1.26.2011

spring fever-ish

So...I don't know about you, but we seriously have spring fever here at the Martin home!  Seems it's either too cold or too wet to go outside -- and besides, I'm trying to keep Judah healthy for his lip surgery.

Being bored-silly has really got me thinking about what I'd like to do this spring/summer with the boys!

1st on the agenda is to plant a garden!  I personally never have had my own garden.  Vince and I have always enjoyed landscaping and working in the yard together, but I never really had a burning-desire to plant a garden.  (Isn't funny how children change everything!)  I can remember while growing-up, my step-dad planted a few veggie gardens -- but I was never really involved in the process. 

I think Micah is at the perfect age to peak his interest in gardening!  He loves digging in dirt, and, he's starting to show an interest in learning the what, how & why about things!  Time to capitalize!  Since we're leasing our home (and...um...I probably shouldn't dig-up the yard), I'll only be able to have a container garden.  But I think that will work perfectly for our needs!  I think we'll start with tomatoes, peppers and maybe onions, since I cook with those veggies several times a week.

I found a great site to help me get going, called My First Garden!  We're going to start with seeds indoors, then move our plants to the containers when it's time.

I'm kind of excited!!

1.24.2011

with special needs

Now that we've been home with Judah for just over 5 weeks, I've had some time to realize a thing, or two...

When we switched our China application from a healthy adoption to the waiting children list, some minor anxieties accompanied that switch.  However because we were open to a variety of special needs, we really had no idea what to expect, so the anxieties were initially minimal. 

Our agency, from the beginning, seemed fairly certain that we would be matched with an infant boy with cleft lip/cleft palate -- simply because that is one of the more common needs.  So I researched cl/cp, but much of the info I found seemed so vague.  I guess that's because cl/cp varies dramatically from one child to the next.  It's not a this-is-what's-wrong-and-this-is-how-you-fix-it birth defect.  Yes - some children's clefts are that straight-forward, but, most are not!

Anyway...

When we were matched with Judah in July...and I saw his sweet face...and his sweet cleft...I began to wonder what this would mean for our family.  What would it be like?  Parenting a child that looks different...talks different  -- a child that needs multiple surgeries, and possibly years of speech therapy.  Would his needs affect my love toward him?  Would his needs be an inconvenience?  Would his birth defects be embarrassing?

Yes.  Let's be real. Those questions crossed my mind.  No. I wasn't expecting the answers to be yes -- but I still couldn't help but wonder what would it be like.

I'm sure most families contemplating a special needs adoption ask themselves those same questions.

Yet, five weeks post- Judah's placement I can answer those questions with a resounding NO!  From the first moment Judah was in our arms, both his cleft lip and palate faded into the background.  It's not that we didn't see his clefts -- we did!  We even did a little poking around to examine to extent of his clefts.  But his clefts were not, and still are not, a distraction. We have no aversion to his sweet little mouth, or to the oatmeal that he sneezes out of his nose every morning!

The way he was born has actually endeared him to me! 
Wow!  Who expected that! ?

And with his lip surgery approaching in March, I now have a new anxiety!  My sweet boy won't look the same -- oh, how I love his little mouth just the way it is!  I love when he tries to give me a kiss, and only his bottom lip puckers out (because his top lip doesn't work quite right).  I love the oatmeal out the nose!!  Never embarrassed by it!!  Love his two crazy front teeth -- the hope of hiding them behind a new and improved lip never crosses my mind!! 

Everything about him couldn't feel more normal, or more perfect, to me!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures- James 1:17-18

1.10.2011

1.09.2011

eat your heart out!








hello...hello...hello...

anyone out there???

Well.  In case you couldn't tell, I needed a blog break!  With all the newness of Judah, blogging was ruthlessly shoved to the end of the line.  But, oh dear, now I don't even know where to begin to catch you up.

Horrible.
Survivable.
Just OK.
Much better.

How about we skip the first three and just start with much better
We are doing much better!  Judah has been home almost a month, which I can hardly believe!  He is doing so well!  As a matter of fact, I laid him in his crib earlier at nap time, and he didn't even scream!  Many of you know this is a big deal!!  He picked up his teddy bear to play (this is even a praise, because at first he didn't even know what to do with a teddy bear), and now I think he's asleep!!
Thank you Jesus!

Judah is still taking formula, but he has begun eating everything that I am eating!  Literally!  Grabbing it off my plate!  Rice, noodles, chicken, bread, soup, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, chocolate cake... I'm so proud of my little fella!  When we were in China he had no idea how to use his tongue, but now he's got it mastered! 

We had prelim visits with our plastic surgeon and dentist, and here's the run-down:
-his lip surgery is 3/2/2011; he's required to stay one night at the hospital
-his palate surgery will take place sometime late summer/early fall
-his gum surgery will take place sometime between the ages of 7-10 (when his adult teeth begin to come in)

About teeth...we're not sure what's hidden behind his gums.  He could have missing teeth, damaged teeth, or extra teeth.  Our dentist will take a panoramic x-ray after Judah's palate is healed, and go from there.  Our dentist feels pretty certain he's missing both upper canines, since that where both clefts are located.  But, who really knows.

Judah can now also sit up!  And he loves being on his tummy, if a piano is in reach!  And he can push-up on all four's and rock as well.  Oh, and swat and kick big brother when he gets annoyed with him ;)

Speaking of Micah, he's adjust fine -- taking aside typical 2-year old issues, like sharing.  No need to go there.  But we are making progress.  Micah also tells me he loves me about a billion times a day -- just needing a little re-affirmation that mommy loves him too!  And mommy sure does!  The one thing that never wearies me is the back-and-forth hugs and kisses!  I never run out of hugs and kisses for these boys! 

We've really come so far in such a short amount of time.  And I give full credit to the prayer of God's people and God's perfect grace!!

Ps 22- All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before you.
For kingship belongs to the LORD,
and he rules over the nations

                          ....as does He rule over the affairs of the Martin family!

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