The Lord is our Portion

The Lord is our Portion

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sensory Processing Disorder

This is how we spend  Monday mornings
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This is how we spend  Saturday mornings
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This is some of the things we do daily at home
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             Copy (1) of IMG_6878    Copy (1) of IMG_6879Copy (1) of IMG_6896
In October we had Lil guy evaluated by an Occupational Therapist and she confirmed our suspicion that he has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).  Since our 1st post placement visit a month after he came home our social worker suggested that he may have sensory issues.  We tried incorporating a sensory rich environment for him but felt like we were stuck. 

Sensory Processing Disorder can effect anyone - not just adopted children. We actually have more than just the 5 senses as most of us were taught ; vestibular, proprioceptive,interoception,taste, touch,sight, sound and smell. Basically SPD is a dysfunction in the neurological system where they are unable to appropriately manage input from the senses. It is difficult for children to figure out what is going on inside and outside their bodies. So children with this may avoid confusing or distressing situations or seek out more because they cannot rely on their senses, and may have trouble learning and behaving appropriately. Which can look different for each child with SPD.

Our therapist explained it like a major expressway with other freeways connecting – if there is any little  slow down on the major expressway then all the other freeways are effected and get backed up.  Another thing is some children with SPD may not register things that happened to their bodies until later. Like when we spin in circles we get dizzy and feel it immediately, well when they spin it could take up to 3 hours for their brains to process something happened!  Which you can imagine can be difficult for anyone to process.  Here is an example: a little 2 year old girl before breakfast was running through the house, crashes on the couch, gets up spins in circles then sits in her chair for oatmeal. She doesn’t like texture though- or maybe can’t chew correctly and so she has meltdown…after breakfast it is time to get dressed her body is now registering that something happened when she spun before breakfast, her clothes are confining her socks feel not so right another melt down….and the day goes on like this.

We hesitated posting this because of the fear of labels or people judging our child.  Also, because we feel the need to protect our sons story-because that is what it is-his story.  That is one of the challenges of being an adoptive parent is keeping their story – their story…and not sharing too much with others.  However, in sharing this it is our hope that others can be helped.  It has been another lesson for us as adoptive parents of WHO is in control and truly is the only one who heals the brokenhearted…it was again a  lesson in surrendering our thoughts and plans of what Lil guys adoption story should look like.

In the big scheme of life SPD is not a major life threating condition, but it is definitely not easy either as with anything - some days are better than others... Lil guy is making great progress and I tear up thinking about successes he has had, even little things we all take for granted!

Honestly we are so thankful that we serve a God who loves beyond our comprehension, that cares so much about every detail in our lives, and will direct our paths. We want to give God the glory, as He kept quietly putting this on our hearts that Lil guy may have this and for giving words of wisdom to our social worker again (He has used her many times in our lives with both of our adoptions). As we sought Him about this He directed our paths to other families with children that have SPD, a therapy facility close to us (sort of - 1 1/2 hours away)that is familiar with and helps with this condition, finding an equestrian therapy center and being acceptance into it- also Lil guy not being afraid of horses and him being able to process the smells!, providing the finances as neither therapy is covered by our insurance but yet we still have all we truly need (I am thankful for my husband who works hard to and is such a good daddy), most of all that He has given us peace in this situation as we have had to again learn a new normal.

To find out more about sensory processing disorder here is some helpful links http://www.spdbloggernetwork.com/what-is-spd/
http://www.spdbloggernetwork.com/the-8-senses/

Like I mentioned above this condition can affect anyone not only adopted children.  However, this does seem to be common among adopted children.  In the book Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child by Patty Cogen there is a whole chapter dedicated to this subject.  Karen Purvis also talks about it in the book The Connected Child, she also has a very helpful DVD called A Sensory World.  I think it would be beneficial  for any adopting parent to educate themselves on this.  We have seen a difference in many areas of our Lil Guys life by providing him a sensory rich diet. It really is amazing how our Lord designed our body to heal itself.

