Monthly Archives: February 2012

Roller Coaster!!

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What a roller coaster the past few days have been. I’ve been reluctant to post anything new, because it seems to be changing…constantly.

  • Starting on Thursday morning, our baby was “very sick” and going to the hospital, then
  • Baby was in the hospital, and quickly he seemed to turn the corner. He was doing better  by that evening.
  • He was stable on Friday, then
  • Saturday we got the awesome news that baby was better and was scheduled to leave the hospital the following day!!
  • Sunday we got news via Facebook from an adopting mom in Congo who actually saw him. She said,
“Your baby looks great! sleeping peacefully and a head full of hair. He’s a tiny one! His skin looked very good. I would not have guessed he just got out of the hospital from being so very sick!” 
 

(Encouraging!!! We were thrilled to say the least.)

  • And now, an email from our lawyer just this morning stated,
“Baby has been at [the foster family]’s house, but unfortunately his fever is up again.  They are going to call the doctor in a few hours. They might take him back.  I am sorry.” 
 
  • This afternoon, she emailed me stating she has not heard anything new, but she thinks they took him back to the hospital.
  • And finally, just now, I received an email that his foster family spoke with the doctor, and he is at home being treated with medications.

Have mercy! I don’t know what to think. I guess that is better than the hospital, right?

Please just pray with us. That is all we can do for our child right now. I know he is in good hands, but they are not my hands. I can’t lay eyes on him, and my little nurse brain wants to assess every breath and every symptom.

Thankfully though, I know that our baby’s little life is in the Lord’s hands and under His watchful eye, and He loves our boy more than we could ever imagine loving him. He has a perfect plan for his life. I have to keep preaching this to myself, and reminding myself of how God has faithfully answered our prayers over the years.

I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.
(Psalm 40:1-3 ESV)

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Turning the Corner

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Before bed last night I got the Facebook message below, from a fellow mom who adopted from DR Congo. It helped us to sleep well, since it sounds he is likely on the mend. Here is what she said…

Our girl, Malaika (Angel in Swahili) had malaria at 6 days old when she came to the Lomas and was VERY SICK. She was in the hospital and came home to Mama ***** (foster mom) and pulled through and came home to NYC in December and is great. I will pray for you and your son and your family — but have faith and hope for the best!! 

“Stable” from my understanding — means what it is — while the situation could change –it is unlikely and the fact that he pulled through the worst of it –and is in the hospital means 9 and 1/2 out of 10 he will be fine. This is from my days as a public health worker by the way — I studied Malaria in Africa — but it’s been a while.– Overall across the board — once they are being treated in a hospital with IV fluids and/or antibiotics– if they are getting better (especially at that young of an age — this is where his age helps, not hurts) he should be o.k. It is when they do not get treated in time that it is critical.

We were thrilled to hear this. It gave us just another reassurance that things were looking up. Today we received another email from our lawyer:

Baby is doing better. He and *****(foster mom) are still at the hospital.

So… Big Yay!! We ask you to keep  your prayers going up though, as he is still in the hospital. 🙂 And praise the Lord with us, for the blessings, and answers to prayer that we’ve already received in the past 24 hours:

  •  healing
  •  peace for our family
  •  great medical care
  •  love from his foster family
  •  and an abundance of love and prayers from friends around the world.
Thank you all, your prayers were felt. And by God’s grace, we have a son who is beginning to heal.


Prayers for Baby Taylor

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As I watch one of my babies sleeping peacefully on the video monitor, I desperately desire to be able to lay eyes on my other child, to kiss his precious face, and tell him how much Mommy loves him. I received this email from our lawyer this morning:

Carrie,
Your baby is very sick. He is at ******* Hospital since last night. I have received 2 text messages. Malaria. Call me.

(I ****’d the name for security reasons, but it is actually the same place that I was taken when I was in DRC. Our lawyer prefers this hospital and is glad he was taken there.)

This is what I got down in black and white this morning, after receiving this news and speaking with our lawyer on the phone. I hadn’t been able to find the words to finish writing.

It is with a heavy heart that I type these words this morning. We got an email, followed by a phone call, from our lawyer just now telling us our little man is sick. He is very sick, with malaria. He is in the hospital. He is all alone. He is hurting, extremely ill, and we do not know what the outcome of this will be.
 

Thankfully, just a few minutes ago we got another email with a slightly more uplifting tone:

Just spoke to ******(the foster father in DRC). Baby is stable. He is taking some dinner over for ******(foster mom). She can’t leave the baby alone, so she sleeps at the hospital with him.

