Saturday, August 18, 2012

Even with all of his struggles - He has been a gift to all of us

Teaching all of us about compassion and unconditional love. Jesse and Judah helping take care of Andrew who have only been home 2 plus months love on Andrew by helping to cream him up for bedtime.

They seem to really care about him and are concerned when he is upset. He is loud, and often very disruptive but they don't seem to mind. They roll with the flow. When they think he needs something they come running to one us to tell us :)


I love his sneaky smile...Andrew kept trying to turn himself around and by having Abe hold his hand he couldn't.





Here is our guy getting his hair cut this week by Leah. The neat part about this pic is that she is doing it without someone helping her. He is calm and compliant. Often it took at least 2 of us to get his hair cut...also look at his chubby belly and chest. He is doing well ( except for tonite he is very irritable) and we took him to the pool steps and just let him sit with his legs in the pool. Water seems to calm him. We could not figure out what was frustrating him...then he was ready to sit and eat his dinner. He got a bath and his meds. early and Cate is taking him on a bike ride to keep him awake until 8.
Sometimes it is hard to have such a significant special needs child but it is the times in these photos that encourage us . Andrew has been home now for 2 yrs and 7 and a half months. He has changed so much and we are grateful for this. We still can't easily travel with him when we all go out because he can be very disruptive. We rotate one of the adults in our family to stay home when we go to church. He still will do some auto aggressive behaviors but they are way less than before. He can be cuddly when he wants to be and he sleeps thru the nite about 2/3 of the month. We keep a journal of his life so we can accurately share what he eats, how he sleeps and his behaviors with his doctors. Overall we have seen a significant improvement in his behaviors and sleep. He also does not vomit at all . We had a time in April he had started to spit up some ( not as much as before) so we went over his diet in the journal and could trace our additon of hamburger meat we would give for one meal a day...maybe the extra fat in it caused a blockage of the pyloric valve which was constricted by the parasite H Pyloria that he had for yrs...anyway we noticed he was burping and I suggested that we up his acid reflux meds. and we did and that took care of it . We also removed the hamburger from his diet. He only eats chicken now as his meat and occasionally a hotdog or turkey. He gets a multiple vitatmin plus iron daily and his blood wk is great for the B vitamins he does not get by not eating red meat. He is scheduled 9/11 for a follow up endoscope at Johns Hopkins.
We have been asked many times, " How do we take care of such a special needs child?"- to be honest it is alot to take care of this precious little guy who is sometimes embarassing and often challenging but it is a priviledge to love on him and share life with a child who no one wanted, and most likely would have been dead by now if we had not brought him home. He came home Christmas eve. 2009 with Gracie from Bulgaria...I have always thought it was special that he came home on a very significant day for Christians. He was also born on my birthday :) I love how the Lord gives us special reminders that He knows our heart and what we do and our struggles as well as our joys. The past few months have been filled with many joys watching Andrew gain more peace and contentment in his soul. He has a simple life filled with many who love him.

9 comments:

Stacey said...

What a precious gift!

Stacey said...

What a precious gift!

Emily Minich said...

I love your honesty and also your kindness! It truly is a privilege to love Andrew. You are demonstrating the Gospel by your love and care of him!

Mike and Christie said...

Such a great update! I appreciate your heart so much... Your love flows into each of your children and you can see in their actions. :)
He looks wonderful...And the hair cut with no help??? That is simply wonderful!

Hevel Cohen said...

Great update!

May I ask you a question regarding him and Gracie? What do you do in homeschool for them, especaially Andrew, as that must be a lot more challenging? How do you devise a curriculum, or what method do you use for education?

The Tiny Team said...

You have such an amazing family and are such an inspiration to me!

Difference2This1 said...

I appreciate this post about Andrew so much. We struggle at times with Peter's disruptive behaviors. Sometimes it's hard to keep my head up when people are treating us poorly in public and I feel guilty for feeling embarressed at times. I was helpful for my heart to read that even your amazing family feels that way at times also. I wish I had more older kids so we could "rotate" as you do with outings; sometimes I feel life outside these walls are just passing me by as I stay home with the boys for most outings so the girls can have some "normalcy" in their lives. They give up much- with very good hearts about it- but I want them to have "normal" sometimes also. Thank you for this post. Blessings, Jennifer

Difference2This1 said...

Oh- forgot...so glad you figured out how to hinder Andrew's vomiting!! We finally figured Nathan's out after 13 months- he has "slow gastic emptying". He is on a low dose 3x daily antibiotic. It took 3 weeks to take effect...but he barely vomits anymore since the beginning of June. We exchanged notes here and there along the way...glad both our Bulgarian boys stomachs are finally doing better!!!

mommajeane said...

Jennifer-It was good to hear from you. I am glad that my post was able to encourage you...We are ever so grateful to God for giving us the children who are in our family. Without our older ones and the hearts of the younger ones we would not do it very well. That vomiting was hard. Glad to hear Nathan is doing better.