Saturday, July 31, 2010

On the Road Again....

We left last weekend to head to the beach for our annual vacation with my side of the family. Of course we could not leave without some type of crisis. The day before leaving, while we were packing up, Emily fell off her bike and broke her collar bone. Last year the day before we left Emily had a near drowning accident so next year she will be locked in her room! We are thankful it was her collar bone and not her arm so at least she doesn't have a cast and can get in the water. She has been a trooper so far. I have taken some pictures and will try to get them posted at some point. But the weather is great and the beach is calling.

Heading down the roads of South Georgia

Monday, July 26, 2010

Good News

We had some good news today on the medical front with Anna. We knew when we adopted her that she had a history of untreated ear infections and so had some hearing loss. We of course didn't realize quite how bad her ears were until she got here. There are perforations on both of her ear drums which the doctor could not even get a good look at for all the gunk in her ears. She had years and years of gunk in her ears and who knows what was growing in there. So she has had some pretty aggressive (translate expensive) treatments for her ears. The plan was for her to be fitted with hearing aids while she was in the hospital doing her traction thing. Today we went in for a re-check and the doctor was amazed - all of the gunk was cleared out of her ears!! So they re-tested her hearing and she is actually in the normal range now (okay so its the bottom, the way bottom, of the normal range but...). This means that she will not have to get hearing aids. Praise the Lord!!!! She still has the holes and we are praying (we would love for you to pray along with us) that they will close on their own. If they do not, she will have to have surgery. One of her perforations is so odd the doctor commented she had never seen anything like it. I am getting used to that phrase when it comes to Anna. But we are thanking the Lord for his mercy today in clearing out her ears and the fact that she will not have to have hearing aids.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy 9th Birthday Emily!

Out to birthday breakfast with dad

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happenings and Transition

We had a busy week last week. Scott, Amy and Katie were home from camp on a mid-summer break, so the house was bustling again with activity. I enjoyed having them all home - they have been greatly missed.

We started off the week celebrating the 4th of July. We were pleased to have two fireworks showings - one from a neighbor who spent a fortune on some really nice fireworks and had the 3 families in the cul-de-sac out to enjoy. Then the following evening we went to my parents and watched fireworks from their neighborhood club. Anna and Grace did NOT like the fireworks at all. Grace was clutched around my neck so tightly I could barely breath, but since her head was buried into my neck my face at least pointed upward so I could view the show.

Monday evening we had Scott's girlfriend Becca's parents over for dinner. They just returned from 25 years on the mission field in Africa - first in Kenya and then in South Africa. We had a lovely time with them and enjoyed learning about some of their work in Africa.

Scott was able to finally have an MRI this week. He has been having back trouble for some time now (from football). The MRI showed 2 herniated discs and an older stress fracture. There isn't much to be done, but at least he now knows what is wrong. Incidentally Becca has a stress fracture on her hip and is on crutches. They make quite the crippled couple at the moment.

Katie got her driver's license this week. Hmmm.......................................

I finally entered the world of Facebook. Katie set up an account for me. I am so behind the curve, but hopefully I'll figure it out.

Anna has been home two months now. I think overall things are going well. She seems to have all the routines down and is generally happy and good natured. The Lord has been growing us all through the process. I find that I that I can be harder on her than on the other children. I am used to their sinfulness and so somehow hers stands out more. My expectations are maybe too high in some areas and our transition would be smoother if I can just learn to lower those. Last week she began sighing and rolling her eyes when I asked her to do something. "How dare this child react like this" strummed through my head. But I didn't have to look far to see where she is learning these things from. She studies everything to try and fit it and well....she was fitting in. So opportunities for training are abounding - not just for her, but for all of us. God is gracious though and we are all learning.

Pictures from the 4th

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Plan

After countless doctor visits, x-rays, MRI's and CT scans we now have a plan for Anna's scoliosis and it is not pretty. Her spine is too bad to just have surgery as we had hoped. Mid-August she will be going into the hospital where she will have a halo screwed onto her head and she will be put in traction for approximately 4-6 weeks - yes, WEEKS! Then she will go into surgery where she will have a rod placed in her back (and yes that adds another week or so).

This has been difficult to deal with in many ways. One I don't have a family that I can just leave for 6 or so weeks. Second how in the world do I explain words like halo, traction, weeks, hospital to a child who doesn't even understand the basics of the English language. I was excited to find several Ethiopians in the area who are very willing to help us with translation, transition, etc. In God's providence there is an Ethiopian Evangelistic Church which meets 5 minutes from our house. A woman who attends that church came to the house one day to explain to Anna that she wasn't going to allowed to eat or drink when she go up in the morning (this was before her MRI for which she had to be sedated). I knew the not eating breakfast thing was not going to go over well (and it did NOT), but what was surprising to me was that having an Ethiopian come over did not go well either. Anna seems to want nothing to do with anyone from Ethiopia (we have tried having a couple of others talk to her, but it was the same). She acts like she doesn't understand what they are saying, she turns away and she certainly won't talk back to them. I'm sure there are many psychological factors involved with this, but suffice it to say it is very frustrating. So I don't think having anyone over to try and explain what is upcoming is going to be helpful. On the other hand maybe she doesn't want to know that she will wake up with a halo screwed onto her head. Either way, as the orthopedic commented to us, "you know when she wakes up she will be MAD". Yeah...thanks!

It would be an understatement to say that I have not had the best of attitudes for the last several weeks. But this is the plan, this is what God has ordained, and even though I have no idea how we will get through it, I have to trust that He will provide.