Thursday, April 26, 2012

much to share

Gosh, I didn't anticipate my last post eliciting such a response.  Thank you to everyone who emailed, stopped me at church, called, etc.  I can assure you that I am just fine.  :)  I just wanted to be honest that I have moments and struggle too.  And, yes, I even have pity parties.  Wish I didn't, but I do.  Fortunately, they're short lived.

Interestingly, a couple of moms with grown kids told me the thoughts and feelings I described were the same ones they had when their kids were little, but they wouldn't dare speak them for fear of being perceived a bad mom.  Wow.
~~~~~~~~~~

This has been a good week, but a full one, too.  So much so that we pulled the plug today.  No Thrive (women's ministry gathering) at church, no school, no preschool.  Just a rainy day, jammies, a pot of chicken & rice soup, chocolate chip cookies and a couple of movies.  Good stuff.  We needed it.

Payton and Avery are having end-of-the-year standardized testing.  Payton's was on Wednesday (four hours!) and Avery's is tomorrow (three hours!).  Gotta see if they learned anything this year!  :)  I say that somewhat tongue in cheek, but since this is our first year homeschooling, it'll be nice to see where they stand.  That's led us to do lots of reviewing over the last week or two.  So far so good from what I can see.

And of course, James had more appointments.    

He did have his OT evaluation on Monday.  Not PT though.  I thought it was both, but alas it was not.  Therefore we have another appointment on the books for that.

I'm learning that things aren't going to happen at the pace I'd like.  Silly me.  I thought that was only the case during the adoption process.  See?  There's that patience thing again.

But, in all fairness, I'm a mama who wants for my child!  No, correction...I need for him.  I need for him to be fitted with a device so he can feed himself, for goodness sakes!  So waiting weeks for this is hard.  Especially when he's doing this:

video

Here are some shots from the OT evaluation.  James was a huge hit (big surprise).  What was supposed to be an evaluation with one OT quickly became an evaluation with three OTs.  And they were all asking if we could schedule his weekly appointments on the days they work so they can work with him.  This is James.  He just draws people in.  They couldn't have been more amazed by his determination, perseverance and adaptability.






He performed for them just as he always does!  He drew with his feet -- circles no less which they said is a developmental milestone.  Who knew?  He put the cap back on the marker (with his feet).  He turned a CD player off and on and turned the volume up and down.  Little do they know, this is one of his favorite past times at home.  :)

Payton and James have had some good times on our computer's Photo Booth.  Oh my.  Check out this hilarious video.  The boy loves music and gets down!


video

Yesterday, James and I went to the international adoption clinic at MCV.  It was somewhat fruitful.  The doctor tried to draw blood (clearly he doesn't have a vein in his arm to use).  She tried his foot (twice!), but to no avail.  He's going to have an MRI soon and will be sedated, so they'll get a blood sample then.  Poor baby.

A couple other cool things...

We have a date for Shriner's in Philly.  June 6th.  He'll see an upper extremity doc and a lower extremity doc.  Hopefully we'll have the MRI done before then so we can take it and his xrays with us.  We'll probably make a trip of it and take the kids (and my mom!) and see the Liberty Bell, etc.

The other cool thing is that a friend from church's brother-in-law works for a prosthetics company and heard about James and asked if he could meet him.  He and a colleague who's an upper limb specialist will be in Richmond and we're planning to meet with them on May 9th.  It's so cool to have so many people involved in James' care and who want to give him every opportunity under the sun.  

He deserves it!     

 




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

honest

I'm going to be honest.

I had a moment last week.  Okay, maybe a couple of moments.  They kind of piled up on top of each other and made for one of those days.

Tears ran down my cheeks as I gazed out the window over our sink as the dishes clanged into the dishwasher.

It was a combination of things.

Petty things, but things nonetheless.  These kinds of things...

Over the last many weeks, I've been driving down the road and seen women out running by themselves...or walking with a girlfriend...or walking their dogs.  

We've been on a waiting list at a pool for two years and were invited to join as members this year.  In considering all the angles, I realized this is not going to work for us.  Then the pity party began: James will be scooting around on the cement?   The pool opens at 11:00 and James naps at 1:00 or 2:00?  I'd probably have to be in the baby pool with him, but our older kids would want to be in the big pool?  I want to be with them too?  Will James have surgeries this summer that will make going to the pool impossible?  And I so often have to consider what is reasonable and doable for me, as a mom.  As one person.  Is lathering five kids with sunscreen, packing snacks, lunches, pool toys/gear, towels, and schlepping everyone to the pool worth it?  If we join, I will feel the burden of needing to get our money's worth.  What a stressor!

And it was kindergarten registration too.  So many of my friends registered their children for kindergarten next year.  Again...honestly...it made me a tad bit sad.  Kindergarten -- elementary school, in general -- is a sweet time.  It's so sweet when little ones head off to school with little backpacks on their backs.  There are times -- there are moments -- when I miss our children attending school.

James has started screaming.  At.every.thing.  He's just fully being a two-year-old and wants what he wants.  There's a huge language barrier.  And, frankly, he's testing and trying.  All two-year-olds do this.  But I think a recently-adopted-two-year-old especially does this.  It's hard because we can only scold him so much.  We can't introduce time out (not enough time home with us yet and we need to be sure attachment is happening before we do something that may feel isolating to him).  It's complicated.  It's hard because we were through with this.  We were done with this stage.  Yet, we wouldn't trade him for the world.  

