Archive for November, 2012

November 26, 2012

Leaving the house…

This morning, like I do several times a month, I took the babies to occupational therapy.  Jovia’s OT is working on some wheelchair skills with her which means I need to get Jovia, Benja, her wheelchair, a diaper bag and myself through the hospital and to the OT room.

Because Jovia is still learning how to use her chair I need to have my hands free to help maneuver when there are a lot of people around, through narrow doorways or tight spots.  {Hands free is not something that happens often around here}

So in order to accomplish this I have to strap Benja to my back in the Ergo, sling the diaper bag around my neck and then chase after Jovia in her bright pink wheelchair as we wind our way through the hospital.

Me, dripping sweat, huffing through the hospital with 40 lb Benja strapped to my back, helping Jovia dodge little old ladies.

It’s quite the sight.

A lady at the hospital stood in a doorway and watched us pass today.   “You sure have your hands full…” she said as we walked by.

I just smiled and nodded.  I should have told her that for once my hands were free but I don’t think that’s what she meant.

Someone recently asked me about the hardest part of parenting two same-age special needs kids.

I told them leaving the house.  :)

Seriously – having two “big” non-walkers is harder than I had imagined.  Almost everything else is a lot easier than I expected.  The actual special needs, the medical aspects, the actual parenting is easy.  But taking them both places by myself is hard.   Especially when I can’t use the double stroller!

Of course though, it goes without saying, that these two are completely and totally worth it.  We’d do it over and over again without question!

But I am ready for Benjamin to walk.  It will make life a whole lot easier.  Hoping to see some serious progress in that department soon.  :)

November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I’ve been really bad about taking pictures lately.   Thanksgiving was no exception.  Can you believe I didn’t get one picture of the kids all together, or even individual pictures of my kids on that day?  Geesh.

Oh well, we had a good {albeit exhausting} day.  We went to Keith’s moms house in the morning, ate and socialized.  Came home around 3 where we made five hundred million rolls {OK, maybe about 60}, a ham and some lemon meringue pie.   At 5 we headed to my sisters house where we ate with my side of the family.   Both Keith and I have big families.  I was joking around once about what would happen if we tried to host Thanksgiving at our house with both sides of the family.  I’m not sure it would even be possible to fit everyone here.  It would certainly be crazy!

Two Thanksgivings makes for a loooongggg day, but the kids did great and it is always fun to see everyone.

I hope your day was wonderful!

November 14, 2012


Sometimes I think the children are plotting against us….conspiring before they go to bed.  Figuring out what they can do to allow us as little sleep as possible during the night.

Last night I fell asleep about midnight.  At 3:45 I felt Keith shaking me awake.  Benja was crying loudly and making his almost throwing up noises.  We jumped out of bed.  Keith went to comfort Ben while I prepped some Tylenol for his tube.  {He’s teething.}  We got it in him and I sat in his room to rock him back to sleep.

About 4:15 I laid him in his crib and headed back to bed.  I {stupidly} decided to check my email to see if a reply I’m waiting for from Uganda came.  It wasn’t there so I sat in bed glaring at my phone for a good 10 minutes trying to decide whether I should call this person and beg for information, send another email or just continue to wait.  It was too much to think about in the middle of the night so I, of course, decided to check my other emails.  Keith stayed up too because he has to leave for work at 5.

I finally started to doze again after Keith left but then I feel little hands tugging on my arm.  Mayer announced that he and Jovia are awake.   I asked Mayer to go back to bed and went to tell Jovia it’s too early and to go back to sleep.   Once more I climb back into bed hoping for just one. more. hour.  

It wasn’t to be.

Soon Mayer starts yelling that he needs help in the bathroom.   He asks to stay up.  I tell him to go play quietly in his room.  .05 seconds later he comes in and declares he is bored.  I gave him my phone to play Angry Birds.  He narrates every move loudly and with great enthusiasm. I decided to give up on sleep at that point.  I asked Mayer to give me my phone so I could turn off the alarm.

“What’s an alarm, mommy?”

“That’s when my phone rings and tells me it’s time to get up.”

“But mom, you don’t need an alarm!  I always wake you up!”  {Satisfied smile}

So true.

November 8, 2012


Jovie walking from sister haiti on Vimeo.

November 3, 2012

Concentrating on the “Can Do’s” instead of the “Can Not’s”

An older, grandmotherly type lady approached me at preschool pick up a few weeks ago.   She had been eyeing Jovia as she sat in her stroller, watching the other toddlers as we waiting for the preschoolers to file in for the last story of the day.   She gave me a sad smile and said “Isn’t there anything anyone can do for her?  It just breaks my heart to think about all the things she will never be able to do…”

I was momentarily startled because most people approach us shocked at Jovia’s abilities and how she adapts and figures out how to do the things she wants to do.

But then I remembered, I know how easy it is to take a quick look at Jovie and feel sorry for her, to automatically start imaging what she won’t ever do.

There was a time when I did just that.  Before she came home I spent a lot of time thinking through dozens of different activities in my head and checking off invisible boxes…”can do this”…”can’t do that”.

But not anymore.

We are no longer focusing on what she can’t do….now it’s all about being amazed at what she can.

Jovia has already so far exceeded our expectations (and her doctors and therapists!) that there are few things we dare imagine she won’t be able to do.   Sure, no one expects her to be a concert pianist or run a marathon.   But there are so many things that we are now sure she’ll be able conquer.  Things I never dared to imagine when we first committed to adopt her.  God has blessed Jovia with an amazingly determined spirit.   This girl doesn’t stop trying. 

In the past couple of weeks Jovia has decided to start walking.   Yes, walking.  On her own.  Not holding onto anything.  These are short distances but none-the-less, walking.  We.  Are.  Amazed.   Remember, doctors told us to never expect her to stand alone!

We are currently exploring different options to help her expand her walking abilities.  We are looking for something to help make walking easier so she can walk longer distances.  In particular we are exploring the idea of finding someone to design and build a small walker for her.  We envision something that she can stand in front of and push to walk behind.  Something she can get herself into and out of.  Her wheelchair is WONDERFUL and gives her freedom she’s never had before.   But it isn’t practical for really interacting with other children her age, something she wants to do desperately.   I will keep you all updated when we come up with something.

Thank you all for continuing to cheer Jovia on and pray for us as we navigate these rarely chartered territories.  We continue to look for new and creative ways to help Jovie be as independent as possible.  We are overjoyed with her progress and can’t wait to see what she does next!  It’s like watching miracles unfold one after another in our own home!  :)