Hebrews 10:23- "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."

Friday, January 24, 2014

Philly........

Today we saw the amazing Dr vanBosse again.  
That is one busy man, flying from room to room to see all his patients that traveled from as far as California to see him.  
He is a one man show for lower extremities, 
so he works non stop, 
Monday-Friday, early morning til late at night 
(I kinda feel bad for his wife....). 
However, he is always so nice and curteous, 
even when you know his mind is full of about a million things, he still takes special time with his patients.  
Not to mention the fact that he has a two year old 
and a baby on the way!  
The Arthrogryposis community looks to him as a star,
 which he definitely deserves. 
 He doesn't stand in front of a camera and look cute, 
he's actually helping children like Olivia to walk.  
That is so much more amazing to me than a pretty smile, 
I have seen children over the past 8 months progress beautifully, 
Olivia included 
(of course;-)).  
These children have a chance at walking, 
which most would have never thought possible.  
Dr vanBosse will try as hard as he can to give these kids the best possible outcome.  
He has been doing this for 20+ years, 
so he knows his stuff, 
he is such a blessing to these children.

Today we were just there for a check up.  We weren't sure if we would make it because Philladelphia had a record amount of snow two days before we were scheduled to fly up here.  I am so glad that we made it and didn't have to reschedule.  
I had lots of questions on how the year would look with our trips to Philly.  
Today she measured exactly 36 inches, which is 3.5 inches more than last September!!  
She only weighs 24 lbs., but obviously she is thriving and getting the nutrients her little body has been needing. Because of this growth her braces needed to be adjusted, 
you won't believe how much this has helped her! There's a pretty awesome video at the end of this post!
Her little feet are regressing, Dr VB said he normally tries to wait about a year to recast but that puts us right into July.......
As many of you know, our summer last year was not very fun.........
casts in the summer, 
4 kids that LOVE the pool.......
need I say more...... 
So I asked if we could possibly do it before or after the summer and he agreed.  
I thought that before the summer would probably be the best, 
once school starts back in August, 
life gets crazy.....
 He was fine with that, 
so we will start recasting in April.  
The good news is, he thinks it will only take 4 or 5 casts this time, not 10 like last year!! :-)  
The other news we got was that her knee surgery, which I thought would take place this summer, will not be until October or November 
(yes this is the busy time of year I was just talking about, but at least we won't have to travel for castings and then the surgery too).  
As I was saying earlier about what  a busy guy he is......
well his surgery schedule is now 18 months out instead of 12 (she was put on the waiting list last April).  
I think this will be better, the kids will be in school and again it won't mess up their entire summer.
  
After we got her braces adjusted we went and met with PT.  They had her try some crutches, 
which she did great with, 
but they were a little too big, 
so we're hoping to order some from our PT at home.  
She then took about 5 steps to me, 
WITH OUT ANY ASSISTANCE!!!!  
She always amazes everyone with her determination and persistence. 
 I have no doubt that this little girl will go far in life.........
walking (or running)!

Last night we met a family here at the Ronald McDonald house that is from China!  
It is an older couple with their son, and his son, who is 17 months old.  
The little boy has cancer in his eye, so they came here to get treatment for him, 
they are living here for a few months.  
Obviously, this has been weighing on my mind.  
I have seen so many orphans with this special need.  
It is treatable/curable, 
with the right treatment, 
and obviously not an easily available treatment in China.  Luckily, this little boy has a family that can do this for him, bring him here and he can receive the treatment he needs.  They have been so, so sweet to Olivia. 
The grandparents just adore her, 
they rub her face and speak to her, sadly, she has no idea what they are saying......
BUT, she didn't turn her head away from them, 
she just looked in wonder.  
I think I talked about that in a previous post.  
Once we were home from China, 
if anyone tried to speak Chinese to her, 
she would turn her head away, 
and completely ignore them.  
Anyway, this family is such a sweet family and I love how God makes things work.  
I don't believe in luck or fate, 

it's all God, 

all the time! 

I did find it very interesting when the child's father asked me how Olivia came here.........
I said "we adopted her" (through google translate) and he said "oh"........
Made me wonder if the Chinese know that there Orphan population is as bad as it is......
Well, as I'm typing all of this, Olivia just started walking unassisted again.........
AMAZING!!! 
Thanking God for His constant blessings!

This verse keeps coming to mind tonight.....