So the latest is… he is “stable”. I am still unsure of how this disease plays out, and if him being stable now, means that he will stay that way. I don’t really know how long the infection lasts and if it can get worse. All I really know is it’s like a nasty case of the flu. So glad to have more news, and it sounds much better than our news this morning. I praise God for this, and the fact that  Baby Taylor’s foster mom is staying with him! You have no idea how this warmed my heart.  I know this is very difficult for her as she has a family of her own, and many foster children to care for, so I’ve sent my eternal gratefulness via email to them. These people are amazing. I know we are not out of the woods, and I will keep this up-to-date as much as possible.

Please lift our little one, this family, and those caring for him, up in prayer:

  • For the Lord to have His angels surrounding our baby.
  • For  Baby Taylor to feel the love of his family, and his Father in heaven.
  • For his little body to be able to fight this nasty infection.
  • For the doctors and nurses caring for him to chose the correct treatments, and also have great compassion for this child.
  • For strength and a peace for our family that only the Lord can provide, to get through the wondering, and waiting, of having a very sick child on the other side of the planet.
  • For his foster parents strength and stability as their “Mama” is now completely occupied with my child.
  • And that, whatever the outcome may be, the Lord will use this season of our lives, to strengthen our faith in, and reliance on Him, and ultimately that He will use all of this for His great glory. AMEN

4 years “ALL IN”

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This day four years ago marked the biggest event in mine and Dylan’s lives. It was the day God saved us.

I know a lot of Christ followers who cannot pinpoint a specific day that their lives were forever changed by God Almighty. For many, it is more of a period of time. But for the two of us, we can give you the day our world was turned upside down.

Our salvation, it seems, is unlike most couples out there, in that the two of us were saved on the same day! We started our marriage as unbelievers, and by God’s grace alone, we stayed married until that blessed day. Prior to Feb 10, 2008, both of us would have said we were “believers”, but it was merely an intellectual belief. We believed that Christ was the Son of God. We believed He lived, died, rose again, and lives in Heaven, “watching over us”. Sure we believed, don’t all good southern kids. We even knew some of right lingo to get through a spiritual conversation if need be, but there was one huge problem. We loved sin. There was no evidence of Christ in us. In fact, in most areas, our lives were the complete opposite of anything that resembled the life of a believer. And had we been taken from this earth prior to that day, we would have spent eternity apart from our Father.

The Bible tells us in  1 John 1:5-10, that if we walk in darkness, we are not in Christ, and therefore there is no salvation (my explanation of the passage). And without salvation,”…the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). We deserved death. We loved sin, not God. And our lives were proof of it. We had  many gods and The God of the universe, was not one of them. But praise be to God the Father, who pursued us, even in the depths of our self-indulged world, and saved us from our sins.

Prior to Feb 10, 2008, if asked about my testimony, I would have gotten really fidgety, and then told you, “It happened in 4th grade, when I asked the Lord to come into my heart”. I always wrote that off as my conversion experience. However, this was just a feeling that happened one day when my teacher made me emotional by something she said. I don’t even remember that something was. At that time, I did not understand the cost that following Christ entailed, and I definitely had not surrendered my life to Him.  I continued living life for me, and it showed. I grew up to be a teen and twenty-something that enjoyed a life of partying and self-indulgence. Nothing about my life honored Christ. And all that “fun”, was breaking me down. I was depressed, even if you didn’t see it from the outside. I put on a good show. And it all caught up with me in January 2008. God was stirring, gripping me with thoughts that were not letting go. I hated my life, I hated living. I just wanted it all to go away. I was broken. But it was that brokenness that God used to woo my heart.

My brother-in-law had been more than persistent in asking Dylan to come to his church, and in the true fashion of a non-believer, Dylan found every excuse not to come. We had been there before, and it was too convicting. Kinda torturous. We would leave worship in silence. Being eaten up with guilt and conviction, and just knowing something was not right and needed to be changed.  I however knew I could not go on like I was for much longer. So we went back for the next few weeks.

It all came to a head on this day 4 years ago when our pastor, David, was teaching a series called “Sin in the Camp“. I will spare you every detail of that day (though it remains vivid in my mind), because I would go on, and on. But I left that service with a promise to God that I would not let the sun go down that day without confessing my sins, and letting go of my life as it currently was being lived. I had to first confess to my husband some things that I had been keeping from him. I knew this could have great ramifications, and that is part of the reason I had been hanging on to my secrets for so long. I loved my husband  and did not want to lose him.

Evening came, and I knew I had to keep my promise. I never would have thought this conversation I had been putting off for so long, would have ended the way it did. Dylan loved me in spite of my sins, and even confessed sin in his own life to me. We wept. It was a tough night. The unknown was scary, but we knew we could only do it with God’s strength, and so we rested in that. Dylan then led us in prayer, for the first time in our five years of marriage. We begged God for forgiveness for our sin, and our total disregard for Him and what He has done for us. We asked Him to change us. And that, He did.

