Isaiah 43:5

Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. Isaiah 43:5

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lucy's First Christmas Home!

As we continue to experience so many firsts with our sweet girl, I'm constantly wondering about Lucy's first three and a half years.  Celebrating firsts with her has been so much fun but it's also accompanied many times with a sting of sadness and wonder. Christmas was most definitely one of those times!

TEN stockings were hung....
 As mentioned in the last post, when Lucy was given her first gift, she wasn't sure what to do with it.  (not to worry, she quickly caught on and although it was not easy to unwrap a gift with only one working arm, she only needed a wee bit of help!)  The "sting of sadness" I feel at times is NOT related to thinking about her not having received wrapped gifts in her past!  Instead it comes from thinking about her not being surrounded by  her own family, love and laughter.  To our knowledge (gathered from records) is that little Qu Yan (Lucy's Chinese name) spent her first two Christmas' in the orphanage.  This then leads me to wonder, "What does Christmas look like in an orphanage?"  Then I usually proceed to thinking about the 799 other children that are still at the Xi'an Social Welfare Institute (orphanage) when we left there in mid-September to bring Lucy home.  A lot of the children there have spent many more than two or even three Christmas' inside orphanage walls and without a family!  Last December (2012), Lucy was chosen to move into a foster family's home (located on the same grounds as the orphanage).  What did Christmas look like with her foster Mama, Baba and siblings?  IF Lucy was given presents (and I highly doubt she was), she had to leave them in China because little Lucy came to us with only the clothes on her back and a teeny ladybug backpack that I had sent to her in July.
But let me turn from thinking and writing about Lucy's past to her present!

In our family during the holiday season (which starts at Thanksgiving and spills over to the New Year), we have several extended family "get togethers"(as we call them).  Fortunately, Lucy has adapted  incredibly well in the past three and a half months to not only our immediate large family but to our extended families too.   This is a gift and we are fortunate and recognize it as such! **  Many times adoptive families are not able to attend large social gatherings with a newly adopted child because it can cause a lot of stress for the child (being away from their semblance of routine, nervousness, agitation), or it may possibly impede the bonding process.  So, for those of you reading and wondering, we are "on alert" to these things. **
As I type this we have one remaining family gathering to attend.  Lucy seems to have loved these intimate times spent with HER family.   She enjoyed shaking  "jingle bells" with her "good arm" and flashed many big smiles as the family sang during our Searfoss family Christmas program!  Her fractures haven't seemed to dampen her spirit in the least!  She's still our happy, silly and not so quite little girl!

Because I was trying out my new camera, you will see several pictures that were taken on Sunday (Dec. 22) BEFORE our little Miss broke her arm.
So for those of you that are more interested in pictures then all this sentimental writing, without further adieu, here are some more random snapshots from Lucy's first Christmas home!

Yes, we're all a little nuts!
Lucy's NEPHEW!  (sweet baby Isaac!)
checking out the "big" box of craft supplies

Opening presents with one hand

Sadie Joy - Lucy's (niece) and favorite playmate!

"Baby Isaac"

Oldest Sister, Linsey with hubby Joel and children

Helping Mommy make pancakes

Brittser Bob!

Kurt and Lucy

No caption needed :)

Christmas Morning Breakfast

YAY! - the new pajama shirt stretched over the splint!
 Last Christmas, I wrote Someones' Missing from Our Christmas Table.  This year we know who that special someone was!  Thank you God for your guidance, direction and provision!

I honestly can't put into words, how much love we all have for this precious little girl whom God saw fit to bless our family with!  We prayed from the very beginning of our adoption journey that a supernatural bond would be in place when we would first meet our little girl.  God heard those many, many prayers and that bond and the deep feeling of love that accompanies it has been nothing short of miraculous!  We have such a good God.  (and if that bond wouldn't have been there supernaturally, God would still be a good and faithful God!! )  Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!
If you'd like to read about another sweet orphan waiting in the same province in China as Lucy was in, please read my post entitled "A Call for Caleb."

A Call for Caleb

Caleb holding his teddy bear sent from his family

If you're reading this blog, you most likely have an interest/
love for orphans!  Our family has recently been involved with advocating for a very special little boy that is still living in the same province (Shaanxi) in China that Lucy lived in only four months ago!  He too is an orphan, waiting on his family.

Let me tell you a little bit about this very special little man.  "Caleb" is seven years old and living with post-operative spina bifida in an orphanage in central China.  In the adoption world those three things (boy, special needs and "older") would be three strikes against you!  He has been abandoned twice in his young life.  B.U.T........ his story doesn't end with those sad life events.....
Chosen, cherished and waiting to get home
He has been chosen!  He is already cherished and loved.  A family that lives not very far from us, is working very hard to bring him H-O-M-E to his family!   Having already done numerous fundraisers, the LeSuers have been able to raise about three quarters of the adoption costs related to bringing Caleb home. They are in the home stretch but needing some help to get across the finish line!
Envision Caleb standing right in front of sweet Haley (also from Shaanxi,, China) in this  family photo!!
The "Letter of Acceptance" (paperwork stating China is giving their stamp of approval to this adoption) has been received and the LeSuers are hoping to travel to bring Caleb H-O-M-E within the next two to three months.  The final agency fees will be due soon as well as airline tickets, visas and orphanage donation (approximately $7350 needed).

"Caleb's Crusaders" are looking to other's in the body of Christ to help with the remaining fees that are due to help bring Caleb from "orphan" to "cherished son, brother, grandson!"  Will you consider giving a tax deductible donation to help Caleb?  All money will be put into the family's "Lifesong for Orphans" account and 100% will go toward the remaining expenses in bringing Caleb home.

