Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lots of news to share!

Wow, it has been a while... I don't even know where to start!
*After writing the post* This is really long... I guess I was feeling "blog chatty" tonight!

Thank all of you that have been praying for Sarah and Jack! We are praising God that after a very scary time in the ICU Jack is still alive and doing quite well actually (this is from the last post I read, I know things can change in a second). We are praising God for the great family time they have been having. They have a long journey filled with unanswerable questions ahead of them, so please continue to pray for them and check their website for updates ( We are thankful that God does have all of the answers and continue to pray that through the hard days and decisions they would rely on Him.

We have heard news of some families passing court while in Ethiopia! This is amazing. I was very excited to hear that one special little baby (tiny little T for my family who has seen the DVD's of our trip) passed court. He is so sick and really needs to come home soon! The future of time frames in ET adoptions is still quite up in the air and in need of prayer, but we rejoice with families who have received good news!

Our sweet boy continues to melt my heart with is charm and smile. I can't believe he has been home over 3 months and is now 20 months old... two good things to post about that came and went. I guess it is a good thing I keep a little book to record things as they happen because counting on the blog to record all events would not work.

Chiropractors, Dairy, and Soy OH MY!

(yes, this is a post within a post haha)

Last Tuesday we did end up taking him to a chiropractor for the first time. I admit, I was so nervous at first since he is such a little guy, but after MANY recommendations and prayers we felt it was the right thing to do. Dr. D is great. She is super gentle and great with kids. M's neck, mid-back, and pelvis (I think) we quite out of place at first. He has now gone 3 times, and last time she didn't even have to do anything with the mid-back as it stayed in place perfectly. We are now going to go for a week without treatment so we will see how that goes.

We talked a lot with Dr. D about the congestion issue. A huge part of M's lack of sleep (I think) is due to congestion. I can't imagine having a stuffed head every.single.night! After describing things to her she said to take him off dairy. Now, I will admit she isn't the first person to suggest this and my gut has told me to do it long ago. If you remember from a previous post we were given a GREAT supply of breast milk and I wanted with all my heart to continue to give it to our son until it was gone. Well, we almost made it. We have about a 2 week supply in the freezer.

Anyway, back to the story... Our lack of sleep drove us to take him off of his beloved dairy for 6 weeks. We decided that we can easily put him back on if we don't notice any changes and the milk will be just fine in the freezer.

Last Wednesday was his first day off of dairy. He ate a breakfast much like I eat and everything went down well. Then came bottle time. I decided to try him on almond milk since that is what I use and I believe it has the most nutrients. Well my dear son had other plans! M hated the almond milk and refused to drink it despite my many attempts. He took a morning nap but was so thirsty when he woke up. He did drink about an ounce of water but that was it. He was crying and saying "bu-tee" (bottle) over and over again and I knew we were in trouble. By 11:00 he was miserable and I had to call Brandon to come home for a few minutes so I could run to the store and get some other milk alternatives. I came home with soy, coconut, and rice milk. We opened the rice and HE DRANK IT! YAHOO!!! We were praising all praising God!

We noticed one huge change almost immediately... his stinky diapers were no longer stinky. We were amazed. This little man can have some nasty diapers and there was NO SMELL to them. In all my years of diaper changing M holds the record for the most foul scent and now the least scent. If I had been blindfolded I would have thought his diapers were just wet! This was all very exciting and lasted a day! Then we had to break open the coconut milk. The diapers got stinkier and he seemed more congested too. It is important to note that he had a cold at this time so we couldn't and still can't totally evaluate the congestion. Anyway, we ran out of coconut yesterday and started trying soy. He liked it well enough last night at bedtime, but this morning he wasn't happy. He was crying as he was going poo and then he had a foul smelling awful diaper... super nasty... tmi I know! The only different thing in his diet was the soy milk and the only strange ingredient was the soy. So there you have it, our son is not a soy man... for sure!

I cracked open the new rice milk I had purchased locally for almost FOUR dollars for 32oz! I poured it in a bottle and gave it to him this morning. I the proceeded to read on the box that the rice milk contains soy! SERIOUSLY??? What?? OK, rice milk is not the tastiest thing around and has very little nutrition. I would guess that most people who drink it are allergic to something and are using it as an alternative. Why would they put a common allergen in another kind of milk? I was so frustrated! This also meant that my still semi-cocooning son had no milk he could drink in our home.

