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

Friday, April 25, 2014

Livi update......

Last week, Mom and I took the kids to Philly to restart Olivia's castings.  
Her feet have regressed quite a bit.  Dr vanBosse said he usually recasts yearly, but I didn't want to wait til the middle of July to start castings again.  I wanted to get it over with before the summer so the kids could enjoy the pool and Olivia could swim and not be stuck on the side of the pool like last summer. 
Olivia did so well with her castings.  So much better than last year.  She was afraid and cried before they even started, but once they did start she wasn't screaming too badly.  It did help to have fer siblings consoling her too.
Also, they are putting some kind of blue fabric underneath the cast, on the side, so the saw doesn't bother them when they take the casts off, it really helps!!
 Dr vanBosse did seem a little discouraged on the regression of her feet.  He said she has very active muscles.......I guess that can be good or bad.....
The thing about AMC is that it is a "watch and see" process.  All the treatments, surgeries, castings.....is all dependant on how Olivia's feet and legs will do over time.  
Dr vanBosse said that sometimes kids feet will do better after the second casting and not regress so much, 
sometimes they need them yearly until their growing slows, and sometimes kids need muscle tranfers to help with the over active muscles.  
Again, we won't know if Olivia will need the transfers for quite a while, we will just wait and see how she does over the next few years.  
Olivia and I will go back next Friday and stay the weekend to have two castings done.  
Last year Olivia and I were going up weekly, she would be casted on Friday and we would come back so I could work the weekend.  Now that I'm not working weekends anymore, she will be casted on Friday and Monday.  Hopefully we will only have two more trips........again, 
it all depends on how her feet respond...... 
Here are some pics of our week.

On the way up we stopped in DC and went to the Air and Space Museum
One of the planes Amelia Earhart flew
 The Wright Brothers plane

On Saturday we went to the Philadelphia Zoo with a friend and her two daughters.  Connie and I met at Shriner's in January, we both noticed each others Chinese daughters and had to stop and talk ;-) ......she lives up here and had said to call whenever we're here and we could get the girls together.  
It was so nice of her to take us to the zoo, the kids had a blast! 

 The Hot air balloon we went on.
 Chase, not wanting to look down.....
Finally he stood up.....
 Photo bombed by the Crocodile.....

The next day we drove west towards Reading, PA.  My mom has been doing a lot of research on her family ancestry and found that a great grandfather (x8) lived here and his son had built this house back in 1753.  It was really cool to see, there is a building (workshop) that is becoming a National Treasure on the property.  It is amazing to me that these buildings were built over 250 years ago and are still standing strong.  Our ancestors who lived here were German, so these buildings are of German design and architecture.

 This is the National Treasure building, I think he said it was used for wood carving.....

Look how big this fireplace is.....

This is a tile from the roof, he was explaining to the kids why it looked like this......
This is what was probably used as a parlor, the opening in the wall came from the fireplace in the previous picture, this is just the back side of it.   It would have had a wood burning stove attached to the hole to heat the room.

This is where they stored their vegetables.......for 6-9 MONTHS!!!!! 
And we can't even get a week out of our vegetables these days........

 This is from the back side of the property looking up towards the road.

We then drove towards Lancaster to see the Amish country and have dinner, it was beautiful!

This is a graveyard that one of my great grandmothers (x8 or 9) was buried in.  She came over as part of the French Huguenots and was told by the Queen that she would have land here.  However, because she was a women (her husband had died) she was refused the land for years. 
Finally, she got her land and before she died chose this certain place to be buried at.
Yes, we walked around a graveyard in the dark, and no we didn't see any ghosts.

This is how awesome my kids are!!
They love their little sister SO much!!
I told them I was getting up early (6AM) to take Olivia to her appointment and then we would come back, pack up, and leave......
They all said they wanted to go with us.
 I was so surprised they didn't want to sleep....
Nope they all wanted to go and be there for Olivia, because they know how much she hates getting the casts.

