Monday, November 30, 2009

New Addition to the Family

No, not another baby exactly...A new animal has arrived at the Straights! The boys have continued to drive me crazy asking for a dog. Since our lifestyle would never warrant a dog to live here, I conceded and told them we could get a cat. They were thrilled of course!

So I contacted my sister's friend who does animal fostering and rescue to see if she had a cat available that would work with my crazy 4 kids. She said she had the perfect one for us. So after a W@lmart trip for all the cat supplies, we went and picked up our new pet. The boys have named her Allie. She is doing well here and the kids are enjoying her company. Allie has learned to leave the area soon after Faith arrives, but she really has been good tolerating Faith in general ;)

Oh my the things we do for our children!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Big Girl Haircut

I finally was brave enough to have Faith's baby frizz cut off the bottom of her hair. She did really well getting her hair cut. Shelby had a nice trimming up as well. They always look so grown up with fresh new hair cuts!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Update on Recovery

Finally I have a minute to update everyone on my little Miss. The surgery day went well. I was able to take Shelby to school that morning (to help keep her mind off food) since her surgery wasn't until that afternoon. Pre-op went fine and after the versed (goofy juice) Shelby was pretty out of it so she left for surgery no problem. At one point, she was holding her hands up acting like she was catching butterflies or something. No telling what she was seeing on that crazy medicine ;)

She was only in surgery for about an hour when the surgeon came out to let us know all went well. Once in there, he opted to do the sphincter pharyngoplasty instead of the pharyngeal flap that he was originally going to do. There are pros and cons to both surgeries, so this is where I just have to trust the surgeon and his judgement and hope that he did the best option for Shelby's future.

She came out of surgery OK and obviously in pain; however, this time around she wasn't in "emotional pain" like she was for the first surgery, thank God! She was just mad that her throat hurt and upset about her throat. We kept her on morphine thru IV as often as I could get it for her to keep the pain level down. Unfortunately I had a TERRIBLE nurse the next day at the hospital who obviously didn't understand the need for IV pain meds. Just to tell you her incompetence the first thing this nurse came into the room and asked was I quote, "WHY does she keep complaining that her throat hurts?!" I just looked her like she had 4 heads and said, "Uh because she has stitches in the back of her throat and on her palate. She just had surgery!!" Needless to say it was downhill from there with this lady ALL day :( I had to fight for medicine for my baby girl all day until the next night shift nurse came on board. Your nurse can definitely make or break your hospital stay for sure. Anyhow, we checked out the next day since I knew I would do better at home giving Shelby meds whenever I needed to!

Amazingly though Shelby has been really great at home. Once her pain level came down some she is remarkably doing well. Her recovery so far has not been near as bad as her first surgery so I am very grateful for that for sure :) Thanks again for all the prayers and obviously they are working as little Miss Shelby is almost back to herself already!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We brought Shelby home this morning-yeah! She is still pretty ticked off at the whole world, but at least we're home (where no one else can hear her scream her head off). Not much time to post but did want to thank everyone for thinking of us and praying my baby girl well!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shelby update

Hi friends,

This is Amy, updating for Donna. Donna says Shelby did well and I pray they have a peaceful night. I got a text from her this afternoon after surgery and they had Shelby in their arms. Keep praying for Shelby to be pain free and also for her parents too!

Double Digit Day

Can you believe it, my baby boy is TEN years old today as in 10 !!!! I can't believe he has officially hit the double digits?! Happy Birthday to the best 10 year old in the world. He is such a great kid and I am so so lucky to get to be his mom!
We celebrated his birthday this weekend with family and friends at the house. His big birthday present was a new pellet gun. CJ took him squirrel hunting all day Saturday but they came back empty handed. Never fear though, Caleb took matters into his own hands and killed one yesterday in our back yard. Disgusting, I know. Frank even helped him gut it and skin it and it now resides in the garage freezer (no it is not allowed in my house). YUCK!

Anyhow as you can see from his smile, Caleb thought it was the best thing in the world?! BTW, CJ doesn't hunt and we have never expressed interest in "killing" things around here, but I suppose some things you are just born with?! So needless to say Caleb had a GREAT birthday and since today is the official big day, he took birthday cookies to school to celebrate with his friends. Happy Birthday to the best Caleb in the World!!

PS: Shelby goes into surgery today at 2PM. Prayers are appreciated and I will try to post as soon as I can. Thanks!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Christmas Miracles

We had our annual Christmas picture done today with all my digit friends. Uh-oh, what is this...

All the original digits gained a sibling this year!

What true miracles we have all been blessed with. Oh and yes all of these precious children are from China's Waiting Child program and considered to all have "Special Needs". Yes, their special need was that their families NEEDED them home!!

Not So Special After All

Well when I say that I mean, not so rare really. Someone asked me the other day how "common" it was to be born with a cleft lip or palate. As you can see here are the statistics for US born children. Clefts are more common in Asia due to everyday pollution that the mothers are exposed to. So it appears that my "special needs" girls both have one of the most common birth defects out there.

What are the most common birth defects?