We decided to head over to Trader Joes and see what we could find for M. He did so well on the drive which trilled this momma! It is 30 minutes each way. Our families live 7.5 driving hours from here so any successful car trip gets my excited!

We arrived at Trader Joes and found the milk wall. I asked a worker if we could open a rice milk to try and we would buy the milk, but I didn't want to buy lots of milk without trying any first. She said that we couldn't buy it, but she would open whatever one we wanted to try and pour us some and see if M liked it! We did and he did! YAHOO for Trader Joes! It was amazing of them to do this! The milk at Trader Joes is SO much cheaper than local prices. I was shocked that the 64oz box was 3.00. Yes that means that each big box at Trader Joes was FIVE DOLLARS cheaper than the same amount purchased locally. With all the rice milk I bought, plus my almond milk, and the canned coconut milk for cooking I figure I saved over SEVENTY dollars from what I would pay here. So, no matter how high the gas prices get, this family will be heading to Trader Joes often!

I gave M the rice milk this afternoon and amazingly by tonight his stinky diaper was again not stinky. I am seriously in shock!

Sleep is overall going better. I shudder to write this as it seems any time I make such a statement we take a really bad turn. M has been sleeping longer and better and has had a few really good nights. He had also had a couple of really bad nights. Monday night he was up from 1-4:00am talking, walking in bed and appearing wide awake. Oh those nights are hard. Dr. D said that M's early wake up pattern is called "larking" and it means that while he appears awake he is actually quite sleep deprived. We are no longer trying to wean him off of the morning nap. We are now trying to force him to take an am and pm nap every day. We are not always successful, but when we are he sleeps better at night. For him, the more he sleeps during the day the more he sleeps at night.

Other updates: He is jabbering all the time. He is saying many words and it talking all the time in his own language. He still loves to sing and dance and show off for anyone who cares to watch. He loves to praise the Lord!!!! At church, when the music starts the hands go up. He also raises his hands in praise to the Lord while listening to music at home. It is interesting when he does it too. At home when he hears the line "thank you for the cross" his hands go in the air. I am washing dishes and not trying to get him to do it at all, it is just him and Jesus! SO BEAUTIFUL! He LOVES the "Just One Prayer" Easter CD that we made back in 2004 at Salem! Way to go Andy K for producing a CD that 8 years later would minister to me and to M several times a day!

There is SO MUCH more to share, but this is already so long that I have most likely lost all readers but family by this point :) We thank you for every prayer you pray for our sleep and for wisdom on what to do. We can feel your prayers and they are sustaining us on the late nights and M as well! The joy and laughter he has the very few days when he has great sleep is such a reward. I wish his little body understood the reason for that wonderful feeling!

Parenthood is filled with opportunities for surrender! I am so thankful that God is in control and I have the opportunity to invite Jesus into every situation I encounter. Our Lifegroup book continues to minister to me and has really given me a fresh heart for the Gospel and for the Word! We are about to embark on a very busy time in the church year. Through all the late nights and early mornings we remember that the reason for it all is reflecting and celebrating. We are so excited to do these with our church family!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Life as a 20 month old

"What can I say, I love to eat!"

"I could tell how much mommy wanted to get this picture so I pretended to sleep as well as I could!"

"See Great Grandma (and other baseball loving family members) I am ready for the season!"

"This is why I love to eat! Mommy makes all these tasty foods in a loud machine (blender) and then we pour them in the toys with all the boxes (ice-cube trays) and then we freeze them and put them in sacks. It is so colorful and saves us lots of money which is really important :) "

"Mommy likes this photo because she got this shirt with I was in Ethiopia and this is the first time she wore in when I was home. I like this photo because I am cute as usual."

"Yes Folks... I am TWENTY MONTHS OLD!"

"Mommy found this shirt just in time for me to wear it one time. I am not sure if I will go to TEDS (read the shirt) because it sounds a lot like teddy bear and I am not really sure of them right now, but I am glad daddy went to Trinity!"

