Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Week of Firsts

For many this has been a week of firsts...

First days of school...

First time dropping a child off at college, or kindergarten...

First time riding a bus...

First time having their MOM as a teacher...

First time with a classroom of new students...

First time having no children at home, or no children in local school districts...

Or the first time not getting a classroom ready for a gaggle of students...

We've had our fair share as well.


It was Olivia's first day of high school as a Freshman:


Braeden's first day as a sixth grader at a new middle school 
(which has been a bit rough - 
please say a prayer for him and for his mama's heart):


Liam's first day at a new school as a third grader 
in his MOM's class:


(His first piece of work in said class:)
(Maybe his first attempt at brown nosing???)


Macy's first time deciding she's not thrilled with school after all 
and maybe staying home with mom would be better:


And the first time I was messaged from her teacher 
with such a great picture reminder that she's going to be ok after all:



Monday, August 17, 2015

Two Months Home

Still so very surreal that Macy has been home for two months today. She amazes me daily in all she says and does, all she is learning, all she is taking in. She will start kindergarten Wednesday and I just can't believe it. Enjoy this video of our journey thus far...




Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Seven Weeks HOME

I just can't get over the fact that Miss Macy's been home for seven weeks today!  Every day brings more and more... more English... more laughter... more getting "comfortable"... more understanding... more trust... more of learning about one another.  The past few days we have seen more pushing of boundaries... but I (and a friend who is good at reminding me when I forget) keep telling myself this is normal.  She is going through the stages any child does, it's just that those stages began later and last a shorter amount.  So far we are still seeing good attachment with no real concerns.  She is amazing in oh so many ways!





Our first family photos!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

When Your Child is Ill - Part Four

You can read part one HERE, part two HERE, and part three HERE.

So it was July 9 and we were going to be discharged.  Again.  

Prior to that we met with the ID team.  A follow up was set for Olivia to come back the next Friday when Macy had her next adoption clinic appointment.  We still had to meet with the neuro team and then we'd be ready to go.  They came by later in the afternoon.  I took notes.

So... because of her vaccine... Olivia first developed cellulitis (a skin infection).  We knew this obviously from her first stay in the hospital.  Additionally, from the MRI, the doctors found a lesion on her brain.  They THINK it's transient, meaning it will go away.  We will do another MRI in 2-5 months from now to see.  On top of that, as if that wasn't enough, Olivia also developed a condition known as POTS.  I had NEVER heard of this before.  But it's out there.  Google it.  Believe me, I have.  This is where all of her symptoms come into play. 

POTS stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.  Two pages I've gotten a lot of useful information from are HERE and HERE if you want more information than what I'm going to share.  Basically with POTS, you get an elevated heart rate and pulse when standing at times, and Olivia had the drop in blood pressure as well.  This can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, chronic fatigue, nausea, "brain fog", headaches, confusion.  With any of those symptoms, Olivia needs to immediately sit (or better yet lay down) and try to get cool and calm.  Overheating can exacerbate a situation.  

Many in the age range of 12-15 develop POTS following a traumatic illness or injury.  For Olivia we were told it was due to the vaccine and/or the illness following.  There is no cure and many in this age range will grow out of this by their EARLY 20s.  EARLY 20s????!!!!

Management of POTS requires Olivia to really get to know her body and the signals she may be getting.  Upon being released from the hospital, she was to begin increasing her activity starting with just 5 minutes a day of walking and adding in 5 additional minutes each day as she could, until she reached 30 minutes of activity a day.  A Physical Therapist came to work with her the day I was home and gave her two sheets of exercises to do each day.  She needs to add salt and lots of electrolytes to her diet to help blood flow.  Instead of Gatorade with all the added sugar, she drinks a large cup of coconut water mixed with a little orange juice.

We are taking this day by day.  She has done very well.  Olivia does still have POTS, I think somewhere inside I wanted to believe it would just "go away."  I document everything and there have been a handful of days with some symptoms.  Grandma came a few days after she was released to help for a couple of weeks; she goes back today actually.  It's enabled me to take the other kids out a little bit as Olivia was still in recovery, to run some needed errands, and as Olivia has gotten stronger, to allow her to become more active knowing there is another adult here in case of emergency.

She is pretty much back to her normal activity at this time, almost three weeks later... BUT there are times she has a racing heartbeat and needs to lay down for a few minutes, or a headache, etc.  She carries a small Gatorade with her whenever she leaves the house in case she may need it as electrolytes will help regulate her again.  And she has to constantly be aware.  Even the slightest headache can't be blown off or ignored.

We have our first neuro follow up August 7 and then a second ID follow up on the 11th.  We meet with her school's Special Ed Director, counselor, and nurse the first week of her first year of high school to go over all of this with them and put a plan in place for school.  She will need access to electrolytes during the day.  She will need to be allowed to carry Gatorade and use it if needed.  She will need to be allowed to sit/lay down as needed in class or the nurse's office.  She will need to take health first semester not second and save PE for second when we hopefully have an even better handle on what she will be able to do.

All because of a vaccine. 

Though this is a hard new normal to grasp at times, we know we are incredibly lucky.  It could have been so much worse.  She could not even be here any longer.  She is.  It's manageable.  But it's still hard to think of the what-ifs, or what-could-have-beens.  Will she still be able to do track in the spring?  Will she be able to walk around Six Flags next summer?  Will... the questions could be endless but we need to take it step by step and day by day.

Thanks to God and my amazing friends and family we can do just that.  And we will.

Macy LOVES her Grandma!

Olivia's first outing since being discharged: the Farmer's Market.

Macy's first restaurant!

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About Me

I am a single mom to three amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted through foster care. We just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!


Olivia - 13

Olivia - 13

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources

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Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition


Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that two souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we three should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you

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Little Did I Know