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Thursday, February 26, 2009


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

I am having such a difficult time trying to decide how to write this post.  The appointment yesterday was interesting.  The neurologist hasn't changed his bedside manner or view of himself in the last 4 months, but praise the Lord, Moody and I are completely in a different place!  

We got to the office and unfortunately Abe was fussy as he had missed his nap.  My pride kicked in immediately as I wanted my boy to "perform, show off his skills, wow this man!"  Why did I care?  Pride. Sin.  He was really tight as he often is when he gets tired, and I just knew the Dr. wouldn't see all of the progress that we see on a daily basis.  Ugly, I know.  Moody and I waited in the office for awhile for the Dr. to come in and literally 10 seconds after he entered the room, Abe fell fast asleep.  HE WAS OUT!!!!!  

The first thing the Dr. asked us was if we were ever contacted about Abe's MRI.  He couldn't see in his notes that he had ever talked to us about the results.  Yes, we have been sitting by the phone every day for the past 4 months hoping that somehow, someway this will be the day that someone calls to let us know how the image of our sons brain looks!! PLEASE.  Moody simply told him that a good friend goes to church with one of Drs. partners and he called us 30 minutes after the MRI. :)  I think Moody enjoyed it actually.  "You must have the inside then" was his response.  

He then continued on with this......."oh, I think it is coming back to me, you had some village dr tell you he was o.k right and I think I made you (pointing to me) cry!"  Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner!!!  He did make me cry, YES he did.  Something about "I'm sure the MRI will reveal significant brain damage and I'm not sure if he will ever walk or talk" made me cry. I guess I'm a softie that way.  I had to kick Moody's foot because I was afraid that he just might come unglued at that point.  He asked us if we wanted to all go out in the hall and view the scan together. (side note, Abe was born in a hospital in Addis, seen by a good Dr. in Ethiopia, our pediatrician and an International Adoption specialist once we returned and none of them suspected anything other than typical developmental delay--so the village Dr. part really stung)

Ok, truth.  I haven't seen the image.  I just couldn't ever see a reason to have that picture in my head.  I simply wanted to see Abe and the miraculous works the Lord was doing in his brain and not some big, black hole.  I read the report, I knew that it would look completely abnormal, that it wouldn't offer me any hope and so we declined to go look with him.  Surprisingly, he was pleased with this answer.  He agreed that the image would do nothing to encourage, so he ran out of the room to refresh his own memory.

He entered the room with "that was impressive."  I had no idea what in the world he meant by that one, so I asked.  He said that Abe is impressive, he would never imagine that Abe (remember,perfectly sleeping baby) would be the child to go with that scan. I guess he was going off of our testimony of Abe's progress. He again used the words, "significant abnormal brain development" and explained things a little more in detail.  

This was helpful honestly as it cleared up several questions that we have had.  Abe's injury is not what you typically see in an inuterine stroke.  Typically you will see a hemi (one side affected) or an isolated portion of the brain injured.  Abe's scan is just much worse than either of those two. He is missing both the left and right frontal lobes and a small sliver of brain that runs down his right side.  This completely explains why his left side has been more involved than his right. Because it isn't "typical", he would like Abe to visit a hematologist for a complete stroke work up.  He thinks it will show that it was indeed vascular in nature or possibly it just never formed correctly very early in his development.  Either way, we need to be sure that he isn't at risk for a future stroke.

He also thinks Abe would be benefit from his spasticity clinic.  He is an expert in the field and we feel good about this as another option for Abe's therapy.  Maybe this alone is the reason that we first stepped foot in his office.  I think time will tell on that one.  We plan to schedule and appointment with the clinic and see if it is a good fit.

We left the office so very different than we did last time.  I will never forget walking outside last time and watching the cars zip by and thinking "how are you going on with your life people, don't you know that my world just turned upside down!!!"  I realize now just how egotistical that thinking is- but at the time, it is exactly how I felt.  Yesterday, we walked out with our precious boy, filled with hope.  Hope that only the Lord can bring, hope that He is in control, hope that Abe is progressing, hope that he will continue to progress, and hope in a Father that loves us beyond what we can ever imagine!  HOPE.

As Moody was putting the kids to bed last night, they prayed for Dr. A.  They prayed that the Lord would reveal Himself to him through Abe.  That he would see something miraculous taking place before his eyes, something that he has to acknowledge isn't within the realm of modern medicine and desire to know more.  Will you join me in praying for him?  I have to say that this is clear evidence of a work the Lord has done in my heart. I can honestly say that I so clearly see the Lord's hand in bringing us to that office. He works all things for our good. 

