Monday, October 30, 2006
Jesula and family waited to get in for surgery most of the day. Finally late this afternoon she was taken into surgery. I just got this email a short while ago from Jessie's Mom. Please continue to pray for this sweet tiny baby. (The pictures are from yesterday. The nurse snuck in the whole family to meet Jessie!) "Well Dr. K just came out and she is all finished. Hernia included. He says the cysts were all interconnected and the fluid looks good. He is very concerned at the amount of scarring on her brain. I asked him for a prognosis and he said it is too early to tell. He says we will just have to wait and see and we will discuss that later. But at least for now she has some relief in her little head and pray that God corrects the scarring so she can grow up into a normal beautiful little girl. I will be able to go and see her in about 1 hr. I'll update again tomorrow unless anything changes."
Sunday, October 29, 2006
This is a special song because its Wyclef Jean singing it, who was born in Haiti, so be sure to listen. It is also Bean's favorite song currently. :)
And it's dedicated to my husband, who left today and will be gone till November. Ok so it's only a couple days away (can you believe it?). But it was a good excuse to hear the good song.
Right now my husband the "the guys" from work are driving east, they are looking at a delay because the "mountain pass" is closed East bound at the moment. They are debating waiting it out, or driving down to Portland to avoid it... Check the link below to see the mountain pass conditions:
Have a wonderful week!!
I couldn't believe when I got this link in an email last night... too funny! Check it out.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
So here is the run down of our day:
1. Bone Age scan: Just a wrist xray that we wanted to be sure to have done for the adoption (just in case). It doesn't look like we will need this now, but the results should be interesting. We haven't gotten them yet.
2. Ultra sound: They did a US of Angel's kidney's and bladder. Her bladder was empty so that was a promising sight. What they are looking for is possible thickening of her bladder and kidneys from urine not full draining out, or being pushed up back into her kidney's. Because she has what we believe is very little to no sensation in that area, this is vital to stay on top of.
3. Neuro Developmental Nurse "Julia"... this was our next appointment. I swear they must find the nicest most angelic people for this job. (It was the same job as our "Beth" in Toledo.) The nurse is just a wealth of information. We talked all about Angel's development, continued wound care issues on her bottom, her shunt, and everything!! Julia had recently gone to a wound care conference so she gave me some new ideas and "creams" to use for Angeline's bottom. (It is now healed but we are using about $50 worth of creams a week to keep it that way. As soon as we moved to something more economical, it got bad again. Plus the stuff we are using it like GLUE I kid you not.)
4. Neurology/ Neuro Surgeon: He looked at Angeline, looked at her shunt, asked lots of questions, was nice but didn't get my sense of humor at all... :) And then reminded me that 50% of shunts fail in the first two years so I should enjoy this good time while she is so healthy. (I think that I heard this several times that day.)
5. Neuro Developmental Doc. who completely got my sense of humor and was really laid back. I think he also reminded me of the shunt issues that may arise to be sure that I knew what to look for etc. He said that they really rely on the parents when it comes to things like shunt failure. He talked to us for quite a long time about everything that we have coming up, and where we have been and the whole story. We talked some about intermittent cathing, which will likely being when Angel is going through potty training, if not sooner. I mentioned that I was really worried about hurting her and that is why the idea of cathing her every four hours was scary to me! (And that I had seen many docs and nurses try at two hospitals when she was so sick and NO ONE could do it. And it was just terrible to watch!) He said that he has no doubt that I will do just fine. I really like that, I really like to have a little cheering team telling me, I can do it! (Its nice every once in a while without further ado or explanation for someone just to say, it's going to be ok, your going to be fine, it will all work out, I got your back!)
6. Angeline had taken possibly one 20 minute cat nap since 5am and it's pushing on 1pm by now... we miss lunch... I send the girls to the cafeteria and Angeline and I are off to PT. WOW! The PT was amazing. She showed us some new exercises to do with Angeline. She actually agreed that it wasn't normal for Angeline to hold her legs up all the time. (Although she kicks her legs, this is what I was told was her comfort position. That she had done this position for so long, possibly even in utero, that she just holds her legs up naturally.) Well I wasn't buying it all along. I knew that her tendons were tight or possibly her hips dislocated. So it was great to have someone agree. And she gave us a really handy wedge that we can use to lay Angeline on her tummy. (Which she hates now that she can be on her back, actually she much prefers sitting up.) So we will see PT again in January and until then we are working on the hips and working on Angeline catching herself with her arms when she is sitting. (As well as the feet exercises we have been doing.)
7. I hope that I am not missing anything... next was Orthopedics... they had Angeline do a hip x-ray as well as several feet x-rays. Angeline will start serial casting again in two weeks. We know that she will need to go each week for four weeks. They will be doing fiber glass casts and the casts WILL go all the way up her thighs. Ugh. I don't know if you all recall the issue with this since we already started this with another very generous doctor, who then these docs didn't think it was a good idea because of the possibility of pressure sores etc. Well the Casting clinics are on Monday's. ND appointments are on Wednesday for SB kids, and there was something else only on Tuesdays... so it's going to be loads of driving... but we will make it through! (Just seeing Angeline remain so strong and resilient through all this helps me know, I can do it if she, a tiny baby, can do it!)
So the ortho docs although they made me wait far too long and at one point had asked the receptionist to tell me to reschedule... (I was SYBIL)... so we got in and will start this in two weeks if they can make room for us in their schedule. (They apparently see 35 children each day!!!) Angeline's hips ARE NOT dislocated which is good news. The docs talked to me about the PT that we are going to be doing and said that she will likely need a surgery in the future on her hips (releasing the tendons). Also they will do the serial casting, but that doesn't mean that she won't need foot surgery. They still believe that she will need one maybe two surgeries on her feet. Ouch. Ugh... I will stress over these things when the time comes. :)
8. Then off to urology. Her bladder and kidney's look good. She will have a big test on her in January where they will put dye in her bladder and watch what happens on the scan to see if urine is backing into her kidney's and if she is truly emptying her bladder. In the meantime we need to be careful about Angeline getting UTI's. And any fever should be taken very seriously.
