Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Heart to Heart

It's Congenital Heart Disease Awareness month.

We've done absolutely nothing to celebrate it officially.  We've celebrated the stuffing out of Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day, and we're about to celebrate Mardi Gras down in Mobile.  But CHD Awareness month?  Haven't even talked about it.

Until now.

How easy I forget that we have 2 kiddos with CHD.  One child has a repaired, fully functioning, beautiful heart that should pump just fine for a long long life.

The other child has an unrepaired, patched up heart with a BT shunt--yet it is just as beautiful, though statistics say it will not pump for what we would consider a long, full life.

I did a little research around the web about congenital heart disease, and I learned that it is the #1 birth defect.  Over 40,000 babies are born every year with heart defects in the United States alone.  One glance at a special needs list of Chinese orphans will show how prevalent it is across the ocean.  SO MANY.  And two of those orphans are now in my home, forever sons, forever loved, no longer orphans.

Our Kevin of course has the most serious heart defect of our two 'heart sons' from China.  Kevin's heart is functioning on a single ventricle.  Typically when that happens, let's say here in the United States, the child would have a series of surgeries beginning when he/she is just a few days old.  The surgeries would reconstruct the child's heart and give the child a much better prognosis.

Without the surgeries, it is fatal.

We brought Kevin home when he was 3 months away from turning 3 years old.  His little heart and lungs had worked themselves into quite a mess, going far too long without any surgical intervention.  By the time he arrived at New Day Foster Home, when he was just turning two years old, his pulmonary hypertension was just too high for the wonderful heart surgeons in Beijing to be able to repair his heart.  And almost a year later, when we brought him home, it was just much too late to try to begin any series of surgeries for a repair.

 (Kevin after just coming home, March 2010)

He did however have a BT shunt which stopped the progression of his pulmonary hypertension, and that is a huge praise!

(It is hard to look at these pics of him four years ago...such a hard and scary time!  But it's so good for this mama to look back and remember what the Lord has done and how far HE has brought Kevin!)

Adopting Kevin broke our hearts for other orphans with heart conditions.   If we can help in any small way to fund a child's heart surgery, then it is important for us to do so.  GOD IS SOVEREIGN.  There is no doubt in our minds that if God intended for Kevin to have a surgery in China, then Kevin would have had a surgery in China!!!!!!  But for other orphans, it IS God's plan for them to have surgery.  And it is also His plan for us to GET TO HELP THEM!!!!  Isn't that wonderful?

So I am letting you know about a chance you have to help, too!  If the Lord directs and guides you, you can help Noelle at New Day South. 

                                   Cute little Noelle!

 She has already had her first surgery for her heart, praise the Lord!  (I am not at liberty to say what her specific condition is, but I do know that New Day has been the vessel God has used to get Noelle on the road to a good functioning heart, praise the Lord!)  Noelle needs a second surgery, and we can help by going to this site that our friend Meredith has created HERE and donating!  Any small amount helps!!!!  It adds up!  New Day needs $10,000.00 for her second surgery, and almost half has been raised!  Praise the Lord!

It's time for us to celebrate CHD month now....and to celebrate my CHD boys, and to celebrate New Day and other organizations who help children with CHD, and to celebrate my boys' life, and Jesus who has given them life!  Every day is a gift!

Kevin and friends, partners in crime, share a heart scar...LOOK OUT WORLD!  :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Another birthday!

It seems we are always having birthdays! That's the fun of a big family!  Carlie is officially a teenager!  Now we have FIVE teens!  And I love it!  Happy Birthday Carlie!  

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Day blessings....

By God's design!

