Thursday, May 28, 2009

A service project for GS Troop 697

My niece Riley is a Girl Scout. Her troop was looking to do a service project for the end of the year. They chose Marcus and Macey to serve. What a blessing! We were showered with gifts from the girls. They invited us to their end of the year party and awards ceremony this afternoon in Edmond. We met outisde in the courtyard of an ice cream shop. We pulled up with the kiddos and cousin Riley was waiting for us. She was all smiles and her arm was a waving. I know how proud she is of Marcus and Macey and it was wonderful to be able to share them with her friends. I was able to share just a bit of our story, the kid version. They had lots of comments and questions afterwards.
Look his eyes are crossed!
Why are her glasses up side down? I guess they look that way.
What is Down syndrome?
Why do they stick out their tongues & hold their legs out? (they are quite flexible)
How hold are they? "My sister is 3 and she's already walking." They are small.

These are just a few of the questions and comments they shared. I did my best to share our story and answer their many questions. It was great that they were so interested in them. They were so sweet and kind, just curious. I'm so glad many of the parents were there and can follow up with them because I know they will be talking about M&M for awhile.

God has truly afforded us many oppurtunities to share our story since we have been home. Taylor shared recently at her 4-H club meeting, we shared our testimony with our Sunday School class last weekend and now to a young group of girls from Girls Scouts.
Thank you Lord for allowing us to share the miracle YOU have done in the lives of Marcus and Macey.
We are truly blessed!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tubes on Tuesday

Today was the day that Macey got ear tubes. We were up by 5am and left the house at 6am., in order to arrive at the Surgery Center by 6:30am. The check in was quick and easy. The doctor then wouldn't be in until 7:30am. So we waited. Macey was comfortable holding her baby while watching cartoons. There was no IV, no pricks or anything. They would put a mask on her that would allow her to fall asleep quickly but not until she went back to surgery. It was such an easy process. Remember this is still ALL so new to us. No tubes for Taylor or Tanner. I knew when they said the procedure itself would only take 15 minutes it wouldn't be a big deal. Of course, it's always a big deal every time your child has to be put under. That was my only concern. They took her back shortly before 8am and came to get us 20 minutes later. Dr. Baker came to visit with us and told us she has such tiny ear canals and it wasn't easy to get the tubes in but that it was successful. Good news to hear. It wasn't long before we were called back to recovery. She woke up great. The nurses asked if they could keep her. No Way! They brought her to me and I was able to rock her while covered in a warm blanket. Mind you I have been up since 5am, I could have taken a nap. Macey wanted a drink and then went potty. We were gone by 9am. It was quick and easy! Praise God!
We were on our way to McDonald's for a much needed breakfast.
No more procedures for Macey that we know of. She's good to go!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Adoption talk at 4-H meeting

Taylor is a member of 4-H. She enjoys herself as she participates in the monthly meeting and projects. She was given the opportunity to share with her peers her experience with adoption. Taylor knows firsthand what it means to adopt. She has prayed for our family to adopt for years. Little did she know we were called as a family to adopt not only one but TWO siblings for her to love on. Taylor was thrilled when we chose Marcus (Timur). She has been involved from the VERY beginning. She began telling EVERYONE that we were going to adopt a little boy with Down Syndrome from Ukraine. She has always been great about sharing our mission and passion to rescue those who can not help themselves. She did a beautiful job with sharing her personal experience with adopting BOTH Marcus and Macey. She told how she has always wanted a little sister and God gave her Macey, at the last minute. She told about her travels, the orphanage and ALL the other children left behind, the food we ate and the people we met. This was the best field trip and mission trip any home schooler would love to have been on. I am so proud of Taylor for speaking to her peers and sharing from her heart about HER part in the adoption of her new siblings. She continues to be a light in this dark world.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day as a mom of FOUR

