Thursday, November 12, 2015

She WILL conquer her world!

Since we are an open book to our family and friends,
we want to fill you in with what is going on -
and Laynee has a lot of cheerleaders that helped us find her,
and helped us bring her home! 

Here's the deal...

When we first saw Laynee's file,
we knew that she had Hydrocephalus and a shunt,
there were many comments that brought up more questions -
a few were that she
was three years old and couldn't feed herself,
had incontinence,
neither could she walk unassisted.

We were told that she had braces for her legs,
but also told that they didn't help. 

We found our in December 2014 through a video,
that she was indeed walking!! 
Praise God!! 

So, what caused her delay in walking? 

When we met Laynee,
she walked into the room we waited in with a big smile 
and all the confidence in the world. 

I was ready for the shoe to drop.
"These strangers, why are they in this room,
and why I am at this place?"

This went well, as we gave her gifts and blew bubbles with her -
but when it was time to go back to the hotel,
I got a little nervous as this would probably really scare her.

But, she took Kenzie's hand and walked town the stairs with Kenzie and my help,
and into the car -
where she settled in nicely. 

Many of you may think - "adoption from heaven"!! 
But, I thought, "ohhhh no!!! This is a red flag!"
She had been in a foster home for years,
she is in a strange place,
going away with strangers.
She did not have the photos that we sent her,
or any of the gifts that we had sent -
so did she even know we were coming?
Why isn't she scared?

We really didn't know what to think.
Don't get me wrong, it was nice to not feel 
like we were breaking our child's heart by taking her 
from all she has known - but there is also 
a nervous feeling, 
as we were getting to know her.

Fast forward.
For 3 1/2 months of knowing Laynee - this remains the same.
Laynee will go with whomever is willing to take her.
She will hug anyone who is in her reach,
and smiles at her. 
This is all sweet, but it is hard to teach her who is family and
who is a friend or even stranger.

After many, many doctor appointments - 
we have found out that yes, Laynee does indeed have Hydrocephalus -
and a shunt. 
After speculation, the shunt is indeed working. Yeah!

Unfortunately, because her shunt was put in late -
the hydrocephalus has caused major brain damage.

Along with hydrocephalus, 
she has ACC - 
Absence of the Corpus Callosum. 
(which yes, I had to google too! - But, Kenzie knew what it was!)
The Corpus Callosum is the bridge of nerves that 
connects the right and left hemispheres.
ACC makes is more difficult for her brain to transfer
information from one side of the brain to the other.
This is a major answer to our questions with Laynee. 

There is no surgery that can be done to "fix" this, 
we just need to learn how to help her.

The questions in her file make sense now.
And though, she CAN learn, it just takes her much longer to learn.
As I've shared on my FB page,
some cute videos of her working really hard! 

This week we went to the school playground after hours so that I could see 
what she is doing on the playground.  
She got up on one section to climb on,
that I could tell she had never been on -
but Griggs was doing it and well, 
you can tell from her smile that she really wanted to do this!
 (part of her condition is that she copies people,
not understanding dangers or consequences.)

Laynee came to a hurdle that seemed impossible for her to get around,

but I wouldn't allow her too quit.
she was not happy with me -  
but I knew she could do it!! 
(I know I'm a mean mom!)

After about 15 minutes of trying...

she DID IT!!! 
And look at that smile!! 

Medically speaking we do not know what the future holds for our baby,
but this I know this diagnosis won't hold my baby down!! 

She WILL conquer her world!!! 

I am so proud of our baby girl and the work that she puts in every day 
just to physically and mentally keep up with everyone. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

3 months with Laynee Faith

3 months ago this amazing little girl walked into 
a little room in the orphanage with a smile 
on her face,
ready to meet her momma and big sister! 

She came willingly 
and left with us willingly.

God made this day just beautiful!
Not going to lie - 
I was totally nervous! 
Everything we had been told about this treasure was scary.
As the time to meet her drew closer,
I doubted more and more!

But, Laynee put me at ease. 

She was full of giggles 
and ready to embrace her new adventure
and new life!

God had prepared her heart for this crazy change! 

Laynee has taken to her new family with bravery
and excitement!
Trust and peace
that only God could give.

Her smile melts me are reminded me constantly - 
don't take life too seriously! 
Have fun with everything you are given!
And don't let what others say about you -
stop you! 

Laynee's file from China said a lot of things that she could NOT do.

Her file was scary!

But this face - 
is anything but scary! 

As we continue to peel the unknown about Laymen's health
we fall deeper in love with our Laynee Faith!

