Thursday, July 17, 2014

That smile!!

This boy just amazes me!!

Not because he can do things that people 
think little people can't do -

but because of his attitude!

It takes a lot to disappoint Hagan,
he takes things in stride.
He doesn't get jealous when others get to play soccer,
instead he excited when he gets a chance to 
get on the field and kick the ball around a bit. 

He doesn't have a competitive bone in his body -
but he encourages others! 

He loves to learn, 
learning from experience and 
to learn from books!

But, when we get to surprise him with something
that gives him an even playing field with average height kids...

the smile on his face 
is bigger than life!!!

Yesterday, he was gifted with a new bike from Scottish Rite!
The one they had chosen for him, prior to meeting him,
was just too big.
(Hagan is short even on the Achon Dwarfism height chart).

Mr. Albert, pulled out a different bike,
and Hagan's eyes lit up!!!



He took to riding it quickly!

And then when Mr. Albert asked.
"Do you want to take this bike home?"

Hagan could't believe his ears!

We were at Scottish Rite for 5 more hours -
(just x-rays and check up)
Hagan didn't want to let that bike out of his sight,
and kept asking,
"I take my bike home?"
"yes, buddy!!
You get to take your bike home."

I am so thankful for his amazing smile!! 
and his sweet, sweet attitude!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Where HE leads I will follow

It seems daily I am preaching to my kids to be 
obedient and respectful.

Every time those words come out of my mouth,
I have to think...
am I being obedient and respectful?

Am I being obedient to my heavenly Father,
am I being respectful and 
doing what HE says to do in a timely manner -
or do I question and put off my obedience. 

I have one child who runs and hides whenever he gets caught
being disobedient.

Am I running and hiding under the covers
because I don't want to admit that I am disobedient.

 I want to do everything on my own,
through our adoption journeys God
has pushed us and baked us to grow more and more in HIM.
Humbling ourselves and leaning on HIM.

We are feeling that God is asking us to allow others
to join our journey of adoption
by prayer and financial support.

I will be sharing more prayer requests here on our blog
as we cherish each prayer and praise 
raised in our behalf.

#1 Prayer request -
Please pray for our baby girl!
Though our adoption agency has asked numerous times for
an update on our girl -
they say that her foster home is too far away
for them to get a report.
Not hearing anything about our girl for this long
is soooo hard!
Praying she is safe, well cared for and getting the nourishment
that she needs.

#2 Prayer request -
Please pray with us that our paperwork gets to China ASAP!!!
This momma is going crazy!!!
It should be about 4 months from the time our paperwork
gets logged in to China
that we travel to bring our little girl home.

I can't wait to get this baby girl in my arms!!

Gotta put a smile on that face!!

We have also set up an adoption fund.
We will be writing for some grants in the next few weeks too.
The paypal account is on the right side of our blog.
Thank you in advance for joining us
in this journey. 

Following HIS lead,
and trying to be obedient -
even when it means humbling myself! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

His mercies are new every morning!

Some days are easier than others,
and some weeks are waaaay easier than others!!!

Seems that after weeks of vacation
and incredibly busy weeks at home -
finding our new summer normal has been incredibly hard.

But I think we are getting there. 

Today Elijah said,
"Momma, I'm trying to not get in trouble."

and that makes me happy -
all I ask is that we all try!
No one needs to be perfect,
but we need to try to learn from each other
and try to be respectful to each other.

Which also means me being respectful to my kiddos.

Some days it is just hard to not want them to obey at my first request -
or my second, 
and soooo hard at my third request...
but I have to remember that my kids have not had good experiences with 
authority in their past.

Obeying meant that they did not have a voice,
that no one wanted to hear what they had to say.
They respond defensively 
rather than listen to learn how to make better choices.

I am not naturally a patient person,
nor do I have a gentle spirit. 
This is something that I have to pray for daily,
and weeks like this past week - 
moment by moment. 

I am incredibly excited, yet terrified 
 to go to 4 days of intense training with Dr. Karyn Purvis -
is it going to be rough! 
Humbling myself to learn how to better parent my kiddos 
is going to be hard! 
I will be packing a ton of tissues as I know I will be broken again and again,
and reminded of all the mistakes I have already made.

Thank God HIS mercies are new every morning and 
and thank God that my children are very forgiving - 
and allow me to make mistakes,
apologize 
and try again too! 


Monday, July 7, 2014

Celebrating 3 years!

3 years ago,
my brother, Jay, and I 
walked out of the orphanage compound with 
two crazy, hyper, little boys!!!


Two boys who had lost so much,
but came with us 
with the faith that only a child can have.



I am still amazed how our children 
have walked into our family with amazing faith.
Faith that we would take care of them,
love them for who they are,
meeting them where they are.

