Tuesday, January 26, 2016

When It's Time To Let Go...

I don't want to assume that this is just a thing that mommas of special needs kids go through but I can say for myself anyway that it's not something I dealt with prior to adopting our daughter.

See, we adopted a child with major medical issues. The life threatening kind of medical issues...the ones that medicine can't fix, the kind that teach you that every second of life is precious because you don't know when the slightest infection or a bout with pneumonia could leave us empty...without her.

And this changes you...

But not always for the best.

Over the last year I have seen myself in very dark places, exhausted both physcically and mentally.
I discovered an attitude I know doesn't honor my Lord and Savior, but I never could really put a finger on what it was exactly. 

I dug deeper into God's Word asking Him to show me...

I've prayed, begged, and pleaded with God to change me...

...and yesterday it happened.

While baking with my girls I turned and "It" hit me...

You see, this paper has been on my fridge for 2 years now. When Katerinia was still in Bulgaria going through 2 heart surgeries, when God was the only One who could in fact "fight" for her, when the "only" thing I could do was pray.

Fast forward to a year later when she was finally home and there were doctors (13 to be exact) to contend with, nurses grilling me because they didn't believe she was my child, and an insurance provider who refused to cover life-saving medications...

An open heart surgery, heart catheterization, multiple stays in the hospital, a lung procedure, switching heart surgeons, driving 5 hours to see some incredble doctors, and many sleepless nights later you have a momma who has fought and fought, to the point of exhaustion, all in the name of getting the best medical care for her daughter...

You have a momma who has been going about this all wrong...

God's Word tells us "The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still." (Exodus 14:14)

God is the One who fights on our behalf...not us!

We think we can "pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps"  or that "we've got this" but the truth is...WE don't!!

We think we can handle whatever comes our way. I mean, after all, we can check o2, give meds, and read EKG'S all while cooking a three course meal;) But honestly this just leaves us empty. It leaves us short, without this super strength we sometimes think we have.
It creates in us a heart of self sufficiency, a heart that leans on our own understanding and not His. 

It gives us a false sense of ability, thinking we have it together. All the while we wonder how long we can sustain ourselves... 
but I'm hear to tell you that this is not God's created purpose for us.

He didn't create us to leave us dry and empty without help.

 We have a God whose strength is endless, His power is matchless, and He never tires of fighting for us.

Who tells us that HE will never leave us nor forsake us ..

Who tells us to cast our cares upon Him beacuse He cares for us.

We have this amazing God who looks at us, His children, and simply calls:

"Be still."

Friday, January 15, 2016

What we're Reading..

If you came to my house you would  not see a ton of toys or decorations but a plethora of books. As my husband and I have found ourselves strolling (wait we have 5 kids..I don't think strolling quite describes our trips with kids in tow) through book stores we often quote Erasmus "When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.” 

Our home school is extremely literature heavy. It is packed with classic fiction as well as many historical literature books.

This month I wanted to share what we are reading...


The Silmarillion by J.R.Tolkein

My 6th grader (son) has jumped headlong into this stolen-from-his-dad's-bookshelf -kind-of book. So far he has really enjoyed the book. He will then move on to The  Hobbit as soon as he completes this book. I think I am seeing a movie marathon in our near future. 

The Chronicles Of Narnia by C.S.Lewis

My 4th grade daughter, who was once a struggling reader, has affectionately been named "Belle" (see Beauty and the Beast by Disney) because her nose is always stuck in this book...She is currently reading The Silver Chair and has become a little obsessed with all things Narnia (I think we have created a monster)

Little House In The Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

My 2nd grade daughter is reading this book. We just finished The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh so this has been a great transition into a little larger book. She is still at the age where she reads aloud to me, this is my 3rd time to have this wonderful book read aloud and it never gets old. I think she likes to think of herself as Laura and her sister as would that make me Ma? :)

Alfred The King by Chris Schlect

My 1st grade son is reading this book and of course we had to have a pretend sword and proper king attire to wear as he read through this primer. Veritas Press has a wonderful collection of primers for 1st graders that are rich in history and faith. These books have been loved by my other three kids when they were his age. He is also going to begin on Monday reading Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban. He is super excited because we will be making homemade jam....and who doesn't like fruit and five pounds of sugar ?

For Historical Literature:

We do our historical literature as a read aloud time. We either gather around the dinner table with hot tea and our book we are reading and I read aloud to everyone. Sometime we sit in the living room with Legos strung from one side to the other and I read to them while they play with them.. And before you ask ...they can listen while building some elaborate flying mechanism from Star Wars:) I do quiz them as I am reading just to be sure;)

As for my 4 year old...A.K.A. The Bulgarian princess...Let's say we are just trying to make it through the day without her spilling a box of Cheerios on the floor:)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Update on KJ: We finally recieved some good news

The past 9 months have been a roller coaster in terms of KatieJoy's medical situation. We weren't sure if we would see any improvements in her post surgery, they were concerned that she wouldn't even survive the surgery and if she did that it may not improve her 02 levels.

Well, God had different plans... We went for our post op follow up and to our surprise her 02 is at 89% which is a huge change from her 77% .Not only did it improve but it has improved much faster than expected, it typically takes about 8 weeks to see results and she is about a month out from surgery.

Our cardiologist is suspecting that her lung pressures have decreased as well and that if this is truly the case she could become eligible for the Fontan surgery that she needs.

He expressed his team's surprise that she survived, he said that they werent sure that she would and that she has showed them that she is a fighter:) ( I could have told them that)

He also is hopeful that her lungs are seeing some improvememt.

Basically he said that this is very much a miracle and that he feels very encouraged by all of this.

So what's next?

We will go to Houston in September and get a plan from them. My hope is to continue using our cardiologist here but using the team in Houston for surgery and possibly transplant in the future. We are hopeful that she could possibly have the surgery she needs in the next year or so and we are placing it in the Lord's hands and trusting Him with the outcome.

We are so thankful for all He has done and is doing in her life.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Make A Wish Trip ( part 2)

KatieJoy LOVED getting to meet "et it go" 

Jeremiah was super excited in this picture.

She loved meeting Minnie Mouse.... Minnie s showing KatieJoy
how to sit loke a princess:)