2 Years home.

2 years ago we walked out of an orphanage half a world away with a terrified, fragile little girl. Oh how far she has come in 2 years. I am so glad we didn’t miss this!


1 month post surgery

IMG_0922Tomorrow marks 1 month since Adia had bilateral hip surgery. And I can tell you with certainty that God answers prayers!

It is so hard for a parent to watch the doctors wheel their child back to the OR. But Adia was a champ and the surgery seems to have been a success.

Just before going back for surgery the doctor made the statement that is was possible, but not likely, they would be able to put her in a foam bolster rather than a full body spica cast. So this is what we prayed diligently for. Her fragile skin would never survived a cast. And God answered!!! She came out of surgery with a bolster that, like a cast, had to stay on 24/7 for 6 to 8 weeks. IMG_0942They said she was so well nourished that her bones were strong and this was a great option. What?! This girl that was starving just over a year ago?!

Adia’s pain level was pretty bad the first 2 days, but on day 3 she seemed to turn a corner and got to go home 2 days earlier than expected! And within 8 days she was off all pain meds (including Tylenol)! I always tell people she got her pain tolerance from her great-grandma!


Yesterday she had her 4 week post op appointment and was given the ok to take the bolster off. After only 4 weeks!! She will continue to wear a brace at night for the next 6 weeks, but is otherwise free to start getting back to normal as her stiff, weak legs will allow (as long as she doesn’t do anything that could cause her to fall).

We are in awe of what our Great God has done for our baby girl!! She is the strongest little girl I know!!! Just check out these before and after x-rays!


Preparing for hip surgery

A couple months ago we received the hard news that Adia would need surgery on both hips. A combination of her Cerebral Palsy and Ehlers- Danlos Syndrome have caused her hips to come nearly our of their sockets. If that were to happen, the pain would be terrible. In most cases this would be a one & done surgery, but her EDS will most likely cause this to be a fairly regular occurrence throughout her life. That is the hardest thing to swallow in all of this.

The surgery has been looming in the distance since that appointment, but now the day is almost here. Early Tuesday morning they will wheel our girl back to the OR and get to work “fixing” her hips. It will include lengthening tendons and cutting the bones to fit back in the sockets. That sounds terrible, right?! Then, after all that, she will be put in a spica cast from her chest down to her shin bones. And there she will remain for about 8 weeks.

I am so thankful we have the technology to correct issues like this. I am so thankful for doctors that know what they are doing and care for our children’s well-being, but I HATE that she has to endure all this! Today she is smiling and happy, not knowing what next week holds. It will be so hard on her! It will be so hard on us, her caretakers. But I have to believe it will all be worth it. I have to believe this will help her on her way to walking!

Will you pray with us for healing! For the surgeon’s hands, for pain management, for quick recovery and for sanity as she is immobile for so long. We have a long daunting road ahead of us. But we thank the Lord for His faithfulness and that He loves our girl even more than we do.

1 year

Where has the time gone?! It seems like yesterday this scared baby girl was being placed in our arms. But it is amazing to see how far she has come! I often go back to this “gotcha day” video and marvel at what the Lord has done.

This baby girl that couldn’t hold her own head up is crawling, running in her walker, talking in sentences (except when we turn the camera on, ha!), and eating (almost) anything we put in front of her.

She is no longer scared, no longer malnourished, and no longer an orphan! She is incredibly loved! We are so proud of the little person she is becoming. One year as a Shradar! Oh, our God is so good!

6 months!

file_000-3It is impossible to believe this little girl has been a Shradar for 6 months! And on the other hand… has it only been 6 months?!

I have spent a lot of time recently reflecting on how far Adia has come. She truly amazes me. Here are a few things that leave me in awe of God and what he has done for this baby girl. In six months Adia has grown an inch and gained more than 4 pounds! She has gone from an emaciated tall baby to a healthy taller baby. Even her hair has grown into a cute almost pixie-like do.

Six months ago Adia could barely hold her head up. She could sometimes sit by herself and she would roll over if she really wanted something. Today she crawls, runs in her walker and would spend all day on her feet if she had the ankle strength to balance.

She came to us eating only 3 infant formula bottles a day. She was literally starving. Today she eats almost anything we put in front of her. She has learned to chew and swallow solid foods, and she very proficiently uses a spoon and fork.

