Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Plates and More Plates

They keep us hopping our two little boys from across the ocean.

There is never a dull moment with them!

Since Aaron has been home we have chosen to get all of his orthopedic help at the Shriners Hospital in Philly. We consider his doctors to be the best and once we met them have never considered going anywhere else for his treatment. 

Shriners is a 4 1/2 hour one-way trip for us according to MapQuest.  It is a rare day when we can come close to making it up there in that amount of time.  A normal trip is about 6 hours up and 6-7 hours back.  Some days our return trip has been a lot longer because of rush hour traffic. 
We have traveled with Aaron to Shriners about 34 times.
Aaron's lower extremity doctor is so popular that the waiting list for a new patient just to SEE him is over a year. That's just to get your foot in the door. If you need surgery you could wait up to 2 more years. 
Last year after meeting John we immediately called Shriners and got him on the waiting list.  Even though John couldn't see Aaron's doctor, last May we took him to Shriners  to meet the scoliosis doctor who was kind enough to go ahead and order X-rays of his hips and legs in anticipation of John eventually being able to see the lower extremity doctor. 
We came home and his X-rays have sat in his file without anyone ever reading them.  I called three weeks ago to make sure his name was still on the waiting list and it was. 
About a week after calling I started thinking.  Were we foolish to be waiting? Should we get his X-rays and go somewhere else?
I didn't want to throw in the towel on Aaron's doctor because he is so good, but we also didn't want to sit around wasting our time if there really wasn't anything he could do for John.  So I did something I never do. I boldly e-mailed him.  I asked him if he would have the time to look at John's X-rays and give us some idea of what we should do. Was it hopeless to think that John would ever walk better than he does? 
I didn't honestly expect a response.
When you have so many patients that you are a year backed-up, when would you have the time to even look at a file of an unknown child? 
I sent the e-mail not really expecting a response.
He responded within half an hour. He pulled up my child's file and looked at it and wrote us a sweet letter back with words of encouragement and hope.
The next day Shriners called.
Aaron's doctor had contacted another doctor up there and spelled out to her exactly what he wanted her to do in the short-term for John.
So last week Rob and I drove John the 6 hours up and 6 hours back. Next Monday John and I will travel up there again so that he can have surgery on Tuesday. His surgery will involve removing a plate on his right femur that was inserted several years ago, plus inserting small plates into his growth plates on that same knee in order to straighten the leg. 
Plates, plates and more plates!!
We've done the growth plate surgery with Aaron, so we know a bit about what to expect. This surgery will pave the way for future surgeries on John's hip to hopefully get his leg oriented in the proper direction.  Aaron's doctor will do the bigger surgeries but for now we have a short-term plan with a very nice doctor and for that we are grateful.
This surgery absolutely needed to be done. And now.  That's the amazing part of this story. The plate that is currently in John's leg has bone growing into it.  The plates they want to put in his knees are going into growth plates which are soon not going to be there due to John's age.  If we didn't do the growth plate surgery now then he wouldn't get it done.
He was on borrowed time and we didn't know it. If I hadn't e-mailed Aaron's doctor we never would have known.
Only God!
So if you think about it next week we would definitely appreciate prayers for traveling mercies and for John's surgery and his recovery.
Aaron's going to miss his partner in crime.
It's never a dull moment with our little guys!!
We wouldn't trade them for the world!
But we sure could use help keeping their toy room clean!!!


Monday, January 25, 2016

And Then There Were None... Almost

We left John's institute yelling and shouting for FIVE FABULOUS babes...
Five precious orphans needing families.
As of this morning... ALL FIVE HAVE FAMILIES!!
 Two are home (Reilly and Toby). 
One family is in country right now loving on their sweet sweet little Wetherby.  COURT IS TOMORROW!!
Rebecca's family committed a few weeks ago. 

This morning... Charlie's family announced!!

Advocating matters.
It truly matters.
It is beautiful and awe-inspiring to have watched the Holy Spirit moving in the hearts of five families over the course of  these last 9 months.
If you don't believe the Holy Spirit moves in hearts... then read THIS POST written by Rebecca's Papa.  Two people NOT looking to adopt again are now adopting.
I know for a fact that in the hearts and lives of each of the other four families they have similar stories.  God moves in hearts. He does.  He stirs and whispers and sometimes outright screams for us to listen and obey.
His desire is to set the lonely in families.
Our Fabulous Five have all found their families.
And then there were none... almost...
Since leaving last May, three other little boys have become available from John's institute so now we have THREE MORE FABULOUS babes who are looking for families...
Meet BYRON.  He arrived there only a few days before John left. He's the wee fellow in Charlie's lap.
Meet CHESTER. We actually saw a lot of Chester since he was in John's groupa.  He's a sweet little guy who doesn't talk much but is right in the middle of anything that is going on.
Meet JOEY. He just arrived there and from what I hear is darling!! 
Three little boys who need Mamas.
They can all be adopted together or separately.  They are all in the same orphanage.  Three little loves.
Byron. Chester. Joey.
He sets the lonely in families....
Are you listening???
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
    extol him who rides on the clouds;
    rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
    is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
    he leads out the prisoners with singing;
    but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Snowy Saturday

It's not quite a blizzard in our neck of the woods but it sure is a LOT of fun!!
John's first Virginia snow!

So what if the snow doesn't pack... snow shovels make great snow catapults!

John trying to be an angel.... not sure any of us were too convinced!!
Sweet faithful dog hung with us even though she would much rather have been inside!

Snowy Saturday Fun!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Very Tired Thumbs Up

This little blog has been quiet over the last few weeks.
I miss it.
It's been a wild three weeks here in our little house in the woods.  Four of us have been working around the clock finishing a book project that has had all of us at one point or another in complete melt-down.  Two of us in this little house in the woods have been playing and making messes without a care in the world.
Can you guess which were the carefree imps???
Can you guess what one of my jobs was yesterday before Ben went back to college?
Yesterday Rob and I finished the final edits on the book.
Ben and Elijah are two chapters short of finishing their part so Ben will come home next weekend from college to get it done.  Considering he was so brain-weary when he left that he forgot his pillow, sheets and other essentials he isn't complaining about coming back.
I cannot begin to express how grateful we are for the work these two put into our family business.  They make me so very proud!!
Rob and I were so exhausted and weary last night that the full extent of our celebration party was to climb in bed and give each other a very tired thumbs up.  We then both promptly fell into a stress free sleep for the first time in way too long.
I'm not ready to share what we have been working on. We have to the finalize the cover and get the website changed around but we are unveiling soon....
I can't wait.
If you homeschool and are doing Medieval History next year with your K-6th graders or if you are doing Classical Conversations Cycle 2 next year or if you are thinking of homeschooling and have no clue what to do for history or if you are using another program and are considering changing then STAY TUNED!!
So are they!!!!