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

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Month of May's Musings......

We've had a funky spring that was late in arriving here in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania this year.   May brought a wide variety of  weather and temps throughout the month (including thunderstorms, a few days of high temps and humidity, lots of rain and wind, sunshine filled days and even a few 40 degree nights sprinkled throughout the month).  We've taken advantage of the sunny, warm days and have been thrilled to be able to spend time and pent up energy OUTDOORS.  Having over a month and a half of recovery behind her, Lucy's been loving riding her bike on our back deck, swinging often, jumping on the trampoline with the big brothers and eating outdoors when we can!           ------------click on any picture to enlarge-------
Last May,  as I hung wash,  I thought often about hanging little girl clothes
 on the wash line once again, it's a fun reality this year!

Thanks Aunt Rosene for letting us borrow the bike!

Swinging on the back deck
Everyone on the Z Ranch was "on the move" this month with many fun family activities scheduled.  We are so grateful that Lucy seems to enjoy going away together as a family.  Although Mommy has noted that resuming our regular routine after several outings is important as Lucy and some of her brothers do best with routine and home time.

Mother's Day weekend was a full weekend!  We all thoroughly enjoyed watching Emily on stage at her last spring concert in high school (she'll be finishing her high school days in June).
"Big Sis"on stage with lots of music and dance!!
Lucy girl LOVES music and dance too!

Sharing her gift of music and dance

Photo op with the show's star and her B.F.F. 
Between big sister's Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon performances,  Mommy and Daddy were given the honor of sharing God's story in bringing Lucy home to the Chinese Church in Lancaster on Mother's Day morning.
Sharing Lucy's story with the Chinese Church
in Lancaster with the aid of a fabulous interpreter!

Some slides we had in both English and Chinese
(KBS - yes I had to include this picture on a slide :)

It's the Chinese Church tradition to take a photo of all the
Mother's on Mother's Day!

This was my first Mother's Day with Lucy Kim and I asked Merle to snap a couple of photo's before she went to bed on this special day!

A few days after Mother's Day all of my children were home and made a delicious supper that we shared together on a beautiful evening outdoors.

This month we also had the opportunity to have a family photo shoot with a talented local photographer.  This sweet young lady is part of "Red Thread Sessions" (how cool is that name!) that lovingly photographs adoptive families at a reduced cost.  This is their wonderful way of showing their support of growing families through adoption.  Our photographer is currently in the midst of adopting their first child!
Daddy sweetly snapped this picture of us before the
"real" photography session began
Enjoying the slide after pictures
The "BFF's" and their coordinating dresses!
Memorial Day weekend was also a jammed packed weekend with two family picnics and a last day of Chinese school program (the school breaks over the summer months and will resume in September).  Lucy apparently still has her teacher wrapped around her finger.....

Lucy and some of her friends before the program started

The pre-schoolers sang a song about animals,
Lucy was given the "bird" hat to wear (yes it's Angry bird - LOL)
At one of our family picnics, we celebrated Emily's upcoming graduation with a special cake!

With the warm days, we've brought out the sandals.  Seeing Lucy's feet "exposed" in sandals really showed the difference in the sizes of her two feet.  It also appeared harder for her smaller foot to walk in a shoe that was too big.  I realized that her feet are now about two sizes different in shoe size.  I purchased two pair of sandals in two different sizes so that I could have one usable pair for LK's feet.  This would also make her foot size difference less obvious to others (although now that her Mama is broadcasting it publicly on a blog, I'll bet I'll see some of you checking out her footwear :)  For those of you who don't know me in "real time" you need to know I have a thing for shoes and also bags.  Being the Goodwill/Second Hand store shopper that I am, it'll be a rare day to find two of the same shoes in two difft. sizes!
Uh-Oh......this just maybe what it will take for Mommy to keep the shoe fettish in check.
Size 6 on the right foot with a size 8 on the left

A girl needs some variety, right?  This picture will equal three
pair of sandals for Lucy!

We ended the month with taking "big brother" to the Emergency Dept. where he had to get three stitches in his lip.  Of course this topic of conversation was brought up often and each time it was addressed, the little Miss needed to remind everyone that "she has a boo-boo on her back" and stitches too!  
Sporting 3 stitches in the top lip

Not too sure about brother getting all of this attention
over three stitches!
As you can see, Lucy's little life continues to be drastically different from a year ago where she spent ALL of her time behind orphanage walls.  Like spring time, she's blossoming and blooming..  We continue to give God the praise and glory for what He has done and continues to do in and through our family-through the "growing times" and the "blooming times."

We're excited to see how Lucy will enjoy her first visit to our community pool, our first family vacation with extended family and more!

Thanks for joining us in the journey!  

