Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy and Busy Days

Our four plus two cousins!

Moriah Mei has a new bed!

Grandma plays the Wii!

 These past couple of weeks have been full of the normal, happy busy stuff that makes life good. I am thankful for God's faithfulness as He shows it in the day-to-day things. I have been especially thankful for the opportunity to live near family. We lived away from Colorado for the first twelve years of our marriage. While we knew that we missed living near our families, we had no idea of the rich blessing that awaited us when we moved back. Some recent examples include attending church with Andy's parents. It has been exciting to sit under the same great teaching with them and discuss the things we are hearing. I also love it when we can just join them for a meal and hang out together like we did last Saturday. The kids thought Grandma hadn't had enough time on the Wii yet! 

My parents, despite having nine kids and many, many grandkids, have made time to help me with my laundry, cleaning and ironing. What a huge blessing...not only having the jobs done, but spending the time together. 

Along with my parents, we have been caring for my nephews while my brother, sister-in-law and niece are in Africa. I have enjoyed watching my boys enjoy their cousins. It is also fun to hear the cousins laugh at Moriah. They think she's really funny! We have managed do our school work and keep everyone small task with six kids in the house! 

We had a recheck at the neurosurgeon for Moriah's spine last week. Everything looks great. She is back to her physical and occupational therapy as well.  She is beginning to show her two-year old will more and will make quite a racket when she doesn't get her way. She is growing in her attachment to Andy which is very encouraging. She greets him happily when he comes home from work. 

Last night as I was reading books to her, she looked up at Andy and then back at me and said very happily, "MaMa, Dada." It seemed like she was thinking "Life is good. I have a forever family!" As the days go by, I think how good it must be for her just to have day after day of normal routine stuff.  She is sleeping all night in her own little toddler bed. It has been great for all of us to have her sleeping so well in her own space.  Sometimes I have felt frustrated with our sleeping arrangements. We have three bedrooms upstairs, so Moriah and Kimberly share a room. There is a ten year age difference between them, so sharing a room poses challenges. Kimberly has lots of tiny stuff, Moriah puts everything in her mouth. Kimbelry is a young lady, Moriah is a stinky baby. Kimberly wants a little privacy, Moriah wants to be wherever Kimberly is. You get the idea. The thing I have realized, though, is that this arrangement is actually a benefit for both of them. Moriah doesn't like to be alone. I'm sure that she sleeps better knowing that Kimberly is there. It is also an opportunity for Kimberly to learn to keep her things picked up and to learn to be patient with her sister. The good thing is that they love each other very much. I pray that they will always be close even though there is a big gap in their ages. Moriah has been singing a little made up song that goes, "Jie, Jie, yuv you, Jie, Jie yuv you." (Jie Jie is her Chinese version of big sister).  It is super cute. Moriah also says "Lia Li" for Josiah, but she doesn't have a name for Caleb yet (much to his disappointment).  I'm sure his turn will come to have his own cute nickname from Moriah.

We continue to rejoice in God's faithfulness and provision for us!

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Valentine

This was taken last May in Vail. We got
away for acouple of days because we knew 
it would be harder when Moriah came.

When we first started dating (14 years ago) I loved to refer to Andy as "my Andy." It seemed so romantic that we were going to belong to one another...that I would be his and he would be mine. At the time I never could have known how wonderful it would be to live each day loving "my Andy." This year especially I am so thankful for the one the Lord provided for me. It was a big year for us. I think we will always treasure the memory of our trip to China. It was such an exciting time...not only because we were going to get Moriah but also because China is the land of Andy's ancestery. It was so great to see him on the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. He was able to connect with his own heritage while experiencing Moriah's. 

