30 days of Thankfulness, Days 1-7

Dont do it - dont look for Day 1-4 on my blog. This is the first post this year!
And yes I know it's only the 5th but I am doing days 1-7 of things I am thankful for!
I love November, I love fall and the change in the weather. I love November
because all of adopted kids came home in November (different years but same month) and completed our family. I love November because we take time to reflect and enjoy our family and friends.
I love November because it reminds me to stop and appreciate all that I have been blessed with.
So I will probably do these in installments as I dont have time to blog every day.
Usually I just list them on my sidebar but I felt ambitious today.
(Maybe I can make these into a mini album!)

day 1. God/Jesus/Spirit- honestly I would be a basket case if I didn't have
God in my life. I can't tell you how many times He has helped my with His word,
answering prayers and saving our kids. I have witnessed first hand the miracles (see below) of God.

day 2. My husband - this picture is so typical of who my husband is. This was taken on the football field. Unlike other dads he works weekends (grocery/retail) he goes in early- leaves work to attend the games, goes back to work afterwards and stays late to make up the time. He does this when the kids have games, recitals, performances, important meetings with doctors/school- whatever the function, he is there. He is a great dad and puts family first. Not only is he supportive and loving to the kids he is incredibly supportive of every crazy idea I have! LOL! I get an idea and he finds a way to make it happen and encourages me to do it! He loves God and loves us - we are very blessed to have him.

day 3 - 7. My kids  (All are equal blessings) I have learned so much from my kids. I could write a book on each and still not cover a fraction of the life lessons they have taught me and others. When I say they are miracles, I truly mean it.

Baby Girl - miracle #5
We  thought we were done having kids when we were told about baby girl - sibling to our night owl, how could we say no? Even before we saw her beautiful face we wanted her. First stop was the pediatrician once we got her home. She was very sickly, had been on several antibiotics before she could even travel to come home with us.  The doc asked my oldest to take her out of the room after examining her. She said, "Rita, do you know what your are getting into?", I knew but I wanted to hear her say it (confirmation I guess).  She proceeded to tell me her diagnosis and what it entails and how she didn't think this was a good idea because we have other kids to consider. (In order to protect my kids I will not reveal their diagnosis'). I reminded her that she is already here, a part of our family, we would never consider giving her back and we will do whatever it takes to get her healthy.

~Fast forward, one year well baby check up, baby girl was doing great. She asked my oldest to take her out into the waiting room again after examining her and I am thinking "now what?" She said she was going to be very honest with me and proceeded to tell me how she could not believe how well baby girl was doing and she that she truly believed that baby girl was not going to make it. That she was waiting for us to call knowing that she would be on her deathbed and she was worried about how devastating that would have been for our family- especially our kids who have already been through so  much. I am very grateful that she did not tell me how she truly felt that first visit. She also said we made a believer out of her that love and caring can make all the difference in a childs life. I told her that God saved her life - there were many people praying for this child and she is a walking miracle.

Baby girl has got to be the happiest kid I know - she reminds me of the princess character in the movie "Enchanted". She is always singing, she lights up the room and makes everything fun and joyful! She makes me stop and appreciate "the moment". She never misses the beauty in anything, is so complimentary and means every word. Love and joy simply spill out of this little girl.

 Miracle #4 Night Owl-
We got all our babies at 4 months and we nicknamed this little guy night owl because he didn't sleep at night. Literally! During the day he would fall asleep all over the place - on the the stairs, playing with toys, with a mouth full of food but he would never stay asleep. One time he was on his tricycle and he started falling asleep a neighbor and I both went running as he slowly slumped over the trike! He and I were exhausted!! He once went for days without sleep and they finally had to medicate him.

I can't tell you how a lack asleep affects you - I was tired, cloudy and grumpy, he was not very functional like other kids. He was tired, slow, sensitive, quiet, reserved, nervous, serious, anxious and scared. He was also very sweet and cuddly. We have never been a big advocate for meds - especially with kids but this was affecting his growth. Those meds changed his life - he grew, he is helpful, independent, happy, he is SO SMART, his personality developed- he is quite a charmer and funny too!   He can be goofy, clowning around and yet he still has his serious side- he has what you call an "old soul".

