Thursday, April 24, 2014

2 Weeks Home... Got Oxygen?

You know the instruction the flight attendant gives when you board a plane, "In the event of an emergency and loss of oxygen, your mask will automatically drop for your use. Please put the mask on yourself before helping your child." I used to think that was so strange. Why on earth would I consume the oxygen before my child? Who could live with themselves? Parenting our first child put this into proper perspective for me. These past couple weeks have shed light on this concept on a whole new level.

We've been home almost 2 weeks now.  I'll be perfectly honest. These have been 2 very hard weeks. As you know, Emily Hope was in the ER twice during the first week with fever reaching over 105. Praise God she's better!

Then me. I have been very sick. This experience would be so different if I could just function normally. My mask... It hasn't been working properly. The oxygen isn't coming out. I feel helpless. I can't "breathe" so I certainly can't provide "oxygen" for my husband and children. We have really been in survival mode these past couple weeks. The challenges of returning from China with a new child are overwhelming in so many ways. But to throw what feels like flu on top of it, is just downright ugly. After a week and a half of this virus rearing it's mean face each day, in comes ear and sinus infection. I've been in denial because I'm already on antibiotic as a precaution but after a night like last night, something's gotta' give. Thank God my parents have our 3 big kids today. In to the ENT I go (dragging poor Emily) for an appointment this afternoon. Praying I get more resolve than just instruction to "rest". Ha! That's always funny.

I am a wife. I am a mother to 4 young children, some more needy than others. I am an employee. I am a friend to many. For some reason, God trusted me in this life to be "needed" by many people. I am grateful for this responsibility. But when my oxygen mask isn't working, isn't even dropping from above, I feel sorry for not being more. Sigh. I am forever grateful for grace. The grace that so many offer to me when I feel worthless. Being this sick and needed at the same time will certainly bring a girl to her knees. First in frustration. Then in petition. Right where we need to stay. On our knees. Humble. Thankful. In need. God's got me right where He wants me... needing Him. Mercy!

All that said, we are rejoicing over so many blessings! I am reminded that His power is made perfect in our weakness. "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." (2 Corinthians 12:9) God is good, even through my mess. Not EVEN through my mess, but ESPECIALLY through my mess. He provided when we were all well and happy and life was easy. And he's providing now. That promise never dissolves.

Emily Hope is making great strides. She has definitely forged a bond with me and Seamus. She trusts us. It's going to take a lot longer, however, for her to learn she can't trust just anyone. She wants to go to whoever is near when she needs something, so we try to meet her needs immediately. She is very affectionate and wants to be held a lot. After being so weak from this illness, it has been difficult for me to tend to her every whim. Praying to gain strength soon so I can be who she needs me to be . She does throw an occasional temper tantrum and will scratch and bite if she senses mama tending to others' needs. All in time.

Our first post-placement home study was Monday. I had no voice, the house was a wreck, and I didn't have any strength. More grace. Our social worker was very gracious and completely understood and will write a great report, I'm sure. You may be wondering why these visits are necessary. Yes, the adoption is official and Emily is legally our daughter. Nothing can take her away from us. However, for the adoption process to continue, China (and other countries) want to watch the progress and see successful adoptions. It's very important that we provide these reports in order for future adoptive families to have a successful journey and for international adoption relationships to stay sturdy. It's really our pleasure to report back and to know they are interested in the children's well-being.

You can imagine all the time and energy I've had to write thank you notes. Bahahaha! Please excuse this "southern belle" from sending a personal note to each and every person who has been there to catch us over the past couple weeks. Meals, errands, babysitting, cards, FB and text messages, grocery shopping, gifts, flowers, prayers and hugs. You know who you are. You are the hands and feet of Jesus. Please know that you are a part of the adoption ministry. We couldn't have pursued Emily and brought her home without you. God knew this and provided His grace for us, through you. "My grace is sufficient for you"!!! Yes, it is. Thank you, friends. Truly overwhelming.

When all this is behind us, Emily Hope will still be home. The jet lag, the illness, the mess, the grieving... it'll all be gone. But our sweet Mei Mei will always be with us. And we will always know the love of Christ. JOY! Nothing we are going through can put a wrench in that kinda joy.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:4-7)

Emily's first bike ride!


  1. Dear Laura,
    This Minnesota-transplant, Made &Born in Monroe, Louisiana sure wishes I lived next door to you! Girl, I'd come over and help out while you're feeling so bad. Please know that I am praying for Healing for you and continued Healing and growth for your Baby Girl.
    Oh, and forget about thank you notes and anything else that will interfere with breathing in all of the "oxygen" you body & soul need.
    Hugs ~ Karen Jo

    1. Thank you, precious sister! The encouragement means so much.