October was a fun filled month. I always love October because it starts cooling down here in Arizona. This year it took longer to actually cool off, but, FINALLY the beautiful weather is here and we remember why it is that we love Phoenix so much!!!
Selah began wearing the brace for the scoliosis. It was a horrible three nights of rages and screams and very little sleep, and then another four or so nights of restless sleep and some anger issues and regression, but then she seemed to settle into accepting life in the brace. As frustrating and difficult as it was, though, God used the brace to bring hidden blessings. The brace gave Selah such wonderful deep tissue pressure, that it helped to calm her significantly. Our occupational therapist was amazed at the difference in Selah.
Also, because the brace was designed to come halfway down around her bum and hips, it has pulled her hips together and helped her to walk with a narrow gate placing one foot directly in front of the other. She has continued to do this and keep the straight posture even for the couple of hours each day she is without the brace! It has also stopped her from rocking at night and sleeping with her torso flat on her legs like a closed book. The design of the brace makes it impossible to do that. I believe that was the biggest portion of the raging for the first week. Even though she falls asleep at night lying flat now, several times throughout the night she would sit up, rock, and either fall asleep forward or flop back. It was a blessing because it took Bryan and I out of the quotient and put the blame on the brace which in turned caused her to turn to us for comfort. The other part of the rocking I think was simply habit...similar to sucking a thumb or pacifier that had never been broken.
Today we found out even one more hidden blessing! We saw the cardiologist today for a follow-up on her enlarged aortic root. The ultrasound was promising in that there had been no progression of the enlargement! Praise God! That was even without medicine, therefore the doctor doesn't feel we need to start any new medications at this point! And...the hidden blessing? He told us our biggest fear is going to be any blows or hard impacts to Selah's torso. That could cause the "eruption". With her brace, he said she is actually well protected. Funny how God works!
Selah's surgery to repair the strabismus in her right eye is on Friday morning. Please pray with us for success, quick healing, and no emotional setbacks. I pray that God will use this time to draw her even closer to us.
Otherwise, we continue to stay busy with day-to-day activities. As I celebrated my birthday this year, I remembered being so sad last year because we couldn't seem to get our I800 approval from the NBC. I remember having a nightmare officer that kept changing her mind as to what she wanted from us. Ugh...how many wasted days, extra fees, and overnighting costs we accrued! It now seems so long ago.
|Landon playing i9 basketball|
|Zach's team won the championship for the Halloween tournament!|
Halloween was really fun again this year! Both sets of grandparents had arrived back in town for the winter months and were here for trick-or-treating and our neighborhood potluck of chili, cornbread, and a million other yummy treats! The weather was gorgeus....the boys were cute...and our little Selah made an adorable little ladybug!
|My tribute to the Jayhawks in honor of Bryan and the boys!|
|Zach was a KU basketball player and Landon a KU fan!|
|Do you think her big brothers adore her, or what?|
|Charley, our sweet babysitter, and Selah. Dorothy, Toto, and a ladybug :-)|
|Selah's Mr. Potato Head Pirate Pumpkin deserved a big hug and kiss!|
I am reading this book right now called Spiritual Java by Bill and Beni Johnson. A friend gave it to me as a birthday gift and I love it! It is broken up into small chapters so that you can read it even if you only have a couple of minutes here and there. The jacket cover says "God will take you into supernatural new territory, and your explorations will not end until you are fully walking in His prefect plan for your life. Each time you enjoy a few more sips, you will be warmed and energized to step out into your world with renewed Kingdom effectiveness. May each sip of every chapter be spritual java for your soul." Kinda fun, huh? I'm going to leave you with two little sips of that java that I related to the journey of an adoptive parent. The journey where you lay your life down daily for another..the journey where that laying down can seem like the heaviest of burdens on some days and greatest of joys on others.
"The tragedy is that many believers can't yet distinguish the difference between the burden of the Lord and the weight of their own unbelief." Chew on that one! When we are so burdened and go before Him in prayer, is the burden really about what has been placed upon us? Or is it about the weight of our unbelief in what He can and will do? The book went on to say, "do whatever is necessary to arrive at a place of faith. Then you will be able to see the situation from the perspecitive of Heaven - and you will be able to bring Heaven to earth with a simple word or two." I know that the days I am firmly planted in that place of faith, my burdens are not heavy. The days I waver, are the days when I fear what the future could mean for Selah and for us. But, I am committed to seeing her medical and emotional needs from the perspective of Heaven. In Heaven there is no pain and no brokenness. That is what I am believing in faith for Selah.
And here is the other one that spoke volumes to me: "But for the sake of becomnig mature and growing in favor so that we can bless those around us, God brings moments into our lives when we have to stand alone in difficulty and testing. God will even blind the eyes and deafen the ears of our closest friends in those moments - so we can learn to minister to ourselves." I don't know about you, but there have been many moments I have felt a bit isolated in my world through various phases of this journey. Now, I don't mean we haven't had wonderful friends and family loving us. I just mean that until you walk this road, it is really tough to understand. It is also very tough to share all that is going on. So many people are simply elated that you have your child now with you and they are unaware of all that can come with adoption, especially of an older child. The last thing you want to do when they are so happy for you is to emotionally or verbally vomit all the gory details! After reading that portion of the book, though, and having a friend give me that same word one evening as I was emotionally vomiting, I realized that this IS part of the journey. God walks us through times like these and strips away many of our other supports to make us dig deep within ourselves, turn to Him and build our faith. Again bringing us back to...seeing things from the perspective of Heaven. It's such a better view from there!
Blessings and smiles,