Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Leigh, Michael, and her story- the result

When I last wrote about Leigh, she had developed a fever of unknown origin shortly after the IVF procedure where they had successfully transplanted 3 embryos. Leigh has decided to share her ongoing story with the hopes that it will help others and give encouragement as well as asking for continued prayer in their own situation.

Leigh's fever and symptoms continued to escalate and last week, she was admitted to the hospital. It was discovered that the antibiotic given just prior to the IVF procedure caused a serious reaction involving her intestines. It destroyed most of the 'good' bacteria, while allowing the 'bad' bacteria to multiply. The condition became very serious and now not only were there concerns about the embryos, but also about Leigh. The good news was that the Physician was able to quickly pinpoint the situation and get the proper treatment underway. If they hadn't been able to catch the problem it could have been a potentially life threatening situation for Leigh.

Gradually, Leigh has regained strength, and on Monday she went in for a pregnancy test. It was clinically positive but her Dr. was concerned that the HCG levels were quite low. He wanted to recheck them today, and the results were not good. It appears the fever/ condition may have affected the outcome of this round of IVF.

I have to say that once again Leigh has amazed me. She and Michael are so strong and want God's direction in their lives that when many couples would want to give up and just get on with their lives, Leigh is already planning the next go round when the physician gives the go ahead. Their attitude is one of simple thankfulness to be alive and to have regained health. They know that God is and has been in total control and understands the end from the beginning.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Is it a boy, girl, or THREE?? -*Update below*

Our friend Leigh has asked for prayer.

Wow, where do I even begin. I first met Leigh shortly after we returned from China. Leigh was giving a bridal shower for a wonderful mutual friend and during the shower I found out she and her husband Michael were far into the process of a Russian adoption. We immediately shared the common bond of the gift of international adoption. Leigh and Michael were more than ready to become parents after many many years of failed attempts.

Their Russian adoption was progressing and even though it was going very slowly, Leigh was full of excitement and joy at the thought that their goal was not just one baby - but TWO. Leigh had the most incredible nursery already finished, along with a playroom that would be any child's dream come true. All that remained was the wait. And wait patiently they did.

The long months turned into several years and then one day last year, they got the call. Quickly, they packed, and within a very short time found themselves on Russian soil. Sadly, their journey to Russia ended in a return to the US without a child. Leigh's attitude was remarkable throughout all of this and instead became very grateful for the life that she and Michael shared together and focused on the gifts that God had richly blessed them with. They never gave up on their desire to have children and now it was just a matter of asking God which path He had chosen for them. The China program was one direction.

After careful prayer, and consideration, they also decided to seek the advice of a Reproductive Endocrinologist. Months of basic procedures didn't work and so the next step was IVF. Several months ago, they attempted their first IVF procedure and it was not successful. Leigh and Michael were obviously very saddened, but once again this determined couple picked themselves up, regained their optimism, and this time decided to approach things very differently.

From the beginning of this 2nd attempt of IVF, Leigh has decided to share her story, and beseech her friends, family and the body of Christ for prayer.

Today, 3 fertilized embryos were successfully implanted and now the infamous 10 day wait begins before they know if they will finally become parents. The difference this time Leigh explains is that she has an army of people praying on their behalf. Leigh and Michael openly are humbly requesting that those that share their love for Christ to pray for them and that THIS would be the time.

**UPDATE** I just learned Leigh is running a fairly high fever of unknown origin. Please keep them in your prayers!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Clean Underwear

In the 'old' days (BC) Before Children, we would toss a few things in a bag and off we would go. It didn't matter what time we were able to get away, we simply - left. If it was 10 p.m. before we were able to get away from work etc. and had a 6 hour drive ahead of us.. so what. We were young and had no set bedtime ;)

Once, we left Chattanooga TN at 2:30 a.m. for our drive home. We arrived home just in time for Dave to get to work by 7 a.m. Boy have things changed! A little NoDoz went a long way then.

It seems like whenever we prepare to leave, it takes twice the amount of time we will be away to get ready.
~Loads of laundry

~cleaning the house (sort of like your Mother telling you to wear clean underwear in case you have a car wreck)..

~arranging for house/ dog sitter who isn't afraid of 'killer' the 3/4 wolf 1/4 pit bull house pet

~ making sure the house sitter's gun permit is current

~ packing snacks for little tummy's that can't wait until a plane lands

~things to occupy the little hands so the flight attendants can relax and so can the folks in the next seat

~ oh and packing while remaining within the airlines weight limits.

By the way, if you are in a car accident, wouldn't the last thing you would be concerned about is clean underwear?

So, we stuff the wedding attire poofy things into the Samsonite, hoping it won't be lost in transit. Still, there is excitement, and fun. Elizabeth is experimenting with about 10 - 12 clothing changes a day (or whatever is in reach in her closet) and packing the things she deems as the utmost importance that we take along. This must include Papa (her panda), oogle boogle (a small blankie that our friend Shelley made her when she was a baby) and her pink Bee Bee (blanket). Without these precious items, no one would be having fun! They will travel with us as carry ons!

The last time we traveled long distance requiring a lengthy flight with Elizabeth was when we returned from China. She cried - no screamed for almost 13 hours. It was the longest day of our lives!! She still only wanted Dave, so HE held her the entire time and I felt totally helpless as I saw him struggle and didn't know what to do for Elizabeth. We tried it all, sippies, eating, swallowing anything she would take, walking the isle, nothing worked.

