Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Callie starts piano!

This little girl is so excited! She has just started piano lessons 1 week ago.

Now, I realize her disabilities would cause many to say this is pointless for her...however, we put her in piano not to make her a concert pianist, but to let her practice her fine motor skills, to help her bridge the gap between the hemispheres of her brain, and to teach her some music theory.

She has worked diligently all week on her piano practice.

As I watched her struggle to do as she was asked by her teacher Miss Tiffany, I had my doubts about putting her in piano at just shy of 7...

But over the course of the week, she has already improved her fine motor control, fine motor planning, and hand function more than she has in the last 6 months!

We are excited to see her thrive, grow learn and have a lot of fun on the piano!

Praise be to God!

From one set of paperwork to another...from the home study to he dossier.

Both require a lot of paperwork.

This is a list of the last few things we needed for the home study.

We are so glad to be done with this!

And here is our new list for the dossier!

Right now, I do feel like his list is easier than the home study list. (Remember the above list is only the end.)

We have a few weeks before the majority of the paperwork needs to have anything done.

Overall, I do anticipate any issues with the majority of it. The medical paperwork is probably the hardest. Chris and I have ours done. His parents are working on theirs.

Our psyche of eval is done and being written now. 

The paperwork that needed to be modified (our names added to templates), notarized and certified is ready. We are waiting until a bit closer to when we actually get these done and send the documents in. Our FBI reports are  also waiting for more time to pass. 

All of the documents for expire, some in as little as 6 months! So we want them to be as current as possible. It is going to take about 2 months for customs and immigration to get back to us with the preliminary approval, so we want everything to be as current and ready as possible at that time.

Our application is done in English.

Our i800a is done and mailed off (this will hopefully come back with our i797 form listed on the dossier paperwork - his is what we expect will take 2 months to get).

We have a plan to get passport photos taken, and our passports are here.

I do not know if the letters of recommendation are in addition to the ones required in the home study or if we just choose 3 of the 8 we have from the home study. (Any other volunteers if w need more?! Lol)

I am getting the photos together, scrap booked, and captioned (in Spanish) now.

And that is it! While it does feel daunting, it also feels much more manageable than the home study paperwork. I am excited to get through this phase of the adoption.

I am also excited that if we find a sibling group now that we would like to pursue, we can submit a letter of intent for them! It would be so nice to know who we are adopting, to put faces and names togwher., to pray for them by name, include hem by name in our bus roll call and such. I think it will make this.

My prayer is that God would show us who is to join our family, and that He would turn our hearts toward them, and their hearts towards us.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Corn Maze Fun

I have reverted back to keeping everyone in matching clothes when we go out...and while Madison was also with us, it was pretty easy to keep track of her in her bright jacket!
We had the perfect weather for the corn maze.
We even had 'solid ground' to walk on, rather than the mud wallow we have experienced in years past!

I love this time of year!  I love seeing the changing of the seasons, the crispness in the air, and colors of the leaves!  This was a fun way to welcome in the fall which is a bit late for around here this year.  Praising God for His goodness and provisions in the changing of the seasons!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

There came a rat a tat tat as Bailey's unsecured drum came tumbling to the front of the bus, where it stopped here.

"Drum roll!" Bailey called out.

Ha! I love having older children with a quick wit!

Goodbye Normanna

We have attended our church, Everett Bible Church, for the last 3 years.  They have been around for the last 5 years.  And for all but the very first 3 weeks, they have met at Normanna Lodge.
Where we have worshipped under the disco ball.
It really has been a wonderful place for us.  We have had very low expenses, so that we have been able to save for our own place without any talk of 'saving for a new building'.  Rather, we have used what God has supplied through His people at this church to be able to get our new facility.

Justice's big concern was that the donut tables wouldn't come with us, lol!
Here Is the outside of the building

Mars Hill is across the street from us, and has been for about a year, I think.  That has made parking a bit of a challenge.

