Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mosaic...

I think in pictures. As in literally I see pictures in my mind as a series of thoughts are processed. I have assigned photos or colors or numbers or a mix of all for people in my life. Emotions are processed much the same way. Being that I think this way turning my colors and pictures into written language is sometimes difficult. I have a deep desire to share with you a vision/picture/grouping of colors that God has shared with me. Big surprise I pray and communicate with God in much the same way.


What do you see here. A pile of broken tiles? A mess? A project in the waiting? I see my family...clear as day. I see the potential, the beauty, the pain, the mess. I see that these were once whole and are now broken. I see heartache...loss...want. I see the ability for change, growth, strength. I see us.

I see the little boy who made me a Mommy...I see the son I share with a dear friend...I see a child who we were told would never function...I see a daughter from a far off land...I see unexpected pregnancies...I see children to come...I see life.

I ask often that God would use the mess that my family is to bring others eyes to Jesus. I want the brokenness of adoption to show Gods love. I want the struggles with extra parenting, special needs, and marital struggles to be the picture of hope and redemption. I want to be seen...


I feel that the thoughts of tiles in relation to my family can honestly only point in one direction...a Beautiful Mosaic. How else do you use broken, hurting, damaged people to create nothing less then a masterpiece? When I think of my family I see them like this. We are all still broken, sharp around the edges and may not resemble each other...BUT...when laid out in Gods plan with the knowledge and trust of an amazing heavenly father holding us tightly together we are a family.


When I begin to feel overwhelmed or stressed with my current life situation I try to pull up these images and remind myself that ONLY God holds the plans for the frame to this family! I may not and will not limit Him!!!! This photo does a decent job of showing what I mean. We refuse to say no to Jesus. If Jesus wants another member to join our family there is ALWAYS room. We will not define the size based on what society, friends or family say is right.

I honestly have always loved the images that fill my mind...especially surrounding my family! The idea of an unfinished mosaic piece is by far my favorite! Though life may not allow for me to express my art outwardly Jesus is always proving that he loves me by giving me this gift of a very colorful family!

                                                    Truth age 10...
                                                    Graham age 7...
                                                    Everett age 6
                                                    Israel age 5...
                                                    Aurora age 4...
                                                    Selah age 1...
                                                    Jeziryah age 1...

Monday, August 26, 2013

School...




A verse to cling to in the coming days...Matthew 6:34 "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."...this is also one of our first verses for homeschool this year, YES you read that right HOMESCHOOL....

We know that God has used us in many ways to help reform different systems. Usually it is a Drs office, insurance company or hospital. This time it is a school...not just any school...the public school that my oldest three children will be attending this year. We have come up against a stone wall and the only way to have a great educational experience for my children is to find a way to bust though. We have full faith that God is before us on this path and that there is nothing to fear. KNOWING that does NOT mean that I do it though, I am in knots and totally sick over the school meetings that are on the calender this week! I feel like I am in a true fight, and one I cannot afford to loose.

I do not feel a peace about sharing the details but due to the actions of the school administration we have decided that the healthiest place for Israel to complete kindergarten is right here at home! Here he will have all of his individual needs met everyday and we are not working to a test. God actually made this decision very clear for us and we are trying to embrace it with open arms! After my homeschool flop with Graham last year I had sworn off the idea of ever tying it again! Well thank God that I am not in control here ;)

I am trying to place my ENTIRE ATTENTION on what God is doing RIGHT NOW and not worry about that the future is bringing. To be specific trying not to worry about if Israel will actually be educated by a scatter brained mom who would rather play games and have art experiences then HOMESCHOOL...wait isn't that what homeschooling is?? Playing "school" and experiencing the art of raising my children? That is the way that I need to view it!

We know that Aurora was a gift given directly to Israel. She was placed in our family to facilitate healing and growth that no one though possible! Aurora and Israel and two peas in a pod so we will not only be instructing Israel at home but Aurora as well. She is thrilled that she gets to be in kindergarten this year and their excitement is aiding in pushing me to be the selfless mother they deserve, get off my butt, and get ready for school!

I am not exactly sure what we would label ourselves this year as far as school is concerned...some mix between public and home...I would like to think that we are making the best choice today for each of the children we have been blessed to care for. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

PRETEEN...

Today marks 4 weeks that Truth has been on US soil, and here is my FIRST blog about life as a family of 8.

I have thought through these words over and over. I want to be as transparent as possible without sounding unrealistic! As of this moment...4 weeks in...life with Truth in it is so much more then I could have ever imagined! She has adjusted faster, bonded better, and opened up easier then anyone could have ever predicted! At the risk of this just being full of sunshine and fairy dust I want to share how each child has responded to our newest addition.

Graham...My extremely intelligent, very perceptive, wonderful little boy who struggles with attachment...He has grasped onto the idea of having an older, in charge, sister amazingly! He loves her snuggles and is the only one of the siblings who can pronounce "Hirite". He struggled the first couple days by acting out at camp and showing some of his anxiety behaviors...We believe he was struggling with wanting to bond to Truth and being very scared to bond to her. He has waited so long for her to come home it was as if he was afraid that she would all of a sudden leave. Overall Graham IS BONDING to Truth!!!!!! They play very well together and Graham is enjoying teaching her how to read.

Everett...My very helpful, extra inquisitive, super cute little man who struggles with violence...He has accepted Truth as if she has always been with us. I often find them cuddled on the couch watch tv together. They pick on each other!! During the first week home Everett showed Truth his scary side and she showed him that she is boss...we have seen a drastic decline in Everett's behavior directly related to Truth being with us! Everett has enjoyed eating the Ethiopian food, dancing in the living room with his big sister, and tries hard to show her how to do things around the house!

Israel...My overly cuddly, very handsome, fantastically athletic mamma's boy...He is HEAD OVER HEALS IN LOVE with Truth! If he is sad and I am not around he runs into her arms for comfort! He has loved praying with and for Truth. I am honestly not sure if he realizes that she is "new" to our family! When we got her picture he was only just 3 so she has ALWAYS been part of his life! His one struggle with her is that he yells at her when she does not understand him...we are trying to explain that she CAN hear you she just does not understand...to which he usually replies "oh yeah she speaks Spanish"...I believe that at this point Israel would be lost with out Truth in his life!

Aurora...My amazingly caring, wildly individual, very giving little lady...here is where our path has a few bumps. Aurora did not adjust well at first! Actually up until about 5 days ago I was a little unsure about her ever accepting Truth as her sister! Aurora became very anxious, she did not want to be near Truth or talk to her. She was VERY jealous of any attention that I would give to Truth and she was very whiny!!!!! Thanks be only to Jesus that she is coming around. Well not really "coming around" more so "came around" right this second Aurora is sleeping IN Truths room! They have been sharing Truths room for the past 6 nights :). Aurora seems like she is now ok with being knocked off her "oldest girl in the house post"...she is now trying to dress like Truth, do her hair the same, and I can always find those two together! They love doing nails, hair, lotion, and make up together...they have started getting their clothing out the night before to make sure it matches LOL and Truth makes sure that Aurora goes to sleep at night! Over all they are doing GREAT now!

Selah...My extremely playful, very affectionate, super smiley child with FPIES...Selah is Selah lol. She loves Truth on her terms. She occasionally becomes annoyed at the amount of attention Truth wants to give her but typically plays nicely. Selah has become very used to Truth helping with her care...she loves for Truth to put her into and take her out of her carseat! She WILL take a nap for her and allows Truth to change her diaper. I am glad to know the Selah will NEVER remember life before Truth!

TRUTH...My amazingly thankful, extremely full of personality, very loving PRE
TEEN...Truth has adjusted fantastic so far! She loves her brothers and sisters totally and fully and NORMALLY! All the fears that where whispered into my ear have proven to be nothing but fears. I know that at any moment Truth could start throwing fits or items ;) but I think I am prepared for that! Truth loves helping around the house! She is teaching her siblings how to make their beds because she is the BEST bed maker EVER! She loves pretty much everything we cook and lets us know when she is unhappy! She has been opening up and "sharing" as much as she can! She is openly affectionate with both me and Ryan! At the end of the day she asks for Daddy to pray with her and then uses her hands and opens them like a book asking him to read her Bible!! Truth is just plain FANTASTIC...

With Truth being so fantastic I am afraid that we have a little too pretty of a story of older child adoption. I do not want to trick anyone into wanting to walk this path as I know that not all paths are this "easy". I am just blown away day after day at how normal this all feels!

The praise belongs ONLY to Jesus...


Saturday, June 22, 2013

The next big thing...

