Friday, February 28, 2014


my girls have a flare for the dramatic.  some kids break bones or get stitches, mine eat glass, and go into seizures after bumping her head.  it was a crazy chain of events that ended with shilo scaring me more than i have ever been scared.
the brief of it is that shilo fell, hit her head, and went into seizures.  we made a trip to the e.r., and all ended well.  scans were clear.  she did need the emergency med, diastat, used to stop seizures, but it worked so we'll call it a win.
i, on the other hand was left with my mind circling the same question over and over again.  'will hitting her head always trigger seizures?'  she isn't mobile in a way where she injures herself very often, right now.  and, i know that when she becomes that type of mobile, head injuries will abound.

so this afternoon, i was reading in first samuel.  in the seventh chapter, samuel takes a stone and sets it up, naming a 'Ebenezer,' which means 'stone of help,' because, 'thus far the Lord has helped me.'  i love the simplicity of it.  it doesn't feel like this profound faithful statement causing me to put samuel up on a pedestal as someone who is way better at this whole loving God thing than i am.  it was just simply that up until this point in his life, he could see that God had helped him.
and i sat and reflected. i remembered the incredible in pouring of donations so abigail could have a tumor removed.  from friends.  from strangers.  the home that was opened to us while we spent those ten days in chicago.  and the grace of the tumor not being malignant.
i remembered the friends who took abigail when shilo was born, the house that was extended to us in kentucky while we waited on the icpc paperwork so i could leave the state with shilo.
the long hospital stay where friends very willingly watched abigail, came to visit, made decorations for shilo, mowed our yard, fixed our mailbox after it was hit by a snow plow, and loved us more than we could ever know.
and in the past almost two years, since we've been home, i thought of all the times someone has showed up with a mcdonald's coke (my very unhealthy vice) when i've admitted to having a bad day.  i've thought of the kind messages, the friends who have stepped up last minute to help during smaller hospital stays, and the outpouring of love we receive quite often.
and i narrowed it down to today.  the gift of both children sleeping in.  the kind note from my husband, reminding me that i am a great mama, and that the guilt i felt over shilo falling was not necessary.  the drink on my porch to start my day off right, and remind me that i'm loved.  and the people who have called or sent messages to tell us they were praying, thinking of us, and loved us.
i reflected on the fact that for us, often times, the outpouring of God's love comes through people.
right after i read about samuel raising his Ebenezer, the neurologist office called, and confirmed my fear. some kids with epilepsy, go into seizures when they hit their heads.  this could be something we see again and again.
but, all i could think was, 'thus far the Lord has helped me.'

Friday, February 21, 2014

an open apology.

dear papa,

   we are so thankful for you, and all the hard work you do to provide for our family.  we are especially reminded of how hard you work on nights like tonight, when you are working late.  to show our appreciation we made sure there was enough dinner that you could just warm things up quickly when you got home.
  however, there was a problem tonight.  you see, someone, we don't want to single anyone out, ate all of your brussel sprouts.  we are so sorry that you didn't get any.  please forgive us.

your girls.

loving brussel sprouts.

feeling a little ashamed.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

on guarantees.

someone, somewhere, dreams of becoming a parent.  for the first time, for the fifth time.  they picture the beautiful baby that will expand their family.  +1  that day comes.  announcements are made.  cute pictures on facebook, an e-mail.  a phone call.  someone figures out a way to let friends and family know that there is going to be a child.
dreams are had. he will sleep peacefully during newborn photos with his little naked buns up in the air, and that cute hat on his head that was purchased on etsy.  all will be right in the world as his parents blissfully smell his head, rock him to sleep, and spend each day staring at him.
once baby is here, reality may shift a little.  new parents realize that their little just peed on mom's last clean outfit during the newborn shoot.  he doesn't sleep at night time, like a normal person.  he cries.  for no reason.  but, still, parents are in love.  baby is well cared for, and plans are made for another little.

so when people hear our stories, adoption, special needs, doctors, hospital stays, and the potential of a lifetime of parenting, they sigh.  'i could never....'   the list is endless.  and it's not worth hashing out all the reasons this phrase isn't true.  here's what i want to know.
where did you get your guarantee at?  did you purchase it somewhere?  did the ob office sell them, and i missed out on that because we adopted our kids? because from my own personal experiences, i would venture to say that just because your children are healthy now, doesn't mean that you won't someday be dealing with some of the same things i am.
i have multiple friends who were 'i could never-ing' only to find out that their child had a brain tumor, or cancer, or a genetic disorder that doesn't become apparent until slightly later in life.  and suddenly they were parenting a kid with special needs, doing long hospital stays, and facing the possibility of parenting their child for the rest of their lives.
somehow, we believe we have control over these sort of things.  the only people who those things happen to are those who didn't eat right in pregnancy, or exposed their children to something they shouldn't have, and on and on and on.  we judge our way out of anything bad ever happening to us.  we will not be faced with the possibility of a lifetime of parenting.  our children will grow up, go to college, get married, have children of their own, and we will travel and see the world after retirement.
but, here's the deal.  control is an illusion. you can hold as tight as you would like, but it's like trying to hold air.  there's nothing there to hold onto.  all you can do is take the world, one day at a time, and pray for the grace you need to face whatever lies ahead.  because husbands get cancer, and children get brain tumors, and there is a list of a million more things that could go wrong.
so please, stop telling me, and a million other people like me, that you couldn't do what i am.  stop making me a patron saint.  for today, our family is healthy.  we're doing well. and for that we are thankful.  because tomorrow holds no guarantees.  not for you.  not for us.  and the only thing different from my family and yours is that i am painfully aware of this truth.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


on tuesday, january 28, i wrote this blog post about germs.  and as life would go, abigail woke up saturday morning with a respiratory virus.  fever.  coughing.  runny nose.  i spent the day praying, and hoping, and wishing that shilo wouldn't get it.
but, she did.  sunday morning was met with a fever and coughing and runny nose by both kids.  sunday night we made a trip to the e.r. because i couldn't get her temp to come down with meds.  a few hours later, all was fine again.  monday she was okay, and her fever came down with meds.  monday night she got wheezy. we started breathing treatments.  by tuesday morning, the treatments weren't changing how horrible her lungs sounded.  so i made a doctors appointment.
we left straight from the doctor's office to be admitted to the hospital with pneumonia.  her lungs sound awful. she hasn't needed oxygen at all, thankfully.  and they let us come home today since she isn't having fevers (which makes us believe that she is getting better).  we are still in the woods.  her lungs are still crackly and wheezy.
the virus.  human metapneumovirus.  hmv.  the same virus that nearly killed her two years ago.  new life goal, fine a cure for hmv.  or at very least an effective vaccination to prevent it...

please. please. please.  if you or your children are sick, stay home.