Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The book reads...
The God who flung planets into space and kept them whirling around and around, the God who made the universe with just a word, the one who could do anything at all- was making himself small. And coming down... as a _______.
I was reading this with great gusto and at this point I paused so that Elias could participate and fill in the last word. He promptly said...
Oh I laughed so hard. "Baby" would have made a normal end to that sentence, but "chicken" sure did give us a good laugh.
(I figured out later that there was a rooster in the picture on that page so that's what Elias' mind was thinking about.)
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Well one early day in September we walked into Walmart and Elias screamed, "My birthday is here!!!" I was confused until I looked up and saw Christmas trees in the store. So the last 3 months have been a looong wait as Elias has seen Christmas stuff everywhere but it wasn't really his birthday yet.
Needless to say, he was the most ecstatic boy I'd ever seen about being four. At church that morning he even waved to people with just his four fingers. A sneaky announcement to the world about his special day.
We had a birthday party at our house with family and friends. It was wild and fun! He loved opening presents. Surprisingly his favorite gift of them all was a pair of shoes. Not just any shoes though- SKETCHERS. That light up!
So for now, the Sketchers is what we hear about all day long and I'm sure as soon as that obsession wears off then we'll start right into counting the days until he turns five.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Remember that blue folder? Well, we just got news today that all of its contents are now assembled into our dossier and on their way to Ethiopia! This is great news as it means we are officially on the waiting list for a child.
Of course that also means the wait just got a little harder. Ugh.
We really hope to adopt an amputee child again, and we are prepared to wait longer for that to happen. Our agency director told me back in 2005 that the Ethiopian government doesn't think amputee children will be adopted so they aren't released into the orphanages or care centers very often.
Just as there was a plan with Elias, we are confident that there is with this child as well. We know that God will bring us together with him or her at exactly the right moment, and not a day later. And that brings us great peace!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
One of the Austin news stations came out to film the patient and Chase working together with the new arm. It's an inspiring story! You can see the news special here.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
We had a hard time coming up with a Halloween costume. Elias wanted to be supermanbatmanspiderman. By the time I got my act together and started looking for costumes, most stores were already selling costumes at clearance. And this was three weeks before Halloween! Apparently people get all crazed out about Halloween when the economy is bad. Seriously. I saw that on CNN.
So I thought of Bob the Builder and knew Elias would love it, but I would have to convince him a little. So I had a great strategy... I pulled up the internet and Elias looked at pictures of Bob the Builder online. Then he played a few Bob the Builder games, we read a BTB story and at the height of his enjoyment, I sprung the big question.
"How would you like to be Bob the Builder for Halloween?"
He was ecstatic.
And I was relieved.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
- We're using AAI again and Lutheran Social Services for our homestudy agency
- Our first visit with the homestudy social worker is this Saturday. Hopefully the follow-up appointment will be shortly after that and then the homestudy will be finished
- We've applied for USCIS immigration stuff
- We hope to be finished with the dossier paperwork (minus the homestudy) this weekend
- Once the dossier is at AAI and some processing done, we'll be on the official waiting list. We hope this happens in December sometime.
- We have no idea when we'll receive a referral. Probably a long time from now. In my head I've been thinking a timeframe of traveling to Ethiopia next fall to get our child.
- We're asking to adopt an amputee child or child in need of an amputation. Just like they told us when we were in the process for the first adoption, there are no amputee children in the orphangae. So we'll just wait and see what God does! It was a miracle that we got Elias and so we know it could happen again.
For quite a while now, Elias has been saying that we're going to adopt a little boy with a baby sister. Who knows?!? Maybe God has already given him the inside scoop. :-)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Elias did GREAT in the pool this year. He's brave and courageous when it comes to trying new things in the water.
We first got to experience this side of him when we were in Ethiopia in 2006. He was quite ill most of the week and very quiet. On the fifth day of our week there, we drove three hours through the countryside of Ethiopia to visit a hot spring area.
As soon as we got into the water, Elias became alive. He smiled, laughed, splashed around and had the time of our life.
It was a sweet glimpse into the true personality of a little boy we knew hardly anything about at the time.
Monday, October 13, 2008
His mother Carole wrote the following on their caringbridge site. I was so touched by her words and encouraged by her Godly perspective on this tragedy...
It has been one week since our lives were altered by the accident. Horrific and tragic - yet I won't be using those descriptors again.
Because we have SAM! He's with us. His body has changed forever but he's still got the same spirit and I am seeing him emerge from his sadness and flickers of that little guy who could make me laugh and see red with regularity.
I have been described as strong and such and believe me, it is simply God and prayer. Sam is the one who has been so strong and he's not only fighting this setback, he's starting to shine. I can talk about when he gets new feet/legs and he'll look at me and give his head a shake of affirmation. He is still sad but at times I am too.
So am I mad at God? Heaven forbid, no! Haven't even thought of it. Where was God then? Right there. When I first realized I tried to grab Paul and Mary and get them up the hill to the house. We stopped on the driveway and held hands and I instructed them to pray. And we did. And we asked God to hold little Samuel. And He did.
During the long drive to the hospital (its about an hour) I was of course in shock and for the first part Marty and I drove in silence. I realized that it was grave and that we would very likely experience the horror of losing a child. I admitted that I didn't know what to pray. Sam's injuries were so severe that I felt selfish pleading with God not to take him from me. And yet I thought of Maria Sue Chapman and knew that I didn't care what - I wanted my son. And I was torn. How could he survive and yet, how could he ever function?
So I prayed specifically for Sam to know he was loved and to have peace and to realize he was being held in God's very hand. And that is exactly what happened.
Sam's injuries have altered his body permanently. We still do not know the exact extent - yet he is still our Sam. If I cannot look at his severed limbs and accept, then how can I ever ask for him to? And I have come to realize a couple of things this past week . . .