A former Shaanxi girl advocating for her little buddy  (a.k.a. Lucy Kim!)
All donations are most gratefully received on behalf of Caleb.  Those who are able to give $100 or more will receive the 2014 magnet with Caleb's picture on it (pictured below). Perhaps put it beside Lucy's puzzle piece magnet and it would be such a cool conversation starter!  
Caleb's family will also be happy to send you an e-mail in 2014 with ten (or more!) pictures of Caleb's homecoming!  Please consider "helping this orphan in his distress" (James 1:27) 
Here's the link to Caleb's adoption account to give your tax deductible donation via paypal to Lifesong for Orphans (LeSuer family acct.):
OR you can send a check to:  
Lifesong for Orphans
**in memo be sure to write: pref.  #4265 LeSuer Family adoption
(have post marked by 12/31/13 for this year's tax deduction)


Thursday, December 26, 2013

We interrupt this regularly scheduled Christmas season for a trip to the E.R. and Specialist....

I was listening to Christmas music and  wrapping presents on the evening of December 23rd, and anticipating the family time that was to follow the next day when I heard one of "those cries!"  Some of you have heard it before, the cry that tells a Mama it's not the typical whinny, I'm not getting my way kind of cry but instead says I'm HURT!
Lucy Kim is a independent three and a half year old and likes to do most things by and for herself.  However, because of the deformity of her foot and leg she needs extra help on the stairs.  While she'd like to go up (or down) by herself holding just the hand rail, Merle and I don't allow her to because her gait is just too unsteady.  On Monday evening she was telling her older sister in a feisty, I can do it myself tone "Lucy do, "  "Lucy do!"  (insinuating Lucy can go down the stairs herself and she does NOT want help).  Emily went down the stairs in front of Lucy,  put the things down she had in her arms and turned to run back up and carry Lucy down.  But instead when she turned she saw a blur of black hair tumbling down toward her!  In the blink of an eye, Lucy lost her balance and took a tumble down about 5 or so steps.
And then I heard  IT......that familiar cry I've heard before.  The PAIN cry.
  Emily quickly brought Lucy to me and looking at Lucy's right arm, I knew that something wasn't right, both by the look of the arm and the pain cry.
   Merle and I quickly went over to my parents home (right next door) and had them assess her and asked for their opinions and my parents both agreed that we need to take her for x-rays.
The triage nurse guessed that we may be having a red and green cast for Christmas.  While we didn't leave with a cast, we did learn that her little arm had TWO BROKEN BONES!  The radius and ulna bones were fractured (bones in the forearm).
x-ray of Lucy's arm showing 2 fractures
Daddy had the 1st turn in the wheelchair holding the little patient

After x-ray, Mama had her turn in the wheelchair with the wee patient!

Notice where "Kimmy" is!

Tired from all the trauma!

Teddy bear sling on and ready to roll
It was about 10: 15 p.m. and they carefully splinted Lucy's arm and told us to follow up in the morning with a orthopedic specialist.  Lucy was a trooper and only cried when they needed to position her arm in a "hurting" position for x-ray.  Our little lady amazed us by sleeping through the night with only the aid of some ibuprofen.  At 8:00 Christmas Eve. morning, I called the orthopedist and was able to get an appointment for later in the morning.
After filling out the host of new patient paperwork, we were taken back to the casting room.  A large room w/ only curtain dividers, we waited with several other patients.   Some having casts removed, others having a new cast put on.  The nurse unwrapped the temporary splint that was put on Lucy's arm and we waited for the doctor.

Lucy telling Mommy about the ace bandage

watching another patient have a new cast put on

Showing Mommy where it hurt
The specialist reviewed on-line  Lucy's x-rays that were taken the night before.  Unfortunately, he had a bit more not so good news to tell us.  In addition to the 2 fractures, the bones were slightly dislocated and would need to be manipulated back into correct position so they would heal properly.  The plan was to put nova-cane into the arm to numb it and then he would re-position the bones!  YIKES!  Eight children and I still absolutely hate it  and go crazy inside of myself when pain is going to be inflicted on my child (even when I know it's for their good).  I also hated the fact that I couldn't tell Lucy "no hurt."  Those two words she clearly understands and relaxes after hearing.   So while I rubbed her back and kept telling her "Mama's here", the doctor inserted the numbing medicine (which was quite painful for little Lucy!).  He then left to go to another patient, giving the medicine time to "settle in and numb the area." 
that needle really hurt!
 About twenty minutes later, he gloved up and told us "this still might hurt her a bit"!  (my insides then started churning for my baby girl!!)  I DID NOT WATCH but instead resumed the rubbing of her back and cooing into her ear all the while watching Merle watch the doctor.  I thought Merle's eyes were going to pop out of their sockets as he watched and dropped his jaw open!  Our little girl had to again endure a lot of pain as they re positioned the bones back into their proper position.  As the material for the splint was hardening, the doctor was careful to make sure things stayed secure.

Can you tell she was put through the ringer!  Poor baby!

One more x-ray was ordered after the splint to make sure everything looked "in place."  The x-ray was taken (through the splint) and things looked amazingly straight!!!  The doctor was very kind and worked as quickly as he could.
Promising her it was "all done now!!" while kissing her cheeks!
Because of the swelling and trauma to the area, a cast isn't scheduled to be put on until January 3rd.  The splint is relatively sturdy and covered tightly with cotton wrapping as well as an ace bandage.
Even though we could have never guessed we'd be spending Lucy's first Christmas Eve. at a specialist office having bones manipulated back into place, we're thankful for the good and quick medical care we were able to access!  God continues to prove His faithfulness!!

Hoping to post some fun family pictures of Lucy's very first Christmas at home soon!