they have her repeat them 3x.

We are so anxious to hear how birthmom and baby are. No news last week. We think about them all day long.
Please join us in prayer for this beautiful birthmom, who is giving Belle, a baby with DS the gift of life! It touches our hearts that she is giving her life, just like she gave all her precious children. Every child God gives us deserves life!

The girls~ Faith 11, Lysa 10, and Kitty 9 are so ready for their sister. :o) They have the first 6 months of her life planned already! :o)

I think the little boys are ready! Julius and Pauly have accepted their new brothers with open arms! They are going to love Belle!

The 3 new boys are so happy!
Several times I have heard families say the older the International adopted child, the faster you see positive changes. We really see this with our 3 new boys.

Our first 2 boys were 4 yrs old and they were a lot like babies when they came. Demanding. Needing a lot of attention and care. Now they are very much pre-schoolers- independent and active. Julius is even learning pretend play! And Pauly is watching! ;o)

The 3 new boys have only been home about 2 months, but they fit in like they have been here at least 6 months already. I'm not having to kid proof their areas. I can go to the bathroom without worrying they'll run! LOL! They wait without complaining! They don't have the sense of urgency that J & P had last year. They don't "get into" things. They are curious, but polite. They also understand more English faster!? Or they read body language very well!
Maybe we were more prepared for them too??
They are going to be amazing big brothers for Belle!

We think Belle is going to fit in here, with us, very very well too. Don't babies just fit into arms so easily. I'm up most nights with MA, so she'll be our little company! MA is going to never go back to bed now! She'll want to play with Belle all night!

While I catch up on sleep in the day, Dad will have her. Yes- he really likes that!! We have her little crib set up in our room, her bouncy seat in the living room, but I don't think any one is ever going to put her down! There are enough arms to hold her though out the whole day!

As she grows, developmentally she will have a learning edge over the boys. They lost skills from orphanage living. We think this will make her an asset to them! She will teach them and they will teach her!

Samson is also so excited, he has no idea what a real baby is! He thinks J & P were/are babies! LOL!

Any day now! Hmmm, shouldn't I be doing something!!

God's Hand is in every tiny detail

                       (warning spell check died on me! Waaaaah!!)
Wow! At the end of last month, we had an exciting couple of weeks trying to figure out, what happened to this boy~
this boy we love with all our hearts. His eyes always seem to plead "Will you love me?"

It was an emotional roller coaster to say the least. I don't handle stress well, I caught the kids yucky cold and that turned into bronchitis for me. The kids are still all sharing the cold. Here we go again! :o) Round 2!!

We were so excited after the MRI and Dr to share that Arachnoid cysts are not terminal and do not end life.............. per say.

But they do have other causes and/or complications.

Remember when I said I knew something was terribly wrong, because my momma's intuition could tell. I did not want to be right about this-http://theroaddownhome.blogspot.com/2012/10/what-have-they-done.html

And sadly I was.

As soon as Jacob came home I would list off to Tom every observation I had that was worrisome to me. But I'd been too tired and busy to add them all together.
Until I read the information sheet from the radiologist. Then I wrote them down because they matched. Yes, I'm afraid my intuition has again led me to another correct conclusion.

The things I observed Jacob with are~ left leg muscle weakness, right leg stiffness, normal torso, shortened legs, both legs thin-left leg thinner, mood swings, nystagmus (no, not un-common), uncontrollable movements-side to side shaking and forward/backward shaking, focusing difficulties, poor concentration, holding things in his left hand with a clamping grip not able to let go, right arm and hand do not cooperate together, poor right arm strength, poor right hand control, o.k. strength in left arm, seemingly "out of it", swallowing difficulties. Just to name a few and stop before I bore you! (I know I think too much! LOL!)

Hmmmmmmmmmmm.................
Why do I keep thinking about this little girl. The little one who challenged my world, that God blessed me with 24 years ago? My Molly.

For Jacob~
The complications possibly associated with Arachnoid cysts are~
*headaches (he can't tell us)
*seizures (we are watching)
*hydrocephalus (so far no)
*increased inracranial pressure (no signs, yet?)
*developmental delay (well DS did that already)
*behavior changes (mostly odd behavior)
*hemorrhages (hopefully no)
*decresed cognitive performance (again, DS is part of him)
*hemiparesis (weakness or paralysis on one side of the body) (yes)
*Ataxia (oh precious Lord in Heaven, please, no)

The pediatric neuro, as nice as he was, said so little to Tom, that Tom was actually relieved. But I was not. I had not been able to go with. And I wondered what would he think of my observations?
There of course is nothing one can do but watch. Re-test in a year. And see him sooner if we see anything new.

We've dealt with neurologists who could do nothing to help us before. We do not fault them in any way. There are things that there is no medication for; and things that there is little help for, other than to provide comfort, and we found that out with our Molly.

We adopted Molly with CP and a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) when she was 5. And we parented her that way for TEN years. For TEN years we thought this was what CP and a TBI were like.

Slowly our OT and PT people started saying "we" weren't helping her enough, feeding her enough, caring for her properly. She was losing skills thanks to our "neglect". I knew she wasn't gaining skills, but didn't some kids stay the same?

And then her pediatrician chimed in with suggestions. So we did as they requested. We force fed Molly to gain 10 pounds on her tiny frame only 4' tall and 60 pounds. All of the weight went to her belly. Her legs were like little chicken legs. (A common description for Freidrichs Ataxia, the most common Ataxia.)

