Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lyme Disease...Again

I am aware of the fact that I did a post almost 2 years ago about Lyme Disease but since it has revisited our home I decided it should also revisit my blog. Make sense?

Last Thursday evening Eden started running a fever that was around 102 degrees. It seemed really strange since she was still up and playing. I thought maybe the thermometer I had just purchased was faulty but it gave me the same read multiple times. Friday morning she still had fever and was crying that her head and neck hurt. I checked the back of her neck and saw a red rash. I remembered that she had complained about something being in her hair the week before and when I had checked I noticed a small spot but I wasn't positive it was a tick. But I tucked it away telling myself if she started exhibiting symptoms I would call the doctor. Saturday rolled around and she still was crying about her head and neck and the fever lingered on. By Monday morning her fever was lessening and the rash had disappeared. I kept wrestling with taking her to the doctor but felt silly since she seemed to be getting better. Except for the complaining about her neck and the additional complaints of ouchy legs. Coupled with lots of tears all day long over things that normally didn't bother her.

I took her in on Tuesday feeling like a real moron since I had a chipper, happy little girl. I just couldn't shake the feeling in my gut. I asked to see the same doctor that had diagnosed Shane nearly two years ago. While I like all of the doctors at our children's pediatrician practice he seems to not always do things like the text books would tell you to. He agreed that the symptoms were suspicious but unusual that they had started disappearing so quickly. Due to the nature of the disease he wanted to do bloodwork to be safe. We came home and as the day wore on and the crying and tears continued I was more convinced than ever that something wasn't right.

He called yesterday to confirm that the test came back positive so now we begin the 3 week regimen of antibiotics. I would strongly advise you all to check your children daily for ticks. A tick has to be attached to you for at least 48 hours to pass the bacteria and infect you. Good chance if you find a tick and remove it from your body you will be fine. It is the ticks you don't find that eat there fill and drop off that are the culprits. This weekend alone we pulled a tick off of Tristan, Eden, Shane, Judah and myself. Judah found one on him after being outside yesterday again and the school called today to let me know he had found another tick on himself. We are checking really, really good every night at bedtime and hoping that we can avoid any more infected people at this house!

Common symptoms: bulls eye rash, fever, aches, chills, headaches, stiff neck, sensitive skin, joint pain. If you have a combination of any of these symptoms for more than a few days call your doctor and ask for a blood test. We feel extremely grateful that we caught it again in the early stages and are very hopeful to avoid any long term affects. It must be extremely painful based on the tears.

And if you come to visit you may find guinea birds in our yard since they are voracious tick eaters. Nothing says, "Hello and welcome" to our home like poop on the porch!! In all seriousness, educate yourself and stay alert. Deer ticks are so incredibly tiny they look like tiny moles on your skin! You have to go searching to find them. And now I am itching all over and convinced things are crawling on my skin so I must go check. Happy checking everyone!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Embarking on the Inevitable

In the whole journey of adoption there are certain things you encounter with your child that is unique only to their story. They walk through things that your other children never have to think about. The obvious things like skin color, seeing all the blank spaces on family medical history sections of paperwork and the questioning stares. And the not so obvious things like struggling with intense feelings of rejection. Inevitably they begin to ask questions about their family or origin. And fortunately for us we have some answers to give Eden. I am forever grateful that God chose to honor my request of entrusting us with a child who was a true orphan so that I have a few answers to give her.

Within the past few months Eden has become keenly aware of pregnant woman, babies, nursing, etc. She made an off-hand comment one day about me having had a brown baby and white babies come from my belly. I knew this was the moment that I would sit and we would start delving into the truth that I was not her first mommy. We sat and I started explaining that she had in fact grown in her brown mommy's belly and that her mommy must have been so excited when she was born! I went on to explain that her first mommy and daddy for some reason had to leave this earth and had died when she was itty-bitty. She was puzzled yet seemed to be understanding. I was struggling with tears that wanted to squeak past my eye-lids. The moments that I allow myself to think about what her mother must have felt when she realized she was dying and leaving this helpless beautiful little girl behind just breaks me.

She took all this information in and began verbally processing with me. She told me that when her mommy died she was very sad. (which i'm sure she was) She said that they put her in a crib and she cried. (again...I'm sure she did) And then she said that she prayed for us to come and we did!! (not so sure about that one)

I know she is far too young to fully grasp all of this but it was a good start to opening up how she came to be a part of our family.

But then at the end of last week Shane informed her that she has a brother in Ethiopia which opened up a whole new set of discussions and questions. When are we going to get him? Why isn't he here yet? Why aren't we going? What is his name? Talked her through those questions and told her we would continue to pray that God keeps Him safe. And assured her that someday we will try to go find him which we fully intend to do! Maybe if we adopt again within the next 2 years we will take extra time to go looking. That is what we have talked about anyhow.