I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  Psalm 139:14

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Open Letter to my Coffee (link up)

Today I am linking up with The Open Letter Campaign-you write a letter about anything serious or funny! We met John and Lauren on our 1st trip to Ethiopia they were with the same agency as us-in fact we both got our referrals the same day!Open Letter Campaign
 
I was going to write something serious (like a letter to my mom-hope you are feeling better Mom)…but decided to write something silly –but still significant in my life.
                                         
imageimageDear Coffee,
Thank you for being my friend for helping me to see (literally and figuratively) the morning with a better attitude. So glad to have you beside me during my quiet time with the Lord each morning. I am so thankful when I see you waiting on my counter for me. I am so glad my husband bought me the Keur*g two years ago so I can enjoy your goodness anytime I “need” you. I like everything about you –your smell, your taste, the warmth you provide on a cold day. So sad we have to part ways…my doctor told me he thinks it would be better for me to not have you in my life anymore - I will miss you. Thanks for helping me through long nights and tired days with my babies, late nights studying while in college, during our home study visits, long debate weekends with my son, driving in the car and over sweet conversations with friends.  I will miss you, Carrie

Hope you all have a blessed weekend – the t-shirt sale for Anna has been extended until Mon. Feb. 25th so there is still time to help out this family. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hope for Anna to Hear….

I wanted to share this story with you - I “know” of this little girl through an online China Adoption group I am part of.
The blog post below Anna’s is copied from another woman in our group who has created cute t-shirts to help out little Anna. I love how the body of Christ come together to help each other!
To buy t-shirt(s) go to her blog at http://www.quilt-n-mama.blogspot.com/ order is due by Feb. 22
To read about Anna go to  http://www.morethanaskedorimagined.blogspot.com/
 
Sweet Anna joined her forever family in July of 2012 when she was adopted by the Burch Family. Though Anna babbled away, she could not hear. After Anna came home, she was diagnosed with a rare form of deafness caused by Michel's Aplasia. Because of the complexity of Michel's Aplasia, traditional hearing aids or cochlear implants are not an option for Anna to help her hear. There is a new surgery not yet available for all children (it is used with adults who loose hearing in certain situations) in the US called Auditory Brainstem Implant. The Burch family learned about this possibility for Anna from the House Ear Clinic in CA. On February 1, they received a call that Anna had been approved for this surgery and was placed on the surgery schedule with the leading expert in this field in Verona, Italy at the University Medical Center there. Dr. Colletti has successfully implanted several children with success rates similar to those seen with cochlear implantation. Children Anna's age have benefited enough to be able to hear and understand speech and learned to speak with this processor. Anna and part of her family are flying today (Valentine's Day) to Italy where Anna will have surgery for an Auditory Brainstem Implant. The decision to pursue this intervention for Anna as not been an easy one, but through prayer, Anna's family feels led to do so. They know that God uniquely created Anna and has set her to this time and this place to be their daughter. They are excited to be on this journey of faith and appreciate your prayers during this time. As Anna's joyful gibberish fills the air of their home each day, they hope and pray for the miracle of hearing and speech for Anna. You can follow Anna's journey here on their blog. As friends fo the Burch Family(we met Amy in 2008 while we were waiting to bring home our son ,Nate), we want to help them out as they face medical, travel and living expenses for Anna's surgery which will take place in Italy and then once she returns home to Texas. They do have health insurance for Anna, but the surgery in Italy instead of the US, it is not covered. This is where you can help! The ladies at Adoption Tees have worked with us to create this awesome tee shirt to help raise funds for Anna and her family. The front says, "Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what He did for me. For I cried out to Him for help, praising Him as I spoke." Psalm 66:16-17
The tee is available in women's regular fit, long sleeve and children's sizes. 1. You can order one or more of the tees below using the order button at the bottom of this post on on the top of my side bar. Orders will be taken until Friday, Feb. 22nd. It will then take about 3 weeks for the shirts to be printed and mailed to arrive at your door. 2. Please help us spread the word! Share Anna's story and about her fundraiser on your blogs, facebook pages and with others. You can use this blog button to share and it will link to this post. 3. Pray for Anna and her family as they are in Italy for surgery and the weeks that follow. Amy will be updating their family blog as she can. Thank you for supporting Anna and her family! We can't wait to LISTEN to what the Lord is doing! Order prices includes shipping. If you have any problems ordering or have questions about an order, please email: quiltnmama2@gmail.com
blog http://www.quilt-n-mama.blogspot.com/


