Sunday, November 3, 2019

Life is a Crazy Busy Normal.

We have bigs and mediums now.  M & M are our bigs at home.  E, T and W are our mediums.  Can you believe how time flies?!   E has been home for 3 years!  M & T have been home for 8 years! I simply could not imagine life without them... it seems if they have always been part of the family.
M has had hip surgery, again. This time to remove that plate, in case our new Ortho Dr. C is every ready to proceed with the needed pelvic and hip osteotomies. For now M is in a stable slow slip of the right hip, claims (almost) no pain (No Surprise there!).  I have had major back surgery (Sept 2017), again. Recovered yes but now experiencing the same pain in my right thigh and knee as before from the stenosis. Add OA of the left knee. Good times. Chris had a mini-stroke (TIA) in April. Hopefully diet and exercise changes will prevent anything further in that arena. The children are growing like weeds and eating us out of house and home. M & M have part time jobs at a local pizza place. Lego is still the favorite of all time here. Chicken math has proven to be a true and fun part of life.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Medium has hip surgery... again...

It has been three years.  Since Dr. O performed a valgus osteotomy to medium boy's right hip.

In February, Small appeared out of nowhere (or so it seemed) refusing to walk.  To make that long story short, he had been climbing around on his bed and whacked it in the side board sliding off, but we didn't think it was that bad.  So we waited a day or two and watched for him to begin walking normally.  Two days and he did not.  Refused to weight bear.  At all.   Lovely visit to ER and Dr. O, and a cute red "flash" cast later.  He had a stress fracture on his femur above the knee and on the tibia below the knee.  Huh.  I mentioned to Dr. O that Medium had a pronounced funny gait and was toe walking.  She said to bring him in when we came to get smalls cast removed.  Fast forward four weeks.

She took a checkup X-ray of medium  (while the techs removed smalls cast)  and came in and stretched mediums legs a bit and announced that he should have physical therapy to stretch out the muscles and help stop the toe walk, possibly an AFO brace to help.  We finished up talking about both boys and she said "let's step into the hall and we can look at the X-ray on your way out."  We. Were. Done.   Or so we thought.  Walked up to the X-ray machine and we all looked and (it was so obvious) we all turned our heads as we looked,  huh.  She turns and says "we'll, we have two options".  Medium turns to me and says "mom, what does she mean? " I said to him, " it means you have to have surgery, and there are two choices, pinning or or fusing your hip". And he takes a deep breath, sucks in the fear and says"Before or After my birthday?".  What a brave little guy.  Okay maybe the conversations were a little longer...that was the summary.  Now, on to the real story...

The surgery story... 
Whirlwind.  Blur.    Funny how sitting and waiting is so tiring.

Arrived at hospital (Mercy) at 7 am.  Checked in, got medium ready, talked with doctor and staff, he went back to surgery, got update calls from operating room, I updated FB frequently, talked with doctor, went to recovery and then straight up to room.

Surgery went well.  Took a good hour longer than expected, simply due to Dr. O having a very hard time chipping the old plate out. Medium also lost a lot of blood due to plate removal.  Noted in my brain.  Wished at this point I had donated blood, Dr. O said it was too late now, b/c it takes two days+ for them to process and be able to use mine.  (now I wish I had gone and done it Wednesday, perhaps Friday he could have had it!)  It is explained to me that the blood loss has given him low hemoglobin and crit counts.  Dr. O tells me she wants to monitor it, and stay away from transfusion, if possible, due to risks.  Tells me the lowest number she would let the bloodwork counts get, especially if it were her child.  She believes medium looks good, considering.  I agree.  And I would not want a transfusion for him (unless I donated and then, maybe)

In room.  Medium begins to throw up (probably from anesthetic) and continues to do so every five to fifteen minutes for the next. Seven. Hours.  Each time sitting up (thereby bending at the hip).  There is not yet a cast or a brace.  They will come the next day to make an orthotic brace to protect it.  He has had and is given more iv anti nausea meds.  Not working.  Hubby goes home to other children, I stay the night.  I tend to my poor little sick guy.  Nurses come in and out, giving him pain meds anti nausea meds, taking vitals, etc.   I lie down, only to jump back up repeatedly and simply care for my guy.  It's what we do.  He is hurting and I hate that.  A bigger problem is that he keeps telling the nurses his pain level is fine.  I keep advising them to give him the meds anyway, that he has a high pain tolerance, but that he is hurting.  Night nurse catches on when he has refused for a long time and then is shaking he hurts so bad.  She passes on the info to the next nurse.

