Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Year Later

 Last year, on this day, our beautiful and unexpected baby girl arrived on our doorstep.  Forever changing us.  In only the best ways possible. I will never forget the feeling in my stomach as we waited for the caseworker to pull into our driveway.  I couldn't eat.  My stomach was in knots.  So excited! And terrified! And then she came through our doorway and straight into our hearts!
 I still look at her in wonder. I sometimes forget she didn't grow within my womb.  She is so much a part of me!  Of us. She has made each of us better people.  She is feisty, active, a climber, into everything, keeps me on my toes but fits right into the rest of this crazy crew! 
 One of my favorite pictures from her birthday.  Even though she wasn't feeling well and just wanted to sit and look at her cake everyone else was so excited!
 There is this part of her that just oozes sweetness.  I can't even explain it.  I just hope it always remains.  She is noisy and yells a lot! Sometimes I get almost embarrassed when we are in public because she is so loud and disruptive.  She is just happy to be living life.
 Couldn't resist the cross-eyed picture! 
Baby girl, I am forever grateful to your first mother for choosing me to love you and call you my own.  What an amazing sacrifice she made!  One that seems unfathomable to me. I stare into your dark eyes almost every day and wish she could see how beautiful and fun you are.  I almost feel guilty for reveling in the beauty of you when she has to wade through the pain of loving you from a distance.  You are a treasure and an unexpected gift from God to our family! 

Happy 1 year home day!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Kind of Crazy

To say the past few weeks have been crazy would probably rank up there as an understatement.  I have been so grateful that Mark's schedule has been a bit more flexible over the past week to tag team with me more than normal.  I really should start keeping track of how many trips we make to the doctor in a year.  We just might single handedly give our doctor's practice their job security.  On valentines day I took Eden to the doctor and she was diagnosed with bronchitis.  So we started a hefty dose of antibiotics and within 4 days she started feeling pretty good again.  Anything respiratory with her become quite the ordeal.  Residual affects of orphanage life when she had multiple cases of pneumonia.  Our pediatrician is wonderful and takes her asthma and her somewhat finicky respiratory system seriously.  And we are grateful. 
A week late to the day we were back to the doctor with the two younger girls.  Both had ear infections.  Heidi woke during the night crying about her ear and by morning it was draining and literally running down her cheek, dripping off her chin onto her shirt.  She was not happy about that development.  We still aren't sure if her tube has come out or just malfunctioned.  Hopefully we will find out at her recheck.  The same day we learned she is eligible for speech therapy to try and help her learn her k and g sounds.  Again, chronic ear infections, multiple sets of tubes have created some hearing issues.  This was the first time she was able to verbally tell me she couldn't hear me.  Second opinion coming up at the end of the month to pursue other treatment options.
This week we were back to the doctor again with Tristan. His turn with an ear infection.  Goodness!  Three kids with ear infections in less than a week.  Oh, but it gets better.  Eden finished up her antibiotics and we ended up at the doctor on yesterday where she too was confirmed to have an ear infection.  Four kids on antibiotics for ear infections. "Dumb luck" says the doctor.  At this point I decided to just laugh at the absurdity of it all.  What else can you do?
We get home from the doctor and Shane's friend comes to play for the afternoon.  Mark and I were getting ready to head out for a dinner date with my aunt and uncle.  I was so excited to get a bit of a break from all the neediness. Judge me if you will. The kids were outside sticking their bare feet in the remaining snow by the sidewalk.  I thought they were all back in but a split second after the door closes we hear Heidi screaming.  Nothing unusual for her if she is frustrated about not being able to open the door. Mark and Shane go to open the door for her and I hear, "Looks like we are heading to the ER".  Not really words you want to hear especially when you can't see what is going on.  I didn't even look but jumped up to get some wet paper towels because I heard them mention blood.         
 Heidi has a tendency to trip easily while she runs due to her legs turning in.  I feel like I am constantly telling her to slow down because she falls so much.  Apparently she was running, tripped and fell into the outside brick window ledge.  It was clean immediately that she would need a bit more than a bandaid.  Although Tristan ran quickly to bring me a bandaid in case that would help.  Bless him.
 Fortunately for us it is spring break week so the students weren't in town.  Meaning the ER was slower than usual.  We were in a bed within 10 minutes of entering the ER.  She enjoyed the popsicle and the hour of tv she got to watch while waiting for the numbing gel to take affect.  She was good as long as she could hold her daddy's hand. 
 She was a trooper although hearing her scream bloody murder for the 15 minutes it took to stitch her about made me nauseous.  She has a nice shiner and six stitches.
 Here she is today with a swollen eye.  By this afternoon she was back to her rambunctious little self.  Jumping off the couch, running around the house with me yelling after her, "Be careful you don't hit your eye!"  She doesn't want me taking pictures and she doesn't want to look at it in the mirror.  She cries as soon as she see herself.  We keep assuring her that she won't look like this forever but doesn't seem to console her at all. 
 Anyway, Naomi finished her antibiotics yesterday and started with fever again the same day.  She had high fever today and was pretty lethargic.  She snuggled with me a majority of the day but sat with Shane for probably 30 minutes while eating her cheerios.  They are so stinking cute!
And Eden was pretty miserable all day today with fever and ear pain. I am hoping that by tomorrow she will be much improved! 

And for all of those who prayed last evening - thank you!  Heidi and Naomi both slept all night and Eden woke once!  It was miraculous!  Other than the fact that from 4 o'clock on I was worried that Naomi's fever was raging and Heidi was sleeping more than usual because of an undiagnosed head injury with her fall yesterday. But the crazy thing was I was afraid to check on them lest I wake them!  Ha!  I am not ashamed to say I am hoping for another night of sleep like last night.  And to wake to healthy, fever free children!