Monday, February 29, 2016

Best of Facebook: February 2016

SO EXCITED! GI doctor just sent a prescription order for a formula made from REAL foods, called Liquid Hope!!! Why is this so exciting? Because this is the first time in 11 years my Britt girl will have something other than Corn Syrup and Soy oil as "nutrition" for her body! She will finally experience God's real, whole, natural, healthy, food and we can't wait to see how it benefits her mind and body!!! Picture is a comparison of ingredients from her old formula, Elecare Jr. and her NEW formula Liquid Hope!!! Can't wait!

"Daddy, can this be my cow this time? I am big now, I can feed him, I promise!"
Our Ty-man is turning 5 years old this month and this time its his turn to raise his very own bottle baby calf. Meet Pibb, he is a 3 day old Jersey bull from a local dairy. Here we go again!

That moment when you are tucking everyone in to bed but something doesn't feel right. So you get your rain coat and go check on your baby calf and baby goat. Baby Pibb is dry and warm in the stable, mama goat, Zelda, is staying dry in her house but where is baby Holly!?! It is storming bad here with flood warnings all night. Tonight is not a good night for tiny Holly to be missing!

Thirty long, wet minutes later I finally find a soaking wet baby goat in between a pile of pallets. Negligent mama Zelda got a good scolding and, needless to say, baby Holly is sleeping inside tonight! Oh the adventures I have with 7 kids and 50 animals!!!

As we prepare our to speak on adoption during a conference break-out session this Saturday and invite another TV news crew, SwissTV, to film us this Sunday I am filling my heart with Scripture, reading through Adopted for Life by Moore again and looking through memories of our journey so far.

Here are three things I know:
1. Personally caring for orphans is not optional for Christians. God calls it pure and faultless religion because it is a living, physical picture of our spiritual adoption; although we were once orphaned through sin now we are adopted as sons (and daughters) by God, our Father, through Jesus Christ.
2. Adoption is just plain HARD! It is messy, lonely and confusing. It is full of unforeseen trials, tears and doubt. It stretches us until we have reached the absolute end of ourselves and come to a point of fully relying on God for super natural strength, patience and endurance to finish this race.
3. We would do it again and again because adoption has put us smack in the middle of God's will for us; which is that we would grow in sanctification (1 Thes. 4:3), be made perfect and complete through enduring trials (James 1:2-4) and through loving others our joy would be made full (John 15:10-12)!

Adoption is necessary and difficult yet pure JOY!

There are over 150 million orphans in our world today. If all the orphans in the world started their own country it would be among the top 10 countries with the largest population, having a larger population than even Russia.

Christians, how great does the need have to become for us to finally act? Let us show the world our religion is true, in the way the bible calls pure and faultless, by caring for the orphan in their distress.

We enjoyed having new friends from SwissTV out to film and interview today! Can't wait to see what they turn our chaos into! Our only prayer is that we bring our Father glory and through us viewers may see a glimpse of Jesus!

"I love you, mommy." I love this girl and thankful for every moment with her! We are in the hospital again, keep Britt in your prayers. God is in control.

Yesterday when we noticed a sudden fever we rushed Britt to the ER. Due to the drug (Solaris) that she has infused to keep her life-threatening illness (aHUS) at bay she is more susceptible to deadly bacterial infections. We were all hoping her sudden fever of 104 was just from a normal cold, strep or even the flu. The hospital admitted us overnight as they waited for the blood cultures to come back. They were expecting all to be fine and Britt would be discharged today. Turns out the results are the worst case scenario, it came back that Britt does have a bacterial infection in her blood stream. But Brittney is a sweet, strong girl and is in good spirits. They have her on two strong antibiotics with the hopes to eradicate the infection quickly and that we will be able to stay at this local hospital and go home again in a week or so. Please pray for our Britt girl! we love her dearly!

Britt isn't feeling very good today. Although still her pleasant self she is more tired and doesn't want to do much other than sit and take care of her baby dolls. I caught a cold while here so I am happy to just enjoy our lazy Saturday together.

What a perfectly timed FB memory to pop up today as I sit with my girly in the hospital so thankful we said yes to her a year ago! The overflowing joy she brings to our family far outweighs the small trials that accompany her care.

Let me clarify for all of you who wonder and say, "Shannon, this special needs child you are considering adopting, she will take so much from your time, your schedule, your family and even your life! Why would you do that?"

2/13/2015: Well friends, to be honest, this child cannot take those things from me because I gave those up a long time ago. I gave those up when I met a Man. A Man that looked upon me, in my wretched state, not as too much work, but as wanted. Not as too much time but as worthy of love. This Man willingly emptied Himself, gave up all His energy and even His own life to make me His child. To adopt me into His family, His kingdom, His inheritance and give me new life eternally.

This life is no longer mine but Christ who lives in me. Isn't that the gospel? "And He (Jesus) was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it." Luke 9:23-24 (see also: Matt 10:39, 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 17:33).

