"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Amazing wisdom


Friday, November 16, 2007

God's grace is bringing them home!!!!

Yes, friends. What awesome news to wake up to. This morning is was posted by a travel mate of Sandi Sheldon's that she and Hannah were present for the swearing in ceremony this afternoon (China time)! She is to return to Michigan on Saturday, as originally scheduled!!!!

This was written by one of her travel mates for all that helped. (with permission)

"Sandi and her family (and her China travel family) are extremely grateful for all you have done on her behalf during this stressful and difficult time. Your actions and God's abundant grace have moved mountains for Sandi and her family half way around the world. We are giving thanks to our Heavenly Father for His FAITHFULNESS and His love! Sandi thanks you from the bottom of her heart. Please do not forget her and Hannah in the coming weeks and months, as they will> need our continued love and support!"

PRAISE GOD and thank you to all that took the time to email, call and most of all, pray!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Prayers being heard....

Thank you to all that have called and are praying for this family! This brief article appeared on the Sheldon's local hometown news station, WILX. Here is the link: http://www.wilx.com/news/headlines/11384376.html

The article reads as follows:

This picture, taken just days ago, shows an overjoyed Sandi and Dennis Sheldon, who have just adopted Hannah, a 17-month old special needs child in China.

This picture will now be one of the few memories the family will ever have together.
Dennis Sheldon died in China this week from diabetic shock, just days after being united with his new daughter.

"These are one of those emotional things that just tear your heart out. It's hard enough losing a husband, now you have a baby who won't know their father," says Congressman Mike Rogers.
If that weren't tragic enough, now the U.S. government is saying the family's status has changed, and they won't let Sandi bring the baby back home to
Lansing until brand new paperwork has been filed.

That process can be long and complicated, so Congressman Rogers has gotten involved.
"Our real work starts Thursday night at about 7:30, first thing in the morning in China," says Rogers. "We'll try to get them home as quickly and as dignified as possible."

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the congressman is doing all he can to make sure the family gets back in time for that holiday.

"You can imagine the challenge," Rogers says. "She's [Sandi] going through the grieving process, losing her husband, at the same time as she's adopting a new baby."

Friends say the only thing keeping Sandi going is the hope she'll bring her new daughter home.

URGENT: Mom in China needs ours help!!!!!

UPDATE: The squeaky wheel indeed gets the grease! The family has requested that for now, the phone calls be halted. (THIS IS THE TIME TO PRAY HARD!!!)

The U.S. Rep's offices received over 1,000 calls in 1 hour from adoptive families urging them to move on this matter immediately. In addition, apparently Congressman Roger's office have called the Sheldon's adoption agency and asked to help the calls cease. They are diligently working on this and are having a tough time doing so because of the flood of calls. :)

We now need to continue to lift the Sheldon's up in prayer. Lord, you're in control and we trust you to bring another of your beautiful babies home to a family that will show them your uncondtional love.

A few days ago, the Sheldon family had a tragic loss occur in their lives. Sandi and her husband had already completed their China portion of the adoption of their beautiful daughter, Hannah, when Sandi's husband unexpectedly died from his diabetes. Again, the Chinese side of the adoption is complete. It is now OUR government refusing this poor Mom the chance to bring home her daughter.

The US Consulate in Guangzhou has denied her permission to complete Hannah's adoption. They want her to fill out a new I-171 and even after that is done, no guarantees are given.
Sandi, of course does not want to leave China without her daughter. (Would you?) She desperately needs our help!

Please start a massive campaign of calling her US Congressman and US Senator and urging them to intervene on her behalf. Sandi, the adoptive mom has asked for the adoption community's help. Please pressure these elected officials to contact the State Department and straighten this out. No mother should be denied bringing her daughter home because her husband passed away unexpectedly. The Chinese have no problems with this, since the adoption has been already been finalized. It is the US government holding the baby back, which is crazy!

Sandi's congressman is Mike Rogers. His numbers are:

Washington - (202)225 4872.
Michigan - (517) 702 8000, and a toll free number 1-877-333-MIKE.

Sandi's US Senator is Debbie Stabenow.

Washington - (202) 224 4822
Michigan - (517)203 1760.

Please take a few minutes to make these life changing phone calls, and of course, let's unite in His name and storm the gates of Heaven with our request that both Mama and baby soon arrive safely back in Michingan.

