They returned super late Sunday night...well Monday morning at 1:30am. Yes I was up and ran out to meet them and help carry the sleepy girls to bed ;)
Saying good bye at the airport
What will I do without my girls...?
So excited to be going on a plane!
Taizi has continued to enjoy his freedom of his new eyes...and climbs the stairs regularly. Honestly, he's gotten a little more intense care-wise. I ran upstairs to see him down the hallway and in the bathroom, staring at the toilet. Uhhh...no. :) Dean said "you know he'll find his way to play in the water, he loves water!" Sounds fun. Since then he has stayed in the realm of living room and playroom.
Still not super excited about outside but we are ok with that. Ok with the fact that he's not excited about it. He's hard to change but eventually he'll love it, so he still spends lots of time outside. Consistently putting him back on the grass when he goes to the door...and eventually he stays on the grass and plays with the toys.
Taizi had a bad fall down the stairs. I was standing right in the kitchen and heard something and he was up those stairs so fast. I ran and as you can imagine, it all felt slow motion. He never breaks his falls. Ever. He never puts his hands out etc. So I'm watching him...as I'm bolting towards him...slam his face on several steps. No hands. Nothing.
The sad part is...he was hitting hard. And he didn't cry. I grabbed him and cradled him in an infant hold. Tight. And walked around comforting him but he never once cried. :(
The next day he had a nice bruise on his forehead and I was surprised no black eyes.
He is now watched at all times...though we aren't perfect and he gets away pretty quickly...we haven't had him go up the stairs without someone seeing him, since.
Taizi and food.
Oh. We have stuck with it but here is what we have found:
He loves 2 baby foods. You would think that to adjust him to other foods, just space out how often he gets his favorites. No. Way. He will kick up the biggest fit all over again. So we have had to play hardball and remove his favorites completely :( But...here's the amazing news...he now opens his mouth WIDE for the others! I'm talking, chunky, thick, non smooth texture foods! And he's a texture-finatic! Serious progress.
Also he drinks zero clear liquids. No water, no juice. Nothing. The only thing he will drink is his formula (Boost 1.5 since his growth is seriously delayed). Well we started diluted them just to get more water in to him. He's not gaining at any speed anyway...and he needs liquid. His diaper smells very strong and we know he's not getting enough water. This has helped a LOT. Today was hot, he was outside and I put ONLY WATER in his cup and he drank 2/3 of it! That was pretty exciting.
Yes. Yes. He's pretty cute! And hot pink shirt and bright blue glasses are just oh-so-adorable despite Daddy's objection to any of his boys in PINK! :)
I know it's hard to judge size on photos...but to give you an idea, this is a onsie size 24 months. It hangs inches below his diaper, it's huge! The shorts are 18m and fall right down when he stands. I should have gotten 6-9 months to stay on his waist. This is a child...turning 4 years old very soon :(
Yesterday was Taizi's sedated MRI and CAT scan.
It went really well. They fully sedated him right there with me standing beside him and he wasn't out for long. They did however have concerns with how long it took him to wake.
Here he is right after his procedure. He had this big thing in his mouth to prevent him from choking on his tongue.
After we left, we stopped at a park to let our amazing kids play. Seriously. They are amazing. Yes, so far we have taken them on every Seattle trek. Hours in the van. Hours waiting. Hours driving home. We always look for a playground for the way home.
Today, our craniofacial doc called. She had both images from yesterday's testing in front of her.
#1. Brain MRI. It didn't show any significant abnormalities with the brain. With missing parts, texture, etc etc. However, it did show a very very tiny pituitary gland. This was very interesting to them, since pituitary is responsible for the growth hormones of the body and Taizi is clearly struggling with growth. So this will get us in with Endocrinology and further testing to see what they think.
#2 CAT scan. This was to look for auditory anatomy.
First, it showed that past the bones and middle ear, his inner ear canals (relating to nerves etc) were very deformed and irregular on both sides. Indicating hearing loss at the nerve level.
Second. In the middle ear, his bones are present but deformed and fused together. Interestingly enough this is identical to Azlan's middle ear. He has all the pieces but the bones are deformed and fused. Well when you hear by bones vibrating (moving)...and these are fused...you can see that presents a serious problem. Both ears showed the same severity of deformity at both the inner and middle ears.
Since these issues are the same or more severe than Azlan's, we are quite aware of the great possibility that this means there is no help for his deafness.
We will see his ENT early May when Zihao and Azlan see him.