Sam is beautiful. His legs are beautiful, his arm is beautiful, his colostomy is as well. He is precious and although his legs are now "different" from many others, he is no less precious or loved or worthy. I saw his arm for the very first time today and as the area was being exposed I simply prayed that I could look at this area and see him simply as God did. I could look at his arm and then directly in his face and say . . . hey, it looks great! And I wasn't telling him a lie. He is gloriously and wonderfully made and this accident did not change that.
I live in Wisconsin so I have to put a Wisconsonite spin on it. This accident happened and to quote Brett Farve (during the recent trade request) . . . "it is what it is." I cannot change it. So as a Christian I can rant and wail and lament and lash out, or I can set my shoulders forward and step out in faith in this new direction. We had an accident and God stepped in a swooped up my child and carried us through to a place where Sam is able to begin the healing process.
This is an opportunity. We can either fold up and wither or we can choose to plant ourselves firmly right where we are and decide to aim for blossoming once again.
I have been enriched, embraced and enveloped in the body of Christ through this. How could I think about choosing otherwise?
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
The process involves several steps. The first step is to cast the residual limb. However in our house, we're very casual in the terms that we use, so rather than using the technical term of residual limb, we say, "Mr. Stumpy".
I should note here that Mr. Stumpy is like his own entity. We say things such as, "Put Mr. Stumpy in your shorts" or Elias may say "I hurt Mr. Stumpy!" We love Mr. Stumpy.
First Step: Cast Mr. Stumpy
Elias puts on a special little outfit made out of cotton stockinnette (that's a real word). At this point Daddy Prosthetist affectionately calls him Huck Finn.
Stay tuned for the next installment of Making a Leg.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I stuck around his class for about 10 minutes and Elias finally turned to me and said, "Mom, just go somewhere!" I think he was more ready for this than I was.
Monday, August 25, 2008
A couple weeks ago a local news crew came out to film the story. Elias and I met everyone out at the ranch so that Elias could meet the horse. Elias was pretty excited about meeting the horse (and the other 20+ horses, 16 dogs, pigs, and goats). Elias stuck right by Angelina's side the whole time, helped put the leg on, and ended up being in the filming as well.
They filmed for hours but the clip is only a few minutes long. Some of the details are wrong, like the name of the company, Chase's title, and a few other things. But camera shots of the horse (and Elias too) are pretty good.
The organization featured in the YouTube video is Hearts and Hooves. It's a great place and the owner, Veronique, is so creative in the way she uses her horses to bring joy and healing to others. As you may have caught in the video, Veronique's goal is to use Angelina as a therapy horse for children and adults who are amputees. Cool!
Once the horse is walking better and actually being used as a therapy horse, the news station plans to do a follow up story.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
He cried for help so we got him unstuck , but not before capturing a few photos of course.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Shortly after the poopy comment, I told Elias to go to the bathroom (he still needs reminders). He kept playing with his car so I told him he needed to leave the car with me and go into the bathroom.
He took in a deep breath, let out a long, deep sigh, looked me right in the eyes and said, "Mom, you just don't understand me."
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Elias: I like to give him some hugs. I like to give him, um, little hugs. And I like some BIG hugs. And Happy Birfday Daddy! He is a guy and he is a nice guy. And he is a big guy. And I like to work on the workshop with my Daddy. Daddy is a good boy and he is REALLY tall.
Interviewer: Anything else you'd like to say?
Elias: Nah. That's all I have.
Sideways Birfday Message from Elias
Not only is it Chase's 33rd birthday today (our ages are now all 3s- 33, 33, 3), but history was made.... Elias fell asleep on his own. I know, not shocking to most, but he has never ever ever just fallen asleep outside of a required nap time or bed time (except for in the car). Elias just fights sleep as much as he can. Today though the Tour de France had him asleep in 5 minutes...
Friday, July 4, 2008
I took Elias out to pick blackberries one day and then we went back again today. We picked over 15 pounds of berries and are getting ready to enjoy our second cobbler. Yum.
It was the perfect time for picking berries. They were huge, black, juicy and just fell off in your hand. Makes me love summer!
Monday, June 30, 2008
And it's not just talking. It's the questions. Constant questions. 99% of them are not real questions actually (meaning the answer is unknown). They're mostly questions with obvious answers. Such as, "Am I a boy? Are you a boy? Is Daddy a boy?" etc.
On top of that, he almost always asks "What?" after everything someone says. I often respond "You tell me" and he can usually repeat word for word what I said.
So because I'm a dork, today I was pondering how many questions Elias asks in a typical day. Too hard to count. So I thought about narrowing it down to one hour, then ten minutes, and finally decided to do a quick five minute test. As Elias talked, I simply made marks on a piece of paper each time he asked a question.
I should mention that this was over lunch at Taco Bell, which means that he was chowing down on a taco and beans for much of this time. Not that that would slow him down or anything.
(And I should also mention that these results are not very scientific because they were recorded with a half-melted blue crayon that I found in the bottom of my purse onto a crumpled, old receipt.)
So, the final count after five minutes?
Doesn't sound like much, but when you multiply that by 12 to estimate the total questions in one hour, the number is 252.
And if you multiply that by the eleven hours a day that he is awake (2 hour nap and 10-11 hours sleep at night) that comes out to a meer 2,772.
Two thousand seven hundred and seventy two questions in one day.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
It's difficult for Elias to walk with his prosthetic leg on uneven terrain, but his new foot helped him tremendously and he was a champ walking up and down hills and over and around big rocks. He had a few spills, but nothing too major.
Hot, exhausted children waiting for dinner to cookMmm. Yummy, campfire-roasted corn.
Elias and Ruger were fast asleep before we even pulled out of the state park.