Thursday, January 31, 2008

One year ago ...

... we got the call we'd waited nearly two years for! Thursday, February 1, 2007 just before noon our social worker called and said we had an 8 month old daughter named Xiu Fu Jun residing in the Chongqing Municipality. And that was all the information we received until translation was completed the following Monday, February 5. Our SW called again with all the details, and sent our referral, including pictures, via email. Within the hour, we hopped in the van and drove to Tulsa to sign our LOA!
What a glorious day! Daddy, Kayden, Mommy, Denise S (China Director), Rebecca H (Social Worker).

Little did we know the next two months would be filled with "waiting weekends." Wait the weekend for TA. Wait the weekend to confirm our CA. Too much time to pack, repack and prepare for travel. But we built lasting relationships with our travel companions, and this summer we'll celebrate our first anniversary! We had no idea God would pour out His blessings so abundantly. Kambry Hope, you are an answer to many prayers! You melted my heart one year ago, and you melt my heart today! If you'd like to see pictures from our journey to Kambry, including "Gotcha Day" April 2, 2007, you can view our website here.

PS: I just went to Kambry's site and read what I wrote the day we were homeward bound from China. Here is an excerpt:

This is a bittersweet day for us. We are thrilled to be going home. We miss our kids, our beds, our friends and family so much. But China captured our hearts 2 and a half years ago. This is the birth country of 2 of our children. As we wave goodbye, we leave a part of our hearts here once again. If you could see Clayton talking to the Chinese people, you would understand. He is very much at home in China. He has been able to share some 'good news.'
With the stringent new regulations imposed upon prospective adoptive parents, we are nearly certain we won't be able to adopt again. There is too much finality in that. My heart breaks for the children who may never have a family. We know there is a Father greater than any earthly father, and I hope they will one day know Him. We look forward to coming back for our daughters' birthland tour in about 7 years, but in the meantime we pray God has something huge in the works.

Ha! I'd say He had something huge in the works. Just look at the sweet angel at the top of this blog. I've said it before and I'll say it again, His plans are far greater than anything we can even imagine! This post was a little longer than I planned. So again, our two year wait and complete travel journal is here.

One item checked off the list


We bought a car yesterday! Okay, so it wasn't this car (we could adopt 3 more times for the price of this car!!), but it's somewhere between a bus and a minivan :) While we wait for TA we have a long list of 'to do' matters. Now one of them is checked off!


Did I mention we're all a little weary around here?


Look at these adorable clothes I found for Kaeleb at Old Navy - on sale! Probably all too big, but better big than small.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Visas by next Monday!



Yeah, our passports have arrived at the embassy and will be picked up by the courier Friday, visas included! Our LOA should be in China today. Now the question, will CCAA issue our TA before closing February 7 for Chinese New Year? I know what my timetable would say ... but I will wait on the One whose timing is always perfect.

I don't like to report conflicting news in the same post, but we will spend the day in the hospital. My dad is getting physically weaker with more pain and confusion. Right now my mom's goal is to have the doctor prescribe something to keep him comfortable and move him to a hospital closer to home. My heart is sad, but my hopes are still high that God would grant him yet another lucid moment to make the most important decision of his life. I also pray for my mom, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Another "new" picture

Wow, look at this cutie! That's my boy at 10 months. Thank you, ET, for passing this precious picture on to me.

These shoes were made for walkin' ... and this is probably as still as they will ever be! We went shoe shopping after church Sunday because suddenly everyone needs new ones - yikes! I found these cute shoes, though probably too big, for Kaeleb. I plan to do lots of clothes shopping in China, but I need to take one pair of shoes just in case.