All these things brought me to tears.

Sometimes it feels like I'm laying myself down as a living sacrifice.  'Me time.'  I hear it all the time.  Sure, I want me time.  Sure I want to go for a leisurely run when all the children are accounted for.  Sure, I'd love to meet a girlfriend for a walk or for coffee.  Sure I'd like to saunter off to the pool and relax for the day.  Sitting with girlfriends and visiting for the afternoon while our kids play and romp practically makes me drool.

I'm just going to be honest...

...it's hard sometimes.

I love, love, love having our kids home with me.  I love having more time with them.  I love that the pace of our life has slowed dramatically.  Our mornings are leisurely.  There's very little rush.  In fact, I do head out for a run most mornings.  That time is so precious to me.  I praise, I worship, I give thanks, I pray.  It's huge.  But there are still times...I can't explain it.  I have to fight back.  I have to resist the voices, the chatter in my head.  The stuff that says, 'You're missing out.  Everyone else has it so much easier -- you could have it easier too.'

I don't talk much about homeschooling because it can be such an area of divisiveness.  I never want to divide.  I don't want anyone to feel judged or judge us.  It's hard.  It's glorious.  It's precious.  It's challenging.  It's what we're doing for today.  It feels right for today.  I can't say what the future holds.

Please don't misunderstand.  Things are good.  I'm just sharing my humanness and sinfulness with you.

James is awesome.  As I've said to others this past week, 'If this is the worst of it, we'll take it!'

By the way, we're headed to his OT/PT evaluation on Monday.  To the international adoption clinic on Wednesday.  And we were accepted to Shriner's in Philadelphia.  It looks like we'll head up there at the end of May or early June for him to be evaluated.

So cool.  He's been feeding himself with a spoon (I strapped it on his hand again -- I couldn't take it!  He's been desperately trying lately!).  The boy is ready.  


And so are we!  :)


Friday, April 20, 2012

smilers

There are some things that have made me smile of late.  Smilers.

Thought they might make you smile too.

Some are a little quirky, like this one:


Some are just fantastic, like this one:  


I love Caine.  And his dad.  I so need to let my kids 'go' with their creativity sometimes.  The world would be a better place if more parents did that.  

And some are downright inspiring, like this one:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/47118899/ns/today-good_news/t/girl-born-without-hands-wins-penmanship-award/#.T5GroY6_7fQ

I didn't realize it's the 20th anniversary of the American's with Disabilities Act.  It's so weird because I used to work with people with disabilities and promoting the ADA was a real part of my job (by ensuring that it was being followed and honored by business owners, employers, etc).  

At the time, I never thought much about having a child with disabilities.  Yet strangely, here we are.  And, in the most amazing way, I/we don't see James' disabilities.  

He's just James.  

    


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

brief update

Things are starting to move along with James' appointments.

The referral process can be a slow one, I'm learning.  Well, especially with spring break thrown in there.  So many folks were out on vacation.

But, the good news is that James has an appointment Monday morning with the international adoption clinic here with a local teaching hospital.  They'll draw blood (should be interesting) to test and see what vaccinations he needs, etc.  And just consult with us.

Also on Monday (I'm such a fan of killing multiple birds with one stone), he has his occupational therapy and physical therapy evaluation.  This is going to be great.  He's finally going to get some help eating.  Bless his heart.  The other day (and then again today) he tried to pick up a utensil between his hand and his cheek.  Well, clearly that's not going to work.  He was trying to poke his food with it, but clearly can't get food into his mouth that way.  It'll be so nice to get him fitted with some kind of assistive device that can go on his hand.  He's gonna be a mad man!  He'll never want to leave the table!  Which could be a good thing 'cause Little Dude's right around the 3rd percentile for his size.

He did really well at church on Sunday.  I finally (I'm such a rusty mother-of-a-toddler!) remembered to bring him some Cheerios and his sippy cup.  So he was a happy camper.  He sat in the seat next to me and ate his snack (with his feet!) throughout the sermon.  He's not really given the opportunity to do that very often because we sit him at the table in a chair/booster.  But this time he was sitting with his legs open on the seat and I put the Cheerios between his legs on the chair.  He quickly lifted his foot to me asking me to take his socks off.  Bam.  He was going to town.  I have no idea what the other people around us were thinking but they were very gracious.  And even helped retrieve a few Cheerios off the floor.  Five second rule.  Or is three if you're in church?  I'm kidding!

The boy's a champ.  Just a treat to have around.  Well, except that he has this ear-piercing scream he does any time he thinks someone's taking his toy.  Little does he know they could be trying to help him or, God forbid, play with him.  And what's worse is we can't use time out or some of the other tactics we used with our biological kids.  Fun times, for sure.  Hoping he'll learn to stop screaming the more I shush him and encourage him.  And his learning English will help.

Well, that's about all I have for ya!  :)  My bed calls...  Love to all!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

sweet stories: one month home

James has been home one month today.  It was four weeks on Thursday.  Amazing.  It feels like months and months and months.  You hear people say it all the time, but it's so true...it feels like he's always been here.  It just doesn't feel weird at all anymore.  He's just one of us!

I have a few sweet stories to share.  Just things that have made us smile -- or maybe tear up, or squeeze our kids a little closer.

