Tuesday, October 28, 2008

As Compared to Days When I DON'T Let Him Get Up?

This morning, I was awake early and drinking coffee in the living room. Whistle woke up, and called from the bedroom. "Mom? . . . Can I get up?"
I said, "Yes!"
He responded with, "Thank you, Mom, You're very nice!"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Now That's Love!

C. was telling her mother today how much she loved her.

C: "I love you all the way to the moon and back."
"I love you all the way to Kansas City!"
"I love you all the way to Texas!"
"I love you all the way to the ocean!"

Sarah: "Which ocean?"

C: "The one that's far, FAR, away!"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This Week's News

Teenager is not yet over her headaches. She tried returning to school, but it is too "noisy" she says. She's slow-moving around the house, and sleeps much more than she's awake. We do hope she gets over whatever this is, or the doctors find a cause, or a better treatment. 16 year-olds don't have time for this!

Whistle has lost his first tooth, and is very excited. Or at least he was, until he left it for the tooth fairy, and it disappeared overnight. How were we supposed to know that he wanted to take it to school? We are so clueless! At least disappointment doesn't last long for him, before he's off on a new adventure.

Delayed, Postponed, Rescheduled, Continued

This morning, I ran across a recently-received report regarding Whistle, and it said, "Whistle is currently living with a foster family in Ourtown." My first reaction was "Huh?" How can that be, ". . . living with a foster family?" It feels like so much more than that. This little guy is utterly, positively, in every respect, one hundred percent part of this collection of people who are a FAMILY. We cannot imagine what our lives would be like, or even who we might be at this point, had he not come to be with us 5 years ago.

I'm aware that that's not the correct way to foster children, and I am fully capable of working toward the goal of reunification. It's wonderful, and truly the ultimate success, if a birth family can be made whole again in spite of the obstacles they face. However, it became obvious quite a while ago that it wasn't a realistic goal for Whistle's family. At what point did we go from him being a foster child to that unmistakable feeling that he is Ours? A part of us? An important part of the whole that is the Family? I don't know. It happened gradually, of course, but I do know that I believed in my heart it was to be even before his official goal changed to adoption. The wheels of social services often turn slowly (and even occasionally for good reason), so patience is definitely a virtue for foster parents.

Now, we are waiting for the judicial system to do its work (which is where this post's title fits in). We do believe that God is in control, and what we saw as the future much earlier, others involved now also agree. It takes time, patience, and more time, but it looks like Whistle may be ours even in the legal sense sometime next year. Whoo hoo! Yippee! And thanking God for His manifold blessings.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ten Election Predictions


1. The Bible will still have all the answers.

2. Prayer will still work.

3. The Holy Spirit will still move.

4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.

5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.

6. There will still be singing of praise to God.

7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.

8. There will still be room at the Cross.

9. Jesus will still love you.

10. Jesus will still save His people.


(edited slightly from version in internet circulation)


Everyone who has seen the movie Fireproof has said it is a "must-see" for Christian couples. We haven't seen it yet, but plan to. I'm writing about it today because by the time we see it, it might not be showing in your area. It has limited distribution, but is showing at one theater near us.

The synopsis of the storyline is here if you want to check it out.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday - Heading Home from the Hospital

Miss Teenager's headache is much better following the DHE medication, and we are headed home later today. Most of the time she is pain free, with a little return in the afternoons. They are adjusting medication to help that, and it sounds like she will stay on a migraine preventative medication for a while.

As the adolescent specialist left today, he said that this is the first time he's had to use steroids for a headache, so it must have been atypical, even for a migraine. We are grateful to live near a teaching hospital, with lots of services and specialists available.

Regarding Teenager's math partner from school, she is now her hospital roommate. :-) She is going through the same steps of investigation and treatment, and hopefully she will respond to treatment soon.

Next week - we'll hope to return with more "normal" posting. Medical updates aren't much fun. I much prefer kid stories!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday Evening

Miss Teenager is on the road to improvement, and we're thanking God for His mercy. Although she still struggles with nausea, she has had some periods without as much headache, and some times when she wants to eat a little. She continues on the DHE medicine for now, and it will be reevaluated tomorrow. We do see a light at the end of the tunnel today, and we are relieved and thankful.