Thursday morning brings an orthotics tech to cast for a brace.  The nurses gave iv meds ahead of time, to help with the pain.  We are offered two options, they can stand him up and cast or do two half casts, lying down on his back first and then flip him over and then cast the other side.  I heard the word "flip" and knew he would not lie on his stomach this soon out of surgery.  Standing.  This was his first time vertical since surgery.  Dizzy and Nauseous, oh my.  Little did I know that there would be two nurses, my hubby supporting him and then the tech, casting and cutting off the cast.  And it turned out all wonky, because he was not supported well. (why didn't they prop his armpits with crutches?)  anyway... they tell me it does the job of protecting the hip, so whatever.  Orthotics leaves, Medium throws up and has more pain meds and anti-nausea meds and we make our way through the afternoon, trying to get him to keep fluids and crackers down.   Late in the day Dr. O shows up, talks with us about how he is doing.  We all feel like he is progressing forward, still has okay color, another night in the hospital would do him good.  I keep thinking he will keep down what he ate/drank last. She wants to check his levels again, which seem to be dropping (he was at 6.7 and 20.2). With his severe anemia, she is in no hurry to send him home.  He is pale, still throwing up, he is dizzy and has a headache.  Never mind the hip pain.  IV pain meds should help with that.  Except they cause more dizzyness and throwing up.  We are in a vicious cycle of him not keeping food or fluid down and basically crying because he feels terrible. The headache is the worst part, for him.  and crying does not help that either.  My poor little guy.  and he just wants to go home.

Thursday night brings hourly checks on pulse ox and various other things.  His numbers are low and everyone is worried.   Except me.  We had a word before we knew he was having surgery the "He will be fine".  and I believe it.  I know it is true.  We had a 5am blood draw.  Crit and Hemoglobin.

We expected to go home on Thursday.  One night in the hospital after a femural osteotomy, that was the expectation and our previous experience.  Tall had taken off work Wed and Thur to help with the other medium and small boys.  Tonight I have to text and find someone to cover tomorrow day, so Tall can go to work and Hubby can be at the hospital to help with brace fitting and general care of our medium boy and be there to bring him home.

Friday morning the orthotics guy shows up early with the brace.  Hubby arrives as orthotics guy is getting ready to put it on Medium.  Nurses gave him iv pain meds ahead of time.  Good thing, he puts the brace on amidst much screaming and crying.  makes a couple of marks and takes it off (again crying and screaming).  Orthotics guy leaves.  Dr. O shows up.  They called her with lab results.  She is uber concerned.  His numbers went down again.(5.1  15.9). She wanted to see him in person.  He has color.  Is very coherent.  Talking, complaining of headache, but his hip "is fine", "hurts a bit."  She asks if they took the blood from his right hand (iv for draws) or his left (iv for putting in fluids).  I say the nurse could not get from the right, so she took from the left.  She thinks that even though nurse followed protocol, it could have been a little weak, considering all the fluids being pushed.  She is now less concerned and orders a straight draw from his right arm later that afternoon.  It becomes clear that he not going home again today... Dr. O reassures us she is still in no hurry to send him home. Orthotics guy comes back after cutting and sanding the waistline shorter.  Painfully puts the brace back on with two nurses holding medium and he was screaming and crying and could not breathe and panic filled.  Simply could not catch his breath, He kept telling us the brace was compressing his ribs.  Orthotics guy is in a hurry and leaves.  Medium is crying and not a comfortable guy for the next 24 hours.  The brace is ill-fitted and uncomfortable.  Headache and throwing up follow every thing he eats or drinks.  Noon comes and they redraw his blood.  The counts come back higher.  (6.7 and 18.9)  They call her and Dr. O is good with them.  They are going up, that is good news.  It is a long day.  Medicine, naps, headache and throwing up.  Evening brings a little guy who seems to be keeping a little bit down.  A little graham crackers and apple juice.   The pulse ox alarm went off in the afternoon and his nurse was very concerned.  Started oxygen by nasal cannula.  Explained to me how the low hemoglobin was causing low blood oxygen...  Then the number went up and stayed up.  Removed the nasal oxygen.  Evening normal.  As normal as it can be with everything else going on.

We have nurses in and out, but more quietly tonight.  Until about 1am.  The pulse ox alarm. The nurse put a new one on his finger.  The reading was normal and then dropped.  We raised the head of the bed a little and moved his hand.  The reading stayed normal. all. night. long.  Thank God.  He has such dizzyness and headache.  He wants to go home.  I suggested that the nurse keep the oral pain medication going every 4 hours so he stays constant and we don't need to use iv pain med again.

