My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Friday, September 30, 2011


We got home about 8:30pm tonight.  Lucas slept the whole way home 2 hours in the car.  He is resting on the couch watching football and playing with his Buzz Lightyear toy and telling Isaac what to do and not to do.....ahhhhh "normal" may actually return....=)

one more step and we get to go HOME!!!!

Pain is under control--PRAISE GOD for a totally smooth transition from one pain med to the other--THANK YOU all for your prayers.
Cath is OUT!
Epidural is OUT!
Casts are covered with their final covering....Camouflage..chosen by Lucas.
He is on oral pain meds Only right now.  Oxycodone and tylenol.  He did have a slight reaction with redness and itching in his face so they gave him Benadryl to get rid of that, but I think we have figured it all out now so he will get a slightly lower dosage of the Oxy which is good too.

One last step....we need him to pee on his own.--(sorry if that is crass but it is what it is)

We are waiting for that and then all the instructions and we are outahere.

this is a much happier boy today--a liitle groggy but much happier than the past 2 days....

Phillippians 1:19

The Lord led me to this verse this morning and I just had to share it, because it is SOOOO true and awesome.  I LOVE God's Word!  
I've changed the header in the blog to reflect it because it is so profound to me.  

MMMMM MMMM good!!!

"for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance."  Philippians 1:19

8 a.m. --Day 3

Epidural was turned off at 7 a.m. this morning and oral meds were begun (Oxycodone)--visit from the Dr.
Epidural removed at 8.

He is pretty dopey right now.
Praying the transition goes well as his legs begin to tingle from the removal of the epidural.

Peter had the brunt of care last night.  Lucas kept yanking out the canula in his nose that measures his O2 levels and something else.  Peter got up a multitude of times to put it back in and stop that dumb machine from going off.

I think we are ready to all go home and sleep in our own beds...
we will see how today goes.

God is faithful!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

9 pm ---Day 2

Lucas has been mostly comfortable today but also very sleepy.
Tomorrow morning, early, the epidural comes out.  I believe overnight they will also be giving him some oral medications to get it into his system for the transition.  Sometimes the transition from epidural to oral meds can be touchy from what the nurses said, so that is a HUGE prayer request.  Pray that he is comfortable, that the transition goes well and he does not have extra pain.  He will also need to "pee" by himself within a certain amount of time or they will have to replace the cathetar.  Yikes that would just be yucky.  So pray that once they take it out tomorrow they will be able to leave that out too.

We could go home tomorrow if all transitions well.  If not we are looking at Saturday.  Both are fine with us.  I really just want to make sure the pain is under control before I take him anywhere.

Since the type of amputation that he had was the Boyd and not the Symes we think there is extra pain involved.  In the end it will be better for him because the heel pad then becomes a stronger base for the stump.

Speaking of Stumps....
that word is so weird to me---can't they come up with something less....

I mean how about we try to come up with a more creative term???  I'm taking suggestions... leave a comment or email me.  We can have fun with this and start a new trend in the amputee world...I mean seriously...STUMP...???

We heard some funny stories about kids today with amputations.  One of the social workers told us about times when she's been in camp-like situations with lots of kids with prosthesis.  Sometimes they get tired of wearing them and they just drop them wherever they there will be legs/feet, etc. just laying all over with kids hoping all over the place with a variety of amputations.  She said it is actually kind of funny.  Peter said "oh great, not only will we be tripping over Isaac's shoes all over the house but Lucas's legs will just be laying there for us to trip over too."
Join us in a whole new world of adventure in the next few months.

and finally a few pics from today.

Isaac took the day off school today to come visit Lucas.  My sister Linda is here and brought him.  Lucas was very happy to have both of them here.  Although right before these pics at the Shriner's Build A Bear "store", he had a bad round of pain so he looks a little under the weather.  I posted the picture earlier of him with his bear, but this is him helping the bear get dressed in his Fireman gear. (BTW, his lips are blue because he ate 7 popsicles of varying colors..)

we took him outside in the beautiful weather and found this cool moveable instrument.  He attempted to play it a little bit which was good...

a sweet thank you to Peter's sister and bro in law as well as niece Holly and family for sending this sweet Cookie bouquet.  He isn't eating much yet, but I'm sure he will love them soon...

I see that little smile under there......

so there ya have it for today folks....

Lamentations 3:22-24

New International Version (NIV)

 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
   therefore I will wait for him.

just a sweet picture of our boy

We got the boy in a wheelchair and outside for a while today.  He got a new Build A Bear from Shriners and got to pick out the outfit.  Daddy spied the fireman clothes....made for a happy boy.
Pain is currently under control.  But, we have moments where it flares up.  That is not pretty.  Overall he is "good".

5 a.m.--"My toes hurt"

We had a round of pain issues again at about 5 this a.m.
It wasn't quite as bad as last night was, but he had some tears.

He kept saying "my toes hurt".....

I asked the nurse and she said what I thought-- it is the Phantom Pain issue.

Plus there is real pain from the actual surgery site and I'm guessing since that is the end of his leg now it probably seems like it is his toes too.  She said his pain is probably a throbbing feeling right now.

He is resting now again which is good.

We brought a few gifts along with us and gave them to him, but he is not quite ready to play with them yet.    He liked it, but said he would wait till he gets home to play.

He also sweetly said "I don't like surgery"...=(
I love that boy... I don't like surgery either boopski!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Reports are great!!!

Lucas woke up from a deep drug induced sleep at about 10:30pm and has been in awesome spirits.  A tad subdued, but he talked to Isaac and Aunt Linda on the phone, ate 4 popsicles and is watching Mickey Mouse!!!

He seems VERY comfortable. (other than that nasty catheter--ick who likes those things anyway?)

Good night and Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow....


I'm not sure how much more "prepared" we could have been for this surgery.  We knew when God led us to Lucas this was part of the plan.  A few things got changed and tweeked along the way, but we knew amputation was part of it all.  We prepared him and we knew it as well....

Yet, when he came back from surgery and we pulled back the covers to see his sweet little legs covered in feetless casts, something was still a tad shocking.  Long casts with stubs at the end.   