Adia has always been a good communicator. If nothing else she’d give us a look that told us exactly what she was thinking. But now, beyond the looks, she uses several signs and says about 15-20 words without prompting. She says things like help, up, night-night, outside, Jones (the dog’s name), George (for Curious George), hurt, bear (her favorite stuffie), water, shoe, shirt, sock, diaper, all done, and of course “no”. And just yesterday she said “help you” (she meant “help me”), but it was her first sentence. This girl truly blows me away!

One of the biggest fears for adopting parents is that their child won’t bond well with them. That was a concern of ours too but, by the grace of God, Adia has done so well! She seems to be very well adjusted, prefers her mama and acts like a 2 year old (its not often I would consider that a good thing, ha!). Every once in a while she shows us we still have a bit of work to do but on the whole we are thanking the Lord for they ways He has drawn us together.

And then there are some things about this girl that haven’t changed from day one… That captivating smile, her fierce determination, her ability to melt your heart (or put you in your place) with a look, and her love for life that astounds us all.

Adopting this little girl was the best things we have ever done. All of our children are an incredible gift from God. Adia is no exception. The past six months have been an amazing adventure. We cannot imagine life without our Adia Grace!

If you haven’t see her in her element you should watch this!


A little love makes all the difference

I have no doubt that Adia was as cared for as she could be before we got our hands on her. I can understand why her care takers were so worried about her. She was failing to thrive on all levels. But now… 5 months later… she is THRIVING. It is amazing what love and attention can do. 5 months ago this little girl was starving on only 3 infant bottles a day. She could barely hold her head up and worked very hard to scoot on her back to get what she wanted a few feet away. 5 months ago we wondered if she would make it.

Today we wonder just how far this spunky girl can go. She has overcome so much. She is walking with her walker (& there is nothing to suggest she won’t be running free some day). She is eating almost anything we put in front of her. She is starting to talk. And (maybe most importantly) she is bonding extremely well. This girl has come so far and she is not even close to being done. God is so good! I marvel at what He has done with that scared baby girl and I can’t wait to see where her full potential leads her.

This week Adia got her new walker and is running all over the back yard with it. We aren’t supposed to let her stand too much until she gets braces for her legs, but you tell me how I’m supposed to keep that 2 year old down! She was fitted for the braces, so now we have to go through insurance approval and have them made, which will be a month at least.

She also had an MRI done on her brain and spine. The results for her spine are very promising. She only has a slight curve that will need to be monitored. This was one of the biggest concerns when we got her so this is amazing news. Her brain shows damage to both sides, but predominantly the right side, which is all very consistent with the weak left side. And the results suggest maybe she was a preemie, though we will never know for sure. The MRI doesn’t change anything, but it does give us a little clearer picture of what’s going on.

With all Adia’s therapies, specialists, community programs… we have appointments most days of the week. This is our new normal… this is our new life and we love it… we all love her. Adia Grace was aptly named… She truly is a Gracious Gift from God.

What a week

A week ago Tuesday evening I took Adia into Urgent Care because she seemed to be having a difficult time breathing. She had a cold that, with her Ehlers-Danlos and CP, I was afraid she wasn’t able to fight it as well as the other kids. Urgent Care called an ambulance and had her transferred to the ER and eventually admitted to the hospital for almost 6 days. It was a lot of sleepless nights and beeping… endless beeping. It still rings in my ears.

We posted cute pictures of her smiling and singing, but she wasn’t always happy. There were many moments of fear, frustration and sadness. file_000-2

But through it all she was amazing and God thoroughly sustained us. We are so thankful for wonderful friends that were so helpful, the prayers of so many of you and the amazing group of medical professionals that took care of us.

They finally let us go home on Sunday and we had 1 full day free of hospital visits before our eldest child fell off the monkey bars at school and broke her elbow. Back we went to the ER. She is handling it well, but the reality that she now has 2 months of a full arm cast on her right arm is pretty tough on a 1st grader.

It has been a crazy, difficult week but we are so thankful for God’s mercies in so many little ways. We are thankful that Adia’s lung infection wasn’t worse. We are thankful that we were able to find moments of joy in a miserable situation. As adoptive parents, we were thankful for opportunities to really bond with Adia. And we are incredibly thankful Iona’s break won’t require any surgery.