Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow blast from the past -

You may remember this little number I did last January 08'! Since we're having another storm here I thought it would be fun to dust it off and re-play! Thank goodness I've lost some weight - ick! I should do a new one with Tessa in it too. Little did we know how life would look a year later! Putting my ego aside, it's still kinda funny because that's about all you see ALL day long on the news when we have snow. Some pin head on the side of the road telling you it's snowing and to stay indoors!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Two worlds collide ~ I'm so paid!

If you've been reading this blog for any small amount of time, or if you know me, you already know that I'm all over the place with my thoughts and emotions. Sometimes I feel everything at the same time. This week is no different!

It seems that I've been caught in the vortex of living two lives. A post Ethiopia haze, and a Twilight haze. It's been going on since exactly August 16th, 2008 when we returned home from our life changing trip. But then again, I hadn't entered the world of Forks until well after coming home and was practically bed ridden w/Mono and read the Twilight series (it was very easy to do).

The other day (Friday) I went to do some more paperwork for Tessa's post adoption stuff. Seriously, this stuff never seems to end. It's MUCH less than before but it's still ongoing. And now that we're home I have to admit it's a huge pain in the butt! I definitely don't feel the urgency that I once did because our little girl is here now!

So, I drove to the closest city to us to visit the IRS for some paperwork stuff. It was freezing cold, I had to park and walk a bit to get to the high rise (all of 20 floors- big stuff). I went in and had to take a number and have a seat in the waiting area. It was only on the ninth floor (my lucky number) but the windows were floor to ceiling. The view was spectacular of this small city. All the old mill buildings along the river and everything being snow covered (which wasn't fun when walking, but was beautiful now). Off in the distance sitting right in front of me - smack dab in my view was our church! She looked stunning from the vantage point I had and I took a deep breath in and reflected on the events from less than a week ago there. Tessa's baptism!

The time passed, and passed. After an hour my number was called. Long story short, I went in and after another 15 or so minutes it was apparent that I knew more about adoption tax stuff than the "representative" I was seated in front of. I left with yet another/different form in my hand that has to be filed w/our return. So, my entire trip to the IRS was a waste of time. Or was it?

While there I had my folder with the important document for Tessa since I wanted to be certain that I would have any pertinent information in hand. One of the documents with me was Tessa's passport. It had been a long time since I had seen it and really looked at it. The picture of Tessa, that had been taken before we were in Ethiopia was her passport photo. While it never really resonated with me before, looking at it that day was shocking and a reminder of how much things have changed.

I walked very briskly back to my truck and got in, excited to blast my Twilight soundtrack and even more excited to realize that I was still far enough away from home that I needed to eat. Junk food! Who doesn't like a good excuse for the golden arches?? Ok, I do!

After listening to one or two songs (good ones) I decided to turn on El Rushbo for some good entertainment. When we lived in this city, and when I was preggers with Nick I'd go every Tuesday to the golden arches for lunch (drive-thru) and listen to Rush while fat in my seat to enjoy the nutritious meal and talk radio. It was always the same price, always the same meal. $3.53

So, just as in the past, the food was consumed (a different meal than what used to be my weekly treat) and I continued to make my way home.

I was thinking of listening to my soundtrack again and thinking of some funny Edward commentary that my friends and I share back and forth via email. Surprisingly I didn't feel like listening to the same old soundtrack this time. Or Rush. So I put on the radio and started my constant scanning... I hate the radio! One of the local/Boston stations that typically plays rap came on and it was a song that I had heard before and loved. While I'm not into rap music I really like this song. Turns out that the artist lived several years in Senegal, Africa. I don't know the words but the groove gets me pumped!

This is where the two worlds collide -

Random flash pictures went through my head all in an instant and I began to bawl. I started screaming to the song (what few words I actually know) and it was so clear.