Two weeks ago I took Eden to have a surgical procedure done on the side of her face. She had a benign cyst that had been bothering her for a good 9 months now and we decided to give it a try and see if she could handle having it removed. She did amazing!! I walked out of there so proud of her tenacity and how brave she was through all of it. There had been a promise given to her that she would receive a milk shake when everything was done. We stopped at the local dairy shop and waited in line to get her milk shake. A very nicely dressed older woman who seemed quite refined was behind us in line. She said to me, "May I ask you a personal question? Is your little girl adopted?" When people ask that question you never know what questions are going to follow. She seemed to gentle and kind and it felt safe to engage. I told ther that "yes, she is in fact adopted." She got a broad smile and said, "So am I! I was adopted 70 years ago! We are the lucky ones!" We talked for a few minutes and I was so encouraged by her sweet spirit. She could have remained quiet and not said anything to me. But her simple conversation with me was the highlight of that day!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Bird

A few days ago we were leaving the house to take Judah's forgotten saxophone to school and nearly stepped on our little visitor. I of course had to ask Mark what kind of bird it was since I can't identify birds outside of robins, doves,blue jays, cardinals.....the common ones. Pretty sure he said it was a yellow warbler! Whatever it was it was fawned over!

Pretty sure the bird was shocked by the attention and little hands that were touching it. We ran to the school, came back and it was still sitting on the porch. We thought it must be injured but just as we were about to check it out a bit more thoroughly it took flight! And about scared the snot out of us!!

This is just something I witnessed upon entering the girls' room. Pretty sure the "fluffies" get played with more around here than pretty much anything else.

Finding myself incredibly grateful today for friends and sisters that help to sustain me during these long, exhaustive days of spring! This has been the busiest spring for Mark so far and just when I feel like I am reaching my max the days have gotten longer. But in the midst of it I have been blessed with friends that check on me daily and encourage me. I know this truly is a season and God has been exceedingly gracious to me in my moments of weakness!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Perks of Motherhood

Continuing in the vein of motherhood I thought I would share some pictures and conversations with my favorite people over the past few days! This is just plain cute having the girls all matchy-matchy! Clearly Heidi thinks the pockets are the best thing about wearing this skirt. And the only reason Eden would wear the skirt was because she could match Heidi. I seriously never could have imagined that having two little girls could be so fun. Watching them transition into sisters is so rewarding!

Early morning pillow/fluffy/snuggle time on mom and dad's bed. In most homes I do believe the correct term for all the fluffies is stuffed animals. When Shane was a little guy he called them fluffies and that has remained what they are called to this day!

Yes....that is Heidi dragging her pillow all around the yard! This afternoon a lot of fluffies, blankets and pillows found themselves having a party in our yard! Complete with all the fluffies being carried to precarious heights in the tree and propped in the branches!

Shane even thought it would be relaxing to literally hang out in the tree! Didn't work as well as he thought.
Making funny faces! These three are becoming quiet the trio! Heidi is suddenly morphing into one of the big kids and she is usually found with these two. Tristan is the one who helps everyone stay on track and obey the rules. The girls try to run his conscientious little self over but he holds his own pretty good!

Top reason I love being a mom is for these dreamy looks! And for the crazy things they say. Here are my top favorite things I overheard or was a part of today:

Tristan: When I grow up I will be an uncle to our house!

Judah: Pretty much everything is made in China...except for us!

Eden: It is taking God a long time to give me a baby!

Me: need to be quite a bit older and you should be married to have a baby.

Eden: I am married!!

Me: To who?

Eden: To my first mommy!!

Our conversations about her first mommy need to be saved for a post all of their own! Sweet times! Maybe next time.....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Tribute to my Mother

Earlier this week I sat at my kitchen table eating dinner with a dear friend (since both of our husbands were working late) and I found myself in a familiar place. Not familiar because I have lived it but because a majority of my friends have found themselves there so I hear about this place. The place of having a broken relationship with their mother. Relationships that are based on manipulation, unrealistic expectations, never enough, intrusive, etc. I looked at my friend and said, "I am sorry but I cannot even pretend to know what that is like. I have no basis of understanding. I really have nothing to say since my relationship with my mother is the polar opposite."

And I am coming to realize slowly but shorely that the relationship I have with my mother must not be the norm. My experience is that of a relationship built on trust, of mutual friendship, of love. She really is one of my best friends! I know I will get wisdom, Godly counsel and truth when I speak with her!

Her life has not been one of ease I can assure you! She has worked harder than a woman should have to work in order to keep things running smoothly. On those days I find myself wanting to complain about my life I think of hers and thank God instead! Seriously......crazy amounts of hard work! And at the time of her life when she should have been able to start thinking of cutting back I watched her walk with absolute integrity through the dissolving of her marriage. Those initial weeks and months were extremely difficult but her faith never once wavered!

At different times I will get hit with this wave of understanding that someday I will not be able to pick up the phone to tell her about my day or the antics of my children and I am deeply saddened. I try not to think about that reality because the lump in my throat becomes almost impossible to swallow around. I know now more than ever that I have been given a tremendous gift of friendship with my mother. She is one of my biggest supporters and the thought of having that support beam gone is almost more than I can handle.

She has more friends than most and I think it is a testament to her gift of friendship. She has friends from grade school and friends who are young enough to be her daughters. I cannot begin to tell you how often when I call she has a friend there for lunch, is making dinner for a friend that is coming over, going out to breakfast with a friend, etc. She is a wealthy woman when it comes to friendship and I really hope I follow in her footsteps in that regard.

So Mom....if you are reading this I just want you to know that you are deeply loved! Even though we all give you a hard time about so many things (esp childhood walking buddies to school) I think deep down you know we couldn't be prouder of how you have lived out your life. Especially the past 10 years! I know without a shadow of doubt that God smiles on you every day!

I know my mother helped to shape and mold the person I am today. And I am grateful she was the one with whom God entrusted me. And this is my bumbling attempt at saying I think my mother is pretty great!!