Archive for April, 2013

Grafted Branch

Friday, April 26th, 2013

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My husband and I started a ministry for orphans called Grafted Branch. My husband made a pretty website for it too: www.graftedbranch.org. So far we’ve had lots of help from our friends, including Lauren Burke who did the art. We designed this ministry to be picked up by our church so it’s got “Bible” and “Christian” all over it, although everyone can help orphans. If you’re interested you can sign up to be a prayer partner. In May we’ll be helping the little guy who we’ve been advocating for, Raymond.  I hope you can join us!

Mama’s birthday

Monday, April 15th, 2013

This Mama had a birthday. I now have as many years on me as Baskin Robbins has original flavors.

Hubby and I were going to go on a date this weekend to celebrate, but Laelia got sick. We made her a bed on the couch but accidentally left the controller (the way to turn on cartoons) on the table out of reach.

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We found her in this position weakly saying, “help.”

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Her daddy could not stop laughing at her.

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She’s got the controller in her hand and is all happy again.

On the actual day of my birthday (Wednesday) both kids had physical therapy.

They decided to make a run for it.

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Out the door.

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Down the hall.

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And I caught them at the drinking fountains. :)

Seriously, two walking children is the best birthday present ever.

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We then did a little yard work in the ol’ weed hole. Still need to get the ones by the fence.

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These are some of the thousands of rocks we have moved out of the front “yard”, but the kids still can’t walk on the uneven ground. We tried.

Wednesday night we celebrated by having dinner on the beach and watching the sun set.

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They can walk on the uneven sand. (If that gives you an idea how bad my front yard is.)

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Oh and I also had some blood work done (re-done) the next day and didn’t pass out like last time. Score!

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So, um, the glamorous life of a mom. :)

Happy birthday to me. :)

PT newness

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Two new tricks!

1. If Laelia puts on her KAFOs (leg braces) in bed then she can just scoot off her bed and walk around. But if she is on the floor when she puts them on then she has to scoot or roll all the way to the living room step in order to stand up. (Here’s a video of her standing up using the living room step. It’s one of the first times she ever did it so it’s slow. Now it’s second nature to her and goes quickly.) The other week at physical therapy we discovered she could stand up all by herself using only a small sturdy table! I kept saying how I wanted one of those special tables for her room so she doesn’t have to go all the way to the living room to stand. Well those PT tables cost $300. Yeah… no. But we found something that works just as well!

(Ignore Roland’s whines. Whenever Laelia does anything under the sun he is right in line waiting and begging and whimpering to do it too.)

2. Now Roland is working on standing up too! The little guy walks all over the place, but standing up is something he’s still learning. And boy does this kid love standing practice! Anytime Laelia uses the step to stand up, Roland will try it too. He begs to go “down” and then rolls to the step, gets into position and then I help him stand. He grins so huge every time and then walks up the ramp and begs to go “down” again to the floor to do the whole process over. Repeat and repeat infinity times. I get sick of it way before he does. :) What energy!

Aren’t they the best kids ever?!!!

:)

Rachel weeping

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

“Thus says the LORD, ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; She refuses to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more.’” Jeremiah 31:15 (600 BC)

“Herod [...] became enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under. [...] Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she refused to be comforted, Because they were no more.’” Matthew 2:16-18 (Six hundred years later.)

“[On] December 28th, [Putin] signed a law that bans Russian orphans from being adopted by American families, depriving some of his most vulnerable citizens of their chance for a better life. The fact that Mr Putin signed it on the day marked by many Christian churches as the Massacre of the Innocents was a coincidence, but it added to the dark symbolism of the law, which has promptly been dubbed as ‘Herod’s law.’”  The Economist/Moscow News (Two thousand years later.)

“Our Rachel isn’t the one of Ramah in Israel, she’s every mother who watches a baby die in Eastern Europe.” Anonymous

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Elizaveta has AMC and is stuck in Russia.

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Danika has AMC and is stuck in Russia.

“And what about the ones we can rescue? Do we? Right next door in Ukraine and Bulgaria and Poland and Serbia there are many, many orphans waiting. They are dying waiting.”

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Rachel, why do you weep?
Why do you bury your face in you hands?
Is there no one who would reach you?
Is there no one who understands?

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There is no one to comfort her, (there is no one to comfort her)
For her children are no more, and there is no one to comfort her.

