Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Chase is.....

Doing fabulous! I had high expectations when I walked in his room today. I had talked to his mom, and she had just finished bathing him...so I knew he was ready to go for the day. Of course, when I walked in, he tried to play possum. I told him I wasn't having it....and that he better wake up. So, his mom asked him to open his eyes, and tell her who it was that was there to visit him. He opened his eyes, looked at me and said my name. I was so thrilled!! He is still on a fairly strong dose of pain medication through his iv, but he is definitely more alert than he had been. It was so good to see him eat some food, and hear him say a few more words. They have a few more steps to get through....before he can be moved back home to start rehab here in Monroe. I know their family is so ready to be back together. Here is a list of a few more things Chase is doing or knows...

  • he's giving his momma sugar
  • he knows the month and year
  • he knows his right from his left
  • is following directions very well with the occupational therapist
  • can feed himself items such as bacon
  • can hold his own cup and drink out of a straw
  • can even make a smarty comment to his dad

And really so much more...but I thought I would just give you a quick run down of a few things that are still amazing me...considering he got off the ventilator on Friday. Amazing....just amazing!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Update on Jillian...

Jillian's new hat!

Well, I know so many people are checking in to see updates on Chase, but tonight I thought I would update our family life. I'll be heading back to Shreveport tomorrow, so I can give a better Chase update tomorrow evening.

Jillian is 100%, authentically, almost 2. She spent a couple of days with her MaMaw, and her aunt. Well, they love her way too much!! I called MaMaw and asked her what on earth she did to Jillian, and she just laughed. I suppose that should have been my answer there, but I pressed on. Eventually, I found out they spoiled her rotten, just as mamaw's are supposed to do. But, my word, we have hit a doozy of a wall with her right now. She shook her finger at me yesterday and told me no!!! I didn't really know what to do. But I will figure it out quickly before she does it next time....that's for sure! I remember when Madison was 3 hitting a very similar wall. I remember very clearly thinking, "what has happened to my baby girl??"!! It was awful, but I also very clearly remembering telling her very many times..."you can pick whatever battle you'd like....but you need to know that I'm going to win them all!!". I guess it's girls. My boys would have never considered being so sassy. Wow.....the next couple of years are going to be interesting!!

A Few Extra Prayers Needed...

While Chase is having a miracle every single day, his parents are starting to hit a wall of sorts. They are exhausted, and overwhelmed. The long term outlook with therapy, etc., was NOT what they expected. Looking in from the outside...I can easily say I DO NOT expect what the doctors to say to be the case. Chase is SO much farther along than they ever expected, and I absolutely believe that he is going to continue his miraculous progress. So, I'm asking not only prayers for Chase, but for his parents. They are amazingly strong people, but they need a boost from the Lord. You can only imagine how many people are giving them this advice, and that advice, and how many doctors are talking to them about so many different aspects of the recovery. We need the Lord to work a miracle in their lives. For them to feel His comfort, His peace, and His love!

Thank you to all who have been praying....I know they are feeling your prayers!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

He wants some gum...

At about 4:00 in the morning, Chase's mom got a phone call from the nurse helping Chase. He had woken up and heard the Christian music playing in the room. She asked him if he liked Christian music, and the good 13 year old that he is shook his head no. So she asked him what kind of music he liked, and he said, "I want some gum!" I imagine after having all those tubes in his mouth for all those days, he would definitely be wanting some gum....but how is that for some first words! I am for some reason still shocked everyday! It is truly amazing. I don't know why my tendency is to put the Lord in a box. He is in total control, and His will, will be done! Hallelujah!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sorry for the delay...but great news!!

Well we went to spend the day in Shreveport yesterday having no plans whatsoever to spend the night, but we did. Chandler and I headed over first thing in the morning, right after the other children got off to school. When we got there, it was the first visitation time of the day, so we immediately headed down to Chase. The ventilator was not out yet, but they were hopeful it would be at any time. Thankfully, the next time we went, at 12:30, it was out. He was doing great, and finally looked so much like himself. Chase's mom and I got out for lunch, and did a little bit of shopping, and then headed back to the hospital. During the afternoon, he had a few bumps in the road, but overall, the day was great. When I found out that Jillian was going to stay another night with my mother in law, Chandler and I decided to just stay the night in Shreveport. They had been moved into a bigger room, with plenty of space, so we crashed on the air mattress. I guess it was about midnight when Chase's dad headed down to tell Chase goodnight. When he came back up, he was grinning from ear to ear!!!! He said the nurse was in Chase's room checking him, and told Chase to smile for his daddy. And he did!!! Amazing!! God is so good!!!