WOW! Today was amazing. I celebrated Mother's Day as being the mom of FOUR. I never thought I would be able to say that. I always thought it would just be the four of us: a dad, a mom, one boy and one girl. Wayne said it best when he said, "Don't ever tell God what your plans are or He'll tell you, here's mine." I could not be MORE blessed this Mother's Day. I know Marcus and Macey don't know this day from any other or they can't tell me themselves Thank You or I love You but I felt their love all day today. It started out this morning as we were leaving the house, getting in the car, leaving for church when Marcus gave me the only gift he had - A MAJOR Blowout! His dress shorts were soaked in poop. I had to give him a bath with only 15 minutes until church began. Thank goodness we only live across the street. I almost forgot to mention that today was also Parent Dedication too. We would be in front of the church as a family. Needless to say, Marcus and Macey's ourfits did not match. I was humbly reminded that it's not the things that matter anyway. We were there to dedicate ourselves to raising Marcus and Macey to know the Lord. There were 16 other families doing the same thing with their 18 kids. (The Malone's participated too). We went out to eat as a family for lunch. I chose Mexican, one of my favorites. The kids did great. As we were leaving the restaurant a family noticed us and motioned for us to come over. They were excited to see Wayne with Marcus and noticed he has Ds. I then walked up with Macey holding my hand. The lady was on the brink of tears. She too had her daughter with her who shares the same Ds honor. I was blessed that the Lord would allow our paths to cross today. What an encouragement she was. My Sunday afternoon nap was cut short in order for Taylor and Tanner to take me to the movies. We saw Hannah Montana at the Warren. Wayne stayed home with the littles while they took a nap. The movie, popcorn and the company was great. I'll go out on a date with those two anytime. We ended the evening with gifts and cheesecake, my favorite. Thanks to EACH one of you for making my Mother's Day the best yet!
(Mommy to Taylor (14), Tanner (8), Macey (4 Ds) and Marcus (3 Ds)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tiny Hands

My precious husband, Wayne is a Christian Country singer/song writer who plays the acoustic guitar by ear. (never had a lesson) He is gifted in this way. The Lord uses him as an instrument to help share the Gospel through his music. We knew these adoptions were not all He had for us. We want to share what the Lord has allowed us to do by adopting Marcus and Macey with others. Wayne has written a song we feel like will give us this opportunity. It's called Tiny Hands. I will share the song with you when it's ready. We are praying about what the Lord would have Wayne and I do to continue the work for orphans. All orphans, those left behind. We want to be used by God to be the hands and feet of the gospel. We are praying about how to begin. We would like to join with the Malone's in beginning an adoption ministry in our home church. The Bible tells us how important it is to God that we care for the widows AND the orphan's. We would ask for your prayers in how this might come about. Wayne has the theme song and a great name for an adoption ministry: Tiny Hands. We will keep you posted as the Lord reveals to us what we are to do to help rescue those who can't save themselves.
Pictured above is Wayne holding Macey's Tiny Hand!

A new Swing Set just for M and M

Today was the day we planned to put together the new swing set for Marcus and Macey. The Oklahoma weather has not been cooperating lately. It has rained on and off for days. Chris Malone came over to help Wayne and Tanner get started. As soon as he got here the rain started again. I was beginning to wonder if my babies were going to ever get to swing in their own backyard. In between the rain and the sprinkles they were able to start and finish the swing set in about 2 hours. Thank goodness they didn't give up. Thanks to these guys for working hard and making Marcus and Macey so happy. They love it! Thanks to Chris for always being so kind with your time. We know it's precious and thank you very much for lending a few hours to us. I know Wayne appreciated it the most.

Friday, May 8, 2009

UPDATE on the cardiology reports

Just a quick reminder that we spent Monday afternoon having echos done on both Marcus and Macey. Macey was first. The tech. spent half and hour going over and over her heart. She used different cameras and caught the heart from all different angles. It seemed to be thorough. I have been praying especially for her hoping they didn't find anything. They just kept looking, I guess to make sure. With Marcus they spent only about 10 minutes with him. He was quick and easy. Now we know why. They found a small hole in his heart immediately. It is called a PDA. It is a hole that should have closed within hours of birth but didn't. This is not uncommon to children with Down syndrome. We were referred to a cardiologist at Children's Hospital. We will go for a EKG and have him listen to Marcus on Thursday the 21st. We pray it is not anything that can't be managed with medication. Because of these results we will have to wait on his eye surgery, ear tubes and circumcision. He can not be under anaesthesia until we have a clear echo from his cardiologist. We want to be safe and take care of the heart first. Please pray for a great report.

