Sunday, December 20, 2009

Internet Issues

So many have asked when I'm going to finish the story of Baby L! It's coming, I promise, but our house is having internet issues at the moment...As soon as things are resolved I'll finish the story--hopefully in one post (ha, we'll see if that actually happens!)!

Thanks for following and sticking with me!

Have a fun week of Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Take My Breath Away

Compassion & Willingness ~ Part 2

Obviously, Wednesday was spent at the pediatrician's then the cardiologist's office. We were told that our Baby L was scheduled for open heart surgery in just a few short weeks. Information was thrown at us from every direction as we were educated on his heart condition as well as other medical issues that he dealt with.

Exhaustion is what I remember most from that day. We'd been up most of the night either waiting for or holding Baby L. We'd started the doctor's appointments at 9 and just made it home by 2 to get two sleepy girls and a sweet boy down for afternoon naps.

Thursday was filled with normal day to day activity mixed with organizing all the clothing, formula, bottles, bibs and diapers we’d been given over the past 24 hours. We were up in the middle of the night again with a feverish Ella Grace who complained of a headache. This brought with it another trip to the pediatrician’s office for a flu test! I wasn’t that worried about her having the flu. She’s a relatively healthy kid who could fight it—I was worried about the sick little boy in our care. If he got the flu, it was a different story. Thankfully, she was negative for the flu and positive, instead, for strep throat. It didn’t go unnoticed by our doctor, as he advised that we try to get Baby L into a different home: one without school aged children bringing germs home. We made the necessary phone calls to get that ball rolling and headed home for a day of rest.

After naps Saturday afternoon, Ella Grace seemed to perk up, so our plan was to head out as a family of 6! Baby L woke, though, with labored breathing and after a quick phone call to our pediatrician, it was decided that a trip to the ER was necessary. As we tried to get everything we needed, we strapped the girls in their seats in the van, and Baby L in his on the kitchen table. We gathered paperwork and heard the baby’s cough and gag; we both turned to see him spit up from his mouth and nose. We snatched him from the car seat, and as we cleaned his face, his color grew increasingly blue. We realized he wasn’t breathing. After a few seconds, he began to breathe again on his own and his normal color slowly returned.

Eric stayed with him at the hospital as they drew blood, did a chest x-ray, tried to start an IV, and gathered what little medical history they could. I spent the evening trying to make things seem normal for the girls.

After a few hours, it was decided that he should be admitted. I gathered a few things from home, and headed to meet Eric at the hospital. I arrived just in time to hold a sleeping boy as we were wheeled upstairs via wheelchair. It was reminiscent of the wheelchair ride I took while leaving the hospital with each of our healthy little girls.

The next hour or two was spent sharing our story with the doctors and nurses who would care for us overnight. As we shared, we literally watched one of the doctors wipe away tears. It was a truly unbelievable story. Eric went home to spend the night, and I was left alone in the hospital room with a little boy hooked to a beeping heart monitor. As I sat in those first few moments alone, I wondered with the Lord: How did I get here? I’m not supposed to be here. I’m not the mom of a sick child. The nurse and doctor referred to me as “mom” but this child wasn’t mine. How did I get here?

Monday, December 14, 2009


There were hundreds of miracles during the few days that we had Baby L--many we'll never even know. We did witness one, though, in a profound way. So profound, in fact, that it went undenied by all - no matter their belief system. No caseworker, social worker, DSS official, nurse, doctor, therapist, no one that we came in contact with during those days could deny that the fact that Baby L being brought to our home was a miracle.

It happened by 4 AM; Baby L was in our home, our arms, and our hearts forever.
He arrived with a bug infested car seat, 2 cans of formula, a half eaten bottle the “police had made for him,” and a bottle of medication we were told was cough syrup.
As we got him out of the car seat (and it out of our house) and changed him to dry clothing, we began to look more closely at the medication. The prescribing physician was a pediatric cardiologist--one who attends our church--has taught our children in Sunday School.
Not someone who writes prescriptions for cough medicine on a regular basis.
After a quick search on the computer, we determined the medicine was a beta blocker, a heart medicine used primarily in adults to control high blood pressure.
It was the ultimate oxymoron as we were terrified to give it to him and equally terrified of the results of not giving it to him.
Early that November morning, we knew without a doubt that it was a miracle that we knew the doctor.
It was a miracle that this baby was brought to our home.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Compassion & Willingness

It was 2:00 on a rainy Wednesday morning. The phone rang and, as is often the case with middle of the night phone calls, worry hit first. We missed the first call, but moments later another came and the voice on the other line asked if we’d care for a 3 month old little boy.
Taken from his home in the middle of the night, they needed someplace to take him.

