Monday, August 30, 2010

Any Moment

For the past week we have been going to bed thinking perhaps the phone will ring in the middle of the night.  We are waiting for a new little grandson to make his way into the world where we can hold him and count his fingers and toes.  Colin and Jennifer are especially ready for their new arrival.  I walked around today as though I had some secret delight.  I find myself checking my cell phone to see if I have any messages.  Today I wondered if I lived my life everyday as though some marvelous thing was about to happen, how much that would encourage me.  It would cause me to toss aside the thoughts that entangle me in favor of grabbing hold of a blessing.  We can't all be so fortunate to have a new baby arriving soon, but something good is always happening somewhere.  I think I'll turn in tonight and count my blessings, and hope the phone will ring.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Bigger Bike

Qavah has grown so much that we needed to get her a new bike.  It is something she has been thinking about out loud.  Yesterday we found a great deal on a bike, brought it home, and put the training wheels on it.  Then we stepped back and watched Qavah ride away.  No matter how many times I've run behind the bike cheering my kids on, I do so with a bit of dread in the pit of my stomach.  While they are very excited about it, I know that every child must learn that bikes tip over and sometimes you fall down and get hurt.

Qavah got to the end of the side drive and into the long grass.  She lost control and flew off the bike landing on the lawn.  Her helmet stayed securely in place as she hit the ground.  She turned to look at us with a look of surprise.  She got up, picked up her bike, and walked it back to the house.  She passed me and said, "I think I'll just walk this bike back to the house, Mama."   Qavah has another thing to learn.  The same kind of courage it takes to get back on the bike and keep going is what she will need to get beyond failure of all kinds. 

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.”
 Mary Anne Radmacher

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Irregulars

Maybe you've been to a merchandise outlet and found that there were items in the clearance area stamped "Irregular."  In that case you would expect a flaw somewhere on the product.  You might even purchase it knowing it is somehow defective, but the defect would be of no consequence.   After a church service one Sunday, a kindly looking lady approached me and asked, "Did you know Kathryn was defective when you adopted her?" She was referring to her visual impairment at the time.  I almost laughed out loud.  I managed to keep my composure as I replied, "Aren't we all "defective" in some way?"  

Because of our sin nature, we are all "Irregular," yet we have a calling to love our  "Irregular" neighbor as we love ourselves.  As we gather together this week as God's children to celebrate the Sabbath, there is one thing that should set us apart; overlooking the "Irregular" to find the good in others.  Because the Christian, no matter how quirky, wears a stamp of approval.  If the world were able to see a stamp on our foreheads it would read, "Forgiven, and set free."  Praise Him for His grace to all of us "Irregulars."  Enjoy your Sabbath rest.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Movie Day

We started out the day bright and early.  I had great plans to catch up on laundry, cleaning, and grocery shopping.   I had a list to conquer.  However, Kathryn, Qavah, and I decided to watch a romance movie and stayed in bed a little longer this morning.  The television that plays Netflix movies is in the master bedroom, so we girls plumped the pillows and watched the first movie.  We got up to get breakfast after the first movie and decided to watch another.  By noon I felt positively guilty and decided that I had to stop watching movies and get on with my day.  Only two loads of laundry out of six are finished.  The dust is still clinging to the overhead fan blades. But as we are finishing our after-dinner tasks our minds are dreamy and we are still thinking about movies that end with a kiss.  We had a blissful day.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Going Steady

Do you remember when "going steady" meant going out on a date with the same person and enjoying only that person's company?  I'm fairly certain that the term is now outdated. Going steady now means we can keep up with each other on a fast-paced walk in the neighborhood.  Going steady means holding each other up as we tread carefully across a parking lot in icy weather.  Going steady means not allowing negative thoughts to rule our minds as we sit holding hands in troubled times.  Paul just asked me if I'd like to go somewhere and I think I'm just going to tell him that I want to keep "going steady!"  He'll look at me puzzled and then I'll tell him that I can explain better over a cup of Mill Mountain Coffee.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Have This Hope

We were introduced to a new praise song at church last week.  Yesterday, the song was used again in the service.  Since it has an easy tune to remember, I have been singing it since I woke up this morning.  It addresses every aspect of life and uses scripture to remind us that tho in this world there will be trials and tribulations, we do have hope.

Click here to visit this song.  The lyrics are below:

"I Have A Hope"  
Tommy Walker

I have a hope, I have a future
I have a destiny that is yet awaiting me
My life’s not over, a new beginning’s just begun
I have a hope, I have this hope

God has a plan, it’s not to harm me

But it’s to prosper me and to hear me when I call
He intercedes for me, working all things for my good
Though trials may come I have this hope

Chorus

I will yet praise Him, my great Redeemer
I will yet stand up and give Him glory with my life
He takes my darkness and He turns it into light
I will yet praise Him, my Lord my God

My God is for me, He’s not against me

So tell me whom then, tell me whom then shall I fear
He has prepared for me
Great works He’ll help me to complete
I have a hope, I have this hope

Goodness and mercy, they’re gonna follow me

And I’ll forever dwell in the house of my great King
No eye has ever seen all He’s preparing there for me
Though trials may come, I have this hope

Bridge

There’s still hope for me today
‘Cause the God heaven loves me 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Words of Encouragement

Due to the nature of the comments being left on our blog, we have decided to protect our readers by disabling our comments option.  This was a decision we made as a family when we discovered more objectionable comments on our blog just before midnight tonight.  Over the past four years it has been very helpful to find notes of cheer, and words of encouragement from friends of this blog.  We have appreciated your thoughts and scripture verses that lifted our hearts to higher ground.  You followed the command to "encourage one another and build each other up." ( I Thessalonians 5:11).  One of my family members wrote to me today and encouraged me not to let this current problem stop me from writing.  After discussing it with Paul, I have decided to continue.   Maybe someday soon we will be able to allow comments again because we do enjoy hearing from you.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

We'll Write More From Home

We've had a busy time here in Bethesda. Qavah had all of her childhood immunizations given to her over again because her tests showed no immunity to them. Her legs are sore today, but typical of most children in a hotel room, she has still been jumping on the beds. The heat in the city has kept us indoors, but we went exploring in the evening and discovered an underground super market. Kathryn was impressed as I explained that most major cities have underground shopping centers and malls. It was fun for her to see how people in the city live.

