Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Gotcha day Anaya!!!

This is the cute little baby that I picked up 3 years ago today!!!
And this is the beautiful little girl she has turned into!

You fill our lives with your personality plus, plus, and can I just say, we love you so much! 
We love your giant brown eyes and serious expressions, you're just a little pipsqueak, but have taught us many lessons.  
You are highly animated and full of energy and most of the time, you are as happy as can be.  
You are super smart and a tad sassy too, but we just can't imagine our lives without you!

Today we celebrate 3 years of Anaya being in our family!!

      Psalm 118:23&24 (NASB)
23This is the LORD'S doing;
         It is marvelous in our eyes.
    24This is the day which the LORD has made;
         Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter weekend...

Friday night we enjoyed a Good Friday service at church and then Ryan had a youth activity that night which the boys all stayed for.  Just as they were leaving the church, Easton fell and cracked his head open!  So, off we went to the ER at 10:30pm!  3 stitches and almost 2 hours later we were back home and in bed!
My brave little man!  The ER Dr. asked if I was his wife and he said yes!  So cute.

Saturday morning we had 3 soccer games at the same time!  {Wish we could do that every week.}  Then Ryan's family came over and we celebrated a few birthdays, Mothers Day, and Easter.  This is the first time some of the cousins ever met Luisa.

Everyone checking her out!
All kids ready for an egg hunt!
Lucy got the hang of it right away!
um, uncle Robb, it's supposed to be for the kids!

Stitches didn't slow him down! 

Everyone counting their eggs to be sure we got them all!
Back inside we emptied all the goodies from the eggs.  Luisa got bored watching the others open gifts so she decided to check all of the eggs and make sure there wasn't any candy left!

The birthday girls!
On Sunday we headed down to my parents house for lunch and did another egg hunt.
All dressed up on Easter Sunday.

What a blessing to be able to spend time with family, and celebrate the fact that we serve a RISEN savior!

Matthew 28:6
6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


First and foremost, I want to let everyone know that God has answered a HUGE prayer request!!

  We have been praying for my sister -in -love Lisa and the newest round of chemo she was on, as it was wreaking havoc on her body.   Well, they just got wonderful news from her appointment at Mayo, they said... the treatment is working!!  And her doctor is also going to switch some of her meds as he thinks that it should be easier on her body and still shrink the tumors!  Quality and quantity of life!  That is what we have been and will continue praying for!! 

Next up is Luisa...

She is doing great, her bronchoscopy went very well,  she did awesome, and Mommy did good too {I only teared up a little!}
Some of the tests came back already and some are still out, but so far so good.  We are so blessed by this little trooper.  She is a sweetheart, very calm and easy going, perfect personality for all of the waiting around at doctor and hospitals!

Finally, we could use some prayer as we are searching for a place to live.  Every house we have pursued, has not worked out, which is fine, we want what God wants for us, but we do need something! ....Please pray we are put on the right path!

Proverbs 3:5-6 (New Living Translation)

 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
      do not depend on your own understanding.
 6 Seek his will in all you do,
      and he will show you which path to take.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

First Dr. visit...

  Precious baby girl in her big gown
We had Luisa's first PID (pediatric infectious disease) doctors appointment last week Friday.  We started out at DeVos Childrens hospital for chest x-rays and then we went over to the Dr.'s office.  The chest x-rays showed some 'abnormalities' so the doctor was going to call the pulmomologist to get his opinion.  She sent us down for lunch and told us to check back after we had Luisa's blood drawn to see if he was able to look at the x-ray or not. 

While we were at lunch, God arranged a little impromptu get together for us!  The pulmonlogist and our doctor met in passing while in the hall right in front of the cafe, the cafe that we were eating in!  So there we all were!  We were able to talk for a bit and he told us to come up to his office as soon as we were finished.  YAY God!  We got an appointment with the pulmonologist the same day!  Luisa is scheduled for a bronchoscopy on Tuesday afternoon at DeVos.  We would appreciate your prayers!

The good news is that her viral load (amount of hiv in a ml of blood) is now 1,347 copies, down from approximately 90,000 copies in January!!  This is a lot of medical jargon to say that...we are heading in the right direction!  Eventually we want to see this number be below 50, at which, she will be considered 'undetectable'.  This is because she is receiving her medications on a regular basis under our care!  Thank you Lord for ARV's (antiretroviral drugs) and their life saving capabilities! 

I know there are millions of people all over the world who do not have access to these drugs, and are dying.  It breaks my heart.

Monday, April 11, 2011

So I'm little niave...

Even though we have a public blog, and we have told 'everyone' we know about Luisa's HIV,  I do enjoy the fact that the vast majority of the people that I pass on a daily basis know nothing about Luisa's health.  Imagine my surprise when last week, we were featured on several online news sites including MSNBC, and FOX.    I had no idea that was going to happen!  Let me explain...

We were asked to do an interview by Bethany Christian Services about families adopting HIV + children.  We agreed, and soon we were contacted by David Crary of the AP.  Well, I am now embarrassed to admit that I had no idea what the AP exactly was, yes, the Associated Press, but I figured it was A newspaper in New York or something, no big deal.  We both did separate phone interviews with David, and  he told me it would run the first weekend of April.  Okay...