Saturday morning.  At 8 am, I realize there were No oral meds given at 4am.  His pain is beyond his threshold.  He is crying and miserable.  The new nurse is very compassionate and does all she can to help him during her shift.  He gets oral pain meds and iron supplement with crackers and juice.  And he is now throwing up the oral meds and has to go back to iv pain meds until he stabilizes a bit.  Dr. O comes in while he is throwing up and tells him he cannot go home because he is sick to his stomach.  IF, he feels better by 5p, perhaps he could go home.  She also looks at his brace, we talk about how uncomfortable he is and the things that need to be adjusted.  She leaves and calls the orthotics people, there is an orthotics person in our room in a half an hour.  She is kind and gentle.  Removes, adjusts, removes, adjusts and all without discomfort to him.  whew.  We spend the day trying to get his tummy back to keeping fluids and crackers down.  This whole time, he has had no appetite.  Nothing. Sounds. Good. to eat.  He is finally feeling a bit better that afternoon, but the headache makes him throw up.  Every. Time.  Ugh.  Not going home again, Hubby goes home to be with boys so Tall can go to work.  Another night of sleeping an hour or two at a time.  Tonight the nurse makes certain she comes in and he eats graham cookies and juice before taking the oral pain meds at 4am.

Sunday morning at 8am, he has some juice and more oral pain meds, with iron supplement. It comes back up. almost immediately.   I am brushing his teeth as his doctor comes in.  Did he throw up?  Yes, but I think the pain meds with the iron are making him sick.  Being Anemic is causing him to be super sensitive.  She agrees.  He is well hydrated and seems fine.  He gets to go home today.  I call hubby and he comes over right after work at eleven.

We take him down to the car, and he has a headache before we can even put him in the car.  He throws up the entire way home.  Ugh.  At this point we take him into the house and spend the day trying to help him keep something down.  Sierra mist.  Pedialyte.  Crackers.  Chicken.  Tummy is wore out.  Nothing stays with him.  He has the headache.  He needs protein.  He cannot eat it, yet.

Monday morning, he is lying in bed.  Eats a couple of saltines.  moves to the couch, drinks some pedialyte.  so far so good.  He has to go to the bathroom. (that is great marker)  Sitting up, makes him throw up. again.  Back to the couch.  More pedialyte and crackers.  Dr. O office calls.  I tell them how he is, and that I will call back if I cannot get him to keep anything down today.  The day goes by... he is able to eat a saltine here and there and keep the pedialyte down.  Hours.  Yes.  He finally eats a banana at lunch.  Yes. We give him liquid iron.  In the afternoon, he has a cheerful personality for a short while and a little color in his cheeks.   He eats a little rice at supper.  Crackers and Pedialyte.  This is working.  He has water before bed.  No problem.  His output is a little low, but consistent.   His headache is severe enough at bedtime, he asked for pain medicine.  He falls asleep before taking any.

Tuesday, crackers before we move him to the couch.  Pedialyte.  He uses the bathroom again, not much and his urine is very concentrated.  I spend the day pushing pedialyte and crackers.  He eats toast at lunch and a banana.  We give him liquid Iron with honey so it tastes okay.  We are having success!  He is keeping everything down. He is hydrated.  For supper, he eats rice and about 1 oz of grilled chicken.  It stays with him.  He has to stay horizontal or the headache is unbearable.  He is still cold.  He barely has an appetite.  All three symptoms are from the severe anemia.

It has been a week since the surgery.  He has only been home for three days.  This surgery and this recovery are a way bigger deal than ever before.

Wednesday brings a cheerful boy who is hungry.  He still must stay horizontal to keep the headache to a dull roar. He is drinking water with no problems.  He has normal output.  He is still cold.  He is still rather pale.  He does have pink nail beds on hands and feet, that's good.  He starting to get bored.  That is a great sign.  He able to eat an ounce of grilled chicken wrapped in a tortilla for lunch.  We are on the upswing.  No idea how long the anemia will last, but he is having steak for supper. Nice. Rare. Steak. :)

We see his doc for a checkup on Saturday.  Hopefully, he will be able to handle the car ride.  We plan to recline him and see if that and Sea Bands help.

The nurses at Mercy were all fantastic and helpful and very sweet to Medium!  We are happy with all the great care he got there.

Thanking everyone for their prayers!

March Birthday and Anniversary

In March T turned 6! 

and cake and fun was had by all!!

and Happy Anniversary to us!  Eleven Fabulous Years!!!

February Birthdays ...