 I felt like 
"what have we done?"
a bit of guilt has swept over me in the past several hours. 
I saw it and reality struck:  
"now we've really entered the realm of 'special needs'" (which I'm ok with but reality is reality)

I've had moments of: 
"this is for his good" (as in trying to convince myself)
"I know we will get through this"
I've talked with enough people and read enough stuff to know the truth of the matter is he will be running and back to "crazy man" mode soon.  But, this part is hard.

He started coming out of his grogginess a while ago, but was very fitful.  (understandably so).  His pain piqued around 6:30 or so with crying and screaming.  So hard to watch and not cry.  But that would not have helped him at all.  They increased his pain med in his epidural and he fell asleep again.

Finally, I think we have things under control...
Praying that we keep it managed tonight and from here forward.
God is in Control.
He is the Great Healer.

8pm he asked me if his feet were gone already.  I said "yes".  He almost seemed surprised but not in a scared way, more of a "really?" He's such a trooper.

4:45---we have our boy

He is sleeping soundly.
The epidural is keeping him very comfortable.  He should be feeling "nothing" right now.  The doctor said he came out of anetsthesia fine (an answer to prayer that he didn't come out swinging--just didn't know how it would go).

I have to say there is something hard about looking at those big casts with no little feet at the bottom.  It's a little surreal.

But, right now the most important thing is he is comfortable and resting nicely.

Keep praying that the pain is manageable.

Thanks again.


Surgery is done!  Praising God!

The doctor came in and told us everything went well.  They did the Boyd Amputation.  That means they kept the heel pad and attached it to the Tibia with pins (bolts or whatever they call the harware) he will need another surgery in about 6 weeks to remove the pins. He is casted up to the hip area...

We should see him in about an hour.  Dr. says we will likely go home on Friday.

And now
...Peter can now stop taking the

 "spontaneous pictures of me making a fleece blanket..."- that I told him to take; but I made him wait so I could put on my lipstick first...and then we cracked up...ok, maybe I cracked up!

I'm notorious for sticking my tongue out when I'm working on things so I thought I'd show my "true" self...right here...right now....=)

2:20--one side done--apx. 1 1/2 hours to go

Nurse called to tell us the first side took a little longer than expected, but they anticipate side 2 to take another 1 1/2 hours or so.  No real "complications" just took longer.

Just working on Lucas's Mickey Mouse Fleece blanket I promised him.

Surgery has begun...12:40pm

Well, it's happening.
We feel covered in prayer.
We are the only parents sitting in the waiting room so it feels relatively relaxed.

Lucas had a good dose of Versid (sp?)--we are almost certain they give that stuff to kids for entertainment purposes of the parents.

When the physician came in to mark his legs, and pulled back the sheet, Lucas thought that was kind of funny with his bare little bottom exposed.  He kept flipping the sheet back and then laughing.  Kind of that "evil" little laugh that he has...It was quite funny.

Then it really hit and he was unable to really communicate anymore and just looked pretty loopy.

Doctors said that we should expect it to be about 2 hours for surgery and another 45 min in recovery.  They did place an epidural for post surgical pain so that is good--at least we hope it is good.  We are wondering what he is going to think about not being able to move his legs for 2 days.  Only time will tell.

heading into the hospital as brave and unafraid as can be.

There is a story behind this pillow:
  When we did our tour of the hospital on Friday he saw this "Curious George" pillowcase -- and he was determined that when he got to the hospital he would have this pillow.  It is the only one we saw.  I was trying to prepare him that we may not really get that pillow case.  How could I make that gaurantee?  
Guess what?
We were led to the bed where he saw that pillow case and the bed had his name on it.
Such a sweet gift from the Lord.

Watching a little Mickey Mouse as we waited...

 bein' a little silly--he really was NOT a fan of the surgical gown----who is? But, we just made it silly and that seemed to help.

a little pre-surgery medicine is a beautiful thing

my last kiss for the sweet baby toes....

and then when we got back to the room after sending him off to surgery....I saw the little man's shoes and socks....
no words....

now we wait----and continue to pray

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

tender moments for a momma

This momma is a tad sentimantal.
Maybe that has also been exaserbated by the experiences that we've had and the losses we have experienced with Ben, Sam and Jacob.  But, today I really felt it strongly.  As I watched Lucas play, as I watched him run, as I watched him swim, as I watched him ride his bike, I felt twinges of melancholy.  There is a level of grief that happens when someone is having an amputation.  I have no idea what that is going to be like for him, but I know as a momma, I'm gonna miss those sweet baby toes.  So I watched him use those tiny little feet and toes today and play with abandon.  I'm on the edge of a few tears this evening just thinking about them.  

We "knew" he was our boy by the information we were given about his legs, etc. in documentation from China, but, somehow when we first took off his little shoes and put him in the bathtub there, I was surprised to see only 2 toes and some very misshapen feet.  I just missed that part.  We knew his legs were going to require work/possible amputation and we jumped on board with him even with that knowledge.  So in reality we just were assuming the feet would "go".  But, I have grown to love those "Sweet Baby Toes" and he knows it.  

Today I purposed to 
take him on a bike ride, 
to run and chase with him, 
to take him to an indoor pool--where he jumped off the diving board into the 12 ft. and swam to the side by himself...
(We talked about how swimming would be different after he has no feet.  He said "I knows")
and even to video tape him and interview him about his expectations, and the details he knows about his surgery and recovery.  
I feel like I'm trying to grab every sweet little moment and create memories that we will have for a lifetime.   And to answer his own questions if he has them in the future.  I really hate regrets--so I really wanted to try to capture some things that I thought would be important (I'm sure I missed a few)

So, tonight I rest.
I go to sleep just a little on the sad side, but knowing as I've said before that God goes before us.  There are things yet to be seen that are beyond our imagination.  
It's a hard thing to face, yes.
But, when I see the peace and willingness in can I be sad?  He's begged for FIVE toes for so long, and the days are rapidly approaching when he will eventually have them.  

All Glory to God!