Some of the most common birth defects include:

Heart defects: As many as 1 in 100 babies in the United States are born with heart defects each year (1). While advances in surgery have dramatically improved the outlook for affected babies, heart defects remain the leading cause of birth defect-related infant deaths (8).
Cleft lip/palate: About 1 in 700 babies is born with cleft lip/palate each year (1). Affected babies can have problems with eating, speech and language. Some have a small cleft that can be corrected with one surgical procedure, while others have severe clefts and need multiple surgeries.
Down syndrome: This chromosomal abnormality affects about 1 in 800 babies in the United States (1). Early intervention programs and treatment of associated health problems have greatly improved the outlook for affected individuals.
Spina bifida (open spine): This disorder affects about 1 in 2,500 babies in the United States each year (1). Affected babies have varying degrees of paralysis and bladder and bowel problems.

Other common birth defects include musculoskeletal defects (including arm and leg defects), gastrointestinal defects (including defects of the esophagus, stomach and intestines) and eye defects. These birth defects usually are multifactorial.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wimpy Mom

Well today is my last day of regular work for at least a week or two. I have a crazy busy day cramming everything in, but I just can't seem to get my emotions in check today. I feel like such a wimpy mom today. I read alot of blogs of others and I don't think I have ever read much about how "mom feels" the days before a big surgery. I know it isn't about me and that I should just be focused on my little girl right now. And in a big way, that is why it hurts so much to be her mom right now.

If you don't really know Shelby, know this about her...she is stubborn and a true fighter! My little girl fought me tooth and nail when we "took her" from her China home and foster mom. Shelby fought me tooth and nail whenever I would try to get her to open up to me emotionally. She really fought her biggest battle with me when I started teaching her to TRUST me. Each step of the way though, Shelby opened up little by little and now we have a true mom and daughter love and trust for each other. The fights were so worth the efforts.

So now once again, her mom (in her eyes) is about to hurt her again. To her, I was the one who took her from her China mom, I was the one who allowed the doctors to hurt her during her palate surgery, and now I will be the one again who will intentionally allow the doctors to "hurt" her once again. It feels like this little one just keeps giving me her heart and trusting me, yet I have to be the one to break her heart over and over again :(

I really hope she can forgive me once again and hopefully slowly start to understand that I allow her to be hurt for good reasons. I know a 4 year old can't understand that yet, but I pray that somewhere deep in her heart Jesus gives her some comfort that her mommy loves her very much and doesn't want to hurt her. I pray she will TRUST me once again one day soon!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Best Gift Ever

Look at what my wonderful sister-in-law and brother shipped us all the way from Texas! Yep, a whole CASE of Wahahas!!! I can't believe she found them.
I happened to mention to her when were there how much Shelby loved them and oh what I would give to have some for her recovery period after surgery. And look, she found them :) I haven't shown them to Shelby yet, she will be so excited to have her favorite drink in the whole wide world-Wahahas!! I am sure they will taste even better knowing they came from her new cousin in Texas ;)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not the Flu but...

it is the yucky strep again! This time it has struck me and Faith. Now the real problem is that we have to keep Shelby WELL until her surgery next week. Thankfully she isn't showing any signs and she passed her pre-op visit today no problems. So we will just hope and pray she stays well while Faith and I both take our antibiotics getting rid of this yucky stuff!
Oh and considering the fact that I have to take off work the next 2 weeks, I don't have time to be sick this week!! So yes this is me at work, pretty isn't it. Just trying to cram in a few weeks work into a few days, wish me luck.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Both Hands

Now this is the way to do adoption fund raising! I personally have never been a big fan of "fundraising" for an adoption. I have always thought that was weird since I never have been asked by anyone to pay for infertility treatments or hospital copays. So I have not ever really seen anything out there that I would endorse as a good idea for fund raising I suppose.

This organization however has really touched me and I think it is a wonderful idea! So if anyone out there needs true and honest help with their adoption and live in Atlanta, sign me up and I will be there to paint with the rest of the crew!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hands and Feet

I have blogged before about how amazing I think Katie in Uganda is. I dare you to read this post on her blog and not be moved by it! Talk about someone actually being His hands and feet everyday...WOW!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Celebrating Two Years of Love

Today is Shelby's 2nd Gotcha Day Anniversary! Wow we have been blessed with her in our lives for 2 whole years. As you can see in the pics she has certainly changed. Our whole family has changed and I can't imagine our lives any different. What a wonderful journey we have had with her. Here you can see my original Gotcha Day post.
Now of course we can't just go on and say everything has been all peaches and cream. Little Hong Hong came to us with her own very unique set of challenges that is for sure ;) It has been a rather bumpy road along the way and getting Shelby was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life for sure. However, as you can see through the pics all the smiles and laughs are worth it. My little Shelby Baby is a true joy to the world!

I just looked at the video of that wonderful time and it brought tears to my eyes remembering all the crazy wild emotions that went along with our first trip to China. You can click here to check out the video I made a long time ago. It seems like a LONG time ago, yet it has only been 2 years. It is a wonderful thing to watch your children grow up right before your eyes.

Turkey Loo-Hoo, I love you forever and ever!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Busy As Usual

Busy busy busy as usual around my house. Heading out to my Triad meeting tonight to show off the pics of meeting my brother. And getting ready for our final post-adoption homestudy visit thingy tomorrow night. Well at least trying to scrape off the candy out of the floors and the kids hair before the social worker shows up ;)