This is not what you think it is...this is not a special post about how wonderful it is that I will be picking up Truth in the am...this is not a post about the emotional ups and downs that I have felt making it this far...This is a post about a true struggle that I am having here. Now. With myself...

I am struggling with not being angry...at who...at you. Harsh, I am aware! I am angry that I have friends who seem to value things more then people...yes you the one saying no I don't...I am angry that I value things more then people. "But Dani you are amazing and you adopted so many kids with so many needs" I know but that is not enough. It is not enough that we do nice things, adopt cute kids, give tiny bits of money, SHOW OFF ON FB the tiny things that we do. I am guilty of it too don't worry I am not judging anyONE specific but I am angry at us all. Yes I more then likely am experiencing this because outside my window there are people starving, let that sink in PEOPLE ARE STARVING...get it? When is the last time that you were actually STARVING? Not hungry...I mean you don't know where the next meal is coming from , NOTHING on reserve type of starving? If you are reading this and you HAVE experienced this then I am so very sorry! Sorry I was too self centered to see your need! For my friends who say "Dani we honestly do not have ANY extra!"...do you EVER eat out? Do you EVER eat more then needed? Ever throw food away? Do you own more then one shirt, pair of pants, pair of shoes, car, house? Do your children play sports?...um extra.

The other evening I had coffee with someone who I have quickly fallen in love with! During our chatting she told me a story of a church in Haiti (you know that place that you feel sorry for so you send some money every now and then) where the paster will close the doors and say "you are not leaving until we have enough money to cover this need"...he has also said things like "if you have two coats go and sell one"...this church in Haiti is sacrificing, not the kind of sacrificing that sponsoring one child does...the kind of sacrifice that hurts, that they feel daily, and that LEADS THEM TO TURN TO THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN TRULY PROVIDE FOR US!!!!!!!!

Wow do I feel selfish! ALL 6 of my children have TOO much! Ryan and I have more then necessary!!!! We have a large tv, nice home, and two cars!!!!! I am NOT saying the God is asking us to all live in poverty!! But I am implying that we are too selfish! I am also NOT saying that all of my friends need to run out and adopt! What I am saying is that we NEED to care for others sacrificially .that may look like sponsoring multiple children and not having cable, that may look like doing without your daily coffee to buy a well of clean water somewhere in the world, it may look more radical for you...like doing with one car, one tv, one computer...hehe or no tv (did I really just say that! I LOVE TV...oh and FB)

So friends please...give more then you have...let yourself be uncomfortable...allow your children to miss the next big thing...and yield the amazing joy that ONLY comes to those who LIVE IN HIM!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Digging in the DIRT...again????

I need to publicly offer a huge THANK YOU to the individual who has chosen to repeatedly report claims about us to our local children and youth!!!! If it were not for you we would not have ever had so many amazing opportunities to show just how FANTASTIC this Fasnacht Family truly is!!!!!

Thank you for giving us a chance to totally brag about what an amazing Father and Husband Ryan is! By claiming that he is not involved and hardly ever home CYA was able to hear all the wonderful stories that our therapy team were more then glad to share...such as how Ryan comes home at lunch to not only help with school transport but with lunch prep and spends those few extra minutes with the children...or how his "many trips" were actually 2 trips one to Ethiopia to adopt our daughter and one to Honduras through Compassion International paired with the company that he is employed by!...or how truly impressed our BSC is with how involved Ryan is with our behavior plans for the children!!!!!

Thank you for giving us a chance to show how far and wide we have searched, and are continuing to search, for help for our children with needs! Your claims that our discipline was harsh and our sleeping arrangements were wrong opened doors for social workers to learn what home life looks like raising children with traumatic pasts! CYA was thrilled with the amount of services we have taken advantage of! Our pediatrician, BSC, MT, TSS, Trauma therapist, and staff at Hershey medical were MORE THEN HAPPY to share their thoughts and opinions on the subject...and lets just say they made us shine!!!!

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to meet an amazing social worker at Hershey Medical Center!!! Though you may think that I am going against medical advice by not having my sons tonsils out the Drs were VERY QUICK to clarify that there were more tests that needed done and the Dr performing the surgery still has questions regarding the safety of the procedure! Honestly how am I to remove tonsils...I am SO NOT a Dr!!!! I loved getting to spend HOURS on the phone making sure that I was in no way harming my child (just to make sure) by not having his tonsils out yet!

Thank you for the ability to educate children and youth of Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) and how a bolus feed works, by questioning why Selah is not "hooked up" 24 hours a day I was able to share that she eats four times a day 200ml at a time over the course of 45 mins...this will teach her that there are "eating times" so she does not completely forget how to "eat". The social worker found everything very interesting and thought that Selah looked very healthy. This social worker will now be BLESSED to meet Dr Ammons when she verifies my words tomorrow!!!!

Thank you for sharing your concern that Selah had tasted a strawberry! I may very well have been concerned as well if it had not been under medical direction that we trialed strawberries. For your information after our official diagnosis Selah has tried (and failed) pedilyte, bananas, and strawberries...which means that after a period of time her body decided that the food is a dangerous substance and rejects it. Her reactions could be as mild as an elevated WBC and loose stool to a full reaction where she vomits to the point of dehydration and possible shock. I feel OVERLY BLESSED that your concern is spreading the news about FPIES!!!!!!!!

This blog is written in FULL TRANSPARENCY and TOTAL HONESTY I love spending time with individuals who are needing to learn of the love of Jesus and along with my children's needs comes a lot of people!!!!!! Thank you for bringing an entire other agency into our lives that we can hopefully impresses upon them the UNFAILING and EVER PRESENT love of our Jesus!!!!!!

My only fear in all of this is that there are truly needy families who would completely benefit from the services that CYA can provide...and because we are taking up so much of their time I fear that others may be missing out! I am very thankful for the therapy teams that we have worked with through out the years and especially how quickly they jumped into action to help protect us as a family and my children as individuals! I am sad to say that a couple of my children are really struggling with CYA involvement, though we have some over the top therapists who have given extra just to make sure they feel safe (even our trauma therapist who
had discharged our boys arranged an appointment RIGHT AWAY!!!!!....now that is Jesus is skin right there, pure love!!!)

Family and Friends as you read this PLEASE do not become upset with whoever has chosen to spend their time digging in the dirt. PLEASE start to pray for them RIGHT NOW!!!! I believe that this person or people really need to not only feel Jesus but to SEE JESUS!!!! Now trust me I have tried on the emotions of being angry, upset, embarrassed, hurt, ashamed...and then thankfulness...and I must say that thankfulness feels SO MUCH BETTER!!!!!

My prayer is that CYA will see the truth that God knows about our family, that where ever the calls are coming from God will send someone to meet them where they are at and help them begin to heal!!!! I pray for peace for this person or people I pray for strength for them I pray for protection from their lies!!!!! Please Lord forgive them for their claims against us as I am SURE you have forgiven me for feeling angry at them. I ask this NOW IN JESUS NAME AMEN!!!!!!!




Sunday, May 19, 2013

Satan text me!!!!!

I believe that I must truly be on the right path...walking as closely (with human error) to Jesus as I can. I can feel Satan is attempting to attack me! I will not go into all the details but to sum it up two children in the ER was not bad enough I now have had a battle of words with someone in our lives. (I am leaving out ALL identifying information, I believe in transparency but NOT in destroying someone else so that I can move forward!). I think that it was Satan who sent me the text message saying "I think you need help. Amazing how all "your children" have mental or physical illnesses. Get yourself help..." I responded and said "thank you for showing me that a relationship with you at this time is not possible...I am sorry...I hope that someday in the future we are able to have an appropriate relationship"

These are snippets of the text chatting that took place this am. I have to say it caught me off guard and I immediately became hurt, disappointed, angry, and defensive. I felt the need to ensure that my love for my children was believed and heard! I wanted to defend our parenting, I wanted to so the medical documents supporting everything that has been happening in our home...but I didn't...I talked to a few friends...searched Bible gateway ;)...and came to the conclusion that I need to love this other person.

In loving them I blocked them on Facebook, so that they would not have to see when m family is going through. In loving them I left the door unlocked but closed it for now on our relationship, and n love I am committing to pray for them whenever I can.

 Will say that deciding to love and not freak out is NOT EASY and my body still aches with some of the things that were said. I truly value honesty and when someone questions mine it stings!!!! I was amazed though at the verse that God has literally shoved down my throat this hospital stay!!!!!


1Corithians 13...feel free to red it all ;) the parts that I am marinating in a the idea of truly sharing your love for Jesus needs to begin with loving others...even when it hurts...even when you are tired or weak...I even turned into a church service on tv this am that was ALL about exactly what God has been showing me this hospital stay!!!! All BEFORE satan text me!!!!! Wow God equips me for the struggles to come...what a comfort!!!!!!!!

