Sunday, January 25, 2009

Let me introduce myself

Well, let me introduce ourselves. This pic is a year old but I love it! So, I'm starting out with it! My hubby, Mark, and I have been married longer than I lived single now, counting from birth, that is! He works in the commercial/healthcare construction industry. Mark is almost as old as my Dad was when I was born, so, why not be thinking about adding a few more, huh? And, the bonus is we won't be starting at newborn! I'm home full time with the children and we do school here in our home and at various other locales around our valley. Starting from the left in the front row is our eldest son, Drew. Drew was born 3 months preemie due to an attempted illegal abortion in Russia, and then was followed up with NO medical care. He is our miracle baby Number 1! Doctors never expected him to walk or talk when they were first evaluating him as a toddler. He does and quite well, thank you! But, most favorite of all, he swims and rides a quadrunner! Next is Daniel, who is adopted through L.A. County foster care. His bio-mom did meth intraveneously, subliminally trying to abort. He was born addicted, but his brain today moves faster than a speeding bullet! Faster than the rest of us at home, also, sad to say. Miracle baby Number 2! She used so frequently that shortly after he was born she nearly died from the side effects of her use. Daniel, like most 14 year old boys, thinks team sports, dirtbiking, wakeboarding and skateboarding are what life is about. We're working on expanding those thoughts and this year he's learning to play a clarinet. Most of the time, we have beautiful beginner notes during practice time! My shortest son in this pic is now my tallest, about to pass me up (& I'm 5'10"!) and he just turned 13! What happened and when?!? He is Daniel's bio-sib and when his mother found out she was pregnant again, we were going thru court to adopt Daniel, and she was on prescription med's for the heart and liver damage she'd done to herself during Daniel's pregnancy. She was through the first trimester when she started seeking medical attention and 4 doctors independantly told her to abort, giving her all of the horrible scenarios that could happen to him due to the fact that the med's she was taking were normally given to very late-in-life men with heart problems, not expecting to get pregnant while on those med's.

According to them, he would be born missing limbs, with severe skin issues, possibly blind, and various other abnormalities were predicted. Rather than abort, and since she'd tried four Dr's, she just stopped everything! Stopped coming to Daniel's visits since she didn't want the county to know another one was on the way, stopped seeking medical care, stopped her prescription med's and stopped her illegal drugs, all cold turkey! While planning to give him to us at birth, the birth went so easily that she decided that raising him would be just as easy. That lasted for 23 months until he weaned himself, and then she called for the first of many "rescues" since she could not stay sober for herself alone, although she'd been sober for 2 1/2 years. "It's so hard being a single mom," she'd say and then ask me to drive 2 hours one way with 2 preschoolers to come get her toddler so that she could have a "break." Thirteen months later, he was ours!! He is a beautiful boy and has been his entire life, inside and out. No skin peeling away, no limbs departing unexpectedly. I've heard it said that this is why we say doctor's are "practicing." They are human after all, not omniscient. Christian is the healthiest (and soon to be biggest as we're sure he'll pass Dad, too!) member of our family! God miraculously protected him from major damage that had been predicted by FOUR professionals. Miracle baby Number 3! Today, he enjoys all the same stuff that his older brothers do and also, beating those same "little" brothers in all wrestling matches. Soccer is one of his passions and this past season, he played almost his entire season on a broken foot! We found out it was broken because we were at the podiatrist for something else and he decided he wanted to see an x-ray. When it came back in a few minutes, the Dr. just looked at us and said, "Did you know your foot is broken?" Christian and Mom just burst out laughing! We knew exactly when it had happened, 7 WEEKS earlier at church youth group just playing around! He'd come home and said he thought he'd really messed up his foot or something this time and {confession time} Mom said, "Suck it up, you'll be fine in a day or 2." He wasn't fine but the pain was not stopping his soccer season! No way, no how!! He even asked the doctor if he could go ahead and finish the season since it was so close to being over. The doctor didn't find as much humor in the situation as we did and the answer was, "Absolutely not!" There's always next year! And, in Daddy's arms is the Princess, Charissa. After many missed tries to adopt a daughter, Charissa moved in and went straight to adoption. Her bio name meant "peace" and we joked that that was between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. We called her Serendipity until it came time to officially name her as it fit her better than her given name. Mom lost 17 pounds in a few weeks just trying to keep up with her. Friends at church joked about Charissa being the latest diet program as it was working so well for me! Testimony time: The Thanksgiving before, we miscarried the only child we had ever conceived. Before knowing what would happen to us in the very near future, the LORD laid this verse on my heart repeatedly: Give glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace on whom His favor rests. This was in the early fall (nowhere near Christmas) and I just kept hearing that "version" of that verse in my heart, not even checking to see where it was from. Well, when we found out we were miscarrying, we had such peace from the LORD, definitely the peace that passeth all understanding! We had lost MANY fost-to-adopt daughter's over the years in very strange circumstances to bio family member's that had we seen them in a park, we would have picked up our children and found another park to play in. However, this baby was having a TOTALLY different experience! This little one was moving from my womb into the most loving arms in the UNIVERSE! Was there any better place? No. I asked Mark if we could name the baby Glory as I felt the LORD had given us, here on earth, so much peace in this loss and that we were giving our baby to God. He agreed. Fast forward 6 months. Our adoption worker calls us with a newborn and before we get to the hospital, the mother changes her mind, however noone tells us this for hours and we're sitting out in front of a hospital in a dangerous L.A. neighborhood, clueless! We basically adopt toddlers so this newborn thing was making us nervous wrecks, anyhow. So, we go home. Within a couple days, our worker phones again and says, "We found her and she's both!" (We'd asked for an Asian or Hispanic girl.) Well, you'll never believe this, but our Princess is named Peace and she shares a birthday with our Glory, had Glory been born on the due date! So, our wonderful Father in Heaven who enjoys these fun details He paints into our life stories, gives us spiritual peace to get us through a tremendous loss and a few months later gives us a physical gift in the form of a daughter named "Peace" born a couple years ahead of Glory on Glory's predicted birthdate! So, while the due date of a miscarried blessing can be quite painful as it rolls around, we were (and still do each year) celebrating the Peace He'd given us!! Give Glory to God in the Highest and on earth Peace on whom His favor rests.
Father, we do feel favored by you and thank you for your provision on so many levels in our lives day by day. As we seek to offer a home to orphans as we feel you leading, please guide our every move, thought, plan. In Jesus' name, Amen


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