Growth...of our our walk with all things to worship HIM!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Celebrating a New Life

Today, these two special moms 

threw a baby shower for our dear friends  

And this sweet going to have a baby brother soon!

Miss Kylee worked all morning with the moms to frost cupcakes 
then she was the photographer in training

She loves this family

and doesn't like to leave them:) 

As the party came to an end I got some snuggle time in with this sweet little

Mélika was off for another weekend of doing children's ministry.  
I generously took her share of snuggles as well!   

Tomorrow I get to rock it for Jesus kidz style, fireproof my marriage in small group,  hear a great message from our beloved pastor, and finish the night with a comedy show by Michael Jr. 

Monday morning another big old packet of adoption paperwork hits the post office!!!!  
Each document gets us closer to our greatly anticipated Gotcha Day!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Answered Prayers

God is so good...and so very faithful!!!

First of all, you can read HERE about how God provided the entire amount needed for this little man's life saving surgery!!  Thank you for your prayers and financial support!!

Last Friday we had a visit from a certain gorgeous little man!!  
Mélika stole him and would not even give me a turn...RUDE:)  Ok, I did get a very brief turn before he was placed in the car seat but I don't think that counts.  

Look at that face!  Can't you just tell he is screaming to stay longer.  
Mommy and baby should be back soon and we are looking forward to it!!

I have really been slacking on  the adoption updates lately.  SORRY!  Truth is...we are neck deep in paperwork and trying to get it all properly filled out as soon as possible!!  There is much involved BUT...IT IS ALL WORTH IT!!!

This batch looks smaller than the last but these documents are taking more time and effort to complete.  

We got our physicals and blood work done for our new agency on Thursday...only to find out Tuesday that the Philippines require a different set of paperwork and lab tests.  

When we went for the blood work this morning, the computers were down!  My hubby was discouraged about getting to work late once again and was ready to leave and come back a different day.  I knew we wouldn't be able to have our completed paperwork by the end of the week if we didn't do the blood work today.  I asked him to wait just a few minutes.  

I started praying and believing that my heavenly father would miraculously fix the problem that was estimated to take over an hour.!  I know God cares and shows up even for the small things. 
Two minutes hubby's name was called for the blood draw...


Today was filled with paperwork, phone calls, emails, and trying to compile a list of places I have lived since 1975!!!  

We needed to file for background checks for each state we have lived in.  Pennsylvania wins for requiring the most hoops to jump through.  And if you were wondering...I came up with 16 addresses for their list:)  Thank you mom and dad for slaving through your files to try to find the addresses and dates I was lacking!!   And...thank you to my dear friend S for notarizing our documents tonight!!!

There was a mention of phone calls.  I am a gal that is not very comfortable making cold calls.  The Philippines requires a psychological evaluation to be done on adoptive parents.  There are many guidelines...extensive testing required...and much money involved.  So, making phone calls was the best method to find out who can do this type of testing and price shopping.  

I am pleased to say that I worked through my fear and made many, many calls!!  I asked several people for recommendations, looked online, left many messages, and spoke to some interesting people.  

After the immediate answer to prayer with the computers...guess who was asking God to meet this need as well.  I specifically asked HIM to provide the right psychologist or psychiatrist to administer the tests...for affordable testing...and quite frankly...I asked for warm fuzzies and much peace about our selection.  

Kylee and I dropped Mélika off at the church for a meeting and went to a nearby mall to kill some time before our evening service started.  There might have been some McDonald's involved for my little princess but there is no evidence to prove it.  While shopping, I received a call from such a sweet, sweet lady that I had left a message with earlier in the day about the testing.  

Once again...FAITHFUL GOD provided a psychologist with much experience in psychological evaluations for international adoptions, at a much lower cost than projected by our agency and friend that has been down this road before, they understand the urgency in completing the evaluation quickly, and....I cannot say enough about the warm fuzzies and peace!!!!
I told this gal that I had many calls out and that I would get back to her in the next day or two.  I spoke to my husband and called her back within 5 minutes.  There is much to be said about peace:)

This is new ground for us.  New experiences.  
I am so very thankful that God is a great navigator...that he has blessed us with a wonderful family that has walked this particular path 4 different times before us...that HE is showing himself strong, even in the small victories!!!!!  

Once again, HE has a plan.  HE will open doors as we step out for those without a voice.  HE will fill our home with the children HE has handpicked for us!!  

Today as I plowed through the new batch of paperwork, I was imagining what it will be like on Gotcha  Day...that day when I finally get to hug my son...the day that Aaron starts to realize that he is a wanted part of a family. 

Any effort put into the adoption process is worth it friends...To make a difference to this one!  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Being Real

ALERT...being real...if you would rather not hear real...not the post for you to read!

There is an area of my life that I have not shared on facebook or here on the blog.  Those that know our family personally are fully aware of the issue, but may not know my heart on the matter.

I have never chosen to share for so many reasons...
it could be taken as complaining...
this issue reveals where I lack self control...
would my words somehow cause someone to believe that God does not answer prayer 
(which of course HE DOES!!)