~~~~~~

James is kissed on quite a bit.  Imagine that.  The routine is that when we're getting ready to lay him down to nap or go to bed for the night, we make the rounds with him and he gets kisses from all his sibs.  And sometimes he does the tucking in with us and he kisses his sibs goodnight.  Of course all of this is with lots of 'night-night's.  So now James has the phrase 'ni-night' down pat.  But he's a tad bit confused on when to use it.  Every time someone kisses him -- he could've literally just awakened -- he says, 'Ni-night!' We get him out of his car seat and kiss his cheeks, he looks us in the eyes and says 'Ni-night!' We kiss on him while changing his diaper, he waves and says, 'Ni-night!'  It's hilarious.

~~~~~~

Another bed time routine that evolved many months ago is with Brooks and Jackson.  When JD and I tuck them into bed at night, as is the case with most parents I'm sure, we tell them we love them as we're leaving the room.  Once their door is closed, a banter begins and we go back and forth with them as we walk further and further away from their bedroom.

'I love you!'

'I love you!'

'I love you!'

"I love you!' 

The boys' 'I love yous' end up as top-of-the-lungs screams at the end.  It's super sweet.  But what's even sweeter is that James is now doing it!  As I said, James has accompanied us to tuck the other children in and witnessed this banter with Brooks and Jackson a few times.  Then the night before last, I tucked James in and said 'I love you!' as I was walking out of the room.  He then said it back.  I said it again as I closed the door.  He said it back.  We continued to say it back and forth to each other as I walked into the kitchen where I met JD.  He looked at me frozen and said, 'Honey, that's so cute!'  We just grinned at each other.  We sometimes underestimate (or just don't really think about!) how powerful the influences of our family's rhythms are to James.  Incredible.