As for my dad, this week the doctor will evaluate his progress or lack thereof and we'll make plans for the long term. Miraculously, he has finally slept two nights in a row! I don't know if the sleep aid has finally kicked in or he's just wore out, but I'm grateful my mom has gotten to rest with him. While he still seems to be very strong in upper body, his legs are very weak and he hasn't been able to transfer to a wheelchair for a few days. We are overwhelmed by the number of people lifting him up to the Father! I know our prayers are being heard, and I still believe God will give him breath until he accepts Jesus!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

On the road again


Most of us in the adoption community have at least one shipping/delivery nightmare story. We have two! I can now safely say FedEx has seen the light and all is well :) Our LOA was shipped next day express from our agency in Alabama yesterday. I became concerned when I couldn't track the package for today's delivery. Apparently out here in the boonies we don't have Saturday delivery, despite the fact we've received numerous shipments on Saturday, but none as precious as this package. I admit, I am resourceful and persistent. What's more, we tracked the package to the OKC depot, but we weren't allowed to pick it up without the shipper's consent, and even then there was no guarantee the staff would cooperate and pull the package. Once again, Karla saves the day! We went to the depot, armed with Karla's cell number, the tracking number, and the name of the FedEx rep that approved the request. At first attempt, there was no budging, but when Clayton explained that this was the paper allowing us to bring our son home from China, things started happening! The staff was more than willing to locate the package, allow us to sign the document and return ship within 30 minutes. The same thing happened in 2004 with Kayden's referral. The two most important packages of our lives - I'd say they were worth jumping through hoops to get to! And this is why we chose to drive to Tulsa to sign Kambry's LOA last February :) Bottom line, the LOA is on its way to Alabama, guaranteed Monday delivery and should be in China on Wednesday. Next step, TA! Thank you, God, for being in the details!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Change is in the air


Well, before I start the millions of posts about Kaeleb's SWI, our travel, etc. I need to take care of business. I decided to lighten the blog and increase the font size for posting and viewing ease while in China. I'm sure I won't be well rested! I'm not completely sure I like the colors, but now I know how to change them. I'm also concerned that I won't be able to post on blogger as easily as I did on our website. I'm still debating whether to set up a "Kaeleb" site.
I need to report on my dad also. He doesn't seem to be improving mentally. It breaks my heart. I'm a mess of emotions right now. My mom is hurting, my dad is out of it, and my boy is waiting. I've got to get a grip! I'm leaning on God's promise that He won't give me more than I can bear. Thank you for joining us on this amazing journey we call life!
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Rom 12:12

Does it get any better?!?



Yep, that's right! Our China Director, K, just called, and we officially have LOA! We should have it in hand, signed and returned by tomorrow! Once CCAA has our LOA, we wait for them to issue TA (Travel Approval), and then we request CA (Consulate Appointment). TA usually comes 2-4 weeks following LOA receipt, then CA is generally known within 48 hours. China, here we come! Wow, first pictures of my boy, then LOA! It can't get much better at this phase of the game!

Our "solid" boy!

Here he is! He's been prayed for and cuddled. He's so lovable! Thank you, AW, for blessing us with new pix! Just look at those kissable cheeks!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

1st Grant response



Singing praises today! We received confirmation that God's Grace Adoption Ministry has awarded us a $2,500 matching grant! So, if we can raise $2,500, GGAM will match to a total of $5,000! That would make a dent in our adoption costs. Praise the Lord for His magnificent provision!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

From the hospital


Somebody, throw me one of these :) Just kidding. First, the good stuff. Since Clayton and I are in the hospital all day and night with Dad, we brought lots of paper work. We've completed 2 more grant applications, a financial statement, and a projection for our new business. Oh, we still have to do some on-line adoption courses.
Now for the not-so-great stuff. Today started out pretty well. Though Dad was restless and couldn't sleep, he wasn't combative. This afternoon he went from drowsy to c-r-a-z-y. Suddenly he's working cattle, which includes pushing them in the chute with his feet! The poor nurses have had to restrain him, and it just kills me. But he doesn't recognize anyone and is so combative it's necessary. We did have a chance to chat with him about the Lord, and he just won't make a decision. We will continue to pray to the God who changes hearts!
As for Kaeleb news, yesterday we mailed a care package to him, and it should arrive within 2 weeks. It's possible we'll have new pix of him by Friday! I can't wait!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Can you say ....


Okay, we don't have it in our hands yet, but we know it's being processed! Whether it will be signed by CCAA and mailed before or after Chinese New Year we don't know. The CCAA virtually shuts down the first two weeks of February to celebrate Lunar New Year. To say that we are sweetly surprised, and shocked, and scatterbrained is an understatement! Praise the Lord for good news! Kaeleb, your daddy and mommy are coming to get you!