So what possesses someone like me on a day like today to feel the need to bake bread?  Isaac always asks me "why are you making bread today?" usually it is on a day when we are leaving for a trip or preparing to have people come and stay or some other stressful day in our lives.
As in...
are you crazy?  Don't you have enough to think about and do?  Why are you making bread and adding another "thing" to your day?  And from the outside I would have to agree with him.

But, there is some bizarre comfort for me in baking bread.  There is a comfort in grinding the wheat, gathering the whole grains, mixing, kneeding and watching it rise--then baking it and filling the house with a warm yummy aroma.

It evokes something that I cannot quite put a finger on.

So today I was thinking about it as I was forming the loaves.

I was asking myself what it is about bread?  and I thought about this posting I made back in April when I made bread with Lucas for the first time:

there is the
labor of love
and finally the
God repeatedly uses bread to show that He has provided for his people.  Even symbolically it is a staple to existence.   He has provided The Bread.

Nehemiah 9:15
In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them

Isaiah 55:1-3

New International Version (NIV)
 1 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
   come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
   come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
   without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread, 
   and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
   and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
   listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
   my faithful love promised to David.

Ezekiel 4:9
“Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself...

Matthew 6:11

New International Version (NIV)
11 Give us today our daily bread.

Matthew 26:26
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

John 6:32

New International Version (NIV)
 32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.

John 6:35
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 6:48
I am the bread of life.

There is something inately good and comforting in "bread".  It has sustained us throughout generations, and when I make it, I really do think about God's Provision.  
I think about how God has gone before us once again.  He provided the Bread of Life---That is what sustains me today.  As the aroma fills my house, I will recall God's provision.
There's something relaxing and calming about the aroma of bread...a very good thing for today. 

2 Corinthians 2:14 - 15"But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.  For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing."

Monday, September 26, 2011

An Amazing Day with the boy

Today was an exceptionally amazing day with Lucas.  He seems so at peace.  He was relatively happy.  He tested only a few boundaries.  AND to top it off---

He actually spent much of the day playing "pretend"---(not something he could/would do 6 months ago)

He pulled out the good ole Playmobil pile that we have (ok I never could quite get rid of it).
He played primarily with the Firetruck and "1,000" firemen we have, as well as the airplane full of policemen and firemen.  Unfortunately one of the "firemen" met his demise today in pretend play.  He "went to be with Jesus" and "is never coming home again"--he was "buried" between 2 pieces of paper and laid to rest under one of my curtains in my dining room.  I did notice that by bedtime there apparently was a "ressurrection" of sorts, because the "grave clothes" were still under the curtain but the body was no longer there...=)

He even took the police boat and several firemen into the bathtub tonight.

I love that he is allowing himself--even in these potentially stressful days---to play pretend and allow his imagination to flow.  He must be quite relaxed.  That is simply due to the Prayers of the Faithful.  If you don't believe that prayer works---well, I'm just gonna say it does!

Tomorrow I'm planning to NOT plan much.  We will do school because that makes our day "normal", we will take the dog for a walk, we will lay low.  But, the one thing I am planning to take him swimming tomorrow "one last time" for several months.  I know that is one of his favorite things ever!  He misses our pool being open, so we are going to a local public indoor pool.  I've never been there before but I've heard there are slides, etc. and sort of a shallower section.  I'm hoping it is a fun afternoon.

I've been taking some video footage of him today and will continue tomorrow--I want to "interview" him and talk to him about the surgery on tape.  So that will come tomorrow too--if it works out.

Linda, my sister, is on her way as I type.  She should be here around midnight tonight and is staying for a week.  She will mainly be here to help with staying with Isaac since we will be at the hospital 2 hours away.  I really hate leaving him behind and being bound by a "school" schedule---that is all new for us in comparison to what we went through with Jacob.  There was so much more flexibility then.  But, it is what it is.

Phil 4:6-8

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

So I end tonight with thankfulness to God for all He already has done.  For bringing sweet Lucas into our lives.  For doctors that know how to help his precious little legs.  For Prayer warriors.  For God's faithfulness once again.
I will praise Him!  He has done and will do marvelous things.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I woke up at 4:30 this morning with my head reeling with things "to do".  So, I got up.  Prayed.  and started doing some odds n ends around here in preparation for Wed. when we head off to surgery for Lucas.

I apparently elicited a lot of comments on facebook when I mentioned my plight---I would have rather been sleeping--really.  =)

But, most of all, I realized once again that we are covered in Prayer by those far and near.
The comments came from people all over the country.  God's mighty hand has touched us once again.  I am learning that people do not have to be in my backyard to still be participating in this life event.  Prayer is HUGE!  And tonight we witnessed God's handiwork as Lucas said,
"Mommy, I'm not gonna be scared for surgery anymore....I gonna be brave" as he cheerfully headed off to bed.
THAT is GOD!!  I'm saying THAT is nothing short of a miraculous statement coming from this boy--and a sincere THANKS to all who have been praying.  You need to know your prayers are being effective.  Keep it up, we are gonna need them.

This song is my heart tonight....(Day after Day--Kristian Stanfill--one of our worship leaders)
Please take time to listen....Our God is Hope is in The Lord!

Just a pile 'o cute pics

I thought I'd share just a few pics of the past few days of fun at our house....

tub time with lots o' bubbles:

Isaac took this sassy shot in the car the other day:

Brothers at the Fair:

Lucas got to go see another firehouse this past week with a bunch of friends.  He LOVED it of course:

that's about all for now.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pre-Op visit Done!

We just got home from our Pre-Op visit at Shriners.  I sort of wish I would have brought my camera today. Lucas got to talk to a lot of people and see a lot of things and I would love to have record of it.  So I guess my words will have to paint the picture instead....

1.  We had a Child Life nurse show Lucas what the mask was going to look like that he would wear.  She let him handle it and put it on his face.  She also showed him what the IV was and where it would probably be placed and what the IV bag would look like--he got to touch it an hold it.  She taped it to his hand so he saw what that would feel like.  (they will place the IV after he is droopy and sleepy--so he won't be as aware of it)

2.  He met the surgeons and they reassured him he would be sleeping.  They were both very nice and he was happy they were "nice men".  They have switched the original plan for a SYMES amputatinon to a possible BOYD amputation.  That basically is a technique difference which will mean he will keep his heel pad and they will screw it in so those screws will need to be removed later.
He may or may not be casted--they will decide when they get in and see how the closure is, etc.

