Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lots of little time!

I have been super neglectful of this blog! The past few weeks have been so full, each night when everyone is in their rooms, I crash. Gracie hasn't been feeling the greatest...she's quite clingy, sometimes very blue, out of breath, just not herself. Other than that, things have been very good around here, albeit BUSY! Since April 10 (the last entry) Connor has turned 14, he has also put the little white ball in the tiny hole in the ground hundreds of times, played some baseball, and spent a day in the high school. Derek has ran at least 100 miles, place several times in track meets, earning a 2nd in the mile at the Charles City track meet last week, he has also attended his first prom, rode in his first limo, and probably kissed Gracie's cheeks 1000 times. Breuklyn has been a riding cowgirl, putting lots and lots of miles on our once overweight, now quite slim and strong horses, she has spent a day in middle school, and dabbled a bit in soccer. Selah has joined the upscale, impressive 100 word group (she can read 100 words per minute--woohoo!), rode a horse by herself, been to her first birthday party without Mom, and smiled at least 1000 times. Gracie has received her first tricycle, she has slid down her first slide all by herself, has been in the saddle on top of a really big horse, has given many kisses and caused much eruptive laughter around here. Yeah, life has been good.

First of all, Connor turned 14--where does the time go? He's an amazing kid, or should I say young blessed we are to raise him! We asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday and he said Mall of America. Gracie was not doing all that well, but we decided she could be in her stroller and hotel room as easily as home, so we ventured north a couple of hours and spent the day at MOA. Then we checked into the Radisson, which is home of the Mall of America Waterpark and spent the night and the next day surfing (Minnesota style, that is), sliding, and just having a great time with our family. This happened to be Easter Sunday, which was OK--we were planning on heading to my mom and Ron's, but Ron was not feeling great either. We didn't think we should mix up Ron and Gracie--if Gracie was contagious, Ron didn't need her around and Gracie needed to be germ free as well. We also knew we couldn't bring Gracie to church, so our family would be separated, so this was our way of spending Easter! One of us took the kids to the waterpark while one of us shopped. I was first for shopping and realized very quickly that all was closed! All except Gracie and I had our Easter breakfast 99 cents at IKEA and shopped for four hours, then switched off with Curtis, who found Sports Authority and Home Depot were open. Poor Gracie! The kids had a fabulous time...we had a fabulous time!

Track has been a blast! Derek is a golfer, always has been his favorite sport and he is quite good at it. We were shocked when he decided to dabble in track this year. He made an excellent choice and is doing quite well in the mile. It is so hard to believe he's going to be a senior next year! He had a good time at prom with his friends, again, it's just so hard to believe he is finishing his junior year. We are so proud of the choices he has made and continue to makes!

Breuklyn is riding like crazy and teaching this big boys who is boss! I cannot believe how these thousand pound beasts respond to this 70 pound little girl. She amazes me! Now that it is getting nice out, we are having a great time watching her. Thursday, I think Curtis was about ready to lose it, however. The horses got out! At one point, he had one horse tied up to the Suburban, was chasing the other in his boots. You have to remember, we are in a residential development with the horses on the other end--after this week, we are probably not the favorite neighbors! I love the picture, just makes me smile. Anything for his family...that's Curtis.

Selah is doing well, just loving life. I spent a couple of days with friends this past week and Selah told me when I first saw her that she told God to keep me safe. She said she had a dream of her and I safe together. Her family is all that matters to her--she really teaches us lots. Most of you think we have had the dream adoption with her and that is true to an extent. She is doing incredibly well, but has a deep rooted past with horrific experiences which have taught her to lie to survive, her past has taught her to put on a smile and just be the person others want her to be. At times we aren't sure we know the "real" Selah, because she can shut off so easily, she can adapt so well. I use this blog to share our adventure, but also as a journal for myself...lastly I know several who read this have adopted or are currently in process of adopting an older child. As this experience has been phenomenal, it has also been quite challenging. Instead of a perfect, sinless infant, a child with 7 years of heartache has entered our family. We thank God for her all the time, yet we also ask God how to love her best, we need His guidance with her every step of the way--we so don't want to blow it! She is teaching us to be dependent on Him for everything--we simply have no clue how to parent without Him!

And Gracie...she is getting bluer by the day. This is such a bummer for us--we were so hopeful of some extended health for her. She had been doing so well, then like a switch, things have changed for her. How much can her little heart take? We are concerned, yet we know God is the same today as yesterday and we trust Him with her life. She will go back to the cath lab next week and they will place some stents. We also are going to meet with her surgeon, hopefully for some sort of plan. Even though she is quite blue and has very little stamina, she is still Gracie. She is still getting into all sorts of things--she empties drawers like a pro, paints with pudding, throws a few temper tantrums. She still makes this family all gather into a room just to watch her dance and act silly. We just adore her! Right now she is snuggled up on my lap with her trail mix, really wanting me off of this computer so we can dance to Veggie Tales...I just may comply!

Have a wonderful day!


Susan said...

Hi, Gayle,
Many prayers and blessings for your beautiful family. I've followed since Gracie and my heart goes out to you.

There is a book that you may have heard about, and that I think you may find helpful with Selah. It is called Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control and is written by Heather Forbes and Brian Post. I have read many books on parenting children with traumatic histories but truly this really made the most sense to me as it addresses the biological causes of the behaviors. One of the authors, Heather, is the adoptive parent of two older children from Russia so she speaks from her experience and walks the walk.

My heart aches when I read of Selah's life in China. I can only imagine the pain and helplesness you must all feel. I wish you only the best in your journey to healing, including Selah and Gracie. And that little girl is just too darned cute!

Susan G.

Anita said...

Awesome pics of all of your kiddos there!! We pray every night for Gracie and it won't be hard to remember her surgery as it's Kaylin's birthday on Tuesday too!! Hugs to you, my friend!!

Anonymous said...

I love your posts! Your family is a true inspiration and such a joy to read about. I've only had the pleasure of meeting you at the Zoo and then again seeing you at Valleyfair but feel like I "know" you! Praying for dear sweet Gracie.

Praying for health!
Liz and Zoe (Bethany board friends)

Andy and Ellen Stumbo said...

I did not realize you started a blogspot blog :)
You know sweet Gracie is in our prayers.