Thursday, July 30, 2009

The delight of a son  

This morning, we were all a bit late getting around.  I didn't leave the house until 8:20 and I'm supposed to be at the office at 8:30 (of course, I'm usually there at 6:45 or 7:00 so a day here or there that I'm past 8:30 is not a big deal) so I was kind of hurrying myself out the door.  I met all three little guys in the upstairs hall and Micah was so happy to see me.  He pointed at his VERY PUCKERED lips and made his kissing sound (which is really more of a smacking sound...but hey, he only learned what a kiss is a few months ago) so I gave him a kiss and he gave me a big hug with a big smile and he whispers "papa, papa" when he does it.  Wow.  Melts my heart.  Matthew came to me and I held him and he didn't really want to go back to Mary at that moment so I held him a little longer.  He leaned in for me to kiss his head (he doesn't have the kissing thing down yet, but he likes the tenderness).  I bent down to Eli, who is mostly in Eli-land but lets us in every now and then, and he gave me his huge smile that lights up the room and he came close enough for a kiss (his version of a kiss is to stick his tongue out and mouth open so when you get close enough to kiss him, he licks you (he likes textures...)  so what can I say about that?  Hee hee.

Anyway, we were downstairs and I was walking out of the dining room where they were all awaiting their breakfast.  I kissed everyone bye and when Micah realized I was leaving, he dropped his baby and barney and stood there with his arms outstretched and whispering "papa, papa" with a huge smile on his face (alternating with the puckered smacking kiss sound).

What a beautiful picture of what my relationship with my adoptive Father should be.  Why don't I drop everything and hold my arms open wide for Him more often?  LIke all the time?  Thank you Micah for the lesson and thank You Father for the lesson in love this morning.  I love You more than my heart can put in words.  You are my All in All and my Rescuer. 

Ephesians 1:4-6
"For he chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight.  Im love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved."

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Surgeries Scheduled  

It looks like Matthew and Micah will have their "little boy" surgeries on September 25.  We don't know about Eli's ear surgery yet.

I'm trying to plan a trip to Ukraine to meet with a possible adoption ministry contact.  Hopefully it will be a profitable trip.  Looking at September 15-23...  We'll see if it works out or not.

The family is all gearing up for school to start in only 2 weeks.

Oh...Micah has gained 6 pounds since he came home in March.  Wow.  That's a large increase for someone is only 30 pounds (now 36).  He has grown taller...a couple of inches at least.  I don't know how he can grow so fast but he's catching up, I guess.

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord

Friday, July 24, 2009


First --  check out the new Reece's Rainbow Site.  Kudos to Meredith Cornish for her hard work!  Go check it out.
We continue to trudge through the summer.  It's been a busy one and in only three weeks it's over -- the kids go back to school on August 13.  Hard to believe!  Blake goes off to Grand Lake for Senior High Camp next week.  Praying that God will speak to his heart.  We're so proud of the man of God he is becoming.  He is so sensitive to hear God's voice and really wants to follow Him.  We are so grateful for this.
We're still trying to get down to Texas to see Nana.  She really wants to see the kids and they really want to see her.  (She might want to see us too, but we're not sure.  :-)  ).  We're gonna try to go in two weekends for a few days. 
We are still praying and seeking the Lord for what it is He wants us to do in the adoption ministry front.  We're trusting Him for His timing and His leading.  We are amazed at what He's done and fully trust Him for just the right time and the details.
Our dear friends and travelling buddies, the Loux's, continue to be amazed by the Father too.  We had planned to go see them this summer but because of the surgeries, we had to cancel the trip.  We shooting for the Fall.  It's hard moving 9 people around.  :-) 
As the days since our long trip to Ukraine go by, our hearts both ache to be there.  I can't explain why, but several times in the last couple of days I have found myself literaly in tears with a gut wrenching homesick feeling in my soul.  I've planned a trip to go back in September for 5 days (a VERY SHORT trip when you consider it takes 20-30 hours to get there) to spend some time with a new friend who works to find homes for children with special needs in Ukraine orphanages.  I got to meet him when we were there and we think we may partner with him in ministry.  This trip will probably decide that.  He is going to take me to several orphanages that he works with and I'm going to make connection with them in hopes of taking a group of "interested parties" in the spring and make some partnerships with these homes for ongoing ministry and adoption.  God is on the move.  I'm going with Him!!
Mary continues to astound me with her selflessness in loving me and our children.  I'm sending her to Colorado to visit her sister BY HERSELF on the 4th of August and I hope she'll take this time for herself to rejuvenate and spend the time on her.  What a blessing she is to my life!  And to the lives of our children!  I hope they realize what a priceless treasure she it.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and that you will worship God with every thought, word, and action.
If you have any questions about our lives...just ask and I'll answer them on the blog.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Giving Blood and assorted ramblings...  

