Monday, January 14, 2013

The week the Flu came for a visit

Roger began feeling sick in the middle of last week.  By Thursday, he.was.sick!  He left work Thursday morning, came home and went straight to bed, and then got up to go to the doctor where he was diagnosed with the flu.  He came home, went back to bed, and stayed there for the next two days.  Thankfully, the doctor gave him a prescription for Tamiflu, so he got better more quickly than he would have without the medication.

Saturday, Ian didn't act like he felt well.  I told him he needed to take a nap after lunch, but when I was putting him in bed he was shivering and feverish.  So, I came downstairs and called our pediatrician's office only to find out they had already closed for the day.  I took him to a walk-in clinic at a local Walmart.  He was swabbed for the flu and it was positive.  We filled a script for Tamiflu, got him some gatorade and anything else he said he would eat and came home.

Sunday, Bethany was grumpy, but did not have a fever.  Ligon was fine until he awoke from his nap in the afternoon with a fever.  So, back to the clinic we went, but this time we decided to get Bethany tested, too, and possibly Lauren, and we were going to beg for a preventative script of Tamiflu for Franklin since he is going out of town with his dad this weekend.  We got there at 5:30 and we're told they had just accepted their last patient for the day (even though their office hours say they are open until 6!).  We drove to the other clinic in town, which was also supposed to be open until 6, and they had already turned out the lights and locked the doors even though it was only 5:40.  With tears, I got back in my van and drove 35 minutes back home.

Today, Lauren, Bethany, and Ligon woke up with fevers.  Back for another try at the clinic.
This is what today looked like...

10:00 Left the house
10:40 Arrived at walk-in clinic
11:50 "I'm sorry, but we can't see your baby here.  He's too young.  We'll see the other two and then you can go to the clinic at the hospital for the baby.  But don't worry, we'll go ahead and sign him in over there now."  And, I couldn't have been told this an hour ago???
12:15  Walk out of clinic and over to pharmacy for scripts for Tamiflu for Lauren and Bethany. "I'm sorry, but we are out of Tamiflu."
12:20 Load everyone up and head over to the other clinic for Ligon.
1:20 "You can come on back, but we don't have a room big enough for your family, and you need the bigger room anyway for the baby scale, but I'll go ahead and put you in a smaller room anyway."  ummmmm...ooooookay...
2:30 "The FDA recommends we do a flu test on infants less than one year."
3:00 "Ligon tested negative for the flu, but he has an ear infection, so we'll start him on antibiotics." 
At this point no one had eaten anything since 8:30 in the morning, except for Ligon who ate a jar of baby food.  We left, went to Rite Aid where we were told, "I'm sorry, but we are out of Tamiflu."  We got FOOD!  We went to another pharmacy who could fill Ligon's script and Lauren's and Bethany's, but didn't have enough for Miles who now has the chills, or preventative for Ari and Franklin.  So, on to Kroger who could fill it for one, but not the last two, but when I came back to get one they told me they could compound it, so I waited another 45 minutes.
And at 6:15 we finally got home.
And now Franklin is starting to feel dizzy, so it looks like "preventative" just turned into something else!

Yes, it was a tough day.  For everyone.  It was a very long day for children who already don't feel well, and would rather be lying on the sofa watching a movie than anything else.  I am glad that everyone is safely in their beds, and pray that they each sleep well and feel better when they awake.

I could complain and complain about how hard the past several days have been, and how trying the past two days have been, but I would rather think about this...

-On my facebook there were a number of people who told me they were praying.  And, I believe they were!  This day could have been worse.  The kids were very well behaved, considering how much time we spent in doctor's offices today.

-A friend from church, Evelyn, called this morning to ask how she could help.  If you have ever lived in a place with no family then you know what a BIG deal this is.  She knew I was taking the kids to the doctor for the flu, and yet she volunteered to meet me at the clinic and hang out with the healthy ones...even though she knew she would be exposed.  This...this act of what life is about... it is about being the hands and feet of Jesus.  Although, I refused her help because I didn't want her to get sick, the fact that she called and offered...completely made my day!!!  What an amazing example of God's love!

-My friend, Kristy, has offered to get me anything I need and drop it off.  What a blessing?!  I may need to take her up on her offer before this stuff is over!  And, she told me she loves me.  That is medicine to my soul at the moment.

