Deuteronomy 4:35

You have been shown these things that you might know the Lord is God besides him there is no other.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The School Christmas Program

 We had our annual Christmas concert at CVCS.  Em and Anna participated.  Anna is wearing this dress that Jillian wore a year earlier.  She is so much smaller than Jilly was at this age.
 Jillian and Molly Kate enjoyed watching.  They were adorable, but getting them to sit through the hour and thirty minute concert was an adventure.
 Anna loves to wear her pearls from China when she gets dressed up.  She is looking so grown up.
Only one more year of school concerts for Em.  Where has the time gone?

Here is Anna in the PK4 portion of the concert..
She has been singing the sheep song at the top of her lungs since the concert.

Monday, December 28, 2015

To Molly Kate

To My littlest babe,
For six months, I have held you in my arms.  These last six months have honestly held some of the most joyous moments of my life as you have added so very much to us.  As I held you this Christmas Eve, giving you a bottle and rocking you to sleep, I looked down to see you dimly lite by the glow of your night light all snug cradled in my arms with the widest smile while your little eyes were closed in sleep.  You are so very content in our family, and to say that you make my life so full is such a injustice because words are so limited.  You never leave the house without your baby doll hanging at your side.  You mimic everything I do with you as you play with it.  The other morning, we were looking and pointing at picture books as we talked about each word for the pictures.  After we finished, I tiptoed back to your bedroom where you were playing to find you with your little doll sitting up as you were holding that same book pointing to the very pictures I had with you the hour before.  You so easily receive love and you are so very willing to give yourself away.  I love how you insist on sitting on your Daddy's lap to eat your meals, and how you point both of your pinkies at him shouting yeah when he comes home.  You want everything that your sisters have and you want to do everything that they do all the time.  When they get a toy and you want a turn, you get the most darling crumpled face as you cry and cry until they surrender to you.  In this way, you hold the baby role very well in our family.  You are darling in every way and it is so hard for Daddy and I to discipline you because of it.  You are so bright.  Nothing in this life gets by you and you are quick to learn everything.  Though your hearing test results tell us that you can hear no speech sounds, you continue to mimic our language and pick up new words.  In this way, you are truly a miracle.  Your favorite things to say are..Jillian, Anna Mei (alot of Anna Mei), Emily, daddy, mama, here you go, want more, thank you, no, and stop.  You are picking up a lot of sign too.  In just a few days, we will watch you have your first set of hearing aids placed and your hearing life will begin.  I can't wait to walk alongside you as you grow.  In every way you are such a tremendous blessing and we love you so very much! Happy six months home baby girl!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Adoption of a Special Needs Child Will...

Adoption of a special needs child will lead you to stop everything you are doing just to watch your treasure play with a balloon in the foyer.  You will tear up for a good twenty minutes because your precious treasure used to shut down and melt down with intense fear anytime a balloon came near her, but today..TODAY SHE LAUGHED, SMILED, AND PLAYED WITH A PINK BALLOON.  

When you adopt a special needs child and this happens, you will feel as if you are the luckiest person in the entire world to be watching your most precious, amazing little treasure  just playing with a balloon because you never dreamed that she could overcome so much.  You never dreamed that she would be so full of life when she was first so void of it.  You could have never planned that watching her would make you so very happy or that she would be the one to teach you so much.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

She Shared Jesus

Four and half years ago, I walked into a smoke filled government building in Xian, China and was handed a screaming fifteen pound twenty-six month old.  She was horribly neglected, probably abused, and an empty shell of a child nearly completely void of life.  The enemy of this world intended to destroy her.  Never did he dream that God would bring a family for her, and that our loving God would restore her heart in order to further His Kingdom.  Today, this, once discarded little one, who is my Jillian, shared Jesus with her first grade class.  The class had a project assigned to complete a poster about their family's special holiday traditions.  I designed her poster so that buttons on her Nova Chat could be created so that she would easily recognize them and that would allow her to follow along with the poster explaining each of our traditions.  We cut and glued pictures to create her poster and then we practiced hitting the buttons that represented each picture.  She talked about our family celebrating Jesus' birthday, investing in others, having a lazy day on Christmas in our pajamas, laughing a lot, including cookies, and taking part in our nativity play.  She rocked her presentation with the help of her special personal teacher.  Her first grade teacher sent the above picture of her sharing.  It brings me to tears to think of all that God has brought her through, but I also feel a great sense of triumph at all that I have seen her overcome because of Him.  Honestly being her mother is one of the greatest privileges of my life!  Millions more of these amazing treasures wait this Christmas for someone to come for them believing that God will restore their hearts and use their lives to further His kingdom.  This Christmas, PRAY that these children will not be forgotten by the church.  Pray that more will be welcomed home into a loving, Christian family, and that they might grow to know, love, and serve Jesus!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Visiting Santa

We don't celebrate with Santa at our house, but she got to meet a Santa at the Shriner's patient Christmas party.  She wasn't at all afraid to sit on his lap, but also didn't wait for her presents.  After all, she had no idea what presents were as this is her first Christmas home with us.
Molly stole the hearts of everyone.  She was darling in her red corduroy dress! Like I said, she didn't wait around for Mrs. Claus to pass off her gifts as she had no clue gifts were coming.
After receiving her gifts, we showed her how to tear them open.  When she discovered there were toys inside that were for her, she was all in.
There were three gifts for her to open so she became quite good at it by the end of the party.
She was so good at it at the party that she decided to begin tearing into a few gifts under the tree when we got home.  I heard Anna Mei shouting from downstairs..Momma!  Molly is opening the presents right now!
She was pretty happy with her gifts!
A wagon with blocks was a perfect choice for her at this stage!