In February Small turned 5 and Tall turned 18. 

and cake was had by all!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

All better ... moving on...

Feeling all better now!

(this is a part of a project Medium boy #1 brought home and Small picked it up and held it up to his mouth, 'cause in this house we read comics!!)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Finally, some relief...

We started a prescription antihistamine, added children's zyrtec and antibiotic for an ear infection (one that covered in case these were caused by strep - not tested for it)
These pictures are last night after midnight, after three doses of the new antihistamine.
I actually called the doctor at nine-thirty (after two doses) and asked for steroids, b/c he still was breaking out in new ones.  You cannot see them, but his scalp had hives.

 Here he is this morning,
after one dose of steroids at midnight...

Fever has reduced.  Redness and some swelling has reduced.  His little face is still swollen, but he feels less itchy (finally!) and there are not new outbreaks of hives.  He will stay on the antihistamines and steroids until I check back in on Friday with the doctor.

Thank you for all your prayers!! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

rash two hours after new antihistamine

It is a bit difficult to tell, but he really is not looking better.  Keeping an eye on him for sure.   We have started a prescription antihistamine and children's zyrtec plus antibiotic for an ear infection.  This set of pictures is two hours after the new antihistamine.  He is also running fever again. ugh.

Viral Rash ...

My sweet small boy has not been feeling well.  Red cheeks, Headache.  Friday night/Saturday he was vomiting for about 8 hours, and he ran an armpit digital temp of 103+  yikes, complained of the hotness and the headache.  Saturday and Sunday the fever got better and he was up and about Monday.  He did complain about itchy skin on back/side.  I brilliantly ignored it and pressed on with life  (with all the temperature change we figured it was dry skin).  Tuesday around noon he was completely broken out in red raised bumps.  Everywhere.  It is not limited to torso, they are on arms legs, groin, torso, back, neck, face, ears, hands.  Just not palms and soles of feet.  Called and then went to the doctor. 

Nurse practitioner says "well he hasn't had the varicella vaccine." to which I replied "Yes, because we had chicken pox last year, so he doesn't need the vaccine!" "It doesn't look like chicken pox"-Nurse "yes, I remember what they look like from when he had them and these are definitely Not chicken pox, there is no yellow in the middle!" - Me

She brings in another doctor to look at his skin.   At which point the both confirmed it was not chicken pox.  "Yes, when I called I told you we had them, last year and I clearly remember what that rash looks like."  Pretty righteous cases in my Tall and Small last year, Tall had to go to the hospital for one on her eyeball.  (you are his regular doctors with a chart and everything, right?) 
"Probably a Viral rash" they said.  "Can happen with a bad virus. or Possibly food allergy" "Call us if they turn dark purple" (at this point, I am thinking seriously??)  
(we have been snowbound and had nothing, I repeat nothing unusual or new! and no new clothing or soaps)

Wednesday, today the hives are worse.  With benedryl...  he now has them crawling up into his scalp and his eyes are all hivey and swollen.  

My poor little guy!!  He is so itchy!!  Even with benedryl and ice packs.  (And he is refusing to take a bath, sigh) :)    I just thought I would be kind and share the pics.  Thanks for your prayers!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I like Adoption

You may need a Tissue (or a box of tissues)!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Adoption "Why I Give ... "

Thank you Tracie Loux!  for being faithful and posting this, and so that we can link you from ours!  

Why I Give a Boatload of Money to Adoption – Guest Post (part 4)

