Count of Chicks for Children

God's Plan For Us

This is our journey - God's incredible plan for our lives. When we followed the moving of the Holy Spirit, He opened the windows of Heaven and poured out upon us blessings we never dreamed of! Indescribable joy!

" For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, January 15, 2016

My 'Prayer Closet'

Since I normally only post about adoption, it may seem strange that I am talking about a prayer closet. However, I can't help thinking there are other mothers out there who have adopted and have the same issues that I've dealt with. Prior to adopting Elli, there were only three of us in this house. (Emily was 17) It was easy to find a quiet place to do a devotion. I had an entire house where I could study the Bible and pray. After Elli came home, things changed, but still it was easy to find that quiet time. Fast forward five years, and now there are nine of us living in this home. Space is at a premium. Quiet time is HARD to come by. Generally by the time all the girls are in the bed, I'm ready myself ;-)
I have wanted to carve out a dedicated spot where I could leave my Bible, notebook, etc and be alone. It had been on my mind for a while and when we got back from China in September, the need was even more apparent. If I'm not taking time to be with God, everything (and everyone) else suffers. I knew I needed that desperately but couldn't figure out a good location. In October, I told Virgil I really needed a small desk I could call my own and I needed a place I could put it where I could go in and shut the door and have a little privacy. He took me that day to look for something (I think he could see the desperation in my eyes - lol). What I ended up with was a little secretary desk that we found at an indoor flea market. It didn't take up any more space than my nightstand did. I can now shut the door and be able to concentrate on God's Word. This time with Him is vital for me. It is not a want, it is a NEED.

There is a movie out on DVD now called War Room. The woman in the movie has a prayer closet where she brings her needs before the Lord. It's a great movie, and highlights what I am talking about. Many of us, however don't have the space to use one of our closets. I'm hoping my idea will encourage another mother out there to find some nook that they can call their own and go to everyday to be renewed and recharged by God. Blessings, Cindy

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

This Bed Of Roses


Many people believe we live in a ‘bed of roses’. I must admit that I rarely post the really hard parts of our journey. I’m an eternal optimist, and usually see the ‘glass half full’.  When people ask how it’s going, my general reply is, “It’s going well”. The thing is, ‘well’ is relative. Considering how things could be going, they are going Very Well. I’ve read and heard of many children who have struggled, whether with medical issues or adjustments, and we’ve been very blessed that, for the most part, ours have been easier than others.

With that said, I do want to share a bit of our journey that isn’t usually shared.

Because, let’s face it, even a bed of roses has its thorns (and weeds if we’re not careful)

As I type, I’m sitting at the hospital waiting for Meimei to get tubes in her ears. She has been diagnosed with some hearing loss, and has very small ear canals. Hopefully the tubes will prevent ear infections and increase her hearing. She also has a speech impediment that might improve once she has the ability to hear clearly. She will see a neurologist next week to see if she has craniostenosis, and whether any surgery needs to be done to correct it.

Next week Enya has the first of two bone grafts of her palate. They’ll take a small piece of bone from her hip and graft it into the roof of her mouth. They’ll do the right side of the palate first, and six to eight weeks later, they’ll do the left side of palate. Once that heals, she will have to have another surgery on her eye for the ptosis. The eyelid has started drooping enough that it is causing some impediment of her sight. In the summer, she will also have another lip revision. Thankfully, these are all outpatient, and Enya is a tough cookie. She too has some hearing loss, but her’s is permanent.

Nini’s medical issues are not so clear cut. When you are talking about neurological issues things can get a little murky. She has many different diagnoses that come together to create the perfect storm. We’re left never quite certain what is causing what issue. For example, she has an unsteady gait. Is it caused by the Chiari 1, CP, or ventriculomegaly? (Prior to the tethered cord release we could have had that on the list as well) She is being fitted for braces that come just above the ankles. Because of those weak muscles, her feet are collapsing inward, so we’re trying to prevent growth plate damage, and help with the pain she feels in her feet and legs. She has what amounts to a traumatic brain injury. Because she never had the shunt for the hydrocephalus, her brain received permanent damage. She is at a two year old level, and the doctors aren’t certain how much she will mature. She has memory loss. She does learn, but it is much slower than other kids her age. She recently came home from school and could name a few colors. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been prouder if someone showed me their college degree. What she learns comes with much effort, and is a reason to celebrate. I mentioned before that the neurosurgeon wanted to know if she could walk or speak when he first looked at her MRI. There is that much damage. It is truly miraculous that she does as well as she does. She has behavior issues that primarily show themselves only at home. We’re learning what causes her to spiral down, and try to avoid those when possible. She is on medication to replace a chemical which aids in calming her.  The hardest part with Nini is that she is the sweetest little girl in the world, but there are emotions she isn’t capable of controlling, and learning barriers that cause her to work harder, but learn less. I haven’t found many – actually any- families who deal with these exact issues. (Though I am grateful to know another family who deals with behavior and learning issues, and we can share ideas of what works and what doesn’t.

We deal with so many different medical diagnoses in our home that my medical knowledge has expanded exponentially. It is a new ‘adventure’ every day, and we’re never quite sure what the day will hold. Currently, we’re dealing with a daughter who has some autistic-like symptoms, one with ADHD, another who probably has ADD, low vision, no vision, learning disabilities, language learners,  and of course, attachment and bonding.

These are the thorns on the roses. But thorns (which by the way are really called prickles) are there for a reason. They protect those delicate blooms. For us, it protects us from self-reliance. We learned early on in our adoption process that our strength is not enough. We do not possess the love, patience, or wisdom needed for the garden we are tending. The challenges keep us reliant on the Only One who can do all things.

What is really a danger in that bed of roses are the weeds. When I fail to keep my eyes on God, the weeds start taking over. These weeds are the things that keep me from focusing on Him. There are days my head swims (well, truthfully, this is almost every day- lol!), days I want to cry (and days I do!!), days I think I can’t do this, and many days I feel I’m failing at EVERYTHING. There is so much I don’t know about the medical side of things. Many hurts I can’t heal. There is frustration with not having the answers, especially those that will never be clear-cut. If I allow them, they will keep me from the sweet fragrance all around me. They’ll keep me from focusing on the Master Gardener who blessed me with these precious blooms. They’ll have me looking around at problems and potential problems instead of inhaling the aroma of the bouquet He has placed in my home and in my heart. Our girls are the most beautiful , fragrant roses you’ll ever meet. They are funny, kind, tenderhearted, loving, and generous.

In every area of my life, I must be careful not to focus on the negative-which is not the same as burying my head in the sand. I’m well aware of the problems. I must choose each morning to recognize the weeds for what they are and give them over to God.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Interview with our family

Elizabethtown-family-raising-7-girls-adopted-from-China


We were recently asked by one of our local news stations to do an interview to highlight international adoptions. The girls really enjoyed the interview. We're praying that it encourages others to consider this incredible gift called adoption!

Friday, January 1, 2016

This Little Girl Will Age Out Soon- Could You Be Her Family?

Hope
A friend has asked me to advocate for this beautiful 13 year old. In six months she will age out. She'll turn 14 in July, and then it will be too late for her to have a family to call her own. She has a repaired cleft that may require some more revision (Enya has had these, and another upcoming. It is out-patient, and for Enya, has always been a quick recovery). She was raised by a family that had taken her in, until they passed away in 2012. Hope has said she would like to be adopted. Please consider whether Hope might be your daughter!!!!
She is listed with All God's Children International adoption agency.