Monday, February 25, 2013

So he can walk, and run, and jump on the trampoline?!

           Today we had our much anticipated visit with the pediatric orthopedic doctor.  Levi was born with bilateral congenital clubfoot.  Basically both of his feet were turned inward.  Clubfoot affects about 1 in 1,000 babies, most of whom have a family history of this, and occurs twice as often in boys.  Since we do not know anything about Levi's family history, it does make things slightly more complicated.  The doctor repeated what we have heard several times....that Levi's feet were fairly mild.  Typically this would be a good response, and in most ways it is.  We had initially believed he would 100% need surgery to correct his left foot, as he had his right foot surgically corrected last June in Russia.  The complications he experienced due to the anesthesia nearly took his life and we thank God that He did not allow the second surgery to be completed there.  Today the doctor said the he believes that the common Ponseti method (a series of castings) would likely be successful for Levi!  We were extremely relieved that he may not have to face another surgery.

      That being said, because his feet are mild, and he is 18 months old, the doctor did suggest that there could be an alternative cause to his condition.  He said that typically the feet tend to get worse over time.  If Levi's foot was turned completely inward he would have been convinced it was just a genetic form of clubfoot.  His concern is that it may be neurological, given our lack of family history, and the lack of severity.  It may have something to do with his spine (he explained this in great detail and I would massacre it if I attempted to explain as he did!).  This is not a definite, but he has suggested an MRI to rule out this possibility  because if it is the case his feet would slowly return to this position regardless of the treatment.  He said that a fairly simple surgery would have to be done to correct his spine if this were the case......and we're back to surgery. So we are hesitantly relieved.  And yet....confident that God is in control!

       Fortunately he was able to put the first cast on immediately today so we did not have to wait and return.  I say fortunately, but Levi likely disagrees at the present time.  Oh he is so sweet...he watched with great curiosity as they put the cast on....he was truly the perfect patient.  Okay, at first.  In time he just didn't want to sit there, restricted, any longer...and my heart broke for him.  All I could think about was running the bath tonight for Caleb and how Levi would only be able to watch.  He adores bath time   He hears the tub filling up and is there in an instant ready to throw himself in!  And he has been so proud of how he can walk while pushing toys, or climb onto the couch.  And now he is restricted once again.  I know he will adjust and I know it's for his best interest.  It's just hard to watch.  

      It reminds me of how often times God has to make us uncomfortable...restrict us a little, or maybe a lot, and watch us experience some pain or discomfort....all in our best interest.  If only we could see that it is for our best...if only I could help Levi understand it is for him...for his he, as Caleb so eloquently put it last night, can walk and run and jump on the trampoline!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Way of Life

         I see now that this was never meant to be just a chapter.  It may have been the beginning of something new, but more of a new way of life than just a brief part.  I can already see glimpses of my annoying patterns starting to pop up, even while what I desire is truly God's will.  I want to know what is next....Now!  God has me hooked!  I'm all in....I want more of this life in the fullest form I've ever known it to be. 

         But I can also see the need for a balance.....I now have two little boys who need my time and attention.  Motherhood is my full time ministry and I have to be careful not to forget that sometimes the normal, daily routines along with all of the sometimes seemingly mundane responsiblities of laundry (upon laundry upon laundry...sorry I couldn't resist!), etc. are just as important....and just as much a challenge that God can use to teach and grow us!

       I know that adoption will forever be a part of our life....for the obvious reason that we have taken this journey, but also beyond that.  I feel certain that God will lead us to adopt again....when?  I'm not sure.  Where? Not a clue!  But he has helped me to open my eyes and to see this great need and now that I truly know, I can't turn the other way.  And I won't wait until we feel God prompting us to start another adoption, or foster a child.....there are so many ways we can help! 

      I've talked about this several times, but one small way that we will continue to help in this realm of adoption is through participating as a consignor in the semi-annual RI Kids and Womens Consignment sales.  I will continue to collect clothing from anyone who wishes to donate, and will use whatever qualifies for the consignment sales, and whatever does not for the Providence Rescue Mission ( who gives away about 5,000 articles of clothing per month!  That which qualifies for the consignment sales is washed, hung, priced, tagged and sold at the consignment sales for a profit of 60% of the price I choose.  100% of what I make will go towards helping families with adoption expenses. (As with the last sales, there is always the chance for one consignor to win 100% of their sales, rather than the 60% by handing out mini flyers with my consignor number on them and having people hand them in at checkout.  Because of all of our amazing friends and family and God's blessing, I was the one consignor from BOTH sales who won 100% in the I have no doubts that we could do it again!!) 