An interesting side note is that we heard today that one of Teenager's classmates, her math partner, is also having a similar headache that has lasted two weeks. There are only 14 high school students, so it would be reasonable to think that it was the same virus that the two girls are dealing with, rather than a coincidence, since neither have had migraine type headaches before.
Today I learned that the virus diagnosis and migraine are not mutually exclusive. Apparently, it could be a virus that triggered the migraine.

Your cards, calls and prayers are appreciated.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday update

God has blessed us with many prayerful and supportive friends during this time, and we are so appreciative. We've had hospital visitors, hospital companions, errand runners, phone callers, emailers and many prayer partners, and each one of you is loved. I thank my God upon each remembrance of you.

All of Teenager's lab and MRI/MRA results are in and show no signs of meningitis, tick bite diseases, or other similar (scary) diagnoses. Once again, we've returned to the possibility that it may be a migraine, even though it doesn't fit typical migraine patterns. It's too early in the IV treatment (DHE, for those pharmacetical types among us) for pain relief, but she does seem to be under less stress this evening, and we're thankful for that. If this specific treatment works, then I believe they will be more sure it is a migraine. Time will tell. It's a 3 day IV, beginning yesterday evening.

Father and I had expected to be away at training today and tomorrow, and those plans were changed, but all is well. Because we'd expected to be gone, Sarah had arranged to be off and available for her girls and Whistle, which made it much easier at home. Thanks, Sarah, and all who are pinch-hitting in my absence.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Headache Update

"It's still there," as teenager quietly says. She hasn't lost her sense of humor, though, because she said, "I'm like a vampire -- I only come out in the dark." The headache is the same, but the nausea is gone, because the medication that caused it has been discontinued. The plan is to return to the hospital tomorrow, and begin a 3 day IV treatment for migraine. They also may do other diagnostic tests at the same time.

She appreciates the prayers, thoughts, and contacts, and so do we. I'll try to update here when there is news.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Mysterious Illness

Teenager is struggling with an illness that hasn't yet been diagnosed, and we'd appreciate your prayers. It started with a headache - just a typical headache, if there is such a thing. That was 12 days ago. She had a daily headache the first week, but was able to go on with her activities. Beginning last Sunday, it was worse, and an Urgent Care doctor diagnosed migraine on Monday. She didn't respond to the injection or oral medication, and saw the adolescent doctor on Wednesday. They admitted her to the hospital for a couple of days, and it doesn't look like bacterial or viral meningitis (although the lab results will eventually let us know for certain about the viral form), and not likely to be a tick-borne illness (awaiting lab results for that one, too). She's home at the moment, but if she doesn't improve over the next few days, she'll return to the hospital for a more thorough work-up. She rates her headache as 6 to 8 out of 10 (at different times), so you know she's uncomfortable. She's also having trouble with nausea with her medication, too.

pray with us that she will soon be relieved of this pain, and that it is not anything that will affect her on a long-term basis.

Although it doesn't appear to be the same thing -- we are reminded of 4 or 5 years ago when Hugger struggled with his head feeling "funny," and after checking him out, and waiting for it to show itself, he was found to have encephalitis. We do hope and pray this is nothing that serious.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Who's Who

A friend left a comment asking who C. and E. are, and I realized that it's been a while since I've identified the family, and new readers might not know all the players of the Game of Life that goes on at this house. There is now a link to this post at the left if you get confused. I do, so maybe you do, too.

Father: He is the man of the house; a wonderful guy who strives to serve God, his family, his church family and the community, in every way he can. Besides parenting this family, he pastors a Primitive Baptist Church, and works during the week at a community job. He's my best friend.

Other Mother: That would be me, an over 50 mom of 3 kids by birth, 2 kids by adoption (with one on the way), and Other Mother to 160 or more foster kids along the way. I'm a stay-at-home mom who seems to spend a lot of time in the car and elsewhere. Besides parenting, I train new foster parents, write home studies, and other support activities for foster families. I was a room mother for 19 years, and thought I'd retired from that duty when Hugger finished grade school. However, I've still been hanging around school, and with a kindergartner just starting -- it looks like I'll be there for a few more years (if 13 or more is a few), although I'm no longer the Head Room Mother. Enough is enough.