Monday, January 21, 2008

So glad to report good news!



What a difference a day makes! Dad's oncologist prescribed a sleeping pill, and it worked! Both of my parents slept last night, for the second time in nearly 3 weeks. I even spoke to my dad on the phone this morning. While I know his status can change in an instant, I am grateful for the sweet moments we have. My mom wants to go to work the last 3 days of this week, so each of us kids will take a day and night shift in the hospital with Dad. My day is Wednesday, and I am praying for clarity and rest. My mom really needs hope to cling to, and we serve a God who offers just that. And speaking of work, mine is suffering so I'd better get to it. Thank you for praying unceasingly.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A tough fight

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor 4:17-18.
Suffice it to say the last few days have not been good. My mom is losing perspective and hope. My dad hasn't rested but one night in 2.5 weeks. When he doesn't sleep, neither does she. And I can tell you that sleep deprivation can tarnish what little perspective you may have! There have been very few brief moments of clarity, and the rest of the time is filled with nonsensical stories, delusions and agitation. My dad's brain injury seems to fall somewhere between Alzheimer's and a stroke, and my mom feels trapped in the middle. To spend hours in his hospital room is depressing, and to consider his condition is paralyzing. Beyond that, I have no comforting words to offer my mom, but can only give her relief by allowing her to "escape" for a few hours at a time. It's like my dad is trapped in this living hell, somewhere between insanity and pain, but complete insanity would be a relief and he's not allowed to go there. I know my mom is praying for healing, but I contend that would not bring the most glory to God. In my dad's mind that would be his own doing, that he beat the odds. I believe God desires others to grow nearer to Himself, and whatever it takes for that to happen, He will allow, as He deserves all the glory. Yes, bad things happen to good people, but that's not the point. We aren't guaranteed a trouble-free life, even when we are obedient. In fact, it's those struggles, trials and circumstances that are opportunity for growth, and allow us to accept our own dependence. We can have joy, even in the worst circumstances. Why is my dad in so much torment? Why must my mom go through this? I don't know, and I may never know. But I know this is not the end of the story. What if this life were all there is? Thank goodness it's not! God gives us a prize at the end of the race, if we'll just accept it. He's done the hard part, giving His only son for our sins, and all we have to do is choose to accept His gift. Yes, I am a sinner; yes, I need a Savior; yes, Jesus is my Savior and Lord; yes, He died for my sin and was raised on the third day; yes, I trust in Him and I will spend eternity in heaven. Oh, if only I could impart that to my dad. He has been given boundless mercy and grace, and now he needs peace.

Friday, January 18, 2008

SWEETLY BROKEN

I have loved this song since it first came out. May it be a blessing to you! Don't forget to turn off my music at the bottom of the page before starting the video.

Juggling



This is me :) Oh, it's not so bad! Yesterday was a good day in the hospital. There weren't a lot of sensible conversations, but I'm learning to participate in the nonsense :) I finally had a good visit with the oncologist, and he helped me understand a little better what's going on. Melanoma tumors are vascular, and Dad's brain tumor is in a critical spot, behind his optic nerve. Even though the cyberknife may have killed the cancer cells, the tumor is still present, or at least debris from the tumor is present. A month after the cyberknife procedure something began to bleed in the area of the tumor, whether it was the tumor itself or another area of the brain, we don't know. We only know the results: confusion, belligerence, agitation, etc. This brain injury is much like a stroke, and the extent and progress of healing is unknown. The doctor assures me that everything that can be "fixed" is being fixed. There is no explanation for Dad having one day of physical weakness and exhaustion, one day of belligerence, a few hours of clarity, ramblings about unusual things like designing vehicles for better air quality, banking and stock market, goat farming in Mexico, or like yesterday, one day of all the above (he was in the bank yesterday). His potassium was low, and while that generally isn't a cause for confusion, he is thinking much better since it's been regulated. PT had Dad on his feet for 3 brief moments yesterday. The exertion led to agitation and confusion, during which time I repeatedly told him where we were and why he couldn't get up. Eventually he became so tired he slept nearly 2 hours, and then woke up somewhat refreshed. After a short conversation about the invention of shopping carts, he began to watch a classic Western movie and was quoting lines from it! Finally, last night both my parents had a restful night, and he was ready for breakfast this morning. After my mom and I got off the phone, he insisted she call me back to tell me that he loves me! Today might be a good day! We'll go back to the hospital as a family tomorrow. Please continue to pray for healing, clarity and opportunity! BTW, my husband rocks! I had left a recipe and ingredients on the counter, and after the kids' basketball games he made the best chicken pot pie I've ever eaten. I'll have to share that recipe!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One step forward, more back

