Sunday, December 9, 2012

The World Just Made More Room For Heaven

So......the story of Ryan. Last Tuesday, the 20th...we were out and about as a family, starting on some Christmas shopping, and Pete and I were getting our Pertussis vaccinations to be ready to go get our baby in December. At 11:06 a.m. that morning, our adoption worker texted me "Today may be delivery day! :D" I texted back "Whoa! Is she in UT?" She told me she had just landed and was being
taken via ambulance to the hospital. At 11:56 a.m. I got another text that said "False labor...but maybe she will go soon. It's better to be prepared. At least she made it to UT." So they sent her home. I got a call from our worker close to 5 p.m. that day that said "She had an ultrasound, they are both fine...but....it's a boy!" *crickets chirping* I was afraid that she was going to tell us that because he was a boy, that they would be giving this "situation" to a family who had been waiting for a boy. But she said we could either adopt him...or be placed back on the "the list" for a girl. I said "Well...my family and I will have a prayer and call you back. She asked that we call her back soon, so that if she needed to notify another family, that Ryan would have a family ready for him when he was born. I hung up the phone...cried for about 5 minutes as I looked around the room at all the pink and green exploded EVERYWHERE, knowing that we had gotten rid of every boy thing we had...called my best friend Heather and asked for her prayers and then prayed with my family. Even before we prayed, Pete and I both said, almost at the same time..."This is our baby...are we really shallow enough to not take him because he's a boy?" Our simultaneous answer to that question was "No! Of course not!" All along we'd prayed that Heavenly Father would help us find "our baby", and here he was! It was meant to be! So...we both discussed that we knew Ryan was to be ours and that this meant Heavenly Father had decided that it wasn't Bryn's turn to come yet. For those of you who knew that I get a little picture in the back of my mind of the kiddos that are missing from our family...this whole situation would explain the fact that I kept seeing Brynleigh as looking like a completely different kiddo, for about the last month before he was born. I just shrugged it off like "Hmmm....that's kinda' nutty!" :D So, Ryan was born on the 21st. We were told that his birth mother had chosen not to meet us and so we shouldn't come til' Friday, because that would be the first day we could have access to him. (She left Friday morning.) Because Jace had staples that needed removing, Pete stayed here with the kiddo's so he could get him to that appointment, and I flew out with my dear friend, Heather on Friday morning.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Our Crooked Little Man

I haven't yet written about Wiggle's heart cath appt. on June 5th.  It was a day full of mixed emotions and one that was exhausting both mentally and physically.  Wiggle had a great team of nurses, doctors, child life specialists, etc.  That was all very reassuring for me!  The cardio that performed the procedure was really great, and I was very comfortable with him...so much so, that we will start taking Wiggle to see him now instead of having to drive so far to his other doctor.  So.....the long and the short of it all....
Wiggle's heart is wired funny.  His coronary arteries are both misshapen and his left one is particularly large.  His right coronary artery isn't even in the right spot and doesn't connect where it should.  It should be on the right side of his heart, and should connect to his right atrium.  His connects to his right pulmonary artery.  So his body has this weird whirlpool of blood going on, and has created all of these collateral blood vessels to adapt to the problem.  Because of Wiggle's funky plumbing...his left ventricle is dilated or too large.  But the good thing, is that he has good heart function and while his blood pressure is a little high...this works for him.  (That's why when we put him on Enalapril, it knocked him for a loop...it lowered his blood pressure and took the wind out of his sails, because his heart thrives on the little bit of high blood pressure he has going on.  So, the really GREAT news is that there is no reason to list him for a heart transplant right now.  The doc said that he will see us a month from the cath. appt. for an echo, and then probably every 6 months after that, to monitor his heart really well.  He said that he could have blocked off the pathway where the heart is pumping blood to the pulmonary artery, but that could cause a potential coronary heart attack and we don't want that.  So that's why he left it alone.  He has also put him on 1 baby aspirin everyday, to ward off a coronary heart attack too...because of his funky shaped coronaries.  If, at some point, he sees a reason to do something surgically (say, because his heart continues to dilate further), then he'll do that.  If it continues to dilate and surgery doesn't help or isn't an option...that's when he'd be listed for a heart transplant.

  So... he continues to be our "Crooked Little Boy" (based on the little nursery rhyme), or our broken little boy... because his little body does things it's own way!  For now...it's working okay.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

ON my Mind

It's late.  I'm still awake.  Can't sleep.  I've got my baby girl on my mind.  Our whole family is poised to find her!  We talk about her multiple times a day.  We all feel the urgency to find her and bring her home!  Heavenly Father always works this way, with our family...when it comes to finding a missing kiddo!  He fills me with an urgency to find them and I go through a "nesting" period, similar to a birth mother who is awaiting the arrival of her baby.