So this morning, we went down expecting great things again! The nurse's had brushed Chase's teeth, and he spit for them. Seeing that, they wondered if he could drink from a straw....and he did!!! The doctors said they never, ever would have imagined that he would be this far! That it truly was a miracle that he was even here! By the time we left, he was shaking his head for yes and no, and drinking more juice....even though he wanted Dr. Pepper. Crazy kid!

Continue to pray...the dr.'s said the physical therapy would be much longer than Chase's mom and dad had expected them to say. We know we serve a big God though, and he can cut that time in half, or half of half. Overall, nothing but great news all around!!! Praise the Lord!!!!!

UPDATE: Chase opened his eyes!!! He looked at his mom and smiled!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Not much News...

There isn't much news to tell...they are supposed to take the ventilator out today....but they haven't done it yet. Just because Chase is doing so amazingly well, please don't stop praying. We know the Lord is working miracles....and we don't want them to stop. While we are waiting for more news...here are some more of my picnik'd pics....I'm addicted I know....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Picnik Fun....

While I had been looking through all my computer pics looking for a picture of Chase....I also came across a new photo shop type program...(thanks Ash!!)....and I'm loving it!! Here are a few of my picnik'd pics.

Aren't they fun??

Our Great Physician!!

Chase raised two fingers today, and wiggled his toes alot! He's moving on his own, without anybody asking him to. In fact, he's getting a little aggravated trying to figure out why he can't pull up his arms, and legs. (They are in soft restraints for now). The Lord is working miracles every single day! If you had any problem with faith before, let this be a testimony to you. Without going into too many details, on Friday morning, our local hospital told Chase's mom that it didn't look good. They didn't think he would make it, and sent him to another, more advanced hospital. And here we are on the very next Wednesday, we are giving praise report, after praise report. He's not sitting up eating cheerios, but it's not a life or death situation. I have to say that the outpouring of support for Chase's family from our community is overwhelming!! I'm stunned at the people coming out of the woodwork wanting to help with fundraisers, etc. Chase's dad keeps saying over and over again how blessed they are! It's amazing how the Lord is working!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More Great News!!

Here is an older picture of Ethan (Chase's brother), Chandler, and Chase. I suppose it's from a year or two ago I think.

So the great news is that Chase's doctor came in this morning and asked him to give a thumbs up. Immediately, both of Chase's thumbs went up. The key is that BOTH thumbs went up. This is a good indication that there is no specific damage to either side of the brain. Also, they asked him to wiggle his toes, and he wiggled the toes on BOTH of his feet!! We are praising the Lord tonight for sure!!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Update of Some Sort...Plus Great News

Just so you can have a face to match with your prayers...here is a picture of Chase and Jillian in January.

As of yesterday, Chase looks tons better. For the first time yesterday, I could recognize that it was him. We still know nothing about how he is physically doing. He is in a medically induced coma, and he is on a paralytic to keep him paralyzed. Today they are taking him off the paralytic. They are going to keep him sedated for a few more days until they see how he does off the paralytic. Specific prayer requests for today are:
  • Chase responds well as he's taken off the paralytic.

  • The MRI that is done today comes back good so the neck brace can come off.

And ongoing requests are:

  • He improves daily so they can remove the ventilator by Wednesday or so.

  • As they taper him off the sedation, he comes out of it good.

  • Of course, total healing.

UPDATE: He is off the paralytic, and is "responsive" to a squeeze of the foot. They are somewhat disappointed, but we will know more after he's been off the meds for an entire day.

UPDATE #2: They lowered the sedation levels a little bit, and his response was better!

UPDATE #3: I just spoke with Chases' mom, and she was so excited. Chase is definitely responding to people talking, and to 'pain' tests they are giving him. (Like pinches, etc.). We are SOO encouraged!!! Praise the Lord!!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Faith Believing Prayers Needed

One of my best friends was in a car wreck today with two of her boys. The younger of the two in the car, who is also one of my son's best friends, is in critcal condition, and has yet to regain conciousness from this morning. We know the Lord is a mighty healer, and we need His touch right now! I am putting this out there hoping for some FAITH believing prayer warriors to hit their knees. I want NO sympathy prayers for them. The Lord put us on this earth to glorify His name. How better to do that than to show everyone more evidence of His mighty power!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm in awe.