I’m happy to add another post to this series, written by my dear friend Dorean (wife of Brian from Guest Post part 2). 
Why do I give (financially and otherwise) to help other people adopt?
There are many reasons I could give, but at the root of them all is just one thing.
I do it for the children.
I do it for the little girl whose birth mother made the painful last minute decision to place the baby for adoption. Imagine being this little girl’s parents getting a call saying, “We have a mother in labor right now. If no one comes to adopt her before the mother is discharged after giving birth, she will be placed into foster care.” To fully understand this you need to know that because of her race, and the policies of the state where she was born, she stood a strong chance of spending at least the first couple years of her life in foster care.
I do it for the young boy in a crippled body who spent the first 10-11 years of his life in an orphanage. He’s been home about two years, I believe. He is just now is beginning to talk about what his life was like in his country of birth. He recently shared of the horrors of hearing the door lock behind him after being placed in a room with other boys, with no toys, books, etc. He spoke of hearing the door unlock, opening slightly, bread being thrown into the room, and hearing the dreaded sound of the lock again. In his words, “The bread was old and didn’t taste very good, but it was something to do.” With no one to love him and get him medical treatment and physical therapy, he was unable to walk. Today he has parents, siblings, an education, and is walking and running with the best of them.
I do it for the little girl who started her life in an orphanage because her birth mother drank alcohol while pregnant, causing this little one to be born with developmental difficulties. Had she not been adopted by age 4 she would have been transferred to a mental institution where she would have spent the rest of her life without love and without hope. Instead she is in a family, surrounded by love, learning to love and to trust.
I do it for the little boy who, at the age of five, was developmentally and growth-wise identical to a newborn baby. Within months of being adopted out of the orphanage he was growing at a remarkable rate and had begun to be mobile. He is now is a rambunctious little guy you have to work hard to keep up with.
I do it for the children in foster care, with no permanent home or family. Many counties in the US have rules moving children to a new foster home every 18-24 months to make sure they don’t get too bonded with their foster families, with the idea that it would be traumatic for them if they got adopted and lost the only family they ever knew. Stop and think about that: the goal is to keep them moving enough they don’t get too attached. Is that what any parent would choose for their child?
I do it for the children in Haiti, living in orphanages, tent cities, or on the streets, with no hope for a better life. I do it for the little girls in China, cast aside because girls are not desirable due to political issues in that country. I do it for the girls in Southeast Asia whose destinies are to become victims of human trafficking before they even reach puberty.
Why do I give to help other families adopt? I do it for the children.
-Dorean Beattie

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Adoption ... "Why I Give ..."

“Why I Give a Boatload of Money to Adoption” Guest Post (part 3)

Our friend is one of the most radical individuals I know. With his fiery red hair and his larger than life personality, everything he does is BIG! The thing I love the most about he and his wife is that they LOVE BIG! One of the many ways that they have LOVED is through giving. 
First thing, I’m not authority on this subject. Many, many of my friends do a lot more than I have ever been able to do. But I can share WHY we try.
There are essentially a few issues and motivations that combine to bring this issue to the forefront: Personal, Practical, and Theological. In reality, most of these are rooted in a Divine paradigm coming up and out through many outlets, however I have met many people who do not have a profession of classic Christian faith and are very connected to this cause. Clearly the classic expression of the church doesn’t have a corner on this. If they did, there wouldn’t be any orphans left.
Theologically, there are so many direct connections to adoption, it is undeniable. Mainly, the only reason I see that followers of Christ don’t participate in adoption it is through ignoring the issue, or focusing on something else. You simply can’t look far in Scripture and not come across something that represents adoption, either directly, or inferred. You have to overlook it or look somewhere else to get away from it.
The classic verse is in James “Pure Religion is caring for widows and orphans in their distress” (we tend to ignore the rest of the verse). While this sounds good, and I do agree, it is important to understand that this is the same guy who wrote:
“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.”
And it is important to note that while we quote this “as scripture,” he wasn’t doing anything more than summarizing the Torah. The Scriptures in James time, wasn’t “New Testament”. Caring for Orphans (and Widows AND Aliens escaping War) was such a significant part of their Torah, it was basically inherent.
Paul says, after meeting with the elders in Jerusalem that they agreed on several points, especially “caring for the poor which I was already eager to do”. The commandments were clear. The Poor were to be cared for. It was required, especially if you owned a field and grew crops.
Gleaning is COMMANDED. It isn’t suggested, it isn’t a good business idea. Making provision for the poor, including doing it while protecting the dignity and the safety of the poor was of parmount importance. Many people laud Boaz as an amazing example and tell the story of Ruth over and over again. I agree. However Boaz was Obedient, and not necessarily extravagantly so.
God cares for the poor, the orphan, the disenfranchised. The most classic expression of that was the widow and the orphan. It is clear in scripture of the Jews of the time of Christ, and wasn’t some new command. There are many more references, but Leviticus 25, along with some passages in Exodus, communicate this one simple idea that as someone “in the marketplace” is required to make provision for the poor. And the clearest expression of the poor is an orphan.
God sets the lonely in families. Period. God works through His Body, and therefore we are to do this. This is simple. Not everyone is called to bring an orphan directly into their family, however ALL believers (if they are interested in a “Pure Religion” MUST be involved at some level with this work- praying, contributing, and supporting.) In the “New Testament,” caring for the poor was so common that there were arguments about how and who. There are even instructions from Paul about how to ensure it was done correctly.  If you claim to have faith, but have no works, your claim is in question. One of the most clear commands of God, after personal responsibility and worship, is to care for the poor and the lonely.
The Gospel itself, is the message of adoption. We literally go from being outside the House of God, to not just receiving a Father, but taking a place alongside Christ with the SAME INHERITANCE. We don’t just “get a family”, we become of the same status as if it was never different.
Many people are fine with giving financially to someone who is “in the ministry,” yet will balk at contributing some someone adopting an orphan. Yet there is clear direction to care for widows and orphans and giving to the poor, and no significant direction to give money to someone who doesn’t want to “work.”  Paul clearly said, “Those who don’t work don’t eat”, and he himself “worked” while “doing ministry”. Work here isn’t preaching, teaching, singing, or praying. He’s talking about literal work. Yet people will restrain their giving because they think, “Why should I help you get a kid. If you want one, do it yourself.”. My attitude is almost exactly the opposite. I see far less provision for “vocational ministry,” yet clear direction to “give to the poor” in Scripture.
I love to see Miracles. I love talking about my friends who would be dead at age 10, but instead are alive. I love seeing whole communities of families give thousands of dollars they can’t really afford, and then do it again. And Again. And yet they thrive. I love seeing children sit up in bed that would have left in a corner until they were overcome by the spirit of death. I love hearing celebration over the small things. It reminds me of how much God loves me.
I like sowing into my own future adoptions. I want to adopt. I look for ways I can. But not being able to now, I trust that as I sow, I will reap to a whilrwind. When I need the resources in the future, I can be assured they will be there because I have sown good seed into the soil of good people doing the good thing directed by Scripture. It might be selfish, but I intend to go directly to God and ask for the harvest I need when it is my turn to rescue someone.
I want to be a good steward. It isn’t my money, or my resources. At the end of my life, I want Yahweh to be happy with how I discharged it. He loves the poor, and came and rescued everyone. This is the most practical way I can give and know I’m consistent with His heart.  I want a good reward in the age to come. I’m selfish that way.
- anonymous

