Monday, February 24, 2014

Great times and memories

Catching up is always better eating ice cream

It was a lot warmer on Saturday when they arrived. Now it is freezing cold again and snow is in the forecast for tomorrow.

These 3 just make our life sweet.

Singing and dancing is always fun...

"Let it go" by the Briggs, Johnson and Hambricks Frozen clan.

 Jenn and Jeremiah and the grand babies arrived Saturday. We are having a great week. With the extra 4 kids and Mary Kate and Keith's 6 our total is 36 kids at home and for meals...but you can hardly tell : ) Great times and memories.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

To NIH and back home again- Some info. about malaria


We left this am and were gone for 11 hrs . We have some " homework" to do : ) Collect a stool sample for 3 days into 2 vials a day...That is a total of 42 vials of poop samples. Now I have done this many times before....but always in groups of 2 or 3 kids. We keep each days specimen out of the refrigerator until we have collected all of them and then we mail them back to NIH overnite. My kids already think I am nuts...and now well you can imagine. " You want me to poop in a hat ? Then you are saving them for a few days ? Then you are sending them off in the mail ? " We are also getting company Saturday- Jenn and Jeremiah are home from Haiti for a few my grand babies will also wonder what is Nana doing ?

It was a very informative visit . The Peds clinic and Dr. Nash's team were wonderful. I will share more when we get some results...but they are certain some of the kids have malaria and some other things going on. 

When our children have come home from Ghana they have all been tested for malaria as a routine part of their initial check up and labs. The problem is almost all labs only test using the thick and thin smear test. This has not picked up our children's malaria. The first child that went to NIH was Abby. She went for a different parasite that seemed not to resolve after treatment. So we were refered to the Schistosomiasis doctor. He did a full work up and an ultrasound of her abdomen. Her spleen was large even larger than an adults should be. He immediately suspected malaria and her blood test done at NIH which is the PCR test was positive for malaria. She has been treated . Now to her schist. diagnosis. The eggs that the lab test at our home saw were schist. eggs so that is why we were referred on to NIH. When Dr. Nash looked at them ( and he collected many samples to view ) he could tell they were dead eggs and not live ones.  A person will shed dead eggs for a long time even after the parasite has been treated and basically eradicated. He has traveled all over the world for this parasite. He is a delightful doctor who is also a teacher personality. Very wise and very patient with us and he enjoys sharing all of his knowledge with us as much as we enjoy hearing about the diff. medical issues. 
I share all of this so if you have adopted a child from a country where malaria is prevalent and they have had a lab test that is negative but still have symptoms. Ask what the test was. Was it a thick and thin smear blood test ? The PCR or even a quick antigen is a more sensitive test for malaria. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Headed to NIH with 7 kids for an all day evaluation.

I mean who takes 7 kids to NIH or who even has 7 kids anymore : )  Of course we have 4 times that plus 4 and we go to doctor visits a lot. We however are participating in a research study on parasites - malaria and a few other ones no one would even know what they are. I have learned a lot about malaria since several of our children have had it. We are so very grateful to Dr. Nash and his colleagues for making this happen for our family. So how do you prepare for 7 kids and a baby ( Calea) and 4 adults to go to NIH ? Lots of food and snacks made the nite before. Four bags are packed and 2 strollers and 4 car seats in the 15 passenger and we are ready to roll bright and early
5:30 am.. It will be an interesting day and adventure for sure.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Nothing special just some cute pics

Playing horsey with big brothers, Isaiah and Levi - I love how the older boys enjoy being with the little guys. 

This was my view this am - not sure about why we have this cowboy theme going. Cate was reading to a bunch of them or should I say, " Cowgirl Cate "

My cool dude thugs... silly boys.

This was the other nite- Calea just could not stay awake. So cute.

One nite when we needed to get some movement going because of being inside so much....we had leg wrestling. 

Mya taking a nap today with her best buddy- Sadie- I just love the 4 legged members of our family.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I know most people are tired of this snow but not me because...

This is what we are doing on our snowy nite... having a party with donut holes and popcorn.

Our older girls , Cate, Nataly, Rachel and Leah treated us to a take home dinner from Applebees and this wonderful edible fruit- An early Valentines present because of the snow....Yummy. 