-My dear husband sent me many texts throughout my ordeal today.  He is so loving and encouraging.  His words gave me the boost I needed...just when I needed it.  I love this man!!!

-One last thing...I have another friend, Elaine, who wrote on my facebook wall that she wished she were here to help.  She is not "family," but she is family of my heart.  I feel so loved that she would want to help me.

Oh, how I have been blessed with so many wonderful friends...the hands and feet of Jesus. 
I cherish each of you.
I treasure your prayers.

And the final note:
No, we chose not to get flu shots this year.  It may, or may not have helped.  Yes, I am rethinking this decision, but what's done is done.  I am moving on.  A chastisement is not beneficial for this very exhausted mom at the moment.  Now, go drink some orange juice, and get a good night's sleep!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Spirit of fear?

Roger and I took Lauren and Franklin and a friend to a concert a few nights ago.  While it was really fun, I have to admit that I had a fear running through me the entire time.  It was really crowded...over 11,000 people.  The thought that kept entering my mind was...

"What if someone, or some people brought guns into this arena?  No one checked at the door.  It would have been too easy.  What should I do?  Roger could grab and cover Franklin and I would need to get Lauren and Lauren to the floor and cover them.  There is no way we could get out of here in this crowd." 

Ughhh...  When my kids go outside to play, and I am not out with them, I have implemented the buddy system.  No one can play outside alone.  Why?  Not because of snakes, but because of potential kidnappers who have lurked around the past year.  Thankfully, they haven't been successful, but I think they are still out there.  My kids have been told that if a car stops in front of our house they are to answer no questions...just run into the house!

Have you been to a movie lately?  Did you think about the recent shootings in movie theaters?  Did you wonder if that could happen to you?  Did a little fear run through your body?

Have you been to a mall lately?  Did you look around at others more closely?  Do you wonder if the mall where you shop is free of gunmen?

For those of you who send your children to you have a sense of trepidation each day they step onto the bus, or when you watch them walk through the doors of their school?  "Safety" is one of the reasons we chose to homeschool.  I can go into that more in a future post.  I have to admit that I was happier than ever to have my children home with me when I saw the news report about the shootings in Newtown, CT.

The Bible tells us we are not to live in a "spirit of fear," but how is that possible in times such as these?  Did you know that you can still trust God, but realize that fear is real because danger is ever-present?  It is okay to be afraid, but not okay to live with a spirit of all-consuming fear.

Times such as these...

Doesn't that phrase make you sad?  When I was in junior high (yeah, it wasn't "middle school" back then!) I would walk into town with friends after school and get snacks at a small store before going back to school to watch a football, or basketball game.  And now, I won't even let my children go to the bathroom in a public place by themselves.  On top of boys are never allowed to go into the men's bathroom unless they go with their dad.

Gone are the days...

...feeling safe...even in a small town
...carefree days of playing outside without mom and dad's constant supervision...days of real adventure
...sleeping with the windows open...unless the windows are on the second floor, and inaccessible
...leaving the house unlocked, whether you are home, or not
...leaving the car unlocked
...going to a movie without wondering if evil is lurking in the row in front of you
...going to school without wondering if there will be a bomb threat, gunmen, or someone to bully you
...going to the mall without glancing around to make sure you are safe

Of course, there is still good in the world.  It just isn't the carefree world we used to live in.  This is not the world I want for my children.  Thankfully, this world is only temporary.  We are only passing through, biding our time...until Eternity.  I can't wait for Heaven!

What good have YOU seen in the world lately?  Post a comment!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My theme for 2013...He's got this!

Trusting God should be easy.  I mean...he created the world and everything in it, so shouldn't I be able to trust a God who is as big as that?  What about the fact that he knows how many hairs are in my head?  And, what about the realization that He knows all things and He is everywhere?

So, why do I have trouble at times just sitting back and letting Him do the work, rather than pressing on and trying to do it on my own?  In reality, it's because I want things my way and when I want it!  I don't always want to wait for Him to work out the details.

I have wanted to adopt for as long as I can remember.  I don't actually remember when the desire came, or where it come from.  I used to show pictures to Roger of children that were available for adoption and ask, "What do you think of this one?  Don't you think we should adopt her?"  He would shrug his shoulders and say, "I just don't think the time is right."  I would pout, and sometimes cry, and on the inside I was stomping my feet like a toddler.