 Ella and Taylor feeling the 6 AM wakeup.....

A God story.....

It's hard sometimes to remember that God is in every part of our lives.  
We get so caught up in "life" that we often forget who is ultimately in charge of our life. 
Well, let me tell you a little story to remind us.
I met this girl, her name was Kathy.  We were going to China together.  We talked multiple times through Facebook and were eagerly anticipating our trips to China, together, but separate.  We knew we would be on the same plane from Atlanta to Seoul, then to Beijing, but in Beijing we would say our goodbyes and be off to get our daughters.  She lived in Savannah at the time.  When Mike and I arrived at the airport Kathy and I got to talking about our daughters we were soon to have, I told her about Olivia and that she had Arthrogryposis.  Kathy said she had a friend who had adopted 2 boys from China, BOTH with Arthrogryposis.  Now Arthrogryposis (AMC) is not a common diagnosis here in the US, I had only spoken with one other adoptive mama about AMC prior to going to China, so of course when she said this I was praising God for such a blessing.  Since AMC is not common, there aren't many doctors that treat it, I knew about Dr vanBosse from the other mama I had spoken with, but I still had a hard time wrapping my mind around traveling to Philly.........Well once we were all safe and comfy in Beijing, Kathy hooked me up with her friend, Brandi (who just so happens be a nurse as well) via Facebook.  I immediatly contacted her and we conversed a few times while I was in China.  These commonalities of adoption, nursing, LOVE for orphans, and even more a LOVE for Christ, Brandi and I became great FB buddies.  About a month after we were home Brandi and I talked on the phone and all my fears of traveling to Philly were soon relieved by everything she had to say.  Last summer we finally met face to face, in Philly, of course.  I wish we lived closer because she is an amazing women that I would love to see more often.  (On a side note, she is moving to China......I'm SO JEALOUS!!  I guess I'll have to go visit her.....;-))
Fast forward to current day, I knew she was moving to China and I knew what province but I didn't know what city.  For my own reasoning and thoughts, I FB'd her one night to find out where she would be living.  She replied and that was that.  Then I got another message from her asking if I lived close to Snellville.  I replied, yeah only about 15 minutes, and I was thinking, oh I hope she's going to be up this way so we could get together.  
She replied that a friend of hers was leaving the next morning to come to the hospital there, where a baby had been born and was available for adoption.  I immediately replied with ABSOLUTELY, please give her my number and tell her I am here if she needs ANYTHING! 
With all my traveling to Philly, alone, not knowing if we would be able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House or if we would have to find a hotel at the last minute.  And then staying in a hotel by myself in an unknown city, which I HATED, and not knowing the city well. I wanted to help her with whatever I could.  Brandi mentioned, maybe she could stay with me this weekend, her husband had to go back home for work.  
At first, I thought, that may be weird, she may not feel comfortable with it, but whatever, 
I truly wanted to help her out! 
The next night she called me and immediately we hit it off, we talked for a few minutes and decided she absolutely would stay with us.  On the next day I was having bible study at my house with my (amazing) friends, Ashley had asked if she could come by in the daylight so we could meet, then she would go back to the hospital and come back later that night to sleep.  I asked if she wanted to come for our bible study and she did.  
It was nothing but a "God thing"! 
 We had an amazing bible study, we all felt as if we had know her and she had known us, we were all so transparent and really felt God's presence as we discussed life.  I am so very thankful for that day and those 4 girls!  Ashley, eventually, went back to the hospital, and when she came home that night we stayed up til 3.A.M. talking!!  
I have gained an amazing friend and am so thankful God brought us together! So not only has God blessed me with a wonderful daughter through adoption, but He has also blessed me with some pretty awesome friends!
I have to mention one thing......this was in February (right after Valentine's Day) and I had the book, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" laying on my table.  
Ashley said she had the exact same book laying on her table.....