Friday, December 20, 2013

18 months old and 5 years

Our sweet son is 18 months old this December! It's hard to believe that time passes so quickly. It's so fun to watch a baby grow up. I wish at times I could freeze time to enjoy his babyhood even longer! So we try to enjoy every day instead.

In the years full of grief, I was so worried I would have difficulty parenting a son. Trauma does strange things to a person. Mean things. I am grateful that parts of my wounded mothering heart have healed. In part because we have a son.

I became very reflective and sad today after receiving a Christmas email from our former agency. So much came rushing back. Five years ago this month, we were driving downtown in the traffic rush, attempting to get all of our documents apostilled to send off. Our dossier  was mailed. We spent Christmas with the exhilaration that soon we'd have our 4 children.

The sadness that still lingers is different now. I've fully embraced our family, as a family of 3. I'm present in the moments each day brings, and my identity has changed somewhat. Yet my heart still bears the scar of pain. It has allowed me to come alongside others in pain. It has changed how I want my son to grow up. It affects how I view God's redemptive work.

I've given the children over to God now; my hands are open. It no longer feels disloyal.

But tears come still. Soft, slight tears. Then the deep catch around my chest. The children are loved from afar.

And at the same time, tears of deep gratitude well up as I look at my son. That God had such mercy for us. That He gave me the gift of forever motherhood. That I am loved by God.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

10 months old

My sweet son is 10 months old already! He had an MRI at the beginning of April to finally get to the bottom of his rapid head growth. And the result is "Benign Macrocrania." He has a little extra fluid, but absolutely no pressure on the brain. And the fluid isn't causing the growth. So the Doc's thought is that he'll just grow into his head at some point.

Meanwhile, the boy is wearing 5T hats...

It was such a relief to get that final determination of normal brain and skull growth. His motor skills have caught up from being premature and having a massive head to work at holding up, and he's right on track developmentally now.  But we're in no hurry for him to walk. His trunk is still his weakest part, and every day spent crawling and scooting just makes him stronger!

For some reason, maybe because it's spring, I've been thinking about the ninos a lot. Like constantly. Or maybe it's because H is turning 15 this summer, and I'm having a hard time not worrying she's going to be kicked out on her own. But we also have been going through the bedroom where all of their things have been stored. Sweetie boy is already wearing some of the clothes we had for the youngest nino. The toys have been well loved by neighbors and family. But H's clothes have been in a drawer.

I break down in sobs every time I open the drawer. Today, I pulled the clothes out while J played on the floor next to me. I cried as I put them into a box. I cried as I looked in the closet and pulled out a gift bag someone had given us right before we left for Colombia that we didn't have time to put away-the gifts were all still inside.

I'm beginning to understand why I have such a hard time parting with their things. The boys' clothes aren't as difficult because we had to take nearly all of them with us, and what's left I'm just saving for J. H's things are much harder.

The act of giving up the clothes somehow signifies in my mind that the children no longer exist. But that's not true. It's like in my mind if I get rid of their things, they'll somehow cease to be.

Once again, I'm reminded how much sadness can coexist with happiness.

May the Lord bless them and keep them.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Our sweet son is nearly 8 months old. 34 weeks actually. He is our little joy boy.

I have been so wonderfully blessed to be his mama. I can not put into words how grateful I am to have a child- to have my sweet smiley son.

So since I've been spending my time nursing, playing, sleeping, changing diapers and reveling in motherhood, here's what we've had going on:

June- J was born a month early. He was jaundiced but nursed enough to flush it out.

July- He gained weight well, but the Dr. was concerned about his rapid head growth. He had an ultrasound and no fluid was found, but there was an atypical "stripe" in his brain.

August- 7 week old J flew to Seattle for his uncle's wedding! The Dr. referred us to a neurosurgeon because his head growth was still rapid.

September- The neurosurgeon said he couldn't find anything "wrong" but wanted to do an xray because of his head shape. The xray was fine. We also made a visit to early intervention as J was not holding his head up at all.

October- Early intervention assessed him and he qualified for therapy due to gross and fine motor delays. His head still was rapidly growing. But at the end of the month, he finally started to hold his head up!

November- J flew to the other ocean! Occupational therapy began for J. It was pretty tortuous for mama.

December- He had his first car trip more than an hour. The 3 1/2 hour trip took nearly 6. He nurses a lot. ;) Therapy continues and J makes fantastic progress.

January- We finally get to see the neurologist. He says the rate of growth is "very concerning" but sees no syndrome symptoms or red flags. But he orders an MRI. J's head is now the size of a 2 year olds. (This continues to be VERY scary for me at times)

February- The OT says J is doing so well we can go to 2 visits a month instead of 4. He is nearly crawling now!

He is still nursing, and we love it. He loves to smile and laugh and his favorite toy is a mini pink colander. He is ticklish on his thighs, and when he wants a toy, he lunges forward with his mouth open.  He doesn't like to ride in the car past 5 pm, but doesn't make a peep about it before then. He has an intolerance to dairy and soy, so that means I can't eat it either. Aside from not finding food to eat when we're out, it actually hasn't been too bad. It's amazing what one will do for love!