No Right Click

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Choosing the Greater Need

Noah is all swaddled and tucked into bed when I leave his room to go get his bedtime medicine.  On the way, I visit Nora to take her empty nighttime bottle downstairs with me.  I stop and decide to brush her teeth before I go downstairs, so that she is all ready for bed.  While her teeth are being brushed, she gets herself all worked up, gags on the toothbrush, and starts to vomit.  I quickly lean her over the side of the tub in case she is not finished and then put her in the tub and take her putrid clothes off and rinse the vomit off of her face.  While she is contained in the tub, and Noah is still in bed, for a few seconds I wonder who to attend to first.  And the thought pops in my head, "Choose the one who is the least safe."  

Noah is safe in his bed.  He will have to wait longer for his medicine.  It will push back bedtime, but he is safe.  Nora is lying in the tub with vomit still on her, freezing from the lack of clothing (with little body fat, she gets cold very easily).  She has the greater need in this moment.  To be cleansed.  To be clothed.  To be tucked away safely in bed. 

It seems like a duh moment.  Of course, I should take care of the child that just vomited and still has her regurgitated dinner in her hair.  But in that moment I wondered.  I felt bad interrupting Noah's bedtime routine.  Getting his medicine and administering it would only take a few minutes.  It was such a helpful moment as a parent.  It required a choice when both of my children had needs at the same time, when I felt pulled in two different directions.  And the answer was to choose to attend to the child with the greater need.  

It was a chance to interrupt the routine and serve. What a helpful reminder from Susanna tonight,

Because in our wealthy, comfy, insulated, insured, paced, planned, leisure-time North American lives, it’s easier for us to follow Christ into arms’-length ”serving,” or “ministering,” the cherished core of our lives still preserved to us, than it is for us to follow Him into suffering and giving His life as a ransom for many.'

And you know what?  Noah was totally fine while he waited and was just as smiley and giggly thirty minutes later as when I first tucked him in bed.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Surprising Teachers

Haha, I know there is a toilet on our blog.  Weird, huh?  Don't worry, it's not our toilet.  That would be even weirder.  The funny thing is this Prince Lionheart potty training seat (pictured above) has actually been helpful in our at home physical therapy.  This seat has helped Nora learn to sit up better independently with nothing to hold onto.  We didn't plan it.  It was just a surprising benefit from using the seat.  Nora has gained better balance because of it and strengthened her core.

Another surprising teacher has been a scooter.  Did you know a scooter can help children learn the mechanics of crawling?  I learned it from a sweet adoptive Mama friend.  

Our wonderful church let us borrow a scooter (you can also find them inexpensively on Amazon), and we use it consistently with Noah (Nora sometimes, too, but she's not a fan of it).  Noah is a master army crawler.  The scooter helps him learn to move with his arms extended out and his hands flat on the floor to prepare him for crawling.  He has mastered maneuvering the scooter by pulling himself one hand at a time (and sometimes two hands at a time ;)).  Hooray for building arm strength!  Check him out in action (with his pirate patch on his eye :))--- 

One of our main physical therapy goals is strengthening Noah's legs, so that he can walk one day.  The scooter helps us place his legs in the proper crawling position, so he can bear weight on his legs to strengthen them (and hopefully learn to crawl properly).  Just a few days ago, he figured out how to move the scooter with his legs in crawling position.  He does, however, move both legs together (rather than pushing off with one leg at a time) to move himself...but it's progress, so we'll take it! :)  We have so much progress to celebrate! 


Monday, February 24, 2014

Proof that People With Down Syndrome are NOT Always Happy

There is a popular myth that people with Down Syndrome are always happy.

Doesn't he look so handsome even when he is mad? ;)

But it is just that- a myth.  People with Down Syndrome experience a whole spectrum of emotions, just like you and me.  Above you see Noah's mad face.  This little guy experiences every emotion we do.  He gets scared, angry, confused, sad, happy, excited, etc.  He has many happy days, but he is also very sensitive.  We have many hard days, too.  He has the best excited squeal when he cannot contain all of his excitement, but, boy, can he throw a fit with the best of 'em!  

When we first met him, he was the most hardened, serious, and angry little boy I have ever seen.  :(  He has changed so much over the four months we have known him.  Noah is generally cheerful and silly now, but it is not because he has Down Syndrome (although I do think his Down Syndrome protected him in some ways as he grew up in his orphanage).  He is happy because he is LOVED.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Look Who is Sitting Now!

Look at our little lady working on sitting up with no hands to support her!  It's hard to tell in the pics, but she is a good half a foot away from the back of the couch.  Nora has been able to sit without holding herself up with her arms more and more.  It's still only a small percentage of the time, but encouraging nonetheless.

When we first met her, she couldn't hold her head up steadily or sit up at all on her own.  Her trunk (torso) has lower tone than the rest of her body, so we are working on building up strength in her trunk or the core of her body.  We started working on helping her sit up with support and her legs criss cross applesauce on our visits to the orphanage.  She has come so far!  

"Look Ma, no hands!"

Don't mind her silly brother in the background...or the Christmas blanket... :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

A First for Noah

Noah had his first shopping experience at Target this evening.  Actually, he had his first trip outside of the house that wasn't to a doctor's office or for a family walk.  And he loved every minute of it!  Who doesn't love a trip to Target? ;)  It was so encouraging!  I had no idea how Little Man would do.  He was wayyyy more comfortable and excited about the whole thing than I expected.   

One of the most fun things about adoption has been figuring out Noah and Nora's personalities.  Their personalities emerge more and more each day, and their personalities are changing as they experience the nurture and love of a family for the first time in their lives.  

Our little guy has become very silly and has a sensitive heart.  We've recently learned that he is adventurous, too.  He doesn't particularly like new people (but will sometimes use them to try to get what he wants...we're working on that one...), but he seems to love new places.  He gets SO excited when we put his coat and shoes on because he knows he is going somewhere.  It doesn't matter if it's for a walk or a car ride somewhere.  He just likes the thrill of going somewhere.  He is also equally excited to come back home at the end of his adventure. :)  


Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Privilege of Cleaning Up Vomit

Our little girl was sick today fighting a stomach bug.  There is something that makes a parent so tender when caring for a sick child.  Today was a reminder of what a privilege it is to care for this little one.  

It was a bittersweet reminder.  Days like today remind me about how for five and a half years, she never had anyone to comfort her when she was sick.  When she was sick, she probably either laid in a bed in a room by herself or sat in a stroller with no interaction.  No one stroked her hair.  She had no lap to lie her head on.  No couch to spend the day on all cozied up.  No Mama to feed her special food that won't hurt her tummy and fluids filled with electrolytes to try to keep her hydrated.  Nannies don't have that option.  

It is so heartbreaking to think of all that she has been through and all she has missed out on, but it reminds me how precious every day with her is now.

Seeing your child sick really does bring out the tenderness, the gentleness and compassion, in parents.  But I wonder if there is something even sweeter about getting to care for a sick child who has never known the tenderness of a Mommy and Daddy before.  

It is a privilege to care for her.  It is a privilege to clean up her vomit.  To lay her head on my lap and stroke her hair.  To call her daughter.

How did I get the privilege of showing tenderness to this little one who has never known love before?

Only a gracious God would choose me to call her my own, to call her ours.  
Our gracious God has blessed us so much with this daughter of ours, a blessing we don't deserve.