Look at them now -


two absolutely amazing boys who just 
aren't so little anymore.


We are blessed beyond measure to call them 
our sons,
the amazing lessons they have taught us 
is incomparable!!


We love you Donovan and Elijah!!!
To the moon and back!!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Nine!!! Seriously? NINE???

My son turned 9 while we were on vacation!!!


I can't believe he is n-i-n-e!!!

We've only been blessed to call him son 
for 3 years -
but boy is he an Anderson through and through!


When we were matched with Donovan and Elijah,
Donovan was a bit older than we thought we wanted 
to add to our family.
But, thank God we said "yes"-
he is such an amazing brother 
and son!!
We can't imagine our family without him!


We celebrated his birthday at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha!
Donovan loves going to the zoo!!!

We had a great day with our friends,
and had ice cream on the way home,
and "Aunt" Karen 
even had baked him a special birthday cake and gift!!
Thank you Karen!!!


Happy Birthday Donovan!!
We love you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Don't judge a book by it's cover

To think people passed on this blessing 
because of fear 
that he wouldn't be self sufficient!


I'm so thankful that never crossed our minds.


Because we probably would have run too!!

But ohhh how blessed are we to 
have our little man in our lives 


and am blessed to call him
"son".

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Kenzie's Graduation

The day came!
(beware photo overload!) 


Kenzie's Graduation cap!
off to MSU!


Where did my baby go?


I love seeing all the caps decorated! 


Everyone was very well behaved during the ceremony!


Well deserved Kenzie!!


Kenzie and her principal, Mr. Spann




okay, the ceremony started getting a little long
for the gang...





Yahooo!!!! 

and momma only cried a little!
(I forgot my tissues -
and didn't want to embarrass Kenzie-
so I controlled myself)

Besties!!!!





Thursday, June 5, 2014

Snag along the way!

Sometimes along the adoption journey -
you just want to quit!

Sometimes the paperwork gets so heavy 
and fighting your case 
gets you down...
enough to give up!!

It is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs,
we dropped down last night 
when we came across a snag!
UGH!!!! 

I don't know if I can take this anymore!!!!

and then I sit and pray,
and look at this face...


and then I look at these babies...


what if we had given up -
where would they be?

So, press on we will!!

She WILL come home!!!





Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Growth is hard

As you all know…
Hagan is one amazing guy!


He has walked into our family and has seemed to 
embrace family -
and all that a family is.
He let's us take care of him,
but doesn't expect us to do everything for him.

Recently, we have seen more growth in him…
and this growth is hard.
He is releasing some memories from his past.
Telling us some stories,
or parts of stories.


It just hurts this momma so bad that I don't know his
life story for the first 5 years.
I know, I know… 
I've seen and will see so many firsts in his life now -
but really,
how he reacts to situations in his life
all stem from the experiences in his first 5 years of life. 
And it wasn't good. 


He is an amazing kiddo -
who tries to see the good in life,
and embrace his family and friends…
but lately,
I have seen the fear filled side of him,
and this breaks my heart! 

He has had to grow up too fast.
I wish I could have gotten to him sooner
and saved him from all of this pain.


But for now,
we take it day by day,
moment by moment,
working through the hurts and fears that plague him.
Praying this second year being home with us helps him grow
in trust and confidence. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My baby is getting so big!!!

I can't believe how BIG my Griggsy is getting!!!

His smile still lights up a room,
and his giggle is infectious!!


He just keeps getting more and more fun! 

My once quiet little guy,
who would sit still on my lap for hours
feels the need to be on the move all the time.

He loves being a big boy! 
He loves learning and
 loves playing!

Ohhhh how I love my boy!!!!


He still loves sitting on momma's lap -
and I am soooo willing to keep him here with me!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What am I going to do?

7 days of school before my oldest daughter 
graduates High School.
sniff! sniff!

I have been asked many times if I am ready 
for her to graduate -

and you know what?



I am.

Kenzie has grown into a beautiful woman,
who is funny, 
intelligent,
independent,
and even
 wise 
for a 17 year old.


I'm not sure what I am going to do without her 
next year,
she's a fun shopping partner,
and she fixes all my technology issues,
she helps me corral the youngin's 
but mostly 
I'm going to miss her laughter 
and our silly chats!


But, this is what our goal as parents is -
to raise them to be able to go into the world 
with a good head on their shoulders 
and succeed
and Kenzie is ready to fly! 

Kenzie,
we are soooo proud of you!! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Put fear aside

Here is the article we were asked to write
about our boys!! 

Praying this helps break the fear that people 
have of people of short stature!



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Join HIM

For those of you who aren't on Facebook,
and didn't see my post last night...

