Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Look What Micah Can Do!

Look at my beautiful boy! Micah is standing, and supporting his entire weight, and he even takes a cautious step or two every now and then. This is so amazing to me!

Prior to his hip surgery in November my tiny six-year-old was bearing some weight on his legs, but then I had to hold him under his armpits and support a great deal of his body weight, and only for brief moments, and it most likely caused him discomfort (both of his hips out of their sockets, one hip partially missing, scoliosis, tight hamstrings, and really low muscle tone . . . I was amazed he was trying to stand at all, but the boy is determined.).

After the surgery, as I've shared before, Micah spent a month in a spica cast and basically lost every skill he had worked so hard to gain. He also shut down emotionally and seemed listless and depressed a lot of the time. This went on long after the spica came off. We prayed and hoped and encouraged and waited, and slowly but surely, our spunky Micah came back. He regained his head control, then his ability to sit up, then finally he started scooting around on his bottom again. He started playing with toys again and wanting to cuddle and making eye contact. I don't think I can even express the amount of rejoicing that the return of each of these skills brought about around here (and the level of worry and prayer and grief that they all disappeared). It took time, but he came back to us, giggly and mischievous and just as delightful as before that blasted spica cast knocked the wind out of his sails. But still he resisted trying to stand. He avoided his previous hobby of climbing up and down off of beds and couches all day long. We could tell those skinny little legs and hips were still hurting him. It takes time to recover from major surgery.

And then a couple of weeks ago, he started pulling at my hands, like he wanted to stand. He has never done this before, and he has never been strong enough to support himself like this before. Before it was always me trying to convince him to allow me to prop him into a standing position for a few moments at a time. And all of a sudden he decided he was going to do this. Stand up, just holding onto my hands for balance. I can feel his new strength. Before he felt floppy, a bit like a noodle most of the time, with a weak core. Suddenly now his core is strong and his legs are still ridiculously thin, but stronger than before. I am guessing that with his hips and legs now healed and strong, he has realized that it no longer hurts to bear weight. I'm not sure what made the sudden difference, or where his sudden surge in confidence came from, but I am so excited for him! He really wants to do this! Over and over again, all day, every day. The boy wants to get up and move!

Have I mentioned how crazy in love I am with this kid?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Casey: He's Running Out of Time

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
-Micah 6:8

This is Casey:
He is a sweet, giggly little boy.
He is an orphan.
He lives in a remote institution in eastern Europe.
He is adorable.
He is almost out of time.
Because despite his toddler-size, despite the crib and the stroller, despite his dear, tiny feet . . . Casey is about to turn sixteen years old.  He has spent sixteen years waiting.
Waiting to be chosen.
Waiting to be loved.
And in June he will be out of time.
In June Casey will turn sixteen, and in his country that means that he will be too old; no longer available for international adoption.  He needs a family to commit to him NOW!
He is out of time.  A family would need to complete an adoption home study and submit an application to the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) by the end of May in order to adopt Casey.  This is not impossible.  It would need to happen quickly, but it is possible!

From his Reece's Rainbow profile:

Born June 1997
Cerebral palsy, significant mental delays, seborrheic dermatitis

Casey is very sweet.   He is bedridden, yet full of smiles.  He desperately needs a family to save him.
Travel required;  married couples only.  Large families welcome.
$2935.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

And he has a giggle that could 
brighten anybody's day:

Here's what one person who met him had to say:

"I couldn't help noticing how much joy it brings to little [Casey] when someone strokes his hand.  He always smiles at everyone who gives him their love and care."

You can read more here.

And if you want to read another person's beautiful and heart-wrenching account of where Casey lives and her encounter with him, click here.  (By the way, Casey is a nickname given to him by Reeces Rainbow, the adoption ministry that is advocating for him.  When you click on these links, you will see the same face and a different name.)
I believe that there is a family out there who has a place in their hearts for this amazing, sunny little guy.  A family who can commit now and move fast.  He was not created to waste away in a mental institution.  He deserves a chance.  And somewhere out there, there is a family who could be so, so blessed by this delightful boy.  This is his last chance.  Please, please pray for Casey.  Pray for a family for him.  Share his story.  And please consider donating to his adoption fund.  A large adoption grant can make all the difference.  It could save his life. Please don't forget Casey.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sunshine and socialization

Had a great day at the park, soaking up some sunshine and making some new friends. I love how kids can meet each other and decide within minutes to be best friends. I love even more how a complete stranger can take the time to come over, introduce herself, and play her guitar for my kids.

Being around people with special needs can make people nervous, but really, all you need to do is smile and say hello!
Look how Micah's face lit up when people took a few minutes to get down on his level.  He had the greatest time!
She even gave Micah and Blessing each a turn to strum her guitar.  They were delighted!

Gideon RUNS!  Running can be a challenge for kids with CP, and I love watching him go!

My sweet girl loves sitting in the sunshine and watching the other kids play

Micah would rather avoid the pea gravel and high energy of the playground, but he likes to watch from the sidelines

Gideon loves to spin!  The faster the better.  And then he gets off and rolls around in the pea gravel.  My sensory boy!

Blessing is rocking her cute new set of wheels, don't you think?

Thursday, April 4, 2013


The kids enjoyed attending a very pink pinkalicious party:

Gideon isn't really worried about "girl colors" the way my bigger boys are, and thought making pink wands and stringing pink beads and gluing pink jewels onto crowns sounded like fun, and I thought it sounded like good OT:

Micah was happy to sit back and observe the pink-o-mania:

Gideon used to completely flip out (and flip the crayon box) when in arm's reach of a box of crayons, or beads, or any container with many small pieces in it.  It truly sent him into out-of-control hysteria, which inevitably ended with screaming, ear scratching, and/or head banging, and me scooping him up and whisking him away, where only a half hour of rocking and cuddling and skin brushing with his OT skin brush in a dark room seemed to be able to "reset" him.  I am not sure I understand why containers full of lots of little things are so over-stimulating for Gideon, but seeing him able to handle this party, stay calm, understand what was going on and what was expected of him at each craft station, and truly, calmly enjoying it . . . .oh, wow!  How far he has come!

Blessing modeling her cute crown and wand (made by Gideon!)

And Micah decided to sample the cupcakes!  The only time Micah breaks his self-imposed no-food-un-pureed rule is for cupcakes or Krispy Kremes.  If only I could inspire this level of interest in real food . . . sigh.