Sunday, December 25, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
We took Izaiah to his first assessment with the cleft "team" at Children's Memorial Hospital today. It's been a long, long day with far too many details, as well as unknowns, to mention here. In extremely simple terms: they took an impression of his upper mouth, which they will use during the next few weeks to try to develop a plan for how to best begin the process of repairing it. So, no surgery date as of yet... we're now just in a planning phase. We are still hoping for surgery sometime in late January, but we'll see.
In a nutshell, the little round thing under his nose, which we call his "nubby", actually is 2 things: his upper lip (on the top portion), and his upper gum-line (on the lower portion), from which will eventually come his two upper front teeth! The problem is that this nub sticks out almost an inch from the rest of his existing (and healthy) upper gum line (which is normal and healthy on the right and left sides from the back, up to his canine teeth). So, we need to have his nub pulled further back into his mouth before his lip can even be closed. To accomplish this is going to be quite a task, which will involve surgically installing an "appliance" into the roof of his mouth, removing part of the bone on the back of the nub (to make it more pliable) and attaching it to the appliance with bands that will 'pull' the nub back toward his upper gum-line. Our apologies if this isn't clear. But anyhow, the hope is that after a few months, this will allow his nub to move backward so his lip can be closed properly, without his upper two front teeth sticking way out, which they will be if this is not done first.
All of this would've been much simpler had it been done when he was younger, but since the bone that holds his nubby has hardened with age, it will take some surgery and 'tools' to persuade everything back into place so that we can proceed as anyone would with a more 'common' cleft lip. The issue at hand now is whether or not this temporary appliance will be surgically anchored into his mouth with 'pins', or if it will be removable, almost like a retainer would be after having braces. There are serious advantages to either route (too complicated to discuss here), but we are praying and believing that the best decision will be reached by our incredibly competent and experienced team at C.M.H. Our two primary doctors, one being the surgeon and the other the orthodontist, have to sit down with the mold of his mouth and work their magical skills in planning this procedure. These two men have worked together for over 2 decades and we are so grateful that the Lord has led us to them, as they seem to be very interested, knowledgeable and prepared for the somewhat difficult work of bringing a long-term level of health and 'normality' to Izaiah.
Once again, we are pleading with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ to be interceding for wisdom for our doctors, the upcoming surgeries and recovery for our baby boy. This has been an emotional wrecking-ball every step of the way, not least of all today... and we haven't even had a surgery yet!!! And yet we know and believe that God is in control, and that as we place our trust in Him and ask Him to guide our every step, that He will continue to be faithful and lead us forward. We're also asking for everyone's understanding if we aren't able to return phone calls or emails. Adjusting to all of this is like trying to acclimate to life on Mars. And as all with children know, they consume every waking moment... even under more 'normal' circumstances! So again, our deepest thanks, and God's blessings on everyone who has shown us such graciousness and kindness. Please know that you are in our prayers. We'll update again when we know more.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Dr Frank Vicari comes with the highest accolades and experience, and we are just terribly excited to hear what he suggests is the best route to take to begin the process of bringing healing and wholeness to our son.
Our endless thanks, appreciation and prayers of blessing continue to pour out to all who are journeying with us along this incredible road.
Monday, December 5, 2011
We continue to feel encouraged as we welcome home more forever families. We rejoice with the families who recently returned home from China with their children and are thankful for the Lord's faithfulness to each of one of them.
We consider it a blessing to walk alongside each family throughout their process and have the pleasure to see the Lord's sovereignty and provision through each stage.
We rejoice with these families as they enter into the next exciting chapter of their lives!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
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Friday, December 2, 2011
One word we've exhausted recently: 'jetlag'. We were both quite surprised at the effects of this strange phenomenon. Extreme fatigue, sleeplessness, depression... all of the above. It took us a solid 10 days to really even notice a difference. We've wondered how people do the work of traversing the earth for a living.
To say it's good to be home is an understatement. We feel renewed with deep gratitude for the incredible blessings of everyday life here in America, and even just a place to call home. We're now looking forward to establishing new and necessary routines, as we continue to learn from and meet the needs of our new babies.
Monday, November 21, 2011
There have certainly been moments of happiness. Izaiah seems to be improving at an almost alarming rate. When we got him 3 weeks ago, he was literally like a 'bobble head' doll, unable to hold his head up in any direction, was very weak and hated sitting up for more than a few seconds. His neck has already become much stronger and he's now able to not only hold up his head, but to turn it and look around; and he's doing it all for extended lengths of time. He also was not using his hands to grab or pickup anything, and is now doing both of these more and more every day. His spirit is just so bright, and he really is a very happy little boy, despite his continued sensitivity to external stimuli, especially changes in temperature on his skin. He continues to eat more and more all the time, and for the second time in 2 nights, he's requiring a middle of the night feeding, a very good sign that he's needing even more nutrition. We were shocked yesterday when mommy put him in his exercise activity 'jumper' and he thoroughly enjoyed it for quite some time! And Lily has had her moments too; yesterday she kissed mommy for the first time, which of course led to tears of joy! And she had her first T.V. experience with daddy as she sat spelled-bound and watched a little Star Wars, learning of the timeless struggle of the Rebel Alliance against the evil Galactic Empire!
So in summery, please pray for quick adjustments and adaptation for us all, but especially for our Lily Grace. Her heart has just been shattered over what she's experienced, and it seems to be even worse now that we're home (we feel that she senses that this is the end of the road, and so now she's free to grieve). We know and have not lost faith for a moment that this is the Lord's will for our lives. But like many things in life, there's a certain level of naiveté going into a something so different and difficult, and we're just a little overwhelmed by the emotional wreckage this all entails. But we also are convinced in the deepest part of our souls that nothing good in life comes easy... it has to be fought for. These babies are worth is. Adoption is worth it. And most importantly, our perfect, obedient, scourged, crucified and risen King is worthy and deserving of whatever He calls us to. Many of us who call Jesus the Lord of our lives are so often brought kicking and screaming into the Kingdom of God, as he frees us from our bondage to sin, and delivers us from our chains of slavery. And like ancient Israel, as He leads us from the filth and mire of servitude in our proverbial 'Egypt', and He brings us crying and screaming into our 'Promised Land', where he adopts us, shows us a far better existence, cloths us in His righteousness and gives us His Name.
Please continue in prayer for us, and that the Kingdom of God will soon become a reality for the millions of the worlds orphans.
In Christ alone,
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
"He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people. He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!". -Psalm 113:7-9
"In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." -John 14:2&3
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