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Monday, August 2, 2010

I Can Take A Breathe ...



The last couple of weeks I have been feeling a bit like I was wading in quick sand, treading water, and just plain ole NOT GOING ANYWHERE ... My mind was going in a lot of directions, but physically we had no where to go w/ my energy, worries, or concerns ... We were waiting, waiting, waiting for today's doctors appt. for Joseph ... Our minds were contemplating many things - both for tomorrow and his future ... We were a bit sad at some dreams we felt slipping away and yet knowing God's plan is always better than our own ... Joseph is God's child and he is fearfully and wonderfully made ...

We saw 3 specialist today (w/ audiologist appt. next Thursday) ... A pediatrician specializing in adoptive children, Physical Therapist, and a Psychologist .... And the end result gave us a plan to help our sweet angel to thrive ... He already has a spirit of JOY that we do not want to suffocate and a tender heart we want to protect ... The doctors ruled out FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome) and Autism ... PTL ... They have recommended physical therapy and occupational therapy and some form of pre-school along w/ another assessment in 4 months  ... He is developmentally delay in most areas and because he was a preemie baby and in an orphanage from the time he left the hospital they feel some things may always be difficult for him especially in school ... As his family we are going to do all we can to help him catch up and enjoy watching him blossom  ... He is an amazing hugger and his smile will knock you off your socks ... Our communication right now is difficult because we can't understand anything he says, but we feel he does understand us sometime  ... Our biggest fears are for him getting hurt right now because he doesn't understand the concept of danger  - we have installed bolts on the doors cause he likes to wander, we are always constantly checking the house for where he is and what he is doing ... This is tiring to say the least, but I tell you that Jeremiah and Elijah have been amazing help !!! They take their big brother roll very seriously ...

Today turned out to be a much better day than I had anticipated ... OF COURSE GOD KNEW and probably giggled or was sadden at my worries and lack of faith  ... I honestly feel like I can breathe and the weight has been taken off my shoulders for the moment ... I know the road is going to be long and hard, but at least we know what road we are taking today ...

I am so appreciative of all who have prayed and offered help to us ...

Now on to Maggie !!!  Today she had her back expander inflated and the doctor said probably only two more visits, wait a month and pull the skin over her burn ... DO YOU UNDERSTAND SHE WILL HAVE A HEAD FULL OF HAIR ... This mama just about lost it ... SO EXCITED FOR MY ANGEL GIRL ... Now we always have to pray for infection till this is over !!! but mid-October she could have surgery wait another month or so and they will insert a new skull plate and she will be able to walk into kindergarten next year and BE DONE W/ SURGERY !!! This has been my dream all along ... She has been asking more lately about hair and I simply can't wait for her to look in the mirror and see her head healed ... It will be more than just hair ... I know it will cover another scar that is on her heart ... SHE IS AMAZING !!!








Today I feel  HOPEFUL  ...

28 kind words.:

Dawn - "Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

Praising God with you!!!! For HIS amazing plans for your family. Praying for strength and wisdom as you do what is best for your beautiful children!

love said...

love this news! praise the Lord! was thinking of/praying for you much today!

that picture of you and maggie is pure gorgeous!

Treasures Evermore said...

Oh dear friend, I am praising God with you and praying for you. So thankful to hear the good news from doctors on all sides of your children. I pray that you and dh have strength for each day and that on those days when it's rough, God will carry you along this incredible path He has you on. You are an amazing mom.

Blessings.

Kim K. said...

I've been eager to ready updates on your sweet family, Gwen. Please know that I'm always thinking about you and your kiddos. Hugs!!!

We Are Family said...

Beautiful Blessings!

Diane and family:) said...

Praying for Maggie, Joseph and Gwen's Mama, nightly!!! :-)

Cari said...

having those days where you feel hopeful is a blessing from God. I know the longing for those moments as we are going through our own journey of having just adopted a 12 y.o. girl in June and having many struggles with her anger.

God bless!

Kim said...

I am sitting here crying tears of joy..
I am sooo happy for you and the kids..
but it comes from you my friend..
YOU ARE AMAZING..
that is why they are soooo WONDERFUL..
Hugs..
Love ya..

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

what a beautiful and awesome update!

thank YOU LORD JESUS!

hugs and love - jill

Lauren Rowe said...

I am soooooo happy to hear about Joseph and Maggie!!!They are so very precious! All six of he Oatsvall children hold a special place in my heart. I will be praying for you guys.

Jennifer said...

Hi - I've been following your blog for a little while & was so excited to read this post. I teach Early Childhood in WM CO & I can honestly say early intervention makes a HUGE difference!! I have no doubt that he will grow by leaps & bounds! The therapists will be able to give you suggestions to help him at home in each area. We use a lot of pictures to communicate with some of our kids - it encourages their language as well. Follow your instincts - there are a lot of beliefs/therories out there & you only know what's right for your child! Blessings to your family! LOVE the pic with the sunglasses - what a cutie! :-)

Melanie Hollis said...