  Her room is ready to go!  Since we aren't sure if she's already born and a little older, or if she's not born yet, I've washed every age of baby girl clothes, from zero to 24 months.  We've always said that we'd be willing and excited to adopt a baby up to the age of 18 months, and could be hearing about a baby girl, tomorrow, who is somewhere around a year old, African American and whose birth mother is no longer able to parent her.  We shall see what Heavenly Father has in store for our family!  Please keep us in your prayers!  Describing what it's like to wait for a missing part of your family, and to search everywhere for her, is really difficult.  It's somewhat like being pregnant, I'm sure...and yet it's nothing like it.  We don't know when she'll be here. We don't know how old she'll be, either.  We don't know what to get ready for.  We've been ready for a newborn, but are trying not to counsel the Lord in His decision of which sweet baby girl is meant to be ours.  We are just trying to have open hearts and minds and just praying that we will know our baby girl, when we hear about her.  Please add your prayers to ours!

  Wiggle Bug had his 3 month Cardiology appt. on Friday.  The doctor is concerned as to the reason why his heart is still so large.  He sees no explanation for it, and so he's ordered a Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization for Mr. Wiggle Bug.  They'll go in there with a camera, and take pictures of the heart to see if possible during his Open Heart Surgery (OHS), one or both coronary arteries were bumped somehow, which may have created scar tissue, partially blocking an artery and causing the decreased function in his heart.  I won't lie.  I'm nervous!  The Cardiologist dropped the words "heart transplant" about 6 months ago and decided we should try Wiggle Bug on Enalipril.  When that didn't help his heart any, and only decreased his quality of life (lots of naps, really moody and cranky, no increased heart function), he took him off of it.  Wiggles heart just has a mind of it's own and didn't respond to the Enalipril.  He's a medical miracle boy!  He amazes me with all that he goes through in his life, and how resilient and happy he is!  He's on a mission, that boy!  I'm tellin' ya'!  But now I have those words "Heart Transplant", looming in the back of my mind, with the knowledge that his heart function is still not good and that they don't know why!  So...I'm doing the only 2 things I know how to do:  1.  Pray!  2.  Learn about the heart, as much as I can!  (Okay, okay...there's a 3rd thing I'm doing...that would be eating chocolate and baking much more than I should!)  Between all the studying I'm doing about Wiggle Bug...and all the studying I'm doing about Ladybug (and all her gut issues), I should be earning a P.h.,d (or however you spell that), in Super Human Mommy Knowledge or something.  I still have SO much more to learn about!

     I am so grateful for the gals on my heart group on Facebook, who teach me so much everyday and who never make me feel like any of the questions I ask are stupid or silly.  They are a rock for me, and keep me from flying off the handle, with worry, and they help me learn and understand more all the time!  Whenever it is that we go up to get Baby Bug, I am definitely making time to meet as many of them as I can, somewhere!  I have found a kinship with them that transcends an internet chat group and has become such a strength for me!  Hugs to all the brave Heart Mama's out there who are such a wonderful support and example to me! I love em' all!

  Alas, I'm falling asleep now!  (Hearing me talk will do that to people...especially myself!)  I shall keep everyone posted about the goings on of our Rambling Castle, and of course, my handsome prince, and 5 wonderful lads and ladies!  May peace and joy attend us all!

Love,
The Lady Rambler

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm Baaaaaaack!!!!

Whew!  I've got access to my email again, and I've gotten my blog back!  I thought I'd lost it forever, and that was a sad thought for me!  I don't write here often, but what I share is a journal of my life's experiences, and more importantly, of the experiences of my children and my family!  I am grateful to have it restored to me again!  Getting your email hacked, isn't cool!

  We had a great day of homeschooling today!  Today was day one of our Old Testament Timeline from www.timelinesetc.com  It's really cool, and the kids are excited about it!  I know we will learn a lot together this year!  They have this little chant or what they call History In Action, which puts an action, picture and saying, with each story!  It's a fun way for them to remember history! Today we covered, the creation, Adam and Eve, Enoch and Noah!  We made a trip to the public library, earlier this week, and the kids all picked out a few books they are interested in, so we just so happen to have some books about Giraffe's, Wolves and Chipmunk's, which will go along with our Noah's Ark studies!  Should be fun!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

And She Pondered These Things In Her Heart

  I have been filled to overflowing, by my experiences listening to, watching and participating in General Conference this weekend!  Oh how I love Conference!  It is a lifeline to heaven, for me!  I feel as though Heavenly Father has placed words into the minds and hearts of the speakers, which are directly for me and my little family!  As I thought of how these inspired words filled me...I immediately thought of Mary, Mother of Jesus.  I SO desire, to ponder on all these things and keep them in my heart, to be called up when life's situations have need of them!  I took pretty good notes, so that I can feast on them until the conference issue of the Ensign, comes out!