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Raymond. Available for immediate rescue.

Rachel, why do you cry?
Why do you hide your trembling lips?
Are those tears stains on your brow?
Are those tears on your fingertips?

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Aubree. Available for immediate rescue. She has asked tearfully for parents.

There is no one to comfort her, (there is no one to comfort her)
For her children are no more, and there is no one to comfort her.

Now and always,
Now and evermore,
Now and always,
Now and evermore.

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Leo. Available for immediate rescue.

I see angels in the distance,
In the distance, I see angels, and their shadows fall like crosses on the fields,
Some are swinging low the sickles, some are binding up the sheaves,
Some are sifting out the harvest yield,

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Caius. Available for immediate rescue. Needs a mommy.

Rachel, run to join the angels in the harvest in the distance, rising from your bed as from a dream,
In the feint and splintered line where the wheat field meets the sky, you might find your sorrow made complete.

All who sorrow with her, lift your heads,
You might hear the sound of Rachel gently weeping, for the gathering is done and her children have come home,
Whom she counted lost and dead, now to find were sweetly sleeping

in the fields

where angels have been reaping.

“The Harvest is the End of the World” by Charlie Peacock

 

 

 

Our system sucks

Monday, April 1st, 2013

First the good news: Roland has his casts off! Roland can now play his recorder again! It’s his favorite toy and he skillfully manages to conjure the most high-pitched squeaks from its bowls. Did I mention he walks now? So if you ever leave a room because his musical gift has just about shattered the cochlea of your inner ear, you’re in luck! He will follow you around subjecting you to more! (Video.)

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Yes he actually fell asleep with it in his mouth.

Okay the bad news is not that he loves his recorder. :) The bad news is that Thursday (cast removal day) sucked. It was so horrible that I’m just now posting pictures. Many of you know some of the story because you either got a frantic call from my husband that morning or you were one of the people who helped watch Laelia since Thursday was a half day at school before Spring break and mommy was indisposed.

Since Roland is in Early Head Start now and has three hours of preschool twice a week (which he loves) I had a break from both kids Thursday morning. I have been cleaning bathrooms and doing other odd jobs during my kid-free mornings for Raymond, putting a few dollars in his adoption account, but this morning I had some blood work I needed to get done. So I instead spent my morning at the clinic being waited on by vampires. (I’d rather clean a bathroom!) There was also a glucose test I was suppose to do so I had been fasting. They ended up not doing it because I was not feeling well.

Roland’s appointment was after that. I showed up white as a sheet and a little out of it. I had packed a banana, freeze-dried sweet peas and some almonds in my purse so I wouldn’t be light-headed, but I wanted to get us all checked-in first before getting into them. The check in line was longer than usual and Roland was fussier than usual. He gets a little upset when I get him from preschool (he’s having fun) so Mondays and Thursdays he has a little more of a behavior problem, but nothing major. Well nothing major until you add the fact that he recognizes the casting clinic waiting area and knows what’s coming! He was just either fussy, whiny or in full on meltdown mode the whole time.

When we checked in there was a small problem with our insurance, as they said we didn’t have any, which took about 25 minutes to rectify. I paid the co-pay and headed to the other room. Right as I was able to open my snacks we got called into a room. Our regular doctor was out sick so another doctor was waiting for us. He looked 13 years old. Seriously he was a baby. After asking the normal questions (if anyone smoked around the kiddo and if we kept the casts dry) he said he had to get all the x-rays out before he could remove the casts or take more x-rays. He asked me which arm was broken. I informed him the right arm at which point he said, “You didn’t seem to know two weeks ago.”

Teenage doctor and I were about to have words. For one thing I felt like I was old enough to be his mother so I gave him the “mommy tone” you use with small children. For another thing he obviously did not have kids of his own or he would have qualified for a Lifetime special (13 year old dad). He brought up the right arm x-ray from two weeks ago and showed me the small lines in the bone that showed it had been broken. I told him that I already knew about that and I asked for an x-ray before they remove these casts to make sure everything was okay. He seemed to ignore me! So my mother tone got a little stronger. “I. need. you. to. x-ray. my. child.” He nodded and left the room and came back with a social worker lady. Because demanding basic care for my child sent red flags? Baby doctor’s thinking is beyond me. At least there was another woman in the room old enough to be the doctor’s mom to help me order him to give the best care to my son. (I just wanted to get done and eat something!) The social worker was nice, she just kept smiling and introducing herself and asking how I felt. I told her I was fine and just needed to eat something. They didn’t allow eating in the room, but they wanted me to take my son back out into the main waiting area and eat there. (Roland is just crying this whole time and it’s hard to hear much of anything.) I’m sorry but a good mother doesn’t let her son be terrified of casting longer than necessary so I forgot the food entirely and just asked to go to x-ray. They finally said yes and when I stood up to leave I totally lost my vision for a second and had to use the wall to balance myself out.

