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.

CP, EDS and many other things…

Adia has been part of this crazy family for just over 1 month. It’s so hard to believe. She has grown and changed so much. We have so very much to be thankful for!

I’m sorry the updates have been few and far between. I hope this gives you an idea how you can rejoice with us and how you can be praying for us.

Adia is getting stronger every day. She is working very hard to crawl, sits up a lot more and is learning what it means to be part of a family. She smiles and laughs the majority of the time and often acts like a normal 2 year old (which we count as a blessing!!). We have no doubt this little girl will continue to amaze us at every turn!

We knew from day 1 there would be a lot of unknowns with her health. A few weeks before traveling, Adia was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy affecting her left side. We still don’t know the extent of how this will effect her, but we know there are a lot of things we can do to help her become as mobile and self sufficient as possible.

We were a little more surprised by her new diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Specifically, Adia has the Kyphoscoliosis type. Basically this is why she has weak muscle tone and loose joints. But it is also why she bruises and her skin tears very easily.

Her situation is a bit complex, but we have an awesome pediatrician that is familiar with EDS and CP and she already has us lined up to see several specialists (11 to be exact). So we have our work cut out for us just scheduling and making it to all these appointments. It will be so good to know more about her conditions and how we can best help her.

We are so in love with our little girl. We know God has an incredible plan for her life, and we are so blessed He has chosen us to be her forever family. Thank you for your prayers! Keep them coming!!

Gotcha!

I spent many hours thinking about what gotcha day would be like. I didn’t imagine she would come to us laughing and singing. How terrifying would it be to be placed in the arms of perfect strangers and taken away from the only life you’ve ever known?! No, I didn’t expect it to be easy but I knew it would be precious. So thankful Jonathan was able to capture a piece of that experience.

Tomorrow…

Tomorrow we board a plane headed for our baby girl! It is surreal. I am incredibly excited and, at the same time, a bit terrified. We will leave as the parents of 2 and return with a third human that we are responsible for… one that hasn’t spent the past 9 months listening to my voice and heartbeat. I think of how terrifying that would be for her. Being handed to strangers that look and sound strange. I have been praying so much for her little heart.

Many of you have been asking how you can pray specifically while we’re traveling and meeting Adia. Here are a few things that I can think of. Pray that…

  • travel to all of our destinations in China is smooth and safe.
  • all of us would be healthy.
  • Iona and Ewen have a sweet time with Nana & Papa at home.
  • Adia would grieve well, quickly attach to us, and not be fearful.
  • we would quickly attach to Adia and learn how to best care for her.
  • all our hearts would be knit together as a family… for the transition to a family of 5.
  • we would be a picture of the gospel to those around us.

Thank you for journeying with us and praying for our family. It is the greatest gift you could give us!!!

10 Day Countdown… & Fully Funded!

On August 25th Jonathan and I will be wheels up and on our way to get our baby girl!! It is unbelievable! & could never happen without your love, support and, most importantly, prayers!

Today I deposited the last of the funds we need to make this all happen. FRIENDS, we are FULLY FUNDED!!!!!

We are incredibly thankful! It means so much that a group of kids had a lemonade stand to raise money for Adia… that our extended family would take up a collection and surprise us at the family reunion… that SO many people gave so sacrificially. This little girl is loved far more than she will ever know! We truly cannot say thank you enough!!! To God be the glory for all He has done!

<<TEARS, LOTS OF JOYFUL TEARS>>

Almost There!

Today our Article 5 was picked up!!!! Very few people will know what that means. I don’t really know what that means, but I know it means we will have our travel approval in a matter of days!!! We should be on an airplane in less than 3 weeks!!! Can you believe it?!?!

We are done with new fundraisers, but we have one fundraiser still open. There are still some puzzle pieces that need sponsors! The only thing left to cover is Adia’s plane tickets (1 flight in country then home!). That’s just under $1500. I cannot believe it! We are so close! Let me know if you want to help us literally get our girl home!