     So who will receive the profits from the sales?  This will just depend on the need at the time!  When I first started thinking about the spring sales, I had no idea where the money would go.  And to be honest, if it just builds up in an account until we know of a family in need that's fine too!  Of course I had couple of ideas, but in the past couple of months God has shown me clearly.  At this time I could not be more excited to share that my brother and sister-in-law have just begun the adoption for this upcoming Spring sale, the profits will go towards their expenses!  Whatever clothing does not sell is put aside for the next sale and I hope to continue this each year!  Of course we only have so many clothes to contribute, so all of your donations are extremely appreciated and essential !  In this way, I feel that we can all continue to follow God's call to care for these's simple and it may not raise huge amount of money, but I will be the first to tell you that every little bit helps so very much!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

First Day Home Video

      A really sweet, thoughtful friend of ours offered to come over the morning after we arrived home to take pictures of our family.  While Luke and I were too exhausted and jet-lagged to even think about getting out of our pajamas, we were all for having some pictures taken of our boys and documenting this memorable day!  Of course we ended up in some after all : )  We are so thankful to have this precious memory....she captured everything so beautifully.  And to top it off, she created a video of the photos which we'd like to share with you.....

                                               Thank you Erica for this sweet blessing!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


                                                               11 Who is like You among the gods, O Lord?
                                                   Who is like You, majestic in holiness,
                                         Awesome in praises, working wonders?   Exodus 15:11
      I'm in awe of so many things as I think back over the past couple of months, and this entire journey.  I'm in awe of the fact that God had this whole plan for us in the first place, of how many people invested their time, money, energy, prayers, support and love into coming alongside of us, of how God provided every single step of the way, of how it felt that Levi was our son right from the first hours we spent with him, of how things were moving so smoothly and in an instant all was uncertain, of how God gave us his perfect, inexlpainable peace, of how He worked all things out in His timing, and of the fact that I now peek in and check on two little boys sleeping soundly each night.  Complete awe at God's grace and love.
    I almost laughed when I read some of what I had written and thought at the beginning of this journey....that it would be the hardest thing we'd ever done, wondering how we'd ever figure out where to adopt and make all the decisions that come with it, and really doubting that we would ever be able to raise the money needed - just to name a few.  Sure it was hard, but I doubt it will be the hardest thing we ever was the most rewarding and it taught me so very much, and I hope that God has more "hard" things in store for us.  And the bottom line is that we don't have to figure anything out, or worry about the finances or decisions to be made - God does! 
   It's only been a couple of weeks, but already we have seen so many changes in our little guy!  And as I think back to the first days of meeting him, I am amazed at how easily he smiles.....we worked for those smiles and giggles during those first trips to Russia, and now if I just look his way, without even making eye contact he will smile when he feels me looking at him.  He has such a sweet personality!  For the first week and a half he would become exhausted after just an hour or so of playing....I don't think he was used to being able to roam freely and for him it seemed like a workout!  He loves to play and is curious about everything, but he spent much of his time sleeping those first days.  Now he is staying awake much longer, getting into a lot more, and really getting vocal!  He crawls around yelling and making sounds...he fits right in around here! : ) 
   During the first week or so, if I were to put him down he would follow me, whimpering and saying ma-ma-ma-ma (so precious!).  I learned to do things quickly so I could scoop him back up, or just tried to do things with one hand whenever possible.  Now he only does this when he's tired and the other day I was trying to hold him and he just wanted down!  He loves to follow Caleb around and seems in awe of his big brother and all that he can do.  I think Caleb truly believes he is yearssss older and attempts to be a third parent at times.  He's still adjusting, but overall I think he's happy to have a little brother and enjoys playing with him.....on his terms for now!  

   It's really a gift to have a child that loves to eat everything as well!  I keep saying how spoiled I feel because he is adjusting so well and is so sweet and pleasant!  To top it off he eats anything and everything.  I'm loving that I can just put whatever I make in a blender and he'll eat it too!  I think he's loving all of the new flavors and's so much fun to watch his facial expressions as he experiences new things.  Yesterday Luke gave him his first haircut and he was so intrigued by the clippers that he turned his head to see them wherever they were.  While this made it quite difficult to cut his hair, it was so cute to see his curiousity.  And Caleb seeing him do so well with his haircut, did really well himself for the first time!  Who knew he'd be learning from his little brother : ) 
   We'll be having an early intervention lady come to the house next week and the following week we see the orthopedic doctor, so we welcome your continued prayers through these next steps.  But we really just feel immensely all of you, and by this precious gift God has entrusted us with!
Just a few pictures of this joyful little guy.......



                                                                  Praise the Lord!
                                            Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
                                                For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
                                                                     Pslam 106:1