It’s called blood loss. I also had a vasovagal response to having my blood drawn that morning. The pre-pubescent doctor kept trying to interrupt the social worker (who was nice and asking if I was okay) to show her the x-ray of my son’s broken arm. When he said, “The minor handicapped child suffers from arthrogryposis and also a broken arm…” I finally lost all my patience and yelled that he was an idiot. I think I hurt his ego. Seriously it was like he was Doogie Howser and just trying to prove he was a real doctor.

He called security. Seriously?!!

Now I know the security guy. He sits at the desk before you enter the orthopedic area. Sometimes he buzzes me in without being called so we can play with the toys in there. He even has held the narrow door open while I navigate my double stroller through it. He’s this older, over weight guy. When he walked in I think he recognized me. I said hi and he said hi back awkwardly. The social worker said, “It’s fine, we’re just going out to get a snack.” The doctor then piped up like a wounded toddler, “You need to help her walk out, she’s under some sort of influence.” For one thing, what an infantile thing to say! He knew very well it was because I wasn’t feeling well. I hadn’t mentioned the blood work because it was none of his $%&# business, but I never once did anything to show otherwise. I turned to stare him down because I was not leaving without giving him the worst look imaginable. I told him I would report him. When the security guy put his hand on my arm it scared me because I didn’t really think he’d grab my arm and I hadn’t seen him coming. I jerked my arm out of his grasp.

It was like you would jerk your arm away if you felt something tickle you. It was not wild. I did not swing it. I did not step towards him in any way. I simply jerked my arm away. I was tired, hungry and I had just had blood work done and now it was looking like Roland would be in casts forever. I was going to be late getting Laelia from school too. I swear people are so bent on following the rules and keeping to the letter of the law that they don’t consider the circumstances at all. I walked back out to the larger waiting area and two more security guards were waiting there, a skinny guy and a woman. I recognized the woman because Laelia had said her braids were pretty once and asked me to do her hair that way. These people kindof knew us. They said they wanted to clear up what happened and asked me if I’d been drinking. I explained the blood work (even though I don’t think they can legally asked me about that since it’s medical) and explained that I needed to call my husband. They said I should wait but I realized they were just security people and not real police so I called Charley up and he got Chelsea to get Laelia and drive her to Lauren’s house. I then told Charley about doctor Doogie and asked him to look up ways to make serious complaints about a doctor.

Charley showed up at the hospital to get Roland into the clinic and get his casts finally taken off. I wish there was a way for Doogie to have to pay for the lost wages. While they were in there two police officers showed up to get statements. They said the security guy had said I took a swing at him. Even the social worker said it was a “knee-jerk reaction” because I just hadn’t seen him coming. I got arrested for disorderly conduct. At least I think so since I don’t remember (several days later) them even reading me my rights or anything! Charley was in the casting room so I asked the social worker to get him. I followed them to their car feeling like I weighed 800 pounds. I didn’t get hand-cuffed or anything either. They drove me down the road and I mostly just sat in their office a long time. But then I finally ate something and everything was better! Too bad I had to go to a darn police station to get food!!!

I got my fingerprints taken and at one brief point I sat in an area where I could still see the police office but it was technically behind bars. That’s about as bad a story as I have for being a hardened criminal. Ten minutes behind bars. Charley came to get me and that took forever. At one point an officer offered him a coffee and Charley had a knee-jerk reaction too and punched him in the face.

And that is why we’re both sitting in jail right now.

Happy April Fools.

See, isn’t that story so much more exciting than what really happened? Which was me having a vasovagal reaction, passing out, waking up in an ambulance and being too nauseated and weak to even attend Roland’s cast removal. I thought so.