Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ask me about 22q

Today was world wide awareness day for 22q Deletion Syndrome.  We are so super thankful for the team of doctors and nurses at CHOA who help care for Linnea.  Atlanta is actually one of the few cities that actually has a clinic for 22q patients.  We feel extremely blessed to have such a wealth of medical resources at our fingertips.  In honor of this day of awareness the 22q clinic held a 22q day at the zoo today to bring families all across the state so they could come together and meet one another.   It was such a great opportunity for us to meet other children who struggle in some of the same areas that my child does - and to see what our future with 22q might look like.  If there is anything I have learned in my medical adventures with both my girls - it's having someone who lives in your shoes is really priceless.  God is so kind to give us people along the way to share in our sufferings.  Pictured next to Linnea is a sweet girl name Willa Jane - she's from China too :-)!!  She actually came home a month before Linnea.   I had followed her families journey to bring her home.  They were a local family connected with Lifeline.  Willa's mom and I became friends but little did we know that we would share something so unique in our girls.  We had talked several times after both girls came home discussing how similar some of their medical journeys sounded and here we are today and they both are precious 22q girlies.  I learned a lot today and there is still much to learn.  Thankful I live in an area where this is possible. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Abigail - Happy Gotcha Day!!!

One year can bring great perspective - and I believe it is truly a graciousness of the Lord.  One year ago today we became a family of seven welcoming Abigail Joy into our family.

I wish I could say that I look back on that gotcha day and feelings of joy and happiness just erupt from my being - but that would not be truthful. We don't even have a ton of good pictures from that day as Abbie quickly took a turn for the worse.  I feel like I am supposed to write about all things happy especially an event such as a gotcha day.  Even as I type these thoughts out this wave of guilt comes over me and my thoughts go to - what if Abbie reads this one day - how in the world would this make her feel.  Well truthfully speaking it is not likely she will even be able to physically read this nor can she comprehend or understand "feelings" all that well and communicating back and forth about things like this would actually be a miracle a truly welcome one at that.  But none of that really matters because I would still be truthful with her for a plethora of reasons but mainly because in our story God's glory is radiantly displayed and thats what really matters.  I don't have time to detail the last twelve months of our lives but I can say that even in the bad and when I hurt I wouldn't change it.  Of course there are lots of parts I would love to not have to endure but as they say no pain no gain :-)  Adoption is so messy (not the first time or last you will hear me say that) if it were not for Christ suffering for me I would not have been adopted into His family.  Oh how God has grown me and for that I am so thankful.

"we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

I can remember our first few months with Abbie like it was yesterday - Gotcha days and the days there after are very similar to my boys birth stories - God graciously allows me to remember them.  I can vividly remember thinking give it time - it will get better.  I would say this to myself over and over again, month after month.  I can remember one afternoon/evening in particular when we were going through a particular rough patch and I really did not think I could be Abbie's mom.  It was not working out for me!! I was not sure we were the right family for her. And I am not sure she thought we were any better - it is a traumatic event being taken away from all you have ever known and thrust into this new life.  It was HARD!!  Hard for everybody.  I called a good friend who I knew would know what this felt like for real and she just encouraged me to press on and in a way that was just perfect for me and to think about how it really does get better as time goes on and then we prayed for one another.  Can I just right now say I am so thankful for Godly adoptive mama friends!!!

Well here we are - the 12 month mark celebrating Abbie's first gotcha day home.  We made it and during those first few months I wasn't so sure we would!!  Are times still hard - yes.  Have things gotten better - yes!!   We are Abbie's family - God specifically called us to be and He specifically chose me to be her mama and it is an honor and a privilege.  While there are times of hard there are also times of great joy.  Have you seen the girls contagious smile.  The one where everybody thinks she's happy ALL the time.

So you might be wondering what is smiley Abbie like - here are a few Abbie tidbits. 

All about Abbie

She LOVES noodles - she would eat them 3x a day
Her favorite color is pink
She loves all things Hello Kitty
She loves to be the "mama hen"or the boss 
She can say about 50 words
She is always carrying around something - sometimes its a deck of playing cards, sometimes its a pen and a notebook but she always has something
She is learning how to swim

I am hoping to get her gotcha day video posted soon so check back and see how far she has come.  Thanks for keeping up with us!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

pool summer

Pool Summer - Nathan made that word up when he was probably about two years old.  He has always loved the water and he always wanted to know when it was going to be pool summer.  Well guess what my friends today was the first day of pool summer for us.  It is probably my most favorite day of the year that is not an official holiday.  We are so super grateful for neighbors and friends that let us swim the afternoons away.  I have to say that this was the first year where there were no criers and everyone was jumping in without hesitation it is going to be a fun pool year!! 

ready set jump!!

my not so little fishies 

bathing beauty :-) 

Thank you soo much Mr. Donnie - we love you!!
After we came back home I found these beauties waiting for me at the door.....

These were sent from Chick-fil-A for Mother's Day!!!  I know I talk a lot about how much I love CFA and how great a company it is - but it just is GREAT!!!  How thoughtful and sweet to thank us wives/mothers!!!  

And I ended the day with a beautiful run around the neigborhoods.... What a great Monday!!


Saturday, May 3, 2014


Tonight we said goodbye to the crib.  For the first time in 10 years I don't have a crib up in my house.