Speech and Physical Therapy

Today was our first day of therapies for both Marcus and Macey. Marcus will do both physical and speech therapy while Macey only does speech. This is ALL new to me. I didn't know what to think or even know what to expect. How are they going to get Marcus to walk and Macey to talk? Sounds like a big job to me. A job I am ready for. I am all about learning what we can and doing the work at home, in between visits. Let me tell you we have the BEST therapists. Bob is the physical therapist and Michelle is the speech therapist. It just so happens that they are married and work out of the same facility. How awesome is that. The Lord knew I only have so many hours in a day and week for that matter. One stop "shopping" is good for me. Anyway, they were great to evaluate both of them, work with them and give me homework to do with both of them. Bob says Marcus' abs are like tapioca pudding. We have a wedge we will be using to help strengthen his core. He also sat in a high-tech walker to help him sit upright and know how it feels to walk. Macey needs to work on keeping her saliva in her mouth by learning when to swallow. She is working on blowing bubbles and drinking from a straw. It's the Little things that are truly the Big things for both of them. I have never had to teach Taylor and Tanner these things it just came naturally or even easily if shown. Today was a day of firsts. I am excited to see how well they do and were they will be by the end of summer when they begin school. We will attend these therapy sessions every Friday for 2 hours (back to back appointments) throughout the summer. I am so excited for both of them.
Skies the limit!

Macey's new glasses are in and on

Macey received her new Specs4Us glasses today. She looks adorable if I do say so myself. She loved looking at her self in the mirror. She told us by signing that she looked pretty. I am so glad she is happy with them. It is important that they fit properly and that she keeps them on. Because her ears are so tiny we have ordered the strap for the back and new smaller cables for the ear pieces. We have to make sure they stay put and can not be easily pulled off by "sticky fingers" aka Marcus. When we left the store there was a ramp we had to walk down. She took tiny steps in order to go down safely. I'm sure EVERYTHING looks so different now.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We're going to be on TV...Tomorrow evening

I received a phone call this afternoon from Galen Culver. He is the photojournalist from KFOR - Newchannel 4 who does the segment called, Is This a Great State or What! He had a received a phone call from my cousin, Katrinka about the time we were coming home from Ukraine. She asked if he would do a story on the adoption of Marcus and Macey. He was interested but wasn't able to come to the airport for our arrival, thank goodness. He did however tell her that our journey would make a great Mother's Day story and that he would take down my information and get back with me after we had been home for a while. I never thought another thing about it, until TODAY. He called. He asked if NOW would be a good time to come over, visit, meet the kids and hear about our journey. I told him the kids were napping and asked if he could please come tomorrow. He then asked if he could come after their naps and would my husband be home from work by then. He WAS coming today! We agreed that he was welcome to come LATER this afternoon. I didn't have time to get nervous. I had lunch dishes to clean up, a shower to take, my husband to call and two little ones to get up and ready for their TV debut. He arrived at 4pm. It was only him. He is his own camera man, interviewer, editor, etc. He is a one man band. He brought the lights and the camera and we provided the action. It was a pleasant hour and a half of talking, filming and playing. He was a patient, personable, laid back, professional photojournalist just doing a story. We have watched News Channel 4 for years. I couldn't help but think Wayne's parents would have LOVED to have seen us on this segment of the news. This was right up Clifford's alley. Who would have thought WE would have had a story to tell. It has been just 8 short months since we committed to Marcus, now WE have a story to tell. I have been praying that God would use Wayne and I and the adoption of Marcus and Macey to FIRST, allow us to share Christ with others and SECONDLY to share the gift of adoption with others too. Maybe this is a way we can be a light for Jesus and for the adoption of orphans. We ARE the voice for the MANY we had to leave behind. I promised I would spend the rest of my days sharing about the many orphans who long to belong to a Forever Family just like Marcus and Macey. We would love for you to see what God ordained today. I believe HE was glorified and our message will be heard.

First airing TOMORROW:
News Channel 4 - Cox Cable channel 3 on Wednesday, May 6th at 6:30pm

Thursday it will be aired throughout the day.
Our story will also be available for viewing on

Friday it will air on their sister station OETA throughout the day.

Sunday is Mother's Day. It will air though out the day on Newschannel 4, Cable ch.3

It will not be on any 10pm news cast. His segment does not get that time slot.
Remember to be watching for: Is This a Great State or What!