I hate to post contradicting updates in one day, but it is what it is. Physical therapy was able to get Dad up on his feet for a few seconds at a time today, but within the next minute he couldn't remember he'd stood up. His memory is gone. Is it the next phase in the cancer, the next phase in his brain injury? We can no longer blame the drugs as he isn't on anything but anti-seizure meds. He is restrained and agitated but physically exhausted. I just felt I needed to paint a truer picture of what's going on today. Our prayers do not fall on deaf ears.

Answered prayers


My dad was moved out of ICU last night, and his meds have been reduced. PT is going to get him out of bed today, for the first time in 2 weeks! His thinking seems more clear, and his communication better. I'm going to spend the day with him tomorrow, so please continue to pray for our time together! God certainly doesn't need me to do His work, but if He wants to use me, I will avail myself. May God bless every faithful warrior who has interceded for us!
...so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isa 55:11

Adoption Related good news


We received a phone call from one of the organizations we applied for adoption financial assistance, Life International . We had a phone interview, our application request is going to the director today, and we should receive notification within a few weeks. We applied for a matching grant, whereby if approved, we would try to raise the maximum dollars to be matched by LI. It's a huge praise for us to be prayerfully considered.

To lighten the mood


Kuyler packed up and went back to college. We sure did enjoy having him home!
Kambry chooses her ride! She's telling us "all done," using her baby signs, after making a huge mess with cherry applesauce.


Maybe Mom can hitch a ride and blow this joint ~ naaaahhhh! I wouldn't want to miss all this fun! Medical update later ...

Monday, January 14, 2008



Dad is now at day 12 in ICU and we still don't have any answers. The CT scan shows no significant changes from Jan. 2nd. The doctors can't explain why Dad continues to decline. Saturday he was very weak, uncoordinated, and couldn't talk out loud, but he was calm. Sunday he was physically stronger but agitated and couldn't carry on a sensible conversation. Today he is somewhat agitated, and his blood pressure is spiking. Once the doctor gets the EEG results, I assume he'll have a new plan of action or stick with the same "one day at a time" regimine. If Dad has done business with the Lord, he is unable to communicate it to us, so we remain available to ask and answer questions, and pray! We really need those lucid moments!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

60 days and counting!


We have reached day 60 in our 90-120 day wait for Kaeleb's LOA! Technically, we could receive good news any day now, but we don't expect it until the end of February. LOA is Letter of Acceptance, and it means that the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) has approved our "match" with Kaeleb and is requesting written confirmation of our desire to adopt him. No brainer on our part! We should have new pictures within the month, which we're so excited about. I feel like I'm scrapbooking without any photos :) Kaeleb, your daddy and mommy are ready and waiting!

Friday, January 11, 2008

No improvement today, CT Monday



Kambry and Granddad playing a game at Thanksgiving. Today the doctors ordered a CT scan for early Monday morning to try and determine what's going on and why Dad isn't getting better. He is only getting weaker, as he's been on his back in ICU for over a week now. He still doesn't have good swallow reflex, and much of his motor movement is affected. We will spend much of the weekend in the hospital so unless there is really big news I won't post it. Please continue to pray that we'd have precious moments of clarity in our conversations. ... being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6

Praise and Prayer



Though exhausting, yesterday was an amazing day! DJ and I had an opportunity to share Jesus with my dad, and he is pondering the decision! I believe God will give my dad breath until he chooses eternal life! So we're still praying! As for his health, his doctors are not seeing improvement. There could be a number of reasons for this as melanoma is so unpredictable. Of course I don't know, but I fear he may not leave the hospital. He had a short span of belligerence, a seizure, a couple hours of confusion, a full day of "zoning out" mid sentence, and a couple hours of clarity. The brain is an amazing thing, but when it's not working right, it creates havoc. Again, we appreciate you joining us in prayer.