Monday, February 18, 2013

2 years ago…a letter to Lil Guy

T2Dear Lil Guy,
Two years ago today we passed Ethiopian court and you “officially/legally” became our son.  Although we didn’t need a piece of paper to tell us you were our son…God did that the day he put the desire on our hearts to adopt a son from Ethiopia. Daddy and Momma prayed for you, dreamed of you, yearned to hold you, loved you as our son – long before you we “officially” ours.

So two years ago was a day of much rejoicing! When we went to Ethiopia to hold you for the 1st time in January we also needed to go to court. Many of the families we traveled with including us did not pass court due to a missing letter,so we had to be rescheduled. We were rescheduled two weeks later and still no letter, we were very sad we missed you so much  and your brother and sisters couldn’t wait to meet you!
 Again we were rescheduled for a little over two weeks later… on your big sisters birthday we got the call we did not pass court again. We were so disappointed and confused…but we were clinging to the truth of God’s faithfulness AND that He loves you even more than we do.  So we were now going to be the 1st family in our agency that would need a 4th court appointment. We went to church that night several of our friends and pastor helped to encourage us. 
The next day we knew our case manager would call to tell us our new court date BUT when she called she said, “Congratulations, you passed court Lil Guy is officially a part of your family!” HUH? Momma took the call (well she was sobbing by now) asked, “what? how?” Our case manger said, “They didn’t know apparently there was some kind of misunderstanding the e-mail type of error.” We were all thrilled and praised God for His goodness.  THIS is not the end of this story of God’s goodness and faithfulness.

When we finally returned to Ethiopia to bring you home we were talking with Almaz the amazing lady who runs Hannah’s Hope.  She was telling us all kinds of wonderful things about you and then says, “I was talking to Little Guy telling him how sorry I was that his file was still missing the letter, and he would just look at me and smile…like telling me not to worry.  I had to let go of control my timing and we have to trust the One who is in control…”
Daddy and Mommy were agreeing that it was hard not passing court so many times and how happy we were for the misunderstanding of the email. To this she says “NO- there was no misunderstanding your family did NOT pass court.  The next day on my answering machine I got a message about one of my files, my heart was pounding, I called the court and they told me there was an error and your family actually did pass court.”
(THIS is the amazing part) She then goes on to say, “ they have NEVER called to tell me a changed a court decision –usually they just reschedule and pass the family the next time!”

Wow! Little Guy the Lord’s hand is always in the details and He loves you so…it is our joy and privilege to be your parents and to spend our years teaching you about Him and telling you how much He loves you.

We love you,
Daddy and Momma

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.  Psalm 77:11-14

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Happy 13th!

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Blessing #3 you are a wonderful answer to our prayers. You are a very special gift from the Lord and our lives are blessed because you are in our family.  Thank you for radiating joy in our home.  Also, for your  your Pollyanna out look on life. We love seeing you grow and desire things of the Lord.
Here are 13 things your family loves about who you are….
1. patient
2. caring
3. peace maker
4. fun
5. thoughtful
6. genuine
7. meek
8. imaginative
9. creative
10. helpful
11. delightful
12. funny-great sense of humor
13. social
We love you very much and are so thankful that God chose us to be your family! May your year be blessed as you seek the Lord.
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

LID! one step closer to our child

We have received our log in date (LID) - Praise God!  This means our dossier was logged in China and we can now start the referral process.  We are so relieved to receive our LID before the Chinese New Year -because this means we could even have a referral as early as this month!!!! We are guarding our hearts as it is typically 1-3 months to be placed with a child, but we are hopeful. We know this is all in God's timing, that He already knows the child for our family and will reveal it to us in His good and perfect timing.   
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The Lord has led us to go special needs with this adoption.  During the home study process we diligently researched and filled out numerous papers regarding what special needs we were open to. We prayerfully considered what medical conditions we could handle as a couple, a family and individuals. We sought wisdom from others and got the needed approval from our social worker who knows and understands our family dynamics. Quite honestly that was probably the hardest part of this adoption for us. While we were pregnant we chose to not get some testing done because it didn’t matter to us if any of our children had any medical conditions – we would never abort- and we trusted God with the unknown.  So it was hard to check “yes” or “no” to medical conditions because…..you just don’t get those choices with child birth.
 