Kathryn, Candice, and Crystal have had a sweet time together. Some of the local members of the HPS group met for dinner last night and had a wonderful time. Kathryn has pictures and I will post them on a later post.

This morning, when we opened our blog we discovered several comments that were written with evil intent. When we return home we will have to report it and have the comments traced. Because of this recent event we will have to change the way we accept comments. From now on, all comments will have to be approved before they are published on the blog.

Qavah has been making up little songs as we are packing up our belongings. She is looking out the window right now singing, "My Daddy is going to be happy to see me today." We are ready for the safety and sweetness of home.

Monday, August 09, 2010

This Is Exciting

Qavah is doing very well. We are so happy with her progress physically and spiritually. She had a blood test this morning that indicated the need for more Neupogen this week so I have to start giving her a shot later today. Tomorrow, I will be taking the girls to NIH. This is part business and part pleasure. I hope to take a lot of pictures. I will be having a serious discussion about a stem cell transplant for Qavah with a member of the bone marrow failure team who we met on our first visit.

Kathryn will be meeting other friends she has made from the HPS community and will hopefully be introduced to the team of researchers whose suggestions kept her alive the first few weeks after her diagnosis of HPS. It should be a very happy time for her and I am looking forward to it. I have my camera ready. We have a lot to do but, all that we need to accomplish will take place on Tuesday afternoon. However, we'll be staying in that area until Thursday afternoon.

We are looking forward to this week and hope that all of the joyful times unfold slowly. Qavah is so much more mature then she was a year ago and able to handle the talk of transplantation. However, during the initial discussion, Kathryn will be taking Qavah elsewhere and playing with her. I want her to have a carefree, two-day vacation this trip. I will be updating from our hotel and praying for so many of you back home.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Friday Night Live

I just finished putting another coat of varnish on a door for the interior of our house. We decided to put in a glass door to our music room because Gideon figured out how to push past the bi-fold doors and make mischief in the music room. So far he has only gotten into a plant but the harp legs might be appealing to a puppy who likes to chew on everything. He is a very smart little dog and we are grateful for that, but he does have his times of puppy foolishness. Qavah is getting a real education about obedience with Gideon around. She said, "Mama you told him not to go into the library but he got in there and is eating a magazine!" I sought him out and put him in his kennel. Then I asked, "Qavah, do you love Gideon even when he doesn't obey?" She exclaimed, "Oh yes, I love Gideon!" In what I call a teachable moment I said, "God loves us even when we don't obey, isn't that good of Him?" For wayward puppies and wayward children there is always...grace.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Girls

Qavah and Annelise brought out the dress up clothes early this morning and found all of the junk jewelry in Qavah's room. They played "shopping" most of the day using my old purse filled with fake money and plastic coins. They were very much into their play, examining the jewels, and deciding how much they were willing to pay for them. It was fun to listen to their conversations. At one point I heard one of them say, "We have to save some of our money for ice cream." Those were the words of a very wise shopper in the making!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

More Information

Kathryn's two appointments today gave her a better picture of what is going on in her body. First, her endocrinologist will be keeping a closer check on her thyroid function, which may have been a factor in her latest GI tract problems. The lab results showed no ulcer-causing bacteria, but after studying the results, her GI doctor asked her to cut milk and dairy products completely out of her diet to help prevent bacteria overgrowth. Her hematologist has scheduled an infusion of a bone saving drug to address her severe osteoporosis. He thinks she will respond better to this drug than to the Boniva which caused an electrolyte imbalance last year. That will happen next Monday. Kathryn continues to bless and amaze me by the matter-of-fact way she accepts what is happening to her body. We are thankful for her doctors who have obviously been studying her labs and applying their knowledge to give Kathryn a better quality of life.

Last night, I was asked to speak to all the different Bible school classes at a church in Roanoke. I was asked to bring the message that life is precious and that babies are a gift from God. The children sat quietly while I talked about the fact that every baby born is a gift to someone. The Blue Ridge Women's Center gave me brochures to hand out and I took a baby doll with me to use as a visual aid to discuss how babies need a lot of things and sometimes parents need extra help in order to take care of them. The Blue Ridge Women's Center does a wonderful job in offering women help and hope during and after their pregnancies, thanks to the donations of others. I was glad to represent them last night.

The highlight of my evening was talking to the youth group. They are usually hard to reach, and I am never sure how they are going to react to a message that can sound more like a lecture. After speaking to them about choosing life, and what that means, I told them about Kathryn and Qavah. I was astonished by the silence in the room as I spoke. After the talk, the youth pastor asked one of the girls to pray for Kathryn and Qavah, and to pray that parents would choose life and adoption when there is a choice to make. A young junior high girl in the front row prayed so sincerely that the kids remained hushed. Several of them came up to me afterward and wanted to tell me something about their lives, or an adopted sibling. I found that the message was one this generation is longing to hear. Everyone needs to hear a reassuring message that their life has value and that God has a plan for their lives. God is proving to our family that there is abundant joy in adoption and acknowledging that life is a gift from Him.