From L to R:  Kevin, Cooper, Corrie, Crickett, Keith

How I love all their different personalities represented in this picture!!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

I promise we are alive and well

It's blurry, taken from an iphone in the lobby of the Garden Hotel in GZ, but right now it's the only family picture we got until we can get some kiddos well and out of their pajamas!  :)

We've been home from China 10 days!  I think it's safe to say the jet lag is gone, and everyone is getting settled nicely!  We've been confined to home for a week with mild sickness here and there.  It has been a blessing because it has made this mama keep those van wheels in the driveway and get some major good bonding with Corrie and Cooper!  The sickness has also not allowed us to have many guests which has been really what our new ones have needed--just their family and their new home and a little routine and a lot of love.  

Corrie and Cooper are doing sooooooo well!  They love their home and beds and toys and siblings and food and toothbrushes!  Cooper loves Dora the Explorer, Corrie loves watching mama cook, and all their siblings are loving watching these two treasures FINALLY HOME! 

We thank the Lord for His abundant grace and mercy!

More to come tomorrow....we are celebrating Keith today as he turns SEVEN!!!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Headin' Back to... just a couple of weeks!  We will be booking tickets shortly!  

I am thinking Chinese food for Thanksgiving sounds awesome!!!!

We praise The Lord that the time has come to bring Corrie and Cooper home!  Lord willing, everyone will be traveling with us.  Yep.  You read that right.  All 13 of us!  (We couldn't leave Granmart out, now could we?)

Katie Lyn will set up a private site for our trip updates, so if you want to be included all I need is your email!

HERE WE GO!!!!!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Reasons I don't blog much

Hey my name is Quan, and Mom hasn't been blogging lately because she has been busy teaching me long division and receiving all the beautiful pictures I draw for her. She says she can't believe I am almost 9!

Hey my name is Keith and Mom has been busy teaching me to read and watching my teeth come out left and right!  She says its a wonder I can eat anything with all those teeth missing!

Hey my name is Crickett, and Mom hasn't blogged because she just sits around and watches me be cute.  I keep tellin her that I am gonna marry Micah, so maybe she's busy making wedding plans for me.  :)

Hey my name is Katie Lyn, and I am gonna tell it like it is.... Mom doesn't blog because she is on Instagram now!!!   She's also busy praying for me in my Senior year as I prepare for college or whatever The Lord intends for me!  Mom and I have enjoyed being on mission together this year, and have grown closer than ever!

Hey we are Clay and Colby, and Mom doesn't blog because she is busy taking us to get braces on the same day.  And teaching me (Colby) to drive.  And feeding our bottomless pit stomachs.  And putting bricks on our heads because she says we are getting too tall and our voices are too deep and she is in denial that we are growing into MEN!

Hey I am Candie and I am 13 now, can you believe it?  Mom can't blog because she is teaching me all kinds of things around the home, and fractions too.  Personally, I think the house-keeping skills are much more fun!  Mom says I am growing into a beautiful lady inside and out!

Hey I'm Carlie and I am 12 and Mom can't blog much because she's busy teaching me how to grocery shop and make our breakfasts in the morning.  Mom says I could run the house myself if I needed to!

Hey my name is Kimmie, and Mom's been busy takin me to violin and being amazed by my perseverance.  She says that I don't let anything stop me!  She has also been teaching me long division with Quan, but violin is much more rewarding!  :)

Hey my name is Corrie, and Mom has been busy getting ready for ME!  She says that my article 5 (whatever that is) will be picked up Monday and then she will be waiting on TA!  

Hey my name is Super Cooper, and if you want to know why mom doesn't blog much, see Corrie's explanation!  I sure hope Mom is busy buying me some trains and cars to play with!

Hey my name is Kevin.  So you wanna know the REAL reason mom doesn't blog?  Just take a look at my grin.  That says it all.  She says I ask her so many questions and that she wishes she could be my own personal google search, because she just doesn't know the answers to some of my questions.  She takes a lot of deep breaths for some reason, especially when I start asking her questions.  By the way, can any of you tell me?  Do sharks eat dolphins?  Do sharks eat jellyfish?  Do dolphins eat jellyfish?  Do sting rays kill each other?  Do sharks eat their babies?  Do they do they do they do they do they do they?  And why are you taking a deep breath now?