Monday, July 30, 2012

WE ARE HOME!!!! We left the hospital at NOON EXACTLY

I apologize for the past few entrances to my blog being in poor coloring as i have just been taking it from my FB wall and posting it here and being that i was so busy, i didn't even take time to check it.  I will try harder to take the time to check it out first!

Finally able to relax! It has been a busy day from the moment we stepped into our house. LeAnne dropped in here helping with cleaning up and laundry. Ethan has had an OK day/night. He drank a little and ate a little BUT he POOPED one of the five worst poops he has ever had! WELL, he hadn't pooped for 2 1/2 days SO i gave him some prunes/juice....let's just say it worked VERY quickly!!!He wreaked STILL EVEN after twenty wipes and six washes in the tub...SO i used a LOT of baby powder and he STILL just don't want a Bulgarian boy to miss his pooping a day! HA! I'm sure that it is a good thing that Lizand Nate and Scott and Ally weren't here even though i would have loved the help....they i am sure are relieved that they weren't! WOWZA!

Ethan was obviously still in pain! He was frustrated because he WANTS food BUT it hurts more than it is worth to him. ANyone who has seen our Ethan eat KNOWS what a big deal that is. He is still holding his food and meds in the back of his throat and it is horrible for feeding him. I would say that 70% of the time, i was FORCING him to eat and then drinking....just can't do it! BUT he IS drinking enough. He IS eating enough....for NOW, but he DEFINITELY would NOT want to do this forever!

PLEASE do not think that we are not in need of prayer....Ethan is still not out of this. This was a VERY long day/night as it was just me at the time we walked in the door. THANKFUL for our Victoria learning to feed Sophina through all of this as that is looking like it will be needed for awhile. Ethan is eating worse than Sophina in that he has a HUGE fight and has had that kind of fight his whole life. He is known at the PICU as being "feisty and SO strong!!!!" and "he must have definitely had to live like this in order to survive".

Praying that Liz and Nate were able to have a night of time alone as they would come to the house at a very short notice. Our girls would not have been able to have stayed at home without them. We are so grateful!

PLEASE keep praying for our family. We are dealing with some tough stuff. PLEASE pray that Ethan will THIRST for liquids. PRAY that he will desire FOOD! PRAY that he will desire to be kind. PLEASE pray for me to have energy, compassion and a wisdom to know what to do and when to do it. PLEASE pray that Ethan's FEW times of bonding with me in the hospital WILL continue and grow!

THANK YOU ALL for going through this past almost full week at the hospital that was SO full of a roller coaster ride. God used it to allow me to learn more about our son that i would have maybe never learned or not learned for a long time! SO, i am grateful! We had some amazing nurses who had great hearts and minds AND even got to see people that i wouldn't have seen had we left after one night. God is the only One who knows exactly why but i TRULY think it is because i learned more about our son....even this morning (well, now, yesterday morning) at 1 something!!! It was amazing to learn more about our little boy...our son! I am ALWAYS BLESSED.....

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ethan is STILL in the hospital

Today was a LONG day as Ethan went from great to sleepy(ing) to not eating/drinking to eating but not drinking and it hasn't changed. He hasn't drunk anything all night. He hasn't eaten since 6:30pm BUT he FINALLY ate and he ate about 35% of his food!

Right now, Ethan's throat is LOADED with junk and he coughs but it doesn't come out. He sounds like he did last night when his sats (oxygen levels) were at 70 to mid 80's. THIS is what our son has lived with for THREE years! THIS is maybe the way it will continue to be. I pray not. Oh, did i mention that he didn't go to sleep until about 11:30pm! UGH! No Melatonin....i KEEP forgetting to ask a Dr to give us the script for it so Ethan could sleep and we aren't allowed to bring in any meds from home. It has happened every time....if he doesn't get his oils OR if he doesn't get his Melatonin....
NO SLEEP! UGH! Praying that this will all be figured out and we can go home tomorrow. If we have to tomorrow, we will be putting him under with "laughing gas" that they now do on this floor and they will have to put in an IV. PLEASE PRAY with me that that won't have to happen. Our girls need me HOME!!!!

Liz and Nate have been at the house every night and Victoria has taken care of Sophina a lot and i heard Catherine was doing dishes!!!

I got a visit from Susan (our pastor's wife!!!) AND also from Brad who went after Myrtle for our Ethan! SO grateful for that as it is VERY VERY important for our son! HUGE!!! I made sure that nurses saw WHY i was SO excited!!