~~~~~~

The other day, James woke up from his nap crying.  This isn't normal for him.  In fact, he's never cried when he's awakened from a nap.  So I went in there and scooped him up.  But I couldn't console him.  He just cried and cried.  He bucked a little in my arms.  I squeezed him tighter and sat on the couch with him.  He writhed.  I stood up and paced with him.  He protested.  All the while I shhhh'd him and told him he was okay.  Nothing seemed to be working.  Every other time he's cried (which really isn't that often), we've been able to easily settle him down.  This time felt different.  Then it struck me.


He's gonna puke.  He has what JD had.  This is what our other kids did when they were younger -- a fit of crying then, here it comes...

So I went into the bathroom and sat on the edge of the bathtub.  Payton came in and asked what was wrong.  I told her I didn't know.  I then offered a bath to him.  He loves baths.  I thought it might be soothing and if nothing else perhaps it would distract him.

Finally, it occurred to me that maybe this was it.  Maybe this was his first overwhelming moment of heartbreak and despair.  Maybe he'd had a dream about his nanny or his homeland or his friends.  And when he woke up and realized where he was, he was just overcome with the pain of his loss.  I thought, 'Wow.  Is this how it goes sometimes?  I month home and now?'

The bath worked.  He never got sick.  Payton had him giggling within just a few minutes.

About ten minutes after I got him out of his bath, I noticed what looked like a bug bite under his right eye.  It swelled up his eye a little and looked a bit like a shiner.  Later that night or the next morning, the bite was kind of inflamed.  (Gross, I know).  And that night when JD tucked him in, he cried and cried.  JD inspected his bed, nothing.  JD and I figure he was bitten by something.  Poor baby.  That little bite lingered.  It's just now clearing up and that happened on Monday or Tuesday!  But I think that may've been what upset him so.  But this first-time-adoptive-mom hasn't a clue!  Perhaps a meltdown at the month mark is a normal?  Who knows...

~~~~~~

The other day, Avery taught James how to hug.  Now he lays his head on your shoulder and pats his hand on your back.  Priceless.  Now he's doling out kisses and hugs.

~~~~~~

Below is a video of some sweetness today...

Brooks was gargling his water and James liked the sound.  Then James took a sip and immediately cocked his head back and gargled too!  So sweet!  He doesn't miss a beat.  Then he decided to yell for Payton (who was next door).  Do you hear his little 'Pay-ton!' call?  And then she answers back and he peers for her!

video

By the way, in his mind and heart, she ranks up there with us.  His parents.  She is not secondary to us, but very much primary in his life.  It is something to see.  Yesterday, while he was napping, she and I were sitting on the couch.  It was quiet and she says very quietly to me, 'Life is so boring when James is napping.'  I said, 'Really, P?' thinking she'd enjoy some time to herself and some peace and quiet while he naps knowing he'll be up soon enough (typical parental perspective, right?).  I then asked her, 'So is having him here everything you thought it would be?'  She says, 'No.'

I'm thinking, 'Uh-oh.'  Then she says...

'It's more.'

