Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Doing Life Together.

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I know.  Two post in a row -- don't get used to it.  I've got a ton of amazing photos to share of my beautiful little ones so get ready for a sudden burst of blog posts.  Are these photos not amazing?  They kinda take my breath away.  Look a Jayden's face -- so full of life.  What speaks to me the loudest is that Jayden clearly knows he has a daddy who loves him -- exactly the way he is.

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I love watching Jayden and Adam together.  They have such a special bond.  It's really cool to see how a father son relationship can form despite the physical and cognitive limitations.  It's amazing to witness. Jayden knows exactly what daddy is for -- tossing in the air, flipping him upside down and at the same time the best sit on the couch and snuggle buddy ever.

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We simply couldn't do what we do if Adam wasn't the dad he is.  We are no where near perfect, Adam and I both have our struggles, but I'm so thankful that being used by God to do big things doesn't require perfection -- not even close.  All we do is say yes -- and just look what happens.

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I think photos like these speak louder than any words I could possibly come up with.



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Naturalpathic Medicine and Special Needs.

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Almost a year ago Adam and I made the decision to take a chance with naturalpathic medicine.  I had some friends tell me about their experiences with a local women who uses nutritional response testing to help heal the body.  To be honest, I thought my friends were completely crazy -- I'm a person who is very medically driven, after all Gavin was about as medicated as you can possibly get.  

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After Angela's seizures became out of control, with her seizing over three hundred times a day even with lots of medication, we decided to take the chance -- to step out of my comfort zone and see what this naturalpathic medicine was all about.

Of course amazing things happened for Angela including her being totally seizure free for almost nine months now, but big things have also been happening for this little guy.  He's been home over two years and we hardly recognize the kid he used to be.  

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About four months ago this little boy was very medicated.  He was on seizure meds and a combination of psychotrophic meds to help control his behavior and emotional instability. Children with severe brain trauma, especially in the frontal lobe, often deal with very difficult behavior.  It's not typical little boy temper tantrum behavior, is very sad emotional deregulation, head banging, crawling out of your skin type behavior.  Very difficult to watch.

We had put him on these meds along with his neurologist to help him find relief.  But what we saw after, was almost just as disturbing -- glazed over eyes, lack of development and sedation.  Totally not what we wanted.

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So we starting taking Jayden to the Naturalpath with his sister to see if we could get the same amazing results for him.  Wow.  What a huge difference we have seen.  The first months were horrible, as he detoxed from all his meds, but now it is amazing to watching his little brain wake up now that he is medication free.

He is walking at times with perfect gait.  He can now stand still with perfect balance for short periods of time and even walk backwards and do little squats.  He is now able to use his hands, which is probably the most noticeable change.  Prior to taking him off all medication he had no use of his hands -- they were so floppy.  If he wanted to play with a toy he could but if you handed him anything he would just drop it.  He now can walk over to the toy box, open it up, dig through, pick out a toy and carry it into another room!  He also can throw and like a typical child has learned to hit and smack, which thankfully has lost its novelty.

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It has simply been amazing to watch the process occur.  He continues to shock us daily with his new skills.  The other day he walked up the formula cabinet, was able to choose his food out of the three different types of formula we use in our home, and bring his food to me to eat.  These are huge skills -- life skills.  If he drops an object he will get down on his knees to look for it under the couch -- again this is higher level processing that a kid with his level of brain injury simply should not be doing.

We take the kids every other week to get re-tested to the exact supplements and dosages they take.  Both Angela and Jayden take about ten different supplements each and are given right into their feeding tubes.  Insurance does not pick up the cost, but with careful budgeting and planning we have been able to make it happen.  We feel it's a priority above other comfort things we could be buying instead -- they are totally worth the sacrifice.

What I once thought was crazy -- I now consider part of our miracle.  It's so amazing to watch God help restore Jayden's little mind.  We are believing for big things in his life and can't wait to see what the rest of this year has in store!



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Trenches.

I've struggled so much with blogging despite the fact that this is something that I love so very much.  I think about it all the time, trying to pin point the exact reason why I just can't seem to write.  I think I've finally figured it out.

We are in the trenches.

Walking through the death of our son Gavin was a horrific experience.  As a mother, I'm not sure there is a deeper pain one can possibly experience -- my own flesh and blood gone. Although four years have gone by the pain is still very real.  Not a day goes by that I don't long for just a glimpse of his sweet face.

With that said after his death Adam and I had an amazing epiphany -- this was our story -- what looked like an end was actually just the beginning of something amazing. Through tears and pain we saw hope, hope that our little boy left us behind.  Then started our journey to adoption -- and the first few years we still were kinda on that epiphany high.

Four years later and we are now in the trenches.

Don't misunderstand what I'm saying -- this isn't a bad thing, rather it's really an amazing place to be.  We have made the sacrifice we felt we were called to make and now we get to care for these amazing kids.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  But being in the trenches mean that some of the frill is also scarified.  The luxury of taking photos on a daily basis, and blogging about our daily life gets pushed to the side.

And that's ok.  

But today I was somehow able to have some beautiful sacred time to write.  Ahh.  It's feels great.

Have I ever told you how difficult the system from which we adopt our kids, is to work with?  It's so very difficult.  Before adoption is finalized you literally give up your life and become an open museum for people to frequently visit and browse.  It's really tough  What is even more difficult is seeing kids, who so desperately need homes, and a system who tries to keep the child's best interest in mind -- keeps kids from actually ever finding a home. Again, so difficult.