If you've been reading for long, you know that the day after we got back from Ukraine (March 25), we had to put our youngest son Eli in the hospital with a rare blood disorder called Transient Erythroblastopenia of Childhood (TEC).  The only treatment is a blood transfusion to sustain life until the body begins creating red blood cells again on its own.  Eli's count was down to a 3.5.  They were shocked that he was not in cardiac arrest and respiratory distress.  The only symptom he had was no coloring.  Literally, no coloring.  He was translucent, translucent tongue and lips.  We noticed it because we hadn't seen him for 6 weeks.  Most parents and caregivers don't notice it because the change is so gradual.  My mom didn't see it (she was keeping our kids), his teachers didn't see it, the teachers at church didn't see it.  So our trip to save Matthew and Micah also saved our son Eli.

But I digress.  :-)  The only thing that saved him (besides God of course) were the four blood transfusions he had.  Incidentally, his body began producing red blood cells again immediately at the hospital and he's been fine since and reoccurrence is VERY rare.  Typically it takes weeks, to months and longer to begin making cells again.  But God is a Healer!

Our church hosts blood drives every few months and one came up this past Sunday.  I woke up Sunday morning and knew that I must give blood.  I tried once in high school, but couldn't.  Since then, I haven't even considered doing it.  But someone gave their blood to save my child's physical life (four people, actually).  So I did it.  It was a simple process.  Almost anyone can give.  Yes, there are health things that disqualify you, but the vast majority of the population can give.

The process begins by answering some general questions about health (very general).  They take a sample of your blood to check the iron levels.  They take your blood pressure and pulse to make sure your heart is in a condition that it will be safe to give.  They have you answer a series of what I would consider very personal questions if I participated in any of the activities that they asked about.  For me it would have been better to have a big NO button that answered all of them at once.  :-)  And might I add...  EWWWWW!  By again, I digress...  Then they hand you a stack of bags that makes you wonder if they will leave anything in your body (they only fill one...I honestly don't know what happened to the other bags).  They put the needle in your arm (like giving a blood sample for the doctor) and then it just goes into the bag.  About half way through the procedure, I started to get really sleepy.  I didn't get light headed though some people do.  I didn't pass out or anything crazy like that.  That usually only happens when someone is underweight.  (I think the required weight is at least 110 pounds).

The whole process takes about 30-40 minutes at the most.  You can go to local blood drives or to a blood bank your area.  You can give every 56 days (whole blood).  There are other types of donations (red blood cells only, plasma, etc).  Let me encourage you to give blood.  It may be your child or mine who requires blood and it WILL save someone's life.  I'll give from now on.  No question.

Give blood.  Save a life.

And now for the other ramblings...
Blake and Hannah are in Colorado this week visiting Mary's sisters family in Fort Morgan.  They love going and I'm so glad that they will have the opportunity to visit there this week.  But it's hot there too.  Is there a cool place left on this earth?

Bethany and Seth are participating in a basketball camp here at church this week so they have been having very exciting days!

Matthew continues to surprise us with glimpses of his personality.  Today, I went home for lunch and sat down on the opposite end of the couch he was sitting on just to see what he would do.  He looked at me for a while and smiled at me and giggled.  He reached his hand out and I reached mine out to him and he couldn't reach me so he scooted over till our hands could touch and I pulled him over close to me.  He climbed up into my lap and gave me a kiss.  Wow.  What a beautiful surprise.  That's a first that he's initiated a kiss. It was a sweet moment.  Then he just sat with me and giggled at me.  

Micah continues to exert his will (which I'm not saying is a bad thing).  He's learning what it means to love and be loved.  It's precious to watch.  He seems to understand what happened...and he loves every minute of it.  Discipline continues to be a challenge, but we are being consistent.  

Eli is back in school and is doing so well.  He's eating again pretty regularly.  Sleeping the same way he always has when he's well (I can't say it's regular by any means...some nights, he only sleeps a couple of hours...but he stays in his bed when he's awake so that's a plus...for now).

Last week we were at Sam's (we go there for dinner sometimes because we can all eat for under 20 bucks.  And there are a few items that we buy from there.  Anyway...I was getting razors and shaving cream and saw a complete haircut kit.  All four of our young boys needed haircuts.  The cost of the kit was less than we were about to shell out for haircuts.  I was thinking on it, wondering if I could pull it off without ending up having to buzz them and let it grow back!  Mary walked over and said, hey...maybe we should get that...and that it would save us a lot of money in the long run.  So we got it.  When we got home, I did the 3 little guys successfully and I had pretty much decided not to do Seth's because I didn't want to mess his up because he's at the age now where it matters.  But he was all excited that I was going to cut his hair so I couldn't say no.  He wanted a new style that's short all around, and a little longer on top so he could spike it (like mine).  He's had a bowl cut his whole life.  It was pretty sad to cut it all off.  Our little boy is gone.  :-(  Anyway, they all turned out pretty good.  We saved some money immediately and will save even more.  So if you are a medical person to whom we owe money, we'll have more to give you.  :-)

I've got some pics (including hair cut pics) that I'll post soon.  They are all still on the cameras.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More surgeries  

Matthew and Eli will both have to have another surgery.  Ugh.  Matthew's is a urology surgery and Eli has to have his ear drum repaired.

