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Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Marathon

Here's a post courtesy of Daniel. I'll add a couple photos tonight.

Life is still a whirlwind.  But there is a lot of positive news to go along with the usual ongoing difficulties.  Anellah has her leg braces and LOVES her "dinosaur legs".  She is continuing to flourish, grow and be generally happy.  And we are all still alive, employeed and have a roof over our heads.

Adoption Update: Anellah's mother has relinquished her rights as a parent to Anellah.  It appears as though now there are no possible large obstacles for adoption.

Surgery: Anellah has an MRI scheduled for October 5th and the surgery on October 11th.  This will require a week long stay at the hospital and a week or two recovery at home.  This will be demanding upon our already stretched and exhausted schedules but with God on our side we are confident.  My mother will be flying down soon after the surgery for a week and a half to help absorb some of the increased demands (by cooking us delicious food and cleaning!) so we are extremely thankful for that as well. 

Pregnancy Update:  Everything seems to be going great with our pregnancy!  We are looking more closely at what post-partum life will be like in the Royal's households and workplaces. 

Pre-School:  No word back from Head Start yet.  Although they have given us written approval for admittance  of Anellah.  They have just asked for time to get everything in line to provide care.

Prayer Requests: 
-Success, quick recovery and peace with Anellah's surgery.
-Praise that Anellah's condition was noted quickly and can be treated.
-Energy, confidence and strength in every day.
-Continued positive adoption and preschool news.
-Lindsey will be able to find nurses to help cover her job so she can take some time off for Anellah's surgery.
-Anellah has a cold, Daniel has been home with her for the last two days monitoring and treating. We're praying she gets well soon and doesn't require any ER visits.

Thanks for praying!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Moving Forward!

I finally have an adoption update! We are moving forward! The rates that we were waiting on have been approved so we are being offerred a reasonable Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) rate to adopt Anellah. What does this mean? It means that in as little as 4 months Anellah may legally be our daughter!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Home again, Home again

Yesterday evening we returned home from TWO WEEKS of visiting our families. It was a wonderful time during which we were able to visit with ALL Anellah's cousins and aunts, 2 out of 3 uncles, bot sets of grandparents, and even 2 out of 3 sets of GREAT-grandparents! What a special time.

Here are some photos, then an update about Anellah's upcoming cranial surgery, baby boy, and adoption.

Cousin Jacob, Uncle Scott, and Anellah

Grandpa G pulling Anellah and Jacob in Great Grandma's new gardening wagon

Exploring the woods with co-2-year-old cousin Eloise

Playing the piano with Grandma R

About to hop on the foot ferry to Bremerton

Headed to the Kitsap County fair with Grandpa, Mom, and cousins Elo and Anna

Blueberry picking! (we ended up with 10 pounds!)

Experiencing a Fire Hose with Grandpa G and LOVING every minute. The evening ended with a very wet, muddy, tired, and HAPPY little girl.

This morning Daddy took Anellah to have a CT scan which confirmed that she does need cranial surgery. The scan required anesthesia and for her not to eat anything from midnight until after it was complete. According to Daniel she was a champ and the hospital gave her a book, a teddy bear, and a quilt!

In the afternoon Daniel and Anellah met with a bunch of people including two surgeons regarding her upcoming surgery which will take place in less than 6 weeks (we don't have a date yet). The surgery is pretty invasive and involves a large incision into her skull to separate the plates on her skull and allow her brain to grow. She will spend almost a week in the hospital and another few weeks recovering at home. Daniel was told that most parents take 3-4 weeks off from work. Her head will need to be shaved where the incision is made which is a total bummer, any African American woman will tell you this will be a crappy thing since it takes FOREVER for black little girl's hair to grow! We'll do what we can. There are a whole lot of praises in this:

  • The situation was caught early so it doesn't appear Anellah has suffered any negative effects yet. If it had not been caught soon Anellah would have gone blind and then had brain damage.
  • She will be treated by one of the best cranial surgeons in the country and a plastic surgeon is actively involved to minimize cosmetic issues
  • It is not entirely uncommon for children of Anellah's age to have the surgery (as we'd previously thought) and the surgeon actually stated this is a good age because there is less chance that the surgery will need to be repeated as her skull grows
  • Anellah's recovery will NOT involve wearing a helmet for 6-12 months as we'd originally though (yay!)
  • This is all taking place now rather than when we have a newborn in the home
  • Anellah will be surrounded by prayer to a faithful God. 
I am so thankful that God cares not only about the "big" needs of his children but also about our comfort and anxiety. Although I still wish it didn't have to happen, I feel confidence and peace about this surgery.

On another positive note- Baby Boy seems to be developing very well. At each appointment our OB remarks that the baby appears very healthy. He's been moving a lot lately and last night gave Daniel's hand quite a few good kicks over and over again. We tell Anellah about the baby pretty frequently and although she is FAR from able to comprehend the pregnancy she seems to be starting to understand that a new baby brother is coming at some point. I need to take a belly picture, I was going to tonight but forgot. I'll post one when I remember on an evening I haven't already put my PJs on.

Adoption update- I tricked you, there isn't one.