Oh and side note...Paul in the Bible totally ROCKS! ;)

Disclaimer...when saying that satan text me I am in NO WAY saying that the person who is upset wit me is evil!!!!!!!!!! I am saying that satan is attempting to trip me up through this person...


Monday, May 13, 2013

Mom to Admire...

The frantic words of a panicked mother were heard by many in the early hours of May 13 2013. This "Mom to Admire" was a hot mess from 1:03 am until 1:45 am...

The Full Story...(I did not know all the details until the end...)

Around 12:30 am Ryan awoke to the sound of the basement door that leads to the first floor being kicked or punched. We routinely block the basement door due to the boys waking during the night and terrorizing the house, eating foods they are allergic to, just being untrustworthy. This is why our son was unable to get through the door. Ryan quickly turned on his cell phone and checked the camera that we have in the basement. This camera is great we are able to monitor the boys with out actually going down, so they do not really know that we are watching. Ryan watched as our son silently raged, calmed down, and returned himself to bed just before 1:00 am. At this point Ryan switched the camera to the record mode and then switched back so he could check again PANIC ONE OF THE BOYS WAS GONE AND THE BASEMENT DOOR WAS HANGING OPEN!!!!! Ryan jumped out of bed, fully clothed in his UNDERWEAR, and booked it through the house to the basement FULLY expecting that our son would be standing on the patio growling at him just looking for attention, he was NOT there. Ryan ran to the back yard, no child. He ran to the front of the house...because really our child WOULD NOT go further then this, right!...our little boy was not there or ANYWHERE ELSE to be seen. Ryan ran back into the house, threw on clothing awoke me grabbed a flashlight and ran back outside. I sprung awake grabbed a flashlight and went to the basement because my son HAD to be there Ryan MUST have missed something...I tore the room apart looking in places that made absolutely no sense. I ran out back and ran into my neighbors basement and started yelling for him...nothing...This is where I started to lose a bit of my mind and stopped dead in my tracks to ask the ONE AND ONLY who could tell me what to do. I PLEADED with Jesus to guide me like no other I need WISDOM NOW...I basically demanded that my son be fine and that this would be a story in the morning. The peace that came upon me is something that I cannot put into words, this is something that I have felt MANY times in the past, it honestly is as if Jesus steps down from Heaven grabs onto me as tight as He can. I instantly yelled to Ryan (who has been searching in the woods) that I am calling 911...the time stamp on my phone says 1:20 am, after talking with Ryan later we figured out that combined we had looked about 10 mins before I called...911 said they would send police to take a report. I then quickly ran to Amii and Travis' house and woke them up (TOTALLY by ringing the doorbell 4 or 5 times and banging on the door...sorry friends!!!!!) I was starting to panic and asked them to check their house. They quickly jump to it just as if he were their OWN child!!! Within minutes they were joined by Anthony and Britnee (more neighbors...oh and let me add my neighbors ARE family and ARE my village!!!!!) I honestly am not sure where everyone went but everyone scattered to search for my son. I called Beth to begin praying she headed our way. The police arrived at 1:24 and started collecting information...they were extremely kind but were moving slower then I could comprehend...I could NOT understand why they were worried about the spelling of our names while my little guys was GONE. I still felt the off sense of peace and knowledge that my little man was FINE just LOST. I cut the poor police officer off as he was insisting that the little guy was hiding in the house...and said something along the line of "I DON"T THINK YOU ARE LISTENING TO ME MY SON IS MISSING, HAS BEEN MISSING, IS IN PJS, AND I AM GETTING PANICKED THAT YOU ARE JUST TAKING NOTES" (caps needed...not my proudest moment). He seemed taken back by the now crazy mommy standing in front of him...I mean just a moment before I had been calm and compliant. He quickly followed me into the house and to the boys room and then understood how there was no way that he was in the house somewhere and started calling for a tracking dog...the first was a no go and he got visibly upset that they had said NO to sending the dog to find my LITTLE BOY! A second police officer made his way to the basement and assured me that they WOULD get a dog asap that they already had the fire rescue team on their way and they were gathering volunteers to begin searching after the dog did his thing...He asked if he could check the whole house...I said yes and just let him know the girls were sleeping upstairs. While in the basement I discovered that my son had wet his pants and taken them off...so now I was not sure if he even had pants on and I found his sneakers so his feet were bare. More questions, more answers...I walked back upstairs and told my now awake other boys with me. The fire men were here asking questions, Britnee came in to be with me, right as the police officer was telling me that the dog was arriving and he was going outside to meet him a call came across the radio that my son had been found by and ambulance, he was FINE, and was on his way home!!!!!!!It was only 1:45 am!!!! I feel like God removed my ever calm presence to MAKE my voice be heard!!!! I honestly think that mondo crazy mom got the police moving at a MUCH faster rate!!!! They were all of a sudden taking me VERY seriously and if they had not called EVERYONE that ambulance would not have been in the right place at the right time!!!!


He was fine...hardly even cried...The police were very concerned for the panicked mommy ;)...stating that the level of stress that I had just endured was enough to send someone into cardiac arrest...LOL they MUST NOT read my blog ;)...They insisted that after I handed my little man off to Daddy that I be checked out. I was FINE totally FINE (like that word....God is GOOD all the time!!!!) Beth arrived and made sure all was well...everyone surrounded us as we let the dust settle a little and begin the healing from the burst of trauma that entered our home (or exited) at 1:00 am...Everyone slowly filed back into their cars and homes and Ryan and I settled in to talk with our son and see if he could explain at all why he would have run away.

We were fully expecting him to say he was "lost" and "scared"...that he started out mad or angry and then just got mixed up...but instead he very calmly explained that he chose to run away because he no longer wanted to be in our home that he would rather live at a hospital (He was found at Norlanco)...He said that he heard Travis, Anthony, Daddy, and Mommy yelling and that made him "run faster". He said he knew he was not allowed to cross the street but did because he wanted to leave. He said that he saw three police cars and one police truck with its lights on and hid so they could not find him...he sat down to rest and that is when the ambulance spotted him...he showed no signs of remorse or fear of what he had done. We explained how scared we were and how much we love him and would miss him so very much if anything happened to him. We had him finish the night sleeping in our room, where he will be sleeping until further notice. Ryan and I crawled into bed around 4:45 am.

I am mostly at a loss for what to think or feel about what happened last night. My body was wrecked with so many emotions and feelings that I am mostly numb as I type this. His behavior therapist is due to come at any moment and he is beginning rage #5 for the day.

If I take nothing else from this I can say to ANY unbelievers that Jesus IS real and IS here...That is the ONLY way that I made it though last night. My neighbors can never be re paid for how quickly and lovingly they surrounded us in this moment of need...In all he was gone for 45 mins and made it about 1/2 a mile from the house before being found. We are asking for everyone to join us in prayers for ANSWERS even if the answers are NOT what we want...

Before anyone chooses to look at me as a "Mom to Admire" MAKE SURE that you look at me as a HOT MESS!!!!!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

A HUGE THANK YOU!!!

Any of you who follow along with us on Facebook may have seen my prayer request from 5 hours ago asking...

"A very important e-mail was sent to Ethiopia last night!!!! I would love it if everyone would join me in praying that the RIGHT person receives it and is able to move this mountain !!!! We have SEEN God to bigger things then this!!!


2 HOURS AGO OUR PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED AND THE ANSWER WAS YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had not explained what the e-mail was about...WACAP was placing a special request for the embassy to begin the investigation on Hirite BEFORE June 6th. They were of NO obligation to do that. Procedure is that they begin the investigation AFTER the lab results are back....

Here is the EXCITING email that I got...

"Danielle,
We heard back from the Embassy. They are willing to begin their investigation before waiting for sputum test
results. So that is great! How long it will be for all to be completed after the lab results are obtained will still be unknown. But at least we know they will expedite their process and are trying to help cut down on time."

SO I wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU for everyone who joined us in asking for this to happen!!!!!!!!!!!!

TRUTH WILL BE HOME SOON I CAN FEEL IT!!!!



Thursday, May 9, 2013

James:1 2-4

It is physically painful to type this...and yes I am being a bit dramatic...I just got a phone call from our adoption agency!!! When the number showed up I quickly answered it with full anticipation that I would be hearing my social worker squeal with joy that we would be traveling soon, or at least that our case has been approved and we need to talk about travel!! With how difficult life has felt here the past couple months I thought for sure that this was God sending a ray of hope my way, guiding me out of this all consuming darkness that has been closing in on me.

