Monday, September 27, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Arrgh Arrgh Arrgh...... Pirate Izzy

State of the Union....., this week

Oh….. what a long rough week. I don’t even know where to begin. Ok here’s my state of the union….. I guess first of all. I have a prayer request for our big girl, Jessi. Please pray for her to come to her senses. For the Lord to open her eyes to what’s REAL and for Him to give her the courage to take the necessary steps to make things right in her life for herself and for our grandson. Sorry I can’t share more. Please pray for us too. This is not a good time for our family concerning our oldest daughter.

Our boy is good…. For the time being. No news with him is usually good news. We’ll see. Just kidding Rye. Love you : )

Our Izzy Bean is doing much better. We are all just about done with jet lag and that has drastically changed Izzy’s mood. No nighttime melt downs. Not nearly as scary. She doesn’t run to follow you when you leave the room like she had been. She is almost completely back to her normal sensible self (she hasn’t been making any sense the last two weeks). She is still struggling with getting used to having to share Momma and Daddy. In fact she’s been much more affectionate with Daddy and other family members since Mei Mei has been home. She sees her little sister jump right into Daddy’s arms and kiss and now all of a sudden Izzy is hugging and kissing on Daddy much more than better. Rye said today, “Wow, I’ve never had a welcome like that before!” Both girls in his arms. He was lovin it. Well, Mei Mei initiated it and Izzy followed. So, this is good, right?

And she has suddenly taken on the big sister roll with gusto. Last night bathing her sister. Helping take her to the potty. Helping to get her dressed. It’s an amazing change in the last two days. Thank You Jesus. I’m remembering to praise her all the time. Especially after I praise Marianna for something. I immediately look at Izzy and she is searching my eyes in a strange way. It’s almost like this sort of betrayal in her mind. Like how can you love someone else’s artwork more than mine? She has this sad look. Then I tell her how much I love her drawing and she smiles and it’s all ok. This is so much more complicated than I thought it would be. I’m becoming a pro at diplomacy and I’m one heck of a referee : ) I do still need a whistle though.

Ok, for our littlest one. Well, for the most part she is doing so well. She is such an amazing little girl. She is getting over the jet lag also. She’s starting to eat better. She’s not sleeping as long. She’s still napping for a couple hours during the day and sleeping about 11 hours at night. She was sleeping 3 to 4 hours during the day and still sleeping 12 hours at night. I was beginning to get worried. She was just eating rice and nothing else for a few days, but now that’s expanding. She’s having some sadness at bedtime, but nothing out of the ordinary. She’s still so sweet even when she’s sad. She kisses your cheek. She kisses your hands. She tells us how much she loves us. She has told me at least twenty times in the last day that she loves her family. She’s just something. I tell you. I love this teeny 27lb little munchkin.

We made our first visit to the doctor’s office on Wednesday. She’s been having really bad nose bleeds. Sneezing like crazy. She was also crying every time that we washed her hair. She would hold her ears and cry. She also snores like a grown man. So, we went to see the ENT at Children’s Hospital. Her ears are great. So, not sure why she cries when we wash her hair. She probably doesn’t like the sensation of water getting in her ear. Not sure. Just being really careful to not let water get in there. They x-rayed her adenoids and tonsils and they are fine as well. Her nose has two huge open blood vessels that both need to be cauterized (hence the nose bleeds) but he can’t do that until the staff infection (didn’t know she had one) is cleared up. So he put her on an antibiotic ointment for that and Nasonex and Zyrtec (welcome to Louisiana)

Then he was trying to look in her mouth and she couldn’t stick out her tongue. So, he had to use the tongue depressor and low and behold her tongue is still attached to her month. She was born with Ankyloglossia and had surgery in China. Apparently part of it is still attached which all makes sense now. She has limited mobility with her tongue. She has trouble pronouncing many words and when she’s very excited she has trouble controlling her saliva. He was absolutely amazed at how well she speaks. I explained to him that her foster mom is a speech pathologist and he smiled and said “Thank God”. Yes, thank you Jesus for Deena. He said that she speaks a million times better than a child that age that still has the tongue attached. I was relieved to hear that because I only have Izzy to compare her to and compared to Izzy I can hardly understand Mari sometimes. Her vocabulary is huge but about a third of the time you can’t understand what she’s saying and the poor thing has to repeat herself four or five times till we understand her. And yet he was amazed by how well she speaks. What a blessing. So……. He noticed a few other things on the x-ray that weren’t normal. Things that that we didn’t know and weren’t planning on. Some of which may require surgery, so he referred us to the Maxio Cranial Clinic at Children’s Hospital which he’s a part of and I was thrilled about that. We are already working with Children’s Hospital Amputee Clinic. The Maxio Cranial clinic has everything in one place. Oral Surgeon, Maxio Facial specialist, dentist, ENT etc etc. Everything would all be done in the same place and surgeries could be coordinated with the other clinics. At first, I was completely deflated by all of the things he found on her x-ray and her tongue. Then I looked over at Mari and she was in the arms of the nurse getting stickers laughing and cutting up with the doctor and the nurses. He saw my expression and told me that it was all going to be ok. I know she’ll do just fine. She has an iron will and is the most determined child I have ever met. It just confirms in my heart that Mari is destined for something great. She has something big to do here on this earth. A friend of mine said that she is a “world changer” and I really believe that. She is going to teach us so much. She’s had so much going against her and look at her. She’s amazing. She puts a smile on every face that she comes across. So, that was the first doctor’s appointment of many. No one ever said this would be easy : ) When that sweet little thing pops up in the bed in the morning and says “good morning Mommy” …. Well, nothing else matters. A million doctor’s appointments and surgeries. Just doesn’t matter. I love that little thing so much. I had no idea there was enough love in me to go around : )

Sorry for so long on the post. It’s been a long week. I’ll have some pictures to put up later. Thanks for praying for us. We appreciate that so much. I can’t even say.

