Saturday, June 20, 2015

At it again!

Hope has been back on track eating again.  Lasagna, pancakes, ravioli, eggs, watermelon.  I am so thankful and so relieved.  Thank you to all of you who prayed.  It is all in very tiny bites and still fed by me - but we are moving forward again.

I also had a special treat last week that I am so thankful for - my Savior does know what I need!  Almost 2 weeks ago, I packed up most of my crew to go camping to my favorite place on earth.  Almost my entire family goes together each year.  I knew just like last year that I needed to stay home with the girls and Little Man.  It was a quiet few days, but very busy meeting all their needs without other hands helping.  Handsome had to bring The Warrior home halfway through the trip for an event he was helping with.  Just before he came home, he jokingly said, "Why don't we trade places?  I will stay home with the girls and you can go camping?"  I quickly said that it wouldn't work.  But when I got off the phone, I felt the Lord prompting me to think about it.  Hmmmm....what if I took both Serenity and Little Man with me?  I really wanted them both to experience camping.  It took quite a bit of work to get all of Serenity's machines and equipment in the car, but we did it!  (She has to be on a pulse/ox monitor as well as a humidifier at night for the trach - so 3 machines and an IV pole all had to be carefully transported).  Fortunately, Handsome stays in a cabin for this trip, so I had plenty of outlets to plug things into.

May I just say it was glorious?  Serenity and Little Man just soaked up the outdoors.  I got to surprise all the kids as they didn't know Handsome and I were switching places.  (They stayed with my parents/sisters while Handsome drove home.)  I just enjoyed and treasured each moment.  I am guessing it will be a few more years before we are all camping together again, so it made the gift even more precious.

Serenity loved every part of it.  BUT the funny thing was she still complained about everything.  We had assumed this was a boredom thing and were feeling more than a little badly for her.  Now, we are realizing it is just part of her complex personality.  She can be surrounded with her favorite things - people, outdoors, and food - and still find things to complain about!  There is some freedom in this realization for us.  We will keep working at filling her days - but also give ourselves a break that she may never be completely happy with any of our efforts.  Crazy girl!

I am on Day 5 of camping clean up - one more load of laundry, a sleeping bag to roll up, and the pop up tent trailer to put back down and it will be done......until the next camping trip.  I won't think about that right now...

Please keep praying for LOA to come swiftly for Brooke and Jillian

....can't wait to hold my newest daughters.  I know time will fly by - but tonight it seems to be too long...

Until He comes...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


I have been simply overwhelmed with joy the last few days that I get to be the mama of these beautiful girls!  My cup runs over with blessings!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Kick back....

I knew it would come, but I am disappointed nonetheless.  Hope is now kicking back at the progress that we have made and refusing to eat "regular" food and drink from her cup.  I knew some kind of kickback would happen - but I think I was hoping it would be in some other area.

The good news is that now I know she can do it.  Before, there was always a lingering doubt - was I pushing too much?  What if she can't do this?  Should I push her?  Now I know.....but still don't know quite what to do about it....contrary to what you might think, you cannot force someone to eat or drink.  And if that person is as determined as Hope, "waiting" it out won't work either.

I would so appreciate your prayers for wisdom and for patience to stay consistent.

Until He comes...

Thursday, June 4, 2015

LID plus!

We are just bursting with good news!  Hope is still eating and sleeping well!  I am so over the moon excited!  So grateful and thankful for this gift from our Savior!

Also, it was confirmed yesterday that we are LID (logged in dossier)!  More praise!  Then this morning, I got an email that we are in translation as of 5/28!  That means we were LID early last week!  Hallelujah!  Our agency said that this is the stage that can take quite some time.  I am praying for blessing and grace on the one(s) responsible for this task - it must be a tedious job! 

I am still praying for September/October travel meaning we need LOA (Letter of Acceptance) in the next 4-6 weeks.  Praying for God's perfect plan and for patience!

Here are a few beautiful pictures of Brooke when she was younger - what a beautiful treasure!

Until He comes.....

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A miracle for Hope!

Yesterday, I took Hope in to the endocrinologist.  They want to be sure that all is well with her pituitary gland.  She has lost weight again and is back to the weight she was when we brought her home.  She has gained an inch - but 3 inches would be a better gain.  The others that have had her diagnosis often have issues with their pituitary gland, especially regarding growth hormone.

As I talked with the doctor and she asked questions, I told her it would be very hard to know if it was growth issue or an eating issue without any blood tests.  They will do those in the early morning in a few weeks.  (They are also testing cortisol levels, which are highest in the morning).  It was also discussed that there could be issues with cortisol - which I have heard can be chronically low because of the stress of orphanages.  The doctor said it should be resolved by now, but the studies I have read said it never really resolves on its own - so it will be interesting to see.  She doesn't have any of the symptoms so far - but always good to check.  The final check will be on the thyroid gland.  If it is a cortisol or thyroid problem, it would mean medication every day.  If it was growth hormone - it would mean a daily injection.  My heart almost stopped.  I don't know what my poor girl would do if I had to "hurt" her every day.  I have had to do daily injections, it is not fun. :(

I was driving home pretty heartbroken for my girl, the Lord hearing my heart.  I thought, I just need to keep trying to get her to eat more even though the appointment with the therapist is not until the end of the this month.  For some odd reason (the Lord's prompting, but I didn't see it as that), I decided to make some egg noodles to chop up into tiny pieces with some sauce on it to try to feed her.  The girl I could barely get to choke down a little oatmeal that I was mixing in her blended food!  I also thought I would try to spoon feed her chunks of banana - the girl that only ate Gerber blended bananas.  And why not try a few of the "puffies" (the dissolving rice stars that Gerber makes)?  I might as well have been thinking that I should just go out and join an Iron Man race with no training.  My biggest girls were looking at me with that, "Okaaaaaaay, mom, do you need some more coffee?" look.  I prayed briefly, "Lord, please help her to eat it."  AND SHE DID!  Every last bite of it!  A small bowl of noodles with spaghetti sauce, 3/4 of a banana, a Gerber applesauce, and 10 puffies cut in half!  Then I handed her drink to her (which she almost always refuses) and she snuggled up on my lap and drank every last drop!  I am still in shock.

THEN at dinner, she ate cheese ravioli cut into small bites and a cup of yogurt!  The girl that would only eat the blended foods that tasted completely fruity!  Different textures, different tastes!  PRAISING MY SAVIOR!

At bedtime, I thought maybe I should heat up some milk in the sippy cup that she uses and try and see if she would drink it while I rocked her.  Again, this is the girl that NEVER wants to drink!  I added some powdered calories to it as well as some probiotics.  She drank it all down and wanted more!  I gave her another cup full.  When I tucked her in, she smiled and laughed.  I am sure that going to bed after having her tummy FULL was an amazing feeling.  I did not hear her "s'mope" (her unique noise) once last night.  I am still in shock!

Last night I had trouble sleeping because I was thinking through all the foods we could try with her now.  Scrambled eggs, pastas, soft breads in tiny pieces, cooked carrots, chunks of soft fruit!  Can you tell how excited I am.  I have prayed over my girl every day - that the Lord would heal her heart, mind, body, and soul.  So many days of seeing nothing change - yet knowing that God could heal her in an I kept asking.  Oh, praise the Lord, oh my soul!

We will still see what the blood tests say - and the appointment at the end of the month will give us a good idea if her new eating habits help her to gain weight - I am so excited to see what life will be like now that she is finally eating!  Oh, happy day!

Until He comes - all praise, glory, and honor to His Name!