Saturday, September 29, 2012


This morning the Drs decided to unhook Anna's IV in hopes that she would get thirsty and drink.
She seemed to have a bounce to her step and had much more energy after a good night sleep!
(okay... fessing up time... hubby let her have the TV on ALL night the first night... I love him, I truly do, BUT this Momma caboshed the TV on all night, instantly!)

SOOOOOooooo, Anna and the Daddy of Anna had a good night sleep last night!
Praise GOD!!

ALL your prayers were heard!
Praise GOD!!

ANNA did get thirsty and drank!
Then she took walks and pooped!

So our sweet girl was ready to come home!!
Praise God!
And thank you for your prayers!!
They were heard!


She is doing pretty good right now.
She will sleeping with her Momma and Daddy (with NO tv on!)

So so so thankful!!
Praying for a restful night!
I told her IF she needs more pain meds to just tap her Momma and I will give them to her!
(no crying, no elevated blood pressure, no gushing blood is necessary... just a gentle tap and pain meds will appear!)




Friday, September 28, 2012

More Nights in the Hospital

Anna's surgery was a bit more involved than I thought it would be.
She is doing fine but she still is unable to drink any fluids.

There is still a lot of bloody drainage. 

We tried to get her to drink apple juice, water and spr*te.

They are allowing her to take it slowly so she does not throw up(because of the blood that drained into her stomach). 

So one night has turned into two nights and will probably turn into 3-4 nights.
She liked having her big brother and sister there but she was unable to do much of anything.

We tried a walk, a wagon ride, a puzzle, a barbie doll, a bath and watched a movie together cuddled in her bed.

She is so precious to us. It's hard to see her down and out.

Everyone misses her at home.

Praying for big changes tomorrow!
(Meaning desiring to drink fluids, actually swallowing them and NOT throwing up! And decreased bloody drainage!)

Thank you for praying for our little treasure!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Anna's surgery... a hitch

Anna went in for her surgery today.

She was unusually excited.

After seeing the other children have surgeries and procedures- it was finally her turn.
I think she wanted to private time with us and she had heard of the fun things the other kids were able to do and the movies they watched and the play doh, the puzzles, the balloons and stuffed animals and more...

I don't think she completely understood all that is involved with a hospital stay...

such as 

She had a palate lengthening and tightening.
A columnar lengthening (nose bumped up).

They did not do a P-flap, I was wrong.
Hopefully this surgery will help her with her speech
(or beach as Luke calls it- which is so cute, I have no desire to correct him)

The surgery went well and they called me into recovery. 
Anna was getting more and more agitated and crying.
As this was happening she was beginning to bleed more and more and more.

They called the Dr back to check on her.

I was getting concerned.

It was like a little faucet of dark red blood coming out her nose.

Our sitter had gotten sick so Hubby had returned home to be with the other children.
I called him back to the hospital and big brother Mark stepped in to take care of the children.

I didn't even realize it but I guess I said to the nurses...
"Okay ladies, we need to do something here... let's call the DR."
I know I thought it but I didn't realize that I had said it!

The Dr came back again.
Blood was in her mouth now.
He checked her repair inside her mouth. We (I mean they, oops I am in nurse mode again) decided to wait a little longer... before taking her back to the OR.

I texted to Linny and Sally to pray for Anna.

-half hour later-

The Doctor came back again.

The bleeding began to slow down.

Hubby arrived.

The bleeding had now slowed down significantly.
They checked her hemoglobin- it was okay.

The OR was cancelled.

Praise God!! He heard our prayers! So so thankful!

Everyone was wonderful!
She is spending the night in the PICU with her Daddy!
When I left she was comfortably resting with the TV on because ya know that's half the fun! 
TV on at all times of day and night!

Hopefully she can have something to drink tomorrow.
Popsicles, jello, juice!

She will hopefully come home on Saturday!

Praising God and so thankful for praying friends!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What's happening with us...

In August we went to the school store to get our college gear for the soccer games!
The manager of the shop took a few pics of the kids in their Tommie gear!

Big brother Johnny is going to college at a local Catholic University and we want to be there to support him!!
a new shirt is always fun to get!

Of course, if the new shirt is in the laundry anything with purple will do!!

Including a cozy blanket!

Ellie got braces on a week ago!! She's finally back to eating regular food.

We lay blankets out, have a snack or picnic lunch between the trees, fence and field.

And constantly count to eight to make sure they are all there while trying to watch the game!
Last time Hubby said I'm only counting to 7, we're missing one?
It was Ava!
She was behind the tree and out of view.

Emma and Sam where trying to carry Sarah...
it didn't work but it made for lots of laughter!

And then Emma and Ellie tried...
That didn't work either!

Anna is having surgery on Thursday. Please keep her in your prayers if you can!!
She is having a P flap, another nose bump up, another lip revision, re-repairing of her palate and closing the fistula in the roof of her mouth.
She should be in the hospital for 2 nights, 3 days... I think?

Even the little guys got in on the action!!

And so did the really, really big guys!!
(that would be me)

Johnny is #22!
Big brothers Mark and Billy come to the games too!

He really likes that we are all able to come to the games!

The older children and younger children have really bonded over the last year!
That has been to beneficial to both set of kids!
They all truly enjoy the fun of each other!

Go Tommies!!

We also found out that our dossier came out of translation on September 20th. The rumor going around is that after the dossier is out of translation, LOA should come in 3-4 weeks. Our agency can not confirm IF the rumor is true- so I'll get back to you on that one!
If October comes and goes... we will know it is NOT true!
Praying it's true and that we will be one step closer to bringing home our trio!!