By no means was that change apparent to everyone when we woke on February 11th, but He started that day, molding us into something that looks less like us, and more like Himself. Sanctification is a lifelong process and He uses His Word, other believers, and life situations to teach us more about who He is, and to show us our sin. We’ve learned to hate sin… in our lives, in others lives, and in the world in general. We have a completely different view of the world around us, our purpose in it, and He has borne a desire in us for others to see the Truth.

So today we rejoice. In Christ’s unfailing love for His children. In a marriage that was made new. In 2 hearts that were made new. And for the promise that He will never leave us or forsake us. He’s brought us new life and though we will never be able to repay this precious gift, we pray that we bring glory to Him in the way our lives are lived from here on out.

I wanted to include a few verses that really helped me understand what that day (and our lives thereafter) meant, and who deserves every ounce of credit for it. 🙂

I John 1:5-10 God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

Ephesians 2:1-10  And you were dead in the trespasses and sins  in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—  among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (emphasis mine)… (photo below, not mine, but isn’t it lovely)

No Mo “Ah-Doe”??

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Being a pediatric nurse, the first thing I did when we got Mila’s measurements in March of last year, was go straight to the growth curve and see where she fell. For anyone unfamiliar with the growth curve, it is just an average of other children her age’s height, weight and head circumference. It helps to see where your child falls, and how they are growing and developing in comparison to other children their age. Well Mila was not even on the scale in any of her measurements, except her height which fell in 25th percentile. Her weight was way below the 1st percentile.

At the time, I was sad to know she was malnourished and needed more food that I was unable to provide for her, but I had to remember where she was, and that I was not able to give her everything she needed right then. I knew that just being here in the States, and having plenty of food, would help her to catch up and grow big and strong. Well, boy has she! Underweight Mila is no more. She’s now in 50th percentile in height, and went from way below the 1st percentile to the 75th percentile in weight!! OMGness! Is is time to lay off the “Ah-Does” (hotdogs)?  

Aside from getting some encouraging new measurements this week at her Pediatrician appointment, I was just reminded of the sweet blessing of having a happy, and healthy child. I know it will not always be this way, she too will have illnesses and issues, but for now it seems, she is healthy as a horse. I praise God for this amazing, healthy, well-adjusted little girl. She has rocked our world with her near incessant joy. She will light up a room, and turn heads with not only her external, but also her internal beauty.  If I could only bottle this kind of joy.

 


 

 

About that post…

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I wanted to give a little explanation about “the post that is no more”. The information we learned about Mila’s past living conditions was so difficult to hear that I felt like I had to write about it. A few days later, while trying to help another couple who is in the process of adopting from DRC,  I spoke with our adoption lawyer. I discussed the information we had heard, and she told me to be very careful what I did with that information. She said that she would not speak about it on Facebook, join any groups trying to fight against “them”, or even speak about it in email. She told me doing so could not only put our family at risk during travel, but also cause Mila and Hudson’s foster family to be put in unnecessary danger. The final point that she made caused me to immediately pull the post. She said that it could possibly jeopardize our adoption of Hudson, and even our completed adoption of Mila. Enough said. It was not worth it, even if it was password protected. I’m not taking a chance, not now. We have too much at stake.

(Disclaimer: excuse his fairy princess onesie, moist-ring-around-the-collar, and linty towel. It’s Congo, people. 🙂 )

Dylan and I noticed in his newborn pics that Hudson has BIG hands. And apparently his feet match. I’m not sure if it’s the angle or what, but I think they are as long as his shins! We could have a big boy on our hands. Uncle B’s been calling him Hudson “Baller” Taylor since the beginning. This might just be appropriate.

And last but not least, Hudson and his foster mama, Josephine. We are so thankful that he has loving arms to hold him while we cannot. (And don’t miss his ‘do…I hope they don’t cut it!)

A Much Needed Retreat

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Since Mila came home, the two of us have hardly spent a waking moment apart. But this past weekend, I was given the opportunity to join my friend for the Created for Care conference at Lake Lanier just outside of ATL. So I went. The place was beautiful, and the conference, well, I highly recommend attending if you have, or are currently in the process of adopting. I learned a bunch during the sessions, had some awesome fellowship with other adoptive moms between the sessions, and some much needed girl hangtime with one of my besties. I’m SO glad I went. It was good for my soul.

