“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Simply Complex

COMPLEX; adjective, "So complicated or intricate as to be hard to understand or deal with"

But, wait!

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

Yes......our sweet Victoria is "complex". .....although the next medical person who tells me this should think about self protection.

But wait!

Matthew 6:3
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

The issue seems to be determining if her complexity is a result of eight years of neglect, eight years of starvation, a syndrome, a diagnosis, ......or all of the above.

But, wait!

We do know.
* Victoria had GROWN.... from 9#6oz to 12# 2oz.
* She loves to be held, and her favorite position is on mama’s chest.
* Little Miss is finding her voice. It is not often....and it is more of a squeal...but it is purposeful communication.
* Cerebral Palsy is an unlikely diagnosis ......MRI will confirm.
*Victoria has some pretty severe issues with her hips....life in a crib or pre-existing condition??....don't know
* Her kidney has either scar tissue or congenital malformation...more testing scheduled with Nephrology. In the meantime prophylactic antibiotics to avoid recurrent UTI's.
* Heart......ultrasound showed NO defects.....despite her medical paperwork from the orphanage stating otherwise.
* Seizures?  Again...MRI will tell us more but though she seems to have a fairly severe seizure history, we have not seen any and the neurologist is not concerned.

Optimistic and complex are not mutually exclusive.....particularly with the knowledge that God seems to revel in the complex....or maybe it is just we who make the simple complex?!
I do know that our complex girl is relatively healthy, growing, happy and loved,
More than we could hope for.....

Two plus hour drive to Shriners......sleepy head traveler.

Special bond....

Still being fed every four hours.....

Such a music girl....maybe someday she will play?

9 month onesies are still HuGe!

Mama likes bows.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Count Your Many Blessings

"Adoption experts and experienced parents always advise families to “cocoon” when coming home with adopted children — which basically means keeping your child’s world very small, predictable, and simple. There’s so much change for them to process, so much stimulation..…the less new stuff thrown at them, the better. And this includes people: A child’s ability to attach to new parents is much more easily accomplished when there’s no one else around to bond with." ~Zoe Saint-Paul

Sorry Sweet Victoria, Mom and Dad have failed miserably on all counts! 

Three different hospitalizations in three weeks.
Two doctors visits.
Three clinic visits.
Multiple multiple blood draws.
Inter muscular injections.
Hotels, airports, loooong flights...oh MY!

But you know what?
She KNOWS home....I can see it in her eyes. 
I can see it in the way her body relaxes. 
I can see it in the reduction of her "stimming"
.....isn't that miraculous?
This girl....this girl waited eight years for a family and by golly she is not going to waste a minute of that!

This last hospital visit was unexpected.  She had a fever that was difficult to break, and she was not "herself". That in itself was a hard call because we don't know her really well yet, but sometimes you just have to listen to mama-gut.
We brought her to the doctor and he felt it was best to hospitalize her.
We are not 100% sure yet but it looks as though she has some kidney issues and kidney scarring which may be caused by multiple untreated UTI 's or possibly a congenital issue.
She will be treated with low dose antibiotics and we follow up with nephrology at our children's hospital.
If all shows normal, then we continue to search for the cause of fevers and elevated white blood cell counts.

In addition to nephrology the next few weeks hold appointments for Neurology, as well Neurodevelopment and Shriners (yay...love Shriners)...and of course always the overriding goal of weight gain and feeding clinic.

We have yet to meet a doctor or nurse whose jaw does not drop when they learn our girl is eight...

Guess what though?  Our girl has a belly button now.  Ever so tiny...an indentation in her tummy! That means she has a little bit of fat.....enough to allow that little tummy to show a touch of that precious button. Praising God!

We are so blessed by this girl. Every single thing about her!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Amazing Grace. Unfailing Love.

Three weeks. 
HOME three weeks. 
How amazing to use that word. HOME!
It has been beautiful....heartbreakingly beautiful.

How can a girl of eight (January 15) be eleven pounds?  
But then.....hallelujah ...she has gained from 9.8 # on pickup.

How very sad that she turns her head away from us....as far as she can possibly turn it to avoid interaction...UNTIL!!!.....she hears music. It is then that her eyes light up and she seeks that interaction. How amazing that she let us in on that little secret....thank you for revealing that to us Lord!

How my heart breaks when she whimpers each time we reach to pick her up. No child should EXPECT to be handled roughly....ever. Yet how my heart overflows when she melts into me, and feels safe enough to fall asleep on my chest.

So much yet to discover.
Cardiology. Neurology. Orthopedic. Feeding. Genetics. Cranio-facial.
Blessed that our other children love their sis.....and seem to understand the time these things take.

Can she walk? Talk? Roll over? Eat?......nope.
Is she a "joyous blessing"? 
Is Victoria "a gift from the LORD"?
No doubt.

Are some days and nights tough?  Of course, many!

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Amazing Grace.
Unfailing Love. 
Shown to us every moment by Jesus.....
So thankful His mercies are new every morning.

Thank you for your support.
Thank you for believing in us. 
Thank you for helping us bring this little miracle into our lives.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Her Life Mattered

We began the journey in the dark.....a three hour drive from the capital city. As we traveled east the sky began to turn pink and then as though there was no time to waste, the sun, beautiful and blinding.
This was the day......

The day we would take our daughter through the front doors of the orphanage....to forevermore be loved and cherished.

The day we would pay tribute to those children who left that orphanage through the back doors.....to be laid to rest....forevermore loved and cherished in the arms of Jesus.

We drove through the town continuing to the outskirts...winding roads...off in the distance the hills were white with headstones....honoring the lives of those now gone.

We parked at the entrance. Women their backs bent, their hands wrinkled, faces creased, selling flowers, roses, carnations, wild flowers.  We buy flowers....They will be able to feed their families tonight.

We are not sure where to go....where were these forgotten children laid to rest? Past the white headstones, farther we drive, the road is no longer paved, the grave markers are now wooden crosses. How many...how many?  We are searching for one.  We have received permission to honor one

I do not need permission to weep for them all.

With deep grief and sadness we announce that Hristina M----I-----passed away on November 09, 2015, at the age of 5 years old.

The most fragile bloom, a small green branch that was snapped,
Her life wasted away like a tiny flame
And our grief doesn't,  doesn't have an end,
And our mourning is a dark night.

The funeral will take place on November 11, 2015, at 10:00 am in S----Z-----
From the grieving"

We have found her.....this little girl so full of life.

This little one who for five years was hidden  away, ignored, starved. How ironic that in death she is recognized. In death her name is known. 
Tears of grief. Tears of anger.  Tears of regret.

We light a candle, we place our flowers and an angel, we say a prayer. 
I lay my hand on that rocky soil and I tell her how very sorry I am.
 I tell her that her life mattered, that she was the most special girl.
I tell her her mama loved her deeply, her mama knew her worth, her mama did her very best to get to her in time. But God needed her first. 

I slowly stand and look over the endless sea of wooden crosses and I know in that sea are others...so many others. 
Children we never heard about, orphans who by all intents and purposes never existed.

How can that be? 

Oh God ,these little ones....these children who live behind those closed doors...how can they live and suffer and die and never feel the loving touch of a mama, never feel that tickle of a daddy's whiskers, never know they are worthy. 
“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” 
― Mother Theresa
We are silent as we leave.
We travel to the orphanage ....the place where these forgotten children live. My daughter waits for me. It is time.

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 19:14