Saturday, May 26, 2012

You Must....

In the last nearly nine years, we have adopted five children and with the birth of Leif we have grown our family to nine blessings- otherwise known as children.  Our five adopted children have Down Syndrome, and Dante also has Autism.

"You must be so organized!"  Please don't visit my home if you think that, because you will be disappointed.  I do keep a 3 ring binder on each of the 5 kids with special needs, with tabs for their various specialists.  That is just one area of life, though, and does not qualify me as organized.

"Your husband must have a well-paying job!"   Nope.  He has a good job, but well-paying does not describe it.  Money is very tight, but society's view of what each child needs does not match our view.  What kinds of comment is that anyhow??

"You must be crazy!"  Ok, I'll give you that one.  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and a little nutty when I am trying to get 4 kids ready for school in the morning.  But not crazy because we adopted 5 kids with Down Syndrome, crazy moments like any mom trying to accomplish 15 things in a 90 minute time matter what age or level of ability her kids have.

"You must have so much patience!"  Not always.  But lots of moments that teach me patience!

I have had so many "You Must..." comments over the years, and most of them either with negative implications, or elevating me to sainthood.  (Please don't do that, because I am pretty sure someone has to have died to be a saint.)  Jamie says most of the comments arise from the speaker's own insecurities.  "I could never do that because.... I don't have the money... I don't have the patience.... I'm not organized enough...."

This past Tuesday I took Amelia for a pre-op appointment, and the discussion led to how many siblings she has, which led to a discussion on adoption and down syndrome.

The nurse then made the one comment I have never heard before:

"You must have the most loving house in the world."   How could I disagree with that?   I think there was even a little bit of envy in her voice.


This morning Amelia innocently gave a demonstration of how a child with Down Syndrome really is not all that much different from a "typical" child.  She and Leif were reading Micah's new book on animals, his birthday present from Nana and Poppy.  She is a good and loving big sister, and she decided to use this time to teach Leif about animals.  She took him outside and showed him our animals, and then went through the book doing animals sounds and showing him how different animals walk.  He was thrilled to have the attention of the big sister he adores-- even if it was 7 am and he wasn't dressed for the day yet.

It was hard on me.  I had to sit and read the paper while drinking my coffee, without Leif squealing, grabbing my coffee, demanding food, or trying to squeeze onto my lap.  15 minutes of uninterrupted time while my 11 year old daughter entertained her 23 month old brother.  It was not crazy, and required no patience or organization!  There was lots of love though.

How do we do it?  One day at a time, and always with a lot of prayer and faith.
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether  well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4: 12-13

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Micah!

Micah is 10 today!  Nikita and I first met him 7 years ago, just 3 days after his third birthday.  We are blessed to have Micah and his infectious smile as a part of the Lindsay family.

If you really want to see his amazing smile, just come over for a visit...he seems to think the grim look is best for the camera.  
I love how he leaves the cash gift and becomes absorbed in the book from Nana and Poppy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kimberly is Officially Our Daughter

This morning Jamie and I took Kimberly to the Family and Probate Court in Worcester.  With the swipe of a pen, her adoption was finalized.  It was a special occasion, and we are thankful her adoption worker from Boston was able to come be a part of it.  The judge's clerk is extra special too, and we are very thankful to Judge R for his kind words.

You've come a long way Baby!

God is good!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Anything They Can Do....

Leif can do too! 

 Today the teens and I took Leif hiking at Rock House Reservation.
 Leif loved it, and was determined to climb every rock his big brothers climbed.

 You cannot see him, but little Leif is at the bottom of this rock looking up at his heroes.
 Although sometimes if he did make it up a rock, he did not know quite what to do next!
It was a beautiful day for some time spent together, topped off with lunch and ice cream at Howard's.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Crisco and Moxie

This morning Luna, our Saanen doe, had her kids!

 Two little bucks- Crisco and Moxie.
 We will leave the babies with Luna until Saturday, then start bottle feeding them full time and milking her.
 Nikita is the proud kidding assistant!

And a recent photo of Leif riding in his princely litter-- redneck style.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Amelia and the Very Tiring Sleep Study

Amelia's sleep study was moved up to last night, so she and I headed to Boston at 6pm.  We had discussed this many times, and looked at all the photos of Micah and Sunny having their sleep studies, but Amelia was still quite unsure about the whole event.

Unfortunately I could not find the camera when it was time to leave, so all of the photos below were taken with my trusty old flip-up cell phone..and have a blurry spot from the scratch on the phone.

Amelia has the iPad, and is doing well.  She did start crying when it was time to take her blood pressure.  It was on the third try (second person) that it was successfully done.

I was honestly shocked at Amelia's level of cooperation during the measuring, marking, and gluing on of the wires.  She was so good!

Amelia did being to protest when it was time for the "stickers" on her face.  Thanks to wi-fi and the iPad, I was able to pull up this blog and show her the photos of Sunny and Micah getting the very same stickers.  This helped immensely.  She also called Daddy on my cell phone, and talking to him was very encouraging for her.

Amelia was bothered the most by the pulse-ox on her finger, oddly enough.  Despite her cooperation during the prep time, it ended up being a difficult night.  She simply could not fall asleep because she was so tense about moving with all the stuff attached to her.  Poor Amelia would drift off, then startle awake.  This happened repeatedly until the wee hours of the morning. 
Despite not being asleep for long, Amelia was very happy to be awakened at 6am and un-wired. She called Daddy again to let him know how well she did.
 We even arrived home in time to shower her hair and get her onto the bus for school!

We should have the results of her sleep study within 2 weeks, and given the number of times she had strep this past winter, I am honestly hoping they have found that her tonsils and adenoids are causing Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and need to be removed.

Micah's sleep study was normal, and we are still waiting to hear about Sunny's. althoug I do not expect a problem.
And Dante?  There is NO WAY we are going to try a sleep study for that guy!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tilling the Land

Today Jamie prepared a strip of dirt for my tomato plants.  He received some help, and one helper wannabe.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

ShanLin and the Amazing Sleep Study

Last night Sunny and I went into Boston Children's Hospital for her sleep study.

Sunny was more than happy to go for a drive with me,  and was excited as we headed in to the hospital.  She changed into her pajamas right away and hopped up onto the bed.

After her blood pressure check, height and weight taken, and urine sample was given, Sunny started playing with the iPad.  She looked up briefly when the technician started marking her head and attaching the wires, but did not utter a word, or pull away at all.

Sunny's way of dealing with the unknown is often to withdraw completely.  She spent 30 minutes doing the same Montessori Math page counting to 16.  Over and over and over.  Every now and then I would see her look out of the corner of her eye toward the technician, but she never moved her head or resisted at all.  She did not even need her head wrapped as Micah's had been.
When he told her to climb into bed, she did.  And within 20 minutes she was asleep.  
Jamie and I had discussed that we really had no idea how she would behave during all this, but I never expected this level of cooperation.  She never said one word through it all, so I know she was unsure of it but willing to go along silently.
At 6am the technician woke us up, unhooked all the wires, and we headed home!  I was able to give Sunny a quick shower and bowl of granola, then she was off to school and her animated self once again!!
Within a week we will hear if Sunny has any sleep issues.

In two weeks Amelia has her sleep study.  
I am almost certain it will be the exact opposite of Sunny's experience!