In my last post I had mentioned that Adam and I were matched for our last adoption -- a beautiful little girl.  Well, after five months waiting to meet her, the county she is in changed their minds.  Ugh. They gave us all kinds of reasons, and none of them really make sense.  Our hearts were and still are broken.  Once you see the face of a child it's hard not to immediately attach and start dreaming of what life could be like.  We have moved on and are continuing to match for another child, but this little girl will always have a place in our hearts and dreams.  No child should have to live life in a nursing home -- just typing those words just makes my soul cringe.

Living in the trenches means that a lot is sacrificed.  We daily need to put ourselves in check -- it's not about us.  It's not about what we want or what we think is best.  It's all about being Him -- His hands, His feet and trying desperately to show a fraction of His love to the world.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Little Update.

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I must say it's been the most amazing time not being in the blogging world.  I've learned so much from people in the past few years and the one thing I've seen the most is that people are addicted to other people lives.  Sounds crazy, but I'm sure many of you know exactly what I'm speaking of.  This phenomena has really turned me off to the blogging world.  It makes me cringe to think that people get so invoked in others lives that they fail to live their own.  I don't want this blog to be entertainment -- I want people to read and then go live out their own lives -- to be inspired and then go find their own ways to inspire others.

Don't get me wrong.  Just because you read or write a blog doesn't mean you don't know how to live your own life, but families like mine attract a lot of attention from people -- and most are so amazing and supportive, but there are also so many people that give my blogging break a reason for me to smile.

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Anyway -- we have been busy living life! A really good and amazing life! Let's just go down the list shall we?

Madison just turned nine is still our amazing girl full of spunk and personality.  She has begun taking cheer dance lessons and is keeping us very entertained! 

Angela is doing amazing in school.  It was a rough start but the school district seems to be catching my vision of inclusion and Angela is totally taking off! She now knows most all of her letters, shapes, colors and can spell her name!  We are starting to teach her how to use switches to access a communication device that can help give her even more independence.  She has mastered saying yes and no with her head, but its very obvious that she has so much more to say!  She has full use of her one arm to propel her wheelchair now and is very fast -- though she mainly goes in circles!  Having Angela in regular education -- fully inclusive, was the best decision we ever made.  Everyone benefits from inclusion!

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Then there is Jayden -- He is a busy little man.  He is an almost full time walker these days and maybe even a bit of running! He only uses his wheelchair for transport and for long outings -- such a miracle that kid is! Jayden is now able to use his iPad to talk to us.  He is doing great with Proloquo2go and can do as many as 4 steps to make a sentence, like "I want", "to watch","Jake!".  It's amazing to watch his little brain work.  He is also in regular preschool with supports from the IU.  He has come so far in the past few months and is now using his hands more and also to sit and listen for an extended period of time, like circle time.

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Our tiniest Owens is also keeping us busy!  Her adoption is not yet finalized -- taking much longer than we ever thought it would.  But no worries -- it's gonna happen!  She is making slow progress but progress none the less!  She is able to walk but will only show her skills if highly motivated!  She is a girl with a strong will -- difficult to deal with now, but I'm sure will serve her well some day!  She is such a fun little girl and when she flashes her little smile it melts your heart.

One last Owens will hopefully soon join our family -- fingers crossed!  We hope to continue to move forward with a 5 year old little girl who has totally captured our hearts, but things have been moving so very slow.  Our hearts are already totally filled with a ton of love for this sweet child and are praying very hard that the time will come soon for her to come home -- forever! She has CP and is very similar to Angela, which Angela is very excited about!

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Adam and I have been busy with our new found love for Crossfit and Corps Fitness.  Feels great to be in the best shape of our lives and have the strength and energy to care for our growing kids! I've learned to push myself beyond what I thought was possible and to expand my vision from not only having hope for my children but also myself and set goals for my life.  It's been an amazing journey.

Phew.

What a life we live. 

It's certainly not easy, but filled with some many victories both big and small.  I wish I could take each one of you off the pages of this blog and into our real world for just a few hours and show you how good God has been to our family.  It would take your breath away. 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Simple Blink.

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Life is moving faster than I can document.  My time to sit and write gets less as less as the weeks go on.  This week however, my emotions are so stirred that I felt like it was time to just simply sit and write.

I love these kids.  

I obviously have always loved my children, but as time goes on, the deeper the love grows, as if our lives become further and further entwined – a bond only a parent and child can possible reach.

It’s so hard to love at times.

Let me explain.

With love come such a huge risk of pain.  The greater we love the greater the risk.  At times, even as a mother, I would love a second to simply blink -- to close my eyes to the bright light that draws me to my children.

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You see, when I look at my children I see a little more than most parents.  I see loss but also so much hope, I see pain but also see healing.  For some of my kids I see children with no voice longing for someone to give them sound in a very noisy world. I see children who live trapped inside broken bodies, who are crying out for someone to see a spark inside their broken shells and pull them out.

Dang, it’s so heavy. 

This week my heart has been so broken as I fight for my children and their needs.  The pain goes beyond just the struggle, the fight -- but I mourn the very reason I’m fighting -- the loss, the pain, having no voice -- witnessing a beautiful spirit trapped within a broken body.

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Today I’m trying to rest in this truth…

I can close my eyes for a bit and rest, because although it feels like my love for these beautiful children could not possibly be stronger, I’m taken back as I’m reminded that God’s love for my children runs much deeper, so deep that human minds could never comprehend the passion He holds.  And as I rest, my soul can find peace as He takes over – His strength is made so beautiful in my weakness.  

So very beautiful.


Blink.