  This time, when I was writing my notes, I really tried to pay careful attention not just to the actual words that were said, but also to the promptings I felt from the Holy Ghost, about how those things apply specifically to our family!  It was a superb way of learning, for me!  It's late this evening, and I must get some shut eye while the babes slumber...but I will share my notes with you hopefully later this week.  Speaking of this week...if is Easter week!  I plan to have an amazingly inspirational week with our children!  Don't know yet, all that we will do...but I know that it will be blessed by our Heavenly Father, because I have such a strong desire for Him to sanctify the things we do and learn about this week!  I'll let you know how it goes! :0)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Moving

  I have decided that moving is difficult!  It's wonderful, but extremely burdensome!  My poor husband has exhausted himself moving everything from place to place and it makes me sad to see him so tired and worn out!  He is such a good man!  He does SO MUCH for me and the children!  Speaking of the children, they are some of the most patient individuals on the planet!  It is not very fun to wake up each morning, to more boxes that need unpacking and unloading.  They have handled this move with grace and sweetness!  They amaze me!

  Our new neighbors amaze me too!  I was told that from us on back down to the end of the street, on our side of the street, we are all members of the church!  Wow!  That's pretty cool and totally exciting to me!  I have been visited no less than 9 people/families who came to welcome us to the neighborhood and say "Hello!"  Totally amazing and completely awesome!  I am SO excited to be potentially living in the same kind of neighborhood that my parents live in...everyone knows everyone, watches out for one another, brings treats and flowers to say hello and genuinely wants to be friendly and kind!  This MY KIND OF NEIGHBORHOOD!  I am seriously excited about it! :0)

  I must say, that I feel a bit like a fish out of water!  I have always considered myself to be one who rolls with change pretty easily.  After all...there are no 2 days that are the same, when you are a homeschooling, special needs family of beautiful, adopted, medically fragile cuteness!  Change is our middle name around here.  But this move has happened slowly and without rhyme or reason, in lots of ways.  We have been without our library of books, for the past 3 months.  We have worked hard to clean and pack the home we just moved from, and have worked hard to clean and move into that home we just came to!  Exhausting work, I tell you!  I suppose all things happen for a reason, for example, I think Heavenly Father wanted to teach us to truly appreciate the great, classic works which adorn our bookshelves, and which we have not appreciated like we should!  Lesson learned, there!  So...now we find ourselves moving into new, uncharted territory again!

   I've prayed for simplicity and a clear understanding, as I embark to inspire greatness in our family!  I continuously pray for the wherewithal to engage in my own education, that I might be an example and that I might motivate the cause of freedom and virtue in our family!  I continuously pray that I won't completely screw my family up, the way so many naysayers apparently hope that I will!  (If only they knew how hurtful their words can be sometimes!)  I pray that we won't stand still, in our pursuit of a Leadership Education!  I pray that we will be moved by what we read, write, study, discuss and learn!  I pray, that the children will move through the proper phases of a good leadership education...that I will nurture them through that movement, and that they will come through their youth with a love for learning and work, and that they will still love me as their mother, in the process!  I pray that my precious husband, will have success in his sought for college education...that he can meet his aspirations head on, and feel righteous pride in his accomplishments!  I pray that he will know of my great love for him...that I will adequately express it to him daily, amidst the many things on my plate!  I pray that the children will express their great love to him also, and that he will know how important he is in their lives!  I pray to be humble and submissive, amidst the changes that are coming for us all!

  I want so badly, to leave the world at our doorstep!  The world is not for me and not for my family...and yet it still pulls at us in ways that are so subtle and sneaky!  If I'm being honest, it makes me just a bit angry!  I am really disappointed in what I see, when I take a look at the way the world is going right now (and has been going for quite some time!)  It is heart wrenching to me!  I want to move as far away from it as humanly possible!  I have said it before, and I'll say it again!  I feel such a pull toward simplicity!  I'm talking, living like the pioneers did...working hard to provide for basic needs...faith that could move mountains...none of the worldly distractions that so easily beset me...a very "less is more" way of life!   Their lives were SO difficult, in ways that we cannot fathom, and yet I know that they look down on us from Heaven, shocked at the many difficulties we deal with here, which did not exist during their time.  I want to have pioneer faith!

