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We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blog Award

My blog friend, Ashley at Expecting Miracles, nominated me for a blog award! After carrying 8 babies to Jesus in embryo adoption, Ashley and her husband have welcomed into their family a super-cute baby girl through domestic adoption. I have enjoyed reading the story God is writing through her life.

The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers. From my limited understanding, it is simply a way to acknowledge blogs from which I have benefited and wish to share. I really appreciate Ashley for giving me such a kind acknowledgement and allowing me to share it with my blogging friends! Soli Deo Gloria!

Part of receiving the award is to pass it on so that others can feel the love! I am passing it along to the following bloggers:

1) Aaron and Jennifer, who I met on the internet through a family member who, through embryo adoption, have twins, their son and daughter, Abel and Belle. They also have babies awaiting them with Jesus.

2) My friend Jaime at For A Little While. I love the pieces of herself and her family that she shares with honesty and humor on her blog.

3) An old (not in age:)), high-school friend Anna at AM Squared, who blogs about her family, their ~newly built-looks like it's been there forever~ home, recipes, gardening, and other things. She recently won awards at the SC state fair for some of her baked goods. Congratulations, Anna!

4) I was privileged to meet my next blog award recipient, Janet and her blog Life in Focus, when she and I taught VBS together before she and her family moved to Florida. She does beautiful photography and I am always inspired by what she captures through her lens. She has another blog that is exceptional called Frugal and Focused as well, but it exceeded the 200 follower limit! It is worth mentioning anyway~

5) Finally, Heidi at O Taste and See that the Lord is Good, a gal whose husband serves our country with resolve and sacrifice. I met Heidi when her family was stationed at Fort Knox, south of Louisville. Her heart is clearly seen through her words and poetry bent on loving her Lord and serving her family.

Now for those of you who have received the Liebster Award from me, there are a few RULES for you to follow:

You must do the following:
1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 3-5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet – other writers.
5. And best of all – have fun!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An Update

All I can say is, Praise God!

Micah's procedure yesterday showed no signs of a need for surgical intervention to deal with his hernias. Praise God! The most uncomfortable part of the whole day for him was removing the tape from his IV site! I kind of took advantage of the poor guy~ and his humorous short-term memory loss post anesthesia. Telling him the same information over and over and over (adding a few "he won't remember this in a minute" embellishments) and over was pretty funny! After a full afternoon's rest, he was up and back at work this morning.

I also heard from my doc. He spoke with the Fetal Care Center in Cincinnati, OH and they did not give our twin a TTTS diagnosis. Again I say, Praise God! I did learn that even though Eliana is a bit smaller than Isabella, they both have equal amounts of amniotic fluid given their sizes. One of the first signs of TTTS is an inadequate amount of fluid and if this does develop, we will be referred on for more testing. As of right now both girls are growing as God is intending them to grow each in their own, unique way. They will be checking them again in a couple of weeks. Please continue to pray for each of our babies.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Prayers and Praise

The conversations and situations that led up to this point are so clear in my mind.

A long time ago, I had heard the name Eliana and its meaning; God answered or God responded. A few years ago, Micah brought home a pair of the cutest, brown Mary Janes that had been left in the Chick-fil-A lost-and-found for months and months. Of course we had no girls at the time, but I held on to them and wondered if we would ever have an Eliana to fill them. I am good at sharing things we don't need or use, but for some reason, these shoes have stayed with me along with the name.

In the week that followed our big news~ that God has given us triplets~ Micah reminded me of a girl name, Isabella, that he and I had talked about even before Andrew was born. From the minute he said it, it seemed to be a no brainer. I hadn't imagined that God might give us two girls and I loved the names together~ especially for twins.

The funny thing is, we haven't had the most successful collaboration when discussing boy names. We would have very spirited conversations over Micah's choices (he really likes unique names from deceased past-Presidents and Theologians) and my lack of any suggestions. The week I found out I was expecting, I read a devotion about Sarah and Isaac. When we found out about the three babies, we like Sarah, did a lot of laughing. Micah's mother immediately suggested Isaac right from the beginning. It made perfect sense. If there was a boy that needed a name, that one would fit.

Beyond these, we had no other names. I bought a book of 10,000 baby names but it was no help at all. Of couse, if the Lord had differently for us, we could have adjusted. But I wondered if He had provided us the names of our children even before we knew their genders.

So yesterday, Micah and I went to our appointment. I looked at Micah as he dropped me off at the office door and said, "Let's go see if these babies are who we think they are!" At this point, you may think I am crazy. That's ok. There are many days I feel completely crazy! Through this whole process, I have been impressed over and over to trust God's care and sovereignty. I have spoken out for frozen lives whose days are numbered even before they are a thought in human existence. I firmly believe that God just doesn't create people but souls that show His providence throughout history. Psalm 139:16 says, Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. We are all not here together by chance, friends. When I have thought about names, it has been more about learning who these individuals already are rather than who they will become.

