Friday, May 27, 2011

Congratulations, Carter Bear!

My baby graduated from kindergarten today. Oh my heart!

This little boy who has struggled so...

Today, you'd never know.

The tears, the prayers, the heartache

Today you see

The triumph, the joy, the victory!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Big Talks

I've been wondering when it would happen. I think it is starting now. I think I have seen the very tippy top of the iceberg of Therese's grieving.

Last night my sweet Therese poured forth story after story about her life in Yako. These were not pleasant stories. These are the rip your heart out, no child should have witnessed, or seen stories like this. Three hours worth of stories and I got the impression there are so many more.

Therese told me that she is tired of feeling sad all the time (you would never know she feels sad at all from how she behaves). She knows that here, in America, we "talk talk talk and cry" when we are sad, but not in Yako. She said she wants to cry, but she "doesn't can't" (I love that phrase of hers!).

I reassured her that she will cry when she is ready. I told her that God gave us a way to get the sad out of our hearts, namely crying, and retelling our story. I told her that God will do amazingly wonderful things with those sad stories of hers.

Therese told me it is better to adopt a baby, because babies do not have so many sad stories as a girl who is ten. I told her that I wanted a ten year old girl and I am here to listen to her stories. I find her stories, even the sad ones, to be precious. I treasure her stories and I will help her remember the ones she wants to remember and to use the difficult ones for good. I want my ten year old girl, hard stories included, because she would not be Therese without those hard stories.

More importantly, I know a Savior who specializes in hard stories and He redeems them all if you let Him. Therese knows Him too, and many of her stories include God saving her from harm or revealing something to her that helped her save some one else.

I admit I woke up this morning feeling a little sick and incredibly daunted by the task of raising this sweet girl with too many hard stories. Lord, can I do this? His answer to me was a gentle, "No, you can't, but I CAN. Come to me and I will pour out wisdom straight from my heart".

Okay, Lord, we will do this together. You lead. I will follow.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My New Candy Pick

I really love candy. Really love it. Usually my candy preferences aren't quite this gauche, but I am loving this stuff! Don't judge me until you try it!

Here's the kicker- after I polished off a bag of this yummy stuff, Casey came home from Walgreens with a special treat just for me. You guessed it- a box of Hot Tamales. I almost threw up on his shoe.

Monday, May 16, 2011


A message from Evelea:

Help Our People Eat

My name is Evelea and I am 10 years old. I'm starting H.O.P.E. because our people need to eat. All over the world people are starving and dying. They need our help, and I want to make a difference by donating money to organizations like Feed My Starving Children and Samaritan's Purse. I hope H.O.P.E. becomes real someday.

God has called my heart to Africa. My two sisters, Therese and Sitota are African. Therese is from Burkina Faso and Sitota is from Ethiopia. I want to be a missionary when I grow up and serve even more people. H.O.P.E. is starting small, but getting bigger.

I am selling friendship bracelets that I am making with my sisters to raise money for my cause. They are $1. I can make any color for you, but some of my favorite combinations are: Think Pink, African Summer Sunrise, True Blue and Berry Smoothie.

I am serving three times this summer at Feed My Starving Children. I will bring them the money I make when I go there.

Each bracelet I sell will cover the cost of four meals! Order today!

Monday, May 9, 2011

No Skunks Allowed!

I have a GREAT Carter story to share with you.

On Friday, I took Carter to McDonald's before physical therapy. As we are walking in, he notices the sign indicating the standard restaurant "rules" that you must wear shoes, a shirt and that no dogs are allowed. He looked at each picture carefully, taking in the meaning. Then he looked right at me and said, "No dogs? I think it should be no skunks cause them is sooo stinky!".

How great is that?

On a less fun note, I took my Carter boy to the neurologist today (cause we can't get enough Lutheran General these days!). The results of his last EEG showed that his seizure type has changed from partial complex to generalized seizures. One is not better or worse than the other, but it does mean he will need to continue taking seizure medication and we may be changing it to better suit this new type of seizure.

My heart bursts with love for this boy!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Bonding in the Kitchen

Therese and I had a lot of fun making "to" the other day (pronounced "toe"). "To" is a national dish of Burkina Faso. It is a bit like a doughy cream of wheat that you dip into sauce with your fingers. "To" can be made with corn or millet flour (we used millet). The sauce was tomato sauce with onions, carrots and green peppers. I was a little nervous it wouldn't turn out like the real thing, but Therese was very happy with the results. Actually, we all ate it and most of us even enjoyed it.

One of the benefits of adopting an older child is that they can teach you so much! I love learning to cook new foods and I think Therese enjoyed being on the teaching end. Cooking together is a great way for us to bond as mother and daughter.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Just returned from Lutheran General where we received a great post-op report on our Therese! The cardiologist even said that her heart condition would not even be detectable to most clinicians using a stethoscope at this time! Wow. Even her blood pressures are acceptable (she is taking three medicines to keep it that way), so that is great.

She will return in early June to check kidney function and to take another look at her heart.

I cannot thank you all enough for all your prayers and kind words. We are so thrilled to be on this end of the surgery and to witness Therese returning to full health!