The whole darn fam

The whole darn fam

Monday, February 15, 2010

Surgery two-DONE!

Can you imagine bringing this little face in AGAIN--knowing what was in store for him?

I think he had an inkling--but was trying to distract himself with the cars in the waiting room...

He went about his business--drooling on his hospital gown and looking all cute....

And he went through the surgery like a champ--and relaxed the next day in his hospital crib watching Nemo and demanding juice!

I got to sleep by his side for three days--and stare at his precious face--and wonder how on earth I was so lucky? Well--I don't believe in luck--but how did our family get the HONOR of being this beautiful boy's parents?

I got to stare at his almond eyes, and pouty, precious lips--much the way that I stared at my biological kids as newborns in the hospital--wondering how on earth--any child could be so perfect?

This journey has been hard-for Sam-and for us as parents. But I cry with joy today that we have gotten over the hump. That his surgeries went wonderfully--and he will have a perfect little foot! (and by perfect--I mean functional--although to me-every bit of him was perfect from the minute we met him)

God has blessed us. We have an amazingly strong and perfect angel in our presence. He was burned, abandoned, and lived in squalor for 17 1/2 months.

God placed him into our hearts and our family for a reason. I was not sure why. I thought that we were meant to help another child. I thought that we were hearing the "call" of the Lord to not abandon or forsake any of His children. I thought that we could "save" another from a life in an orphanage......

What I did not count on, was that God had a trick up His sleeve. See, while we were busy in the adoption logistics, and travel, and then Dr. appointments, and hospital stays.....

we realized that we had not "saved" Sam at all. For darling Samuel Darrin--came into our lives, and our family, and saved ALL of us.

He has given us JOY. He has given us the gift of his strength. He has given us his unfaltering love and affection. He has given us the gift of his selflessness. He has given us the example of perseverance against all odds. He has given and given and given....

and we have received. Sam's gift to us is SO much greater than anything we could give him. He is the epitome of a "gift". We could not imagine anything greater. We cannot wait to "unwrap" his little self and watch what he will do.
We are so very blessed--and so very grateful.

Blessings to all of you---
and a belated Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow,surgery,stress and Sam....

Sam is going for his second surgery long as the highway opens in the morning so that we can get there! Stress is high--as we are hoping that we can get there--and praying that we will be able to finish what he started--and get the skin grafts he needs. And--get the darn Vac that has been attached to his leg off--once and for all!
Please pray for us to get there--and get there safely!!!
The rest of the crew--is quite delighted with the snow--and had off today-and again tomorrow!!

There were lots off snow pants, boots, mittens,coats, and hats to be worn!

And one darling baby watching the big kids out the window!

Boy--I can't wait till he can run after them again!!

Just look at how deep it is!! 20 inches today--on top of the 20 inches that was already there!!

Finding out they have no school!!

Dad--venturing out!

This was Charlie in the snow a few days ago--BEFORE today's snow!

And Hope--who plowed through like nobody's business!

The crew (minus one) ready for action!

The Valentine's cake that the kids made--I will be in the hospital with Sam on V-day--so we celebrated early!

What I am trying to remember when I am feeling a bit "wound up"!!

Like Charlie and Sam sharing their cars.......

It's the little things that really matter.
I hope that I will remember that tomorrow--and the days thereafter as we navigate our way through the next (but last!!) surgery...and all the "fun" that should follow!
Hope you all are warm-and safe--and enjoying all the little things that make these days some of the best.....
Please pray for us tomorrow--and if you want an update--you can add your e-mail in the comments section-as I will not be able to do a blog post from the hospital. We will be there 3-5 nights this time. I am sending updates/pics from my I-phone if you are interested--just give me a shout-out with your e-mail and you'll get an update!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Got the bug?

The adoption bug that is?? Do you think that Chinese Special Needs adoption may be for you--but you don't know where to begin?

It is daunting to start the search for your child--and/or to decide what special needs that you may be opened to. To be honest--when we adopted Hope--we were thinking that we wanted a baby--0-2 year old girl, with very minor,correctable needs. God had other plans!