I sure love my baby girl!!
What a blessing she is!  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Turning 10 with lots of questions!

I can't believe my baby girl is double digits!

Where has the time gone?

Jailyn is an old soul,
she loves people and Jesus!

This birthday has been a hard one.

Lots of questions about her birth 
and her birth family 
that we will never be able to answer for her.

Giving her this time to grieve the fact that we know nothing 
about per very beginnings is very important.

I share this because many people think that if 
kids are adopted,
especially at a young age,
that they wont have any "issues".
The truth is, at least in our house,
the younger kids have more questions 
and grieve as they get older and try to "find" themselves.

Some questions that have recently come up...

"Who do I take after?"

"Was I born early in the morning?"

"Do you think my mom was nice?"

"Do you think my mom was allergic to strawberries too?"

I'm so thankful that Jai can ask these questions -
but it hurst deeply that I can't give her answers.

She knows that I can't answer these questions,
but when she cries herself to sleep because of the unknown of her past -
it breaks my heart too.

She knows in who hold her future - 
but sometimes we just have to let our kids 
grieve their past,
 so that they can embrace their present and future!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

That leap 2 years ago!

2 years ago I took a leap a faith,
and little did I know what God was going to do
with my little step of obedience!

You see, 7 months prior Bryan and I were preparing to 
leave China with our two amazing boys! 

We were amazed how hard it was to leave China this time.
God was pulling on our hearts
before we even left.
God was telling us that our daughter was 
still in China!



and even more importantly 

We had to wait 6 months before we could start paperwork again
so we used this time to pray and pray and search for our daughter.

While searching we were also praying about 
my energy level, 
(seeing that I was exhausted before 
the little kids went to bed,
and often times falling asleep before they did!)
my health,
(Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia,
Anemia, insomnia...)
my patience, 
(tomorrow is the 2 year anniversary of the day that began a downward spiral 
for my Elijah!
I needed patience!!)

ohhhh my 
to juggle 9 kids -
and the possibility of 10, 
maybe 11 kids!

And praying for our financial situation!
Hubby is a hard worker,
and has a great job -
but it takes a lot to raise a large family!

I was tired of telling my kids that they couldn't see the newest movie,
"Wait for it to come out in DVD."
got harder and harder to tell them.
Making them choose only one friends birthday party to go to 
through out the year, 
because I couldn't afford more birthday presents for friends.

The stress of having to tell my kids "no" 
because of finances was sooooo hard!! 
Kiddos just don't understand that - 
all they hear is "no".

I prayed for a part time job!
I was kinda picky -
because I couldn't really do anything,
I have no office skills 
I still wanted to be there for my kids,
I didn't want to put Hagan and Griggs in a day care -
plus that would just be another bill to pay!
I couldn't work after school,
who would be the taxi?
That left me from midnight to 4am to work.
Stocking shelves at the local grocery store doesn't really work -
as my RA would be miserable,
though I was awake at that time with insomnia!
But, I'm also not doing "sales" and home shows of 
... whatever!!!
I didn't have time for that either!
And wasn't going to ask my friends to buy something that 
they didn't need! 
Plus, there wasn't anything out there that I loved 
enough to share with people.

Then God asked me to take a leap of faith...
something I totally didn't want to do!

Of course, I went kicking and screaming -
but this idea wasn't going to fail because of me,
I was going to show God that I shouldn't have done this!
Seriously, when will I learn?

I joined my friend Rebecca's team with Plexus Worldwide!

I set out to prove 3 weeks before today two years ago that some
"scam" health products didn't work -
which I had been totally proven wrong...
and now 3 weeks later HE is asking me to 
share these health products with others.
Ohhh boy!!!

I did what my leaders told me to do,
and took this seriously! 
I prayed for a part time job,
and if this was HIS answer -then I would work it like 
a full time job!

I wondered why God would chose this way to answer my prayers -
can't he just send a big donor 
to help us with the adoption that HE is calling us too!
That'd be so much easier,
and I would be able to sit on the couch with my sore, exhausted body!

But, HE wanted me to heal, grow
and share!!
Now I can't believe what HE has done with this SAHMomma,
and her little business to help other friends
pay bills, quit their jobs,
couples working together to get out of corporate America
so that they can obey God and go into ministry 
and not worry about the all mighty paycheck!

I am so grateful that God asked me to lead this amazing team of mine.
HE has placed Plexus products in my life 
my amazing team who encourages me every day!

2 years ago I had no idea what 
would turn into!

Now, I have my health
and my baby girl home,
and our bonus baby!!! (ha!ha!)

God is so good!! 
We are truly blessed!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

So many questions about our baby girl!