3.  We toured the rooms and he got to push the nurses call button to see what would happen.  Many of the rooms hold more than one child.  That may be interesting.  But, he was actually pretty excited that someone else might be in the room with him.

4.  He saw a cast and what it felt like and looked like --- although it was placed on a "monster" doll so it wasn't full size...=)

5.  We went back to the prosthetics lab and he got to see examples of feet and legs again.  He thought the actual lab where they make the prosthetics was pretty cool.  He saw a guy working on some stuff and was fascinated by all the tools, etc.

6.  The nurse made an impression of his little feet for us so that they can make plaster castings of them so he remembers his little feet.

7.  He asked some questions and seemed to get the answers he was looking for.  We repeated several things multiple times so that he was reassured.

8.  Then he saw the play room.  VERY cool!  and he is looking forward to playing there after surgery.  Although after talking to the surgeon today there was mention of him maybe coming home the NEXT day!  ---- seriously???  please no.  yikes.  We will have to see about that one.

Something we noted was the difference between Shriner's and St. Jude.  Having had a 3 month stint at St. Jude with Jacob, we saw the insanity of life there.  Never realized it could or would be different at Shriners because of the less intense treatments, etc.  I just expected it to be as crazy and intense.  It is not!  There were hardly any people there.  The rooms were mostly empty.  But, then I realized most of the orthopedic kids are like Lucas in that they have surgery and then leave after just a few days.  Unlike St. Jude where there is long term treatment and multiple visits in a week sometimes.  It is a much calmer place and less stressful in my opinion.  I'm sure when Peter and I are sitting and wating for 6 hours for him to return to us next Wednesday I will challenge my own opinion on that one.  But, we will be prepared to stay busy as we wait for him.  The surgery itself should take 3 hours.  We need to be at the hospital at 9 a.m. and I don't have a specific time for surgery  (I'm guessing 11?).  Will keep posted that day as they have internet access at the hospital.

ta ta for now.  We have a weekend to get started.  Time for some fun!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

more conversation

Today I took Lucas with me when we took our dog to the vet for shots, etc.

He had some major misbehavior at the end while I was waiting to check out and the lady was helping someone else.  I could not get out of there fast enough.

He knew afterward that I was mad.  But, I also am really trying hard to not completely loose my head in these moments (running out the door with disregard to me coming after him--into a parking lot; looking at me and saying "no"; snearing at me; yanking on Buddies leash really hard, etc)  Seriously, I almost smacked him.  But, didn't...

So afterward, I get into the car and realize once again the connections and try to help him process it all.

While we were in the office he saw a picture of an animal with an I.V. bag attached to it during some kind of surgery.  I explained that when he is in the hospital he will have one of those too for the medicine to go into him.  I realized afterward, that he was once again reacting to the surgery bit, with his behavior.  So we talked about that.

I told him, I thought that there were 2 things that made him feel mad at momma in the office.
1.  He was scared about the hospital and that "bag"
2. He might also be a little hungry.  (I had fed him but probably not enough before we left)

He agreed.
I told him, instead of getting huffy and angry at momma, he should use his words to tell me he was scared or hungry.  He agreed that he would try.

The interesting part about it was, as soon as he found out he was going to go to band practice to see Isaac and his friends play in the band after the appointment, he switched off the attitude.  I told him he could not be this way if he wanted to go there.  That I would cancel my appointment and stay home with him if he thought he was going to be ugly and mad.  He said "I won't ever be mad at gege's friends" other words, he can be uglier than sin with me...but he choses not to act that way with other people.  hmmmmm.
Part of me wants to say "hang on buster!"
but then again
I think it is good that he knows I'm a safe place for him to "let it all out".  Hard as it is on me personally sometimes, I have to take the high road and not take it personally (I fail sometimes at that).

Tonight at dinner he said something simple yet profound:
"I don't like surgery!"
Both Peter and I nodded in agreement and reassured him that we were glad he put that in words.
At bedtime in tender conversation, he was bringing up the Jacob piece again.  He really wants (or expected) that somehow since Jacob had been in the hospital, and is not here anymore, and he knows he is not coming home anymore, that Jacob would somehow be visiting Lucas while he was in the hospital.  It's all twisted up logic.  But, I had to tell him "no" that is not going to happen.  He began to weep.  I think he thought Jacob would keep him company.  His tender tears were heart wrenching.  He was grieving again for Jacob--the big brother he never met.  I also told him repeatedly about how many people have surgery, go to hospitals, etc. and DO come home and are fine.  I fully expect he will be fine.  And soon he will have his new feet and he will be able to run and ride his bike like a crazy boy again.

As God would do, the lessons that have come up during our Bible Time for home schooling have been about God loving us so much and giving us good gifts and also about sending his angels to watch over us and protect us.  (ie Daniel and the lions den).  God's timing is so perfect.  I am just reading this children's Bible story book one lesson after the other without regard to the issues at hand, yet God is laying out the timing so that I even have Bible verses to share with the boy.

He let me comfort him, cuddle with him, and sing songs with him as we both fell asleep tonight.
One day at a time, one moment at a time, one question at a time.  That's really the only way to do this.

Tomorrow we leave the house at 5:30 a.m. for a 2+ hour drive to Shriner's for the pre-op appointment.  Pray that this appointment gives comfort to Lucas and that he is able to effectively ask his questions, and find some peace.

My sister comes next Monday night late and stays through the surgery into the next week, so that will be a great help to us.  The wheelchair guy was here today fitting Lucas for his wheelchair.  He comes back on Saturday for more fittings.

