Friday, August 29, 2008

More medical news to share

Today we went back with all five of the new children to have their tb tests read... I knew the results... the boys were negative and the girls are positive... Not a big surpise... other than Caleb who had on his medical a tb reading that was 25 mm duration which is very high positive. He had no sign of even the test being done... Tells you how accurate the tb test was in Ukraine in April. That is why as adoptive parents I recommend we take all the medicals we get on these children with 10 lbs of salt.....

Now for some really neat news about the tb tests. When we went on Tuesday for the test to the health dept. the nurse in charge said that our health dept. in Berleley Co. had been choosen in the state of WV to begin using the Quantiferon Gold tb blood test... this is a great test that can differentiate between BCG vaccine reaction and exposure to the disease... what it means than if you have a positive ppd you would have had to do 9 months of INH therapy ( sometimes it has side effects). We have done this route with Leah who had a 20 mm duration and she did not have any side effects ptl.... Now the Quantiferon test was not approved for children under 17 yrs... the cdc had not approved it yet- mostly due to lack of data (not enough children has it been done on). I offered all of my kiddos to be test subjects to up their data :)

Well when we went back today the nurse said that it had just gotten approved for children 2yrs and over.... YEAH! and our 3 with the positive ppd will be WV first children to have it.... paid for by the health dept...

People question so many times how or why Paul and Ido what we do.... mostly in a positive way as well as just wondereing how.... the answer is the Lord always provides for what He calls us to... We just have to be obedient to His will and not our own...

Mya and Luke- Both need surgery

Thursday I took Mya and Luke to see Dr. Standard,
our peds. ortho. surgeon who has treated them both.
This is a picture of both of them in May with their new
treatment, along with some pt to straighten their legs.
They would wear this only at nite.... quite frankly they
did not work well. Luke was used to wearing full leg braces
so he did fine but Mya found it very difficult to wear them very
tight... and every amI found her leg bent. Anyway at our appt.
yesterday we discussed other options. Luke will have surgery on
his r knee to put something like staples arounf his growth plates to steer his knee more straight.
In Dr. Standard's words it is just a "tweak to his leg". The other leg is doing great.

Now Mya is more involved . When we adopted her she was only 11 lbs.
at almost 13 months old. She was paralyzed on her l side- mostly her leg and foot.
She saw a ped. neurologist at Hopkins over a 12 month time and he finally diagnosed polio.
Mya has done phenomenally well with just intensive pt, serial casting and bracing... However the
last year she had reached a plateau and has been hoping on her r foot(very fast ) to get around. She loves to move and go fast.... So she has had gait studies, and an AFO and pt... now we are having to choose to do some surgery on her l leg to straighten the knee and lengthen her femur ( the long thigh bone) 3 to 4 cm. She has a leg length discrepency. It was 2 cm which was ok but now has gotten to be shorter. So she will have a similiar leg surgery to straighten her leg and be placed in an external fiixator for as little as 3 months or as long as 6 months. It will be a different type and not the rings that Luke had... but after going thru over 40 surgeries with our adopted children in the last 5 yrs.... including open heart surgery with Luke.... the ex. fixator surgery and months in it were the most difficult .... So I am heartbroken for our little Mya to have to go thru this.... It is tough and very difficult but the results are so worth it.... We are planning on taking her to Shriners ( they saw her and Luke before) in 2 wks to get their opinion but more as a connection for braces... they are fantastic and do not charge. We are planning on doing both of these surgeries this fall. Luke also will have another palate surgery. He also needs to have open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve.. we see the cardiologist every 6 months for the evaluation and the timing of this surgery..... Jonas will also be getting his eye surgery. A very busy fall for us. Please pray for our family as we walk thru the next months .... How sweet it will be to see the kids walking, talking and self esteem restoration thru the prosthetic eye given.

You just have to love him- Jonas- my one eyed boy

The other day Jonas brought me a reptile book we had just checked out from our library. He was showing me a picture of a one eyed lizard... he said with the biggest smile," Hey momma look, he is my brother." You just have to love a 13 yr old boy who can be self effacing :)

Jonas lost his left eye to cancer and will be having surgery to clean up the previous surgery and to hopefully give him a prosthetic eye.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Home now 8 weeks

How the time flies by. I think that bringing a child/children home in the summer is the best time of year to. At least for an older child... We have had so much fun just being home enjoying the pool, our trampolines, swinging, playing soccer, volleyball, basketball, riding bikes and eating outside on the deck... the kids play hard all day long. They eat well and sleep like logs.... I am so loving the summertime .... We don't start our homeschool until after Labor Day. So we have a few more days left....

