Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Over a year

It's been too long since I've blogged.  Goes to show you how busy we've been and, if you know me, I'm not much to talk especially when it's not "pure, lovely and of a good report."  I won't lie to you, or sugar coat it, this past year has been a tough one, but most of the kids are doing amazing! 

Leza and Nico are growing and learning by leaps and bounds.  Nico is signing up a storm and doing his best to verbalize.  He does say "Momma" quite often which just blesses my heart! Leza can eat and walk, even up stairs, like a pro!  Emily knocks the socks of anyone who encounters here with her gifted intelligence and super strength.  Misha is an amazing little trooper having just gone through major surgery on his feet, six weeks of casting and now two more (yes, the doc said two instead of four!), and he's done it (mostly) with a smile and his usual animated self!  Flora has become a precious little lady who is loving and kind and gentle and ever willing to be the big sister helping Mommy and Daddy with "the babies".  Gavin has grown to the size of a 7/8 year old.  Sometimes I have to remind myself he's just five!  Ian, what can I say, he's precious and loving and just warms my heart every time he says "Mommy, I love you."  <sigh> And then there's Lyra . . .

Lyra came home with some behaviors that broke our hearts.  When one lives in an orphanage for fifteen years, one learns things that are not appropriate amongst civilized folks.  We've had to regroup on many of the things we initially thought would be good for her and go in the complete opposite direction.  Like putting her in the room with her sisters and putting her in public school.  Both were a disaster.  She now has a room completely away from the kids, closest to our room so we can be more aware of her whereabouts.  She is also being homeschooled because her extreme attention getting behaviors and being easily distracted kept her from learning.  Since being homeschooled, which stated about two weeks ago, she is beginning to read! Something the school did not think she was ready to do. She is isolated from the triplets (Ian, Misha and Emily) during the day, left alone with her lessons which are mostly online or videoed, but monitored to keep her on task, and she's doing well.  She has learned many new, more appropriate behaviors, like how to hold an eating utensil, how to use proper table manners, how to be completely independent with her personal hygiene, how to pick out clothing that matches, and how to appropriately interact with an acquaintance or stranger.  That last one was HUGE especially since she is a pretty, friendly smiley girl.  She's in counseling to help heal her traumatic past so that it will not continue to try to repeat itself.  It's gonna take awhile, but it took awhile for all this to come about too.  She's learning what unconditional love is and how to really love in return.  She's learning that next to God, family is MOST important and one should be loyal to their family.  Keeping her home is emphasizing where that love, direction, and training should come from first.  Like I said, it's not been easy, but we are seeing progress. 

I felt like I needed to updated my kids' fans, you know who you are, and let you know how they are doing.  We really are doing fine, and with much prayer for wisdom we are making steps to do what's best for all of the kids.  We love our life and as we go through everything we have to, we grow together and become a much tighter knit family. 

Thank you all for your continued prayers!  We really appreciate them. 

Jode, Kelley and kids

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Janelle 3

Hi all, let me tell you about a precious one known as "Janelle". 

She was born in 2007 with CP and struggles some with epilepsy. She is not able to walk on her own, but would be such a blessing to any family.  She will remain bed/chair-ridden for life if she is not adopted.

Her medical records says she has microcephaly, Spastic tetraparesis (CP), steady movement violation, Episyndrome and Strabismus. She is a tiny, frail little thing and her caregivers are very concerned about her lack of growth.

She has reddish brown hair and eyes to match with pale skin. Although weak, she is alert and watches what goes on around her.

She is in desperate need of a Mommy and Daddy who can give her love and get her the medical care she so desperately needs. 

In her country parents must be married to adopt.  She is available to older couples and those with large families. 

Janelle has a grant of over $9000 through Reece's Rainbow to help with her adoption.  If interested in finding out more about her, please contact me or Reece's Rainbow through the link above. 

If you are not contemplating adoption at this time, please share her, pray for her and donate to her grant.  We may not be able to change the world, but as advocates for God's most precious ones, we can change the world for that one!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Emi and Misha - prayers please

Tomorrow morning Emi and Misha have an appointment with the ortho peds surgeon.  Misha is supposed to begin casting for his clubbed feet.  He's going to be a bit miffed since he's so active. I'm happy that nothing invasive should need to be done.  Emily is to be assessed by the surgeon to see what can be done to help her. 

Emily, who came home under the diagnosis of Arthrogryposis, actually has Sacral Agenesis. This means that part of her spine, the sacrum, is completely missing.  It causes her hip bones to rest upon one another, rather than the sacrum, and her hips are dislocated meaning the top of her legs are not in the hip sockets.  Her knees are also stiff and her feet are clubbed.  When we saw the ortho pediatrician we were not given much hope of fixing her feet, knees or hips.  He said her hips would probably just slip back out of the sockets.  If her knees were released so that they bend and then they became stiff in the bent position, she would not be able to walk.  If they do not release her knees so that they bend, they cannot cast her feet to fix the clubbing since the cast/legs have to be in the bent knee position to cast the feet correctly. 

If you're reading all this and your heart just skipped a beat, imagine how I felt while holding these two precious bundles when the doc told me all of this.  I was devastated.  My heart broke for her and what could be her future.  I cried then and many times over the few days after we got this diagnosis. But it's been a couple weeks now and each day she continues to be such a joy.  They all are.  God has blessed us with some amazing children.  Did I mention that Emily is already talking in three word sentences in English!  She's amazing.  The appointment tomorrow will be a consult.  We will then take this information to Shriners to get their opinion.  We have an appointment with them February 20th. 

I've said all that to say this, please pray for us/them through all this.  I believe God has amazing things in store of our kids, all of them, no matter how that presents itself. 


Sunday, January 4, 2015

This One

Many of you remember her as "Aubree" from the Reece's Rainbow website.  We fondly call her Lyra which means music, and if you know our family, you know that her name is very appropriate.

When we first began to pray about adopting Lyra, all we knew was she had a diagnosis of Arthrogryposis and "moderate mental delays"; however, a video we saw of her made us wonder if there wasn't something more going on.  She seemed to have some spasticity in her limbs and difficulty talking especially when excited.  We were also privileged to see a videoed interview of her asking about what she wanted in a family, what her likes and dislikes where, her favorite color etc.  In this interview, the interpreter, someone who knows and loves her, said she was much smarter than her speech would indicate.  Since brining her home, we agree.

Lyra has been learning very quickly and although she still has a difficult time articulating her words, she is picking up English quickly as well as American Sign Language.  The later she uses when she's unable to get a word out, like "thirsty".  Although she never had the privilege of going to school until she came home, she loves school, participates well and is picking up everything very quickly.  Unfortunately though her lack of education, special needs and that she is already 15 makes the possibility of her catching up to her peers bleak.  However! It can be done.

Lyra has until the age of 21 to graduate with a diploma from the public school system.  That gives her 6.5 years to complete 13 years of schooling.  We have decided that this year she will stay in the special needs class and we will work on language immersion and early education.  Next year it is our goal to mainstream her in a classroom of her peers.  Somehow, someway, we can do this.  Right now her education plan states she will receive a "certificate" which means she would not graduate, and then go on to classes for adults with special needs.  Jode and I feel she is able to graduate, given the chance, and go on to college.  She deserves this opportunity. 

So wherever you are around the world reading this blog, please say a pray for her, and us, and all those in the education system who will rally behind her to make this happen.  We know she has a "long row to hoe" as we say here in the South, but we serve a Mighty God for whom nothing is impossible. 

Thank you for your prayers!
Lyra's parents