And how am I?
I'm conusmed with getting Lucas through.
I'm slightly concerned with sleeping at the hospital and listening to the beeps and dings of the IV and other such medical equipment.  I'm a little afraid of how that is going to toss me into memories of Jacob.  One time about a year ago I was in a store and there was a bonging sound that sounded just like the IV pole that kept going off at regular intervals.  I had to leave the store.  So, please pray that I can hold it together personally.  I really think Lucas is going to do great.  But, there is a little fear at the back of my head that he could "lose it" and the "demon child" could show up with his feeling out of control.  Either that or he is just going to take it all in stride.  Let's pray for the later.  
Praying praying praying---I guess that is where the Lord wants me to be --- rightfully so.

More surgery talk

Yesterday marked "one week" pre surgery.  Lucas still remains a little anxious.  Totally understandable.

But, yesterday I got to another level with him when we talked and I realized he thought that he would feel it when they cut off his feet.  YIKES!!!  I tried explaining "being put to sleep" etc.  He seemed very relieved by that.

His behavior this past few days has been touchy.  I think it relates to a huge major meltdown and bad parenting moment I had on Saturday (up too late, and major meltdown), but also to some inner anxiousness for the upcoming surgery.  He hasn't verbalized it throughout the day when he is being edgy.  But, I can imagine it is something lingering in his head and he just doesn't quite know how to bring it up and process it.  So we will continue to open the door for discussion.

Last night when he was with Ms. Amy, he had a discussion with her and long story short, he told her that since he has been sick 4 times (with fevers from the immunizations, etc.) and that he is going into the hospital, that he thinks he might die like Jacob.  YIKES!!!!!!!  We will be discussing that some more today...That needs some serious clarification.  Sweet Amy reassured him that was NOT the case but how does he really know?

Tomorrow we also go to Shriners for our pre-op appointment.  I'm hoping when he "sees" what it is all about and it is explained to him by the doctors some more he will be reassured of a few things.

Please pray for peace for our little man.  A peace that surpasses understanding so he does not have to live in fear or anxiousness these next several days.

He still wants to do the surgery, but he is undersandably getting anxious.  Time to be done already!

Our Anniversary

Tonight Peter and I had a rare privelage to go out to dinner together.  It was our anniversary dinner....yes our anniversary is June 25.  Yes that was 3 months ago.  But, I had a great "groupon" kind of deal for the Melting Pot and thanks to a gift from my mom (3 months ago) we were able to afford a wonderful "adult" time together, Finally.
We both got dressed up (even though you really don't have to for Melting Pot)... Peter wore a suit, and I wore a dress.   I must say, that husband of mine who has been working out and eating right...well he was H.O.T. last night!  Just sayin'.  I had the most handsome date in the place!!!

Lucas stayed with my sweet friend Amy.  But, he was a little confused as to what was going on.  I told him a few days ago that daddy and I were going "out" for dinner.  He kept saying..."when you and daddy eat outside..."
He was trying to figure out what "going out" meant and he thought we were going to eat outside.

He also thought it was very cool that we were getting dressed up for dinner.   Since we are "married" I think he thought I was going to put on my wedding dress.  He loves to talk about people who are married.  He has seen pictures in store magazines, etc.  He is trying to piece together what all of that is about in his little head.  He knows there is a big ceremony and people dress up and they kiss...  But, I don't think he quite gets that it is a one time event.  We have shown him pictures of our wedding day, so I think he gets it was a LONG time ago...(23 years to be exact)...but, it is yet another thing to try to figure out.  He is also trying to figure out why he cannot marry me...and that he should really not be talking about marrying the 9 year old down the street that he likes to play with.  He "loves" her, so he wants to marry her.  =)

He wanted to make sure that I stayed dressed up last night before we picked him up because he wanted to "see my pretty shirt".
I have to say, he has always been a great encourager.  He has always been very in tune to what I am wearing, my hair, my lipstick, etc.  As in, he will notice all of it and say "you look pretty mommy".  I don't get that very much around here because that is just something my husband does not do--a great man, just not in his vocab.  So when little Lucas sees it and notices, it just lights up my day.
When he saw me dressed up last night he got kind of coy.  It was very adorable.

I am thinking maybe Peter and I should have a date more than once every 6 months so it is not such a shock to everyone in the family...=)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Surgery Talk and A Wheelchair for Lucas

10 days and counting till surgery.  Suddenly it seems to be approaching rapidly.

Last week Wednesday (2 weeks pre surgery) as we started school we did our normal calendar routine.  We looked at the date, said it, and then looked at what's coming up.  I mentioned to Lucas that his surgery was 2 weeks to the day away.  Up to this point he has been nothing but giddy about it.
This was the first time Lucas actually said he was scared.
I asked him why?
(Totally understandable, but I wanted him to try to verbalize it a little-what changed?)
He said it was because he was afraid it would hurt.  He needed reassurance.
We didn't sit in that place real long but I reassured him daddy and I would be there with him the entire time and the doctors would do their best to help him not hurt and feel comfortable.  I think it is a good thing that he is telling us this.  He is trusting us and letting us in to his tender little soul and letting us know he is nervous.  
This is good.

We will continue the countdown and reassuring him.  We will continue to pray for his tender little soul and Jesus protection over him.

On a related note...
We received a sweet blessing from our friend Katherine on Friday.  As we were chatting, I mentioned we will be needing a wheelchair for Lucas for about 2 months and I was beginning the search for where to get it.  A lightbulb went off in her pretty little head and she said "why didn't I think of this earlier?"  She has a nephew and ?brother? that are in medical equipment sales.
She called her nephew and he is supplying Lucas's wheelchair for FREE!!!
for as long as we need it.
That is a HUGE blessing for us because medical insurance doesn't cover it.  With our finances being extremely tight right now this is a true God-thing.  We are so grateful to God for using our sweet friend to deliver such an amazing blessing.  Thank you Jesus!

Stay tuned, because I think God is going to do even more amazing things right before your very eyes...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Lucas visits a Fire Truck...

Well, one of Lucas's dreams came true today.
He got to go visit a REAL fireman and see a REAL firetruck.

He was so excited and we have a little video to share.
(I'm not a very good video editor so pardon the pathetic editing.  I need tutoring)

He is obsessed by Police and Firemen lately.  He hears the sirens and notices them everywhere. Most of the time up until today he has wanted to be a policemant when he grows up.  He wants to "protect mommy".  He does talk a lot about shooting the bad guys with guns.  As a "girl" and a mom, that stuff always wigs me out a bit.  But, I do see his personality fitting this kind of service.  Although as he grows he better take a few anger management classes first...=) just kidding...The reality is he is a great helper and loves to learn as much as he can about both of these fields.