"Tyler" has a family!!!


We are so excited!!! 

And no,
we are not his family.

Come on y'all,
do you really think we could bring home another little guy?

Really?

Okay,
so, I'll admit it - 
we asked. 
We asked the agency who had "Tyler's" file,
and we asked our China adoption agency,
and most importantly prayed and asked God.

And sometimes there is a sigh of relief when God answers 
"no".
But, we need to ask. 

I know that many of you asked if this is your child.
You asked, what could you do for "Tyler".
You read his story and ached with us for this little guy.

If this little guys story touched you,
I challenge you to ask again,
"Why was I so touched by him?"

"Is God calling me to care for the orphan?" 

Don't let this calling go away!! 
Think about it, 
talk about,
pray about it.

This is from the book I am reading by Joanna Weaver,
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World,
Instead of expecting God to acquiesce to our plans, 
dreams, and schemes -
or frantically trying to impress him with our efforts on his behalf -
we simply need to 
"watch to see where God is working and join him!"

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Alveolar Bone Graft surgery - Part I

Because we have so many cleft lip and cleft palate friends 
who will be having this procedure in the near future,
and we were unable to find much information from 
other families - 
with Jailyn's permission,
we thought we would post about her experience or 
surgery and recovery. 
"If it helps someone else not be afraid,
then let's share." 
I love my girls heart!

Jailyn's doctor preformed a bone graft from her right hip,
to rebuild her upper gum,
that was in three sections due to her bilateral cleft.
He also added fat, from her tummy, 
to build up her lip. 
(not sure how he found any fat on her! haha!! 
I would have gladly had been her donor!!! :) 

A month ago, to prepare for Jailyn's mouth,
she received an expander.
Two months ago she had had three teeth extracted to 
make room for her surgeon to add the bone. 

Beginning with the expander,
she was on a "soft foods" diet. 
We took this very seriously - preparing her for surgery. 

She was in surgery for 4 hours.
Our surgeon came to get me when Jailyn was taken to recovery.
He said everything went well,
though he has his fingers crossed that Jailyn doesn't have to 
go through this again. 
He had told me the day before that this surgery has 
90% success rate - 
He said that her cleft was larger than he expected,
so he is hoping and praying that this surgery will be all she needs. 


After surgery, Jailyn came out of the anesthesia well. 
No sickness from the anesthesia, thankfully!
Our anesthesiologist gave her 2 different types of anti-nausea medications. 
This worked well. 
Thank your Jesus!! 

When we got to our room they wanted to get her drinking apple juice
 and eating ice cream. 
She was excited about the thought of ice cream!
But it was hard for her to eat anything. 
She had a few spoonfuls but that was all she could do.

That morning Jailyn has asked to bring her water bottle.
Trying to keep her calm and give her whatever she wanted,
I agreed - though I didn't think we needed it. 
Boy was I wrong!! 



We were very thankful for this water bottle as it was the only 
way for her to drink.
She could not use a straw, or drink from a cup -
the swelling was too much. 

Throughout our time at the hospital,
even after we had packed and ready to go -
Jailyn asked the nurses to suction blood out of her mouth.
The bleeding wasn't too bad and didn't upset her stomach,
but there was enough to bother her. 
We laughed at how Dad, Brady, Conner, Donovan and Jorja 
would have freaked about all that Jailyn had been through. 
She is one tough chicka'!!!!
(we shared this with the family and they all agreed that
they would have freaked out! It's good that we all know our weaknesses! :) 

Bone graft -
the incision looks like this! 


Much larger than I was ready for. 
Jailyn had an On Q  medical pump tube -
that continuously fed pain meds to her hip for 5 days.


When the pump was ready to come out -
we were able to take it out by ourselves. 
Thankfully big sister, Kenzie, is planning on going into medicine,
and loves this stuff!  or I would have 
been calling on one of my nurse friends!

The first few days the major pain was in her hip. 
She was very nervous about the tube feeding the pain meds. 
Sitting up and walking around scared her, 
so we took it at her pace.
Healing emotionally will help heal physically,
so we focused on the emotional side. 

Even though the hospital nurses had their check list of 
things Jailyn needed to do before we would be released from the hospital -
you know, drink more liquids, eat a few cups of ice cream...
Our surgeon totally understand kids,
especially adopted kiddos,
and knows that recovery at home is most important.
He came to see us the morning after surgery and asked Jailyn,
"Jailyn, you ready to go home?"
Jailyn answered, "Yes, sir!"
and he went to sign her papers and send us home! 

Liquid and major soft diet for 6 weeks before our post-op check up.
We'll see how creative we can be with calories and protein 
for our brave little girl!! 





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