Friday, February 25, 2011

Just had to share

Had to share this poem written by a dear friend of mine...

God's Plan

I heard the Lord speak to me
as I was worshiping one day.
I know the plans I have for you...
now listen and obey.”

What is it Lord? I humbly prayed,
that You would have me do?
Leave your home and cross the sea.
I have two sons for you!

Step out in faith and follow Me,
remembering you will never be alone.
For I go before you preparing the way
to bring My children home.

As I've journeyed this road less traveled;
I've watched in amazement and awe
as every hurdle and obstacle that threatened
began to crumble and fall!

Two more sons the Lord has given to me;
two sons I have now brought home.
I look at their precious little faces and know
My family, faith, and love have all grown.

Give me the wisdom to raise them, Lord
as You would have me to;
that they may learn of Your love for them,
and return that love to You.

Jeremiah 29:11
In honor of Debbie, Joseph,
and Jacob Shinkle
Sandy Minor
February, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Valentine's Week

What a busy week! Boys to the doctor on Tuesday, first trip to the zoo Wednesday, first trip to the park on Thursday, and a first birthday party tomorrow! Wow, thank you Lord for this beautiful weather you have blessed us with this week before I return to work. Though I had planned on going in a couple of days this week that was not to be, so we have made the most of every day.
Doctor's visit - Joseph gained 1 1/2 pounds and as expected had no upward growth (yet). He received four vaccinations and a TB skin test and began zyrtec for his runny nose/wheezing as a trial run. Jacob gained 1.2 pounds and grew an inch and a half! No wonder all of his clothes are getting too small!! He received three vaccinations and a TB skin test. Another stool sample has been collected and sent away as he has begun having awful diarrhea. Possibly due to the transition to whole milk, possibly a GI infection, possibly a lactose intolerance. The doctor suggested beginning sow milk if tests reveal nothing. Luckily it doesn't seem to bother him regardless. Jacob ran a fever for about 24 hours after his shots but Joseph had no side effects whatsoever. Audiology appointments are scheduled and the 6 week appointment for next vaccinations. Both TB skin tests are negative. Praising God for a heathly visit and a fabulous week!
First visit to the Nashville Zoo. Sister Amy, nephew Colten, and neice Kensley accompanied us for the day.
Jacob loves Colten!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lessons learned in the first six weeks

  • It is okay to have dirty dishes in the sink
  • Toys do not have to be in the room in which they "belong"
  • If clothes are not on and teeth are not brushed for early AM mama appointments (and maybe pajamas are still on) it is ok...for the boys that is
  • A room that has just been cleaned will likely not be that way in five minutes
  • Dust will still be there tomorrow
  • Grocery shopping alone (or anything for that matter) feels like a vacation
  • I CAN survive on less sleep
  • Dirty clothes can wait
  • Little boys love to eat and love when mama cooks
  • There is nothing more precious than late night snuggles
  • Two little boys light up my world and are keeping me young
Yes, it was that bad just a few weeks ago. When my oldest son left home three years ago I celebrated that I could clean and return two days later to find it as I had left it. I rejoiced that I only cooked if I wanted to (and rarely did). I had silence except for the television. I slept through the night and often had a blessed nap in the middle of the day. The cats had lots of lap time and I only did laundry on Saturday.
If you can't tell, the last few weeks have been a major adjustment for me. The boys have watched as I tried to maintain a life that had been and somehow integrate it with what now is. I failed, and miserably. I can finally say that some of my OCD tendencies have faded and I now don't mind the toys scattered throughout the house or the dishes in the sink. The floor gets swept at the end of the day and so what if we walk on goldfish in the meantime.
As I return to work this week there will be many more adjustments to be made. How can I be an effective mom with only a few hours in the early morning hours and a few hours in the evening. I am thankful that Joseph and Jacob will be staying with their sister Amy while I work. At least I know the love and attention will remain. Weekends will become a bit more hectic with even less time for cleaning and shopping. Instead we will play ball, visit the zoo, and a sundry of other activities.
I am saddened that this time has so quickly come to an end. I was a stay-at-home mom with my three biological children and feel a bit guilty for not being able to do the same now. As I begin this next chapter I ask for prayers. It is difficult being all things for these two little ones and I pray that at the end of the day they only feel the love I intended when I began this adoption journey.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Five weeks home!