I however feel lead to share because I believe strongly that the enemy of our soul wants us to become isolated, alone, vulnerable.  

When our most difficult battles are walked alone it is very easy to become defeated.  

But when we live out loud, we allow others to prayerfully walk the journey with us.  We are strengthened as we speak the truth of God's faithfulness.  It also encourages others that may be facing a similar reality.

So...share I will.

For as long as I can remember, I have felt sick...EVERY TIME I EAT.  
When I was little I assumed that was just how people felt when they ate.  
Then for many years I thought that I felt pain and bloating because I was a glutton and choose to eat too much.  

My relationship with food has always been unhealthy.  I have lived both extremes.  Eating for every reason in the book...happy, sad, mad...  And then the opposite of starving myself at hopes of gaining some sense of control over my circumstances.  

Several years ago, I was overweight and decided to do something about it.  

I started exercising, removed junk food, and ate an extremely healthy diet of hormone free meat, whole grains, fruits, and veggies.  The weight came off...but the better I ate, the more I hurt.  

It made no sense!  I went to see a GI specialist and started a long road of testing.  
In the end the Doctor told me that it was in my head and I had  IBS.  

Frustrated...I started trial and error...keeping food logs. 

I discovered I had many symptoms of celiac disease. 
 I removed gluten from my diet. Although I experienced significant improvement, my symptoms never completely went away.  I then removed dairy...then soy.  

I lived gluten, dairy, and soy free for nearly three years.  The weight stayed off but I still continued to have extreme pain as soon as I put food in my mouth.  

One of my girlfriends made a joke that I am allergic to healthy things from the earth.  Although the thought seemed absurd at the time...we had no idea just how true that statement was.  

After we moved to NC I reached an all time low where my health was concerned.  I went to yet another specialist and began another battery of tests.  
This time...I was at least able to receive a diagnosis.  

I have an extreme case of fructose malabsorption.  (my body is not able to absorb fructose in any form...natural or artificial.  This includes all fruits and veggies, wheat, brown rice, most meats, and everything processed.  Still can't do dairy, soy, and nuts.)  I say extreme because many folks with the condition can eat some low fructose foods in moderation.  I however have a reaction with something as small as a grape, or one strawberry, or a bite of carrot.

The onset of the pain takes place IMMEDIATELY after putting something in my mouth.  But progressively becomes worse as the night goes on.  In the morning, I hurt so very much that I feel like I never want to eat again.  

I spent many many months trying foods in isolation and logging my reaction time.  The process was grueling...the results depressing...and my weight reached a record low of 105.  The five foods that I have found to cause minimal pain are white rice, oatmeal with just water on it, chicken or fish with nothing on it, and plain eggs.

I do not have a photo of my lowest weight but these will give you an idea.  

The specialist that diagnosed me with fructose malabsorption also found that I have small intestine bacterial overgrowth.  Basically, if fructose is not absorbed by my body, it does two things.  Part of it turns into hydrogen and methane gas causing pain, cramps, bloating, gas...the other part sits in my gut where bad bacteria has a feast and creates other unpleasant symptoms.  Insomnia and fatigue is a common symptom of FM as well as extreme sugar cravings.  How funny is body wants the very thing it cannot have!

So, this is the tough part to talk about.

I would love to say that the problem was found, managed, and all is well.  The truth of the matter is that it is a daily battle.  If I stick to the 5 foods, my gut feels better and my thoughts are clearer.  BUT...there is the little issue of passing out...headaches....and the constant worry and comments from those watching me melt.  And melt I do.  I can lose 2-4 lbs per day.

So, then I get afraid of having malnutrition and start eating again.  I have a pretty good pain tolerance so I can push through it for a time.  BUT...I become irritable...tired...enjoy the taste of real food again and start bingeing...and then beat myself up mentally because I have no self control.  It truly is an ugly cycle.  While in a season of eating somewhat normally, I get comments of how healthy I look.  I smile and thank the person...but inside I want to scream because what looks so healthy on the outside hurts terribly on the inside.  Often in circles of friends or when we go out, people are so grieved to see me not eating with them.  So...I eat...taste good food again...binge...and the cycle continues.

I have been told that if I just pray and believe, I will be healed.  It has been implied over and over that I have not been healed because I lack faith.

Friends, if you have followed our journey for any length of time you will know where my faith lies.  I am a gal that truly believes that prayer works!!!  Daily our family prays for my body.  Nearly every Sunday and Wednesday I go to the alter at church to be prayed for by the elders and anointed with oil.

I know the power of prayer...I know that my heavenly father heals!!!  I have seen my mountain moving, miracle making, faithful God move in my life and that of countless folks around me.  He ALWAYS answers prayer.

So, why have I not been healed?  Why are some people miraculously healed immediately and others not?  I honestly do not have the answer.  What I can tell you is that through this journey I have had to be fully pressed into my father God for survival.  HE has grown me in my relationship with him.  HE has helped me to see that it really doesn't matter what others think of me or my journey.  HE knows my heart and fills in the gap where I fall short.