  I don't know why I get so easily distracted from my goals!  I am hard on myself, but with good reason!  There is so much I don't do like I should!  I have such a desire to be like Jesus Christ...to live and love as He did!  I want to move closer to Him!  I want to move my ideals and desires, into alignment with His desires for me!  I feel so inadequate!  I fall short daily!  I want to better understand His atoning sacrifice for me, that I can learn what it means to truly cast my burdens on Him!  I want to change my heart!  I want to let the Savior change my heart!  I don't want to stand still any longer!  We all know that when you stand still, you are only going backwards slowly!

  I've got a lot of praying to do!  (I pretty much have a lot of praying to do, all the time!) :0)  Satan likes to make me feel uneasy, discontent and doubtful about my abilities to perform my mission in this life; that of teaching and raising our children up righteously before the Lord!  I'd really like to make him a knuckle sandwich...with a sour pickle on the side!  I'd like him to move out of my way...THAT'S what I'd like!  :)

  I've been thinking lately, about living a more intentional life!  Being purposeful about all of the essentials that should be done, and making sure that those things have room to work in our lives!  I want to do something moving, inspiring and uplifting...or as Emma Smith would say, something extraordinary!  I think I'll move to my knees now, and tell Heavenly Father everything I just wrote!  Peace out! :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Belated Blogs about Birthdays

Since getting back on Facebook, my blogging has gone downhill.  I plan to become better at it again.  Anyway...Luv Bug had her 7th birthday in December, and Cuddle Bug had his birthday in February.  We went to Joe's Farmhouse Grill for Luv's birthday supper and she got lots of fun gifts including a cute stuffed bear,from Pete and I and also a mini baby and crib,( to name a few gifts she got.) For Cuddle's birthday fun, we went to the zoo!  He also got some Star Wars guys and a space ship for them!  He turned 6 this year. 
  I can't believe how fast they're all growing up!  =D We love you, Luv and Cuddle!

Random Thoughts from Ladybug

We interrupt our regularly scheduled study session, to bring you "Random Thoughts from Ladybuuuuuug!". Tonight she asked the following question, in this way:
"Mom...Chuck E. Cheese is Chinese?"
And ther hou have it folks!  (She is referring to the last time we went there, in Nov. 2010 for her biological half sister's birthday party.) =D