Rip a mother's heart from her chest, would you please?

~~~~~~

And the final video and story.  I really don't have to set this up much, but say that our boy's English is coming along!  So fun to witness! 

video

Friday, April 13, 2012

easter

Phew...where did this week go?!

Thankfully, Easter made a great come back!

The morning was rough in that it's never fun to have a loved one sick in bed, but we rallied.  Well, JD rallied.  Actually, I rallied too because I was sad Sunday morning as the kids and I watched 'Hop' when we would've been at church.  I really wanted to be there.  But this is life, isn't it?  Unplanned.  Unexpected.  Unseen sometimes.

So we headed to the lake for the family gathering we'd planned for weeks.

It was restorative to be there with everyone.

My aunt, uncle, and cousins came.  My brother's family was there, of course.  It was so nice to all be together.  We had a lovely meal (that poor JD couldn't partake of).  He finally felt like he could eat at about 6 PM on Sunday.  And by Monday morning, he was himself and off to work!  A true 24-hour bug.

We even got a boat ride in which is always a treat!  The weather was perfection.  We wrapped up the day by watching 'War Horse' together.

These are some of our most favorite things in life.  Truly.  Being at my parents', the serenity of the lake, sitting outside on the deck on a beautiful day, going for a boat ride (maybe tearing up the dance floor a bit...see video below), sharing a meal, bonfires, maybe curling up to a movie, just being together.

Counting our blessings.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Isn't it funny the wrangling that has to occur to get a decent photo when children are involvedt!? 
(JD was moving at a slower pace and hadn't arrived yet).

What's the formula?  One good photo for every ten taken?  Thought you'd get a laugh out of these... 







These sure are some cuties, aren't they!  The photo's so much sweeter without me in it.  Seriously.



Love the sight of these Easter cookies my aunt brought.  Beautiful.


James' first egg hunt!  Excuse my screaming...I couldn't help myself.  :)  He was so cute dropping the eggs in the bucket.  

video

video

The joy of children!  What would I do without it?

video

And finally a family shot.


James continues to do well.  I have sweet stories to share all around.  Just not enough hours in the day!  

Love to all!






Sunday, April 8, 2012

favorite photos

As we've looked back over our photos and videos from China, certain photos jump out at me.

That's one of my favorites.


So is that one.


Ohh, so is that one!

So, I thought I'd throw some on here so you guys can see into our trip a little more.  Now that it's over (and the difficulty of it is over, too), I can enjoy the memories and photos even more.

This was in the Tokyo airport.  When we were in China (as I'm sure y'all were aware too), Japan acknowledged the year mark since the devastating earthquake and tsunami.  It was all over CNN while we were there.  And CNN, Nat Geo and Discovery Channel were the only English channels we had, so we watched a lot of reflective programs around that horrible natural disaster.   

Hong Kong airport the morning of 'Gotcha Day.'  We were getting ready to catch our flight to Fuzhou and got James that afternoon.  JD and me 'before James.'

Full circle.  
Back at the Hong Kong airport (even the same restaurant & table!).
We're getting ready to catch our flight back to the States!

  
JD and me with James!

In Fuzhou.  Crib's all set and ready to go!

All we need is James.

At the restaurant at the hotel.  This is around 1:00 PM; we got James at 4:00.  We were just waiting.  These two little girls walked up...I think they were enthralled with Payton.  


Or maybe it was the Cokes!  We drank more Coke than I care to admit because we weren't drinking the water and they didn't sell bottled water -- and they wouldn't let us bring our own bottled water into the restaurant.

Our very first moments with James.

 We look at his expression now and can see fear.

He's just not sure.  We were just so glad he wasn't crying!

Sadly, one of our favorite meals at the Lakeside Hotel!  

This was the first time James let go and relaxed into me.  I hugged him and then when I let go he stayed near.  I was in heaven.

I still crave this broccoli.  In fact, the sight of this photo makes my mouth water!

These bronze characters reminded us of Tennessee (more specifically the Jack Daniel's Distillery and Lynchburg), so JD had to do a little knee smacking.

This little cutie was hanging out at her parents' store on the Island.  We had to get a photo of her cuteness -- and her 'traditional dress' in that she is so, so bundled and it was about 55 degrees that day.  It's no wonder that we heard over and over again that the adoptive children have very little muscle tone and strength to stand, crawl, and walk.  