We were never promised an easy road.  Actually, the Bible tells us clearly that there will be trials, pain, and sorrow in this world.  But HE has overcome the world and will not give us more than we can handle.

(there are days that I have myself a good chuckle...somehow HE believes I can handle so very much)

HE will never leave us alone and for that I am so very thankful.

If you are facing a difficult reality...I encourage you to give it to Christ!!!  A road that is potentially very lonely (have you ever met someone else with FM...I know I haven't)  does not have to be walked alone!!

There is another element in all of this.  We believe whole heartedly that we are to raise warriors for Christ.  Young men and women that will desire Christ more than anything this world has to offer!  They will be world changers.  But to do this they need to know how to wage war in the spiritual realm.  
I would have never asked for this physical problem, but I can tell you that God uses all things together for HIS good!  Our children are getting a front row seat at waging war.  They watch my daily battle...they know where my help comes from...they know the only place where true peace can be acquired.  Our warriors in training are being schooled in how to battle each and every day.

There are many days where I fall short...days where I feel the most unlikely instructor for their battle training.  Days I would rather sleep for a few months and wake up to a new improved me.

BUT...that is not my road and sleeping it off is not the answer.

I will stand...and in Christ's strength...I will fight.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's a Boy

Today was NOT a false alarm!!!  
Her water broke and after some more walking...we were on our way.

 Bri's mom/coach met us at the hospital.  Grandma is simply glowing!!

Bri did a fabulous job with the support of her mom!!  They made a great team:)

I was sooo extremely blessed to witness this special life coming into the world.   

 6 lbs 15 oz...20 1/2 inches 

Mommy's boy

Proud Grandma

 I was so very excited to get a turn holding the baby!!! 

 priceless moments
What a precious life!  God has tremendous plans for you baby boy!!!!  

Please continue to pray for mama and baby as they recover from delivery and begin a wonderful life together!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wives Tales

Miss Bri will be 39 weeks pregnant tomorrow.  She is very ready to meet her beautiful baby boy!  Quite are we!  Bri has been researching methods of inducing labor.  

Mélika was her partner in crime experimental methods today:)

Apparently there are some pressure points around the ankle and on the toes...
oh how these girls tried to find them.

It has been said that galloping could galloping they did.

They eventually grew tired of galloping:)

Resting up before trying something new.

Someone...somewhere claimed that swinging made them go into labor...
so, they got their swinging groove on.  

I suggested some good old squats. 

They tried those as well. 

Mélika being a good coach.   

It has also been said that Chinese food may induce labor.  
Sorry Bri....maybe it wasn't spicy enough.

My personal favorite wives tale....eating 7 pineapples will cause one to go into labor!!  
She and Steph shared a few slices.  A far cry from 7 I assure you:)

There was also much walking and some eating of basil and balsamic vinegar.  Yep, aside from the castor oil sitting on the counter...we tried just about all of them:)

Well sweet girl...It just doesn't seem to be time yet.  Mr. Adisen will make his presence known when he is good and ready.  But...all that trying sure made for a fun day!!  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Planting flowers...Growing Friends

Oh how I wish I had my camera this morning as these precious little girls walked up and down the isles of Lowe's Garden Center, list in hand, seeking just the right plants.  They each had money they earned from yard work or pet sitting.  With each plant they picked up, there was a group deliberation as to wether or not it would make the cart.  We did some math as we went along.  Plants were put back....others added.  In the end...they were all so very pleased with their purchases!!! 

So much be be done!  
They have been so excited about the garden they are creating at our neighbor's house.  

They are making progress!

All good gardeners need a power lunch!

In the afternoon they took a break from gardening to begin their car washing services.

There are two mischievous little pranksters in this photo...can you find them?

Love this one!  Sweet girl has no idea what is going on behind her:)

Next they moved on to our van.  
Their this is dirty...have you cleaned it since you got it?  
I laughed my way down the driveway realizing... I haven't!!!

Buddy was very concerned about the comings and goings of his girls today.  

He finally realized that they were too busy for him, and took his sad self to bed.  

Hubby was back to working on the loft bed this afternoon.  He made much progress.  There is a built in desk on the bottom and he got started on the stairs with cubbies.  

We are pet sitting this weekend and the older girls and I took Mr Mally for a walk.  

I was feeling the gardening bug myself today so I purchased some plants with the girls.  
Bri loves plants so she got the job of replacing the very dead remains from last year with these beauties.  

Aside from the walk...Mélika spent the day writing support letters for her missions trip to Venezuela this summer.  We are so very excited for the opportunity she has to love on the children living in the garbage dumps of Pavia.  

After drying a bit, the younger girls began working on our deck garden.  
This year they planted cilantro, basil, a strawberry plant, lettuce, and radishes.  
This black thumb mama apparently bought the wrong soil.  
In my hast to get home, I neglected to read the label that said not for potted plants.  
I guess we will see what happens:(

Hubby burning the midnight oil to finish his project.  

Today was such a productive day for all of us!  
Sleep should come easily:)