Thursday, February 23, 2012


How To Support Foster and Adoptive Families~
1.  Realize that we aren't doing foster care or adopting, so we can make you feel inferior! 
2.  Realize that we love EACH child who comes into our hearts and homes, and we always will.
3.  Don't insult us for following case plans, therapist's recommendations, doctor's orders or birth parents wishes.  We respectfully remind you, IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!
4.  Don't tell us we are "Saints" for doing something "you could never do."  It doesn't make us feel good and it doesn't make our children feel good.  We don't want to be praised and put on a pedestal for loving our kids.  Do you?  We certainly don't want our children to be made to feel like they are poor, pathetic souls who are just lucky we "rescued" them.  Would you like us to make you or your children feel this way?
5.  THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK!  (Just because it sounds good to you, doesn't mean it will be taken that way!)  Put yourself in our shoes and the shoes of the children who are standing right by us when you speak!
6.  Don't ask questions like: "Do you have any of your own?"  " Which ones are you REAL kids?"  "Which country is he/she from?"   "What's wrong with him/her?"  "Was her mother/father on drugs?", "How much did he/she cost?   And don't wave your finger around at my family, while saying "How did this happen?"  And most certainly, don't refer to the birth mothers of our children in any kind of negative light.  Just because you are ignorant and judgmental, doesn't mean we are.  We love the birth parents of our children.  We will NOT tolerate your speaking about them as if they are slime.  On the contrary...we will vigilantly defend them and the fact that regardless of the choices they've made in their lives, they still loved and did the best they could for their children.  Oh!...and ANOTHER THING!  In case your mother never taught you...it is absolutely rude and disgusting, to ask questions that involve the words "couldn't keep their pants zipped."  (Sorry!  Has to be said!  And, Yes, I was asked that very question!)
7.  Don't PET our children's hair, like they are animals!  Would you like it if someone treated you like a dog?  On the contrary, respect the fact that we and our children take pride in their appearance and that it takes a LONG time to make their hair look that way! 
8.  Don't expect us to understand and/or condone your ignorance!  While we are nice people and enjoy talking about the wonderful ways our children became ours, this doesn't mean that you can ask stupid or rude questions and expect us to brush it aside as "acceptable."  It's NOT!    I reserve the right to gape my mouth wide open at you, and look at you in shock and disbelief, when you ask questions that cross the line!  AND I WILL!
9.  Be supportive!  (Let me define "supportive".)  Be NORMAL!  Don't create issues that don't exist, and don't downgrade issues that DO!  If you are a family member or a friend of someone who has adopted children, be kind.  Be courteous and respectful.  Feel free to ask, genuine, well meaning questions, but please be careful of what you say or ask in front of our children.  They have ears and they are smart!  Think about how your words will affect them.  And ABOVE ALL---please respect our right to raise our children as we see fit!  Don't lecture us in front of our children, and don't insult our way of life either!  In fact, don't lecture us, PERIOD!
10.  Don't say "I could never do what YOU do!", unless you're prepared to not be offended when we answer back "Of course you could!"  When we respond that way, it's not to offend you, but rather to instill confidence in all we meet, that foster care and adoption are not only do-able things, but also to spread our belief and hope that it's a worthy cause so that others will want to do it too!  There are so many children who need good parents (foster or adoptive or both)!
11.  Show Up!  Show up for things that are important!  Here is a brief list of things that you could "show up" for, which might seem like nothing to you, but which mean everything to us:
~ Court Hearings (especially adoption court hearings!)  When that judge finally bangs that gavel and declares our children "legally' ours, it's a big deal!  BE THERE!  (Can you imagine loving and serving your children every day of their lives with that constant possibility that they could leave, looming over your head?)  They've been ours in every way but the one that really counts, from the moment they came.  SHOW UP!
~  Surgeries and Hospital Visits for kiddo's!  It's really hard to sit in waiting room, after waiting room by yourself and cry by the side of your child's bed in the recovery room, alone.  Learn about the children and the issues and challenges they face.  Learn to care for them, so as to provide trusted support to us parents who need a break once in a while.  We will NOT leave our children with you, if we feel that you don't know them and their issues, and if we feel that you won't follow instructions or that you question ours or our doctor's orders or intentions for our children.  We will also not leave our children with you, if you treat us as their parents, as though we are paranoid, or their issues are only in our heads!  Just because we have adopted our children into part of YOUR family, does not mean that you automatically have a right to have them whenever you want.  That right is only EARNED!
~  Show up for the births of children who are adopted through private adoption.  (Why wouldn't you?)
~  Show Up for training!  Be willing to listen and learn about ways to care for the children or about the medical/behavioral issues they face.  Again...we won't leave them with you, if you don't.
12.  Don't EVER say:  "You shouldn't expect us to be supportive of you...YOU chose this, not us!"  HOW RUDE!  Honestly!  If you are the family member or friend of someone who has chosen to do foster care and/or adopt, don't assume that we must ask your permission or approval for what we are doing,  Last I checked, doing foster care and adopting children is a very honorable thing!  Do your other family members or friends ask your permission before getting pregnant?  SERIOUSLY!  If you can't support us and the issues that our children face, then SAY IT!  Then...kindly leave us alone!  You can't have your cake and eat it too!  While we're on this subject...don't ask adoptive families if they're quite sure they can't "have one of their own" or if they're "doing it" right!  Unless of course you are okay with my response, which will be "Did you want to bring a flashlight over and let us know?"  (Again, had to be said!)
13.  BE EXCITED for us!  We are excited about what we're doing!  We want our family members and friends to be excited about it too!  If you can't be excited about what we're doing...then frankly there's something wrong with you!  We are changing the world!  We are loving those who the world would toss aside!  Oh...and BY THE WAY...WE are the ones who are being saved!  OUR CHILDREN saved us!  It's NOT the other way around!
14.  Realize that families can come in all colors, sizes and dynamics!  Teach your children that brown kids can in fact have a white mom and/or dad, and vice versa!  Teach your children that it's not polite for them to tell my children that they aren't siblings.  They ARE!  One thing I teach my children to say, is "Our hearts match!"  And really, there are lots of biological families where the members of those families look nothing alike.  Think outside the BOX!
15.  Take an opportunity to learn about the issues that are important to foster and adoptive families!  Ignorance is not bliss!  It's hurtful and ridiculous!
16.  Contrary to popular belief, us foster/adoptive families are NOT in fact wearing signs on our foreheads, which state "Please tell me EVERYTHING you feel about my life and my choices!  Please realize that your opinions are just that!  If you can't say something nice (or respectful or supportive)...then don't say anything at all.
OH, and one more thing!  If you find yourself in a situation where you can't or WON'T support a family member or friend who has chosen to adopt or do foster care or both...Don't be surprised when we feel hurt, unsupported or angry about it!  Supporting us is not rocket science!  It's common courtesy and decency!  It's showing love for your fellow man!  It's realizing that there is more to life than just YOU!  It's what families and friends do for one another! 
'Nuff Said!

Written by Ranee Hansen