Then school complained that she could barely move she was too fat! Fat?? ugh. It was a horrible time. Thankfully, God blessed us with an amazing new child psychiatrist here, who was also a pediatrician! (Molly had depression- and for good reason) He looked at us and said "Let's put her in the hospital and figure out what's really wrong here."

(We had adopted Molly after our baby Joy had died. I had told our agency that we would adopt her only if she would not die. (dumb-huh!) Our social worker said- kids don't die from CP or TBI. And God said "Quit telling Me your limitations!")

What was really wrong with our Molly, was Ataxia. The severest genetic form. Finding out which form doesn't really matter. There are many types. All are treated the same. No cure.

Molly's onset was from birth. Did she have Arachnoid cysts? I don't know. They did not spend a lot of medical time with her diagnosing or testing, because they knew the Ataxia would run its course.

I was devastated, I did not want to lose another child.

During this time the neurologist, who was the National expert on Ataxia lived in our city. His family had Ataxia in their DNA, he wanted to cure it. Molly never got to see him, he was more than busy. But he did have a phone consult with me. He advised us not to get her a gastric feeding tube, to let the Ataxia run its course without it. In fact his words were "You can't keep the wolf at the door at bay". (Hope I am saying that right, I was shocked.)  But she was 15 years old and in my heart I could not watch her unable to swallow food to the point of dying. So even though she could have died from the gastric tube procedure, (her breathing was shallow) we could not stop feeding her. The expert Dr told us she'd live to her early 20s. But with her gastric tube in place, Molly had the will to live to 27. She was my hero. (She also had scoliosis that could not be operated on causing her back to arch outward. painful :o(

But back to Jacob. :o)
I'm thinking about him and praying non-stop. The similarities between the 2 children are shocking.
So of course I go to God~ "Lord, I thought Jacob had DS?" (God tells me-"he does") "But Lord? What is this other stuff? Lord, is this Ataxia..............again?" And you can agree with me or disagree with me, but I heard the Lord say "yes".

The Lord spoke to my heart.
He told me- remember how you thought you weren't a good enough mother for Molly because her cares were so hard? You didn't know what it was. You were criticised until it was diagnosed. You were afraid to trust your insticts for fear of what others might think.
Remember how you thought when she couldn't swallow that she was refusing to swallow because she was mad at you?
Remember when she screamed and cried for hours if she was told something she didn't like.
Remember how moody she was, and you wondered if she'd ever like you even a tiny bit. So you reminded her she couldn't get rid of you, you were her 6th mother- her last mother!
Remember when you were so happy that she was Daddy's girl because it didn't matter if she loved you, but she needed to love someone. You told her you could love her without her loving you back.
Remember how you cried when you told Children's Home Society she was dying and you were probably the worst mother she could have had. And they told you "Look what a mamma tiger you've become for her!" Remember how scared, alone and un-worthy you felt? Always questioning if you did the right thing?
   
You did. And so with everything you know. You will be a mamma LION for Jacob. And you won't second guess anymore about anything, because Molly taught you. You are the right mom for both, I chose you to be their mom.

God's Hand is in EVERY tiny detail.
Praise God, because I am truly unworthy of ALL He blesses me with.
((((HUGS)))
p.s. they both also share cerebellar hypoplasia, cerebellum is smaller than usual.

Friday, November 2, 2012

God's Princess

I have a bad cold. ugh.
The stress of finding Jacob's brain surgery scar and the rush to figure things out for him. Just slammed me to the floor. I grieved heavily over this and now, the stress takes its toll. This is not a good time to be sick with a baby coming.

Baby? Did I say Baby? (I pinch myself over and over, YES BABY!!)

Oct. 2 our Social Worker was coming to see our 3 boys and start our new Home Study. We were exhausted, but excited to get our next Home Study started. The 3 boys had been home 2 weeks and we were still working on our new normal! It was easier because we were more prepared. We'd done this before. Julius and Pauly were well bonded to us.

Our MN agency is FANTASTIC!! (Yeah!! Crossroads Adoption!!) When confirming her visit; our SW mentioned that she heard about a baby with DS due early November. She thought we could get our HS done quick enough. YIKES!!

Tom was still pouting about not going back to BG. (It looks so sad when he pouts.) He really didn't want to hear about it. He said it was probably a boy. (But Tom! It's a baby!! LOL!!)

It wasn't a boy! It's a GIRL! :o)

Another family had first choice. We kept plugging away on our Home Study thinking maybe this is our baby? It was hard to hope!

And then WE were the family! They backed out.

We had to RUN! to finish up everything!
Forms- Fingerprints- PHYSICALS for 15 of us!!
References have been lost. We are still missing 2 that were sent October 12th??!! Oh my. :o(
Fed Ex-ing things as fast as we can afford.

I try not to worry, this adoption is a gift from God. He knew! He is giving us the gift of a baby girl. We did not plan this. We had no idea. We were not on any waiting lists. We were still hoping for BG.
Everyone knew how much Tom wanted to go back to BG.

God has other plans. Oh! how foolish I feel. Once again, me running around like a silly little ant, trying to "make" things happen. Begging people, not praying/trusting His ways enough. Everything God has done in my life has been so much better than anything I could have ever tried to make happen, or hoped for. God is so good!

I'd often thought that our baby Joy would be our only daughter with DS. I miss her every day. I LOVE~ ADORE my boys with DS. But when Tom got us thinking about a girl, I couldn't help but wonder, would she maybe have DS? Because we were  looking for Special Needs, no specific Special Need.

God knew.
Thank You Precious Lord, for all good gifts come from above!