It's Katie's Birthday today! She is spending it in Germany with new friends. But we are missing her here.   

Please keep them in your prayers for safety and for peace!

Thank you!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

More Gifts Sent to our Girls and Updates (kind of)!

We got an update our our sweet Maddie!

Only one pic came with it- Oh how I would LOVE more BUT I will be happy with whatever I can get!!

We have new measurements and she is also a peanut! Maddie is only 33 lbs and 3 ft 5.5 inches tall at almost 6 years old.

Her birthday is in October and we will send a cake and gift then. (hoping we will once again get a pic!)

They have moved her to a foster center in Guangzhou. She is happy, active, smart and independent. She is in preschool and learning how to read and write (smile).
She gets along well with the other children!

She speaks clearly (yay, no speech for this one!). She speaks Mandarin but understands Cantonese! Which makes me very happy because Sarah and the other children only know "some" mandarin (no cantonese). I was a little concerned she would be all cantonese since she is from Guangdong Province.

We also sent a gift to our darling Melissa but we were unable to get new pics of her. ;-(

We did get her height but that was it...
She is 3ft 9 inches.

Her birthday is November 10th- hoping... rather praying, for some new pics then!

Either way, I know we are just going to LOVE her!
Excited for the two little girls to get their gifts!!

God is so GOOD!

Thank you Jesus!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Update on Abby's Health

Abby is doing really well!

She still needs blood transfusions every 3-4 weeks and chelations every 2 weeks, along with chelating medicine every day.
But her body seems to be responding to all that we are doing!

We do not know what she has- the tests have been inconclusive?
The doctors are questioning her diagnosis of MDS and the second diagnosis of siderblastic anemia.
With the last bone marrow biopsy they did not see ANY dysplastic cells OR ringed siderblasts.
(it could have just been the sample they took but I happen to have other thoughts on why they did not see those cells)

They are continuing to run tests on her bone marrow and blood. They have sent samples to be studied at Boston Children's Hospital.

Right now, the doctors do not feel that a bone marrow transplant is imminent.
They think we can wait AND we may even be able to choose when we want it done- depending on the diagnosis!

Does she have Leukemia? 
No, she does not have Leukemia.
Could it change into Leukemia?
Yes, it could but there is a chance it will not.  If it does turn into Leukemia the bone marrow transplant will happen immediately.

What do I think?
I think that our GOD is at work!
I think he hears the prayers of many and I think he is moving mountains.
A month ago I talked to the Hematologist and my heart leapt inside me, I could feel the God's spirit as she spoke. At that time I felt like I was hearing good news but I really didn't know what it meant. Sometimes it take awhile for things to sink in. Today I was able to follow up with questions to better understand her situation.

Do I think she will someday possibly need a bone marrow transplant?
Yes I do, but I am thankful that right now it does not seem to be an emergency.

Now to the most important part!

God to continue to heal Abby
for an accurate diagnosis. 

Thank you for your prayers!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Back On Course and we will never live in the land of New Normal!

We are having a wonderful fall! 

Hubby and I love to do things with the children on the weekends. 
During the week while he works, we focus on school and some activities. As the weather gets colder we hope to get a few inside home projects done but for now we are enjoying the outside, 
with the lovely fall weather and the children!

The pictures on this post are from a fall festival in our community.

Things were a bit rocky around here when I got back from Germany.

We really hadn't settled "into-a-new-normal" (snicker, snicker)!
(Yes, I read Sonja's post on No Hands BUT Ours! I loved it because I missed the bus, too.)
Although when I read it I wasn't ready to admit I had missed the bus to "new normal land"- in fact I thought there was a chance I could still hop on the next one!)

We came home from China in December 2011 and went right into medical appts for Abby and Luke (and Sam too)!
Then we had a wedding to plan and more medical appts.
Then it was 2 graduations and the wedding. Then it was a trip to Germany and sending another off to college.


 I was home and ready!
Ready for what?
Ready for the new normal to kick in!

BUT, it didn't...

(BTW God's timing is not our timing. Why, must I learn this lesson over and over again!)

I was feeling very frustrated. 
We were out of sync... in fact we actually never got back into sync since we came home in December...

We just plowed through each day and did all that we had to do.
It worked for that moment in time. But now we have a chance to get back into a routine. 

(I think? Until the next big event that is!)

I had been praying and praying-
 for our school
for my attitude
for the children at home
for the children that will be joining us
for God's peace
for God's plan to be evident
...for a new normal...

But then I forgot to put my trust in him.

What did I want from our new normal?
happy children
clean house
pretty much everything delivered on a picture perfect platter...

I think I had let the world creep into our lives once again...
it's views
it's standards
it's desires

That is not our reality. 
It will never be our reality. 

And I would never change our reality for that picture perfect world. 
I love our imperfections!

No wonder, I was frustrated! 

It is not been until recently that God has once again reminded me of our mission-
 to love and serve HIM with gladness and singleness of heart.

It pleases us to please HIM!

So where are we at now?

I am happy to say we are once again at a good place! 

It's not "new normal land"because we have come to realize that normal does NOT exist for our family.
We have too many moving parts.

My homeschooling expectations are more in line with my students capabilities.

We will never all be at the same level seamlessly moving along. Each child will have their days of "getting it" and "not getting it". Some days we will get through all the material with flying colors and other days we may stumble. Both days are to be viewed as successful. Stumbling is part of learning.

I realized I needed to trust GOD. 
He has a plan and it will all work out according to his plan.

I needed to once again let him control my heart.

I needed to be nicer to myself and I needed to get our priorities back into the RIGHT order.

For now... we are on track... until we stumble again and HE once again picks us up.
So Thankful to our DEAR LORD!