Thursday, December 11, 2008

Adoption Day

Big day for our family today. We finally got to finalize Iris' adoption. Her name is now legally changed to Iris Ofelia Maples from Ofelia Maria Maples. Of ocurse we've been calling her Iris but now it's official. The court appearance was only 10-15 minutes. The lighting wasn't good and I'm disappointed in the photos but at least we got a few. They don't normally allow cameras in the court room but they make exceptions for adoption cases. Here are a few pics of our princess Iris.

News on Ian

Well, the last few days have been long without much progress. Thankfully his personality is returning and his energy. Problem is with eating and drinking still. Thin liquids gag him and make him vomit the pureed food he had swallowed. They turned his IV off today in hopes he'd be desperate to drink. Didn't happen and his IV is back on for the evening and night. As I type this though, he is slowly eating some pudding. He needs more liquids though and the thicker ones seem to go down better. If tomorrow goes better, we may get out saturday. I'll keep you posted. Here are a few pictures from the last couple days. The big black dog is Zach and I woke Ian up to meet him. As you can see from the pictures, Ian wasn't impressed. The dog is a newfoundland and was huge. Ian's IV infiltrated the other night and went 3-4 hours before the nurse noticed it as his legs are always under the covers. They are supposed to check it every hour though :( Ian had fun with the masks and gloves though as the nurse used a vein light to locate a new IV sight. She got it with only 1 try and Ian didn't even flinch. The other dog is Grace who is a whippet. She visited today and Ian loved her. She looked a lot like Fiona, the italian greyhound we had for awhile. The robot he is holding was something we made from FLOAM that my friend brought to Ian. He has a cheezy smile but he really had fun and likes it. He thought his emasis basin made a great hat. Thankfully the nurse had just washed it. The last photo was one I took today to show how skinny he has become. I can't wait to beef him back up a bit. He's scaring me but the doctors don't seem concerned. Ian's sleeping is greatly improved and doesn't have near as many coughing fits. He does snore more though which we'll have to watch as obstructive sleep apnea can be a side effect from this surgery. The video at the end was taken a couple nights ago. His first 5 nights were like this or worse. The fits actually got worse but I couldn't video that as I was busy helping him sit up and clear the mucous. Please pray we are out of here this weekend.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Matthew 25:35(from RR blog)

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in." (Matthew 25:35)

This verse, spoken by Jesus, reminds us that not only are we helping the person who is looking right at us, but by helping that person, we are serving God. Jesus says that when we are doing something for those around us that serves them in their need, we are serving Him as well. When was the last time you looked at a homeless person requesting food and saw them as Jesus, just waiting to be served? Or that person who needed an extra dollar in the grocery line ahead of you in order to buy food for their family? What about the person who has nowhere to go for the holidays and is sitting home alone just praying someone will stop in to say hello? And of course, the child waiting for a home to call their own... Do you see Jesus in them?

He says that when "I" was hungry you gave "me" something to eat, and yet the people replied saying they never saw him. But it was Him that they served as they gave to the people around them. There are so many names for this...

"being Jesus with skin on"
"living by Faith"
"compassion ministries"
"Luke 4 ministries"
"community outreach"

But reality is... living your life and giving just a small piece away to someone in need around you... this is what Jesus is about. Serving and showing love.

Do you have a heart for people? Can you spare that extra cheeseburger as you pull on to the interstate and see someone hungry by the side of the road? Can you share that extra $5 and buy a toy for the local drive for families struggling? Do you dream of another little one to call you "Mom" or "Dad"?

Another way you can reach out this holiday season is by sponsoring a child on Reece's Rainbow by going to Help one more child come closer to having a family this Christmas. Think of all those "Jesus" faces looking out from their need. Which will you help fulfill? Will you feed Him? Give Him water? Invite Him in?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Geneology of Jesus(from RR)

Did you know that the Bible lists out the genealogy of Jesus? Maybe you've noticed before and skipped those first 16 verses in the very beginning of the New Testament, Matthew chapter 1 verse 1? These lists are often cumbersome to read through and many of the names hold little significance to most of us, but it's not those names that bring this genealogy to mind. Of course they hold significance, but did you ever read verse 16 really closely?

Matthew 1:16 "and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."

Joseph was Mary's husband. The ADOPTIVE father of Jesus. The earthly father that raised Jesus as his own flesh even tho he wasn't a biological relative. The one that taught Jesus his trade- in carpentry- and raised up the Savior of the world.

Now, take another look at that verse, Matthew 1:16. And think of all those verses of genealogical fatherhood (16 verses) going back 14 generations showing the significance of Jesus' family. Significant enough to be the entryway into the New Testiment put together by God's hand. All based on the heritage of Jesus' adoptive father.