Anna Mei accompanied us and she loved the party!  We had a cookie activity, craft, lunch, and juice boxes.  My littlest girls were thrilled with the fun clowns and balloon animals too!  We are grateful for the care we receive at the hospital and this party was so thoughtful too!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Bike Riding

I can't believe this weather here in the Midwest.  It was nearly 60 degrees all weekend.  We were outside for two hours on Saturday morning riding bikes.  I even gave the girls the used scooters I picked up for them that I intended to give them for Christmas.  It was just too nice to wait.  Molly is again amazing me with her ability to do so much.  She can pedal, steer, and navigate a tricycle already.  She fell off of this tall one a couple of times as it tends to get a bit top heavy, but got up and right back on.  She is one determined little lady.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Results Are In

On November 20, we woke at 4:00 AM and headed a couple of hours from our home to have Miss Molly Kate's ABR done.  We had to travel so far because the children's hospital closest to us couldn't get her in for several months.  This momma just couldn't loose several months of hearing while we waited.  A wonderful couple from our church woke early with us, and drove us to the hospital.  The support we have is just so amazing.  We arrived a bit ahead of our scheduled time, and Molly did great with the waiting.  She kept signing to eat, but was easily distracted by the tv, toys, or a walk.  Soon, it was time for her to be taken from me.  This is a sedated procedure, and the hospital wouldn't let me stay with her until they put her to sleep like the University does.  Needless to say, this little lady was pretty upset to separate, and even more upset to wake up and find I still wasn't there.  She calmed down as soon as I got to her.   She took a bottle and fell right back to sleep in my arms after it was over.  She hasn't slept through the night since then as the separation really stressed her out. :( It took almost twice as long as expected to get results from the ABR because this sweet treasure of ours is a puzzle.  According to her results, this baby can't hear any speech sounds.  She has hearing, but it is above the frequencies for normal speech.  This just baffles us as she seems to understand what we say when we are close to her, and even has some expressive language herself.  She can say many words.  Aside from words we understand her saying, she is constantly babbling.  Her therapists and hearing impaired teacher continue to say..we just can't explain this girl.  She can even model words with the correct number of syllables when she hears you say them.  Her loss seems to be complex and not at all ordinary.  She may have a conductive component as well as some sensory neural loss.  What all of this means is a bit beyond me, but we head to the ENT doctor in a week so my understanding is that he will order an MRI so that we can get a clearer picture of her ear's anatomy.  If she is missing a bone near her eardrum, they can actually replace it using another bone from her body.  AMAZING!  We are plugging ahead and placing aids before this though as it won't hurt to get her hearing something even if it isn't the best.  She gets her shiny purple aids with hot pink molds (she picked this) on the 30th and we are so excited to see where they take her.  I know every momma says this about their child, but my Molly seems so bright.  She continues to amaze us with her fine motor ability and problem solving.  On top of that, we love, love, love her!  She is such a precious, happy, joyful little bundle who continues to be such a blessing to have in our family.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Just Imagine...

This girl is so much bigger than life!  She is always up to something.  She creates, imagines, and plays every waking moment of the day!  She is such an incredible joy to be with!  And the things that she says often leaves us in stitches.  Because it is the season of things arriving in boxes at our door, creating things from these empty boxes is a favored activity right now.  She will spend hours creating cars, ambulances, pony houses, and, this airplane.
Listen to her as she tells me she is flying to China with a momma to get a baby girl..DARLING!

Scoop and Dump..
this is my baby's favored activity right now.  She can't get enough.  She will scoop and dump anything.  Corn, rice, water, her dinner, pom poms, jingle name it..she will scoop and dump it.  She really loves our corn table though.  I love that I scored a 50 lb bag of corn for $6.00!  It is one of the least expensive sensory materials that I have come across.  Thanks to the farm supply store as a whole new world of sensory materials has opened up to us and we are enjoying them!

Jillian's Snowman

I recently made new busy bags for the girls.  With all the time we spend waiting in doctors offices or visiting families without small children and toys, these bags are my life savor!  They are portable and provide the girls some fun while we are waiting.  One bag I made for this season is a snowman building activity.  I decided to just throw it out there and see what Jilly would do with it.  I only set out one choice for each part initially as I didn't want to overwhelm her.   She willingly sat in her cube chair and participated which is huge for this girl.  Above is her first snowman.  She was adorable building him and signing snow!  She seems so excited these days to do any activity with me, and that is a delight!  Watch her go..

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas Fun..Sugar Cookie Play Dough

I love, love this time of year.  Celebrating the birth of our Savior brings so much joy to my heart!  The littles and I have been busy, busy with all sorts of fun and I couldn't be feeling more blessed.
 We love play dough, and this sugar cookie play dough, with sprinkles rolled in, was so much fun!
 It smelled so good!
 They rolled, cut, and scooped for hours with this dough!

We haven't tackled any real Christmas cookies, but the teenager is asking for them so it won't be long until we get started!