Sarah: Our oldest child, mother of C. and E., who has recently come home again for a while, following her divorce. Her ex is Mike, who still visits in our home spending time with the girls.

Hugger: Child #4, first adopted child, who joined our family at 5 weeks of age, 23 years ago. He's called Hugger because he hugs. Fervently. And Often. He has Down Syndrome, and lives in a supported living apartment about 20 miles from us.

Teenager: Child #5, who joined our family almost 6 years ago, and became a permanent family member 3 years ago. She attends a Christian school, plays the piano, and works as a companion to an elderly church friend on occasion. She has 2 birth siblings with whom she's still in contact.

Whistle: Legally a foster child, but he's permanently in our hearts. His case is moving toward permanency with our family, and we will adopt at the appropriate time. He's been with us since he was a tiny, frail and fragile 1 year old. At 6 years old, he's still small, but far from frail and fragile. He has medical and cognitive difficulties from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, but may be headed to a job with the Harlem Globetrotters with his basketball skills. He also has several birth siblings in his circle of friends.

The others: Children #2 and 3 and their spouses; Ben and Julie, and Liz and George. H. and A. are Ben and Julie's young daughters, and Liz and George are having their first baby in January (a girl, of course!). In this case . . . And one more makes . . . 5 granddaughters! Yippee! These kids all live about 2 1/2 hours away in the larger city. I could write about where they work and all that, but if you know them, you know what they do; and if you don't know them, I'm sure you don't care. Just trust me. They're all -- from the oldest to the youngest -- great people. Just ask me. I'll tell you about them. And did I tell you about my 5 granddaughters?

That's it at the moment. Because of our specialty foster care license, we are limited to 4 children at home, and the agency is counting our granddaughters, even though their mother is here as well. So - we're taking a break from considering additional kiddos right now.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sad News

Yesterday, C. and E.'s dad was here spending time with them. He'd been to a soccer game, played at home with them, and was on his way to a field trip. He was interrupted by a call from his brother, saying that his father was being taken to the hospital. Mike's father has been dealing with Parkinson's disease, and although able to stay at home, has needed much support from his wife and sons. Yesterday morning, he apparently suffered an aneurysm, and died later in the morning.

The family would appreciate your prayers during this difficult time.

Family Update

It's time for a family update. Everyone's been busy doing their own thing, and some days we're juggling who goes where with which child to get everything covered.

Father and Hugger have gone on a trip to Texas and Mexico. Tonight they have met up with long-time friends, and are delivering a load of goods to them to help in their work with the Mexican people. I'm sure they'll have many tales to tell after their return. I'm so anxious to hear all the details! Later in the week, they'll visit Father's father ("Big Papa") and other relatives.

Teenager received a surprise letter this week, stating that she's won an award through her vocational school classes. It says she was selected by classmates and/or the instructor, and it is "given to students who have demonstrated outstanding cooperation, self-motivation, preparedness, positive attitude, dependatbility, and persistence." She will be honored at a breakfast at the University. We're so proud of you, Teenager!!

Whistle is having a great year at school. Many people have mentioned how hard he's working, and all reports have been good. I went with his class this week to Peach Tree Farm - my favorite field trip ever. In comparison to last year, I see how independent he's become, and how well he fits in with his classmates. You can check out the details from last year's visit here. (This link is to the first of several posts with pictures of our fun time. Click on "newer post" at the bottom to move to the next post.) Last night he went with Sarah and C. to the city blues music festival. He had a good time, and told me he saw "20 or 21 bands, but they didn't have drums, and they didn't stand in lines." "There wasn't a parade. This was a sit-down band." Then he asked if I "heard the music all the way to our house?" I told him I didn't, but he thought I might, because, "It was loud!" His perspective on events is always fun. Whistle and C. are playing soccer, and both made at least one goal today.

C. loves her new school (since they're now living with us), and her teacher had wonderful things to say about her ability to work together with others in groups.

That leaves just Sarah and E. to report on. Sarah works daily at the super center, and E. is my companion at home and elsewhere, whenever possible. She especially loves to help cook in the kitchen. S'pose I could train her to take over?