So that was all. The other interesting things of the day were that Children's has a sibling play room. Grace and Lulu had a blast! (They went in for part of the morning and part of the afternoon.) So for the upcoming appointments, I will just take a couple of other children each time to break it up for them a bit. They actually ALL wanted to go. Then we spent the night at the RMH which was SO NICE. Grace and Lulu kept saying things when we got there like... this is better than HOME! lol They had sleep comfort beds btw. Kind of interesting. More on this later. But it was so nice to have a place to go, dinner made, and just be able to snuggle with Bean and get a good night sleep before driving home! Blessing to the RMH!
OK... off to spend some time with Robert.
Hey there Jesula. We have learned that your Mom and whole family are going to be calling you Jessie, so we will start to call you Jessie from now on too. I sure do like you new pictures and I am so glad that you made it to the USA on your medical Visa. My Mom calls me Bean and calls you Peanut, I think these new pictures of you really show what a cute little peanut you are. We are praying for you. We know that you have had a rough couple of days and that even though you had surgery scheduled for last Friday, it is now this Monday. If all the nice people who had prayed for me and my family, and who still do so, could please pray for my friend Jessie, I would truly appreciate it. Well it's my bath time! I will write more soon and let your Mom know that we are praying for her too. Love always, Angeline
Friday, October 27, 2006
So there has come a time in the story (of our lives) that the post's have taken this turn for the more silent... and in my mind I got over the question again and again, how much is ok to share? What is going to be the reaction to what I am writing? I think it's best that I am just myself, but will I be willing to make apologies later on if I offend people? But I do think that for the sake of it being my blog, for me, and my memories, I am just shorting myself, and us all, if I edit my thoughts and feelings to be more "appropriate". So here it goes.
Angeline is OUT of IBESR. This is the wonderful and brilliant news. Of course we are ecstatic. And if you have been following along, you will realize that it was a very short stay for Angeline in IBESR. I had thought about how sharing this joy would make others feel. Moms, Dads and families that have been waiting since last year for their files to move... but I did find that there is now an IBESR update blog:
On this blog you can read from the latest post that yes indeed medical files were signed out first. Thus explaining Angeline's short stay. We thank everyone at COTP and NLL who has worked non stop on Angel's paperwork and gotten things to move so fast! We are not sure at this point how much longer the rest of the process will take, or if we will have to return to Haiti, Robert and I, or just one of us, or with Angeline as well... so the unknowns do tend to cause me a bit of battiness... but I am trying my best to remain level headed. :)
Now onto the other news. Isaac's file is not yet in IBESR. Unless it went in today and we will know more on Monday. But as of right now, it appears that his paperwork won't be processed with Angel's and that there may be things we have to re-do as far as paperwork goes, and we are looking at a normal IBESR wait for his file, as well as a 2nd trip to Haiti to complete his adoption. With that said I am upset. (Go ahead and call me selfish!) I know that many other adoptive parents read my blog and I do realize HOW BLESSED I AM and I wonder sometimes myself HOW DARE I even be so selfish. Here I am already with my baby and have been for months, I am getting endless, untold moments of joy day in and day out, and then I have the audacity to complain because our other child has to wait like MOST ALL children have to wait. I realize that I am not going to get much sympathy for what is going on. And I am really ok with that. As far as the details as to why Angeline went into IBESR without Isaac, there is a very good explanation for this, and it couldn't be helped. (Long story!)
So maybe a better explanation from me regarding how I am feeling would be in order. I don't know if I mentioned this or not on the blog before, and let's set out the warning that I am going to get really TMI (too much information) here, so bear with me, or stop reading if this might offend you. Last November we (well actually my husband) had a vasectomy reversal after 14 years. We had talked about getting a reversal for many years but never took the plunge until we realized that it was something that needed to be done for more than reproductive reasons, it was done for spiritual reasons. With that said... we feel the same love for our biological children as we do our adopted children, we feel the same fulfillment with both our bio children and adopted children... and truthfully, we don't make a large amount of discrimination as to how we love, our hearts just love! At first after the reversal we "tried" to get pregnant with no luck. After a couple cycles of that, we were good to just let God decide what would happen from there on out. We never even went back for testing to see if the reversal was successful or not... we just felt complete with our choice and put things on the back burner.
Well last month I got pregnant. I found out shortly after we committed to Isaac. We both were ecstatic of course. The thought of three babies was slightly overwhelming, but we knew that God wouldn't give us more than we could handle. Well I guess it was more than we could handle, because the pregnancy ended very early on, and was not a viable pregnancy. It hurt. It still hurts to talk about it. But more than the pain is the sheer sense of WOW what a MIRACLE! What a gift from our Lord to remind us that with him, the impossible is real and true.
So the thought of being without our son Isaac for an undetermined amount of time, is almost too much to bear at this point. Of course this doesn't mean that we give up the fight, it's just taking NO for an answer will not come easy. I have said some not so nice things and I have thought some even worse ones. I will try to keep Sybil locked away for the remainder of this adoption journey. :) And I will try to remind myself more often what another very wise adoptive Mom told me: just reply with: "With God all things are possible."
More soon. The bed is beckoning me. I have so many other updates to share about Angeline and Jesula so please check back later.
