Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mission Fields

As many leave for summer mission trips, and others actually move overseas leaving everything behind, I review the past few months.

I really wanted to go on a mission trip this summer with friends. No matter how much I tried to get peace I truly felt I needed to be home. It was NOT the answer I wanted. I have truly felt lost for a bit. God what is my purpose, my direction. I am a doer and all I felt was that I needed to sit patiently and wait.

Also, sometime this spring, I had the oddest encounter while out to breakfast with our family. I will never forget the mans words. After he asked if we were missionaries (and I almost choked on my OJ) um we aren't those kind of people. Then after hearing our story he said the words I have been processing for months -

So your mission field is at home.

The last few weeks I am starting to get it. God could have used us in so many ways. I truly believe he wants us here - to affect those around us.

SO if my life, our family is my mission field then I have decided to change a little of my thinking. It's always easier to run errands alone, but every time I have a couple littles with me we run into someone I KNOW needed to see our kids. Instead of feeling the anger and frustration at stupid remarks, I need to smile and educate. For Jesus took people by the hand and aided them along the way.

I also need to relish in the pure joy of this adventure. This evening was gorgeous and as we played outside I had moment of pure bliss. I laughed at all 4 littles pushing their fire truck around to water our new flowers. The bigs just hanging out just talking.

I feel blessed that our mission field is within the comforts and confines of our normal life. I know we are privileged in so many ways. But to actually be the hands and feet of Jesus - that is the greatest blessing. Now I need to start acting like it.


Ugh packing up all our crap and then moving back into the house is taking forever!

BUT we have been back home for over a week and feel blessed that we were not affected by the fires.

For the most part our kids did fabulous  - Cav lost his mind but it took a few days.  We kept looking at each other (Chris and I) waiting for Mt Masuvios to blow.  A word of warning, the longer it takes the worse it can be.

We kept going over and over about being a family and staying together BUT the change in routine, surroundings, daddy and my stress all mixed together for the daddy of all rages ~ in public of course.

Although people came close to us while we were trying to strap him into the stroller (after kicking Tao and Brahm with his legs OWWW) no one confronted us.  We normally jsut leave, but both our older kids had championship games in Lacrosse and frankly we are tired of changing our plans to accomodate one little boy who hates the world (not that he doesn't have a right to.)

I think that is the hardest, people see Cav's legs and are horrified if we discipline him, or tell him no and make him act like the rest of the kids.  BUT he IS part of a family now.  It is not fair to the rest of the kids if we bowed to him, and besides his destroyed soul Cav's SN has been basically fixed.  Versus say another one of our children who is degenerative.

Anyhow, we strapped him into the Bob stroller as he screamed his fool head off, and thanked God that Tristan games was the very far field so we could park Cav in the field jsut over the berm and walk away (we could still see him).  We kept repeating to his demands "Once you stop screaming".

Since Cav's only commodity is school - he did not get to go on Monday.  It's just summer school and their programs are all fun based (not catch up summer school of my days.)

When his teacher asked I explained school is our commodity and it is only for good boys.  How refreshing for me that she GOT IT!!  Of course it would be easier for me to drop him off, get rid of him for a few ours so to speak.  However, someone once told me that all children have a commodity it is my responsibility to find it.  For Cav, he couldn't care less what you feed him as long as he is full - and if he isn't he will sneak it.  Sitting in his room, he doesn't care, but oh school now that is what gets him.

ANyhow, this all happened Father's Day and the week after.  Hubby only has Sundays off, and for as long as we can remember Cav has melted down on Sundays.  It makes us all not want to spend time together - but I refuse to allow us to take the easy way out - even though it is waring.

BUT he did it - this SUNDAY he didn't scream, he didn't rage and we all complimented him on how fun it was to have him join us.  I am REALLY praying that he is getting it.  BUT we have learned to rejoice in the small things.

Ok enough on our struggles.

We had a crazy busy week!  We are homebodies.  We love being home, we love jsut hanging out.  Last week we had more people at our house than probably the entire year so far LOL!

My dear friend Jodi - whom I have met her older kids but not her.  She came AND brought her newest littles!  Oh how we have prayed for Howie who is now Hagan.

We enjoyed them all so much we hoped they would come back which they did!!  TWo big families, lots of kids and really they all did so well together!!

2 families, 5 littles, 8 adopted (+1)
She has the cutest pics EVER! of Fei and Hagan (he asked to come back and jsut get a pic of him and her - isn't that so sweet.)  Although I am wondering if he was shocked to see another little brown person!

Check out her post here! 

Then we had 3 friends come up to the house - 2 live here and 1 is a FB friend who followed our journey to Cav and Fei and then adopted their beautiful girl Daisy!

Truly an amazing week, adoption brings families together and makes them instant friends!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Family sticks together

It has been a long week here in Colorado. A week full of the most incredible blessings and seeing Gods hand very much at work. My mantra through it all has been " we are a family we stay together."

On mon at 2 pm I was driving home and saw the very distinct plume of smoke to our west. Ugh I knew this wasn't going to be good.

By tues ( I think it seems like a month now) we saw the smoke getting bigger and closer to highway 83. We had picked up our friends son ( the parents are on a mission trip in Uganda) and he was over playing. At that time things looked ok at their house. A few hours later I started to get an uneasy feeling and called their caretaker. We really needed to move their horses but their truck had a flat ugh. My sons wrestling coach was at our house when I went back to see if any of the vehicles there had a hitch. He immediately offered to go hitch up the trailer as well as move the horses. We drove over to their house arranging a place for them and fielding phone calls.