Even though it is snowing once again...I love it. All my kids who should be at home are here tonite. Nobody is going anywhere tomorrow with the foot plus they are predicting. We are enjoying being together. We have a fire in our fireplace and are enjoying hanging out together. I know you must be wondering how do 26 kids and 2 parents really hang out and then enjoy it. We just do. We don't have to do much just be together. I have cancelled our school tomorrow so we can enjoy all of this snow. It will be our first "snow " day of the year even though we have had snow and a lot of it...Just feels right to enjoy the snow tomorrow instead of hitting the books. So while others are be moaning yet again another snow storm I am not...I am loving it.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

We have a court date for Shadrach- Praise God

I love this Bible verse but , I love the message even more. Especially when it means another child will soon be an orphan no more. Please pray as court is Feb. 19 for our sweet Shadrach. One step closer to getting him home. In the top picture he is in pain and he struggles to breath. We ask for prayers for his health .

Friday, February 7, 2014

It is called Hopeful but really we are full of Hope that he will make it home

There is the link to Project Hopeful- the organization that you can give to help Shadrach come home.

Here is the link to the group that is helping us to raise money for Shadrach’s adoption. Many of you are aware that we just brought home our two children in the 3d picture who are with Shadrach. We stepped into the adoption of Shadrach in faith that the Lord would provide and He has. We are thankful to each one of you who has supported our family thru prayer and a financial gift. Without you we could not do this. You are saving this child’s life. His brain is unable to develop because his skull was fused shut at birth. He is having trouble breathing. When we agreed to adopt Shadrach we told his sponsors we had no money….So a Project Hopeful site was set up to help bring him home. Paul and I really have never done any sort of fund raising for our adoptions. We are not against other families who do …just for our family we have not felt called to do this. We were influenced greatly by the life of George Mueller in the 1800s who took care of 1,000s of orphans simply by praying to God for their needs to be met…and they always were. Sometimes by a milk truck or bread wagon breaking down in front of an orphanage. He lived some amazing provisions thru the Lord. Our lives have been lived that way as well. If God moves you to give towards our adoption and you act on that we thank you. It is all about the Lord and people’s response to Him not us or our emotional pull on you to give. We desire deeply to bring home this child and we desire for God to get the praise for the amazing way He will put it together. So every time we have needed the next amount of money and I check with Project Hopeful it has been there…Thank you !

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The story of our journey to Papaye ( Grace) and Emmanuel ( Levi ) - Pretty amazing how God works

This was " Papaye and Emmanuel " when my friend Jamallia traveled to meet her own son who was at the same orphanage. She took these pictures of them. Kofi also had been posting pics of them since August 2012. 

This is Jamallia hugging Papaye.

This is when Paul and I traveled in May so Paul could meet them. I had meet them when I traveled with my son in law to pick up Mary Kate and Keith's 2 children ( who happen to be P and E's younger siblings ). 

Again together but now forever...only not just siblings but aunt and nephew : ) We have some weird relationships .

Abby and her big sister...not just siblings now but also aunt and niece : )

Jamallia and her kids met us at the airport when we flew home- 2 weeks ago tonite. 

There is a wonderful story of how the Lord gave us these 2 precious ones. When Kofi started to post their pics my daughter and her husband had not decided or thought of adopting from Ghana. Then about a month later they started on their journey to adopt Milo and Abby. Mary Kate was pregnant towards the end of the adoption and they asked me to travel with Keith instead of her. A week and a half before we were to travel Jamallia posted the pics of her first trip to meet her son. I had them up on my computer and my daughters who were already home saw them and became excited...exclaiming, " Momma those are Mary Kate and Keith's brother and sister." I knew they meant Abby and Milo's siblings. We asked about them and it was confirmed. So when I traveled I got to meet them along with the birth mom...Who happens to be my twin's sister. So the twins ( Selah, Sari, Judah and Jesse) are actually cousins to Milo, Abby , Papaye and Emmanuel. We were given the referral of these precious children before the suspension was in place...and thank God we were able to adopt them and bring them home to our family.... and now they are a part of our family.

If I had not been sitting at the computer looking at Jamallia's pics of her trip and if the children had not passed by and saw them and recognized them... I would not have known they were my grand babies siblings or I might not have been able to complete their adoption. I love how God provides and gives encouragement to His will. They have another amazing journey to our family as so many of our children do.