I just can't even imagine what she must be going through. first losing her husband, and now being told she is losing her daughter also.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

An apple a day......

does nothing. :)

It seems like weekly we have to go here or there and visit this specialist or that doctor for either one or the other of these little ones, or even Amanda. I know I'm sounding a lot like Negative Nancy but I'm just really tired, emotionally and physically.

Yesterday we went to Kai's doctor. His palate/throat is healing well, praise God. The palate is still intact, which is the important thing. Poor baby still has a very stiff neck. I've been trying to wean him off the Motrin (Tylenol doesn't do much for him) and he's gotten better, but we're still taking 2-3 doses a day. The doctor said to expect the swelling to last a week or two.

I know there's nothing I could do to move things along, but it's just heartbreaking to me to see him flinch as he swallows even smooth things like yogurt. How I wish I could take his place.

He continues to ask me, although not as frequently, if I am leaving him. Yesterday was only 3 times he asked. I think he is starting to feel a bit more secure again that Mama is there with him, through it all.

On another note, this morning, we all arose bright and early to take Anna Grace back to the opthamologist. The doctor decided this time to put the numbing drops on to test the pressure in her eye before putting the dilation drops in. Again, praise God, it worked! After 3 attempts, we found out that her blood pressure is normal. YAAAYYY!!!! That doesn't completely mean that she does not have the beginnings of glaucoma (which is why we keep returning to the opthamologist), but it's definitely a great sign! The cupping behind her eye remains enlarged, and we are optimistacally hoping that it is just something from birth and not caused by any eye disease. We return again in 3 months for another checkup and more dilations. Poor baby girl....she HATES eye drops with a passion.

It was funny because the eye doctor, the speech therapist, the early intervention office and the cleft surgeon are all in the same building. This morning when I was walking in with 2 of them in the double stroller and one walking holding my hand, the security guard asked if I worked there. Heh!!

P.S. If you want to see some cute pictures of Anna Grace & AJ, check our my sister's blog OUR JOURNEY TO ISABELLA. Those were taken this weekend while my Mom and she watched the kids.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Coming home to the 3 other critters

I, again, don't have lots of time because I need to get the kids bathed, dressed and on our way to the doctor for Kai.

I'll start off with the easy ones. Amanda came home just when Kai was having one of his fits. He wanted nothing to do with her. I asked him to give Amanda a kissy and huggie....he refused. They have a "special" dance that she only does with him with the song, "Barbara Manatee" from Veggie Tales. He loves dancing with her so she tried bribing him with that. No dice. I finally told her that he would be better tomorrow and that he, obviously wasn't himself. She agreed and the next afternoon, they were Barbara Manateeing all over the kitchen.

Now AJ. Well, AJ is such a funny little character. He's rough and tough, but has such a sweet, loving side to him. He saw us arrive through the upstairs window at my Mom's house. As we were going up the stairs, I hear him yelling, "Kai-Kai, Mama, Daddeeeee" Soooooooo cute!!! My Mom had taken him to get a "big boy" haircut, you know the kind....like little Ricky on I Love Lucy. He looked adorable. We walked in and he was ecstatic. I called him over to me and he played the "chase me" game. I chased him into the bedroom and finally cornered him. He filled the rooms with fits of giggles and laughter, and finally rested his head on my shoulder as he gave me a big hug. He was so happy to see Kai and Daddy too! He ran around with Kai for a bit, while we waited for Anna Grace to arrive with my sister. Then it was off to Daddy to be carried. When it was time to start taking things down to the car and Daddy put him down, he had a fit, but quickly got over it when I told him we were all going home.

Lastly, Miss Anna Grace. Aaahhhh, yes. I don't know if I will ever figure this little one out. In all the craziness, I never got to make the videos for her, but I would call her daily and "put" her to bed at night saying prayers and singing our goodnight song together. My sister still had the Mommy Comes Back video that I had made Kai when we went to Tennessee last spring. According to my sister, she didn't even realize that I said Kai and not her name on the video. She answered all of my questions and happily danced to the Mommy Comes Back song that I sing them.

Back at my Mom's, Anna Grace finally arrived with my sister. I hear her coming up the stairs yelling, "Mama". So different from the times when we left Kai. His reaction was always one of wanting to get close, but not doing so, at least for the first few minutes. A normal attachment response.