One of the many stores on the Island.

Guangzhou is known for its wedding dresses, so we saw models everyday on the Island being photographed.  It was neat.

How 'bout the yellow shoes?  Pretty cool.

This 'chair' was in the lobby of our hotel in Hong Kong.  This is the morning that we left for home! 

And my favorite photos of all!  We're home!

And we're together again!











best laid plans

Sometimes things don't always go according to plan.

The outfits were picked out and laid out last night.

Getting to church this morning was going to be a solo act, so I had to have all my ducks in a row.  JD was to help out at the sunrise service (7 o'clock) and the 8:30 service.  We were to meet up at the 10 o'clock.

I was looking forward to it.  A time to stop and reflect.  Stopping has been tough lately.  Reflecting too, really.

But sometimes we have to flex for each other.  And I was happy to do it for my poor hubby.  Turns out he was up in the night sick.  I hadn't a clue.  

Poor guy.  He's still in bed.

I know that being in church on Easter Sunday doesn't prove (or disprove) one's faith.  In fact, being here at home (watching 'Hop' with the kids!) is just fine.  I'm glad JD's getting lots of rest.  That's what he needs this morning. 

Now, let's hope that nasty bug doesn't spread through the Beam Team, one at a time.  Oye.  We've been there before and it. is. ugly.

Thank You, Jesus.  I don't know what I'd do without You and the hope Your resurrection brings.

Happy Easter, everyone!   

 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

big decisions

Phew.

Our appointment with the orthopedic surgeon was good in that it gave us a start into figuring out what's going on with James and what needs to be done.

Now the question becomes, 'What needs to be done?'

Ya know, what actually needs to be addressed?

Because, frankly, for us, not everything that James has going on needs to be addressed.  He is who he is.  Yet, as his parents, we want to figure out if there are things we should address for his future to be as bright as possible.  We want him to have as much independence as possible because we believe a person's ability to be independent in life can directly correlate with the joy, peace and sense of purpose that person has.  So, our goal for James is that he will be independent and able to search (and find!) what God has for him.

Let's get to the knitty gritty.

James' arm/hand remains a bit of a mystery.  The doctor thought she felt an elbow, but then his x-rays didn't show a joint there.  Just an upper arm bone to two finger bones.  Big question marks, I know.  However, she did mention that it's possible for their to be a cartilage joint there (as is often the case with young children) that wouldn't show up on x-ray, but would show up on an MRI.  But there's no rush to get an MRI done on his arm right now.  We're going to start some occupational therapy and see what can be accomplished that way first.  He really can't manipulate things with his fingers.  He can't pinch and he can't bend or wrap his longer finger around things like a pencil, crayon or utensil.  OT could be pretty cool.

Now to James' legs.

So we've learned that James is missing the fibula in his right leg.  He doesn't actually have a club foot as was suspected.  Apparently the top of the fibula contributes to the knee and the bottom of the fibula contributes to the ankle explaining why his knee and ankle don't function right and why his foot turns in.  He cannot flex his ankle into a 90 degree position allowing him to plant his foot flat on the floor.  In addition to this, his right leg is a couple of inches shorter than his left.  The doctor was able to project his current measurements to maturity (approximately 18 years of age) and said she expects the discrepancy in the lengths of his legs to be about 6" by that time.  That's pretty drastic.

What does all this mean?

Bone lengthening?  Maybe.

Reconstructive surgeries?  Maybe.

Amputation?  Uh, very unlikely in our book.

Believe it or not, amputation of his leg was mentioned as one of the two approaches to situations like his.   And what may be even more surprising is that we were completely calm and at peace throughout the entire conversation with the doctor.  God was in that very room with us.  He allowed us to have this difficult conversation around James' options without falling apart or doubting or questioning.  Just listening.

She explained that situations like these are extremely rare.  She didn't recommend a single surgeon in our area.  Or in our state, for that matter.  In fact, not even the surrounding states!  She didn't even recommend herself!

She mentioned the amputation route because she says the surgery/bone lengthening route could be a life-long process for James.  But what we pointed out to her immediately is that James uses his feet like hands.  And he doesn't have hands!  So taking away one of his feet could be devastating.