Again, Tracie Loux ... you are Fabulous!

Adoption ... "Why I give ... to Adoption"

“Why I Give a Boatload of Money to Adoption” Guest Post (part 2)

I’m grateful to share another guest post this morning from one of our adoption supporters. I should point out that I’m the one that assigned this task and gave the title to this series. I can assure you none of these amazing individuals are sitting there thinking, “I gave a boatload of money to adoption. Look at me.”
This particular couple, Brian and Dorean have given extravagantly to our family. They would be mortified if I shared details, but I will tell you that one of our children would not be in our home were it not for their obedience in giving an enormous gift in the 11th hour. A 6:30AM email in January of 2009 stating, “The check is in the mail,” allowed for our daughter to be plucked out of place of bondage and hopelessness and brought into a place of hope and healing. And they continue to pour in to our lives, with their love, prayer and with finances. A couple we didn’t even know at the time that their first adoption gift arrived at our doorstep, have now become family.
Why do I financially support families who adopt?
I have been told that I have given a lot to support some couples who have devoted themselves to the rescue of orphans; to families becoming the redemptive hands of God in the lives of the most defenseless of children. At the end of each fiscal year, I have a number showing the amount I have given in support of those who are, in turn, giving the priceless gift of themselves. When I look at what I can give, and compare it to what I see being given, mere money in any amount doesn’t seem to be so much.
I give what I have because I Love.
I love God and I believe the Bible tells us a lot about what God is like. Love is the character and nature of the God of the Bible; persistent, undeniable, inexhaustible Love. It is in Love that God knows us and permits us to know Him. It is His love for His creation that drives Him to intervene in supernatural and miraculous ways. To experience the presence and miraculous intervention of God in His creation, seek Him where His Love is being poured out in abundance.
The Love of God makes us all simultaneously wretched by comparison and yet infinitely precious. There is no more vivid demonstration of the kind of Love God shows us, than for a child in hopeless circumstances to be plucked from incomprehensible despair by a mom and a dad who say, “I choose you, and I’ll give you life in my family.” In that moment, it is God’s Love that is flowing, and miracles abound. Children get well. They thrive. They learn. Their wounds heal. They overcome the insurmountable. They connect. They are transformed in one act of selfless Love from wretched to precious. To witness this is to see God’s Love in action. To facilitate it by paying a few adoption expenses or offering some ongoing financial support is to participate in the miraculous.
It’s not religious fanaticism or hyperbole, it’s real. God’s Love moves in creation, and I get the chance to not just witness it, but to be in it. I love. Of course I give as much as I can, as often as I can, to as many as I can.
I give because the need is urgent.
I am a dad, and my kids have grown. Looking back, the time to raise them was so short. There was only one day for the first steps, the first communion, recitals, driving, college, and no waiting around for dad to get ready for the next need or crisis. Children are on the clock and the calendar without let up.
Orphans have a special kind of urgency; their childhood is at risk until they have a secure, nurturing environment to live in. They cannot just wait around until a willing family with sufficient resources can take them in, especially when the needs include medical treatment or accommodation for chronic disability. A candidate adoptive family could say, “We don’t have a comfortable surplus of resources right now, so it’s wiser for us to wait and save”, but each day of delay is a day lost for an orphan that will never come back.
I believe God provides for my needs, and when I have an unexpected surplus, I ask God what it’s for. I have never heard God say, “It’s time for more personal security by paying ahead on your utility bill” or “A big-screen TV would sure be sweet on the family room wall”, but I have felt Him move my heart for the urgent plight of orphan children. When I can give right now to help willing adopters care for even one more child than they have the means for, I can feel the pleasure of God and the nearness of His Love being freshly poured out.
I give because the ministry is so real.