With Anna Grace. I went up to her and picked her up. Nothing. No thrills but no fighting it either. She was (and still is today) her normal self. It all seems very superficial. She's a very happy little girl, unless she doesn't get her way. But, as we all know, isn't every 2 year old like that? I definitely KNOW that she is not attached though. I can sense it and feel it in every part of my being.

One of my instructions to my sister was that when they went out in public, to remind Anna Grace that no one is to pick her up. On our last day at the hospital, my sister was telling me that she was outside with Anna Grace when a neighbor walked over, a man. Before my sister could even react, Anna Grace was in this man's arms. Someone who she has never seen before in her life. My sister told me that it happened so quickly that she couldn't stop her and she never thought that Anna Grace would just reach up to someone who had walked up that she didn't know. I know exactly what she was talking about and I live with it daily. Although, she knows now with me that she will get in trouble if she asks a stranger to pick her up, so she does it a lot less often.

Last week at church, during mass, we were turning around to shake hands and say "Peace be with you", when all of a sudden Anna Grace threw herself into the arms of the man behind me. Again, someone I had never seen in my life, and gave him a huge kiss. Besides being totally embarrassed, it cut through me like a knife. The man was pretty taken back and just managed to utter, "What a sweet little girl". I HATE THOSE WORDS!!!!!! It is not "sweetness", although she is sweet. It is the fact that she does not yet feel she belongs anywhere, therefore, she is comfortable everywhere and with everyone. Strangers or not. It seems like it's never going to end, and it may well not end. I'm grateful that the raging and hate have subsided, along with the defiancy. She does try to please. Those are big steps in the process. She can also go through pictures of her foster family/ayis in China and not have it cause a negative effect on her. She even plays on her phone that she is calling "China Mama".

For the most part, Anna Grace is a very well behaved, sweet, 2 year old little girl. If I did not have the knowledge of attachment issues, I would think that she has adjusted beautifully. Sadly, it is not that way. As I said before, she is just as comfortable if I picked her up today and dropped her off at a stranger's house to live as if she were in our own home.

The good news is that we all witnessed a very, attached little girl in China. One who was scared of strangers and was reserved and cautious. She IS able to attach because she was attached to her family there. It will take months, maybe even years, but we will not stop until she realizes that we are indeed her family and that she does have a place where she belongs, with us.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Settling in slowly...very slowly.

Yes, we are home. Kai is still in a bit of pain and he has a developed a "stiff neck". We were warned by the doctor that this may occur, since any movement of the neck affects the throat area where he has lots of stitches going down. I'm glad the doctor mentioned this, because if not I'd already be thinking worst case scenario. It's heartwrenching though to see him turn his entire body to look at me when I call him, or to watch him flinch if he turns it just the wrong way.

He is quickly tiring of the jello, pudding, and plain ol' full liquid diet. It's hard too, because I usually feed all three at the same time, hence the other two now are on a full liquid diet. There's no way that I could break out chunky or crunchy foods and let Kai watch while they eat and he is eating soup, again. So, it's liquid diets for everyone. :) We are seeing the doctor again tomorrow.

I know I've mentioned our awesome doctor has been (donating his services, etc.) and as you all know we followed him to Orlando. Well, he will be coming to Ft. Myers twice this month so that he could see Kai and we do not have to drive up for the post-op appointments. I don't think there are many doctors that would do that. We have definitely been blessed in finding him.

And lastly on Kai, I wanted to mention (maybe others have shared this experience) that he has awoken 2-3 times a day, either during nap or bedtime with nightmares saying, "Mama, No Bye-Bye!" over and over. I don't know if he thinks I'm gonna be leaving him, or if he is remembering us saying bye to him while he was being whisked away to the operating room. Either way, it's heartbreaking. Poor little lamb cries inconsolably for quite a while before I was able to calm him down enough to realize that Mama was not going anywhere. I'm also having him sleep with us.

It's really taken me all day to type these few paragraphs, so for now, I am leaving you with this. I'm still pretty exhausted since Kai's antiobiotics are every 4 hours (translate to interrupted sleep) and the fact that he is still in a decent amount of pain, especially as the Motrin effect begins to wear off.

I will try and post tomorrow about how Anna Grace's adjustment has been since I've been back. Thank you for all of the commments/emails, those are on my list to respond to soon, I hope. :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

We are home!

Exhausted but doing great, we are finally home. I will try and post tomorrow about how Kai is feeling and what AJ and Anna Grace's homecoming was like.

Thanking you all again for your prayers. Everyone single one of them has been heard.

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