We have so many questions about our baby girl!

Her file from China was incomplete,
and raised many questions!
We knew that she had hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
and had a shunt. 
We knew that she didn't walk until she was 5 yrs old,
nor did she feed herself until then.

When she walked in to the room 
at the orphanage on July 13th,
my heart melted.

And honestly,
I had a feeling of,
"Ohhhh Lord, really - 
I don't think I can do this!
This child was "paperwork" until this moment.
Now she is a real person,
and my responsibility for life!

I kinda wanted to run!
But thankfully God held me
and encouraged me!

She is adorable,
she is precious,
she is happy,
she is a treasure.

But, there is was that feeling in my gut -
that we were in for a long ride!
A long ride of trying to peel the medical layers of our Laynee.

We have seen many doctors,
but still have many more to go.

She had an MRI a few weeks ago,
and unfortunately it took us this long to get 
the report - 
and a referral to a neurosurgeon.

The results from the MRI have been hard to hear,
but they have also given us a starting place.

The news was not positive
and not encouraging.

But one thing I know...
 God is so good!!
Though her life in China would have been incredibly hard,
and hopeless...
She now has many brothers and sisters 
who are the sweetest!
They love to teach her and celebrate her victories with her!

We are blessed beyond earthy understanding to call Laynee "daughter"!
We don't know why God has called us on this journey,
and entrusted Laynee to us,
but are incredibly thankful!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Someone had a birthday!!!

I can hardly believe that this little guy -
who jumped into my lap 
4 years ago...

is now 8 years old!!!

Elijah is a tender hearted boy!!

A tender heart that has been broken and hurt 
time and time again...

but he is learning to allow people in!

And he amazes me!!!

I have a had a hard time with a certain new adult person in his life,

one day, I told Elijah that that person was insane.

Elijah asked,
"what is insane."

I answered,

Elijah answered,
"He's not crazy, 
he's just mad and doesn't know how to 
use his words."

Okay, buddy!!
You are right!!! 
You have a huge heart!! 
and I am so thankful that you call me "mommy"!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Don't be fooled!!!

ohhhhh these two are sooo cute!!!

But don't be fooled!!!

They like to bug each other!!!! 

While the other kiddos are at school - 
it is really fun to just watch 
and listen to them interact!

Especially, if I leave the room!

They are funny!! 

The other day I heard both of them yelling,
"Stop it Miles!"
"No Miles!"

"Stop it Laynee!"
"Noooooo Laynee!"

Just a few English phrases they know!

I walked over to see what was going on -
they were both in their own areas of the family room,
with their own toys - 
playing nicely -
 Just yelling!!

Ha! Ha!!!! 

They crack me up!!
And keep momma on her toes!!

Only a week late!! Ohhh boy!!!

My Back to school photos are only a week late!
Hey, I think I'm doing pretty good!!
Ha! Ha!
Conner asked me the other day if I was still blogging -
ummmm - 
that's the idea!!! But I haven't been very good! 
I will try to be better!!!

But on to sharing photos of BTS 2015!

 I can't believe how fast our summer went!!

Conner - a Junior in High School!
How did this happen?

So proud of this guy!!

Jorja is excited about her last year in elementary school
as a 5th grader!

Donovan and Jailyn are both in 4th grade!

Same teachers but different rotation!

Jailyn is excited to be involved in everything at school -
Music makers, Art Club, Safety Patrol!
Social butterfly!

Elijah is in 2nd grade!
He is attending a different school than the other kids
and in the special ed class that is perfect for him 
and his needs!

and he gets to ride the bus! 
Lucky guy!

Hagan is ready for 1st grade!
He's ready to take on the world!
Praying for a great, healthy year for my boy!

My Griggsy is killing me!!!

But he is so ready!!!! 

Kenzie even sent me a photo of her first day of school!
Thank you Kenz!!! 
You know how to make your momma feel loved!!

And of course, 
my babies needed photos too!!

Wow!!!! We are blessed!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Life School Musical!

This is the 3rd year we have been a part of a local
musical praise camp!


The kids have a great time learning songs,
dance moves,
and important Bible lessons!

This year Jorja, Donovan, Jailyn and Hagan
took part. 
(Elijah tried but needed to be home with momma 
instead, and that is okay!)

Life School Musical!!!

Great memories, great musical learning,
Bible lessons 
and friendships made - 
the perfect week!! 

My attempt to get a photo of all the kids afterward...

needless to say,
it's going to take some work to get the kids to all be looking at the camera
at the same time!!

And when two doggies come walking by -
mom should just give up!!!


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