Can I just tell you by the time I rounded the house I almost laughed and praised Jesus. The village had arrived. I tell you people came from everywhere and I field another half dozen calls to their home to help. Now clearing out someone else's house can be interesting. We grabbed clothes for the boys and the requested light saver! Lacrosse sticks and a few toys. One dad tried fixing the truck tire while another video taped the house. Moms grabbed papers and teenage daughters looked in their daughters room for some treasures. Although the roads to the house were blocked people still came.

If you are going out of the country where would you put the most important items? In the safe!

I called hubby and it was determined it needed to go. Now we have huge immovable safes I have seen moved. I asked all the dad's to see if it could be moved. Sure enough the older son ( who was a rockstar) found a dolly and then everyone lifted it into the camper - along with some of the dads mounts.

We moved everything to our house since we are across the highway and a bit away. We can close off our front to ensure everything stayed safe.

However by Weds afternoon the winds started blowing the fire straight for our house. Unfortunately the horses were in our valley also. Can I tell you that the same coach came and moved the horses. Finding a spot for them about 40 minutes away, at a buddy of HIS. I was in tears when I found out. Kathy the amazing caretaker had friends come to help move some vehicles since we now had our friends 2 cars, their truck & camper (a dad had taken the truck, had the flat replaced & filled with gas ) our 3 cars and only 3 drivers & 7 kids at the house ugh.

Chris & I made the decision to leave and we packed up our cars - taking the hylander and the camper to the coach's neighborhood. Luckily we had all the littles papers organized in our safe so we only had chuck it in a bag.

Morgan helped pack ( luckily I now pair kids clothing into sets when I do laundry so they were easy). Kathy ( our friends caretaker) made arrangements for us to stay in a friends apt building with her & the boys.

Although we were only pre-evac we were afraid we couldn't get out of the house quick enough with all of our littles.

Thurs morning I got our noisy kids ready for their summer school and then I decided to head back to our house to feed chickens, check on things and take a shower. ( the apt is set up like a hostel with 1 women's bathroom on 1 floor and men's on the other). I felt bad occupying the shower besides I couldn't find the bathroom stuff.

Si barfs every time he gets in the car. Poor zoe keeps barking. It looked so nice and I thought I would just let them hang out at the house while I went & got the kids & took them swimming. Sure enough the winds started in again and I started getting texts. PANIC. How can I possibly NOT go get them when one dog belongs to our friends ugh. I called every person I could think of but they themselves were packing. Traffic on the interstate was terrible. As I approached the roads close to our house I saw the flashing lights. Heartbreak as I knew they would never let me in. BUT one blessing of having people come help that don't live here is I know the roads better lol. Now let me remind you I am driving our giant black sprinter. There is no sneaking with that thing lol. We made it to the house. Grabbed the dogs, some more clothes ( ok they were dirty ones but I figured I could do laundry and they were already matched lol).

The heartbreak was all of our houses were marked with the yellow police line tape. That more than anything made it real. We said goodbye. I again reiterated we are together the rest can be replaced.

So here we are waiting and trusting.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Amputee Clinic + hands

Can you believe it - it has been a year since Cav had his surgery that ultimately led to his first steps.

Last week we had 3 appts - 2 hands and the amputee clinic all scheduled within an hour.  Talk about a JOKE - except it was on me.  What a mess.

We must have seen 20 people - someone in their infinite wisdom decided to put us in a room, and then jsut had the Dr's come to us - no schedule nothing.

ANYHOW, boys hands look great!!

Cav's will never be "normal" yeah not sure what I was thinking with that one.  He had splints made, as he now holds the hands inward in a very typical Radial club hand manner.  He will wear them at night in hopes it will straighten things out.

Tao's hands look fabulous.  You have to remember that the surgeon had to chisel away the extra bone and then attach the muscle.  His right thumb is appearing to act more like a finger.  We are not sure if this is something we will even consider fixing in the future (wouldn't at all except he is right handed).

That baby was SOOOO excited to take a shower.  It was ALL he talked about for the ENTIRE hour car ride home LOL!

Cav's amputee clinic.  I love clinic whether it is skeletal dysplasia or Amputee.  ALL of the specialists from the hospital a represented and they come up with a plan TOGETHER!!  What a novel idea -really the days of he said she said are hashed out in the room (albeit tiny room with 15 people crammed into it).

Cav has a odd new walk - we call if the hoopty walk.  He looks like a cross between a stork and a puppet.  We were thrilled to have everyone weigh in - adjust his leg length a tiny bit, and ultimately were told NOT to worry about it.  Of course he blew them away.  And truly when you remember how long this kid has walked - he is amazing.  EIGHT months, that's it.

Since we had a little time before our appts we also bought him some FLIP FLOPS!!  The kids have been waiting all year and we finally found some reefs at Nordstroms that still have the backstrap in his size!!

We also got to go down to the Gait clinic and have teh specialized video taken of him - it will help us remember how far he has come.

I almost forgot the most special moment.  Their was a girl about 10 that had a severely clubbed foot.  They asked Cav to show her how well he walked on his legs.  We answered their questions through a translator.

My heart broke when I saw her walk out slowly pushing her walker.  The one thing we were told before accepting Cav was that some kids go through years of surgery and ultimately choose to amputate as teens.  We were lucky in retrospect as there was nothing that could be done for Cav's shorter leg.  However, I sometimes wonder should we have tried harder on the longer leg?  Today I got my answer. I knew without a doubt we could not have subjected him to surgery after surgery.