Monday, November 4, 2013

A Mother's Touch

As we started our day last Friday, I knew it would be a hard, long day. Ayla and I were headed to the "clinic" for her transfusion. She was not feeling well. She had not smiled at all that morning, and that is very unlike her. She is usually very smiley and incredibly happy. Her hemoglobin dropped to 7.9, a far cry from the 10.8 is was just a week before (we are still trying to figure this girl out- her hemoglobin tends to just drop all the sudden).

Shortly after we arrived, her transfusion had started, and then it hit.  Like a ton of bricks.  She was done.  Worn out.  Overwhelmed.  She wanted her bed.  She was tired of the nurses checking her blood pressure and temperature every 15 minutes. And tired of people smiling and waiving at her. It was unusually busy in the infusion bay, and there was lots of hospital noise...she just lost it.

The screaming and crying began. And then the hitting and hair pulling. And then the shouting, "No! Stop it!" The nurses rushed over, checking her for complications from her transfusion...only making things worse. They helped me attempt to take her for a wagon ride and then a walk to see if that would help. And again only making things worse.

I could see the stares. And hear the whispers. And one even said to me, "That girl is out of control."

I just smiled back. Secretly thanking God that I had lived through this before and that I could now keep my composure. I thanked Him for His grace and never ending love. I was wishing I could tell them my girl was not out of control....wishing I could tell them heartache my girl has been through.

The nurse quickly cleared and cleaned a private room for us. I asked for a blanket and gently laid Ayla on the floor so she could "work it out".  She laid on the floor kicking, screaming, and shouting at me- her mommy. Oh how my heart just ached for her.

Ayla has never felt the gentleness of mother's touch before when she is hurt, sick or tired, or just "done". The only thing she has known is the comfort of a crib. My touch, my voice, my kisses and hugs are foreign to her when she needs them the most. Hugs and kisses, rocking and signing are for play time only. She wanted the comfort of her bed and the quiet, dark, empty room. And as heartbreaking as that is, that is her reality...and mine.

As she screamed and cried, I laid as close to her as she would let me, and prayed. I asked God to fill in the gaps for me. Begged Him to bring my girl the comfort and love that I could not give her. I begged Him to love her for me. I did not look at her, or touch her, or even sing to her. And I wanted to so badly. I wanted to scoop her up, rock her, and love on her...I couldn' would only make things worse for her. So I waited.

An hour later she finally let out her last scream, and her little arm reached over and touched me. I picked her up. We rocked in the chair as she continued heave heavy sighed breaths. I was able to just love her and sing to her. I ran my hand over her hair and over her wet cheek. I dried her tears. And, soon she looked up at me, making eye contact and then put her head back down on my chest. I told her it was alright and okay to cry, and be scared, and mad. I told her that I loved her...

As heartbreaking as it all is, I was so thankful that she had the ability "to let it all out".

The nurse came back in to check on us. And I tried my best to explain to her what had happened...I did not want Ayla to carry that "out of control" label. She said she did understand. I really hope she did.

Times like we had on Friday are always hard. They are very much a part of adoption too. Our kids have been through so much heartache and loss. To just expect the love of a family to "fix it all" is not a reasonable expectation. I will gladly walk this road with my children and my God.

I am so thankful for the blessing of all of my beautiful children. I love them all so very much.
Psalm 86:15
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Thank you

I laid down last week to take a nap with Ayla. As I laid  next to her, feelings of joy and complete contentment just washed over me. She was really there next to me. She looked so peaceful and I was, and still am, completely and totally in love with her- my daughter.

We are not new to adoption and I can honestly say that those "love" feelings did not always come so easy with our past 2 adoptions...all of which is completely normal. This time around it all has been so different. I could not help but think about how God really lead and took care of us, and how many generous people had been a part of our "story". It is so amazing, really. I also thought about all the  hours I had laid in that very same bed, tossing and turning, worrying and praying for peace, for money, for Ayla's health. All the times I was scared. So many times the "What If's" had consumed me. What if we do not raise enough money to bring her home? What if she dies? What if I could not do "this"- parent this many kids, meet Ayla's needs, provide and love them all? What if "they" were right? What if 6 was too many?  So many had cautioned us, and asked us to really think this through -which we did. We heard words like microcephaly, failure to thrive, "retarded" (a term that I HATE) and un-adoptable. All the time God was working and asking me to trust. He was graciously providing peace when I doubted the most. He was using so many of you reading to meet every. single. need. that we had.  And, even though I failed to trust completely, our girl is here and all the "What Ifs" had vanished completely.  She is so beautiful and just simply amazing. She is pure joy.

Yes, she is delayed and does have some medical needs, but, she is still so perfect in every way. She is the most loving, joyful, determined, child ever. She is always smiling and laughing. She is incredibly brave and so very strong.


 I worried for nothing. Ayla could be diagnosed with a thousand things, never obtain her balance, or never live independently, and I, we, would love her anyways. She is a priceless treasure to us and to our family. She is a gift that God has given us. It is such an honor to be her mom and to be  her family. God has some BIG plans for her, I just know it. She has gained 5 lbs already and has grown a couple inches taller too. She is pulling herself up, standing pretty well, and is taking some shaky steps. She is saying about 5 words spontaneously, babbling like crazy, and we have enough doctor appointments to keep us busy for awhile- which is good. We cannot imagine life without her.  She really just fits right in. She has 5 brothers and sisters loving on her, cheering her on, and teaching her new things, like how to crawl and play, and the most important thing- how to make silly faces. She adores them all.



Saying "thank you" to those that have helped us bring Ayla home does not seem like enough...really it isn't enough. To everyone that has helped us in some way, whether you helped with one or 10 of our fund-raisers, prayed, emailed, called, offered support, listened, shared our story, donated funds or helped with mattered. Everything mattered. You made a difference. You have been a part of something so big - you have been a part of a miracle. Thank you from the very bottoms of our hearts. Ayla would not be home without our God and the love and support of everyone who cared.

 Thank you for blessing us and for being a part of our story. We will never forget your generosity.

Ephesians 3:20

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Consulate Appointment

We had our consulate appointment this morning. All went very well. I do have to say that the new consulate is very secure and very industrial. It seemed much easier to navigate this time vs at the old building....or maybe it is just me.
We should be able to pick up Ayla's visa tomorrow afternoon, and then shortly after we can start our trek home.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

GZ Zoo

We decided this morning to take a very quick trip to the zoo just so we could get out a bit. Ayla was not impressed, but she was content to sit in the stroller. We were only there an hour or so, but it felt good to get out.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A little update from GZ and some pictures

We are very happy to be here in GZ. The hotel is beautiful, and the staff is great! We have met so many great families . It has been fun getting to know some of them and meet their sweet children too. There are lots of great food options around and the hotel breakfast is great. I think the best part is our guide- he is so funny and just lots of fun to be around, not to mention incredibly helpful and thoughtful too.
We are missing our kids back home. We skyped with them last night and they are missing us too...there were lots of tears.  Just a few more days and we will be heading home. As much as I love it here, we are ready. We really want to get Ayla home so we can start getting her the medical treatment she needs too.
In the hotel lobby-going out for dinner
The little "park" behind our hotel

Joel and our awesome guide at dinner
 Ayla was awake quite a bit yesterday, which was great to see, since she has been sleeping most days. She ate very well yesterday too. We taught her how to play peek-a-boo and she LOVED it! She really is just so sweet.
So sweet

You stack them like this, Daddy.

See, I can do it!



That's fun!

Ready for bed...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

"Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you... For I am the Lord your God..
~Isiah 43:1-3