If ever you are feeling like you're tired
And all your uphill struggles leave you headed downhill
If you realize your wildest dreams can hurt you
And your appetite for pain has drinken its fill
I ask of you a very simple question
Did you think for one minute that you are alone
And is your suffering a privilege you share only
Or did you think that everybody else feels completely at home
And it will come
If you think I've given up on you you're crazy
And if you think I don't love you well then you're just wrong
In time you just might take to feeling better
Time is the beauty of the road being long
I know that now you feel no consolation
But maybe if I told you and informed you out loud
I say this without fear of hesitation
I can honestly tell you that you make me proud
And it will come
And it will come
If anything I might have just said has helped you
If anything I might have just said helped you just carry on
Your rise uphill may no longer seem a struggle
And your appetite for pain may all but be gone
I hope for you and cannot stop at hoping
Until that smile has once again returned to your face
There's no such thing as a failure who keeps trying
Coasting to the bottom is the only disgrace
And it will come
And it will come
And it will come
Monday, October 23, 2006
If video games were a home school subject, all my kids would have graduated already. lol (Just kidding Mom, I just wanted to see if you were reading this or not!) My family isn't exactly thrilled that I am homeschooling most of the crew and my Mom mentioned to me over the summer that when I homeschool I have to actually "be available" to answer questions and teach. (No way! I have to be HOME to HOME SCHOOL???) I am so glad that my Mom cleared this up for me. :) I love you Mom and I live to give you a hard time you know that. We can't wait to see you in THREE WEEKS!!!! (My Mom is coming out for a three week visit, we are so excited. She will be here for Thanksgiving, Cole's birthday and MY birthday! What a nice Nana.) I am in one of those moods today where my life is a musical. I really do have an extraordinary sense of humor where I find funny things about things that I shouldn't, so bear with me here. We did watch Evita as part of home schooling today. I love musical's and maybe that's why my life has turned into one in my brain. (Evita= history, theatre, arts, music, writing etc. in case you were wondering!) I keep thinking... "Don't cry for me ANGELINA! The truth is I've never left you! Not in my wild dreams, my mad inventions, I'll keep my promise, I will love you!" (And my kids now are all singing this.) I love that and I know that's not how it goes. I dream about my break through singing to certain someone's in Haiti... and I think Pat Benatar (sp?)... and I think.... "Your a heart breaker, love taker, dream maker, don't you mess around with me!" (You have to see me to really get a visual on this one, it does involve air guitar and jogging in place with my head down/hair thrashing.) Hey, if this is how I deal with the madness of no news, it's all going to be ok. :) I am still praying overtime... and really hoping that no news is good news. Today Jesula's Mom had her big day in Haiti. She arrived there yesterday afternoon and was meeting Jesula yesterday for the first time. Today they had her Visa appointment, and also an appointment at IBESR, and I am really hoping/praying that they are on the plane to Miami right about now... maybe even IN Miami right now... but no news there either... this no news thing is taking it's toll today! So just keep them in your prayers... I will update if I hear anything. My husband is out of town again this week and I think I have this being here alone thing down to a science! Off to make dinner while Bean is napping. More soon. Blessings! Sarah
Friday, October 20, 2006
This mornings work... I had hoped to get more done today but this is an invite for a roller skating birthday party... I think it needs some fancy writing on it... ?
Ok back to business...
No news on the IBESR/adoption/visa/paperwork stuff. We are still praying. Today was a special day for COTP of prayer and fasting. There are so many prayers needed for the babies, children, nannies, staff, volunteers, adoptive families etc. It felt good today, on Isaac's special day, to have a concentration of prayer. A little baby from Angeline and Isaac's orphanage passed away in the hospital today, he has been at COTP for sometime now. So I can't even imagine what everyone there is going through, it really reminded me to put things into perspective. Today was a day to concentrate on blessings and not on worries. I need to remain focused on how blessed I am! And keep reminding myself that God makes miracles happen so often, and I have witnessed so many miracles with Angeline, I know that things will all come together in due time. I still don't feel that it's the right time to spill the specifics of what is going on. I am not sure why, maybe because actually typing all of it makes it more real and worrisome to me. I know that everyone who can do anything about my situation is doing it, so that gives me great comfort. In the meantime we continue to pray and we remember all our blessings! Another prayer request: Jesula is running a fever and seems to have taken a turn for the worst health wise... her Mom is leaving Sunday for Haiti to pick her up, Monday they do the Medical Visa paperwork and hope to be on the plane later on Monday to Miami, then they will fly home on Tuesday from Miami, and go straight to the hospital. Please keep Jesula, her adoptive Mom, her new family, and her COTP family in your prayers. Everyone has worked so hard on making this happen, and it's been wonderful to watch your prayers and God's miracles once again. Wow! Wow! Wow!
Friday's tend to be the worst day for me when my husband is out of town. I think because we are ALL tired from the week and just need the weekend to re-coop. I can't wait until my husband get's home! Actually I can't hardly wait until he is working on local jobs again! LOL Lulu cried when I took her to pre-school this morning. She rarely does this so I spent the rest of the day worried that she was getting sick, or needing me, or maybe just feeling my vibe and emotions! She went to a friends after school for a play date, what a big girl! David is going on a weekend retreat this weekend with our church and his friend that he adores is going along. He has been talking about this retreat for weeks. I bet that he doesn't sleep much tonight... "Mom, mom they are having a DJ THERE!!!" I love seeing all his excitement. Other than that we hope to get the Halloween decorations up this weekend and maybe make some new ones. And I would really like to go see the movie FLICKA... and just relax, unwind and not think. :) Have a great weekend everyone! Be blessed, Sarah
I think that ever since we knew Isaac was going to be our son, I have had max anxiety about today. Today was the first time I have had the experience of knowing that it was my child's birthday and not being with them. I knew that I would feel sad, but honestly it was much more internal and spiritual than that. I honestly feel part of my heart is missing. I can almost feel what holding my son feels like. And I imagined this afternoon when Angeline and I were cuddling that with prayer, next year on this day, we will all cuddle and celebrate together. Happy birthday beautiful boy. We miss you. I hope that your special presents arrived in time for the big day. And that you got to have lots of fun today with all your friends at COTP. With much love, Mom and Dad
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
(Today's work completed.)
I am praying that we know more about our situation tomorrow. Please continue to pray and lift up Madame Beaudin (article translated from Haiti news below regarding M.B.)... may she have an open mind and an open heart regarding our situation and the lives of our two children who wait for us to all be together as a forever family. (And for all the other waiting children of Haiti, whose families miss them oh so much, I dare not guess the number of children!)
With love and thanks,
The Minister for the social affairs, Gerald Germain, who gave the nomination to the new director of the institution, affirms that the IBESR must apply the policy of the government with regard to the prostitution, the pornography and the juvenile delinquency. Gerald Germain who decides in favour of a reform of the system of the social security, estimates that the IBESR is a key element to make decrease the vulnerability in Haiti. On this occasion, the Minister for the affairs social reaffirmed the determination of the government to apply a new policy of childhood and the family. Gerald Germain affirms that it is necessary to protect the 300 000 completely vulnerable children living in domesticity or in the streets, and precise that the institute of the Good Social being is charged to apply the policy of the government. Minister of affairs social announces that the UNICEF and the IBESR will carry out the national program of the protection of the children, which implies the reinforcement of the legal framework of this institution "the Institute of the Good Social being and of Research (IBESR) must make respect the rights of the children with health, education and the social rehabilitation", indicates the Germain minister who announces the creation of a reception centre in each geographical department. On her side, the new director of the IBESR, Gabrielle P. Beaudin, committed herself answering waitings of the government with regard to the social security. In her first short speech, Mrs Beaudin indicated that the large files relating to the protection of the minors, with the control of the prostitution, the adoption and the protection of the family will be treated with rigour. Gabrielle P Beaudin which wishes that the Institute of the Good Social being and Research be equipped with a framework of longer-term reference implying the consensus of all the actors, precise that a partnership public sector private sector, the implication of the local authorities and decentralization will constitute the principal priorities of its administration "the degradation of the economic conditions socio, of the children, the young people and the families require new more integrated strategies, better coordinated and adapted to the reality of the moment", the new director of the IBESR underlines.