Hey Gwen~
Just wanted to offer a bit of encouragement to you...our adoption of Natalie sounds so much like what you are going through now with Joseph. She was a wanderer as well (took up with complete strangers wherever we went) and had absolutely no fear of anything (walked right out into parking lots without noticing traffic and would crawl out of windows for some reason). Anyway, the first year was very tough as we tried to teach her boundaries. Like Joseph, she did not communicate with us using discernable words, so I took MANY MANY pictures of everyday ordinary objects and had them laminated with a word written on the back. The object/picture was never to be called anything other than the name on the back of the picture; for instance, a "potty" was never to be called a toilet. Anyway, it was my effort at complete consistency with her and it worked. When we couldn't understand her words, she would run and grab the cards to our absolute delight!!! Soon, language followed.

Sweet Natalie, sadly, does have fetal alcohol syndrome (although mild) but was UNdiagnosed for the first 7 years of her life. All was blamed on her early years spent in the orphanage. Having a diagnosis, however, has been freeing for our family where Nat is concerned, because now we can understand her limitations, quirkiness, and show more patience and mercy toward her instead of expecting more than she is able to obtain. Consequently, Nat has blossomed into the most beautiful young lady. She communicates like a pro, reads 300+ page books weekly (her passion), and excels at math. Her only true struggle in school is with writing and English---and her physical hindrances are with balance and coordination---but heck, nobody is perfect, huh? The girl spent three weeks at summer camp in North Carolina this summer (her other passion) and mastered the art of flipping a kayak---I'd say pretty good for a gal who struggles to keep up with her peers in the "coordination department"....I know I couldn't keep up with her if I tried.

The most stunning thing about Nat that will excite you the most is this: because she has to work a bit harder than her peers, she is eager to lend a hand to those who she perceives as weaker than herself. She is the quickest in our family to open a door for the elderly, play a little extra longer with Hope and Charlie, and offer a warm handshake or hug to the handicapped. She never hesitates; in fact, I have never seen her look away and avoid such situations that might be awkward for others.

I look forward to following your journey with Joseph as you learn so much about how enormous the Father is through his little life. He is darling. Truly, God confounds the wise with the weak....we have learned this lesson TIMES 3 with Nat, Hope and Charlie. We have also learned that it is Chappy and I who have been blessed to have them in our lives---not the other way around. When people ask: "How do you do it?" We want so badly to somehow express to them what a joy it is to be a part of what God is doing in and through our little special ones....but we have found it cannot be expressed, only experienced.

MUCH LOVE TO YOU!! Melanie

Kristi J said...

yayyy, great post...so happy for your little ones and the way God is healing them both...miss ya, kj

Anonymous said...

little joseph is right where he needs to be - with your amazing family. your love and the Father's love which he will eventually learn about from you will be all he really needs - everything else will fall into place.

Clay and Tanya said...

Oh, Gwen, what an inspiration you are and how beautiful are those babies! Thank you for your selfless serving! What a blessing it was to meet you at T4A last year!

Erica said...

What an AWESOME God we serve!!! Praising Him with you friend!! I got my box - Thank you so much. My eyes welled up with tears, you are a blessing. Your shirt will go out this week. Love you sister. Continued prayers for you and your precious family.

redmaryjanes said...

Woo Hoo! I am so happy. I have been praying for your babes!!! God is good. It's all going to be ok.

Rachel said...

Praying for you and your beautiful children, who are fearfully and wonderfully made. May He continue to encourage your heart!

Anonymous said...

Good news!! So happy for you & your family and how God is bringing about healing. I will pray for you all as you continue in the journey.

Vanessa:)
(in Nebraska)

Deb said...

This post just made my heart smile...thanks for updating us!

Tracy said...

Mercy and I prayed for you all day yesterday! We knew you'd have good news! So very thankful and encouraged by beautiful Maggie and Joseph and their faithful Mama!! Much, much love to you sweet sister!

jennifer said...

So happy for you!! Praying for you and the kids. I am so excited for Maggie!! Great news!!!

Jewels of My Heart said...

Ohhhhhhh thank You Jesus! Thank You for answering prayers for little Joseph and for little Maggie....
God's will done God's way....
God's speed...
will be praying sister!
Love,
Daleea

Leigh Ann said...

WONDERFUL News!

Leslie said...

Wow, what an amazing mom you are. I myself am an occupational therapist and work with children with special needs. Early therapy can really work wonders along with your prayers and support for little Joseph. My own daughter received early intervention services through our state (PT, OT, speech) until the age of three. It helped so much to hear from other professionals and I even knew what I needed to do for her. I will be praying for ya'll as you wade through all the new information. God Bless.

Lori S said...

Praising God with you! He is looking over children that are more special and precious to Him than they are to us--hard to believe!!!
God Bless you for being His avenue to help His babies! :)

From a full heart... said...

Praising God with you for great news! I know His plans for sweet Joseph are wonderful, and what a blessing it will be to see them worked out in his life!

The Ferrill's said...

Praise the Lord! ALL of your sweet kiddos are in GREAT hands! Our FATHERS!
Love this update, Gwen!