PS Ethan JUST went to is now 11:30pm so i can now lift up my phone to my ear but too bad my hubby won't be on the other side of it. Miss my family! LOVE that i had visitors! PRAY for our son! PLEASE!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Another update

It looks as though Ethan should be going home. We will more than likely be going home in the morning!!!!  PLEASE PRAY THAT ETHAN WILL DRINK and EAT!!!  THIS IS HUGE!!!  He has already lost almost three pounds being here and i am sure that the next two weeks will also NOT be gaining weight!  Pray for his little body to recover and for his little self to feel better emotionally too!  THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS!  ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie

Update on Ethan (still in hospital)

Our son is just waking up....Yep, it is nearing 9am! I woke up at a hospital room!!!! Yep, NOT used to that! He said, "uh-oh" and went back to sleep! As soon as he did....the alarm went off! HA!
THIS is the reason i came on though.....he is still in the same spot in the bed as he was when i put him in!!!!!! His sat alarms never went off and i stayed up an hour after he went to sleep to make sure he did well. Sats stayed in the 90's! SO SO SO thrilled!
Ok......that was written 45 minutes ago. He has had all kinds of things happen since then. His IV closed up and so now he HAS to eat/drink or we will be in trouble. He is NOT having anything to do with food or drink again. It took three of us to get him applesauce SO i don't think that is going over well. Although, with Sophina's food aversion, this is NOT a big deal to me OR to our Victoria (13 year old) or Catia (11 year old) SO they would know how to help me BUT the problem is is that then i will have TWO children to be doing that with. THe good part of us not having someone to help with Sophina is that Victoria is having to feed Sophina WAY more than she has ever done AND Sophina must sense that she is NEEDING to eat for HER. We are so excited that that has not been an issue at home.
Ethan is awake and is shaking again like yesterday morning and also like yesterday morning, he is lethargic BUT he has more of a kick than yesterday at least.
Just got to meet the son of a couple that i met at the Cafe Renaissance years ago. THey own the Short Stop (chicken place here locally) and their daughter has DS!!! I actually got to meet them as they found out that i was pregnant with Sophina (so that would be about four years ago) and they also talked to me when Sophina was born when i worked in between Sophina's PDA and her open heart surgery. Well, their son (who is 22) is here working as a first year RN!!!! He can't wait until he can come back to our room to have time with Ethan! What a blessing!
I am feeling VERY renewed and even if we DO have to stay another night....i was SO REFRESHED from my three lady visitors and prayer with our pastor over the phone that i think i will be able to handle it. The Lord knew what i needed and i am so grateful that these three ladies (who are busy people) took the time out for us!
Prayer requests: 1) That Ethan will EAT/DRINK!!!!
2) Pain management will happen
3) His sats will continue to remain in the 90's
4) That my girls will have FULL ASSURANCE that mom and dad love them and are here. Three years ago we were in the Cities with Sophina having open heart surgery and we were there for THREE WEEKS after being told that it should be one week. When she had issues in that April, the Dr told us that we were only going down to the Cities (with an order to leave immediately....even though we had four children at home SO the kids only had a few minutes notice that we were leaving them to friends. That visit turned into FIVE WEEKS!!!!! I only got to come home ONE TIME in that time period.....for the Saturday night to Sunday after lunch of Resurrection Sunday.) Our girls are doing ok but i KNOW that they are nervous about what is happening, especially because we are only a few doors down from when Sophina stayed here for a week BEFORE all of the rest of that.
For me to be strong and REAL and not allow emotions to overtake me through this. It has been a VERY lonely almost three months but I AM ALWAYS BLESSED!

PS  Elizabeth and Tom.....i would love to meet you if you are in the area for some odd just get a hug would be so cool!  Your messages have meant a lot!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Update on Ethan-we are STILL @ the hospital

Ethan has NOT had a great recovery.  He has been struggling greatly with pain management, his oxygen levels, and struggling to drink/eat.  The oxygen levels were going down to 74 and WITH oxygen being blown RIGHT in his face it would be at about 84-87.  His 'sats' would go down whenever he slept.  He wouldn't drink for anything but finally ate an applesauce.  He DID sleep/rest last night so for that we are grateful.
I was NOT prepared for staying past noon today SO i had NOTHING set up for our other children at all.  SO today was QUITE long and the morning was overwhelming but yesterday was REALLY hard.
TOnight, Ethan improved GREATLY!  Right now, his sats are doing pretty good AND the oxygen is not even on!  He ATE tonight!  He drank BUT not enough to let us go home.  His pain management is the big thing!  I am exhausted and worn out (and in need of dark chocolate ;))  We are ALWAYS BLESSED!  COnnie for the crew
PS.  I have done a HORRIBLE job of keeping my promise of writing on FB AND my blog SO IF you would like me to email you what was written in the past two days or if you would like to be kept up more often you can leave me a message on here and i will do my best.
We are praying that we can go home tomorrow BUT the Dr doing rounds today said that he would not be surprised if it was the weekend yet.  UGH!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Surgery for Ethan on July 25th