We were glad to indulge him today.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

20 years ago.....

Sept. 13, 1991
Forever etched in my mind.
A small baby entered this world.
Precious and tiny.
just 3 lbs. and 15" long.
Our 2nd son.

Born early.
But, not unexpectedly.
Born to life eternal just 1 hour after birth.
Passed from this life to death in the arms of his Oma--while reading Horton Hears a Who.
Sweet little Samuel Curtis.

I wonder how much you would have grown by now.
I wonder if you'd be in college and what you would be studying.

I wonder how different life would be with you in it.

I get a smile on my face when I think about your birth.
Balloons, friends, pizza, everything "blue"--all the things we missed with your brother Benjamin the year before at his birth.
We celebrated didn't we?? We were not going to skip the celebration and go right to death and grieving like we had just a year and a half earlier. We held you even after your time here was through. We cradled you and passed you around. Our dear friends...our dear dear friends indulged us. They held you -- your lifeless body---so we could celebrate YOU! We laughed, we cried...(thank you Janice, Kristen, Curt, Julie, family and others who were there....oh what precious memories you are a part of)

We knew your life would be short once you left the comfort of your place within the safety of my womb. We were "ready" for you. We knew--(for 14 of the 30 weeks I carried you we knew)
Yet, the day we left you at the hospital and did not bring you home with us, I think that was one of my most heart renching moments. Even though your body was lifeless---handing you over to that nurse that last time and walking away---leaves me speechless even today.

As we drove home empty handed after giving birth yet heart bottomed out. I will never forget passing a graveyard on the way home and crying out to God. Yes, for the SECOND time! Would I 'ever' have a child to carry home from the hospital?

I learned from you sweet Samuel. I learned to celebrate life even in grief. I learned there are tender miracles even in death. I learned there are freindships that go beyond words. I learned that GOD is in CONTROL. Thank you son, for entering our lives even for just a brief moment in time. I promised I would never forget you...and today...20 years later, I remember.

I still love you and miss you little one --
you probably would not be so little anymore but you will always be my "baby"

Happy Birthday!

Monday, September 12, 2011

White Pants after Labor Day

Yesterday, as part of our preparation for our 6 month post placement visit which is today (a mandate by China and our agency), I was tackling the huge pile of ironing that has been sitting in my bedroom for months.  Yes I said "months".  Literally there are long sleeved shirts in that pile from .....
uh hum....
drum roll please....

I had to think about it for a moment because I realized we have been over 90 degrees here in Georgia--or at least in the 80's everyday since April.  I'm suspicious that some of these clothes were washed after our trip to China and never ironed.

The short sleeved shirts have been ironed ...maybe .... a few times...but not these long sleeved ones.

I found some clothes I've been missing too.  Woo hooo.....

But, as I was ironing I found a pair of my white pants (some of the "missing clothing") and was ironing them.  I began to think--"I won't be able to wear these again until next spring, so why bother?"  But, I diligently ironed them anyway.

Then it dawned on me.
"Why could I not wear them again until spring?"
And began a conversation with myself in my head.  'Cuz I hate ironing and I need to entertain myself.

The answers I came up with were things like....
"cuz' you can't wear white after Labor Day"
then I asked myself this question:
"self, who made up that rule and why do you care?"

"good question"
I figure if I like the clothes and I want to wear them I should be able to wear them and phooeee to the nasaers that say I can't.  That was my "sassy" in-my-head-voice.
It really made me ponder some other things in my life though.  (I told you I talk to myself a lot for entertainment purposes while ironing)

There are apparently a lot of "rules" like this I don't understand and I really don't follow many conventions like I should.

*I go out of the house without make up on
*I've gone to pick my 16 year old up places with my wet swimming suit on and a towel wrapped around me. (of course I did not get out of the car, but that's another story)
*I don't buy frozen pizza
*Dusting is optional
*I have a theory about cleaning my floors--I sweep before company, but I don't scrub (generally) because it just gets dirty while they are here anyway, so I clean after they leave.

Even our choice to adopt is unconventional apparently.
And then we pick a foreign country.
And then an older child.
And then a "boy" from China. (not a girl)
And then a special needs child that is going to need prosthetics.

Apparently this is not something most people "do".
I'm not trying to elevate myself, but sometimes I really wonder why people are so shocked or amazed or in wonder of our life and our choices.
Then I realized----I wear "white pants after Labor Day."

I take into consideration the things that people consider "conventional" thinking, but really....I'm an odd duck!  I always have been.  Ask my long time friends, even my family, they will tell you.

The reality is Life in Christ makes me this way--I will continue to be obedient to His Calling even if it means I look "odd".  I am no better for it than anyone else.  In fact I would beg to differ and say I have a long way to go on that obedience road.  But, if I look odd to you-- I am sorry for being an eyesore.  I just need to do what God calls me to do.  And I hope you do the same.  Even if it means you look a little "odd" sometimes.

So,  if you see me walking down the street with a Hippy-looking 16 year old with feathers in his hair and a small Asian child without feet----well---I'll probably be wearing white pants too.  (after Labor Day) 

PS kuddos to my wonderful mother-in-law who taught me how to iron well.  I admire her so much and her dedication to her family and just doing it without ever once complaining about it.  She is my ironing hero--now if I could just get the committment level she had...

Friday, September 9, 2011

...and then there was today...

I still feel like I'm learning how to parent and figure this kid out.
You'll have to read the past several posts to know how life has been the past few days.

But, today, L. woke up at 5:30 a.m.  I have to be honest.  I thought today was going to be unpleasant.
I told Lucas that if he gave me even one problem he would be going back to lay in my bed for 30 minutes. I was waiting for the proverbial "shoe" to drop all day.

He said "trust me momma"
I have to be honest, at 5:30 I was not in a very trusting mood.

His behavior today was stellar!
I'm sitting here a bit shell shocked.