Monday, October 16, 2006
There is a situation going on right now with both Angeline and Isaac's adoptions. Please pray for things to come together over the next week and for the new director of IBESR (Haitian Social Services) Madame Beaudin. Madame B. has come into this job with such a mess on her hands. There are so many families waiting to be signed out of IBESR, I don't even know how she isn't pulling her hair out right now! (I was there at IBESR, I saw all the files!) I don't feel like I can go into all the details right now about IBESR but it also has to do with Angel's Visa running out before her Visa extension is processed and possibility of it getting denied. (Which means we would have 10 days from the denial to get her back to Haiti.) Passports are now electronic so if Angel was still here with an expired Visa after the "grace" period she would be barred from coming back into the USA for a period up to 10 years. Moving the family to Haiti was not in the plans for this year. And Angeline still has many medical things not even addressed yet including her kidney function! So please keep this situation in your prayers! And pray that Isaac and Angeline are indeed able to be siblings in the near future. Unfortunately the decisions lie in someone else's hands at the moment. Also pray for all the other people working so hard on my children's paperwork. I know that they are so busy and could use prayers for continued strength and determination to get these things done FAST! I thank you in advance prayer warriors once again! I know that God is in control of the situation and I am trying not to freak out. Beautiful Blessings everyone. goodnight... Sarah
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Dear husband: "Don't you think that I am looking like I might be getting a cold?"
Me: "Hahaha! No honey, I think that you look fine, but I wish that you were getting a cold, then you could miss work this week... "
DH: "Come snuggle with me before I have to leave"
Me: "Ok but don't we have to leave in 10 minutes?"
Dh: "Yes but that's 10 minutes we have together!"
Me: "Come on honey I think we should be going."
Dh: "Ok" (Think eeyore on a bad day... oh bother!)
Dh: "I need to stop at the gas station for sunflower seeds"
Me: "ok... honey it's really raining hard, did you get your rain gear out of the truck?"
Dh: "no, I didn't want to put it in the bag with all my clean clothes"
Me: "You bag is a trash bag, we have more of those, you could have gotten another."
Dh: "It will probably be raining the whole week and that means that I will be wet all week long or else we will not work and I will be sitting out of town doing nothing."
Me: "Only the finest for you honey"
(We both laugh)
Me: "Maybe someone at the job will have an extra set of rain gear."
Dh: "I doubt it."
2:40 *back in the van with the sunflower seeds
Dh: "Wasn't there something that you needed me to do this week? Like take the kids to the doctor or go to haiti or something?"
Me: "No honey, no there wasn't."
Dh: "Because if you change your mind you know that I will have no way to get back, like if there is an emergency or something."
Me: "If there is an emergency we will find a way to get you home"
Dh: "There is always the airport, maybe you can charter a plane"
It is at this point that we may not make it there to get him on the van with the "guys" and also the point where Lauren catches on to her dads "The sky is falling" routine.
2:53 Pulling into the office parking lot
Dh: "Well (sigh)"
Me: "Yep (sigh)"
Lauren: "Have a fun time this week dad while you are out of town"
(Did I mention that where he is working there is nothing, I mean nothing. Maybe a gas station and a pay phone, they don't even get cell phone reception there. So the whole "idea" of fun is just not going to happen. At least not without a TV. )
Me: "Yes honey have a fun old time with "the guys""
Dh: Rolls eyes... "I love you"
Smiles all around.
And off he went, far less than 48 hours since he arrived.
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
Helen Keller (1880 - 1968)
I miss you already honey and I will be counting the "sleep nights" until Friday.
xoxoxoxoxo from me.... caught yours, and put mine in my heart :)
Saturday, October 14, 2006
I am, I really am getting some work done. I am actually done working for the day and about to move on to the paperwork and cleaning. (Taking full advantage that my husband is home so now I can get caught up on life!) We are definitely having a date night tonight!! Enjoy today's pictures, I am very blessed to have such beautiful children as my clients, thanks.
I need a reminder every now and then of the glory of God and the power of prayer. I try to always remind myself in my head that life is happening in God's perfect timing and that I need to let go of worries and anxieties etc. God made me and all of us so complex with emotions and feelings and brains that work sometimes too hard! But right now at this moment I just want to breathe and take it all in, that feeling that everything is right in the world because I (we) have God on our side.
Even though I want to hop, skip and jump to the wonderful news that I have to share... I have to start with last night. Sophie and Grace did a cheer camp this week and they were cheerleading during the half time with lots of other little girls, at the high school football game. Well where we come from, our HS football team is just outstanding, and everyone knows it. So that typically means that there are tons of people at the games. (I can hear them from my house.) And with my husband still not home, and ALL the kids wanting desperately to experience their first "live" HS football game, how could I pick and choose who was going to get to go. So we bundled up and walked over to the HS. It was a bit panicky because I didn't want to lose anyone. :) Bean fell asleep all bundled in her stroller and we found a great place to stand right on the side lines. Well my kids just loved live football, and who would have known. I am one of those woman who thinks of football in this order of options:
1. Eating worms
2. Cutting oneself while shaving right on the bone
3. Football (and actually having to watch it)
Football to me was what happened to put me to sleep while at my Dad's house growing up. :) But it was really amazing. The thing that made it all the more amazing is that my older boys have friends on the team! So I got to experience the triumph of the kids that I know. One in particular who has had some major obstacles to overcome in his life who happens to be the nicest teen, was outstanding. We watched him run in a touch down from a good distance before the 50 yard line. It gave me warm fuzzies. Well not only did my boys get into the game, but my girls didn't want to leave! The things you learn when you put yourself out there a bit to re-experience something that when I was a teen, was just the excuse to go out on Friday night, and really had nothing to do with the game.
We made it home safely, a bit cold but exhuberant!