Wow, where has the time gone?? It seems that only yesterday I was wondering if this day would ever get here and now I am a week away from returning to work. Things continue to go well with more good days than bad. The boys have a very good schedule and get off kilter easy if I stray from it, but they are learning to adjust to these minor bumps never-the-less.
Sleep - much improved with the help of benadryl. Yes, after a few weeks of little sleep I resorted to this trick. They are on the final wean and now sleep 10-11 hours through the night with no problem (which means Mama is much happier in the morning). We have moved through several stages as I tried to decipher what worked best for bedtime. We now enjoy some reading time and then off to bed they go. Jacob usually falls asleep in my arms in Joseph's room and then I carry him to bed. Joseph waits for this move for one final hug and kiss and then rolls over and puts himself to sleep. At nap time today as I was walking from his room I heard "Mama....I love you." Not that they don't say that a thousand times a day, but oh how my heart leaped as this came from his mouth.

Health - we have all had this horrible head/chest congestion for two weeks now. Finally today there has been less snot to wipe and no breathing treatments required for Joseph. He has now had three bouts with an asthma type illness and will likely receive the dreaded diagnosis at his pediatrician visit next week. They begin immunizations at this next visit and we will schedule a circumcision, so not looking forward to this trip at all. They each had a first dental visit today (pics below) and did as expected. Joseph got the perfect teeth report. Jacob, not so much. Because he continues to chew on pretty much anything he has a few chips in his teeth. He also has some staining from birth and his teeth are very crowded. Predictions are that he will need braces. Oh well, join the club as two of his four siblings have been there and done that.

Play - they still seem so overwhelmed at the choices and more days than not Joseph will resort to his comfortable toy of a ball. At the same time they have learned to dump all the toys from the toy box and stumble over things. Luckily some orphanage habits have stuck with them and Joseph is a huge helper when it comes time to pick things up. Both boys love to be held over play any time and I really have to force them to get down and burn energy and calories. We get lots of snuggle time in throughout the day.

Eating - also much improved. Jacob eats pretty much anything put in front of him. Since finishing a round of antibiotics for giardia Joseph's appetite has also improved. He is a much pickier eating, but considering the variety thrown at him I am not surprised. They both enjoy eating out with Mexican continuing to be a favorite. I'll be interested to see how much they have each grown at their check-up next week. Jacob is down to one bottle a day at bedtime. The doctor wants this one gone also, but I am giving him through the week and then we will see how he takes to this idea. He is also slowly transitioning to whole milk!!

Other- Joseph is signed up for baseball in the Spring. He has a natural athletic ability and I am afraid this Smart Start league will bore him quickly, but the basics must be learned before big boy ball. Both kids have been to watch Kensley at gymnastics a couple of times now and they love when we clear the rug and do forward and backward rolls.

More changes have come quicker than I wanted as Joseph decided after a time or two with his sister that he was too big for his booster seat, so he has moved to a regular chair meaning Jacob got his booster and got to join us at the table (pics below). They each maintain a sense of independence that I do not wish to steal from them, but there are times I wish they would just be kids. I have been leaving them with big sister Amy one day for a little longer each time so they are as prepared as possible for my return to work. This past week they got through lunch and a nap, which meant I got to shop alone and clean the house. I worry so about destroying the confidence I have built in them that I will return. Amy's words last week meant so much as she told me how well adjusted she felt they were.

Finally (as nap time is quickly coming to an end) here are a few pictures from the last few no particular order as things keep popping up all over the page!. As we prepare for another snow storm coming our way I am sure there will be more soon! 
We are big boys now!<><><><><><>

Joseph trying to comfort his little brother during his dental cleaning.

Showing off that smile after his first dental appointment!

Too cute not to include!
We thankfully have had a few days pretty enough to get outside and play!

Handsome man!
First haircuts in America!