Tonight was Azahria Peace's birthday. My purple, fantasy princess is 5. How oh how...wow. What a sweet girl. She's funny, quirky and if you look at her she freezes. Ask her a question with eye contact and she just might turn to tears:) She loves what she loves and I love that. I hate purple. She loves it. She thinks it's funny that Mama never wears purple but that does NOT influence her one bit. :)
For her birthday it was purple. And unicorns. And all things Azahria.
I will upload and post pictures later.
On the way home from Seattle, Dean and I listened to the audio version of Radical by David Platt. Spell bound, really...since a friend and I have been talking much of the same way lately.
My heart was stirred. Deeply.
I've often thought just how many of us would follow Jesus today...were He here.
Think about that.
Do we follow our version of Him?
If we look down our noses at the least of these...then we'd look down at Him. He came pretttttty lowly. And hung out with the 'least of these'.
If we look more at things than heart...we would have missed Him.
And just how many of us ridicule those who are living a radical life... a life of all out faith and surrender...as being simply crazy and "not using their God-given brain"...?
The longer I live...the more discontent I am with modern day christianity.
This pew-sitting, go-to-church-Sunday christianity that has infiltrated who we are today.
Don't look around. Look in.
Are we so different? Am I...? Are you...?
We give..but not til it hurts.
We live...as if we follow just another religion. Oh yes...we preach otherwise...I see all the facebook posts. I hear the same talk you do. I'm not referencing our words. Or even what we consider to be our beliefs.
I'm referring to our lives.
Our day in...day out...lives.
My friend said something the other day that stuck with me. Something about being like a child, clinging to your Daddy's pant-leg. Never missing a step. Never missing a moment.
Can you hear Him? Can you see Him move?
I have often thought this blog was more about surrender than adoption.
This isn't about adoption.
This is about surrender.
God could have called us to sell all and move to the heart of Asia.
The same surrender would have had to happen.
He just so happened to choose adoption for us.
But it's so easy for us to say "He hasn't called me to that". You may be very very right.
But if you are His...He has called you to something.
Are you listening?
Are you willing to surrender?
So what if the term "too radical" is thrown at you. Could we really be 'too radical' in following Christ?
Many have recently asked us, now seeing the day-in, day-out of life with Taizi (which is intense) if we ever wonder if we 'took on too much'...? Or if we were "a little impulsive"...? Or if...leaning close..."you maybe regret it"...?
You may have missed the entire message of this journey.
We. Didn't. Choose. Taizi.
We didn't have a good idea and seek to rescue. Though as noble as that would be...let me be very transparent....that was not our story.
God spoke. Clearly. Firmly. He was insistent.
And just like the man that found the buried treasure in the field and left and sold ALL HE HAD to buy that field...when God gave us Jonah 2:8 and let us know very very clearly...that the true treasure was in the surrender of our will for something much, much, much, indescribably-much...better...
(Those who cling to worthless idols...(easier life, financial comfort, things, etc) FORFEIT the grace that COULD BE theirs....)
Then in that moment we didn't care who thought we were crazy. You think the many buying this random forsaken field with ALL HE HAD wasn't told he was crazy...? What made the difference...? The treasure was there! He knew it! He saw it with his own eyes!
What made us recklessly abandon every ideal for our life...? NOT that we are great people! Not that we are just oh-so-amazing and gifted. No no...that God told us that's where the treasure was.
In surrendering to His plan. His way. His path...the treasure would be eternal.
So do we regret it...? That thought has never once entered our mind. Do we think "what if"...? Not once.
Have we looked to Heaven and said "God...you really equipped US for this task...?" Yes. Of course we have. But do we doubt that He did...? No. His call was so clear...it would have been an all-out turning our back on Him to say 'no'.
Yes. This book resonated with the cry of my heart. Am I there..? No. I'm not. But I hunger for it. For a life of total surrender. "Reckless abandon" as David Platt says. One that is so focused on the treasure that there's no hesitation to endure the jeers from the crowds at 'selling all I have' to go for it.
Family. What a gift He has given us. 9 ... soon to be 10 beautiful children. (I'm almost 31 weeks pregnant!) From around the world. All one family.
Health. We are so thankful for the health of each one. Taizi's care doesn't freak us out (sometimes autism does). But we know that He knew...and knows. And He called. So not one of these findings are a surprise to Him.
Heart. In a life that can be so chaotic...don't let the world squeeze my heart into its mold. I want to stay soft to hear Him.
Radical. Stir in me a desire to risk all for Him. Not say I will. Not preach I will. But a willingness to surrender each piece of my life to Him. Regardless of the cost.
Knowing the treasure is in Heaven.