Friday, September 20, 2013

New eyes!

Joseph's glasses finally came in!

We are so excited to finally have him seeing the world around him! We weren't sure how well he'd keep them on since we has a pretty small head and the band doesn't really tighten to keep them snug to his face.  He can pull them off, but he seems to like having them on.  It's exciting to know he can see things now!

Yesterday was an amazing day.  I don't know how else to describe it other than amazing.

I'm hoping to get some pictures and write more today...we were able to take part in a therapy training clinic that has been incredible for both Joseph and our son Elijah as well.  Joseph actually came home with "all his gear" as I call it, to get our little man stabilized and making progress in getting him standing and walking properly and our son Elijah had some wonderfully caring therapists looking into a joint issue that has been a long standing problem that we haven't been able to find anyone to really address his problems until now.

All I can say is that i feel like a very blessed mama.  There is nothing better than seeing your children being cared for and having the things they need to be healthy.  And to see Joseph receiving what he needs for the first time nearly made me break down in tears ;). 

More to come....

Friday, September 13, 2013

Look what he's doing...

This is a little guy that screamed when we so much as slightly suggested he stand up on his feet!  He could pull up to a stand in his crib, but he didn't do it all that often.  He would NEVER feel comfortable standing without his whole upper body laying on something...usually it's a dining room chair.  The fact that he is so comfortable standing without a lot of upper body support makes this mama so very happy!

I didn't catch it on film, but yesterday he actually let me walk him around by his hands...and if you knew Joseph, you would know that he does NOT let you do's just usually too scary for him.
This same afternoon, he actually scooted over to Matthias and snuggled up to him and put his little head on his just completely melted me.  Yes, he likes us...but I can't explain the could just tell he knew that was his brother and he wanted to be close to him...this is major for him! Then he slid next to me and linked his little arm around mine...the little things are pretty awesome.

My little man is gaining some confidence ;)
And I just can't wait to see what comes next!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A little Joseph update...

I really want to spend a long time writing a detailed update post on Joseph, but considering I'm just trying to keep my head above water right now with six little ones, Dr. Appointments, 4 kids in three different soccer teams (I know...that was dumb...I realize that now), new music lessons and co op classes and starting a new school year with older kids and bigger work loads for school....I figured I better just take my moments here and there and let you know how our little Bulgarian boy is doing!

He had an eye appointment...he will hopefully have a fancy new pair of glasses in the next couple of weeks.  We're getting some of those miraflex frames that are completely plastic and harder to hurt himself or break.  Hopefully they'll be in soon.  We're looking forward to him finally being able to see better!  

He has a new pediatrician!  We are much happier with this far so good.  He has had many patients with Down Syndrome and seems much more interested and comfortable in treating Joseph.  We are very thankful for finally seeing someone that actually seems to care about him as a whole person.  

Joseph seems to be settling in and adjusting pretty well.  There's so much that goes on with bringing an adoptive child with special needs into your's hard to know what to write here.  He's struggled in some things and he's come remarkably far in other things.  He's done amazingly well in speech therapy...he's starting to tolerate a little bit of chewing on things, he's starting to make progress in the oral aversions he has...he's even learning to drink from a straw!  It's not perfect, but it's great progress from where he was two months ago :)

We're still working on health issues with Joseph...trying to do everything we can to help him to feel good.  Eating is an issue....he has good days and not so good days.  Even with learning to use a straw, he is not always cooperative and it's a full time job to work on keeping him nourished and hydrated.  We were told from a nurse at the GI specialist's office that they think Joseph is "on his way to getting a g-tube" and at one point they were so concerned about his lack of being able to stay hydrated that they almost made us come into the emergency room.  We know what to look for as far as dehydration and we're trying our hardest to keep getting nutrition and fluids into him.  He's come a long way and we're just going to keep working on it and hope that it will get better over time. We'll just have to keep a close eye on him and get him checked often if it seems to get worse. It's a lot, but he is worth it!  He'll get there.

He loves being around the kids.  Gabriel and Matthias are really good sports because they are the ones that have to sit next to our "Mr. Flexible" in the car....he wants to get there attention and play with them so he just kicks a foot up into their face out of no where!  He's fast!

He's not walking, but he will stand up with his arms supported on something...we often stand him in places where he feels safe and give him practice standing.  We stand him up against our dining room chairs and push him around the house to get him walking.  He usually cackles his little happy laugh and thinks it is quite fun!

He's definitely growing in confidence and independence.  We sit him down in one place of the house and within seconds he can be in another room entirely.  He does a kind of belly swim...or he scoots on his bottom.  He loves to explore, to sit at the dishwasher and look at his reflection or to play with the magnets on the fridge :). Most of all, he just likes to be where we are :). And that works out great because we all love having him around, too!

Well, I've run out of time...and I've gotta go hunt down our little Bulgarian now that he's belly swam his way right out of the room!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Seven months already...

It's hard to believe that she turned seven months just a couple days ago.  Seven months.  She was God's little gift to us.  At the beginning of our adoption process, we thought about adopting a girl.  Our oldest daughter was our only girl.  She has three amazing brothers that she loves dearly...but still, it would be nice for her to have a sister. We knew we were called to adopt and also knew that girls are much more often chosen for adoption than boys are.  It's just a fact.  And kids with special needs are chosen even if your a boy and you have specials've got quite an uphill battle against you in finding a family.  When Joseph's picture and video were handed right to us, we knew he was the one.  But that also meant no adopted sister for Lilly.  We actually debated adopting another child along with Joseph...a girl if God placed one on our hearts.  

Then a month after officially committing to adopt Joseph, we found out we were pregnant!  We were shocked.  Most people thought we would have to place our adoption on hold and un-commit to Joseph.  But God had orchestrated everything just perfectly so that we were with a particular adoption agency that actually determines whether you can continue with your adoption after becoming pregnant on a "case per case" basis.  And they agreed we could continue.

I knew God had provided our little girl.  A sister for our daughter.  But she has been so much more.  She has taught me to surrender more.  To trust our Lord (I'm still working on this daily...) and to walk with him through all things.  It's been a special priviledge to witness to the blessing of adoption while also being pregnant and having another child.  Adoption is not something reserved for infertile is something that was designed by God himself and will bless ANY family large or small that is willing to make just a little more space in their lives for a little one that desperately needs the love of a family.  We are so thankful for Joseph.  And we are also incredibly thankful for our little Emmeline.

Some people might think it was crazy to adopt while being open to biological children as well.  But how could we ever choose to leave Joseph where he was just so our lives would be easier?  

And how could anyone say that this beautiful little girl was not yet another amazing gift from a loving God? 

God knows what he's doing.  And we are blessed to be working on "dying to self" so that we can welcome these little ones into our life.

Pure joy.  This little girl reminds me to stop and be happy in the midst of it all!

Seven months and already standing...she's definitely keeping me on my toes!
She's interested in everything, loves everybody and is so smart!
Can't imagine life without her :)

Whether your family is big or small...whether you're having difficulty having your own children or your house is bursting with little blessings of your own...can't you find room for one more?  God just might have an adoptive child in mind for you.  Or He might have a homegrown little one He's looking to bless you with!

It's all good ;)