"Daddy decided to roll up my pants so I wouldn't fall. He turned them into shorts. I really like showing a little leg so it was great with me. Mommy rolled her eyes and said that daddy should take a picture for the blog. I don't know why."

"Mommy wants all of you to know that she will post more soon about what is going on at our house. I am sure it won't be as interesting as my blog posts, but you should read it anyway."

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sometimes life is HARD!

I am blogging today with a heavy heart. I have three hard things to talk about, to ask prayer for, to share with you dear friends.

The first has to deal with our amazing friends Sarah and Jack Keller. You may recognize their names from our referral story. If you don't go over to the side bar and click on "referral story" so you can be reminded of this AMAZING couple and the blessing that they have been to us. After that head over to their new website and read "Jack's Story" then if you have time watch the video as well. Once you have learned all he has gone through head over to the blog. Only 2 entries will appear so you need to scroll back to get the full story. If you don't have time to do any of this, here is the short version. Jack is in deep need of your prayers as he is fighting as ugly cancer battle. This family is SO SPECIAL to us that my heart aches so deeply and I would ask you to commit to praying for great miracles for this family!

Whew... that was hard! Is there really more? Yes!

The second thing has to deal with adoptions in Ethiopia. If you are part of the adoption community this is no surprise to you, in fact, it is old news. Things in ET with adoptions are moving VERY slowly right now. Our hearts are sad as we think of people right behind us that are suddenly stuck and waiting. Our hearts break for the children waiting for their families. I could say a lot more about this, but it is better to read the blogs of those who are on the front lines, waiting for calls. Many of the families in my blog roll on the side fit into that category. They are so strong, so brave, so patient, and so tired and weary. Margaret, Heather, Tyra, Rebecca, Carrie, Kimberly, Kim, and Wendy are all bloggers I follow who are waiting. They represent just a small group of my waiting friends! My dear sisters and brothers, we are praying your children home every day! Please join me in praying for their sweet children to come home SOON!!!

I know... I should just stop here, but this one is personal and important!

Our sweet son has not been sleeping well lately. In fact the last 3 nights have been the WORST nights of sleep he has had. He is very clingy during the day and then wakes up about every 30 minutes at night with loud cries of fear and in deep need of comfort. Sometimes it takes him an hour to fall back to sleep and then he wakes up again minutes later. I am of course totally weary, but poor M is just so tired that he sometimes just throws himself on the ground (while playing) to cry. He has circles under his eyes. I know the families in the paragraph above would be hurt to think I was complaining about the blessing they long for. Honestly, it would be easy to do that as it is hard to do anything when my son is never sleeping and I am running on a few hours of sleep a night, but I am not writing this to vent or complain (must be because of my recent bean brownie and coffee consumption) but to ask you to pray for our dear son. He NEEDS sleep to function well from day to day, but more importantly to grow. He is sometimes getting half the recommended daily amount of sleep. I know that for a little one like him sleep is almost as important as food.

The CHANGE... Back into the cocoon we go!
We have been doing lots of playdates, taking M everywhere we go, trips to the store, church etc. Well, that is going to change. We think we may have over stimulated him in a huge way and are going to try to go back to the basics... LOTS of time at home with momma, and see if that can help him to feel more secure, to start sleeping for longer periods of time, to be more ready to come out of the cocoon a strong butterfly. My heart has just been so heavy as a mom as I think about what happens to actual butterflies who come out of the cocoon to early. I pray that this will not be the case for our son, but that we can redeem the time and learn from our mistakes.

I am so sorry for all those of you we REALLY WANT to have play dates with. I love play dates. I love seeing dear friends interact with my son (Just had to take a break to soothe my crying son...) but it can't happen for a while. You can ask me more personally, but basically the rules that were in place when we first came home are back into place for the most part. When we see signs of improvement we will let you all know. Again, it is very hard on me to do this, (in every way because socially it isn't fun to be cooped up alone either) but a hardship for a while is worth it for the attachment of my son! Please pray that God will give us His wisdom on this issue, and if our son's tears and fears are something else besides attachment that we will be wise to them quickly so that he will not have to endure un-needed pain of any sort.

Thank you dear friends for battling with us in these areas. We know the battle is real and we claim victory in Jesus' name!!!!