We are so very thankful for all that God has done.  Both for the 5 years that we have been at Normanna, and for the new building.  The new building is truly more than we had hoped for or anticipated.
The church who was using our new building was down to just 11 voting members.  They voted unanimously to sell the church to us.  THEY are carrying the loan for us, and with 40% down, are allowing us 5 years to pay it in full at ZERO interest!
Wow!  Is that a God thing or what?  This Sunday, we get to meet in our own building.  In the meantime, it is an older building, and our pastor and elders along with other volunteers have been hard at work getting it ready for us to move in!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Children's Hospital and world cp day

Callie had an appointment to get her new AFOs and shoe modifications...something she is likely to need to do more often for awhile as we work on getting this new prescription and the theoretical ideas we are getting these based on figured out.
When Callie went to the hospital for her dental surgery, we saw this cat, who we got to see again!
His name is Sam.
Callie called him like a dog, and he came running!

This cat is so friendly!

He even has a tag on him that said, "Hi, my name is Sam.  I am very friendly.  If found at Children's hospital, I know my way home.  I just like to visit."

If we were to ever have a cat, THIS is the kind I would want, lol!  He really is super friendly!

Callie seeing her new shoes for the first time...YIKES, check out that platform!

Callie had fun playing in the exam room while they were modifying her shoes.  She was pretending to ride on this sea turtle, and walk on water, lol!

The theory behind her new set up...
One goal is to get her hips level.  Callie has a leg length discrepancy, which makes it hard for her to walk.  She has about 1/2 inch between one foot and the other (if you notice her shoes above, they are very different heights)!

Another goal is to get it to where she is CAPABLE of standing square/straight.  So they are putting a wedge under her at the angle that forces her to straighten her knees...right now, that is a pretty big angle.  The hope is that we will be able to decrease it as time goes on!
We are working with several years of muscle memory to make her stand in a very different way!

THIS is what we want to see!  Standing big and tall, knees straight, body square!

And that is just her shoes.  The AFOs, themselves have also been put on an angle tipping her foot to the outside to counter the pronation that Callie has in her feet.  The hope is that she will begin to walk on the outside part of her foot, rather than collapsing through her arch. 
Therapy for her this week is to stand.  Once we feel like she is solid with standing, we will move to walking with her walker.  She is not going to like it, but we really want to elongate her gait, get her to have a good heal strike with each step, and stand up big and tall as she walks.  If she will do this, it will stack her skeletal structure, as God intended, and she will put less wear and tear on her body AND use less energy to get around.
(If you want to see how much energy Callie uses while walking, try this...stand up, rotate from the hip, the right leg until the toes are pointing at your left foot.  Now stand up on your toes.  Next bend your knees.  Finally lean forward.  She uses about 8x more energy walking this way that the rest of us doing walking normally - if we can get her to stack her bones so that her skeleton is holding her up, rather than her muscles, it will be much better for her!)
As I said, this is very experimental right now.  It is an attempt to help her walk better, and preserve her body for the long haul, not just have her walk anyway she can, which has shown to break down the body in childhood.
Those who walk like Callie, with a typical crouched cp gait in childhood, tend to break their bodies down so much that they are in a wheelchair by the time they are in their TWENTIES.  (Something like 90% of the time.)
The stats are heartbreaking to me.  I wish I could take this for her.  But I can't.  What I CAN do is seek out new treatments and therapies, get her involved in studies, keep going with neurodevelopmental therapy, and pray.  God knows exactly what she needs!

Today is World CP day.  We have watched for almost 7 years (her birthday is in 2 weeks) as this disorder has taken its toll on Callie.  We have seen the pain, frustration, difficulty, and difficulties it has caused.  We have also seen God work in mighty ways!  We have seen the joy of working for so long and so hard to do something the rest of us take for granted, and the utter sweetness in finally being able to do that small thing.  We have been challenged, humbled, and have learned many lessons from Miss Callie.
Today, on world CP day, please take the time to pray for those effected by this disorder, pray for their families, and their friends.