Oh, also my mother in law did her first round of chemo this week and did so well. I’m so thankful she did well. She was very anxious about it, but now that she’s got one under her belt she is feeling better about the whole thing. The day before we left for China she had surgery. The surgery was very successful and they only found 2 lymph nodes that were positive out of 21. She has twelve rounds of chemo scheduled and a very good prognosis. Praise Jesus.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Sarah Joy

Izzy was able to go to her friend Sarah's Birthday party on Saturday. She had such a good time. She really needed to get out of the house. Between the jet lag and her new sister or should I say her adjustment to her new sister.... she needed to get out a bit. It was great for her to see her sweet friend Sarah Joy and have a little alone time with Daddy : ) Mommy and Marianna had some welcomed alone time as well.

Swim time

Sunday, September 19, 2010

GIfts to China With Love

Hey guys. Our friend Katherine in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China who has a heart from adoptive families (we met while there adopting Izzy) and her partner, Sheri (an adoptive mom herself) have started a new business called Gifts to China with Love . They do care packages, translations, gifts for foster families and much more for families that are adopting from China. Please go check out their website.

So far, so good

"How's it going?" I've heard that a lot lately. "so far, so good" I say. And that's true. It's really going well. Considering all things, it's actually going very well. Are there some things that could be better? Sure. Are there some things that are not what I expected? Sure. Are there some things that are better than what I expected? Sure. Am I overwhelmed? Sure. Am I at peace? Sure. So far, so good : )

Adoption is such a crazy God thing that it often doesn't make any sense when I think of it from a worldly perspective. So, I constantly have to remind myself of the grand plan and I realize that we are doing very well. Birthing a almost 4 year is extremely difficult, yet she's doing great. Amazing me everyday. I am doing so well with her. All of that is wonderful. Izzy, however, is in total regression. I did expect some of that, but she's really struggling. No, it's not out of the ordinary, but it's hard to see her going through such a tough time. It breaks my heart. She's is usually such a strong independent little girl and she's won't even go to the potty by herself right now. Scared of everything. She's trying hard to pull it together. She even recognizes that she's struggling. She told me that she was sorry that she was having a hard time. Oh, that did me in. I'm trying to love on her plenty. We talk A LOT. Yesterday, she seemed to be doing better. I hope that's a sign of the direction we are going in with her.

Marianna has such an awesome spirit. She is such a beautiful child. The adjusting to her new home and family are going exceptionally well. She struggles more with physical stuff. She has pain in her knees and in her right hand a lot. During the day she'll start blowing on her hands and shaking them. She doesn't stop though. She just starts coloring holding her crayon or pencil with both arms. She just started feeling comfortable enough to start telling me that they hurt. She'll ask me to rub them for her. She has these horrible nose bleeds and is snoring like a grown man. We are seeing an ENT on Wednesday and we go to the Amputee Clinic at Children's Hospital on October 13th. It all just reminds me that what we've been called to will not be easy. Adopting orphans is not for the faint of heart. Parenting isn't for wimps either : ) Put it all together and well, let's just say we'll be on our knees a lot : ) I have lots of friends called to much more difficult things. They inspire me. I know we can handle this. The Lord doesn't give us more than we can handle. I trust that. But if I get caught up in the "stuff " of this world I could get really down about it all. So, I keep looking up and asking Him to help me. I'm focusing on the big picture and the big picture is that I have a Father in heaven that adores me. He gave His life for me. Surely I can give mine for Him. He's given me a husband that loves me and entrusted me with four amazing children and a wonderful family. His grace is abundant in our lives. So, all things considered.... so far, so good.

Pink Cawr..... Momma, I wanna drive pink cawwwwr.... pease ?

I love the way she says car. It's so sweet. Cawwwr. It's just too cute. That is unless you've heard it 500 times that day : ) The first few days she got in the car and would say "Momma, pink cawwr bwoke. No woking today" and I'd say, "Yes, honey it's broken today" and think to myself "whew, that was close. I'm just not up to walking the mile around the neighborhood in 90 degrees with mega jetlag".  Well, after 3 days. Izzy told her Daddy just needed to hook the battery up and that the car worked just fine. So, I had to start using the jetlag excuse " Girls, next week when we're over the jetlag we'll go for a drive, ok?" Well, that flew until Friday. I saw Izzy under the hood trying to figure out what to do to get the car moving and Mari was helping her. So.... I did what any jetlagged mom with half a brain would do, I made Daddy take them when he got home from work. He's such a sucker for "Please Daddy, please?" 

Thursday, September 16, 2010