I got the kids settled and went to check my email, nothing new. So I started to get some work done and "You have mail"... and the most incredible thing happened:
Antonio was able to not only apply for Jesula's passport but he GOT IT DONE and had it in his hands. This is so amazing I can't even put it into words the amazement of this. Anything is possible with God. Anything. Wow. So now Jesula is all ready to leave Haiti, all of her paperwork is together for her to travel on the "Haiti" side of things. Her family here in the states is still waiting on hospital approval. There are two more people that have to agree. Please keep this in your prayers that they have soft hearts and open minds to help this fragile little baby! She could be here in the states in a matter of days. What a blessing. What a miracle! I will be sure to keep you updated on things as they unfold. I truly believe that Angeline was brought home on the power of prayers and the wonderment of God, and I feel that all over again with Jesula. I can't wait to hear from her Mom as she holds her baby for the first time. Yeah!!!!
And then after all that bliss... my husband came home. So I only have two days before he goes back out of town but what a settling, wonderful feeling to be all together again. :)
Have a wonderful fall weekend. More to come soon.
Thanks again for praying.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
It was a much better day today. I woke up slightly ill knowing that it was baby girl's big shot day. I hate these days. Lauren stayed home with Grace and David and Cole, Sophie and Dominick came with me to take Bean. (Lulu had preschool.) Can I just brag for a minute... Sophie, Cole and Dom were so good today. They were near perfect at the doctor. I don't know if they were afraid that shots were coming their way or what. They sat and worked on their writing journals and were silent. I am so blessed with well behaved children (most of the time). :) Ok so the well check went great. Angeline is following the normal growth curve that she has been on... and is now 27 inches long and over 15lbs! Then came shot time... and she had five shots and fell apart. Once she stopped crying it was like instant relief that it was over and we could go on with our day. I don't know what my deal is with the shot thing! Bean has just gone through too much pain in her short life and I live to see the joy that she has every minute of the day. I guess knowing that I am going to miss a couple of those joy moments every now and then because of her pain, just makes it hard. ? Perhaps. After the dr. and because everyone was so well behaved we thought that we would stop off at the mall to do some mall walking. :) Not really... but that makes it sound more educational.... in a PE sort of way. And we went to payless and the three sweet children of the day got new shoes. Then we had a couple more stops... same thing... no asking for anything, no whining, no complaining, thank you Lord! So we got some soft pretzels, headed to Target to buy some infant Tylenol and Milk... and we were home in a flash. Bean stayed away until about 5 and then crashed and is still sleeping. I think that we may wake up to a grouchy baby with sore legs so I am loading up heavy on the caffeine for the long night ahead. I miss her when she is sleeping and sometimes I let the kids be a little too noisy right outside her bedroom door so that maybe she will wake up. :) Terrible I know. She is just a gem. Tonight is the last sleep night without my husband, he will be home tomorrow night! Yipppppeeee! Then home for two night and gone again for five... but we made it this week and next week is sure to be even better. Thanks for all the emails and I am working on getting caught up. Tomorrow is the day that I will be sure to do that, so if you are waiting to hear from me, it will be soon. Blessings and joy. Sarah
This really reminds me of Saturday Night live Jack Handy skit so I thought that I would share. :) Hey Fam,
Well.....we went to the big farm that sells 100's of pumpkins every year to Vegas families and schools on field trips........and on Monday all the pumpkins were all stolen in the middle of the night! Someone came and stole acres and acres of those darn pumpkins.
ONLY IN VEGAS!
And there's a guy selling pumpkins on the corner....I just wonder where he might have gotten his pumpkins! ha ha
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
I am having a really depressing day, and I have no clue why. Probably because my husband is out of town and I miss him. Or maybe because my baby boy is in Haiti and not home with his family and I miss him. More than likely a combo of both my big man and my little man being not here makes me sad. Bean woke up today not a happy girl as she typically is. She was really crabby and it made me spend most of the morning worried about if her shunt was failing. I feel so much for other parents of children with shunts, it's like every little wahh is something earth shattering. I completely understand that. As the day wore on I am more thinking along the lines that she has an ear infection? We have a dr. appt. in the morning so we should know more then. And she has to get shots tomorrow... which makes me very sad. My husband was such a trooper with the other children when they were babies and would take time off work to go to the shot appointments because it nearly causes me to have an emotional breakdown! :)
Did anyone read the Livesay's blog today? Funny stuff. Make sure you stop by and check it out.
Bean learned a new trick today. After months of having brothers and sisters in her face going HI BABY... awww pretty girl... she's so cute... etc. now she grabs... she grabs the faces of those who get too close and she pinches and pulls you close enough to plant a big wet kiss onto! Sometimes if she can get close enough she will even blow rasberries right up against your cheek which makes a big noise. (With an even bigger reaction from the brother or sister she is doing it too.) Bean misses her dad and her big/little brother too. (Older than her but smaller than her, so we call Isaac the big little brother.)
Side note: I am having a hard time with Isaac's name. I keep wanting to give him to "ss" Issac... so forgive me while I sort this out. :)
The pictures are the work that I got done today. I am pretty happy with both of them. I also did some refinish work on pictures for a friend of a friend. They were sultry shots that are for her husband for their anniversary. I don't think that she would appreciate me posting them on the blog. But I felt like I was doing a little touch up plastic surgery and I was spending a little too much time thinking how really cool it is to shave 10-15 years off of someone's picture. :)
Big family humor: Having a new brother is like taking a road trip to Disney world for my boys, especially for Dominick and Cole. So in the honor of kid-dom and not being able to wait patiently I am asked several times a day "Are we there yet?" But it comes out more like this:
Dom: "When is Brian coming home?"
Cole: "When can we go get Eric?"
Umm... who is Brian and Eric and why can't they remember the name Isaac/Issac? :)
Tonight half the kids have church school and I flaked on making cookies for them to take on a field trip to the local nursing home. I am debating making my own platter of oreo's to send, but I am not sure if the pure "lack-a-domestic" skills humiliation will be worth it. lol I can remember being little and getting in line to get a cookie and by the time that I got to the table the only thing left was the "store bought pre-packaged" cookies, and nothing home made. It wasn't even worth eating while you watched Johnny eating the toll house home made bliss cookies that Mrs. Smith made. I think we will just skip the cookies and hope that I can locate the unsigned permission slips that I need to send with them. :)
Today in between work and homeschooling and laundry... I did get one really big thing done. I started organizing Angeline's room for Isaac's things. (Right now we have some cute boy things passed down from Dom and some great resale finds that I found on Monday... and some blue blankies.) It was really hard to fold those freshly clean clothes and hang those cute little baby gap dress shirts without feeling a bit like I lost something! My son! And to have to pack away all those cute summery teeny Angeline clothes and all those memories were flooding back... the first little outfit she was wearing when we met in Haiti... but I made it through! The whole time I was sorting and packing away and unpacking sweet Cole and Dom were reading Angeline her baby books and she was just staring at every word they spoke. It was really beautiful.