I love and respect the institutional church, but I wonder at church priorities sometimes. Of course it’s important to have a big enough building, and I accept the necessity of staff salaries. Sometimes it feels a little disconnected when 90% for church revenue is building, grounds, staff, and bureaucracy, while 10% is foreign mission organizations and charities with their own buildings, staff, and bureaucratic needs. At what point does the church stop making excuses about care for the widows and orphans?
On the other hand, a dollar given to a family that is caring for redeemed orphans goes right to work in Kingdom purposes. It is a cup of cool water offered in kindness to allay thirst. It is clothes for the naked. It is a visit of comfort in a prison of unmet need. It is so real. It’s so now. It is 24×7 365.
Why would God want to involve me in providing for the care of orphans in someone else’s family? I firmly believe it is because God loves me, and desires for me to share His heart. When He appoints abundant resources to my stewardship, and invites me to be involved in His provision for these families, it is so much about His heart, and my heart. It is our original purpose. It is God training me for dominion of creation in His image. It is about tending the garden.
I don’t believe in an eventual day when I face God in judgment, and must answer for how generous I was with the church building campaign to build a gymnasium addition that will also have six new Sunday school rooms and a commercial kitchen for catering weddings. I do believe on that day I will be asked about the ten talents, and what I have to show for it. “I helped some families care for orphans they adopted, and I loved to see how you provided for them,” I’ll say. The kids with Down syndrome that otherwise would have been aborted or left to premature death unloved. The ones injured before birth with drugs or alcohol. The ones born in illegitimacy or crime. The ones who couldn’t wait for a family that had saved up enough money to care for them in their own abundance. That’s what I’ve got. I can already hear God saying “Yes, I already knew about that.”
I give for the reward
I believe that God exists, and I believe that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. One who is earnestly seeking God must consider how to maximize the probability of finding Him by deliberately looking where He is likely to be found. Giving to support the redemption of orphans is practically cheating – like shooting fish in a barrel – because God is there in miracle-working power, in majesty, in grace, in Love.
I have written of myself, confident that some will identify with my experience, and many will not for lots of reasons that are valid and legitimate; I acknowledge you and bless you.
Jesus, teaching his disciples said, “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 18:10 NKJV)
-Brian Beattie
 Thank you Tracie!

Adoption ... "Why I gave a Boatload..."

“Why I Gave a Boatload of Money to Adoption”- guest post (part 1)

Yesterday I saw an adoptive-mom friend quoted a gazillion times on Facebook. This is what she said:
“When a family seeks help in raising funds for an adoption, it’s not like asking people to pitch in toward a new boat, or help pay for a vacation. What they are doing is committing to heal, with God’s help, a child who has suffered the profound damage of being unwanted and unloved. They are obediently living out the command given in James 1:27 to care for the orphan, clothing the gospel of Christ’s redemption in flesh and blood and now. When they ask for the body of Christ to come alongside them financially and prayerfully, they are giving us the opportunity to be a part of the miracles God works through obedience.” -Ashley Paradis Moreno
This quote got a lot of attention. Too many of us who have begun fundraising for adoption and have heard things like, “If people can’t afford what it costs to adopt, they shouldn’t adopt,” or even worse…rather horribly said to a friend of mine, “How come when YOU hear from God, it costs ME money?” 
Enough of that rubbish! Ugh!
I’ve asked a few very dear people to share on the subject of giving to adoption. I’ve asked them to share because over the past several years, they have given extravagantly to our adoptions. I emailed each of them:
“I have a favor. It’s a writing assignment, should you choose to take on this task. Could you, would you PLEASE write a guest post for my blog. “Why I Gave a Boatload of Money to Adoption.” Share why you gave extravagantly and why you DON’T have the, “If you want to adopt those kids, why are you asking me for money, you should be able to afford it” mindset.”
This is part one of what I hope to be at least a three part series.