Thursday, January 10, 2008



Today is yet another day in ICU, not much change. Dad had one seizure yesterday, and I don't know if that was related to a change in meds, decrease in meds or what. This morning he is calm but confused. I'm going to relieve my mom and will report back tonight. Thank you for your prayers, emails and phone calls. God is good, all the time!


Happy 20 months, sweet Kambry Hope. You are such a blessing!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Happy 19 month birthday, my sweet boy! Soon, very soon, your mommy will get to make up for all the lost months. Kaeleb, you were conceived in our hearts, and we can't wait to hold you in our arms. Mommy.

One Step Forward ... Two Steps Back

Today we have good news and bad news regarding Dad's condition. The good news is the spinal tap came back clear, no melanoma in his spinal column. The bad news is he's become increasingly belligerent and still remains confused. So we're left to believe the brain bleed is going to take time and prayer to heal. We are discouraged by the lack of improvement, but grateful the cancer hasn't spread further. He hasn't had any more seizures since taking the anti-seizure med. We fear the anti-anxiety med may cause some agitation, but it needs to be taken regularly. Today's specific prayer request: Please pray for a special visitor Thursday, moments of clarity and a softened and ready heart. As a family, we also have some difficult decisions to make. And pray that my mom can endure the physical and emotional strain.
"...but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:14

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Randomness

This is our motto! Even though we don't always know what's going on in my dad's head, we believe God is working in his heart. (update below)
Comic relief ~ fashion statement? Go Kambry; Go Kambry; Go Kambry!
And He loves us even more! I'm back home, trying to catch up on work and never-ending laundry. My dad is showing signs of improvement ~ praise the Lord! We never take these for granted, but we do embrace them for the short time they last! Dad hasn't been able to rest comfortably for over a week, and one of our concerns has been that in mid-sentence, whether sensible or not, he would just zone out and fall asleep for 30-45 seconds. Finally, yesterday he slept for a few hours and when he awoke he was totally different! He was thinking in the "present" and asking relevant questions. He knew where he was, and he knew our names and all about our families. My two brothers and I were both in the room with him, so it was a huge blessing to have him back! The doctors are seeing improvement, although much slower than they would expect. The spinal tap was done yesterday, and we're waiting on pathology to determine if the melanoma is in his spinal column. We still don't have any answers and are taking one day at a time, cherishing the moments we have and praying for God's perfect timing regarding my dad's salvation. Please remember my mom as well, as she bears a heavy load but carries it well.
In other news, Kuyler goes back to college this week, and we will miss him! He's been so much help during his break. He cared for the kids while I was sick, he runs errands and helps Clayton at work. School may be a nice break for him :)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Mixed Emotions

This is how I feel today, a mix of emotions. Thanks to my precious kids for providing the picture! I'll give a few brief updates. First on the adoption front, next week we'll be at day 60 of our wait for LOA! We could be halfway through the wait! Kaeleb, your mama can't wait to hold you! There is a family traveling to Foshan this month to receive their daughter, and they plan to take a few pictures of Kaeleb for us. What a huge blessing that will be.
As for my dad, all my hopes of improvement from yesterday are dashed today. He had a horrible night and seems to be worse today. The doctor plans to do a spinal tap on Monday to test for melanoma in his spinal column, thinking that could be the real culprit. That gives us nearly 48 hours to pray for improvement! We'll spend the day at the hospital and hopefully I can give my mom a break the next few days. Thank you, prayer warriors!
And congratulations to our dear friends who had a healthy baby boy yesterday ~ we can't wait to get the details! We love you!



Friday, January 4, 2008

Good news, we hope.