Jesula's family is still waiting to hear if the hospital in Ohio is able to donate her surgery. They are hoping to decide this week. So if you can please keep this in your prayers that would be great. Also her passport is being applied for tomorrow in Haiti (they hope they will allow them to apply despite not having all the paperwork in order because of an uncooperative Mayor)... so please pray that they are able to apply without the paper from the Mayor. Jesula's seizures remain under control but her head size is getting larger... so prayers all around for this situation.
Ok off to get back to real life. Thanks for letting me give you a glimpse of my heart today. :)
Monday, October 09, 2006
What a big girl Angeline is becoming. She really is getting into the seperation anxiety stage and loves it best when she is being held and lots of brothers and sisters are around to talk to her. When we do have quieter times and there are no brothers and sisters around, she will hardly last 5 minutes playing with her toys, in her exersaucer or swing. She is a people person kind of girl. Angel has also started to fit right in with her sister's. She is becoming a bit bossy and will push your hand away, or her bottle if she is all done. She laughs like a little wild woman and I love it. Angeline doesn't like loud noises like the vacuum and the bear stuffer machine at Build A Bear sent her into a whirl wind of tears, gagging, and she even threw up! She loves the mall, but not the BAB store! (Mental note for next time.) We still have no news on her Visa extension, so please keep your prayers coming! Angeline will get her second set up shots this week and has a big long day of appointments at Children's later this month to address the "rest" of the remaining issues with her health right now.
Alyssa, who we call Lulu, turned FIVE on Saturday. This was exciting and heartbreaking both at the same time. Lulu is very much my baby and still gives me snuggles before she goes to bed. I really hope that doesn't end anytime soon. On Friday Angeline, Lulu, Lauren and I went to Build a Bear, Lulu picked out an adorable Husky, with a puppy, and a dog house. Then we went to Target so she could get a big horsey. Lulu has been horse obsessed since she learned what a horse was, and since Build A Bear had no horse, we had to stop at Target to get a birthday pony! Sometimes I will hear her telling other children tall tales about the horse that lives in our backyard, how she likes to ride it, and how very huge the horse is. Now that Lulu is five we are working really hard to get her to only suck her thumb at night. Lulu has been our first thumb sucker past toddlerdom. So advice is welcome! We are thinking that she won't go to college and still suck her thumb, yet I do recall a girl who lived in my dorm who still was a thumb sucker! So ya never know. On Saturday Lulu got to choose what we would eat for dinner and of course her cake. She picked McDonalds chicken nuggets and french fries and ice cream cake. ($100 later and lots of belly aches... ) It was time to play with Lulu's new make up set. I always enjoy seeing how even the boys like to get in on the fun (pictures coming soon!)... Happy Birthday Baby. We love you. Mom and Dad
Tyler is going for the world record for the world's smallest origami crane... wow... that sure is small!!! And I sure love candy corn. Happy fall.
Great Job Ty.
The one on the left was the original smallest crane by Tyler and the one on the right is the current smallest crane by Tyler... Candy corn is actual size. :)
Friday, October 06, 2006
Friday mornings are nuts. Today, this friday morning was especially nuts. I just want to do an instant replay of the past FIVE hours for you all. Wahhh... five am. Bean's up! Bobby get's the baby and changes her diaper and sings to her... "This little butter bean, is my angeline... " (There is a whole song involved here.) Meanwhile I am in the kitchen, in the dark, making a "medicine bottle", her first of the day... then I get back into bed with Bobby and Bean, I feed Bean and we watch something all together that we DVR'd from the night before (when we fell asleep before it came on LOL)... so this morning it was an adoption story AND Moms who travel. This was a big mistake. We should have never let it go two shows, let the morning go two shows that is. Meanwhile Jeremy wakes up and makes his lunch and get's ready to go to work, Bobby drops him off on the way. Bob is now half asleep again in bed with Bean and the Moms who travel show is coming to an end. Jeremy makes his dad PBJ's for work, and for himself, then sits on the couch half asleep until Bob is ready to leave. Lulu wakes up... it shortly after 6:15 here by this time. (We fast forward the commercials), and Bobby has to get out of bed because Lulu wants in bed with Mom and Bean... we snuggle a bit. Bean wakes up, diaper change... it's about 6:45 now. Then I wake up Sophie, who wakes up Lauren and Leishan (I have hired Lei to be home on Friday's to help me out. PHEW... can't imagine the day without her.) Lauren takes over Angeline, Lei works on getting Lulu up and ready, and I hop in the shower. I get out of the shower and it's wild times. No matter how many times I tell the kids the night before that they have to be ready for the morning, make sure that they have their school folders ready and book bags, shoes too... it never fails... can't find them. I go to the kitchen and start making PBJ's for Leishan and Lauren, David, Cole, Grace, Sophie and Dominick for HS school today. (They have homeschool real school on Friday's.. ) In go hand wipes, napkins, sandwiches, orange slices, grapes, rice crispy treats (home made)... done... no juice boxes... I grab Sophie her class snack for her "tea party" class, lemon tarts, shortbread cookies (not home made), and some tea bags... and then Lulu, her birthday is tomorrow so she has to bring the birthday snack to school today (store bought bakery cookies and apple juice in bags)... meanwhile... RING RING RING RING... "Can someone get it???" Cole replies: "Mom. Dad is calling", I reply "Ok Cole, well you better answer it if it's Dad." RING RING... Cole gets the phone and hands it to me. This is how the conversation with my husband goes: "HI Honey I got THE CALL." "The CALL???" I reply. My husbands sounds slightly nervous, slightly excited... "Yes, I am going out of town next week." "You are... well when are you coming back?