And yet I would not trade those cuddle days with him for anything. He s-l-o-w-e-d me down and I was blessed to just be mom and hold him and cherish  him. A reminder for all of us moms- they grow up so fast! Don't miss those quiet moments. He is doing well now, he sleeps without meds ~ praise God! 
 Miracle #3 Boo.
I have written about the miracle that our 2nd son Boo before on this blog.
He is a walking medical mystifying miracle himself! In his first 6 years of life he was diagnosed with failure to thrive, abnormal PKU, total hearing loss, partial hearing loss, fluctuating hearing loss, Autism, Pervasive Developmental disorder,Tardive Dyskiniesia, the list goes on and on. The told us he would never speak, never be a regular classroom he would not show emotions or  be capable of having feelings or compassion for others. He has seen experts in their fields and at the time of each diagnosis - they were correct, then we would pray, get him the very best help we could and he would change.

I am amazed by his spirit, his perseverance; he has had to work very hard at things that come to other people naturally. He has grown and none of those diagnosis' fit him anymore. Doctors have been amazed by him -  a walking miracle. I had one doc tell me that had he not seen him before and after he would not have believed it was the same child! He said it must be from really good parenting - believe me the things we have faced with this child, the very best parents in the world could not fix! This is God, firsthand and anybody who has watched him grows up knows it!

This child has strengthened my faith time and time again. Every time another doctor came with another serious diagnosis I heard it, but then had to turn to God. When a doc tells you "there is nothing more I can do for this child" and he is considered the best in his field believe me all you can do is pray.

He attends a regular school, he does have resource but is also in the regular classroom. He speaks, he hears, he learns, he not only acknowledges others but he loves BIG. He a a BIG heart and is big bear hugger! He will squeeze you tight! He is strong! He is a prayer warrior- he prays for everyone, he hears the need, has compassion and trusts that God will provide the answer.
I don't know what God has planned for this little guy but I bet it's BIG.

Miracle #2 Oldest son,
I think there is something about the 2nd child in the birthing order, man this child has put us through so much! As a baby he was allergic to EVERYTHING. Between allergies and asthma we were in the hospital the staff knew him by name! I remember the first Christmas when we brought a Christmas tree in the house and he ended up having a small seizure because he was allergic to it! Scared us so bad we would take turns sleeping just to watch him!
As he got older he tested EVERYTHING - every boundary, every rule if we said it was black he would argue that it was our perception! (Did I mention he is smart? And he had some valid points! )We thought this kid will be a great lawyer! But his determination to do everything for himself and try/test everything got him into some pretty precarious situations!
Through him we learned that every child is totally different; that everyone responds differently.  He taught us to be better parents, to be aware of everything, to question authority (when appropriate) and to see through somebody elses eyes. Through him we learned that no matter what we do as parents each child has their own will and you can influence them but you can't change them - and honestly who would want to?
 Each person is amazing in their own way!

Miracle #1 Firstborn.
Ahhh the firstborn - she was so easy when she was little!
(Of course that is after she was born- when she was in the womb she kept trying to come out and when it was time she got stuck and I had an emergency c section because her heart was slowing down too much!) She was smart, old for her age, wise beyond her years. Sweet and so fun to be around.
As each of the children came onto our lives she loved them and helped with them as if she
wasn't a child herself! I know one day she will be a fantastic mother, she is so amazing with kids!
She knows how to discipline them and have fun too...
 all kids love her! She is so open and honest with whats going on in her life, her feelings, her situations. That's just the way she is. We have long conversations about life and love. (I would love it more if she didn't start these conversations about 10 pm but hey she wont be living at home forever  and I know I have to cherish thee moments while I can!) 

We have been through so much with our kids and our firstborn is no different. If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time you know that the past two years she has had some struggles
with her health as well. We still don't know the cause but some of her symptoms are low white blood cell counts, she tires easily, she has dizzy spells and tremors. Sometimes she has what the docs call "episodes" - looks kinda like seizures but also like severe ticks- but there is no seizure activity in her brain scans. Through it all she gets discouraged, she is frustrated by the specialists and all the tests that basically tell us what it's not. We don't know what causes this or what it is.

Through it all she goes to college full time (there have been times when she didn't think she could- too exhausted) her grades are excellent has made the honor roll and she works about 30 hours a week. We have told her she does not need to work - but she is determined to live a normal life. Unless you are with her 24-7 you would not even know there is anything wrong. She has an internal happiness about her - she is so easy to be around, she is the one all her friends turn to and by her demeanor you would think all is good. I love that, she is amazing and I feel blessed to have her in my life.

If you read all of this

you caught a glimpse into my life.
Sometimes I wonder if anybody reads these long posts- if you did
I hope you were blessed and will give thanks for the blessings in your life.
to be continued...


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