The first words out of her mouth were "This is NOT an exciting phone call"...talk about a total joy kill, my heart dropped to my feet and I wanted to vomit all while driving my children home from their dentist appointment. What she went on to explain is that the embassy has not been giving them any straight answers as to what the hold up is with our case...and they finally just today got some answers. The embassy has decided, VERY RECENTLY, to change the long test from 8 weeks to 9 weeks

[Please pause here with me as I received a call from the school that one of my children was having behavioral difficulties and was not allowed onto the bus...had to pick him up and he is currently waiting for me to finish typing to find out what his punishment is]

anyway...they are changing the test from 8 to 9 weeks AND have changed it from children OVER age 10 to say children 10 and over!!! So this test that Truth did not have to wait on she now does. Her test was done on April 4th WACAP said that means that it will be complete June 6th and then the embassy will begin its process which can take a week to three weeks or MORE. WACAP is highly frustrated by this and are "in awe at how gracefully we are handling it all"

I would not call the emotions that I am feeling Grace...

I am reminded AGAIN of James 1 2-4
" Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way."

I am confident that God is shaping me into what He needs but it certainly is painful right now...


Please pray with us that Truth is CONFIDENT in our LOVE and DESIRE for her!!! That she is POSITIVE that we WILL return for her and that she is ABLE to SEE God in ALL this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


(The ring she is wearing in this phone was my "wedding ring" that I got and wore in Ethiopia I asked her to keep it safe for me!!!!)


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Alone...

I am struggling with the urge to write this. Worried that I am going to offend people, worried that I am going to upset my family, worried that my friends will look differently at me. I have been on the verge of this post for a while now...so here it goes.

I feel so alone...so very very alone. I know that Jesus is here and I KNOW that I always have HIM. BUT while here on this earth I do wish that I did not feel so alone. I am the ONLY one who knows how to feed, change, or care for Selah's tube...no...one...else...I am alone. Maybe I am not ever physically alone, but I feel alone...alone on this path to finding answers as to why my child cannot eat, will not grow with out this elemental formula. The person I currently feel safest with is my children's pediatrician...isn't that sad. I feel like she is the only one who truly believe me, sees how difficult it is to walk Selah's path...she sees that the boys are ALWAYS needing my full attention and I cannot give it with Selah now needing ALL my attention...There have been many offers for help...and please do not think that those have gone unnoticed I am VERY APPRECIATIVE of EVERYONE who has helped with anything!!! I just am just left feeling alone...

I feel alone because these things that I encounter are an everyday all day no end in sight kind of things...and help is offered like what is offered for a new mother just coming home from the hospital.

EVERYDAY I am beaten up, spit on, talked back to, verbally abused, contacted by the school, talk to Drs, take care of feeding tubes, does meds, try to find answers and PRAY FOR HELP...I feel like I am completely stuck in quick sand and everyone around me just expects that it will all be fine...its Dani she can do it...but I am tired...and I am alone.

My friends who I want so badly to come closer have seemed to want to give me space...I am alone

Trust me when I say I KNOW that I am not truly ALONE just feel so so alone...and I cannot even say what would make a difference.

I do not long for a flood of friends and family to now try...I have learned how to swallow the alone pill and I still very much enjoy my life...

I will enjoy the path with Selah...I will run fast and hard to help all my children even if when I reach the end I am still alone...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Clarification...

I feel the need to clarify some of my recent activity on my facebook page. I have been a bit more transparent about my children and our lives together as a family. I think that I am comfortable sharing all the crap now because Truth is officially ours and the fear that someone will stop that adoption is gone!

Here it goes...

The recent behavior of my children, unfortunately, is my normal...It is COMPLETELY NORMAL, like everyday morning to night does not skip a day normal for the following things.

-At least a few times a day I am in one way shape or form physically hurt during the day, that may look like being punched, kicked, bit, slapped, pushed, or just plain beaten (and yes I can say beaten bc over the years I have been sent to the hospital about 5 times from the physical abuse of my children)...This has made me a STRONG woman, physically and mentally, becuase not only can I still handle my 50lber I KNOW that they do not mean to hurt mommy, they are coming from a place of deep pain and do not know how to handle that yet.

-At least once an hour I am reminded that my children hate me, want to kill me, I am told details of how to plan to hurt me, I am called a bully, told I don't care, that they wish I would leave, that I am not fair, and somethings I cannot bring myself to type...This has given me an amazing ability not to believe in Satans lies! My God LOVES these children and they love their mommy enough to trust that I am NOT going ANYWHERE so they can treat me like dirt.

-I am very comfrotable with having prifessionals in my home at all hours of the day or night! Right now we are at an all time low with therapy hours (all combined) being only about 40 hours a week! I have been analysed FOR YEARS to see if any piece of my parenting may be causing my children to have their struggles and FOR YEARS I have passed all the tests and been told that I couldn't do any better with my children!...This has shown me that God gave me excatly who I was ment to parent, not any more not any less, In all honesty I WISH that is was my fault somehow so that I could change something that would help my children!

-A few times a week I am reminded that school, church, and society truly does NOT understand the effects of trauma on a child...This has pushed me to become a fierce advocate for my children! Do not tell me that you are not willing to help a Fasnacht, this mommy bear is ready ;)

So here are some important things to know about my children...
-They do not have typical responses to changes within our family...
-They are amazing caring, loving children...
-They each have a unique struggle (which I believe will be an incrediable strength as they grow!)...
-They do not intend to harm others...
-They LOVE Jesus!...

So when the outside world wants to try to "fix" my children and find "reasons" to their behavior...this is nothing new for us! This is an everyday, all day battle with sin that we are fighting together as a family!...The childrens behavior is not any worse because Selah has a feeding tube or Truth is soon to come home they have not had an increase in behavior with Ryan out of the country...There has just been an increase in sharing with full transparency what our current struggles have been.

As I said before I KNOW for a fact that my childrens challenges NOW will lead to incrediable strength later in their lives! I have met very few children with as much fight as my children, as adults they will be completely unstoppable! I pray often that they will use this inside fire for good and to show the amazing love and forgivness of Jesus!!!!!



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Special Consideration...



Dear woman at the school who chose to roll your eyes at me and look completely disgusted,

I would like to give you a chance to look at me with a different perspective, a perspective full of truth. The next time you see a parent who is physically struggling with a child of any age I ask that you ask yourself if maybe, just maybe this situation needs some special consideration. If I had had it in me I would have stopped you to try to explain what was happening but honestly all my energy reserves for the day were being used to contain my child.

Please I ask of you to make sure that you filter your responses. I have children who wake up around 4:45am...My youngest, because of her feeding tube schedule goes to bed between 9:00pm and 10:00pm, meaning that on a good night, after the dishes are done, house picked up, and time spent with hubby I get about 5-7 hours of sleep but I am up about 3-4 times during that time to deal with some need that someone has...So I am tired

I have children with mental health concern who require extra parenting, hours of therapy, and frequent visits to a variety of doctors. I myself have to offer these children constant special considerations...not because I expect less from them but because I have extra high expectations of how great their potential truly is!...So I am over booked.

We are waiting on the embassy in Ethiopia to tell us we can bring out oldest daughter home for good! We miss her and long for her to be here with us...So I am longing.

My youngest is unable to eat anything, details are not necessary, so she is on a feeding tube. Due to the feeding tube I have zero, let me repeat, zero people who are currently able to watch her for me...So I am alone.

I run into "you" everywhere we go, the store, school, the park, the drop off line at preschool. "You" are the face that I so disparately wish to avoid .."You" are the teacher who means well but truly does not get it..."You" are the friend who silently judges, but I feel it..."You" are the ones who think that my children's "issues" are made up..."You" are the one that I pray for.

So, Dear "You" I ask that you use the filter of the possibility that the mother you are rolling your eyes at is tired, is over booked, is longing, is alone. I challenge you that when you see that mother that makes you turn your nose up in disgust that you instead try out a smile...honestly it could be the ONLY friendly gesture she encounters in a days time.

What if that mother is not blessed as I am to know Jesus...because sometimes it is ONLY my relationship with HIM that keeps me placing one foot in front of another! What if that was your chance to be Jesus to someone and you missed it! What if your nasty judgmental attitude was how Jesus looked at you, I am sure your life is not perfect.

I would like to thank "You" for reading this...as I am sure that we are ALL guilty of judging a situation we know nothing about.


Monday, April 22, 2013

The fork in Selah's road...

The fork in Selah's road...