Thank you for the many texts and emails that I received yesterday.  They are such an encouragement to all of us. You are loved and appreciated. :)
Wednesday, February 25, 2009

neurologist appt.

Abe has an appointment with the neurologist today.  The same neurologist that delivered devastating news to us 4 months ago.  We left that day determined to never step foot in his office again in protest of his lack of sensitivity. (funny how that seemed like such a good idea) I completely forgot that they had automatically scheduled us for an appointment 4 months after that initial visit and we never thought to call and cancel.  We got one of those automated reminder calls yesterday and we have decided to go to the appointment.

We are so much stronger now, we have information now, we have the progress Abe has made with us now and we will see how it goes with him. We have heard that he is the best in the area for motor movement.  We would appreciate your prayers.  

Please head over to see how great Maggie is doing.  She is home!  Thank you Lord that the surgery went well.  The Oatsvall family needs our continued prayers.

Continue to pray for little Abby.  She is in so much pain right now.
Thursday, February 19, 2009

i miss ethiopia

I miss Ethiopia. I had such a difficult time processing all that we had seen and experienced in Ethiopia when we first returned home. I felt as if a piece of my heart were missing, and I longed to return to the country and people that we fell in love with while there. We were planning a return trip for this summer and then got Abe's diagnosis. Everything changed.

Immediately we dove into doctors appointments, therapy sessions and making progress. I feel like we have now settled into our "new normal" and that dull aching to return is back. I love to live vicariously through families that are traveling to pick up kids, organizations that are doing mission work or groups committed to charity work in Ethiopia.

I saw this video last night and the tears just flowed. Happy tears for the people that hold such a special place in my heart and tears that simply long to go back, set foot on Ethiopian soil and reconnect with people there. This is such a wonderful picture of the impact that one family can have in the lives of many.

Our kids watched the video with us, and as we were putting them to bed, Wick prayed for this family, thanking the Lord for the difference that they made in these Ethiopians lives.  How great that the gift of this family is still making an impact here! :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

just what we needed

The weekend away was just what we needed! It was full of fellowship, great food, beautiful scenery and 2 full nights of sleep. We feel so blessed to have been able to spend time with our friends from Southern Cal. What an amazing group of people. :)

Thank you Pam and Steve for letting us crash in the swankiest pad around for a second time. Your hospitality and generosity were greatly appreciated. The kids insist that they get to return the next time.

Check out these two Ethiopian beauties-- I think that several marriages were being brokered over the course of the weekend.  Pray for little Miss Zoe and her parents as they leave for Ethiopia to bring home her big sister this week.

Monday, February 16, 2009

parting the waters

I read this book on the plane and it ministered to me in so many ways. There were so many times that I read my exact thoughts, fears and feelings as Jeanne retold their personal story. Our stories differ in many ways, but one common thread is that modern medicine isn't on our sons side but the God of the impossible is!! It spoke to me on an obvious level as a mother with a brain injured child, but it will certainly bless anyone that reads it. Her faith is inspiring and ability to see that God works ALL things for our good and His glory brought me to tears on many occasions. (always fun on an airplane)

I encourage you to view the short trailer for the book and then plan to read of the Damoff's incredible journey of faith through the life of Jacob.

We had a wonderful weekend and it was exactly what we needed. The Lord graciously provided for all of our needs and Abe slept much better for my parents! Thank you for your prayers. :) I will share pics when I get them....hint, hint!
Friday, February 13, 2009

my valentine

My sweetie is taking me away

from these guys for 48 hours

to their house

with this view

this cool guy

this family minus one Ethiopian beauty ready for them to come get her

ready to sit on one of these stools with this precious boy

can't wait to catch up with her

and then talk some more. Oh, and I'm really excited about 2 good nights of sleep.

the crew is staying in these very capable (well traveled) hands! Thank you Nanny and Bunty!! :)

I am really looking forward to the time with my honey. Would you please pray that Abe will sleep for my parents? He still is up at night and my body is getting used to it, but it would make the weekend so much easier for everyone if he would choose to sleep. Thank you so much! Hope you have a Very Happy Valentines Day!! :)
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

pray for me, pray for others

Pray for MeWe participate in "Pray for Me... Pray for Others" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to add your prayer request.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Thank you Amy for making this current need known! Please read the following post from Tom Davis.

URGENT! Help Feed Hungry Kids in Ethiopia and Swaziland

Friends, I need your help this month to deliver 120,000 meals to Ethiopia and Swaziland. The food situation in both countries is dire, and I'm asking you to help today with a gift.