Friday, May 9, 2014

One Month Post Op (recovering at home part 3 of 3)

If you would walk into our home today and see Lucy Kim, you would not guess that one month ago she had spinal cord surgery!  The wheelchair, walker, and pain meds have all been put away.  Aside from occasionally hearing "my back hurts" (and I'll add that sometimes that's thrown into a conversation because she's hoping it will swing a NO response into a YES because of sympathy!)...
My shirt says - "God made me, chose me and brought me home"
The physical therapist that evaluated Lucy was suggesting twice a week therapy to help get Lucy back to her base line.  It took a week and a half for them to process paperwork,  check with insurance, schedule appt., etc. (and during that time period, LK was recovering and meeting goals at record speed).  So, when I got the call to come for her first PT appt., I thought to myself - "this seems silly, but I'd better go in and let them decide if she's in need of additional therapy".
Well  "Little Miss Trooper" strutted her stuff on command - walking up and down the small staircase 4x (while holding a rail and needing minimal help from the therapist), bending this way, reaching and stretching, etc.  And as suspected, the therapist reported there's no need to return until after her next surgery!  She's doing a great.  (or as Lucy likes to say "Tah Dah!!!)
This girl loves lollipops just like her Mom-Mom
On Monday, May 5th we had a post op. visit with Dr. Dias, Lucy' neuro surgeon as well as an appointment with an orthopedic specialist.  Dr. Dias was thrilled with Lucy Kim's progress and said we can check in with him again in one year unless we have questions or concerns in the interim!  AND ..... the biggest, happiest news for Lucy girl is she got the green light to swing and ride her riding toys (YES, I'm going to look for a sale on a little bike so she can ride bike like her big brothers that's she's so excited to do!)

Our appointment with the orthopedic doctor went well too.  While the doctor reviewed x-rays and did a clinical exam, we learned more things in regard to Lucy's foot, knee and hip problems.  These findings will most likely make things a bit more difficult that we originally anticipated in regard to Lucy's next surgeries that will address the issue of correcting her deformed right foot (or congenital vertical talus) and later a surgery to correct her knee contracture and hip.  However that's a discussion for another post at a later date.
While we could choose to immediately start the process toward the next surgery we've decided to give her a break from surgery (and recovery) and enjoy her very first summer home outdoors in the sunshine, swinging, riding that new bike that Mommy's going to get, being poolside, AND hopefully her first visit to see the Atlantic Ocean!  
Lucy and Kimmy during "book time"
Practicing some fine motor skills

Lots of smiles with her best friends!
 We'll resume the continuation of this "medical stuff" end of summer/early fall. 
Thinking about MORE surgeries, recovery and lots of therapy can be emotionally and mentally exhausting.  However, what stands out 1000x more is the blessing that LUCY KIM is and that our good and faithful God in His sovereignty created her as she is  in HIS image.  And in His wonderful sovereignty,  He knew that our lives would be better, more complete and conformed to His will  by walking alongside our sweet girl as Mommy and Daddy during the rehabilitation journey.  Together. As a family.  That blessing is so worth any amount of time and energy it will take to help her live the best quality of life.   Her little life is precious beyond words and she has been a gift to our family.  These are the things that we try hard (but not always successfully) to focus on during the tough medical decision making times, surgeries, etc.
Have you considered the JOY that adding a child with a disability could add to your own family!?

In one of my earliest posts on this blog, I told you about a saying that I love and so believe....
"Where God guides, He ALWAYS provides"

**This Sunday will be my first Mother's Day with our little Lucy Kim!  My heart bursts with thankfulness for the gift of being able to be Mommy to another blessing!  However, right alongside those deep feelings of love and thankfulness reside very deep feelings of longing to express my deep gratitude to Lucy's sweet birth mother for carrying this precious bundle for nine months and choosing life for her, as well as wanting to let her know that Lucy is being loved, cared for and cherished.  But most importantly is the desire for birth mother to know and accept Jesus Christ as her Redeemer, Restorer and Savior by  being adopted by the ONE who can giver her eternal life!  This is our daily prayer for Lucy's birth mother, her birth father as well as our boys birth parents!  In light of eternity, does anything else matter?!
"A child born to another woman calls me mom. The depth of the tragedy and the magnitude of the privilege are not lost on me." - Jody Landers
  As an added bonus -- God has given our family the opportunity to share Lucy's adoption story this Sunday, Mother's Day with the Chinese Church at Calvary.  This is where Lucy attends Chinese pre-school.  Adopting a child with a known handicap isn't "typical" in any way in the Chinese culture (here in the states as well as in China!).  We would covet your prayers for us that we would honor God's story of Lucy's journey home  and show His great love and redemption in Lucy's life this Sunday.