Then, there was Nana.  Oh, she was SO beautiful.  Gorgeous light brown hair.  Huge blue eyes. Two years old.  One of the cutest little girls I had ever seen.  She lived in the Republic of Georgia (That's close to Russia for those who have never heard of it!).  She had an extra chromosome...which resulted in Down Syndrome.  She needed a mom and a dad.  Roger agreed!

We wanted to adopt her, but when the adoption agency asked for more information they were told that she had just been taken by a foster family.  My heart sank.  She would have no special services.  She would never be offered a job.  She would never be accepted in her community.

Then, there was this beatiful little dark haired, brown-eyed little girl...also in R of G. Miriam.  She was four.  She also had Down Syndrome.  We decided to take two weeks to pray about adopting her and prayed, specifically, that God would provide her a family in those two weeks if it were not to be us.  A week later a family had committed to adopt her.  During the process of her adoption the doors were closed to adoption, and as far as I know she was never adopted.

Then, there was Martine.  A sweet little 8 month old baby girl with the prettiest chocolate colored skin and beautiful black, curly hair, and BIG brown eyes.  She also had Down Syndrome.  She needed heart surgery desperately.  She lived in Haiti.  We already had 3 children at the time, so we were refused her adoption.  At that time Haiti had very strict rules on the size of a family adopting.  Even then, our family was too big.  Thankfully, Martine was brought to the USA on a special Visa shortly after we were denied, her pediatric nurse fell in love with her, and she was adopted.

Are you seeing a pattern?  I am!  I pressed on.  I pressed forward.  I wanted to adopt...NOW!  God continued closing the door.

Over the years I have nagged, persuaded, groaned, pouted, and tried to back my husband into a corner.  He isn't against adoption, but it isn't his passion.  I laid many guilt trips on him...or at least tried to.  "God tells us to care for the orphans and we are doing nothing."  "This is a wonderful, godly thing to do...why should we wait when these children are waiting?"

I heard many times..."You can't save them all."  "We need to be careful because we don't know what we are going to get.  We need to think of our other children."  "I don't see how we could ever pay for it."  And, trust me, I had comebacks for every excuse he could come up with!

About a month and a half ago we began discussing adoption again.  It didn't go well.  I pouted for days.  I was frustrated.  I was hurt.  Why couldn't he see things my way?!  Why is he making all of these excuses?

And then, God began to do a big work in me.  The truth hurts when the truth is sin revealed.  I was being so selfish.  I wasn't trusting God about adoption, and I certainly wasn't trusting Roger with this decision.  I was truly backing him into a corner.  I felt like it was my turn to persue my passion!  Goodness, it wreaks of pride and selfishness, doesn't it?

Finally, after all these years (seven, to be exact!) I relented.  Finally, I said, "I get it, God!  You are waiting to bring our children to us...when it is the right time for our family, and the right time for the children who are meant to be loved by will bring them home.  I trust You. Finally.  And, if we never adopt..I will still love You and trust You."  And this was God's response to me..."I've got this."  No, it wasn't an audible voice, but it was His message to me.

Next, I went to Roger and asked his forgiveness for my behavior.  I told him that I trust him because I know he trusts God.  I let him know that I have left this in God's hands, and prayed that God would show him who we are to adopt.  I was so sorry for the way I had treated him.

A few days later, Roger came to me and told me we would go over our budget and find a way to set money aside monthly into an adoption account, so we will have the money available when God brings us our child/ren.  We talked about leaving this in God's hands and being willing when God moved.  He told me to get the word "out there" that we are willing and would like to adopt if anyone knew of any situations that may arise.

Two days later I got a check in the mail for $50.  I thought it was a mistake, so I called my friend and told her it was not necessary to send me the money because it was a gift I had sent her.  She said, "My husband felt very strongly that we should send you the money.  We didn't know why God wanted us to do this until I read your facebook status yesterday about you being willing to adopt. I'm not telling you to use it for adoption, but I wonder if that's why God wanted us to send it."  I could not believe it!  I knew that money was to be our first deposit into our adoption account.

I have no idea what God's plans are for us this year.  Will it include more children in our home?  Possibly.  I kind of hope so!  If not, that is okay, too.  We are open to what God has for us. I hope He finds us to be vessels He can use in some way for His glory.  We have even talked about opening our home to an un-wed mother if needed.  I feel like God has big plans for our future.  Now, I just have to sit back and watch Him work...because...He's got this!  Thankfully so.