Last month, Children's HopeChest walked right into the food crisis in Ethiopia. While I was leading a team in Swaziland, I received this urgent message from our staff in Ethiopia:

Tom, I've just gotten back from Moses' Children's Home here in Ethiopia. Their needs cannot wait and the food situation is beyond critical. I'm doing what I can to get food to the kids, but we need money right away to secure regular food for the next few months. If not, many of the kids here will risk starvation. Please help.

Moses' Children's Home is one of the orphanages in line for sponsorship. Until two months ago, their private funding was supporting this work. Now, those funds are gone, and the kids are hungry.

I was in Swaziland in January, and it's the same story there. So many hungry kids. We're launching several new carepoints, and want to make sure they are set up for feeding as many kids as possible.

Children's HopeChest has crafted rapid intervention to get food to Ethiopia and Swaziland. Here's the plan and how you can help:

$3,125 is needed immediately to send 20,000 meals to Ethiopia. This food is bound for Moses' Home, Abenezer's Home, and some of the orphanages where Ryan Brown and Gladney are working.

An additional $10,000 is needed to purchase a container to ship 100,000 meals to Swaziland for use in the CHC carepoints there. The container will remain in Swaziland and our staff will use it as a storage container for ministry items.

$13,125 for one container and 120,000 meals. Can you help us?

Use the DONATE link below to go directly to the giving page. Put "FEBRUARY FOOD PROJECT" in your note.

Monday, February 9, 2009

care for orphans

Look what came in the mail today???!! My awesome new long-sleeved t-shirt from Gwen.

This is a post that Gwen wrote a few days ago.  I love this girls passion for the orphans and think she does a great job of educating many ways that one can take the command in James. Gwen inspires me to radically love Jesus, to step out in faith and to be a voice for those that don't have one.  Order a shirt- you will love it.....and you will help the Oatsvall family bring home Joseph and Abigail.  

T-SHIRTS ARE HERE ... I DESIGNED THEM TO CAUSE PEOPLE TO TALK ... I pictured the Daisy as people would say "You Love Me, You Love Me Not?" and it hit me ... It is a personal choice to love the orphans, but it is a mandate from the Father that we all care for them in some way ... WHAT DOES CARING LOOK LIKE FOR YOU ... It could be adopting, sponsoring a child, helping someone fund their adoption, clothes drives/food drives for orphanages, volunteering at a non-profit, interim care, or simply buying this t-shirt to help bring my children home ... I know I am saying this to the choir... You, my blog family, have been amazing at caring for the orphans, so many of you are ACTING and we are changing this world !!! Let's keep talking about them to others and get more people involved ...
I HOPE YOU LIKE THEM ... I HAVE 100 ... SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE, AND X-LARGE ... $25.00 each ... To gauge your size, I am wearing a Medium .... (pay pal on sidebar)
I am so excited to be taking this step to start the fundraising for my angels ... Much has happened over the last few days that I will blog soon ... GOD THINGS ... AMAZING HAND OF GOD MOMENTS ....
Feel free to email me any questions about the shirts ...
Thursday, February 5, 2009

seeing Him work

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in Him. " Lamentations 3:23-24

I have to take a moment to give the Lord all glory, honor and praise for the work He is doing in Abe.  Yesterday was one of those special days- I could literally SEE Him working, SEE Him strengthening him, making him more aware and what a blessing it was as Abe's mama. :)

I was reading the 8th chapter of Matthew this morning and became overwhelmed at the miraculous healing that Jesus did while He walked on earth. He healed a leper, a paralyzed servant, Peter's mother-in-law, cast demons out of many and this is just in one chapter of the gospels! That same healing power is taking place in Abe and we are humbled at all of those that lift Abe's name before the Father.

We had his 3 month evaluation today with his PT- (remember our big 6 month goal of sitting up right???) Please check out Abe below showing off for us today and last week. He certainly still has much strength left to gain, but he is working so stinking hard!!  We sure are proud of him.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

give love, give water

Charity Water also has ways to give the life-saving gift of water this Valentines Day. 
Monday, February 2, 2009


I am a big fan of this girl!

and her ministry, Amazima, in Uganda. 

Her blog blesses the reader as they are given the opportunity to SEE God moving, SEE him work in big ways, HUGE ways. Please take the time to read her latest post (January 31st) on Sumini. It will break your heart and bless you all the same.

Katie is the real deal, being the hands and feet of Christ to these precious kids in Uganda.  

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"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from becoming polluted by the world." James 1:27
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