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11


video

Monday, January 20, 2014

A year ago today.......

A year ago today we got our beautiful daughter.  
I can't believe how fast it has gone by!  
God has truly blessed us with this perfect little girl.  
Olivia has been nothing but a blessing 
and a gift to our family! 
The past year has been crazy with trips to Philly,
 work and school and 4 kids......
but worth every second of it.  
I won't lie it hasn't been exactly easy, 
there have been challenges, 
adoption is not like birthing a baby that only sleeps and eats.  She is 3.......with a tragic past, 
but at the end of the long, hard day,
 she is still our daughter that we love with all our heart!  
And really our long, hard days, aren't that bad.  
She is 3.....no matter adoption or biological, 
3 year olds can be difficult, 
she is independant, 
headstrong, 
and determined.  
These traits aren't bad traits to have, 
unless 
you're determined to hold the food in your mouth for hours, or not eat at all, 
or pout because someone told you "no", 
or refuse to poop for daaaaaayyyyysssss.  
(Yes I just said that.....). ;-)  
These are pretty manageable "issues" 
and they're already better!

God has taught me so much through out the past couple of years.  
Here I was wanting another child so badly, 
but knowing adoption was the only way it would happen.  
God showed me that He wasn't just giving me another child but He was showing me what breaks His heart, 
and asking me to break my heart as well.  
God adopted us in to His family, He has taken us in as His own children 
and loves us more than we could ever possibly imagine. 

We as Christians should want others to know and love God, so they can spend eternity with Him.  
We also should say the same for Orphans who live their lives ALONE.  
No child deserves to live this life alone, 
living it with others is hard enough, 
but alone, 
is just terrifying.  
God did not want children growing up without families, 
or love.  
Unfortunately, we as humans make choices, God graciously gave us this ability so we would choose Him.
But the choices we make aren't always the right ones, this has caused many sad and bad things in this messed up world we live in.  
Luckily, we have a God that loves us SO much he gives us Grace and forgives us for these bad choices, 
through His only Son.   
He also asks us to help Him,
to be His hands and feet 
to "love the least of these".  
He calls us to "care for orphans and widows".  
God gives us SO many blessings that we all take and use for our own pleasure, 
when we could be taking what He gives us 
and giving it to all of those listed above.......... 

Here is a slideshow of the past year.....
it's only about 12 minutes long....;-)



Sunday, January 5, 2014

Halloween and Thanksgiving......

So much fun celebrating "firsts" with a 3 year old.  So much more fun than when they're a baby and don't have any clue as to what's going on........



Halloween we spent with our good friends, the kids had a blast running around and getting WAY TOO much candy.  Olivia fell asleep before we were done trick-or-treating, obviously she had lots of fun!

Thanksgiving day I took some pictures for our Christmas cards, which I had made but never mailed out........:-( If I saw you in person I TRIED to rememember to give one to you, if I didn't, I'm sorry, and to those I said I would mail one to, again I'm sorry!!



 We had Thanksgiving dinner at my moms and Olivia saw a Christmas tree for the first time.  As you can see from the pictures, she was quite enthralled.......












Catching up on the past few months.......(The end of the week-long Philly trip)

The week of PT in Philadelphia was well worth it.  Olivia did great and has continued to improve in her walking and she is constantly asking to walk!  She wants so badly to be just like everyone else and do what everyone else is doing.  Next summer she will have the knee surgery and we are very eager to see how that helps her with walking.

I MUST post the AMAZING surprise I had from some AMAZING girls while we were in Philly that week.


Olivia and I had just finished dinner and were just hanging out when I was COMPLETELY surprised by these 3 wonderful friends! They felt bad I was spending my birthday alone in Philly, so they flew up to be with us. I will FOREVER be grateful for their friendships, this was one of the BEST birthday presents I have ever gotten (a close second to Mike proposing :-)). I can't say enough about how much I love these girls and how thankful I am for them!

After they left, Olivia and I went to visit my aunt who lives in Annapolis.  I was born in Annapolis and haven't been back (we moved to GA when I was a baby), so it was fun walking around and seeing some of the sights and spending time with Kim.  



After we left Annapolis we drove about an hour to see our friends we met in China.  We enjoyed spending the week in China with them and were so excited to see each other again.  The girls had a lot of fun playing together and us Mom's enjoyed catching up!