We had our Sunday school class over Sunday afternoon. There were over 70 people here and we had a blast. We ate and ate, had a great fellowship and played and swam.... the pool was so dirty that I had to clean it today. Actually I did not get to it until about 5:30 and the kids were patient with me all day... they love to swim :) So while I cleaned the pool my older daughters brought out all the leftovers and dished out the 9 little ones dinner and we all ate on the deck tonite and then went swimming. We watched a gorgeous sunset too. I think if it stays warm we will leave our pool open into Sept. this year.

We are about three fourths the way finished with our house addition.... the drywall gets started this week... Yippe! We have all learned all we need to for now about how to build a house :) Actually the older boys and Cate have learned alot of valuable skills working along side of daddy and our contractor. Now it is time to move on though... if you know what I mean :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

swimming fun even when it is raining

Waiting for the eggs to cook

This is usually how we fix meals here... The kids were waiting for the eggs
to cook. Someone has a chore to fix the 10 little ones breakfast.
They have to pick a fruit, something dairy, and a grain- like bread,
cereal, granola bar. This is not all the kids just the ones in the kitchen
with me this am.. Usually we cook for a minimum of 23 and often
it is 25 to 27 with some friends over.... Tonite I made macaroni and cheese
for 31 .. I used the whole super large bag of noodles from Sams Club. We have a garden
and our cucumbers are doing well, tomatoes are so so... we also ate a "Russian" salad
with cukes, tomatoes, onions. olives, feta cheese in my biggest bowl, and 3 lg. jars of
applesauce... I have gotten used to cooking for this mega, super large family
now after 7 weeks home with the 5 new ones. It is like this for all 3 meals... People
often ask how we do this.... We eat a minimum of 5 fruits and vegtables and often it is
7 we have eaten by the dinner meal. We teach lots about nutrition here and work hard
for them to understand why we are eating this way...The ones who help cook or prepare
will often say we need 2 fruits or veggies....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Finally Mya and Luke

I love this one of our 2 youngest. You can tell how much they
love each other... both are an inspiration and have overcome
many health issues and they always have this beaming smile
for anyone....

some pics of the kids

We had a photographer here taking pictures for an article... we got copies and I really like them. This was before our 5 new ones came home.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Introducing Keith... and we could not be happier

Ava eating an apple like a big girl... 19 months

Remember the 2 trampolines ? Sat... when we came home this is the damage we found after a "mini" tornado... Nothing to our neighbors on either side

Celebrating Uncle Bill's 50th... look at how much smoke 50 candles make

In the back of Uncle Johnny's truck-- as the new ones would say-"Klasna" or cool.

Cate and Ben at Grandads - notice the matching soccer shirts from Ukraine

pool time

Lily and Josiah

Mya and Luke taking a break

Some more summer fun

snack time break from swimming...

Part of the bunch out front-Mya,Lily,Josiah,Issac,Luke, Caleb and Jonas

Almost home 5 weeks

It has been a wonderful time to adopt... We never brought children home in the summer but, I think that it has been very good for our family.... The pool and trampolines are the favorites of everyone. We have 2 trampolines so that the big kids can jump and the little kids can have their own... and I do not have to keep saying ,"Be careful of the little ones." We have one pool that we have had and used lots now for 9 yrs.... We are hoping to add another pool next year because we have outgrown this one a few adoptions back :) I have already talked to our pool company about a floor model that they sell every year in Feb... so we have asked them to hold the big one for us. We are also in the middle of another addition... we did a seperate addition for Mary Kate ( a single mom) and Ava when she had Ava. We have redone our old 2 car garage into a room that will be a 4th family room which we can use for a guest room. We are now adding a 3 car garage and a laundry room ( my first one ever ) that also has a seperate shower/tub and bathroom -yeah! One the 2nd floor of this is a huge great room that we will move our older girls too and it also has a seperate bathroom with a seperate shower/tub and another shower, a 2 vanity sink and tolite.... another Yeah! We always get asked 3 questions about our family- 1. How big is your home ? 2. How many cars do you have and how do you do it ? Then when people find out we homeschool they are in awe... but I will answer all of these and hopefully post some pics of our home, cars and the how we do it....