Edward (from the Twilight series) is basically the most beautiful man in the world (according to the book and is also confirmed by myself and my friends) and he's also amazingly strong. What vampire isn't strong?!

It was abundantly clear that the strongest person I've ever met is our Tessa Bezu. To think and see the difference in this child since the time her passport photo was taken to know is nothing short of miraculous.

The photo of her is the most heartbreaking photo of her that I've ever seen. The utter fear in her eyes is beyond explanation. It's so horrifying that I won't post it.

I wanted to share this reminder because I know that so many of you are waiting parents. You are so excited to get your referrals and see the pictures of your new child. And the pictures that you get may be happy smiles or not. But no matter what, the pictures you see and get are only a snapshot in time. For our little girl and probably most other children, it is a time that was the most scary and confusing that life could ever give them. But it is a snapshot in time.

We have hurdles and possibly mountains to climb with her later in life. And that's what we as parents sign up for whether biological or adoptive parents. It's all the same. Just different in some ways.

Her presence in our family already seems like it's been forever. That's why I was so rattled to see that photo and realize that this picture was not very long ago. Her little heart and world was shattered. Shattered.

And so I live these days blessed to know that we're here to guide her and Nicholas through life.

But in between being a parent, I'm going to give something to myself that is like dessert to a child.... Twilight!

And I'll leave you with this cute little video from last night. She is typically much more enthusiatic and LOUD, but this is our peanut!

If you want to know the song that broke me, Akon, I'm so paid. Don't ask me why, I just love it! The video and words have nothing do with my emotions - it just worked for some reason. Yeah, that's the mind I have to live with! ;) The kids do their FREAKY dance to this song! Video of that to come in the near future!

It's a wonderful world I live in, and a wonderful blessed life to have these children every day! And I'm SO paid with these kids!



video

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tessa's Baptism ~

Our beautiful child, a gift from God. Look at her tiny fingers wrapped around her Daddy's!






Auntie Kiki and Uncle Jim are her Godparents - you can feel their love in this picture!


Yes, a snow storm! And of course our church isn't near our home! Go figure!! But it was truly beautiful!!


My Mom took this picture ~ It's spectacular!


Our small and intimate brunch out after - it was perfect!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kawasaki's disease has a familiar face!




Kawasaki disease (also known as lymph node syndrome, mucocutaneous node disease, infantile polyarteritis and Kawasaki syndrome) is an inflammation (vasculitis) of the middle-sized arteries. It affects many organs, including the skin, mucous membranes, lymph nodes, and blood vessel walls, but the most serious effect is on the heart.

You may have seen recently in the news the words; "Kawasaki Disease" mentioned in the wake of the tragedy of Jett Travolta. Let me be clear, Jett did not pass from it, but by another illness or complication of another illness from what I hear.
Most people don't know someone that has Kawasaki disease... till now...

When Nicholas was just three months old he began having high fevers...

We went to the Dr.'s several times and they kept saying, let's wait and see if it clears up w/Tylenol etc. The fevers never stopped. He had no other symptoms (coughing, sneezing) that would lead us or the Dr's to think it was a cold/flu. The fevers were 104 area and he didn't sleep for almost a week. MP and I took turns to sleep ourselves and were happy to get two hours at a time.

I could write a long, long post about this - I kept a journal at the time of what was going on daily with him.

After almost a week of this it was apparent that something wrong was happening. At one of our last Dr's appointments during this time the doctor sent us directly to the ER where he followed us and there were nurses waiting for our arrival. The main suspicion at that time was meningitis. It had to be ruled out. And so a spinal tap was ordered on the spot. They wanted us to leave the room and we refused. It was horrible. They had to call nurses down from the NICU unit to help. This is not a common test done or an everyday thing done for a three month old even at a pretty large hospital like the one we were at. The results were negative but they admitted him not knowing why he was so sick.

