Sunday, November 30, 2008

This is Faith.  This dog was born on Christmas Eve in the year 2002. He was born with 3 legs - 2 healthy hind legs and 1 abnormal front leg which need to be amputated. He of course could not walk when he was born. Even his mother did not want him.

His first owner also did not think that he could survive. Therefore, he was thinking of "putting him to sleep". By this time, his present owner, Jude Stringfellow, met him and wanted to take care of him. She was determined to teach and train this dog to walk by himself. Therefore she named him 'Faith'.

In the beginning, she put Faith on a surfing board to let him feel the movements. Later she used peanut butter on a spoon as a lure and reward for him to stand up and jump around. The other dog at home also helped to encourage him to walk. Amazingly, only after 6 months, like a miracle, Faith learned to balance on his 2 hind legs and jumped to move forward. After further training in the snow, he now can walk like a human being.  Faith loves to walk around now. No matter where he goes, he just attracts people around him. 

He is now becoming famous on the international scene. He has appeared on various newspapers and TV shows. There is even one book entitled 'With a little faith' being published about him. He was even considered to appear in one of Harry Potter movies.

His present owner Jude Stringfellew has given up her teaching post and plans to take him around the world to preach that 'even without a perfect body, one can have a perfect soul'.
In life there are always undesirable things. Perhaps one will feel better if one changes their point of view.

I hope this message will bring fresh new ways of thinking and that everyone can appreciate and be thankful for each beautiful day that follows.
Faith is the continual demonstration of the Strength of Life

Saturday, November 29, 2008

So Thankful

I am so thankful that Samuel is here with us. I am thankful that he is pretty healthy, and that he hasn't had any really issues with his development or his shunt. I am thankful that he is part of our family and that he fits in so well!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. We went to my mom and dad's house and had a great day. Samuel had fun playing with toys, getting into things and rolling around on his riding toy. He missed the big Thankgiving meal though, slept right through it! He enjoyed some stuffing, sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and gravy with a little bit of pumpkin pie when he woke up.

Lucky Duck

I don't believe in luck. I know that everything that happens only happens because of God. I did think it was funny however that I had the most strangest, real dream last night. I will not go into many details because it was so strange and disturbing, but it had to do with DUCKS. Weird, I know. So when I called Sarah this morning, I shared the crazy dream with her. She googled "dreaming of ducks" and here is what she found:

To dream of seeing wild ducks on a clear stream of water, signifies fortunate journeys, perhaps across the sea. White ducks around a farm, indicate thrift and a fine harvest.To hunt ducks, could denote displacement in employment in the carrying out of plans.To see them shot, signifies that enemies are meddling with your private affairs.To see them flying, foretells a brighter future for you. It also could denote marriage, and children in the new home.

So, I am not sure which one most likely matched my dream, but I am interpreting that my dream meant good fortune, journeys and a bright future! I am a lucky duck and here is why...

WE ARE OUT OF MOI!!! I got the email this morning. I am so happy to get the news. Now hopefully we can get through the rest of the process quickly. I am still concerned about the visa problem going on in Haiti. PLEASE join us in prayer for all the kids waiting to come home. Pray for the families that have waited so patiently for them. Pray for Elijah and his well being and health, and that he will be able to come home to us soon.

Bless you all~ happy late Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for my family and this great news!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Standing on his own

Almost...Samuel is getting braver and it standing all by himself for about 10 seconds at a time! I can't believe how big and independent he is getting. He did wake up early and I brought him into bed with me for some lovely snuggle time this morning. I love that!

The speach therapist came and we discussed our plan and goals for Samuel. We want to work on him imitating sounds, waving, signing a few words (but not overwhelm him) and communicate when he wants something or "up". I really like the therapist, and by the way, my pre-teen son thinks she is "hot". I just about fell over when I heard that and we had a talk about how that is not a nice way to describe women. Especially when they are about 20 years older than him!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The funniest thing

Samuel has been making the funniest faces lately. His newest one is his scowl. He did it the first time the other day when I told him no about something. He looked at me with this face....I laughed so hard I about fell over! He thought it was so funny too. Now he thinks it is just fun to do this and will almost make his scowl on demand!

The other thing he is doing is biting his four teeth together to make a grinding sound. It makes Jeremiah cringe, and I worry he is damaging his teeth. He likes to make this sound, and when you react he laughs! I wonder if it feels good on his mouth?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Weekend update

We got a call from Children's Hospital about setting up an EEG for Sammy. He has to go to an appointment on Dec. 4 for several hours. He will be sleep deprived for it, and they want him to fall asleep during the tests. I am not sure how cooperative he will be, or how I will keep him from sleeping on the hour long car ride.