We even had friends over tonight and the evening got away from us because the kids were having so much fun and so were we...He didn't get to bed until 9:30.  (bad parenting???)

He had a near issue right as we were brushing teeth.  But, seriously, that was it.  Nothing!  All DAY!

He was obedient, but not in an artificial way--truly obedient.
He was fun.
He was cooperative.
He played nicely.
All his schoolwork was done by 10 this morning.
He ate well.
He helped with chores.
(so why am I sitting here shaking my head in disbelief?)

Maybe I will pay the proverbial "piper" tomorrow.  But, right now I am thankful.  Thankful for yet another confirmation that Lucas has a sweet little soul and he can choose wisely, even when he is under stress (lack of sleep)

Right now I'm just interested in getting Myself to bed.

(I'm still looking over my shoulder and wondering.....)
I have so much to learn---yet again.  I just want a repeat of this day---except the 5:30 part.  I mean really. That's a long day even with a wonderful kid.  I think I should get paid overtime---what do you say?

Relearning how to parent - part deux

So yesterday, we had some near collisions again.

But, the interesting part was how it was resolved.  Much more quickly and with recollection of the day before.
I did have to hold his hands 2x for attempting to hit after getting ornry about school work.   But, I didn't ignore it at all.  I launched into the new policy immediately.  Any hitting requires hand holding.  Any kicking requires feet holding.  He was sure to remind me that he did not kick, so I did not need to hold his feet.  I also gave him the opportunity to "relearn" how he could behave.  It worked and he spoke very nicely.  See he is teachable.  whew!

He had gum again yesterday.
This time I saw him play with it once.  And I said to to him, "remember yesterday?".  That was all it took.  He didn't play with it again.

This is very encouraging to me but also is a great reminder that even the "little" things are big things and I need to stay on my toes at all times.  

I thought we were going to end up with a serious meltdown--so far so good.
He woke up this morning at 5:30.  That is about 3-4 hours earlier than it should be for him.
Typically this means very ugly behavior, particularly for school.
I told him, if he gives me any problem or disobedience whatsoever, that he would have to lay down on my bed to rest for 30 minutes.
He said "trust me momma".
 uh hum.....ok....

We went through our normal routine, except about 3 hours earlier.

All our schoolwork was DONE by the time we normally start.

He's been wonderful
This is a bit weird, but all far.
I told him -- this was all his choice.
He choose to cooperate.
He choose to be kind.
He choose to do his work well.
Momma's very proud of him.  I'm sorry I didn't believe you this morning, Lucas.

One thing to note.
We have been doing the Strong Sitting I mentioned a while back.  We are up to 5 minutes.  I think it is a wonderful thing.  Overall, he seems much better (barring the incident from 2 days ago).  I've also told him to count to 10 if he feels he's going to get angry about something, and I've seen him pause and count in is head a few times before he responded.  He remembered and was able to put it into action.

God is good!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"It's ok mom...Relax"

Lucas, was trying to get into the boys shared bathroom....

I wanted Isaac to get out of the bathroom so Lucas could get in there to brush his teeth before bedtime.

I was yelling..."Isaac, get out of the bathroom"....

Lucas was at the door...

He looked down over the living room where I was sitting and said...

"It's ok mom .... relax"....
(implied, "I've got it handled")

Peter and I sat in the living room, looked at eachother and laughed.

It wasn't a disrespectful tone, it was just very funny.

Peter said, "and people were wondering how we were going to teach this child English."  I think he is mastering it quite well for being here only 5 months.

Relearning how to parent

So, yesterday we had one of those "moments" again.  This time it was because I told Lucas to stop taking his bubble gum out of his mouth and sticking it to his chin.  I probably gave him a few too many warnings. I should have just said "stop" and the next time he did it, taken it away like I said I would -- what happened to my follow through?  I used to have follow through....I think sometimes I get fearful on the inside that the meltdown is coming so I give 3 warnings instead of 1.  Well, that won't be happening anymore....cuz the meltdown still came.

Sometimes I feel like I need to relearn how to parent.

So, in the meltdown yesterday, I did a series of things that I do feel were ultimately effective.   I think I need some instruction on this process.  But, here it goes.  When the 'demon' child shows up.  And I mean that in all seriousness....most days, he is really a wonderful little human being to have in the house...happy, helpful, kind, although I would say he does like to have control....but when the switch goes off---the look and demeanor is almost frightening.  Snearing, evil craziness. This time it lasted about an hour--usually we are home alone too.  That's an interesting piece.

I've gotten smart though.  (or you can judge if I'm the world's worst parent)

I look at him flat in the eye and talk calmly to him.  I think that drives him batty. No matter how "ugly" he tries to be in my face... I don't launch.  I don't scream back.  I tell him calmly "I don't like it when you...."(put your fists in my face; or say "I'm not gonna protect you when I'm a police officer"; or point at me up close and in my face; kick me; threaten to spit in my face, etc etc).

Yesterday, as he was using his hands to be mean, I held them.  I told him I would continue to hold them for 3 minutes and let him watch the time on the clock.  He HATES it when I hold his hands and feet.  But, here is my ah ha moment...if the hands are the offending part---the part that is causing him to sin, I get to restrain him.  I've done that before but, left the time open ended.  That did not end well.  Yesterday, he could watch the time go by.  As soon as I released him he shook his fist in my face again, and so we started over again.  Hmmmmm.....he's a smart what's gonna happen next?

After round 2, he walked away, with a little snear but no fists at me.  YEAH!!!! He got it!!! (still need to work on the snear, but that's for another day)

But, while I was holding the man-who-wants-to-control-the-world, and I held his hands, his feet under my legs,  he tried to spit--
nothing new.
Go ahead and judge me here, I'm a believer in soap on the tongue and I've done that ONCE to him.   I saw a wad of spit about to launch, I said "soap"....he sucked it back in.
Yesterday after he almost spit but made a good choice not to, he found something else he could control....he threatened to pee ....yes pee on me on his clothes and on the couch while I was holding him.  WOW!!! that was brand new.  But, think about it.  I've got control of everything else he thinks he can control.  THAT???well, not much I could do to control that for him...other than to tell him how much laundry he'd be doing if he made that choice.  Slave labor?  maybe.  But, seriously?  He made a good choice....he did NOT pee on me.  I told him that was a VERY good choice. (can I say "whew"???)