There is no question that adoption is the heart of God!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ian Update Sunday Night

So it's Sunday night and Ian is resting. Sorry I haven't updated much but I'll give you a rundown of what's been going on now. I'm including a bunch of photos and a couple videos. The video of Ian where he is playful was taken the morning after surgery. He was playful but that was the ONLY time so far. He has a ton of phlem in his throat that he can't swallow cuz it hurts and it hurts to cough it up as well. We thought he was making progress as he was taking popsicles but he has thrown up everything since then. He had pureed carrots and peaches last night which turned out to come up as a fountain. He's back to stricly clear liquids and so he hasn't eaten in 4 days. He has an appetite and wants to eat but we can't let him and that's really hard to see. Lately though I've been his scratcher. His head has been very itchy and since he has casts on his arms, he can't scratch anything. It's also challenging as he can't tell me what itches. Needless to say, we'll be here awhile yet. We're trying to keep him busy though and yesterday we got to tour the helicoptor pad up on the roof. It was his first outing and was miserable but was good to get him out. There is a picture of me holding Ian and the other guy is the pilot. Then today one of the dance companies in town did a short rendition of their full Polar Express performance. It was great. I literally had to drag Ian to it though. Once there, he seemed to enjoy it a bit and got to see Santa. He got a silver bell from one of the reindeer too. My favorite part was the "tap" Polar Express performance that I captured on video too. The last clip is pretty much how he is all the time with the exception of the playful video. He's very gurgly. They are talking about putting his IV in his hand tomorrow and taking it out of his his foot so he can start walking. I don't want this as it means a poke plus there isn't much of his hand showing below his casts and it will be extra painful. Please keep praying for the pain and for complete closure of his palate.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

End of Day 1

Well, I"m going to try to get some rest. Ian wakes up crying about every hour so I haven't gotten any rest today. Overall, he's doing great although they're keeping him out of it for the first day or two. I had to give him 3 meds orally and he threw it all up with a bunch of blood. The pharmacist is making an IV mixture instead now. Here are a few pics from today.

Being silly before surgery.

Just out of surgery, poor baby.

Getting transferred to his bed where he'll be for about the next 10 days. Please pray for a quick and complete healing this time.

Meet Ian's ape friend JoJo. I put him to good use holding Ian's humidifier tube.

Ian update

Well, I barely got Ian's first post typed and Dr. Clay came out to talk to me. Ian's surgery was just over an hour and it went well. Dr. Clay was able to do what he needed to and he's happy with the outcome. Of course he was the last time too....Ian has casts on his arms including his thumbs this time as he got them off the last time. They are to prevent him from putting anything into his mouth. I can't even comprehend the amount of pain this little man is going to be in when he wakes up. I can guarantee I'll be crying right along with him.

Ian 12/4/08

Ian has been in surgery for 1 hour now. They are performing a pharyngeal flap. If successful, it will finally help him with his speech. It is basically the soft palate in his mouth. He will actually be in the hospital for 7-10 days though as he won't be able to eat for about 1 week. They are harvesting the tissue from the back of his through to create the "flap". Please please please pray it holds together. Most of you know his two hard palate repairs have failed and fallen apart. This is his best chance for speech and really his last chance as they are out of tissue to use for repairs. I'll be posting updates on here as well so check back if you'd like to follow his progress. Ian is a tough little dude but was so so sad when they took him back. I couldn't go back as their little monkey suits aren't large enough for me :( Immediate prayers are:
1. Dr. Clay is able to perform the surgery without problems
2. wake up from anesthesia ok
3. no vomitting happens(was a problem last 2 surgeries and the acid breaks down the stiches)
4. pain control
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

John 14:18

God's Word- the Bible- has many references to orphans and to adoption. One verse that stands out to me as a short and yet compelling statement about adoption is John 14:18. "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you." In this verse God isn't actually speaking directly to people that have no parents (orphans) but rather to his disciples and telling them that He won't leave them without a comforter and one to follow, but he instead will return to them and will send the Great Comforter (the Holy Spirit) in his place when he goes to the Father.

In the context of the last supper when Jesus promises the Holy Spirit to the disciples, Jesus still speaks to the heart of those that don't have parents and those that are waiting and wondering what it is that God might have for their lives- feeling like they're without a leader, without a father, without a hope.

Jesus promised the disciples that He wouldn't leave them as orphans. Nor will he leave the millions of children around the world without any hope.

In verse 15 Jesus says "If you love me, you will obey what I command." He repeats himself in verse 22. Has he prepared you to be a voice for the children? Is he leading you to become that parent for some of his orphaned children? Or maybe he's leading you to help the orphans in another way...

"I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you." Will you follow the call to adopt? Will you allow yourself to be Jesus' hands and feet in providing for the life of a child?

Adoption and the Bible

Reece's Rainbow is going to be posting about what the Bible says about adoption throughout the month of December. I'm going to be copying the information to my blog. Here is the first snipit.

December's Emphasis on the Reece's Rainbow blog will be what the Word says about adoption. I hope you'll check back every OTHER day for a little nugget of Truth this holiday season as we highlight the Bible and God's heart for adoption.

"I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you" John 14:18