Monday, November 17, 2014

Phrase or Title!!!

I need y'all's help!! 

I need a phrase,
or title 
for this photo!!! 

Thank you for your help!!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Super Hagan!!!

Hagan has been through the ringer over the past week.
If we aren't FB friends,  I wasn't able to update y'all
through the week... But here is a run down.
(Plus this blog is my little photo album and we don't want to forget this!

Last Wednesday, Hagan went in for spinal surgery. 
What our doctor told us would be a 5 hour surgery,
took 8 hours!
Thankfully we have a friend,
who's daughter had this done recently and told us - 7 hours! 
We were prepared for longer than 5 hours!

As many of you know,
no matter what surgery Hagan has - 
the anitesthia is always scary! 

Wednesday night, he was left on the ventilator 
because his stats were already low. 
We had hoped 7he would sleep through the night-
unfortunately, he didn't
and it was a loooooong night. 

We stayed in the hospital until Monday evening. 

One week after surgery and Hagan is still in a lot of pain.
He brightens up with the few visitors that
We have allowed.
(Don't want to get him too excited
And tired...
With exhaustion comes pain.)

(he loves to show off his war wound!! 
Big brother, Brady, was a bit squeamish but humored Hagan 
and looked at it. )

Presently, he is in a large back brace that he needs
to wear any time he is awake. 
He is not happy with this, but is also very cautious,
so that is good!

We still have a long road of recovery ahead of us. 
Per doctors orders, Hagan will be out of school
until after Christmas break. 
When he gets back to school
he will have very restricted physical ability. 

Hagan also has changed from a CPAP 
to a BiPAP machine at night.
We are having a time of adjustment for this too!
(especially since the dog ate Hagan's favorite mask - grrrrr!!!) 
He's not enjoying the BiPAP,
but he does wake up more rested with it.

Thank you for all of your prayers!!
We continually feel wrapped around in prayers!!!
This season is so very hard, 
hard for Hagan, 
hard for us to watch him in pain, 
hard for some of the kids to understand the situation.

We stand in awe of the grace that is bestowed 
on us daily.
Please continue to keep Hagan and the rest of us in your prayers!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"I'm just drawn that way."

Remember that line from Roger Rabbit...
"I'm not bad... I'm just drawn that way."

That is how I feel about my Elijah!

He tries his hardest to be good,
to make good choices,
he wants to be in control of his mind and body,
he wants to be build trust with people...

but his brain chemistry just is not drawn that way.

Through trauma, through neglect,
 through experience
and some DNA 
(that we have no answers for)
his brain chemistry is drawn differently then the average person.

We have recently gone through neurotransmitter testing 
with Elijah.
We received the results and have learned more about
brain chemistry -
 wow!! wow!! wow!!
I don't think   I KNOW I can't repeat it though!
(there's a lot of big words! haha!)

For now let's just say that Elijah's brain is not firing correctly.
His right brain does not speak to his left brain.
He is high in dopamine with a build up of Norepinephrine 
which is his fight or flight response,
and low in serotonin which is his calming response.

He has many other imbalances too -
like no Vitamin D!! 
Crazy that my boy who loves being outside 
has no trace of Vitamin D! 

There are other cofactors that are missing in Elijah's chemistry,
we will be adding 6 supplements to his diet 
to help build up these elements 
and pray that his body responds and is re-teachable 
to these supplements.

We are incredibly thankful to have found this doctor,
who truly understands brain chemistry in the child from hard places. 
We pray that this new information will help Elijah 
grow and succeed into the person he so badly wants to be! 

And yes, we plan to have all of our kids tested,
and I'm thinking this should be a requirement for newly adopted kiddos 
and wow!! 
How cool would it be if they did this in the foster care system! 
Ohhh that would be wonderful!! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

surgery scheduled, prayers appreciated!

I love when we can go to doctor appointments 
and I can tell Hagan,
"they are just going to look- 
no owies today!"

Unfortunately, this appointment won't be like that.
We had to schedule Hagan's 
surgery sooner than later.
We had first hoped that he would not need 
this surgery until he was 9 years old,
but Hagan's body is showing signs that he needs 
to have it done now, before more damage is done. 

Hagan will be having T-11 thru L3 fusion.
Here is the youtube video that shows 
what they will be doing.

His surgery is scheduled for November 5th.