Then he makes the first mistake: "On Thursday night, we are working four 10's so thursday night I should be able to come back I THINK." "Well honey if you aren't sure, then don't say Thursday night because I will be mad when you aren't here on Thursday night". He then get's some sense: "That's true, ok well I don't really know when I am coming back, but I AM coming back for weekends." "WEEKENDS???" I say loudly. "Yes honey, it's going to be a few weeks of out of town work." "How many weeks?" *I know what the answer is, but I still think that I had better ask anyhow. "They didn't say how many weeks, and no I can't ask, because they probably aren't sure. Likely I will be there until it is all done. But I will be home weekends." Then I start the whine. I know that I don't have very long to do the whine but I just have to. It's in my nature. "Well couldn't they have sent you out of town last week? Because I like you a lot better this week than I did last week!" Bob laughs. The background noise has now grown unbearable. I must get off the phone. "Well we will get life all organized this weekend, not to worry." OK we say our lovies and hang up. Back to packing up food. I think that's about done. Ok... have to find a brush for Lulu's hair, and socks for Bean, Lauren and Lei accomplished getting them ready while I was in the kitchen. Grace watches Bean for 10 minutes so that I can pull together all the stuff to take in for reimbursements (for the HS School, each of the children has a stipend to spend on supplies but if you want to get reimbursed this month, they had to be in by 10am this morning, I found this out late last night.) So there I got dumping "the bag" my purse on the counter to find the two receipts that I need. Lucky for me, the kids have been really good about keeping the HS stuff organized this week so I know just where the "stuff" is that needs to get reimbursed for. Phew... ok kids meanwhile are picking up, finding shoes, FAMILY MEETING is called. Everyone to the living room... (I forgot to add in the midst of this Danny and Tyler have now come upstairs, eaten cereal, and left to the High school)... I grab the stuff that needs grading and show Leishan what needs to get done. She packs it in her backpack, Sophie goes looking for the diaper bag, Lauren is buckling Bean in her car seat, and I am helping Dominick find his schedule for the day. I go down the line one by one, who has their folder, their papers, their shoes on, hair fixed, teeth brushed, have them grab something to help carry to the car... bags and more bags and more bags get piled in the car with the kids. Finally we are all in the car, I forgot the stroller so I grab it throw it in the back of the van... head count... Leishan forgets her cell phone, comes back in to get it... oh shoot...BREAKFAST... grab the institutional sized pack of nutrigrain bars... wrappers flying all over the van...run back to garage to grab a couple water bottles because we all know what's coming next! :) Now it's 8:22am. Where did the time go. :) I drive them to the school in the next town over, 25-30 minutes depending on traffic... Lauren feels like she is sick to her stomach, so while I drive I pull out the Immodium from my BAG... (of course I have a small stock supply of medication in my purse at all times... this one was fished out from the bottom of the bag, so it has a bit of gum stuck on the outside of the wrapper) I flick it off, and pass it over my head to her. We are there, 10 minutes early! 8:50am. The kids go in with Leishan, its been determined by now that Lauren is not going to school today, too sick. So Lauren and I, Lulu and Bean, head over to the school office to get the supplies and receipts checked in... 9:00am. (Meanwhile I am helping to go through all the items and fill out the paperwork, and my heart is racing. Lulu has to be back right near our house for preschool at 9:25. So really we should have been driving at this point. If it wasn't her special day to bring the treat, the big birthday treat, I wouldn't have felt so bad.) Leishan calls, needs to know when all the kids have lunch today, what times for who. (Last week Dominick missed a class because he stayed in lunch too long so we are trying to avoid that this week.) Hang up with Lei, she calls back to let me know that she made her cat an appt. for the vet this Tuesday to get fixed. (Thanks Lei this is a great time for me to recall this and remember to write it on the calendar. :) Ok we are done... 9:20am. Five minutes to drive a half hour... well we finally made it to the preschool, to a chorus of "the birthday girl is here!" And the snack arrived safely too. We are home, Bean is sleeping, I am going to clean up, care for Lauren, then back to get Lulu, off to Build a Bear for her special surprise, then to get the kids at school, and back home again. And people wonder WHY I HOME SCHOOL! On a typical HS morning things are so laid back. There is time for us to talk, and pray, and be together, and work as a team, and snuggle and read and just to BE and not be running about like a chicken with it's head cut off. :) I think that I finally GET IT. Did I just hear Bean say DADA? Bye :) Sarah
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Here are some cute pictures from summer of Dominick and cousin Keller... the "Hi We are SO PHOTOGENIC boys"... They make me smile so I thought that I would post them. I wanted to write a bit about big families in general and about our family mostly. I had so many people reply to my puzzle about Isaac, I was impressed with how many people are reading the blog! Thanks! Feel free to leave comments or email questions to me about anything. (Our lives are pretty much an open book or I likely wouldn't have a blog for the general public to read, so please don't worry about offending me!)
These are some of the questions from this week:
1. How much does it cost to adopt from Haiti?
The costs varies as far as the "adoption fee" goes. Some organizations charge a monthly fee for caring for your child until the adoption is complete, and others do not. So I would average the total adoption cost to be about $10,000-$15,000 (Depending on specifics esp. the travel costs which can vary greatly depending on your plans.) Now this cost is broken up into things such as the actual adoption fee, home study, USBCIS costs for fingerprinting, INS costs, travel costs etc. Feel free to email me if you want more specifics and I can direct you to the right places. I had heard from someone the other day that mentioned that they are saving up the money before they start the process, which some families do. For us, that isn't practical and we want to be finished before our paperwork expires. Most org's that you can work with do have the fee broken up into payments such as ... X amount of dollars are due at this point and so and so forth. (This may not be every single adoption program in Haiti, but for the ones that we looked into this was true.)
2. How do you raise that many children financially?
Day to day costs are great, but manageable on our income. It's when we have extra costs such as big medical bills and adoption fees to pay for... vacations etc. that we have to tighten the budget a bit to get those extra things covered. We live off of my husband's income and anything I make covers the extras, Christmas gifts, weekend getaways, adoption fees etc. are covered by my work. We do have credit card debt and I count on a good sized tax refund each year to cover and pay off those costs. It is our dream to live debt free and something that we have talked about working towards after our adoptions are done. We don't have a huge savings for our retirement, we are counting on at least one child to become wealthy and care for us in our old age... LOL... just kidding. We do go to the movies (all of us together) and we eat out sometimes too... these things can be cut back if needed to cover extra things. We have really good cable TV and enjoy watching programs as a family. We also do a lot of "free" things for recreation (which my degree is in so I am fairly creative in that area), such as hiking, camping, going to the park, swimming etc. I try to resale shop as much as possible but I do have a small issue with Gymboree that I am currently working on getting under control. :) The thing with buy clothing that is better quality is that its able to be passed down and it lasts longer. (There's my justification.) I do buy gymbucks off ebay (if you are a gymboree shopper you know what I am talking about.) We do our own haircuts too... see below about freecycle.