I know, two posts in one night....but I have to put this out there. When we first got the call about Jillian, I immediately joined several yahoo groups. One of which was the yahoo group of parent's who had adopted from Guiping SWI, which is Jillian's orphanage. I was active in the group before we left for China, but I haven't even logged on for so long. Well, tonight I did. It just so happens that there is a fellow Guiping mom, who had just posted 4 albums to shutterfly of Guiping. Pictures from all over Guiping City, including the orphanage, the bus station, (where so many of the babies are found), and many other sights. I was pouring over the pictures, just taking it all in. Looking for who knows what about Jillian's past. I really had such a strange feeling looking at them. Like a connection, but with a disconnect if that makes any sense at all. And then I looked at the dates of the pictures. I had totally assumed, since they were posted in April of 2008, that's about when the pictures were taken. They weren't....they were taken in September 2006. Now, this may mean nothing to you....but all I could think was..."Jillian was there!!". All these pictures of the orphanage, and pictures all over town were when Jillian was there, and we didn't even know she existed yet. I then went back through the same pictures, and just cried. The connection had become so strong, literally my stomach hurt. I immediately ordered all those pictures for Jillian to have when she's older. We now have pictures of Jillian's entire life, and pictures from all over her town during the period of time that she lived there. God is so good!

Ok, so it ended good...but not great.

Well, the day was still great, until right before bed, when my husband realized he had made a mistake on our taxes right before he filed. We watched our little refund drop $3,000.00 right before our eyes. So long braces for Chandler. BUT, I am just believing that the Lord is going to provide a way, somehow for him to get this THIS year!! Other than that, it remained a great day. Both boys had practice, which was just fine on such a beautiful day....and then I came home and cooked for us. Very June Cleaverish. I so wish I could be more like her. I know it's not realistic...but I really, really wish it could be like that.

So, that was the run down of yesterday. Today, I went on a field trip with my 12 year old. What was I thinking chaperoning a middle school field trip. A field trip that was 1 1/2 hours away at that. We went to an art gallery, and the we headed to the boardwalk. On this boardwalk, there are restaurants and shops, I'm sure much like most boardwalks. It's very nice, we often head over as a family. But this was with a bus load of middle schoolers. As we are leaving the art gallery, and heading to the boardwalk, all the kids in my car, (which was 8 middle schoolers, Jillian, and me....and no, they totally didn't fit), wanted to go to Joe's Crab Shack. Great! I love that place!! Well, that was until this group of 12 and 13 year old boys saw Hooter's. They actually wanted to go to Hooter's!!! And quite a few of them actually did! Can I just tell you, I am SO thankful that I went today! I absolutely, positively did NOT want to go, but the Lord clearly knew what he was doing! There was NO adult supervision on the second half of this field trip. They could do whatever they wanted. I am not the cool mom. My kids don't have cell phones, or ipods. It's not my job to be cool. And today, Chandler wasn't embarassed by that. I'm so proud of him. He hung out with a good group of boys...that went to IHOP to eat, and then came back to Auntie Anne's pretzels to hang out with me and Jillian. One of his friends even kept pushing Jillian's stroller. So, truth be told, crazy as it was, today was a GREAT day too! Tomorrow is Madison's end of the year field trip...surely if a middle school field trip can be good, surely a 4th grade one can be just as good!! I'm actually really looking forward to it!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's a Great Day!

Do you ever just have those days that are great days?? Today has been one of those. It didn't start out great. Jillian got up crazy early...she's not sleeping well for some reason these days. Probably worse than ever since we got her. But even though she woke up early, she was in a good mood....and sweet. More like cuddly cute. I went to work, and spent a couple of hours there...and amazingly nothing bad happened!! Praise the Lord. Then I came home, caught up on the phone with my sister in law while Jillian napped. And I caught up on the phone walking around my backyard with all my new flowers blooming....and it really is just such a beautiful day!!! A hiccup came when Chandler called and needed to come home because he had hit his head at school,but he's fine now. When Jillian woke up from her nap and saw Chandler home...she just lit up. She really is a different child when the other children are home. So much happier. Then I got a call from a customer who ordered a great order for the store! Right in the middle of my slow season! What a blessing! Of course, the day is only half over, but I'm just claiming the rest of the day is going to go as good!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Busy days.

