O.K. Seriously, lol! Annabella went week before last for her check up at the pediatrician. It went very well, and we had some follow up labs work to go back for. That we did last week. We needed to get blood work and a stool sample for testing for everything from HIV and Hepatitis to parasites and simple infections. We got three vials of blood drawn in two separate sticks in her arms, and spent 8 full hours waiting on her to produce the stool sample. She did NOT cooperate so we will have to go back to Southaven again either later this week or next week to get that test taken care of. Most likely it will be next week. We have to go on Wednesday of next week for her evaluation with the ENT to see if she will need further surgery at this time for her cleft lip and pallate.
Next week we will also have our first, of many, post adoption visits from our social worker. This visit will basically cover how we are all adjusting and bonding, and will have a home check to make sure we are keeping her safe. This week we have been working on installing baby gates, and placing outlet covers into all of the available outlets. We still need one more gate that we've purchased installed, and we still need to purchase one more gate to go across the boys bathroom entrance. We will also need to purchase a few specialty things like a cover for a power strip and we have the aquarium plugged into the wall outlet, and will need a safety cover that fits over a wall plug. We have got to purchase and install all the drawer and single cabinet door locks, but we have all the double doors secured in the kitchen.
This past Sunday we went to church and checked Annabella into her Sunday school room for second service. It went so well, that we decided to stay for third service and she did just fine with the transition in rooms and caregivers, so Greg and I have decided that we will both go back to working with the tech team for at least two services a weekend. Greg will work 2 every week, and I will work 2 one week and three the next. Hopefully this will work, and Annabella will always be there for the same two services this way. The boys are happy because they don't have to get up as early as they used to, and they still get to go to their favorite service times.
I was even able to get to go to small group Sunday night, and that was SUCH a wonderful time! I knew that I'd missed that time of fellowship and Bible study, but I didn't realize just how much of a difference it makes to be able to physically see and feel the support from our group and the difference that small time studying God's word meant, until I got to sit down again Sunday and do it! I doubt we will both get the opportunity to go together and since Greg only gets to go every other week anyway, we may take turns and each only get to go once a month, but even with that I am still so thankful for that time, and for our friends there.
As far as the boys, they all seem to be doing really, really well with the transition. They started school last Tuesday, and they all seem to really like their teachers. I am THRILLED at who they all have this year, as all seem to be great teachers who really care about the kids, and what they teach them. The twins were both tested for Discovery (gifted,) class, and we should have results from that testing this week. Please be in prayer for that. Both want to be in Discovery sooooooo much, and I can not imagine having to tell one or both of them that they did not score high enough to make it! This is a very sincere request as this means a great deal to them, and has been a concern for us all summer, we sincerely appreciate any prayers for them, and also for us, in being able to adequately explain to one or both of them if they do not make the cut.
Life here has been strange....Annabella really had NO adjustment period. She simply walked in as if she'd been here forever, and that's just what it seems like. That is why I say weird. It is just as if she has always been here, and I guess in a sense she has been. God had our family all picked out before any of us knew it. I believe in her heart, and in all five of our hearts, He already planted the love, and bonding that He knew we would need, and when we all finally met and became one family, all we needed was already there. In our small group discussion, a question was posed, "Do you believe that what you do for God will gain you more wealth, health, or power?" My answer was yes and no. I know that nothing we do on earth will have God grant us more earthly pleasures, but I also know this as fact. We blindly accepted the calling to adopt. We were not prepared financially, emotionally, or physically to care for another child, and especially for the rigors and financial aspect of the International trip. But we knew that this was His plan, and so we knew that He would carry us. It was not always easy to remember that when the bills would come due, or when our health became an issue. But We kept reminding each other to have faith in God and His plan and that in the end we would be ok. I know that financially we are NOT wealthier than when we began this journey of faith. But I know that spiritually, and emotionally we've been blessed with greater faith, and joy than we've ever known. We physically have Annabella, which is truly a blessing, and spiritually and emotionally, the wealth we have received through the process and long road of this adoption journey far out weighs where we were just over a year ago. SO Yes. I believe that because we were faithful to God's calling, He did bless us abundantly more than we deserved in so many ways.
The sweet daughter that is sleeping all snuggled in her quilt her Aunt Jackie gave her, with the doll and frog her Grandmommy and Grandma gave her, with her cloth diaper stuffed firmly into her mouth, this precious little blessing is what makes everything we've been through this past year worth it. My world turns because of my four children. These kids are all so unique, and each one comes with a story from before they were even born. Each one is a precious jewel and I can not imagine my life without any one of them in it! I cherish all the time I get to spend with them, and I can't wait to see what each new day brings in the life of our "little" family! I'm looking forward to posting more frequently as we continue to settle into our new life together!
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1 NIV
And since I couldn't finish this post without adding a few more pictures...here are some more, from the fun time we've had at the creek this past week!
|Daddy and the boys, getting ready to make a "tow line" from one side of the creek to the other|
|Andy and Alex swimming to the falls|
|Nathan securing the second half of the tow line|
|Andy with his shovel playing in the sand|
|Alex smiling from the other side of the creek|
|tasting the creek water...ewwww!|
|laughing at getting splashed by her brothers|
|waiting for the next splash|
|more sweet giggles|
|I love this smile...it melts my heart!|