Sammy is having a speech therapist come to the house for our first consulation. She will be working on his communication skills and cognative skills. He is still delayed in these areas. He was on the waiting list for this program and I am glad it is his turn for services now!

I spent an hour yesterday playing with him and singing fun songs. It is so neat to see him interact with me and watch his face light up when he learns something new. He likes peek a boo, row your boat (he moves his body back and forth so well!) and 5 little monkeys (he likes when I hold his body so he can jump up and down on our bed). Some of the things he is working on is sign language. We are just working on two signs, milk and more. He sometimes tries to sign milk, and sometimes not. He is that way with waving bye too. It took him a long time to learn to clap his hands. It seems like he learns a skill, and then forgets it a few days later. Then he relearns it.

Samuel had his first official play date last Tuesday with my friend Josie's baby Matilda. Tilly and Sammy had a fun time together. He liked playing with her fun toys and watching her. Then at lunch he just stared at her!! It was funny. Then they played some more before nap time. He did really well. It really was a good chance for Josie and I to catch up, but I think that the kids had a good time too. They just don't play "together" at this age yet. Next time I think I will have them come to our house. I don't think Josie has been her yet. I have known Josie since I was a toddler!!

This will be Sammy's first Christmas and I am trying to figure out what to get him. We will also be celebrating his birthday on Jan. 4. My kids don't have birthdays so close to the holidays, the closest is Kylie, whose is in Feb. I am not sure if we will be having a big first birthday celebration, or just a small one with family. I feel like we have a lot to celebrate!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cute photos

Samuel likes to listen to the guitar, and sometimes help play it!
Sleeping baby

Praying harder!!!

So, I am thinking the idea of having Elijah home by Christmas would take a miracle.  I am now praying that he is home by his birthday, April 7.  Please join our family in praying for him.  I have been reading horrible stories of families whose children were denied their visa.  Their legally adopted children.  The families have no choice but to leave their children there in Haiti, or live in Haiti for two years until they can apply for a different type of visa for their children.  I am praying the entire adoption process in Haiti will improve.  It is so sad that it takes soooo long for these kids to come to their forever home. 

I watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition last night on tv.  It featured a family who adopted 5 boys from Haiti and 3 from the US.  It was a great show!  They loaded up a few trucks to deliver toys and supplies to send to Haiti, plus blessed this family with an amazing new home.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I cut Sammy's hair a few weeks ago...
We got another appointment at Children's on Dec 8!

I will post more cute pics soon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Everyday life at COTP

Elijah spends his days at Children of the Promise like most other two year olds...

Hanging out with friends,
Going on walks,
Taking a nap,
Potty training,
Brushing his teeth,

What a busy day!!!!

Cake again?

Oh, how I miss this boy!

I opened my email message eagerly too see a bunch of new photos of Elijah. I haven't heard anything about him in quite a while. This made my afternoon! Bittersweet.

Elijah looking really grown up and happy.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month. It was in November several years ago when I first felt God tug at my heart about adoption. I was listening to Focus on the Family radio on a drive home one night and heard a moving story about a little girl who was adopted by the family being interviewed. I was moved, but at that time it was just an idea. Jeremiah and I continued to be open to the idea, and look where He has led us!

I remember opening the email from COTP with our proposal. I was so excited! The photo of Elijah loaded onto the screen. The first thing I saw was his little toes. I started to cry. I was so happy to see our little boy, one that I had inquired about in the past but was told he already had a family. I called Jeremiah and told him the news, we accepted the referral and then started to wait. It seems so long ago! I have learned and grown a lot since then, have endured a lifetime of heartache already. Seen extreme poverty in Haiti. Loved a little girl and let her go. Shared the experience of Haiti with my spouse and watched as he fell in love with our baby boy too. Worried, prayed, answered so many questions like "Any news on your adoption?", "Can you love someone else's child like your own?", "Can you afford another child?". Became very involved in an organization that has changed my life in numerous, drastic ways.

I remember being 6 years old and watching a infomercial on television for Compassion, World Vision or some similar organization. I cried and wept for the children shown on the show. I knew then at that age that I needed to do something to help. I didn't know what or how, I had nothing much to give. But I can see now that God had given me the gift of compassion to help change the lives of several little ones. God has put people in my life and by His hand has guided my path. It is truly amazing.

A great post from my friend Tanya's blog:

Did you know that November is National Adoption Month? Yep it is! I feel so incredibly blessed that God led us on this journey. I pray that more and more families open their minds, hearts and homes to children who might never know what it feels like to have a family.