We stood at a point in this FPIES road where we were to find out how "serious" it is and what we do next...turns out that Selah is blessed to walk the path that only 5% of children with FPIES will be able to walk. The allergist today explained that 95% of children with FPIES have reactions to 3-5 foods, now remember that may not sound tough but if soy is a trigger it is in SO MUCH same as milk or wheat so this comes with MANY challenges!!!! Then there are 5% of children with FPIES who have reactions to all foods...Selah is there. She believes that this group of children actually have something other then FPIES but currently there is not another diagnosis so they are under the FPIES umbrella...

What does this mean...Things Dr Brown said during the appointment...

"You will need to get used to the NG Tube...Selah will more then likely rely on it for years to come."

"I would not recommend a G Tube unless absolutely necessary, I have seen children be successful with NG Tubes for years."

"Please remember that the 5% never truly have safe foods...any food can become a trigger at any time"

...I asked her about food combinations and she said that we just never know, Selah may be fine with bananas and fine with blueberries but when eaten together may cause a reaction...

"It does not matter which foods you try because she will more then likely have a reaction some day to it"

"A food rotation may work but we have not seen success in other children like Selah."

"Selah should stay on the infant formula."

...SHE BLESSED US WITH 6 CANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...

"When Selah hits school age you could switch to night feeds and remove the tube during the day so that she fits in better with her classmates."

"You have done a great job so far with her Mom so keep doing what you have been."

"Watch for dehydration and take her to the hospital if need be."

We were not given ANY sort of a road map for a 5% child...we were not provided a flashlight, or the promise of a light at the end of this tunnel...we were not even given hope of an easier path in the future...we were gently pushed to this side of the FPIES fork and told to try our best, take good, notes, and look to the hospital for hydration when needed.

No follow up appointment is needed because there is nothing that can be done. The Dr truly believes that 5-10 years down the road they will have a way to test for this but does not see a treatment option anytime in Selah's childhood.

These words sound SAD, HOPELESS, and HURTFUL...BUT I have to say that Dr Brown was so pleasant, loving, and praise filled!!! Selah LOVED her and allowed her to examine her (HUGE FOR SELAH). I feel obviously a little hesitant in my confidence of parenting Selah THOUGH truly truly blessed that God is allowing us as a family to walk a new path of need! I know for sure that I can not make it though one minute with out His help, His guidance, His peace!!!!

So I refuse to be knocked down by this!!! I refuse to allow Selah to be hindered in ANY WAY...SATAN CAN JUST LEAVE THE FASNACHT FAMILY ALONE ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!! We love Jesus, Hate sin, and truly believe that all of this crap that we walk with daily is the best possible plan for our family!!! Some day when we arrive in Heaven that is were we will know healing!!!!

Please know I do ask daily for my children to be healed and daily I am told NO... absolutely NO. I have even done the awful thing of saying "why can I not have ONE child with out such a tough walk in life..." to which God QUICKLY reminds me of my precious Aurora!!!! Every time I talk to Jesus about taking away some of the burden He provides a friend to pray for me, a random meal, so small piece of comfort. He does not heal my children...at this point in their lives they need these struggles, they need this pain or they may not be the Jesus loving children I see in them! They talk to Jesus ALL DAY LONG!!!!! about EVERYTHING!!!! They understand hard things, hurt, disappointment, grace, mercy, and forgiveness!!!

I was reminded today by a dear friend of my about all the things that God has said YES to :)...such as, and yes I ACTUALLY asked for all these things...Lunch meat, brought by a friend about 20 mins after I asked...Candles, received a text that day from a friend cleaning out her closet...baby wash (saving $$ to get TRUTH), brought by a friend the very next morning!...formula, free from Drs...a garden, received a fb message almost INSTANTLY from a friend wanting to split a garden with me this summer!!!! So in all honestly Jesus says YES to hundreds of tiny needs I have along then never ending journey!!!!!

beauty from ashes...even covered in ashes from head to toe as long as we can believe in the promise of the beauty there is reason to take the next step!



Friday, April 12, 2013

4.5 hours...

This post is more for Ryan but thought everyone could get a good laugh out of my day ;)

Alarm, aka Selah, goes off at 6:40am
I awake to find my princess up and cheery...but tube free.
6:45 5 children come racing down the stairs for breakfast (Graham, Everett, Blake, Israel, and Aurora)
Ryan prepares breakfast while I clean the tape gunk off the tube
I quickly jump onto facebook to search out some answers to a tube related question
7:30 5 kids are fed hubby is in the shower...
I start the morning routine of kids getting dressed, teeth brushed, faces washed, hair done, chores started...
I send my 7 and 5 year olds back up stairs to change into warmed clothing...
I am hand washing the kitchen floor by hand to insure that Selah cannot get ANY food (first of 3 times this happens in a day)
As I prepare her supplies to out the tube back in one of my children asks "what can I do for you mommy" to which I reply "please talk to Selah for a min while I do this"...to which they reply by becoming violent and totally freaking out...
I pause my tube prep to place said child into a safe predesignated area...getting beaten, spit on, called names, and finally kicked while doing so...and then return to preparing to put Selah's tube in.
Ryan is done in the shower and ready to help hold Selah down...
Tube procedure...
clean tube
put medal thing back into tube so that it can be inserted properly
cut 3 different types of tape so it is ready to go
lay out a blanket to swaddle her in
measure the tube on Selah
Swaddle screaming baby
put tape on her cheek
insert tube...first try did not work, pick up and hug, try again SUCCESS
quickly tape tube, and pull out medal thing
use syringe to pull out stomach contents and make sure tube is in correct spot
flush tube
finish taping and LOVE ON BABY!!!
Once this is done Ryan addresses child who was violent and runs out the door with another child who needs to catch the bus
I finish cleaning the kitchen and move to the dinning room (trust me NOT spotless just the floors)
Start the laundry
Prepare Selah's first feed of the day with her new pump...
oh and by the way it is now 8:20 ;)
I get her all hooked up she is walking around sporting her new backpack...
I finish vacuuming the dining room
Kristi calls and we spent a couple mins chatting about nothing
Selah comes to sit on my lap, I cuddle her
She then VOMITS all over both of us!!!
I quickly stop feed and hang up the phone.
I clean the vomit off the floor, check her pump to see how much she ate about 129 of the 220ml needed
I jump back on the phone an call the Dr, they put me straight threw to the nurse based on the Drs notes
The nurse is not sure what we should so and asks me to keep updating her as to how Selah is acting...our Dr will be in this afternoon
9:00...TSS arrives and we need to rush Israel and Aurora to preschool
(bad mommy moment this is where i mention that my kids woke up and took annoying pills this am ;) )
PLEASE NOTE...Selah and I are STILL covered in vomit
We drop the kids at school
Arrive home in time for a wonderful friend to drop off a ton of pedialyte!
Enjoy a short visit, during which Selah vomits again (small)
Friend leaves and I call the nurse back
Nurse takes notes and asks if I can manage her at home, yes, and says that it does not sound like a virus but she is not familiar with FPIES so just to keep her updated...I explain that I would like to give her a tube feed of pedialyte to insure hydration, nurse agrees that sounds good.
10:30 give pedialyte feed...
Selah and Everett play wonderfully while mommy researches FPIES, and cleans the tube supplies from the am...along with various other Mommy things ;) and start this post!
Ryan picks up Israel and Aurora from preschool and arrives home with them around 11:55
Daddy picks up Selah and says something like "She smells a little funny" and I am reminded SHE IS STILL COVERED IN VOMIT!!!!
I stop writing, dance with the kids through "these are the things" song...and change Selah
Changing Selah is MUCH more in depth now!!!...I need to unpin the tube from her shirt, clean the tape off...change clothing and diaper...redress, repin, retape...
Now it is time to start the LUNCH RUSH ;) and clean up procedure again...time to start a tube feed and prepare lunch

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH is anyone else laughing?????? I totally am :) while writing all this out I am reminded of other things like Selah almost knocking her poll over which leads me to laugh that we HAVE A HOSPITAL POLL IN MY HOUSE!!! I am brought to giggles over HOW EXCITED Selah was cleaning up her crayons and her goofy grin she would give when we cheered for her!!! I am smirking over Everett coming downstairs while my friend was here and saying "Who is that lady" ;)...I am still VERY confused by this FPIES but it sure does add a whole new level of crazy to the household!!!

And Honey if you ever arrive home and wonder what I have done all day here are the first 4 and a half hours typed out just hit copy and pate ;)...





Thursday, April 11, 2013

Part way down the road...