...The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16
Thank you for the outpouring of prayers and support. It is awesome to know that my dad is being lifted up to the Great Physician from hearts around the globe! This picture was taken 4 days before Christmas, and while my dad was weak and pale, he could still function normally. I can only give my uneducated, simple version of what's going on. In November 2003 (right before our dossier for K4 went to China) he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, already in his lymph system. He underwent radical surgery, radiation and chemotherapy which seemed to eliminate the cancer. However, a few months later it was found in an inoperable site near his shoulder, collar bone area. Since that time he has undergone treatment to retard the growth of the existing cancer. In October it was found in previous surgical sites and had metastasized to his brain. Roughly 30 days later, right after Thanksgiving, he underwent a procedure using a cyberknife to try and retard the brain tumor, which is located behind his optic nerve. Now, 30+ days post procedure, he began experiencing mental confusion and seizures. Despite our earlier thinking that there is a surgical "fix" for this, we now know, from MRI, that his condition is caused by swelling and pressure on his brain, which is a potential side effect of the procedure. It is like a bruise in that the only cure is "time." He is much like a stroke patient. He can't communicate clearly and mutters meaningless words and phrases, he is uncomfortable and in pain, he can't understand simple commands, can't walk and doesn't recognize his loved ones. The good news is the brain tumor has not grown and there is no indication of new cancer or brain damage from the seizures. He will remain in ICU under constant care until he shows signs of improvement. As a family, we pray the Lord will grant him time to heal, extended moments of clear thinking and the ability to recognize those who love him so much. Most of all, we pray that whatever the state of his mind, the Lord is working in his heart so that he can make a sound decision for salvation. Thank you for joining us in prayer! Kuyler wrote these words on a card we took to Dad yesterday:
"Granddad, I know you're a tough guy, so you need to get better. I want to talk to you about all the times we fed cattle, drove around in the truck and you gave me ice cream for lunch."
Update:
Dad is showing slight signs of improvement this afternoon. He has short, though not continuous, moments of recognition and understanding of simple commands.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2007 has been an eventful year! Some things I wouldn't want to experience again but have served as valuable life-changing lessons.
1) I don't take my good health for granted. My dad is now in his 5th year battling malignant melanoma which has metastasized to his brain. It was discovered in 2003 during a routine medical exam.
2) While I've always lived by my own slogan, "procrastination breeds motivation," it does not serve me well these days. I accomplish as much as I can every day, realizing the things that didn't get checked off were not high priority anyway.
3) Turning 43 and having 3 kids under the age of 5 and 3 kids over the age of 9 is just where I want to be!
4) I can do almost anything with 1 hand and 5 fingers while carrying a 28 pound toddler.
5) No matter how busy my life is, relationships are the most important investment.
6) I can successfully mop a floor with 6 other people in the house.
7) I have re-defined "clean."
8) A mini-van will hold 7 people and 2 weeks worth of groceries (as long as everyone holds their fair share :)
9) I must take time to stop ... and play Candyland! While I'm very task-oriented, I'm learning to enjoy the fleeting moments with my children. I have the rest of my life to grow my business ~ right now I just need to stay afloat!
10) While patience is not a virtue I possess, I have learned that waiting on God's perfect timing is always best.
11) My home may be full, but so is my heart!
12) I can do everything through Him who gives me strength! (Phil 4:13)
13) I praise the Lord for friends and family who have stood by us, even when they thought we were crazy.
14) 2008 will be a year of new blessings and challenges. I can't wait to hold my son!


Ah, yes, Santa did come, and we had an awesome Christmas! My family came Friday, December 21st, and we had so much fun with the cousins, opening gifts, staying up late catching up and finding a place for 21 people to sleep! Those are the best Christmases! We woke up Saturday morning to the most beautiful snow, and we all headed south to Norman for Christmas at my aunt's. By the time we left Norman the roads we so bad it took us 5 hours to get home, but it was worth the trip. The kids woke us up bright and early Christmas morning to report that Santa had indeed found our house. We spent the day playing DS, Guitar Hero III and riding the coolest scooter around the kitchen, then we went to the movies and watched Water Horse. After that things went downhill ... I had tonsilitis and have been sick for a week. I praise the Lord for my awesome husband and 19 year old son who kept chaos at bay while I tried to sleep through the pain. They made sure the girls had naps and everybody was fed and bathed. I have so much to be thankful for. I think this Christmas will go down as one of my favorites, despite my yearning to bring Kaeleb home.
As for the pictures: the top one is Kolton and Austin, partners in crime! Kambry is becoming more and more independent, insisting on feeding herself, and we're teaching her Baby Signs, in hopes it will help us communicate with Kaeleb. Kayden is making a fashion statement with her new dance outfit which she wears every single day! Oh, these are the days.

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