Thankfully, my wise husband and social worker helped me process that “no” doesn’t mean those children aren’t valuable or that they are any less important – it just means as a family we could not do the best for them.  We need to be able to give the best we can to our new child without taking away from or destroying the family that God has already given us…He would not expect that of us. “No” to certain conditions is not a lack of faith-but wisdom.   “Yes” to certain conditions doesn’t mean it is better or easier…but what you feel with God’s strength are able to handle. There are families out there that are open to some conditions that others are not.  If we believe (KNOW) that God already has planned the family for an orphan then “no” to certain conditions is “yes” for the  family that God already has planned for that orphan.
 
Also, families who answer the call to special needs adoptions or to adopt are not "saints, extra patient, super spiritual" or "super - anything"! Sure there are some out there that have always wanted to adopt special needs, but most are just trusting and following the Lord in what He has laid on their hearts and opened their eyes to. We just have a super God who supplies us with all our needs!
 
Most importantly though...ALL ORPHANS healthy or with mild, moderate or major special needs
NEED FAMILIES!
  
All this being said we still are trusting God with the unknowns. We KNOW that He has a perfect plan in place for our family. We have been prepared by our agency that it may take 1-4 referrals to be matched with our child due to medical conditions (we are praying/hoping that we will be matched the 1st time). Which again is going to be hard because you just don’t get the choice to say “yes” or “no” with child birth. We were talking with our pastor about this and he said it is good to know your limitations and trust that the Lord already has a perfect plan for that child to prosper – so if we say “no” then that means the family that the Lord already has planned for that child, that may be better equipped to help that child will be the family to say “yes” to that referral.
 
We would appreciate your prayers for us to have discernment and peace during the referral. Also for the medical information and the international pediatrician who will be reviewing our child's medical chart.  And we would have the needed finances available and ready when needed.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

learning to be content

Lately (again-since going to Ethiopia) I have been struggling with all the materialism around us... we just passed the time of the year where we all shop and buy more than typical. It is so easy to buy those things we don't really need when they are all around us and advertised at a great price.
We live in a modest home (ahem...small) we have people tell/remind us that we "need" something bigger. We struggle with that often too...sure-we could try and sell and with the housing market the way it is hope that we would not have to bring a check to closing in order to sell our home.

Why though?
 
We truly have all we need - Jesus, food, clean water, clothing and shelter. Actually we are spoiled compared to others in this world. We have never had to go without three meals a day plus snacks. Clean running water comes into our home and out the faucet every time it is turned on.We have more clothing than just what is on our backs -and plenty of it for each season. A solidly constructed home with a roof that doesn't leak, indoor plumbing, glass windows, heat and air conditioning, flooring, with multiple rooms AND our whole house is bigger than the smallest bedroom we have...many of the homes we seen in Ethiopia were the same size if not smaller than the smallest bedroom in our home.
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We have abundance here in America.
 
While we were in Ethiopia we visited an orphanage besides seeing all the faces of those little kids all crowded in rooms, we will never forget the overwhelming smell-if you have ever been to an animal shelter it was worse than that. KIDS should not have to live like that! Now, I am not bashing the workers that were there because they were trying, someone was cleaning while we were there -but honestly they just don't have enough help for all those children.  That was only one orphanage full of children needing daddy and mommy’s to love on them, to tell them they are special and show them that Jesus loves them.
 
The Bible tells us children are a heritage from the Lord…not a bigger house or a______ is a heritage…
but CHILDREN!
 
So smaller house =
smaller bills =
one more mouth we could feed= 
one more child we can be blessed with-
one less child in the world without a daddy or mommy to love them


Lord, help us to be content with what we have and to see the needs of others before our own wants or comfort.