3. The food bill... It's our biggest expense. Sad to say. At the beginning of the year I was spending about $2400 a month on food alone. (This is almost shameful to talk about.) That does include toilet paper, cleaners, laundry soap etc. I have some really great woman that I know that also have large families, some larger than mine, that spend MUCH less than that. If I got serious enough about cooking (I am NOT a good cook) I could potentially wipe out our credit card debt and car payment fairly fast... but it would require me to actually spend a good deal of time each week cooking. We do try on Sunday's to cook a couple meals ahead for the week and this has helped. So with baby formula and diapers added we are at about $1900 a month for food. So we are getting better! (***Disclaimer: This is breakfast, lunch and dinner for all of us. My husband and two adult children pack their lunch everyday. If anyone has any tips for making lunches cheaper that isn't PBJ, let me know. Also I need ideas for produce, we spend a ton on fresh produce.)
4. Is your home huge? Followed by how do you keep organized?
No our home isn't huge. We have 3200 sq ft. which is a good sized home for living in the Pacific Northwest... but we moved from a house in the midwest with 6000 sq ft. so our house feels small to us. All of the children share a bedroom... the bedrooms that are downstairs (3 of them) are HUGE and each of them have three children in them, and then upstairs we have three smaller bedrooms, 2 with 2, and one for Angeline and soon to be Isaac. (When they get bigger we will likely have moved our built a new place by then.)
We keep organized by cleaning everyday and getting rid of things weekly. I try not to have a lot of knick knacks, stained clothes go on the table in the garage for goodwill run once a month etc. Everything has its place and we have lots of "junk drawers" that cleaned out once a season. Our house is clean, tidy and I wouldn't be able to sleep if it wasn't! :) Saturday is super clean day where we all (dad too!) spend the morning doing a super clean... wiping walls etc. (we have to keep germ free, keeping Angeline from getting sick is KEY!) we love disinfecting wipes and magic erasers, and once we are done cleaning we try to take some of the kids with us to run the weekly errands. Since I started homeschooling avoiding the weekday run to the grocery store is really important... then we go for ice cream... and Sunday is the pray and fun day... Each of the children has a "room" that they are in charge of cleaning during the week. Everyone capable rotates doing dishes... so it is only about once a week... and sometimes we split boys up, girls down, everyone outside to clean just to change things up a bit. My children have had to keep their rooms clean (beds are made each morning!) So doing jobs, and helping out are just part of normal life. :)
5. About FREECYCLE... if you aren't a part of the freecycle community on yahoo groups, go and join! Most places have freecycle and it has been a great way for us to "get rid" of stuff, and to find things that we need. Plus you get to meet some really great people. :)
That's all for this weeks Q and A.
Thanks Robin for taking these adorable pictures of Isaac last week when you were in Haiti! Isaac had a big boy hair cut for his passport pictures last week. Today I got a short video of Isaac emailed to me. COTP is so wonderful! I hate to brag, but really, the amount of information that you are able to know (constantly!) about your child is so wonderful. Thanks again Robin for making my whole week!
I can't imagine how hard it would be waiting and not knowing anything. Praying for those in that situation!!! :(
The answer to the riddle is that THE VAN IS GOING TO BE FULL. Now, this takes a bit of thinking. We have a 15 passenger van, and we have two adults and 12 children, so that's 14, and one more would be 15, FULL VAN. There are also 13 balloons in the picture, no one actually picked up on that one. But maybe from thinking how previous exciting news goes in our family, one would assume that a new brother or sister was on the way! SO meet sweet Isaac.
WE are thrilled. We are beyond thrilled. How do we go from feeling like the most blessed family in the world, to yet another blessing! So how this came about was that we were approved at all times to adopt two children from Haiti. We had thought that we would wait until Angeline's adoption was complete before going back for number two... however, thinking about finances and logistics and timing, we thought no better a time than now! Either Robert or I, or both of us, will have had to go back to complete Angel's adoption at some point and that is the time that we will pick up our son. Wow... I love typing that OUR SON!
OK so about Isaac. Is he just so handsome you can hardly stand it? :)
Isaac has been at COTP since July I believe and he was brought there malnourished. The picture of him just in his diaper is the "intake" picture. And the picture of him smiling is from August I think... so he is growing and gaining, it's just been a slow process when he hasn't been there that long. Isaac will be one this month! He is actually smaller than Angeline right now, at about 12/13 lbs and 24 or so inches, he's just a tiny guy. But he's our tiny guy! :)
According to the fantastic Robin who was at COTP last week, Isaac is a mellow, happy guy who smiles and laughs all the time. He rarely cries and is one of the best babies ever. (Of course.)
So I think that he will fit in really well with all his brothers and sisters. We have bossy girls and mellow boys. (Sorry girls, they all just have a mind of their own, Angeline not to be excluded from the bunch.) And of course Dominick is just beside himself... instead of asking "are we there yet"... he is asking several times a day... "when is my brother coming home?" Dominick is 7 and for the past 7 years he has dreamed of the moment when he has a brown little brother. (Dom is African American.)
So they are able to add Isaac to Angeline's adoption and we are hoping that things will just fly through the process here fast... and we are praying that he is able to come home in six months or less. We aren't holding our breath... all you Haiti adoption folks out there rolling your eyes! One can always dream and pray right? :)
Today we boxed up things for Isaac's first birthday and it's going to be a different experience for us to miss such an important day with our child... and I am sure that it will be emotional... so we have some small toys and jammies and a photo book that we made coming his way. And yes, in case you are wondering, as far as we can see, this will be our last adoption. :) (Stop rolling your eyes Mom.)
Thanks for the love everyone.
Soon to be... isaac's momma
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Ok I have a secret and I want to see if anyone can figure it out... figure out what the clue means, and email me your reply at: firstname.lastname@example.org Please don't post the answer in the comments section or no one else will be able to play along. :) :) :) If no one get's it soon, I will post another clue.