Friday, December 30, 2011

Update on Luke's Heart!

Right before Christmas we took Luke into the Pediatric Cardiologist.
The appt went well and he did so good!
They did an ultrasound of his heart!
He laid their for over an hour- what a hero! Thank goodness I had some left over crackers from China in my purse! That helped him through the last half hour!

Luke has a very confusing heart!
It is on the wrong side of his body, it is in a slightly contorted position and was repaired in Israel 18 months ago.

While they were looking at it they said words like awesome repair and beautiful job!
In a nutshell he has everything he needs now- 2 atriums, 2 ventricles and all the vessels go to the right place!
18 months ago this little boy had life saving surgery- a blessing from our heavenly father!
It was not an easy surgery , even the Physicians in Israel questioned if they could do it.
BUT GOD could and so many people all over the world were praying and fasting for this sweet boy!

5 months earlier I had heard God speak. Out of the blue I heard "He is your son" as I was looking at Morningstar Foster home site and saw a picture of Luke.

I remember being very nervous and praying and fasting throughout the day of his surgery and throughout his recovery.
It truly amazes me that he is home now!
God is so awe inspiring!

There are a few things we need to watch AND their may be an upcoming surgery we are not sure- more tests need to be done.
Luke has two leaky valves which are not concerning at this point. His oxygen level runs at 96%- 99%.
His heart makes a hippity hop and a gallop sound!
He has an atrial rhythm, not a sinus rhythm like most people.

He does have a minor blockage where the pulmonary arteries go to the atrium of the heart.
That is the most concerning issue right now...

He will have a CAT scan and maybe a few other tests on January 10th.

They also had him wear a 24 hour monitor so they could see what his heart is doing throughout the day. We know he skips beats, so they want to see if there is a pattern or a reason.

He was so cute with this on!
He didn't complain or pull it off!
BUT of course it made his pants fall down!
He has the tiniest BUTT and his pants are always falling down! Sometimes even the diaper falls down!

So instead of wearing it on the back of his pants...

He carried it in his hand... for a whole 24 hours!
Yes, he is 3 and he did take out every puzzle we own!
It's okay, it turned into puzzle time for everyone else!

He held it or it was on the ground!
Hey, whatever works! 

All the kids were excited to see a bit of snow!
It didn't stay long BUT still it was exciting!
And yes, we gave up on the pants issue!

Hey, Like I said! ya do what ya gotta do!

Sam, Is just realizing that Luke has HIS toys!

Oh ya! I forgot I have to share!
It's okay, he's my brother!
(and my sister, and my sister and my sister!)

At this point... Luke is figuring out the sharing thing!
Really? Do I have too?
Okay, Okay!

This kid can almost do the splits! Future gymnast!
We were very happy to have our 24 hours over and be able to take all of this off our little guy!

We're jumping to Christmas eve night!
While in China we bought a chinese brand DVD player so everyone at home could enjoy some of their favorite Chinese cartoons!

They were all thrilled!
They are watching the happy goat and wolf show!
We call it Mei Ya Ya but I think we are wrong since every time we say it the "masses" correct us!
Masses meaning ALL the children!

Auntie Barbie came with some gifts for the children!

They all obviously opened at once!
Everyone enjoyed the chaos!

And... here are my littles!
such wonderful blessings!
3, 5, 5, 6 and 5!

Once again!
 Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Miracle on Ferndale Road!

I thought it would be impossible!
It was more than my brain could take in and to overwhelming to figure out!
So I left it to God and I warned all the  children at home.

Christmas just wasn't going to be the same this year.
We were just coming home with two needy children. Both have serious health and dental needs.
Jet lag tends to do me in and I only run at half strength for awhile until we readjust to the time change.

We had no gifts, no groceries and I knew on top of jet lag we would be at Dr Appts- some of them lasting half a day.

He knew how we were going to do it!
He knew the plan way before I did!
And FYI- it was a great plan!

(In another post, I will fill you in about Luke's Dr appt.)

It was Thursday and Luke and I had his appt. in the morning.
God somehow gave me a little extra energy and once we were home a big brother offered to babysit this large crew!

I woke up in the middle of the night (the night before) and devised a plan. I was so certain about it that I am figuring God placed it in my heart! In fact after coming up with it I peacefully fell back asleep!

So with Mark watching the kids, I ran to the store! In just two separate stores I was able to get all the gifts for our family. Not too much but just enough to make it fun!

Friday I wrapped everything and tried to pic up the house in the midst of large family chaos.
(I was also starting to feel sick- the usual upper respiratory crud that I get with jet lag)

The next morning- Saturday, Christmas Eve we woke up to Luke having a fever of 101 degrees. He previously had a cough but I was thinking it was getting better. I was wrong. So I took Him to the Dr! Yes, our pediatrician had Saturday hours! I grabbed Emma, too. We had to do something about the itching and scabs all over the trunk of her body.

I wasn't sure what was going to become of this visit? Maybe no answers, maybe Luke was in distress- I didn't know BUT it just so happened one of our favorite Pediatricians were there- from when our big kids were little. He put Luke on Amoxicillin and Pulmacort nebs - a nice hefty dose and I'll jump ahead and say, we haven't seen any symptoms of anything other than a lively happy healthy little boy since we started the meds and nebs- Yay God!! And thank you Dr K!!