I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been praying us through everything with Selah!!! I would also like to say PLEASE do not think that I am ignoring your wonderful suggestions! I know that everyone is well meaning...but...Selah's little body is just different, it views protein as an illness (along with multiple other things) and starts to "fight" when they are introduced to her. It fights so hard that her white blood count goes up, to about 22 (should be around 10), she begins to have pure water bowel movements full of mucus. The mucus shows that her intestines are irritated or inflamed and that she is not absorbing the nutrients from whatever just went through her. She can even go so far as throwing up to the point of dehydration at the introduction of a "trigger" food or substance.

Though this all may be new news to my friends and family we have been going through this from the time that Selah was born, just without a name to go with it! It is as if I am part way down the road looking back now with some understanding. She even lost weight last summer when foods were introduced! We have had to get up at least twice a night every night to feed her extra bottles because everything would just run out of her causing her to loose weight and hydration. I have spent more hours then I can count with a syringe following her around the house squirting 5mls at a time into her little mouth trying to avoid a hospital stay. We have sat on the phone with Dr after Dr for hours on end! This is not new to us! We "lost" our "proactive" approach to her hydration the beginning of March and that started this snowball effect coming to the possible diagnosis of FPIES.

We have tried the probiotics, prebiotics, slippery elm, pure organic fruits, veggies, meats, and grains, one dear friend even BROUGHT be ALL the ingredients to make my own pedialyte!!!! The problem with all this is that they all have caused "FPIES reactions". She cannot tolerate (at this time) ANYTHING natural :(. Such as her reaction to the orange pedialyte the other day...I should have put in the post that she drank maybe half an ounce in the am! not even very much at all!!!!!! Her reaction started around lunch time, classic of FPIES to start hours later, and continues still today in her stool.

I am in NO WAY an expert on this subject and it does not make ANY sense to me how a child can be "allergic" to pretty much all food. It still is shocking that if she gets ONE piece of rice just IN her mouth I KNOW that she will have water for poop later in the day!!!!

BUT PEOPLE! I rest in the knowledge that God can use ALL THINGS for good! I believe that we have sin in this world and that God may NOT heal her. I know that this may be tough for some to understand but God uses people such as Selah to touch SO MANY lives for his kingdom!!! I only want her to be healed if that is Gods plan for her life!! YES the easy way would be for healing BUT would she appreciate life enough? Would we appreciate her enough? Would I have been able to share about my WONDERFULLY LOVING JESUS with SO MANY if not for her FPIES? I have met so many lovely people on this journey that I can not even say that I would change it if I could. I know that may sound cruel...SO many people have been SO giving of their time, abilities, and resources!!!!! I can NEVER thank them properly!!!

I have more fear, sadness, and worry for the "perfect" families who have very few reasons to talk to Jesus every minute of every day...I feel deeply for people whose biggest struggles are some of my greatest joys! Look not at your children as little inconveniences but as mini miracles that they are in this world with out the struggles that we all could face!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Equality...

I have seen many profile pictures change over the past couple days showing my fiends support, or disagreement with same sex marriage. I have also read post after post about how this matter is"unfair","unequal","just wrong"...now I have read those comments about both sides "a same sex relationship should have the same rights as one man and one woman"..."it is just wrong to allow same sex marriage" and so on and so forth...what I am amazed by is how offended everyone is becoming when someone disagrees with their opinion, their whole world is all of a sudden unfair! And we begin to forget that we are all neighbors!

Well WELCOME TO MY WORLD! Life is NOT fair, if it were there would be no room for growth in any way, no way to practice patience, love, forgiveness. I have been screamed at, beaten down, sent to the hospital, made horrible decisions, been judged by my decisions, had other parents judge my children based on appearance, had someone tell me they "hate my child", and I could go on and on...what is fair about a life full of feeling hated by the outside world? Parents of children with extra needs know where I can coming from it is a day to day battle with almost everyone around me!!!! I have to walk through the mud in order to get stronger...so why shouldn't everyone have to as well?

The difference in a Christ followers life vs someone who has yet to meet him really should be our response to the unfair!!!!!!! And our fierce protection of people all around us in all walks of life!

The last time that I checked Jesus was very clear of the greatest commandment..."love The Lord our God with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is like it, LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF...

Now a sin is a sin but I will love each and every person that walks into or out of my life to the best of my ability! I will not change that love based on life choices, past or present sins. So I challenge my friends to MAKE SURE you are loving all those around you EVEN those with a different opinion on this current hot topic!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The privilege of the challenge...

Our normal is about to be redefined again...this is one of the last "tube free" photos of my precious little Selah that there will be for the next 6-8 months. Unless she takes it out more often then expected. At some point today I will watch as the nurses hold her down and insert a tube threw her nose into her stomach. Our new schedule Will be something along the lines of 5 feedings, first mix a bottle and offer it to Selah give her 20 mins to try to drink it, whatever is not taken orally will be tube fed. I will be taught how to insert the tube myself and how to prepare, measure, and give her food. The allergist that we saw today wants her food free for the next YEAR...needless to say I am getting another opinion, we will be trying to schedule with Dr Brown at CHOP who knows a ton about FPIES (even the pediatrician today said to talk to this Dr to get a better plan!). GI is not in agreement with the feeding tube but the fear with out it is that we will be spending a ton more time in the hospital hooked up to an iv and the feeding tube will prevent that.

This is NOT a worst case senecio, I can think of a lot worse situations that parents and children have had to endure! This honestly isn't my fist choice but please know that I believe this is not Gods back up plan for Selah, I fully believe that this is part of her journey that only God can use for GOOD! I believe that this sweet little lady has already touched so many people here at CHOP! Everyone loves hearing about her big sister in Ethiopia! And are impressed with all of her "skills" LOL, she has made  everyone who has met her smile, and we all know how much a smile can change our day!!!

So in conclusion, I refuse to allow this bump in Selahs journey create a mountain in mine! I will be her nurse/mommy/advocate for as many years as it takes! For anyone saying that this is just "not fair" I challenge you...for I truly believe that my children walking with challenges now will know how to make a huge impact later pulling from their paths! This food challenge is a privilege that God knew Selah and the Fasnacht family could and would handle!

Being asked to take on the challenges is our pleasure and we thank Jesus that He has asked so much of us!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Thankful to obey...

Today Selah had her one year re-evaluation for early intervention. I honestly cannot say enough GREAT things about this program! I believe that it has helped my children in more ways then I have time to discuss in this post! If anyone would like info on it PLEASE just ask me!!!

Anyhow...During this evaluation a random thought popped into my head, that thought started to roll around and before I knew it I had a mondo sized thought process going on that is almost confusing!

The thought..."I am thankful for the OT services that Selah has received", the reason that she has these services was because we were willing to have her evaluated. I am thankful that I was taught as a child to obey...

see how I make myself crazy daily...

This "thought walk" really got me processing the idea of listening to saying YES to God. Being an obedient follower of Christ. What if I would have said "No" to the idea of early intervention in my children's lives? Would they be as well adjusted? be able to deal with all the sensory we encounter on a daily bases? be able to talk, walk or fully function? Maybe...would it have been as smooth a process as it was with the help of early intervention? No...so why WHY would we choose to say NO to anything that God would ask of us? To intentionally walk our paths at our own speed instead of Gods? I mean God wants what is BEST for US, I want what is BEST for my CHILDREN.

So if I would have been fully aware that my children needed help and chosen NOT to help them they would suffer, and so would we...Just like being fully aware of what God is asking of us and us STILL saying no, we  would suffer BUT SO WOULD GOD...He would/is hurt when He asks things of us and we shrug it off, "someone else will take care of that", "oh maybe later", "I could NEVER do that", or maybe "those kids look sad but I cannot adopt".

My mind is still racing and trying to straighten out what God is laying on my heart...these nagging thoughts and images of obedience, and examples of listening or choosing not to...

There is no conclusion to this post, maybe I am writing this only for me, maybe there is someone wrestling with a prompt from God (SAY YES)...maybe it is as simple as someone who NEEDS help for their child but they are embarrassed to ask (No judgement here! 4 out of my 6 kids have received some form of help!). I am truly not sure...

transparency...

I leave you with this...Isiah 65:11-12
"But you who abandon me, your God,
   who forget the holy mountains,
who hold diners for lady luck
   and throw cocktail parties for sir fate,
Well, you asked for it. Fate it will be:
   your destiny, Death.
For when I INVITED you, you IGNORED me;
   when I SPOKE to you, you BRUSHED me off.
You did the very things I exposed as evil:
   you chose what I hate."



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Be ready for anything...

The speed in which God answered my questions today is honestly baffling...I am used to waiting, comfortable waiting, expect to be waiting. Getting an almost immediate response seems strange.