Ethan will be having surgery on his tonsils, adenoids, and his ears in the morning....VERY early.  We will be there at 6:45am which means that more than likely he will be having his surgery around 8am but it will all really be up in the air until i get told as this is NOT an ER surgery.  I need to tell you though that just because it is not an ER surgery does NOT mean that i am not asking for your prayers or that it feels like it is no big deal.  I have learned in these last three plus years with Sophina and then becoming part of a HUGE family of people who have children with not only DS but also children who have been adopted internationally....that BAD things CAN happen medically EVEN with surgeries that are "simple"!
I will be by myself as Scott had to go back to work.  Becky will be staying with the other children while i will be spending the night at the hospital with Ethan for at least tomorrow night.  We just have no clue as to how Ethan's body will respond to ANYTHING medically speaking.  PLEASE pray for the surgical team, for all of the medical personnel and anyone that will be involved in Ethan's care!  We would also covet your prayers for myself as i have never been in this position...alone.  Pray also for Scott as he will be far away.  Please pray for our girls too...along with our have peace about the whole thing.
We so appreciate your prayers for our whole family and this is no exception!  THANK YOU!  I am ALWAYS BLESSED....EVERY matter what!  Connie for the crew

Monday, July 16, 2012

Some hard times....but God makes me ALWAYS BLESSED

May i tell you the TRUTH...there are nights where i am just tired of going to bed alone AGAIN, tired of being all that i am needing to be, tired of being lonely, tired of being worn down/out, tired of not being able to talk to/see my hubby, tired of being apart for SO LONG, tired of all of it and wondering when it will ever end and if it will, tired of not being able to BE WITH a friend and have TIME WITH them where we could visit for longer than a quick ten minute visit, and tired of feeling like i shouldn't be feeling any of this.

This heat has NOT been good....NOT at all for our house..... isolation has happened and then to not be able to walk twice a day has just about done me in. This heat just can't happen with the kiddos-Sophina would NOT do well. It has been so many DAYS without being able to be out and at least get my fix of visiting with the neighbors and seeing how their days are going.

Conversation is a BIG deal for me and to not have it....with other after day, night after night......well, it is getting old and hard.  I don't know why tonight is so hard when i got to have an amazing afternoon with surprises... quick visits of people picking things up and even helping me in such a way by one person that it made me get all choked up AND a special visit from Liz.

I am ALWAYS BLESSED.......i am......tonight, i am just struggling....AGAIN. UGH!  I have 'stuff'.......and i am SO VERY VERY grateful for our air conditioner! OH MY! SO grateful!  I am grateful for our washer/dryer that has made OH MY so much less work for me.  I am grateful for trees...oh how grateful i am for the beauty of the trees that the Lord created....SO much variety.  I am grateful that i know how to cook....and that i created a really amazing soup from scratch and...more importantly, i was able to actually eat it tonight ;)  I am grateful for hugs....oh how i need them...more than i ever realized until they were gone.  I am grateful for water.....for washing, for cleaning, for drinking, for bathrooms...for all of the things that water does for us. So grateful for chocolate chip cookies (dough). I am grateful for the fact that our daughter, Sophina, was born as our 5th daughter and not our 1st as i wonder if she would have lived if she had even been born 21 years ago (we talked about it tonight...Vika/Catia and i for some reason)....just amazing the medical things that can happen in this day.  I am grateful that i got to sing at church this past Sunday...even though it was alone with just Ethan up in the balcony....i at least got to sing with the others that were there.  I am grateful for Christian radio....91.5FM that has godly teaching/music that encourages me (as i remember to turn it on) and that it works throughout not just the day but the night.  I am grateful for how Christ-honoring music whether it be LeCrae or a hymn or a chorus can speak to my soul like not much else!  (I need Thee every hour is on right now......earlier i was listening to LeCrae with the girls...much earlier -ha, pretty fitting music choice, don't you think!) I am grateful for spices and condiments which FILL my shelves! LOVE flavor!  I am grateful for blankets, pillows-many, beds with cushion and support, bedrooms, roof and windows.  I am grateful for a man who is working a job even though it is far away but that it was a job, FINALLY, after waiting for work for eighteen months.  I am grateful for our precious children.  I am grateful that they want and desire to love Jesus and others.  I am grateful for Signing Times that is teaching our Sophina an AMAZING amount of signs that blows my mind!  I am grateful for a country where i can still go to church down the block and WRITE JESUS Christ is the Way, the Light, the Truth, my Hope, the Life, my friend, my HOPE....oh how grateful i am for that alone...HOPE! Anyway, i can write that and not be concerned about having my house raided by the police or my children taken from me!  I am grateful for lightweight dresses that are sleeveless and as ugly as they are....they are SO comfortable! :)  I am grateful for prayer warriors!  I am so grateful for the community of people that i got to become a part of just by birthing our daughter Sophina but then having it enlarged GREATLY because of our heart-birthing our Ethan....what a community of people!  I am grateful for a God who loves me...made me suck in, a woman who struggles so greatly with so many things....a woman who has SO much to learn and grow in....a woman who falls so short so often....HE. LOVES. ME. and for that reason ALONE....i will ALWAYS be blessed!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