Our seats were in the premium economy section, and when we landed in L.A. we were the only ones left in that entire section. It was so bad that all the other passengers, one by one left that section and went to sit in coach giving up their precious extra 4 inches of leg room!! I still have recurring nightmares about that flight! Turns out, she had the beginning of an ear infection (poor baby!) and we didn't find this out until we arrived home. She still tells us her ears hurt on airplanes. We hope lots of bubble gum will do the trick this time. Ears are clear as far as we know! Never again will I be irritated with a screaming baby on an aircraft. I will simply be eternally grateful that it's not US!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

.HERE COMES THE BRIDE! and the outdoor room

Our home is buzzing with excitement as our family gets ready for the special event of the year. A wedding!

John and E'beth have the honor of both being in the wedding and we will travel to the west coast to attend. We have finally gotten their attire purchased and now just have to figure out how to transport it all :) Elizabeth will 'sparkle' in her flower girl dress that is full of interesting shiny things she wants to PULL OFF!! - and John will be wearing these with this ;)

The wedding will be held on the grounds of a private home overlooking the Pacific ocean. I haven't seen the location personally, but understand it's breathtaking!

We will be joined by many other family members and friends, and stay in a wonderful quaint Inn by the sea. Here's a peek where we will be staying. I so treasure family times like this where our family gathers without the everyday business and can be together for such a special event. The Bride and Groom have traveled extensively all over the world, and I'm excited to see all the amazing things in store for the festivities. * I'm also glad it's not my wedding and we can simply go as guests*!!

John is especially intrigued with the groom's adventures. One story was when he was surfing off the coast of Jakarta in some remote location, his board flipped and cut him rather severely on the back of his head. He was bleeding quite a bit, and the old sea captain guide on the boat had a first aid kit. There in the middle of the sea, the captain had to stitch him up - with NO previous experience or pain control! Ouch! The stories are interesting and we can't wait to hear more of them! :) :)

In addition to all the above, we have been working on our outside back yard. It's been about a 1.5 year long project so far, and we are finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have a new waterfall area that I thought was going to be a simple small feature, but it turned out to be *much* larger than I expected! We love the sound of the rushing waterfall, and can't wait to enjoy many warm summer nights in our new 'outdoor room'.

We have nicknamed our waterfall, Southern Niagra. I would have been content just listening to the rushing water, but Dave and the children would have no part of that!!! FISH! Thats what it needed. So, John and E'beth made a list of fish names and were full of anticipation as we ventured to the pet shop for our newest additions. We now have 7 fish, and 4 snails in the Southern Niagra.

Dave's ideas of fish names were a bit different than Johns. ummm, Jaws, Chum, Moby, etc..

I have taken before pics. and once we are totally finished, I'll post some before and afters.

Friday, April 4, 2008

.a CHILLY RAINY NIGHT and pillow menu's

When we were in Hong Kong just prior to getting Elizabeth in mainland China, we stayed at an incredibly beautiful brand new hotel called The Langham Place Mongkok. It was by far one of the most fabulous places we had ever stayed at. This was the hotel that had the glass walled bathroom overlooking the Mongkok area of downtown Kowloon. It was a bit weird, but you actually got used to it pretty quickly! The hotel was adjacent to a 30 story VERY upscale mall unlike anything I've seen here in the states. The escalators gave me the willies as they went so high per segment that I felt dizzy. I had to end up closing my eyes, gripping the handrail and asking Dave to tell me when we reached the top! The basement level of the hotel was the Hong Kong metro stop for Mongkok, and you could simply take the elevator down and go anywhere in Hong Kong. It was also within walking distance to many of the marketplaces you read about in so many travel sites.

This hotel even had a pillow menu. You could choose from various scents such as Rose, Lavender, Japanese tea leaf, extra long pillows for wedding couples that want to share a pillow (or sleeping w/ a child in the same bed) - you name it. Depending on what you choose, the claims were to relieve stress, balance hormones, lower blood pressure, prevent flu, improve circulation, on and on.. ;)

We decided to spend several days in Hong Kong instead of Beijing since this is where our travel group from our adoption agency would meet us. We opted for a little more time in Hong Kong instead of attempting to fly into Beijing and then back in only 2-3 days. We were glad we did this since it gave us time to relax, do what we wanted, and fully recover from jet lag prior to getting Elizabeth.

One evening we were walking around taking in the sights and stopped for a cup of hot tea. It was SO delicious! It was made with rose petals and mint. I don't know what else was in it, but I can't stop thinking about it on this chilly rainy night here at home across the world from Hong Kong.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New lungs for Tricia?? *** UPDATE BELOW

perhaps today!!
Here's the story as of this afternoon.

It was a GO. As of 10:00 p.m. EST she is in surgery for a double lung transplant.
Here is the link to the very latest.

Exciting times

We just got the news that our sweet friend Devynne is heading to Charlottesville in the fall. She was just accepted into UVA. Devynne, I remember when your mom had your mattress on the floor so you wouldn't fall out of bed! Time has flown and now you are a beautiful young lady! We hope you won't be offended when we wear orange and maroon :)
We know you have worked very hard and are proud of you.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

From time to time

a situation or story comes across my path that makes us truly re-evaluate how blessed our family is. Today, my friend Bonnie sent me THIS link. Here is a young father that has recently been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Despite this incurable diagnosis, and facing the reality that in all probability he will not live to see his 2 young children grow to adulthood he continues to give his life and situation totally to Christ. Their story is continuing as they face what most of us would consider to be a worst nightmare. Their courage, faith in God and testimony will most certainly be an unforgettable inspiration to so many.

Thanks for sharing this Bonnie.