Adding Moriah after life with three had become fairly comfortable has been a huge adjustment. Andy has had to sort through a lot of emotions as he parents a child who doesn't always respond to him with the warmth he would like to receive. He has had to deal with the added stress of Moriah's medical appointments and expenses. He has had to come home to a messy house and an impatient wife more often than I would like to admit.  How often has he had to reuse dirty socks or fish a half-dry undershirt out of the dryer because I didn't finish the laundry?  He has had to juggle a long commute and busy job with church commitments while also faithfully leading his family.  He gathers all of us for prayer and Bible reading almost every night.  He makes time to talk and play with the children when he would rather relax.  He listens to me when I don't really have anything important to say, but just want some adult conversation. He has done it all so faithfully and well. I admire and respect him more with each day that passes. I can only humbly thank the Lord for giving him to me.  I love you, Andy!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you. To give you a hope and a future."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Presurgery Fun


A cute Birthday cake for Moriah Mei

Yum! Fried wontons just for me!

Happy Chinese New Year!

It's funny how just a couple of days away can seem like a long time. We were all glad to get home yesterday and be together again as a family. Moriah is amazing. You would never know that she had surgery this week. She is full of energy and mischief! She is on some Motrin, but that is it.  

Before the hospital adventure, we did a few fun things that never made it to the blog, so I thought I would catch up a little. Last week we celebrated Chinese New Year with Andy's parents. We went to their favorite Chinese restaurant. It is our kid's favorite restaurant now, too, because they have been given red envelopes with money in them for the past two Chinese New Years. Andy's folks have also started the red envelope tradition with the kids. It was a lot of fun. The first time we went to this restaurant with Moriah after returning from China, she was very timid and unsure. Not this time! She went after her lo mein and fried rice with great enthusiasm.  

We also celebrated Moriah's second birthday last weekend. All four of her grandparents were here. We have a great bakery near our house, so we had them make a lady bug cake which was cute and delicious. We began a tradition of honoring all who cared for her before she came to us with a bouquet of flowers. As she gets older we will talk to her in more detail about her birthparents, orphanage nannies, and foster families. For now, we just told her that we wanted to honor those who cared for her before we could.  She loved the presents, cake and icecream and balloons.  I loved seeing her surrounded by her family...our treasured daughter.

We are so thankful for the gracious hand of the Lord in our lives. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The View from the Hospital

Amy and Moriah in the hospital kids room
Mike Leach #83 Denver Broncos

Today is our second day at the hospital in Denver. Yesterday morning we got here bright and early for Moriah to have her surgery. After we were all prepped and Moriah drifted off to sleep, the doctor came out saying, "What is that on her neck?" She has a strange, scaley patch of skin on her neck that had gotten very red in just the last couple of days. I had put some anti-fungal cream on it, but it looked pretty nasty. The doctor made a quick call to infectious disease to decide if they could continue with the tethered cord release surgery. I was really praying that they could go ahead. The thought of anticipating all of this all over again was more than I wanted to consider. Thankfully, they decided they could go ahead. By about 11:00 she was out of surgery and recovering. My parents came and sat with us during the surgery and spent a little time with us after she got setttled in her room. The doctor said that her cord was very obviously tethered and it was definitely the right decision to fix it now rather than waiting. Lord willing, by freeing it now, we have avoided any serious nerve damamge. We also had a ENT put tubes in her ears while she was out. Most of yesterday Moriah was really sleepy and groggy. I left about 8:30 last night and went home to sleep. I was super tired. (Maybe I'm not as over the mono as I thought I was). Andy stayed with Moriah. We figured it was good bonding time for the two of them. Our room is private, but very small, so it would have been difficult for both of us to sleep. Tonight Andy will go home and I will stay. We are hoping to be released from the hospital tomorrow (Thursday).

Today Moriah is sitting up, eating lots and quite restless. She pulled her IV out which caused blood to go all over me. Thankfully, they let us just leave it out since she is eating and drinking well. She is such a trooper. We are so proud of her. Meanwhile, Kimberly, Caleb and Josiah have been hanging out with their grandparents (both sets). We have certainly needed their help in these past months. Words cannot express out thanks to them.

This morning a Denver Bronco, Mike Leach (number 83), came to the hospital with his family to visit with the kids. Moriah wasn't impressed (she fell asleep). But it was fun for Andy and me and some of the older kids who are here. Channel 4 and 7 news along with the Denver Post captured the moment so you may see us on the news! Thanks again for your prayers for Moriah.