How many times have you said this....."I just can't do all this, all by myself!!". For me, it's about 25,000. I think I've been doing laundry for 26 days straight. I cannot comprehend how 6 people can go through so many clothes. Jillian does usually go through at least 2 outfits per day, and then her pj's. And then the boy's go through their school clothes, and then practice clothes. But good grief....it is never ending!! I am working on getting the older kids to actually start helping me fold them at least. I'm learning that we have, without trying, really spoiled our kids to some extent. They certainly don't get everything they want, but they don't really do much at all to help out in terms of chores. All this is slowly changing though. I'm finding what children can do what, and they are doing it. I want my children to have a work ethic. I don't want them to be lazy, or have the 'you owe me' menality that is so rampant these days. I tell you, growing responsible kids is hard work!!!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

I love Spring.

Life is crazy as usual. We are in ball season...which really is enough said. Both boys are playing, so our nightly activities have turned into either going to baseball practice, or a baseball game. Last year, Chandler was on a horrible team....losing all but one game....and Collin was always winning. Well, the tables have turned. Collin is finding out what it feels like to be losing all the time. And boy he doesn't like it at all. He even said the other day that he didn't want to go to his game. I think it'll do him some good to be a little more sympathetic to the losing team. Sportsmanship is what it's all about, right??

Jillian's had so many 'firsts' lately. Her first Easter egg hunts, her first Easter, her first haircut, her first nights at the ballpark....lol! It's been such a joy to see her blossom in our environment. I do have a speech therapist coming out in the morning for Jillian. She's been doing fairly well, but I think she could be doing better with help. She's trying to say so many words, but not too may of them are coming out just right. So, hopefully we will get a little bump in her progress. Tomorrow is just her evaluation, and then the actual therapy starts in a couple of weeks. I have to say, that just from the time of her first initial meeting, she's already progressed past my initial report. I'll have to keep you all, all 5 of you that read this, posted!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Deep Thoughts.....

I was sitting here thinking about the night a few nights ago that I didn't get much sleep. And as usual...my mind started wandering. I then thought about the night before my garage sale in October to raise money for the adoption....and staying up all night. And then I thought about the night before we left for China...and staying up all night with the hope of sleeping on the planes. Needless to say, I didn't sleep much on the planes. And as I was thinking.....I thought about all those feelings from the night before we left. The anticipation, excitment, fear, anxiety, crazy thoughts, etc. I will likely never feel those same feelings again. Not that I necessarily want to feel some of them, but it was truly a magical time in our life. My dad came in town that night to help us get ready. We ran all over town trying to find a battery for my camcorder....which we never found. We made more copies at Office Depot, got a new diaper bag at Wal Mart, and we even picked up a few extra packages of jellie bellies just to make sure we had enough gifts. My mom came over to try to figure out Skype one last time. Thankfully we got all that taken care of and we were able to talk to my mom, and our children the entire time we were in China. I remember laying down on the sofa for just a little while thinking....'what am I doing?'. Panic just came over me. It's no secret by now, if you've been reading my blog, I have a problem with fear. I wanted to back out so bad, but yet I wanted to have my hands on my daughter so badly!! So, I got up off the sofa, and piddled around the house again. I honestly don't even remember what I did. Probably checked my packing list over and over. Have you ever seen a packing list for a china adoption?? It's really insane. If you need a good laugh, go look one up. When we got up the next morning and were heading out to the airport we were leaving from I was just taking it all in. Knowing that really, that was the day I had waited for, for so long. We were heading to Jackson, MS, and realized there was some kind of wreck, or construction on the interstate. We had to do a u turn in the median, and try to find our way to a service road. We stopped and asked somebody for directions, and managed to get around it. Finally we were at the airport. I was so nervous I could hardly even speak. When we had to go through security, I watched my mom and kids walk all the way out to the parking garage, and just cried. I am not one to leave my kids for very long....much less 17 days. So much preparation, and so many nights waiting had lead up to that day. And I did it. I still have to pinch myself sometimes to think....'I went to China....I really went to China!'. Wow! What an adventure!