After a day or two in the hospital all other tests came back negative as well. And let me tell you, they were in and out at all hours of the night pulling blood out of him. They were waking him up every hour on the hour to take his temperature and do other things like adjust his IV. And an IV isn't an easy task on an infant. His veins were so small. It was excruciating to see them try and fail over and over to get one in or to re-do one that had worked hours earlier. I wanted to kill someone.

He was discharged as there was nothing they could pinpoint. A day later he was re-admitted by an on call doctor at his practice. She was new to the practice. Her very recent residency was at Children's Hospital in Boston. They have a Kawasaki unit. She suspected it right away and admitted him again. She ordered and IVIG (transfusion) and it came to his new room several hours later.

I remember so vividly when they put the bag on the IV hook and started the drip. He was exhausted from the horrific ordeal and almost never slept, partly because they wouldn't leave his little body alone long enough. And so we watched, hoped, prayed and waited. For what, we weren't really sure...

MP and I watched the IV drip - about an hour into it we saw this thing. I've witnessed it only twice in my life. It was God's hand washing him from head to toe. You could literally see the normal color return to his skin. You could see his blood red eyes turn back to brown. You could see his lips turn back to a normal pink shade from the red that he'd had. And most of all you could feel his body calm. Our little boy fell into the deepest sleep I've ever seen. It washed over and through him - words cannot describe witnessing it. (We saw a similar thing happen with Tessa at Bole airport in Ethiopia on our way home. She went from lost to found.) It was so amazing. And then, and only then did I finally break down and weep. I left the room so I wouldn't wake his resting body. I made some important family phone calls and cried in the hallway for quite a while. I knew it was over. I knew it was over - it HAD BEEN DONE.

He was there for a few more days - but it was over and we didn't care about anything else but going home.

While in the hospital on of the doctors that was called in to treat him was a cardiologist named Dr. Johnson. He is/was the most wonderful souls and treated/treats Nicholas the way you rarely see.

Why this post? Today was another check up w/Dr. Johnson. A few tests and then a briefing. All is normal - he's in terrific and normal health! We knew that but we have to keep going because it's such an unknown disease that they want to keep track of their patients and progress.

We'd also changed his primary care physician (from that moment forward) to the amazing woman Dr. Truebe who was smart and quick enough to make the diagnosis. If left untreated or undiagnosed serious heart complications would have surely been inevitable. Very serious. We were blessed to have this team gifted to us... Luck? Nope!

Here are a few pictures of those horrid days...

Our little baby boy. Just three months old - the pain and confusion for him... you can even see his red eyes and one of the bruise on his little hand. His lips were also abnormally red.(Normally I'd make a Twilight reference here but it's not appropriate. But I guess I just did.)



In the hospital... poor peanut with the stupid hand brace to hold the IV in.



In the hospital...


Don't mind my serious ugliness. We NEVER left. We took turns to go and take the dogs out and shower - very briefly. Thank goodness we lived in the city then. Or I should rephrase that, Thank God we lived in the city then. With a great hospital and two awesome practices only minutes from our home.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Monkeydoos!

I had to post this video even though it's longer than it should be! NOTE: you may want to stop it at like a minute and a half. I need a new video editing program! This is what the kids did last night when I put on the Monkeydoos video (a dance/sing video) - Do you think they like it??

It always kills me that the simplist or "low budget" things seem to be the biggest hit ~ enjoy!

video

Even today at the Science Museum in Boston - they had the most fun at this dumb thing that has lights on the wall. You stand on one end of like the runway thing and the lights illuminate on the wall going down the runway. The object is to run faster than the lights and get to the other side before the light does! Genius! Well, they freaked out so much with excitement that MP and I decided we can duplicate the "game" at home in the driveway with a flashlight! Ok kids. Run. Run as fast as you can back and forth to beat the light! Let's play this ALL DAY LONG and then go inside for a nice LONG nap! I can't WAIT to try this!! Perfect!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Some Christmas Pictures~

I had to list as a new post so it would read it as updated...