It is just me

(it took me a few days to write this with lots of interruptions) Today, after talking to two (now THREE) separate foster care moms, i realized that i have never done anything close to this in my life.  ETHAN is like being my 'first child'.  You know, like me-as i am a first-born, where we are the ones where the parents learn on!  THAT is what i am seeing with Ethan.  It feels like i am a first time parent!!  As i started asking for insight, wisdom, help, prayers, encouragement from just a few people who have been there before...i realized that sometimes THIS parenting is almost the total opposite of what i would "normally' in this parenting is NOT what you may do instinctively!

Nope, i wasn't ready for being home alone in this adventure.  Nope, i wasn't ready to have no time for recovery from jet lag and get right into LIFE.  Nope, i wasn't ready for the orphanage behaviors.  Nope, i wasn't ready for the issues that come with having a son who lived three years without a Mommy, Daddy, sisters, and brother-in-law.  Nope, i wasn't ready for the exhaustion.  Nope, i wasn't ready for the poop....the stench....the WORK/MESS of the clean up...the reality that it got ON me more than i ever dreamed poop could.  Nope, i wasn't ready for the inability to get out, to BE WITH people, to TALK to people, to FEEL a hug, to hear an encouraging word SPOKEN to me.  Nope, i wasn't ready for the feeling as if we were the only ones who were struggling after reading of SO MANY stories where there weren't issues like what we were dealing with.  Nope, i wasn't ready to feel that i was not good enough to be Ethan's mommy.  Nope, i wasn't ready for the overwhelming emotions.  Nope, i wasn't ready for all of these things happening at once.  ( i could keep going but you get the picture )

One (now TWO and i don't know of what the third went through) of these moms said that she was feeling 'just like me' when she first started fostering.  I doubt that she will understand what those words meant to me!  Thank you A. It gave me such hope!!!  You see, this mother is the mother of....well, LOTS and LOTS of children.  It was as soon as that FB messaging was done that i realized HOPE!  I am LEARNING....just like i learned with our eldest daughter, now married.

1) I HAVE been parenting here at home alone for way over a full year....those first few months after Scott got his job were SO INTENSELY hard BUT then...we both learned and adapted to our new 'normal'.  Those months seemed like forever!  BUT THEY WERE NOT!  They were but a wisp of time when you look at my 45 years of life!  Yep, AND i am 45 years old!  Nope, i do not feel old........BUT there ARE days where i DO feel my age!  ((that is NOT old ;}  just older than the thirty-year-olds that i love))
2) I have had children before.....but NEVER twins!!!  WOWZA!!!  Both with lives that need special attention and DIFFERENT kinds of attention!  It is a completely DIFFERENT parenting.
3) Yep, i did read the books.  Yep, i DID do the classes and then some.  (another tid bit from another foster/adoptive mom that i love dearly...."you could read all of the adoption books and still not be ready for THAT child"

Knowing that someone DOES understand, that people HAVE felt like i have been, that people HAVE gotten through it, that people HAVE even adopted again after their many months of hard struggles with their first adoption, HAVE learned to love that child in the way that that child should go, etc..... has helped bring HOPE to me and i have needed HOPE for a long time.

ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie for the crew
PRAYER REQUESTS....Ethan and the whole family's transitioning;  his health as we prepare for his tonsil, adenoid, and ear tube surgery coming up at the end of the month; our extended family reunion would be a time of rest, renewal, and bonding that wouldn't have been done without going as a whole family- it is in about two weeks and it IS a concern as to how Ethan AND Sophina will do there and IF i will have ANY time to be with the rest of the people myself; for our Ally who is in China on a missions trip for the next five weeks....and much more but you can just pray as the Lord leads!  We so much appreciate your is HUGE to me AND Scott, your PRAYERS....just can't do this without it, and your WORDS....BIG for me!