As we lay in bed that night waiting for a knock on the door, our minds went into overdrive. What did we need to do to prepare for the arrival of an infant? Looking back, it's comical--we had no idea there was nothing we could do to prepare for the arrival of this particular infant! We quieted after a few minutes, and I watched the shadow of the ceiling fan bounce from the reflection of the moon.

I had a nagging feeling that I needed to pull out some notes I’d jotted a few hours before as I read in Mark 1. I resisted the urge for a few minutes reasoning that I needed rest—that Eric was trying to sleep. After a few minutes, I grabbed my Bible from the floor beside my bed, and in the glow of my cell phone looked for what the Holy Spirit wanted me to see. Jotted in my notes was the word “compassion” with the reference, Mark 1:41. I glanced over in my Bible and read the story of Jesus healing a leper; verse 41:

“Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing…”

The Holy Spirit's voice was clear: we’d been given compassion by a God who values the orphan and a willingness to obey what He’d asked of us nearly a year earlier—to open our home in foster care. I identified, on some level, with Christ compassion for that leper and His willingness to help him.

It was relationship with Him in a very real way.
In that quiet moment, I rested in that.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Glimpse of Our Hearts

From a glance around our dinner table to a glimpse of our hearts--quite a jump, wouldn't you say?

Honestly, it's quite an undertaking to try to communicate our hearts to you in a blog post, but it's an undertaking that we feel is worth...well...worth undertaking, so here is my feeble attempt.

Many, if not all of you know, that for the past year God has had our family on a crazy journey involving foster care.

Most of you know that we were changed greatly by the almost six months that we had to love on Little Man.

Some of you know that we also had a chance to love on another little boy; here we'll call him Baby L.

Please don't be hurt or offended if you haven't heard that we had a second placement. Our goal is not to exclude anyone, rather it is to protect the privacy of our family and to protect the confidentiality of the child in our care. In so doing, it's taken us a few weeks to process all that happened in the brief time Baby L was with us. It's a long story. But it's an amazing story--one that we feel is worth sharing.

Before I share, I want you to glimpse our hearts.

When people find out that our family is a foster family, we get one of two responses:

"Wow! I could never do that!"


"Oh, we've always thought about doing that."

Our advice to both types of responses is usually,

"Don't do it! Unless God's called you to it--if He hasn't it's not worth it!"

Not exactly the billboard for foster care that we probably should be, but, we've learned that it's hard--it's the hardest thing we've ever done as a couple and maybe ever done in our lifetimes--and if it wasn't for the God of the Bible teaching us more about who He really is, then it wouldn't be worth it to us.

So, as I share in the next few post the long story about our short time with Baby L, please see that our hearts are not that it's about us. It's about Him. There is not one moment in the time we had with Baby L that either of us would say was "us."

God's presence was with us in a way that we've, frankly, never felt before but that we long to feel again for always.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Have So Much to Blog About

I'm not sure where to start!
Excuse my brief, unplanned hiatus.
I guess I could start by telling you about our second foster care placement.
It's a long, a really, really, really long (and equally amazing) story! I promise to share more, but it will take more than one post for me to hit on the high points!
Maybe, instead, I'll start with our Thanksgiving.

It's just that Thanksgiving seems so long ago.
Perhaps a better place to start would be our trip to cut down...

...our be-a-u-tiful Christmas Tree.

I would tell you about Katie's first hair cut.

But the picture pretty much says it all!

I could update you on her paci success! On a side note, she wouldn't accept the balloon offered after her haircut. You don't think I've forever turned her against balloons? Do you?

Or I could share about her success in moving into a big girl bed.

Is it just me, or has she grown way up in the past few weeks?

I could write all about the sweet RHS Cheerleaders who let the girls "cheer" with them at the basketball game. The girls think they're so cool now!

It's just that all that is so yesterday's news.

For now, I guess, I'll apologize again and remind you all that...

...we love you from the bottom of our hearts!