The questions to others may seem very small but to me they are HUGE! While in Ethiopia IN COURT it was told to us that instead of January 1 2001 being our daughters birth date it was actually November 15 2002! Meaning that she had just turned 10!!!! Now the question at hand was about the CDC requirements for an 8 weeks test period if it started at age 10 or after age 10. My caseworker was quite sure that it was at age 10 so the Truth would HAVE to wait an EXTRA 8 weeks!!! The adoption worker and I also discussed the time frame for our return trip to Ethiopia and she was quite shocked that the WACAP employee in Ethiopia was insistent that we would be back within two months to BRING TRUTH HOME (being that our adoption worker here believed that there needs to be an EXTRA 8 weeks). Well I returned from picking my nephew up to find an email! In the email it said this...

         "Children over 10 years of age are subject to an extended TB test (8 weeks) by the US Embassy. You said her age was changed to 10 years. Thus, she should not be subject to that testing period. (hmmmmm.) Combined with the information that surgery is suggested, your case could very well be expedited. I know Ato Teklu will work hard on your behalf for that."

DON"T YOU JUST LOVE THE "hmmmmmmm" lol...God is going to totally challenge WACAP's way of thinking! They have WATCHED as HE has moved mountains (the woman who would not allow us to have Truth being replaced), they have SEEN the dedication and patience that we have had to bringing Truth home and they will WITNESS God's amazing plan for this special little lady!!!!!!

Our worker ended the email with the words "Be ready for anything!"

Gotta love it when God sends you an email ;)!!!! 






Monday, March 11, 2013

The storm...

The is attempt two...my first was forever deleted and has me slightly discouraged beginning this one. I am attempting to fumble through and put words to emotions that are indescribable...

Today started as all of our visits have began, we arrived at the WACAP house to discover that Truth was hiding waiting for us to find her. We watched the now familiar videos of her brothers and sisters back home, we completed a puzzle, talked about Hagos and just excited as a family. This now familiar child of mine sat cuddled against her Daddy as though she has always been there, our way of communicating is very fluid and feels comfortable, I feel towards her as I do all of my children a great feeling of love, pride, worry, ect all rolled together. That is what makes this visit so hard.

That comfortable feeling of family is about to be ripped from under her ow secure feet.  I am going to  crush this little girl and there is no way around it. Through some of the nannies we tried to explain that this was our good bye for now visit and mommy and daddy were leaving...the look on her face was enough to send the entire room of adults into tears. She was unbelievably upset and try as she might to hold back the tears her eyes swelled over and over. This little lady who so easily slid into our hearts was now clinging for dear life to her daddies neck, begging with her eyes for us to go to bat for her and take her with us. The joy that had filled this beautiful little face had vanished left were dark eyes and trembling lips...the drive away was some of the worst pain I have yet to experience.

The adoption went quickly, we were the second family called. In the judges room the immense joy of the adoption collided with the intense grief Ryan and I were still feeling and made for a very emotional Mommy and Daddy when the judge stated that the court approves our adoption and from this day forth Hirite is our daughter!

We were invited out to coffee with the WACAP staff member here in the city. During that time he explained that he has worked with the court a long time and that he will work hard to get Hirite home sooner rather then later! He thinks that with her medical conditions he will be able to have them move along faster. He promised to go and spend the day with Hirite tomorrow so that if she has questions or wants to talk he will be there for her. He also shared with us his email address and encouraged us to email often and that he would get the messages to Hirite!

As we get ready to leave Ethiopia we are faced once again with this strange storm of emotions we are beyond excited to see our children in the states but are devastated to be leaving one behind...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The beginning of the end...

The beginning of the end...

Today was so ordinary and wonderful that I almost forgot that I was visiting my soon to be adopted DAUTHER in a far off country. She greeted us with smiles and hugs. I complimented her on adding a glitter top coat to her pink nail polish and she promptly ran from the room and returned to add sparkles to my nails :). We colored together, played toss, and enjoyed teaching each other our languages. She thinks that Ryan's arm hair is haliraious and loves my hair! We were even blessed with the oppurnity to eat lunch today with her...she was very insistent that we tasted all of her food from her fingers ;). She played all of our videos over and over again. She especially loves the videos of Selah everything about babies she seems to enjoy she was even giggling at the babies when they were crying and was able to settle them down!

My internal peace and joy that felt so wonderful quickly left when Truth said to us (in her language) on Monday we travel to mekelle and then chow Ethiopia...she was so very excited and grinning ear to ear. Today there was no one at the WACAP house that speeks English so th is was all on us...we quickly created calendars of march April may and June and had to rough it to explain the days of the week and dates associated with the days...we then crossed off the first through the eighth and circled the ninth to show that was today...she seemed to actually be following us, she pointed to Monday the eleventh and said "mommy daddy Hirite chow Ethiopia!"...here is where for the first time, though I am sure not the last, I had to break my daughters heart! I pointed to the eleventh and said "mommy and daddy chow Hirite and Ethiopia"...her expression grew glim and you could see small tears forming and she just looked through me for a minute...when she was ready to give me her attention again I quickly pointed to June (totally GUESS WACAP here is saying May) and said "in June mommy and daddy chow Graham, Everett, Israel, Aurora, Selah and America and say hi Ethiopia and Hirite!" She grew extremely excited and quickly asked (in our own made up way of talking) why her brothers and sisters could not come...then she pointed to March 11 and said "chow mommy and daddy" and then pointed to June and said "hello mommy and daddy...hello mekelle, chow mekelle, chow Ethiopia hello Graham, Everett, Israel, Aurora, and (kiss kiss) my baby Selah!"...so thanks be to Jesus that she seemed to truly understand that we were leaving without her and then returning to get her. We are quite sure she does not understand the length of time in between but neither do we.

Ou prayer is that Ato Teklu is able to get her paperwork doen ASAP!! And the the court finds favor in uniting us sooner then the typical time frame...and that this precious little lady would miss us terribly but with FULL KNOWLEDGE that we will return for her, as of March 11 she will legally be OUR DAUGHTER and nothing will keep this mommy and daddy from returning for her!

Friday, March 8, 2013

ENT

This morning we experienced the need for patience, which God has been teaching over the past few years. Truths specialist appointment was scheduled (which we have learned does not really mean scheduled) at 8:30 we were to be picked up a 8 haha...our ride showed up around 9:15. Though the wait was worth it TRUTH came in through the guest house door full of JOY...she stopped for a moment and then ran to Ryan again with that "only for Daddy grin" that she seems to have! We loaded into the van together and began a long journey to the ENT...

At the ENT we were the only white folks to be seen...and EVERYBODY was staring at the little lady clung to our side ;)...We met a beautiful little girl with a spirit just like Selahs! This little girl kept blowing us kisses and grinning it warmed my heart.

During the test the WACAP nanny kept "translating" what the tech doing the test was saying. The nanny assured us that shewashearing fine and she passed the test. Though Truth was a very good girl and sat very still during the test the results were not great. We were able to speak t the actual Dr who reviewed the results and told us that she has 55% hearing loss in her right ear and 48% hearing loss in her left ear. He believes this is due to her ear drums rupturing from un treated ear infections when younger. He said she will need surgery and sone form of hearing aids. Then he looked at us and said "so do you think you will still take her"...honestly can you believe that the staff here from WACAP and the ENT were worried that we would not be interested in adopting Truth due to having hearing loss! We assured him that the results were fine and that shewashearing daughter...that we have an ENT in the States who will be monitoring her and will perform any needed surgery.

What kind of world is this that two grown men would worry that due to hearing loss a family would not adopt a child? Sadly this is all too true! Kids such as Truth sit on waiting child lists for YEARS and many age out never having experienced the love of a family...so sad that we as a people allow things such as hearing loss, heart defect, drug exposure, HIV to stop us from reading a child's profile, even sadder when a person says that they are not called to adopt. I do not believe that everyone needes to adopt but I do believe that everyone needs to care for those in need! Wether that be your next door neighbor or the little boy you sponsor through compassion BUT do this with your whole heart and with a joyfilled attitude!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day one...