Why Do I Give A Boatload Of Money To Adoption?

 I’m a 54 year old male.
 My hair is grey.
 My hair used to be brown.
 I have a goatee.
 I don’t understand tightwads.
 I’m a salesman.
 I sell folding chairs.
 I have a wife and two grown daughters.
 I like to laugh.
 I have three wonderful grandchildren.
 I’ve made some money.
 I’ve lost some money.
 The odometer reads 200,000
 I believe in rescue.
 I have to believe in rescue.
 I never thought to ask the question why.
 I never thought to ask for a financial statement.
 I was being asked to help redeem a life.
 I love freeing a heart.
 I believe adoptive parents are the heroes.
 I love extravagance.
 I have no regrets.
 I felt honored in the giving.
 Our giving travels outside of time and space.
 I know that extravagance has eternal value.
 I have joy in the giving.
 I see the faces of the redeemed.
 Burning delight.
 It’s a drink of beauty.
 It’s not about reason.
 It’s about joy.
 Blog Post borrowed from Tracie Loux.  A friend who helped to begin us on our own adoption journey, even when the Lord pulled our hearts from domestic (which she was helping us with as a consultant) to International School Aged children.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Thank you for all the wonderful Christmas Gifts!!
 (In Lieu of paper cards, handwritten ... we opted for large scale cute!!)

and another gem from our quick trip during the holidays!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Christmas Thank You Card!!

Happy Birthday Mom!!  We hope you had a Fabulous birthday. Small was hilarious wanting birthday cake after we called you!  The weather here has turned cold (it's 14 today, I think that's unreasonable!)  Although it is sunny, it is not warming things up.  I look forward to starting some seeds indoors here soon.  We love you guys!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's been a entire year...

A year.  Wow.

This pic is twenty minutes after we met them.

And now they are ours.  Our sons.  Forever.

 The day they came home!

A year later...

A year ago we went and picked them up at the airport... not knowing what to expect.

We got two very nervous, very malnourished, little guys.

We had no idea how much they would change our lives... add to it really.

We cannot imagine life without them now.  :)

We are all so blessed.  A year went by so fast!!

Happy Homecoming Boys!!  Welcome to the rest of your wonderful life!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Balloons in our Backyard

 Imagine my surprise seeing this out the back window!

 Standing at our fence, looking across 141, this balloon was super close to our house.

It was eleven minutes of excitement for all the boys as it moved all the way down our backyard fence line parallel with 141.  It was crazy low and looked like it was going to drag a roof or a tree, before it set down.  Crazy!  It was fun for them to see one so close to our house. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What happens when you fall off the radar...

Well, truthfully...lots!

When I am not blogging, my husband has more of me and so do my children.  Right now, it's wee hours of morning and I am not sleeping while everyone else is... And it is snuggly under my covers, so here I am!

We are simply super busy... And the times I could write a blog, I am probably painting or cooking instead, sorry.  This morning I left the space heater off in the studio, so it's too cold to go out there and work!  I will go to class later this morning and get my studio time in.

The boys are doing fabulously in school.  M2 and T are having great success and communicating well in English and fitting in fabulously.  My small guy is loving preschool.  Tall girl is enjoying her college classes and working almost full time too.  That's one way to buy a car!  Every day is a happy frenzy of activity.

Everyone is looking forward to the upcoming holidays.  Especially Christmas!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

How Fall is slipping through our grasp...

Fall is upon us and quickly showing it's colors and will be moving along...

We have been back home from Latvia for a month now and I have yet to blog.   sorry about that. :)  The boys are in school and I have been super busy trying to keep up with them and the fall garden.  I will blog a real post with pictures soon!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Why yes we did go and finalize...

Finalized our Adoption!
I simply have not had time to post since school started.
We are busier than ever!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!

We love you guys!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

First Fish and other camping tales ...

It's a big one!
Caught on a minnow.

M likes this camping fishing dealio!

Tall found a high spot
(I would not let her slide down!)
and two smalls play in the water!

Catching minnows and swimming!

Small and Small having a blast!


What in it mom? WOW!

Burying people in the sand (with friends)

Smores, yes please!!

Medium LOVED the fishing part
he spent most days faithfully fishing!!

M's first fish!!