He also took Emma's situation seriously and put her on antihistamines at night and creams during the day and night! He does not think it is scabies but more of a nervous nighttime ritual for her, along with the fact she may have a minor infection in her body and her bodies response is to give an allergic reaction- such as itchy skin.

Hubby and I are a tag team so once I got home with the two kids and with the new meds, Hubby went to the grocery store for the holiday food!
At that point I excused myself from church- there was just too much happening and after all we had no idea how Luke would feel in the afternoon.
We intended to send just the big kids but 3:00 rolled around and God gave us a burst of energy- we got all the little kids ready, Luke was doing great and we ALL made it to 4:00 church- 
I was truly shocked we were all there!!

Although things are going very well I want to put it in to perspective.
During the service I ask Hubby if I could quickly go to the restroom to blow my nose...
His answer "NO"!
You can't leave me!
We had five special little children that wanted so much to crawl on our laps and fall asleep!
Somehow they managed to all stay awake!

The rest of the evening was wonderful! It was just our crew here at our house!
There was a lot of joy and everyone chatted away!

Luke and Abby are fitting in so nicely!
Sometime Abby whines BUT she responds to a reminder to stop whining.
Luke can be stubborn but he is learning what life in a big family is like!
No means no and we do not pick favorites! 
(and even if you cry, you do not get your own way)

Honestly, I did not think this was possible! I did not think we would have a joyous holiday. I did not think it was possible for everything to fall into place. In fact I made a point of NOT thinking about it- it was too much for me.
But thank you God!
I should have known that you could do this!
And thank you to all the people praying for us!!

Last Wednesday Sam came up to me with watery eyes and asked... "Next year can we please have presents?"
It broke my heart to think that for 4 children (Ava, Abby, Sam and Luke) this was their first Christmas home and they would not have any gifts.

I think pic of Emma and Ellie! They were so thrilled with their Holiday dresses! We got them before we left for China!

I feel that God is so evident in our lives! He takes what we cannot do ourselves and gives us strength. He guides us thru the potholes in life (that's a Minnesota thing- we have so many potholes in the spring)!

Anything is possible with HIM!!

Luke and Anna waiting patiently on the stairs for the big kids to get up, so we can open presents!

Merry Christmas sweet girl!
Praying you feel the joy of Jesus in your life!

While in China we got animal backpacks at the safari zoo!
They all loved them!

I had planned on taking the kids to Build * Bear Workshop for Abby's B-day in January but we purchased things for Christmas instead and will go to the children's museum for her big day!

We also brought home umbrella's from China for all the girls and cars that make noise for the boys!
Jordan- a christian shop owner on Shaiman island in GZ wrote the girls names in English and Chinese on their umbrellas!

Each child got one big bag with 4 gifts wrapped inside! They loved it!

There is your name Ava!

Bless you dear sweet girl!
Merry Christmas!

They are such blessings!

We are so so THANKFUL that they are HOME!

The rest of the day went great!
(Of course our standards are a bit low right now!)

All of the kids are getting along very well!
There are not any particular struggles between any of the kids.

I think Sam thought he would have a partner in crime with a little brother and that is not what is happening.
Sam and Luke are very different boys. Luke is mild and Sam has lots of energy.
Sam is more physical and Luke is more expressive with his words and facial movements.
But they are still doing great together- they are not particularly close at this point.
Everyone just hangs out with everyone!

It has been a little chaotic but that is to be expected the first week home and with Christmas!

We will get them all settled down in time!

Sleep is going very well! Luke even stayed in his own bed last night!

Thank you God for your son our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Venturing Out!

Today we all ventured out and ran errands!
It was my first time out alone with 8 children!
I always give them the same shpeal- Stay with mom all the time, you can look but don't touch,be super good so we can do this again!
They did pretty good,
Yes, they did touch BUT the put back!

If we wanted to we could have wreaked havoc on walgr**ns but they all behaved!
The clerk said to me "let me just help these people and I will be right back to you."
I looked at her and said "you really want us in and out of here as fast as possible."
She got it!

Emma is like velcro to me!
She would love to spend the whole day following me around, helping me and doing whatever I do!
Both Emma and Ellie have not needed an adjustment period with this last adoption. They are doing great and haven't missed a beat! They are enjoying their new siblings and not feeling threatened! That is so good!

EXCEPT- for one thing Emma tends to scratch and scratch her back at night. Her back is filled with scabs.
And it is only at night that she does it. I NEVER see her scratching.
We are not sure why this happens?
Could it be stress?
Could it be a little OCD?
Could she have scabies? I don't think so?

The new children are being added to our insurance and it is not on the records yet so Luke's pulmacort was not covered and it was $409! excuse me? We took a fraction of the prescription and will fill the rest once it's covered!

Next stop! A delicious lunch from McD's!

We now need two 20 piece nuggets meals!
Best part- kitchen stayed clean!

Once home I found Mark on the stairs...
I asked him "What are you doing? Hiding?"
Ha, he was!
How do I know that?
Wellllll, I may have done it now and then!
Like when I am sneaking chocolate!

The freezer is repaired!! Praise God! Mark got a lesson on how to clean it!

Luke has a love/fear relationship with the dogs!
He always wants us to go with him and "look" at them !
It's pretty cute!

I thought I did a fine job parking until I came out! This woman needs to stay HOME!

Holy buckets did I do a bad job parking!

Male bonding!
We doubt Luke will be able to be a soccer player BUT it's not stopping him from being a GREAT FAN!

Too, too cute!