He wants to come back in 6 months to do a follow up story. I can't even imagine were Marcus and Macey will be by then. Skies the limit!

Thanks for watching.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Nutritionist and Echo's

Today was full of appointments, no surprise. I look forward to the day when we only show up once a year to our well child visits. Yea, right!
We were recommended to a nutritionist for both Marcus and Macey. When Dr. Morrow first met the kids she was saddened with their conditions. Marcus more so than Macey. Marcus was underdeveloped and severely malnourished. He only weighed 20 lbs. when we left Ukraine. She said it was a priority to get more calories in them both. Because Marcus was fed only broths and soups, basically a liquid diet he needed to gain and gain quickly. When we rescued him we began feeding him baby food and he reluctantly learned to drink from a bottle. It's all we knew. We began with baby cereal and jars of food, which he still eats today. We have been introducing other foods, pureed in a food processor or finely chopped up for him. My biggest fear is him choking. He wasn't offered many textures in the Big O, as Taylor calls it. We were beginning from scratch. He loves mac-n-cheese, chicken nuggets, dry cheerios and such. We try something new everyday then try it again. Eventually he will want to eat more than just baby food. He is also on Pedisure for his liquids and calories. He has just begun drinking more than 4 oz. in one day. I have to say he is a real trooper. We are patient with him and know we are making some progress. He weighs a whopping 25 pounds as of today. Praise God! The nutritionist says what we are doing is working. Keep it up!
Macey continues to grow and thrive as well. She is a good eater even though she has recently slowed down a bit. She use to eat EVERYTHING we put in front of her. Now she is a little more choosy and doesn't eat the whole portion each time. She doesn't always hug her bowl as she eats, we are working on that. She knows there is more to come and she can eat whenever she's hungry. I wish I could learn to only eat when I'm hungry. :)We eat a lot of meals at our house. Either a meal or snack is always begin served, well about every 2-3 hours. We love mealtime together. It a great time to visit with one another and just watch the new kids be, we kids. They are just adorable!
Both kids had echo's this afternoon. Silly me, I thought we would go in put those sticky pads on them, lay still for a few minutes and be done, NOT. That's called an EKG. We were there for echo's, a little different procedure. I told you this is ALL new to me. Both kids did well, as well as to be expected. Macey was first. She liked being in the room, looking at the picture on the screen, playing with the instruments but wanted NO part of it when it was time to begin. I could hardly get her shirt off. She held her arms straight and stiff beside herself. She would not raise her little arms for nothing. My guess is she hasn't had the best medical experiences in the past. After FINALLY yanking her shirt off I assured her she was safe and I was there for her. She wined the whole time. She would quit long enough to babble as I sang Jesus Loves Me and wipe the jelly off her belly. She didn't care for that gooey stuff much. It seems like they were taking an awfully long time with her, 30 minutes or so. The tech couldn't tell me anything. Macey was glad when this procedure was over for her. Next, Bubba's turn. Marcus was all for it. He wanted to play with the buttons on the machine, the jelly bottle, the cords to the machine, anything he could get his little hands on. His procedure lasted maybe 15 minutes at the most. We did have to hold him down a bit to keep his hands off of the camera she was using to see his heart. All and all they both did very well considering.
I am so glad we have been able to schedule their appointments together, back to back. We are all there together getting things done all at once. It took just as long to park the car, wait for the elevator, sign in and register and wait as it did to have the procedures. I wouldn't want to go back twice, once for each kid. So far so good, we are all hanging in there.
Let me just take a minute to tell you the medical community we have dealt with has been just super fantastic. God has allowed us to share our adoption journey with each person we have come to see. I will spend the rest of my days telling others about the rescue of two lives God has blessed us with. We owe it to the many other left behind. That reminds me...have you thought of a way YOU could support an orphan?
I would love to visit with you about the many ways YOU too can help an orphan find a Forever Family just like Marcus and Macey.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

We've been home ONE month today!