Prior to the surgery we need to do another sleep study,
he is still having severe sleep apnea.
We have had to find a new sleep specialist,
as the other specialist wasn't taking 
his situation seriously. 

We are thankful that God lead us to a doctor
(just a few miles away),
who was horrified by his previous sleep study results. 
She taking his care very seriously
and wants to do anything they can for us -
prior to his surgery. 

The recovery will be a rough one but Hagan is a strong boy!

We appreciate y'all's prayers as we prepare,
and prepare Hagan for this rough one.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"...Like you borned me"

Jailyn can just hit a momma's heart 
just right!! 

The other night she came to snuggle with me and said,

thank you for loving me just like you 
borned me."

Sweet girl!!
I forget that I didn't "borned" her! 
She's always been in my heart!

 Jesus borned her in my heart.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Happy Fall Y'all!!!

A day off of school...

 Windy, rainy day,

perfect for pumpkin decorating!!

Such focus!

Monday, October 13, 2014

special time

We were blessed to have our amazing social worker 
join us at our local adoption meeting...
she asked me a question that really hit home,
(she is always good at this!)

She asked me if it's easier for me to make sure
I give special one on one time with my kids 
who have attachment issues,
and am I spending time with the "easy" ones.

I thought I was! 

But, when I really think of it -
we are often in crisis mode 
with some of our kids
and this takes time away from the "easy" kids.

I am so thankful that this question was asked of me,
and remind me to take the time every day...
even with the "easy" kids!!

Even if it is homework time,

or doing my daily chores!

Donovan loves to cook!
I do not like to cook! 
I love the help! 
and really he'll be teaching me soon!

See what I mean,
we are always learning and I am always apologizing to my kids!
Thankfully they are very forgiving!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Never giving up!!!

We will never give up on our boy! 

Patiently taking the time to get this through 
his head, heart and soul! 

But look!!!!
Since the school is taking the TBRI approach
with him... 
Good reports!! 

Texts and emails from his teacher like this - just make me cry!!

E earned a gold ticket for positive character traits!

E hugged a friend and said he would share with him!

E hugged his teacher!

He is having another great day.  And if he finishes the day earning his goal or higher, then tomorrow during recess he has chosen to join his gen. ed. Class for outside recess.  He has been working hard for this since we decided on it last Friday.  I'm very proud of how he's doing, not only behaviorally, but also academically.

He is setting goals now and wants to be successful!
He desires to have friends and to BE a friend.

Way to go Elijah!!
He met his goal yesterday and gets to go to recess with General Ed!!
I'm so proud of my boy!!
I've never met a harder worker!

Monday, October 6, 2014

my little hero!!!

My boy is sooo strong 
sooo amazing!!! 

He has taught me sooo many lessons,
and yesterday 
he brought me to tears!!

Yesterday was Bike Rodeo day at school!
All the kids were excited!! 

When we got to the school and Hagan saw all the other 
kids and their bikes,
he started crying.
(Hagan doesn't cry, unless there is something really upsetting him.)

His bike is different then everyone else's.
He was afraid that he had a baby bike.

After about an hour of tears,
he was able to go to class,
be loved on by his teacher,
(who is absolutely wonderful!)

I went home and couldn't focus on anything else - 
because my heart hurt so badly for him,
and I was so fearful that he would think I abandoned him.

I went to the school when it was his classes turn for the Bike Rodeo,
and hid from him.
I wanted to see if he would participate or not,
we totally told him that he didn't have to do it if he didn't want too. 

Out of the school he came with all of his friends,
with his helmet on!!! 

My eyes started tearing up!! 
Soooo proud of my boy!!! 

He got to his bike,
 a volunteer got him all set,
and off he went!!!

I was soooo proud of him!!! 

When he came home, 
he was so excited to tell me how he got to play 
and it was so much fun!!

I'm so proud of my boy!!
Fear keeps us from so many things! 
If we don't try, we may regret it!

Be like Hagan and don't let fear hold you back!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

a letter to parents

So, I wanted to send out a letter to our grade level parents
at the beginning of the school year,
in order to put questions at rest about Hagan.

We were denied the request,
but were told that we could put it on FB and my blog.
Soooo, since it is Dwarfism Awareness -
this is what I will do! 

We are hoping that this information will put to rest 
any rumors or talking behind his back,
but encourage education and discussion. 
Kids are naturally curious - which is awesome,
adults, on the other hand, can be rude and insensitive!

