Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Izaiah Repair Update

...this is a little complicated, but easier to communicate than calling everyone...

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!


Dr. Frank Vicari (Izaiah's Surgeon)


@ 1st Cleft Clinic


... a Little Too Big!!!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Big Day

This Wednesday at 10:00am, we will journey to Children's Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago to have Izaiah assessed for surgery(s) on his cleft lip and palate. Please join us in seeking the Lord for His perfect will during this critical and life-changing time of decision for our sweet boy, and that his surgeries will be scheduled quickly and expediently and will be performed with the highest level of skill.

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.



Chilling' with Uncle Ry-Ry

Tubby Time

Monday, December 5, 2011

Post From Our Agency's Blog

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.

America World China adoption3

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!

America World China adoption4

"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

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, December 2, 2011

Alas... Rest

"Home, home again
  I like to be here, when I can
  When I come home cold and tired
  It's good to warm my bones
  Beside the fire"
                             -R. Waters

The Story Behind the Story

This is absolutely captivating!!!!


Bethlehemian Rhapsody

Wow... what a production!!!


Winter Dawns

Got our first dusting of snow last night.

2 Weeks Home

We've spent the last 2 weeks going through major adjustments and by God's great grace, we've come a very, very long way. Lily has gone from a state of deep sadness and hours of bedtime crying to spending the majority of her day with grins and smiles and going to bed without even a whimper... praise the Lord! She truly is a delight and is proving to be very curious and amazingly teachable. Adjusting has been easiest for Izaiah. He's been sleeping through the night for over a week now and is growing both in weight and awareness. Our pediatrician just saw the kids for the 2nd time and commented that "it's remarkable how much more light there is in his eyes than there was just 2 weeks ago". We're working with him constantly to develop muscle and dexterity. When he joined our family one month ago, he couldn't hold his head up in any direction. His neck now is strong, he's playing for extended periods in his Exersaucer, and we're now working on strengthening his core muscles and having him sit up on his own. He has so far to go to catch-up to where he should be, but with all the love, atttention and exercise he's getting, we're believing he'll get there quickly. Please be praying with us for him on his road to strength and healing.

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.