Well, I was curious as to how I was going to get myself a copy of the AP so we could see it, but was too embarrassed to ask him{THANK THE GOOD LORD} so, I asked my brother in law...

He told me that the AP was not, in fact A paper, but rather sold their stories to MANY papers or news organizations!  Oh dear.  Well, I googled our name and the name of the reporter and came up with nothing, so I forgot about it.  Until about 2 days later when I started getting emails about us being on MSNBC...What?

Sure enough, then on Fox news and other sites as well, I thought, "maybe no one else will notice"  But....Soon, it was all over facebook!  It wouldn't have been so bad, but, I really hate that people can comment on those articles and I knew from my experienced friend Carolyn, that there would be plenty of haters out there!  So I decided not to read them.  Ryan on the other hand, wanted to read them all...I asked for only a briefing on the percentage of negative vs. positive.  It was weird, but then...

When I was shopping at Meijer the next day, the check out lady recognized me, and told me that we were on the front page of the local paper!  *Nice*{Not!} Then, the next day, it was in yet another local paper. 

Everyone has been asking how this all came about...well, now you know "The rest of the story!"
{I am just super naive, and had no clue!  But, it was a decent, well balanced article and I guess it did get the message out was just a little weird, and way out of my comfort zone!}

2 Corinthians 5:19b-20a ~ The Message
God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We're Christ's representatives.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Heaven gained a great man this week.  My friends dad, Larry Hurley died Thursday morning.  We are grieving with the Hurley family as they walk this difficult path.  But, we do not grieve as those without hope.  Larry loved the Lord, and his family is taking comfort in the fact that one day, they will see him again.   Please pray for them as they learn how to do life without their beloved dad, husband and grampa!  We love you guys and pray that God will heal your broken hearts and give you His peace.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A few prayer requests...

One of my very best friends Dad had a heart attack on Sunday.  Here is what was posted on his care page:

On Sunday morning, April 3, Larry had a heart attack and was pronounced dead after no response for nearly 30 minutes. However, the doctor came out shortly thereafter to inform us that on his own he regained a pulse and was breathing. He was transferred from Zeeland Hospital to Spectrum-Butterworth. There was not too much damage to the heart, one artery was 99% blocked and they put in a stint. As of now, he is in an induced coma and on cooling mats and medication for the next 24 to 36 hours. After that, they will let him regain his temperature and see how he responds. Not sure how he will wake up and respond but we will be praying for a second miracle at that time.

We are praying big today, please join us! We have seen God's hand and know He is in control. Tim already had to tell Mom that Dad was gone once, only for them to get a call 5 minutes later saying there was a pulse. We are praying for another miracle!

Would you please join us in praying for him and his precious family.

We have a friend who just found out he has cancer. Please Pray for Ryan and Kendra as they wait to hear the exact details and what options they have.  They are young parents to a sweet baby boy and are completely trusting God and praising him during this uncertain time.

And last, but not least, is my sweet sister-in-love who has her next chemo treatment scheduled for tomorrow.  The last time she had a treatment they found out she has colitis from the radiation (I believe,) and it caused extreme pain.  They know this now, so they have a plan, but we are praying that she will have very few side effects and that this chemo treatment shrinks the tumors that are there.

So many dear friends struggling through rough stuff, we are asking all prayer warriors to join us!


Ephesians 3:20 (The Message)

 20God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Brand new parents...

That's what we are right?  We certainly did not act like the seasoned vets we are supposed to be!  Poor Lucy had an all out, blow out diaper.  I yelled for Ryan to come help me.  We brought her into the laundry room and I hauled off her shirt, then we both looked at each other and said..."now what?"  Yikes!  We were both acting as though we had never done this before, after assessing the situation, we came up with a plan and Lucy was clean as a whistle in no time!  We all had a good laugh, even Lucy thought it was pretty funny, poor baby, I think we need to start potty training her soon.  However, I have no idea how to potty train a child.  Seriously, I did it with Dylan many moons ago, but all of the other kids just kinda did it themselves.  I have been blessed with quick easy potty trainers.  But, I think it would be very helpful if she could just go on the potty so we can avoid these nasty blow outs!  We shall see, I have been asking other moms the best way to go about it, and I think we will give it a try in the near future!  Oh the joys of parenting...

 Are you ready Lucy?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Josiah Nole....

 Welcome to the family!!  
My sister Jen gave birth to my newest nephew on March 31, he weighed 8lbs 2oz and he is absolutely perfect!

 love him!
 Big sister Olivia is in love!
The girls{My mom, sister Steph, Anaya, Lucy} and I headed to Chicago as soon as we found out Jen was going to the hospital.  My mom and Steph were able to be in the delivery room, I stayed at Jen's house with the girls, as I didn't want to leave Luisa just yet.  I got to meet little Josiah before Jen got to meet Luisa!  Poor Jen has been itching to see her, and the hospital does not allow children {except siblings} under 12 to visit.  So close, yet so far away!  But, both mom and baby are coming home tonight and she will be able to meet her, and I get to snuggle with a newborn, if I can fight off the other members of the family!  So much fun!!