Have I ever told y'all how much I love this kiddo!!! 

and can't wait to get his little brother home too!!
I can't really go into that right now, 
but if you want information on Miles' situation,
please feel free to contact me privately. 

Hi Parents of Kindergarteners,

We wanted to introduce our son and ourselves to you.  We are Bryan and Jodi Anderson, daddy and momma to 9 amazing kiddos.  We have 3 biological kiddos and 6 precious kiddos adopted internationally.  Our son Hagan is in kindergarten this year.  We are writing this to you because out of natural curiosity, we are sure many of your children will be interested in Hagan. 

Hagan was born in China and has been home with us for 1 ½ years.   Hagan is a crazy kiddo, loves to laugh, play, and learn just like any other kindergartener.   Though Hagan loves to do everything that every other 6 year old likes to do, he just does things much slower.

Hagan was born with Achondroplasia Dwarfism.  He is a “Little Person”.  In our home we prefer the terms “little person”, “short stature” or “dwarf” but the term “midget” or “baby” is derogatory and unappreciated.   We also use “average height” as opposed to “normal height” for people without dwarfism.

Achondroplasia Dwarfism is one of 200 distinct types of dwarfism, and the most common form of dwarfism.  Most people with Achondroplasia Dwarfism are very healthy.  Hagan’s body is very special and very complex.  In the short time he has been home he has had numerous doctor appointments, sleep studies and surgeries and will be having more surgeries this school year.

Hagan does not like to be picked up like a baby, does not want to sit in someone’s lap, does not want to be carried by anyone but Mom and Dad.  He is everything every other 6 year old boy is.

Hagan does fall often while walking.  But very rarely hurts himself.  He usually pops right back up.   He does walk slower then others because of his short legs and because of the medical issues that he has in his back.  Hagan is so excited to begin school and can’t wait to meet your kids and have more friends. 

We wanted to write y’all this letter so that you can help your child understand that Hagan is a normal 6 year old boy, just shorter then most 6 year olds.  We hope that this letter will help discourage any teasing that may occur.  We are looking forward to a great kindergarten year at Minshew Elementary.   If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Truly Blessed,
Bryan and Jodi 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sassy turns 9!

She is all sass!!!

I can't believe my baby is 9!

And she is one very excited 9 year old!!

Happy Birthday to our sweet,
sassy sister!!

We love you Jailyn Hope!

Monday, September 29, 2014

First reaction...

My boy is such a big brother!

It warms my heart to see him 
in his big brother roll...

and other times it breaks my heart.
He took care of a lot of the little kiddo's
in the orphanage, including his little brother,
and often times he 
falls back into this roll.

When one of the other boys wakes in the middle of the night 
his first reaction is to take care of them,
hold them,
soothe them,
rock them,
be silly with them,
and just plain love on them...

but he forgets,
that he can get momma and daddy.
He doesn't have to do that on his own.

I am so thankful for our sweet Donovan 
who wrestles like crazy with his brothers,
but loves them 
with big brother love!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

ohhh - you can't do that!!

He wasn't supposed to do this kinda stuff!!

 Cause you know, 
when you have little arms,
and little fingers,
there are limits in life!

But seriously,
Griggsy doesn't know this - 
so, let's not tell him!!

He looks like he is enjoying doing what 
he's not supposed to do!

Proud boy!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

50 friends for 20 days

To help us bring Maklayne and Miles home
we are doing a quick fundraiser!

We have thrown around the idea of doing
 garage sales,
selling crafts,
selling t-shirts,
selling jewelry,
having bake sales,
restaurant fund raisers,
even thought about organizing a FUN RUN...

but time and talent leave us empty handed!  

So, we thought it would just be fun to get y'all involved 
with bringing our babies home -
by just supporting us,
and sharing $20 to help us bring our precious babies home!

So, from tomorrow until Oct 15th,
we will be having a 
50 friends a day,
for 20 days,
donate 20 dollars campaign. 
Our goal is $20,000.

I know, but our God is bigger then 20K!

We have over half of our funds raised through 
Jodi's part time Plexus income,
adding Miles to our adoption process 
increases our fee's. 

To help share - 
you can link to our gofund page:

Thank you so much for your love, prayers and your support!!
feel free to share with your friends too!


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