Of course I missed my fam, but I did get to Skype with Daddy and Baby Girl once. Mila immediately reached out to hug me when she saw me on the screen, which just about broke my heart.  I think the separation was harder on me and Daddy though, than it was on her. She had the company of some of her fave friends,

and of course Daddy did an awesome job of keeping her busy, and giving her lots of love and snuggles.We figured this time away would be a good trial run for when I go back to Congo in the next few months. We were a little concerned about how she would respond to my homecoming. Abandonment affects a person for much longer than just the initial act. It will continue to cause children to wonder, “Is Mommy really going to come back?”.

On Sunday afternoon, I did come back, and I was welcomed by this sweet sign. (I’m thinking Mila may have had a little help crafting it 😉 ). Unfortunately, she was asleep when I arrived 😦 , but when she woke, I was greeted with her tears (of joy), lots of calling out “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy”, and a bear hug that did not release for about 30-45 minutes. I would say she passed the test with flying colors. “Mommy is always going to come back.” We make sure to verbalize this often.

In my time away at the conference, I heard some very interesting speakers, from crazy-smart doctors to mommy bloggers. These were just a few of my favorite things I learned while I was there:

  • I am not, at all, alone in this journey. There were hundreds of moms there, representing hundreds of families like ours, going through the same sort of trials we have, or are currently experiencing. It was so refreshing to be in a room full of people that totally understand what you’re going through.
  • I’ve got a long, LONG, way to go on parenting in grace. Growth in this area is one of my daily prayer requests, because it is one of my biggest struggles. So much grace has been poured out on me by my Father in heaven. Why is it so hard to give others that same grace?
  • And, I need a break from the everyday sometimes… to breathe, think and reflect. We all do. I was given the opportunity to share our journey many times this weekend. I hope I was able to encourage some folks, and I pray I did not scare the daylights out of anyone who heard the dreaded spider bite story. I was able to tell the story of where God brought us from, where He’s brought us to, and how He has continued to show off along the way. It still kinda shocks me when I hear it out loud.

And speaking of showing off, He’s done it again. Last week we got a phone call informing us that any remaining balance for adoption #2 will be paid for in full. Yes, I said it, another adoption… paid for! (!!!!!!!). If around $20K of adoption #1 being taken care of in one stroke of a pen wasn’t enough, adoption #2 begin in just as cool of a way.  If you’ve been reading, you’ll remember that we received another ginormous donation just a few short months ago that prompted us to begin the process again… which led us to “Baby Boy”. That story still blows my mind, and now this?!? I don’t think the !!!! really communicate my emotion here!! This is really unheard of (in the circles I run in anyway). Dylan and I could never afford an adoption, not many folks can, but we started the process years ago, without a clue of how we would pay for it. But God did. We never would have imagined back then, that not one, but two adoptions, would be nearly 100% funded. It does not make sense to me why God continues to bless us in this way. It is even hard for me to tell my story sometimes, because adoption is SO expensive, and so many people have the burden of figuring out how they are going to make it work (second mortgages, huge interest-free loans, depleting savings and college funds). Don’t get me wrong, we have our share of difficulties, but this is apparently an area that the Lord has chosen to lighten our load. And we are so, so blessed by this, and so in awe of God’s goodness. He has made this part of our story for a reason. And that is what He showed me next.

After getting this amazing phone call, I got the opportunity to relay the exciting news to the Hubs, and alleviate at least one of the burdens he is currently bearing. His response: “With great blessing, comes great responsibility.” Man, is he wise. The news caused a weight to be lifted from him, but a different one to fall on me. This whole responsibility thing. His statement, along with my weekend in GA, began to really make me think and pray through this. Our story, is all a part of God’s story, so I have a mission to tell it. We all do, if we are children of God. I knew this, but it was like a lightbulb went off.

What a privilege I have to be called His child, to be a part of His story. But it is not all smiley faces 🙂 and lollipops. With this privilege comes a commitment to give up your life, for His mission, His purpose. And I am so unworthy of accomplishing this task alone, but aren’t all of God’s people? He uses the lowly, the foolish, the things that are not (1Cor 1:28). And that is me (all of those things), and I am feeling that lately. He chooses these type of people, He always has. He takes folks that are screwed up, and makes them more holy, and there is no way to explain the good stuff, besides Christ in them. I think He just reminded me how little I am, how little I know, and how MUCH I need Him. He is worthy of all praise, He is my strength, He gives me words when I have none, and He (unlike me), will never change, will never lose perspective, and is forever focused on His mission…bringing great glory to His name. As His disciple, His glory is also my mission.  So I pray… to be able to more clearly see my world through His eyes, and more effectively use what He has given me, to show others more of Him.

For more info on what happened to the last post, see my next “protected” post. And… we got more pics of baby boy!!