We accepted a referral for a 2 1/2 year old with differences in all four limbs. Now--don't get me wrong--we all know what we can handle...but on paper--her differences seemed pretty severe. Missing fingers, webbed toes- not walking flat on her left foot. BUT--in her picture--we just saw a beautiful little girl. We saw a CHILD- walking, holding a ball, smiling--acting two. We saw our daughter. And funny enough--she is the most agile, coordinated and advanced in her motor skills than ANY of my kids--missing "bits" or not. She is bright, capable, lovable--and mentally exhausting all in 5 minutes. And most importantly--she is OUR daughter.

I think that if we just had read about her needs--it would have seemed a bit overwhelming. But seeing her picture--taking the leap of faith-was so incredibly rewarding. You see--we don't even NOTICE that she may have some differences. We don't even NOTICE that she is anything but the beautiful 4 year old that she was meant to be--differences or not!

Consider that--when you are pouring over children's files--and possible needs. Consider the child first. Consider what you as a family can handle. I bet that at the end of the day--their need will not be the hard part. For us--it sure wasn't!

Children are children. That's it.

They come in all different packages--but they all have beautiful little hearts beating under their skin. They all have feelings. They ALL need love. They all need to know that they are important--for really good reasons--most of which have nothing to do with their perfect or imperfect parts.

Are you thinking that you could be lucky enough to be a parent to a child that has special needs? Perhaps you already are lucky enough to be--and think that you could add another? (you lucky dog!) Well go to No Hands But Ours website--I have a sidebar over their to the left too. Click over to that site. They have a listing of needs. They also having listing of beautiful children with all different agencies that need homes.

Please--go look. Every single one of the children waiting there is incredibly special. And it has NOTHING to do with the needs that they may or may not have.

till next time...


Thursday, February 4, 2010


Hi all!

We are one week post surgery, and doing well!(relatively speaking!) Sam continues to be a trooper--and is handling his lack of movement much better than I expected. He seems content to have his toys surrounding him and having his brothers and sisters entertain him by running in circles around him!

Nights continue to be rough--he wakes up alot. Can't blame him though! I went back down to John's Hopkins yesterday for a follow up appointment--and the Dr. said all looks well. I just have a hard time swallowing the fact that he will be in surgery again one week from today! ugh! He will have more skin grafts done. This will be a less painful surgery for him--but we will be in the hospital 3-5 nights this time.

I now have a new appreciation for parents that have children that are chronically ill-or that require alot of hospitalizations. This ain't for sissys! I have to admit--that I re-read my last post and felt like I sounded a bit too much like "Suzy Sunshine". Reality is--I am tired, overwhelmed, and have been short with my other kids. I then feel guilty about that-it's not their fault I'm tired. I have a very hard time also with the fact that Sam has to do any of this. It brings me straight back to the pain that he must of been in when this initially happened. That just crumbles me.

I also felt like if I complained too much about my "real" feelings--that people might judge me. As an adoptive parent--I often worry that if we are to voice our feelings about some of the hard stuff--people will think--"well-you signed up for it!"--or that you regret the adoption in some way. This could not be farther from the truth. I often grapple with the fact that if Sam hadn't been burned--he would not be with us. So what kind of sicko does it make me that in a weird way-- am happy for his disability because it brought him to us? Crazy--I know. I just ADORE him. Truly ADORE! He is a gift--and even though this journey is hard--I would not trade it for anything. I just wish (just like with ANY of my kids) that he didn't have to do it!

I also wish that I was better equipped to deal with the emotional aspect of it. I am having a tough time, I admit. I don't like hospitals, surgery, or anything that hurts my kids. Combine the three-and it sends me reeling!

There--that feels better. I got it off my chest! I am NOT super mom--capable of adopting/parenting in a single bound! But that doesn't mean that I would change anything about my life. I LOVE my life. I cherish my kids. I am madly in love with my husband still--after 13 years! I am very blessed--in so many ways.

I'm just havin' a rough patch. And I feel a tad guilty about how many times that I used "I" in this post.

Oh--the guilt--it never ends............

Till next time--pray for us!!