Did God not sustain me through taking in five kids at once? Did God not sustain me when saying yes to a little boy from MI? I cannot let my trust waver now! God has already proved Himself mighty in strength and God will certainly sustain me to parent this child as well!

We believe that every child is worthy of love and a family regardless of their physical, mental, emotional or behavioral needs. By stepping out in faith by being open and willing to adopt again, we are simply practicing what we preach!

Good news! Yesterday they took two separate blood samples on Brittney, one from her chest port again and one from Saphenous vein (in her thigh). While the chestport sample still came back positive for bacteria growth the thigh vein sample was negative! This means we caught the infection early enough that it wasn't able to spread to the blood stream! It is an isolated port infection from when her port was accessed for her infusion Thursday. Now we are just waiting to hear whether we will have to stay hospitalized while antibiotics are administered or we will be sent home with outpatient antibiotics.

Hospital day #3 Valentine's Day

Brian and I had this weekend all planned. We had a sitter, hotel and were looking forward to an overnight trip kayaking with manatees. Finally a getaway we have been greatly looking forward to! Our weekend turned out much different than planned, chatting in a hospital room, eating cafeteria food and playing with our little girl.

But this is love. Love lays aside our wants for the needs of others. Love stays by your side. Love makes you family. Love is from God. God is Love! We are happy to be right here in the middle of God's perfect plan on this Valentine's day, a day all about love.

Tomorrow we should hear whether we will have to finish IV antibiotics here in the hospital, be released to finish IV antibiotics with in-home nursing or be transferred to Shands hospital to have Brittney's chest port replaced. We are anticipating being hospitalized all week but we have already lined up care for our kids at home since Brian works Tue-Sat. Times like this show us what an amazing and supportive community of Christians we have surrounding us! Praise God our Britt is doing good and I thank Him daily for YOU!!!

Brittney got to do crafts with the Child Life Specialist and Art therapist while I attended a 4-hour Skype training. Then we got to paint a hospital ceiling tile. Otherwise it's been a lazy day and I am quickly becoming antsy to go home. While appreciated the rest for the first couple days I am ready to be home. I want to pull up my muck boots, get my hands dirty and be back to my busy, crazy farm life surrounded by nonstop children and animal adventures!

Brittney is doing good, just tired. There are volunteers and therapy students during the day and they have many fun activities but we are both are getting ready to be home. A little bad news today, the blood culture from 3 days ago came back positive for bacteria growth still. We can't go home until we have 3 consecutive negative blood cultures and they have to each be negative for 72 hours. So each positive culture sets us back several days and makes it more likely we will have to go through surgery to replace her chest port. We are still praying they can eradicate the infection in her port and we are thankful we have been able to stay local and not transfer to Shands!

Brittney had an awful morning. We had some x-rays and tests and it looks like, even after 7 days of antibiotics, the infection is still present and growing. We will have surgery to remove her chest port tomorrow. They will put in a temporary central line then when the infection clears she will have another surgery to place a new chest port. Now we are just chilling and doing our favorite thing, playing with stickers!

2/19/2016: Click here to see photo on FB:

Just as I want to throw a big, sloppy, loud, ugly mommy tantrum because we got the news we will have to stay hospitalized at least 2 more weeks my phone rings. Another long-distance mama calling me for an ear that just says, "I've been there! I hear you!" This is the third call this week from mamas struggling as they bear the tough weight of this fostercare journey.

She encouraged me without knowing it. I shared our real with her and before I know it I am preaching to myself. About God's grace, His refining fire, and how He didn't make a mistake when He put you right where you are. God used that phone call to remind myself that during these most difficult times He is teaching me (or reminding me) how to rely and depend FULLY on Him. I am so flawed and far from perfect, for if I did have it all together I could point to myself but I don't, so I point to Jesus.

Deep down I know why I am here. I would rather spend 100 days in the hospital with this girl than 1 day at home without her. I may not be able to keep her from having to stay in the hospital but I can make sure that she is never again in the hospital alone. God doesn't need to pour out His goodness on me, for He already has when He called me to be the mommy of my sweet Britt Britt!

So many of you were sweet enough to offer to send a card or stickers to our Britt girl to brighten her stay here at the hospital. Let's do it! Handmade construction paper cards are perfect, no need for store bought, and whatever sheet of stickers you have lying around will bring her joy! SHARE to spread the word to show some love to a precious little girl!

We gots our hairs did! I put lots of bright and happy beads in it to brighten up our hospital stay! We can certainly feel your prayers, this hospital stay doesn't feel nearly as hard emotionally as it could. And a huge thank you for our two packages of stickers today, one from Maryland and one from Las Vegas, Nevada! You guys are amazing!!!

Thank you for your kindness and generous sticker gifts! You can see them all over Britt's legs! Lol! The doctor said she is doing well and surprised us by sending us home today!!! We have to come back in a few days for a check-up so no sticker deliveries will be missed but we can go home!

The doctor just came in and said we could go home today!!! We were expecting to camp out here until early March but they are working on discharge papers now! I am too excited!!!

Posted by Shannon