I asked her point-blank what she would do if this were her child.

She said gently, 'I would go the amputation route.'

That stung a little.  I was surprised.

But this is the coolest thing...

The next day (Wednesday afternoon), the phone rings and it's her.  She says that she's been thinking a lot about James and our meeting the day before.  She says she knows she mentioned that amputation is often a consideration in cases where the limb has a pretty serious deformity.  She says she knows she even said she'd choose that option if it were her own child.  She then explains that after further thinking she realized that wasn't true.  She said because James does not have upper extremities amputation really isn't a great option for him.

Wanna know what I love?

I love that James sticks with people.

I love that when you meet him, he's with you.

(Remember what I said in the last post about how God doesn't make mistakes?)

I love that her advice didn't sit well with her.

I love that she was willing to call us and admit that.

Now that's a great doctor.  No, that's a great person.  I'm grateful to know she has that capacity.

I also asked her what the future looks like (in her opinion) for James if we choose to do nothing.  Will he be a wheelchair user for life?  She said she thinks so because he doesn't have arms to use crutches and the difference in the lengths of his legs would be so great that he wouldn't be able to walk.

Y'all.

Never in my life have I felt for one second at peace about the idea of having a child who is confined to a wheelchair for life.

Until now.  


Only God.

Only the equipping power of the Holy Spirit.

Only the redemptive love of Jesus Christ.

I don't know what else to say.

We love this boy more every day.










Tuesday, April 3, 2012

let the information gathering begin!

We had the first of what could be hundreds of appointments for James today.  We met with an orthopedic surgeon.  She was great!  We learned that our James is even more unique and special than we originally thought!  And I don't say that lightly.  Because with each day something happens that makes me love him even more and this appointment did that for me.

There was a lot discussed that I don't have the energy to get into right now.  I will soon, though.  It's just that my bed and book are calling.  And tomorrow is a new day!

As I head off to bed, I am so very thankful to have this scripture in my heart because I know it will be one that we'll lean on for years to come, I'm sure.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.  I know that full well.   Psalm 139:14


I can hear God saying these words to our sweet James:

James, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  My works are wonderful.  Please know that full well.  In other words, I make no mistakes.  Therefore, I made no mistakes when I made you, son.


Nighty-night!



Sunday, April 1, 2012

livin' large

I've heard people say it, but I didn't know if I'd feel it.  


Oh, I feel it alright.


It's starting to feel like James has always been part of the Beam Team.  


I mean, how could it not?  Would you look at that sweet smile?  Dude can work some shades.


And this car for him to cruise around in was such a great gift!  Thanks, Angela!


It's probably his favorite ride.


And he always has a team of pushers fighting over pushing waiting to push him.



Here's a pusher now -- after a few frozen blueberries.


And another pusher.  Can you tell it's smoothie season again?

Life is so good.  I see miracles all around.  Sitting in church this morning with James in our laps and dear friends by our side who have been through one of the most trying times one can imagine and have been truly given a miracle was just incredible.  I don't know.  There are seasons like the one we're in.  Seasons of light and victory.  Seasons of darkness and struggle.  We've been in both.  But this is awesome.  

The mere fact that James hasn't had a single issue to indicate distress is a miracle in and of itself.  

No sleeplessness.  In fact, now he doesn't even cry anymore when we lay him down and walk out of the room.  He just lays there waving at us saying, 'Ni-night!'  Mmm-mm-mm.

No loss of appetite.  Everyone who sees this boy eat comments on his appetite.  We're in trouble when Brooks and Jackson are 17 and James is 15.  

No crying.  I mean, he cries, sure.  But he doesn't cry like I've heard some adoptive children can do in the beginning.  He's so darn happy.  I just don't know what to do with his happiness sometimes.

No constipation or other physiological issues.

There have been a lot of people praying for this young man for a very long time.  I just want y'all to know that the prayers are being answered!  

We are feeling some kind of grateful. 



 

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