So there we are, in the ultrasound room, watching the screen. Baby A is first; the singleton. Everything looks good... and clearly, it's a boy! "There's Isaac!" I said to Micah. "What if they are all boys?!?" He replied. I knew that the twins would be the same gender so another boy would guarantee all boys. "Five boys!" I exclaimed. The ultrasound tech laughed and said she was then scared to look at the other two babies:) Baby B was the most difficult to see, so she moved to Baby C. It seemed like it took a while to find the right angle and check all the important stuff. Then, it was clear. The UT grabbed my arm. "It's a girl!" she said with a smile. For the next few minutes I tried to focus on the screen with teary eyes. Baby B confirmed it. There they were; Eliana and Isabella.

Three little baby heads (from left to right, Isabella, Eliana, and Isaac)

Then things got a little hairy. Eliana is at the back~ behind the other babies~ and was difficult to measure accurately. After much maneuvering, she did measure quite a bit smaller than Isabella. It took a while to visualize everything necessary to make a clear assessment of how she is doing. Her heart rate is good, but there is concern over her growth. Isabella and Isaac are very similar in size and are right on track. It wasn't until we saw our doctor that our concern for our twin girls grew a bit. There is a condition in Monochorionic, Diamniotic Twins (like ours) as well as other identical twins calls Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome~ or TTTS. Our girls are showing some early signs that could be attributed to this disease. Thankfully, upon our first visit with our Perinatologist, he assured us that while though there are only a few specialists in the country that treat TTTS, we live just over an hour from one of them. He is going to call first thing next week and give them all our babies information and see if they have insight on the best way to follow them.

So here are the ways we need you to pray:
~First, please join us in praising God for Eliana, Isabella, and Isaac. They are precious, overwhelmingly generous gifts.
~Second, pray for Isaac; that he may continue to grow strong and healthy.
~Third, pray for our girls; that TTTS would not be their diagnosis and that their growth issues would resolve. Also pray for wisdom as the specialists watch and care for them.
~Next, Micah found out this past week that he has two hernias that may need surgical intervention. We pray these can be dealt with quickly and effectively.
~Lastly, continue to pray for me. So far, my body has responded as well as it can to carrying three babies. We pray everyday that God provides all I need to physically nurture for them.

How are Andrew and Elijah handling all of this? Well, they just keep on being little boys. They are excited about their siblings (although Andrew wanted ALL girls!!! but he said "two will work!") and are responding with patience and understanding to our crazy family circumstances right now.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Surviving Sickness, Stacking Stones

At this moment, the house is completely, abnormally quiet. The past week has been trying to say the least. Micah suddenly came down with pneumonia and the babies and I survived some sort of stomach virus. It is a miracle that neither of the boys ever got sick and for that I am astounded and grateful. After being on lock down for a while, they are spending an afternoon with friends of ours and having a ball, I am sure. I thought I might at least share our newest picture of the babies with you all while I had the opportunity. This is a group shot with our twins on the left and the third on the right. You may have to be an ultrasound tech to really see them, but getting a group shot is difficult!I had heard from the beginning of this pregnancy that I would have a lot of ultrasounds and let me assure you, this is true. There are so many things to be conscious of and really no way to check on each baby without one. I have never been more thankful for modern technology! I am learning that with this kind of pregnancy, even the things the books say are not normal at all can be~ and thankfully have been~ very normal. Two weeks ago, an ultrasound showed that all babies were doing well, but our little baby B's growth was falling a bit behind the other two. Yesterday's ultrasound did show that he or she is catching back up. One of the most interesting things to learn from the images are each baby's position. I have been feeling movements for a bit but wasn't sure who was who. Now, I can differentiate each one. Truly amazing. I can't wait to see what their bending, stretching 6 arms and 6 legs feel like and I have a hunch that will be sooner than later!

We are truly in the "getting ready" phase of preparing for these babies to come live with us. We are not guaranteed many more weeks of having that freedom given the fact that eventual bed rest will more than likely be the best way to care for them. I have been cleaning out; which is something I love to do. It is a freeing feeling knowing I am getting rid of something I do not use that may serve someone else as the very thing they need. I am also enjoying as many normal days with Andrew and Elijah that I can. We are plugging along with school and taking advantage of the wonderful weather outside. It was one year ago that we began this adoption journey and I cannot help but feel that a pillar of stones would be appropriate to mark the things the Lord has done; both in me and the lives of the other 14 members of the Childs family. Remembering the past has always been one of the most compelling ways for me to look into the future. It wasn't my idea, though (see Deut. 4:9). I pray even if a physical pillar doesn't materialize, I will sense its presence in my soul as a testimony to the marvelous works of the Lord.