Today was one if the most incredible days that I will ever have the privilege of experiencing. Meeting an already grown child that God is in trusting me to mother was slightly intimidating...and extremely exciting! Traveling to Ethiopia was easy enough as soon as we stepped into the plane we pretended like we were already in Ethiopia and went off there time...we s basically ate and slept the entire flight  (after they decided the plane that is). Landing we were through the airport and greeted by a wonderful driver holding a sign that said "WACAP Fasnacht"...we were checked into the guest house and spoke to the WACAP employee who said he would pick us up at 2:30 to go see our DAUTHER!!! So we took a nap ;)

Riding over in the hot van that smelled of Ethiopian money, food, and people I tried as hard as I could to take in the environment that we were driving through and not wish the moments away...as we approached the gate to the transition home it took all my self control not to start bawling like a baby! We were takin into a waiting room with some toys a couch a mattress in the floor and a small tv. This is where we were to meet our daughter this was to be where that moment would take place that would forever change my entire family! Then it happened Truth walked in and basically ran into Ryan's arms!!! She embraced him so long and so fully everything about her screamed I want you I need you daddy!! She then turned and grinned a huge grin at me and I got to embrace the child that I have prayed for for years!

We visited with her for about two hours during that time we looked at a lot of pictures...she ran from the room we were in and returned a minute later with the photo album that I had sent for her she then would look form my pictures to hers and repeat as I said each of her BROTHERS and SISTERS names her accent with our words is so sweet it could melt even the hardest hearts! She loved the iPad and all the silly games! She also loved playing volley ball with Ryan! I have the cutest video of them  playing together! We did a puzzle and she beat us both at connect four LOL her version anyway ;).

Leaving was bitter sweet you could see the light dim a bit in her eyes and the questions danced across  her face will they really return? Are they really mine? Is it ok to be happy? It is ok to be sad?

I pray for all my children tonight that they now just how much they are loved by not only us but our Father in Heaven! Only through Gods Great plan did we arrive here when we did and how we did! All thanks and glory belong to Him!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One Thing...

Recently I have seen some minor shock when people have seen my daughter Truth for the first time. To sum these experiences up I think many of my friends have expected her to be younger. So to be more clear our daughter is somewhere between the ages of 9 and 13 her current birthday (the one used at court) is January 1 2001 which would age her at 12. When we started on this road to Truth our first thought was that the child that God had for us may be between the ages of 3 and 7 BUT God had a much different much better plan in place for our family! We gave our specifics to our adoption social worker and the SAME WEEK were matched with Truth. The phone call was a little like this..."Danielle I have a child that we feel would be a great match for your family, you need to keep an open mind though because she is a bit older then what you has asked for...she is 9"...then Patty went on to explain that WAY BACK when I had called and inquired about the Ethiopia program through WACAP the program director had flagged this little girl FOR US that if we would pass all the checks and she would still be waiting then they would present her to us!!!! If that is not the hand of God in this I don't know what is.

Most people can relate to the excitement of bringing home a newborn or infant even a toddler. There are so many first that you can experience, you get to mold and shape them from the beginning  I believe it is harder for most people to put themselves in my shoes and share in my excitement . I in total honestly almost feel more humbled that God is trusting me with an already formed child! I don't get much say in her personality, I missed all her firsts, I missed the tiny toes and giving her a bath BUT I have NOT missed the most important part of being a parent. 

What is the most important part of being a parent? In my opinion it is not building their self esteem, insuring that they have worldly things, that they do well in school or sports, or that they have the "best" of everything because you can have it all and yet miss so much! In my opinion the very most important part of being a parent is teaching them HOW MUCH they are LOVED BY JESUS! The world is a painful place and the only TRUE WAY to find peace and healing is through the faith that no matter what Jesus is here and will NEVER walk away...and it is NEVER too late to teach this. So yes I missed most of her childhood but I get to experience the BEST part of being her parent!

The song "One Thing Remains"...sums it up really well :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Burn...

As we share our joy and excitement over the timely court hearing for our daughter in Ethiopia I do not want anyone to miss the extreme pain that her "house mom" or "Mommy" is facing. I imagine that Truth's current mommy has such mixed emotions about her adoption! She has know this day would come and she had thought that she had a month to say goodbye...then in our joy filled moment her world was crushed, the 37 days that she had to say goodbye just flew out the window. She now only has a day or two until she has to say goodbye for what may be forever! Mommy who has loved this child as her own for over 3 years is having to release her into someone else's care, to be adopted by someone she has never met and will never truly know. I imagine that her joy and grief are so mixed together that she honestly could not pull them apart if she tried. I have to admit that my joy is so mixed with the burn of pain for her that I am overwhelmed. I have been near tears for the last two days I just feel for this Mommy!

I ask that my friends and family join together with me to be praying and praying for every part of Truth's adoption BUT right now PLEASE PRAY for her "Mommy" pray for peace, love, understanding, pray that she knows Jesus and can place her trust in Him pray that her void is filled with the knowledge that Truth will be cared for and loved! Pray that she is able to hug, cuddle, love on Truth as much as possible until she is to move to the transition home.

Remember that no matter how long a "Mommy" cares for a child their love will last their lifetime...please just pray!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

In a nut shell...

Our Journey to Truth (in a nut shell)...

In August of 2010 Ryan threw me a curve ball. He tole me one day after church that God told him to go to Ethiopia and bring his daughter home. Knowing my Husband this is HUGE Ryan BELIEVING that GOD SPOKE TO HIM!!! I had thought that we were "taking a break" and maybe would parent more children in the future. We started to research agencies and found that WACAP was the only agency that lined up with what we were looking for. One of our key questions had been "what would happen if we were matched and then became pregnant?" WACAPs response was that it would be up to us if we continued with the match (we were sold). Everything went SO FAST!!!...

November 2010...sent in application to WACAP and started Homestudy

Ryan drops another bomb that he believes that it is to be TWO girls!!!!!!!!

December 2010..."approval" of application to WACAP
February 2011...Homestudy is completed and sent to WACAP (for 2 girls)
Early March 2011..WACAP decides they will only allow 1 girl
March 29 2011...Introduction phone call from WACAP...during this phone call we expressed our desires for the age and situation of our daughter.
April 1 2011...WE ARE MATCHED!!!
June 1 2011...WE ARE PREGNANT...

LOL so there will be 2 girls ;)

August 2011...WACAP stopped our adoption due to our pregnancy
January 2012...Selah is Born!!!
February 2012...I e-mail WACAP about Truth ;)...they respond that we need to wait 6 months from Selah's birth (which would be July)
June 2012...I e-mailed again ;) asking if I could at least start the paperwork that would be needed to BRING TRUTH HOME
June 2012...WACAP said YES!!

PAPERWORK...$$$...Homestudy...$$$...

October 2012... Re-matched with TRUTH
January 23 2013...SUBMITTED TO COURT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Upcoming...
March 29 2013...Truth's court date

To clarify in Ethiopia there are multiple things that need to happen before a child can be adopted. First there is a whole gathering of documents and getting things ready. There then has to be a court date (March 29, 2012) on this date it has to be proven that Truth is an orphan and "needs" to be adopted. On the day of that court date or soon after the court will assign a date for Ryan and I to attend to adopt Truth!...

I hope that this catches anyone up to speed that may just to joining us :) We are open to questions!!!



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Beauty in the waiting...

I am finding, through this journey to Truth that there is true beauty in the waiting. We first laid eyes on our daughter April 1 2010 it has been almost 2 years that I have been over the top in love with this child I have yet to meet. God has been able to show me many things in this period of waiting such as a new appreciation for my friends and family who are waiting with me coming along side us through monetary donations to ensure that we can BRING TRUTH HOME. I have learned better how to parent my 5 children, how to truly believe that time with others is so much more important then a tide house, that cereal is an acceptable dinner, to relax. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is absolutely necessary for Truth to remain in Ethiopia as long as she safely can. She is with very loving and caring house mothers and a bunch of amazing children she has grown to love and trust. Taking her from that is going to cause pain beyond our understanding! I feel blessed to be waiting...because now that Truth is "marked" as ours her wait has ended. Though she may not know it yet it is our time to wait she HAS a family no matter how long it takes for her to be here physically with us!! I carry the burden of waiting with great joy knowing that my DAUGHTER is at the other end!!!

We received news today that the court system has once again changed and that our travel will now most likely not happen until late April or Early May. I was first hit with sadness and a slight feeling of loss BUT then I looked to where my strength comes from and was reminded that Truth NEEDS every minute, hour, day, week, month that she can get in Ethiopia before she becomes a Fasnacht and I NEED to want that for her! It is beyond selfish of me to rush her time with everyone that she knows and trusts. So I am boldly saying that I am MORE THEN WILLING to wait for my daughter!

During this extra time I will enjoy crafting more items to help BRING TRUTH HOME. We will complete the basement, decorate Truths room, enjoy the time, and not wish a day away :)

We ask for continued prayers for everyone who comes into contact with any part of this adoption!!! WACAP already knows us ;) and we pray that others will know us to for being that family WILLING TO WAIT on God's perfect timing!!! Truth is an amazing little lady we are sure of that!