I also reread some pages from "The Connected Child" last night and learned another thing that I need to add to the scene.  I need to teach him to reprogram his brain from the beginning.  What could he do "next time" so that it doesn't happen again?  Literally, the motor skills to "stop" before it becomes what it did.

He did have a revelation in the midst of the drama --that the whole thing started at the table with the gum.  He hasn't always been able to identify that before.  So next time, I think I will take whatever that scenario is and try to help him reprogram his response.  "next time, when momma says do not take your gum out of your mouth....this is what you CAN do.."  Cuz in the midst of the drama, he seriously blames it all on me.  I...took his gum away and that made him mad.  Like there was nothing on his part that caused this whole thing to happen.  The cause and effect just does not connect.  The only thing he "hears" is that I was mean and took his gum away.  So in his little brain this whole thing was uncalled for and was my fault.

I must sound so stupid as I write this.  Like "duh"!

But, let me just tell you when you are the parent in the midst of the moment with a child that comes from an unknown backround and you don't want to traumatize them further and you feel like your "normal" discipline routines are not effective, and you have a social worker showing up for a post placement visit in less than a week,  and you want to just let your head explode....this is a huge revelation.

stay calm
offer natural consequences
retrain the brain for the future. (maybe it's more about retraining "MY" brain)
and most of all, don't take it personally---ouch---that's tough!

sorry life here ain't perty all the time.  But, really, we've come a looooonnnnngggg way in 5 months.

Yesterday, after it was all over, and both of our blood pressures were back to normal, he did come to me willingly, say he was sorry, hug me and tell me that "when he is a police officer he will protect me".  So, we do resolve...

And last night the crazy day ended as it often does, with me laying next to him on his bed, reading a Clifford book, praying with him and then singing lullabyes.  He cuddles up to me, wraps his sweet arms around me, sings with me for a few of them and then drifts off to sleep.

THAT is the reward!
Thank you Jesus that we have those moments MORE than we have the other ones.
Thank you for Your Grace--we both need it.

I have so much to learn as I relearn how to parent.

PS and by the way, this really had nothing to do with bubble was about obedience and defiance....I LOVE bubble gum and I'm the first to say, let's play.   So don't think I'm some kind of anti bubble gum nazi.  (thank you)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"thas' a really good song..."

So Lucas has been wanting to meet our worship leader-Chris Tomlin-- for several weeks.  We haven't told him but we are planning a more formal meeting in up and coming weeks.  I'm hoping it may be a little more private that what happened today.

After church Chris kindly made himself available to people to take pictures with him.  He doesn't do that very often.  Lucas saw him.  And was NOT going to let that opportunity pass this time.  So we rushed to the front and waited.  He eventually caught Lucas's eye.  I told Chris that Lucas has been here with us in our family for 5 months from China and he LOVES "Our God"---He screams it, plays it on his guitar and plays the drums REALLY loudly to it.  He smiled.  Then Lucas said:

"Thas a really good song"

Chris just smiled....

That was about it.  But I thought it was so sweet that Lucas wanted to make sure that Chris knew "Our God" was a "really good song".....
For those that don't know the song here it is.
It has been a Top worship song for months.  It's way overplayed on the radio, and known by most people that have that kind of music in their churches.  It is used A Lot!!!!  I love that Lucas wanted to make sure that this Dove Award winning artist knew that Our God is a "good song" just makes me smile....

Friday, September 2, 2011

just some cute pictures....

My birthday cake...

playing in the dirt is hard work


"my legs hurt" (at 2:30 a.m.)--and an xray

"my legs hurt"
so, why post this quote?
It's significant to us.

We think Lucas runs through his days often times in pain but does not say anything.  We think that through the 7 years he spent in the orphanage, that he didn't, or couldn't get attention for it, so he just adapted to it.  This is a common issue with institutionalized kids.  Even babies will come home with habits of not crying when they bump their head or something.

Last night, Lucas came into our room at 2:30 a.m. and said "mommy, my legs hurt".  I asked him where and he pointed to a spot around his knee area.  This should not be surprising at all considering what his xrays look like.

I thought I would share because so many people have asked me recently "why does he have to have his feet amputated?"

So here it is for those of you who are visually inclined like me--and I hope if others see this who are consdering a child like this for adoption they know it is doable...even though it looks like a mess.  Our boy is our boy---and this is fixable.

So the explanation goes like this:
His diagnosis is Fibular Hemelilia (no fibula, completely absent--that's the small bone in your lower leg) he has both of his Tibia (shin bones)  The right one has some bowing issues--we don't think it was ever broken, it appears it just developed that way.
He also has only 2 toes on each foot.  And Syndactyly which means the 2 toes he has on the right foot are fused.  His right foot as you can see has a heel bone but it is misplaced and his entire right foot is rounded at the bottom.  He has tiny little feet -- and legs.  
Both of his knees bow outward.

So there ya have it.
Now back to last night.
Is it not a wonder that the boy would wake up ocassionally and complain that something in his legs hurt?  He has been with us now for 5 months.  This is the FIRST time he has told us in the middle of the night that he is hurting.  He rarely mentions any of it bothering him, although he does have a desire to be carried quite often--but I think that is mostly cuz he has a better view of the world.  

So why amputate the feet?  basically it should in theory give him more stability and I am thinking less pain (even though he never says anything about that) Also, the prosthetics will be fit in such a way that they will be even him out so he can walk straight.  I'm going to try to get some video footage of him running/walking "before" surgery so I can show you what his gait looks like.  Then we can compare in a few months what the surgery does also.

Last night I massaged his leg for a while but that really didn't seem to help much so I gave him some ibuprofen and he went back to sleep.  My question is "what set it off in the first place?"  and the only think I can come up with is running around a lot yesterday with the dog, and then through a parking lot.  Who knows?

Counting down the days to surgery on Sept. 28.  Stay tuned.