If you do not feel led to adopt.... there are some things you can do to support others who do venture on that journey. Money is a huge thing, adoption is expensive. We took out a second mortgage on our house to pay for our adoptions...(thus we are STILL paying for our adoptions). I HATE asking people for money- hate it.

You can support organizations that provide extra care for children in foster care, orphanages, or children's homes.

Be supportive! Adoption is a very emotional journey. Be supportive of a birth mother who is deciding whether or not to place her child for adoption- and be supportive of people who are doing the adopting. There were many times while we waited that I felt very alone. Many people don't understand WHY we would feel the need to add more kids to our family. I am not sure I know the exact answer to that- except for where God leads- we try to follow. **And I am so glad we did!

Uh oh

Samuel has a cold. Normally it wouldn't be a big deal, but I called the hospital about his appointments at Children's on Monday. He would be going under anesthesia for his CT scan, and I was concerned about him being sick. The nurse I spoke to told me it would not be good to do this if he is sick or had been running a fever. So we decided to reschedule. I am bummed. I don't know how long we will need to wait to schedule a day with radiology, craniofacial and neurosurgeon all together. I guess it is better to be safe, but I hate to wait!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm sad

I haven't received an update or recent picture of Elijah in a long time. I am frustrated, sad and missing him a lot. I know that things at COTP are changing right now and I know that they are desperately in need of volunteers (short and long term). I wish so much that we could go there to help out and spend time with our son. Now that he is over two years old we are not allowed. I wish that rule would be changed. Or that he will be home very soon!!!!

It sounds like we do have to wait for Elijah's file to be out of MOI for a birth parent interview can be scheduled. So, please continue to pray that he will be signed out soon, and that the rest of the process will go SUPER quick.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

First Halloween

Sammy was a robot!! What a cute one too. We celebrated with friends and the big kids went trick or treating.

Monday, November 3, 2008

November already???

It has been raining for about three days, and we are inside enjoying the time together. Jeremiah is at work, I was in the kitchen making applesauce and potato chowder and now the kids are settling in to watch a movie. Samuel is ready for a bottle and nap...oh I can't believe he is 10 month old tomorrow!

We are so used to him being part of our family and can't imagine life any other way. I get questions and comments from friends and family asking how it is to have a fourth child around, how busy we must be, how we handle Samuel's medical needs. To tell you the truth it is more joy than hardship. I feel like once you add child #3, adding more to the mix is no big deal. We love having Sammy to snuggle, care for, love on and play with. The other kids are very helpful to me and are changing diapers (with the occasional whine) and making bottles like pros. The medical needs, while they could be considered severe, seem like no big deal to us either. It is just something we need to be careful of. We look out for warning signs that his shunt is having problems and go to doctors appointments. We will endure some more surgeries with Sammy too. We take him to therapy occasionally and have someone come here for infant massage. I really enjoy play group and the parent support group outings. I know that this is what God called us to do. I feel so joyful to be able to do His work!

Samuel is getting so big, wearing size 12-18 month clothing. He loves to crawl around and pull himself to stand on anything! He has FOUR teeth now! He is also getting more clingy to our family and cries and fusses when strangers hold him, or even friends we see often! He is eating more solid table food now and he loves it! I fed him some chunks of potato from my soup and he gobbled it up! He has such a fun personality and a great smile.


My friend is pregnant with her 4th child. She and I have had a few discussions about baby names. She is REALLY into the meaning of the name, even more that the way it sounds. I am the opposite. I really think about how the name will sound, whether it is a little unique (especially with the last name Smith) and if the child is going to grow up hating me for it later!
So I asked her what Kylie means in her name book. She disgustingly said, "It means "boomerang!" All I could do was laugh. Today I was looking up names on the web and came across this comment:

The name Kylie, was derived from a Koori word meaning 'small boomerang'. It is actually in the dictonary and the meaning is common knowledge in Australia. I think that the meaning suits me well, because no matter how hard you try to push me down I will always get back up.. same characteristics as boomerang, if thrown correctly it will always come back.

How true and what a great way to describe Miss Kylie, our third child, and little princess!


Random things going on around here:
* I joined Fitness Boot Camp with my friends and am starting week three!
* I have not gotten anywhere with Elijah's birth parent interview. Hopefully someone can get it scheduled soon.
* My kids are done with activities for now, except AWANA
* Winter weather is here, at least for this area. Raining, flooding and downpours, oh my!
* I have already cast my vote for tomorrow's election. Please remember to VOTE!
* We are enjoying a day in with hot soup and a roaring fire.
* I don't enjoy the darkness in the early afternoon, but it is nice to drive home from Boot Camp in the daylight!
* I am trying not to think too much about Christmas shopping and holiday madness. Keeping it simple this year is my goal.