At the same time as Matthew's other surgery, we could circumcise him.  Anyone have any input on that?  Maybe what you have done with your adopted boys from Europe and why.  


Monday, July 6, 2009

Some things we didn't know...  

When we decided to adopt our precious sons, there were some things that we could never have known.

1. God is faithful. No...REALLY faithful. And really powerful. And really sovereign. These things we knew with our head and had experienced them throughout our lives, but since we said yes to Him in obedience, He has totally blown us away.

2. We had no idea how this would impact our other children. We knew they were special kids and that they loved God and wanted to follow Him, but this process has brought out an uncommon faith in their lives. They have amazed us with their unselfishness, their tenderness, helpfulness and total selflessness.

3. The joys of experiencing firsts with the boys. Last night we sat at some friends house watching the fireworks show our city puts on. We got to experience it through the eyes of our two new Malones who had never laid eyes on fireworks. It was an amazing time watching Micah sit there with his jaw dropped and in utter silence just trying to take it in. Matthew sat there and laughed uncontrollably. Just complete and abandoned joy.

4. The far-reaching impact of this journey. People we have never met have been touched by what God has done and continues to do. Only God can do that.

5. The myriad of daily lessons we learn from these guys and from all our kids. Yeah, we knew it would be life-changing. But we had no idea. No idea.

Everyone continues to do very well. The heat has let up a bit. We went from 104 to only 80 yesterday. It was a welcomed cool down. Today was only 90. Thank you God for the break in the heat! It'll be back to 100's by Saturday.

Blake is in Belize on a mission trip and the reports are all good of what God is doing in their lives and the lives of the people they are ministering to. He gets home late Wednesday night.

Hannah has been Dad's helper over the weekend. I've been doing some home renovation for someone to earn money to pay off the hospitals. Hannah's been right there at my side working like a trooper. What a great blessing to my life she is! She's worked so hard knowing where the money was going.

Bethany and Seth are enjoying the summer. They like being able to stay up past 8:00 and sleeping past 7:00. :-) They also like being able to play outside and go to the pool and just RELAX (of course they still have their regular chores...but no school).

Eli continues to charm us and he is recovered from his surgery and is the sweetest boy in the world. Matthew & Micah continue to make great strides. They amaze us. Micah uses sign language and it blows us away. Matthew is starting to make some sounds (other than crying) so we hope he will begin to communicate. He is definitely "in there!"

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day  

What a great day. I'm so glad to live here in the United States of America. After traveling to many places around the globe, it's always such a thrill to return to US soil. With all the problems and the frustrations, there's still no other place I'd want to live. This is the greatest nation on earth. Stand up. Be heard. Hold out for the Truth and what is right!

Today, Blake celebrates the 4th in Belize on a mission trip. They are doing vacation Bible school, construction and several other things over the next week. We are so proud of him. He's got a heart for the Lord and is striving to be all that God wants him to be!

The rest of the family is home now. We were all divided up until about 3:30. I've got pizza dough rising for homemade pizza in a little while. Hannah and Bethany spent the first part of the day at the zoo with the Dickinsons. They had a picnic and a good time. Mary took Seth, and the three little guys to the splash park in Norman for fun in the heat. I was painting until about 3:30 (I'm doing some jobs on the side to get the hospitals paid off -- we owe a bunch after the surgeries 2 weeks ago and will owe a couple of thousand more after the dental stuff for Matthew in a couple of months). So glad to have the opportunities to do the extra work. It's hard to work it in, but otherwise, we'd be paying it off for years.

We're going to the Downing's tonight for snacks and to watch the city fireworks display. Actually, only one of us will go with the older kids. The little guys shouldn't stay up till 11 pm tonight and the go to church tomorrow. We are putting them back in Sunday school tomorrow. They have gone to child care a couple of times in the last 2 weeks and have done very well. No spitting or anything. Okay, it's only Micah that had had problems before, but he's doing well with the structure and the new people.

Our family is such a blessing to my life. I wouldn't change anything (except maybe to never have to go to work and always be with them :-) ). And I'm married to the sexiest, most amazing woman on earth.

God is good.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The boys continue to make progress...  

The boys are back in childcare during church activities.  They were there yesterday for a Bible study Mary is going to and they were in childcare tonight.  Guess what!?  No problems.  No spitting, no tearing things up, no aggressive behavior.  Praise God!  Maybe our persistence is paying off after all.

We stand amazed by the changes we've seen in the boys over the last 3 months.  Funny thing is, I think we've changed more than they have.  I used to say that we rescued them.  Wouldn't it be funny if it turned out that they rescued us?

God has done so much in our lives in the last 11 months.  It seems impossible that all that has happened has really happened.  Wow.