I can hardly believe it was just four short weeks ago when we stepped off that LONG flight home and landed in America. We are still so grateful to be home together as a family. This month together has been amazing. We were welcomed home by our friends and family at the airport. I will never forget our dear friend Ken bending down to meet Marcus and welcoming him home to America with a little US flag for him to hold. A moment that says it all, Welcome Home! I remember it like it was yesterday. Wayne was home with us for the first week. We were both trying to get over the Ukrainian colds we brought home and jet lag too. The first week was filled with church directory pictures, shopping at the mall for new Easter outfits, celebrating Easter with the Malone family and attending our first worship service in 5 weeks. I still remember holding Wayne's hand just balling tears of joy to be in worship together with Marcus and Macey. The second week was the beginning of our many doctor visits we would be attending. Taylor had oral surgery that week and we were showered with many gifts and blessings from our church family, friends and family. It was great to have so many people loving on us and our family, all 6 of us. The third week was another filled week together. I attended my first Down Syndrome support meeting at our church. It was not what I expected but I'm looking forward to being more pro-active next time. It was all new to me. Macey had her first haircut and we had our 2nd first family picture taken by my dear friend We had a busy Saturday with NSD and the Arts festival on the same day. It was a LONG fun day. This past week was a return visit to the pediatrician, a first at McD's, eye appointments for both kids, glasses for Macey, lunch with Wayne after showing off the kids to the guys in his machine shop and we ended the week with Tanner performing in his end of the year children's choir program at church. That is just a highlight of the past month home.
As I reflect over the past month I am filled with JOY. Wayne and I have amazing children and feel so blessed to have them all. Taylor and Tanner both have been great through this whole transition process. We all have to work together as a family. Our family has changed, no doubt. It has changed for the better. We are all better people, changed by God because of the lives of Marcus and Macey. God gave us the TWO children he would want us to have. The two that would work best in OUR family. WE thank HIM everyday for the gifts He has intrusted us with. Marcus and Macey are BOTH adjusting, bonding and attaching just beautifully. We are so very grateful for the TIME we have together. We are literally together all day and all evening. Wayne goes to work early and comes home early in the afternoon, when he's not working overtime. Taylor and Tanner are home schooled and home with us too. The only time they are with other caregivers is during Sunday morning worship and the Sunday school hour these past two weeks. They have done just great at church too. Macey loves the other children and follows directions easily. They tell me she is just a joy to have in class. Marcus is well, Marcus. He is happy to be left for a short time and doesn't mind the love and attention he receives from our good friends Jim and Carol. It's great that they have come to visit at the house twice since we've been home. He is getting to know them at home and church. We are thankful for the time God is giving us to be with M&M. I don't take one moment for granted. I feel like we have already missed so much of their little lives, 4 years with Macey and 3 with Marcus. I just want to gobble up every little moment with them. Can you tell I'm so happy? I'm just beaming as I write this, I can't help it. We pray God will continue to do a work in each of us. We couldn't ask for more.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Audiology Apts. & Social Security #'s applied for...

Today was another day of appointments. Both kids had audiology appointments today. The doctor ordered the procedures. I understand why but felt like it may have been a waste of our time. The technician was great! She just didn't tell me anything our pediatrician didn't already tell us. Their ear drums and canals were too small for her to get a good reading. She was excited to know that we were already scheduled to see an ENT. She said they would have better equipment to see what they needed to see. Go figure! This is all still so new to me that I'm not sure what is truly necessary and what isn't. I know our doctor is wanting a complete work-up on both kiddos and I appreciate that. We don't truly know anything about their medical history. It's better to be safe than sorry later. I just feel like the ENT could have done everything they did today. Maybe not the in the booth test but like I said, this is all new to me. I barely know who does what. All of these doctors with some kind of -ology behind them. I am grateful for anyone who can help us with Marcus and Macey's medical situation. It would just be nice if some of these appointments could be combined. One for the sake of time and another because these appointments are not always the most comfortable for the kiddos. Less is more, right?
Thanks for listening.
I was however productive at the social security office today. I had a wonderful lady who helped me apply for their numbers. I thought it would be an easy breezy process. Eventually it was. With a prayer and the right paperwork we were successful at applying for their own social security numbers. We should expect them in 7-10 days. I feel like every time we accomplish something I can mark it off my list. The list has started out LONG but is quickly shortening. I would like to have ALL of our paperwork and appointments completed by June. We would like to take a little break and enjoy some summertime laziness together. You know, no schedules or appointments.
I'll keep you posted.
If I haven't told you lately...Thank You for continuing to follow our journey.
We are having the time of our lives. :)