Archive for June, 2008


This week flew by and we will be leaving at 5:30 am for the airport to head to Maine. Our bags are packed and for the first time EVER I will not be up all night packing the night before a trip. The children went to their last day of VBS, and each one had a blast, they said they can’t wait until next year. Adelaine is healthy and her counts are good.

More good news, we passed the health inspection with flying colors this afternoon! It looks like our home is indeed safe for a baby, so that part went great. It was a very busy day. We left the house first thing this morning to get Daisy’s Heart Guard and flee control (just in case). She has never had a flee, but with Doug in charge, anything’s possible!!!!! -(Just kidding)! Today was the first day we laced Daisy’s blood stream with toxic chemicals, bit I figured if we ever do get flees, our entire house would have to be treated, plus Daisy, so it was the lesser of two evils.

Speaking of evils, the children’s nightly Bible story tonight was about Sodom and Gomorrah. Because the city was so evil, God told Abraham that he was going to destroy it. Abraham pleaded with God to save Abraham’s nephew and his family who lived there, before destroying it. God sent two angels to lead the family out of the city, but warned the one thing they must remember – DO NOT LOOK BACK. As burning sulfur rained down on the city, Lot’s wife couldn’t resist turning around and looking back. The Bible says immediately she turned into a pillar of salt.

Strangely, this has become one of my favorite lessons in the Bible, simply because it shows what can happen if we look back. When I look back at Adelaine’s cancer, I become paralyzed. I can’t wait until all this is in the past. Three more months and we will have a brand new life. Every time I look back and start thinking about where we’ve been I become frozen, literally frozen with fear. Cancer will not continue to have this gripping control over my life, I simply will not allow it. I daily lay it at the feet of Jesus. He comforts me, he loves me and he wants my family to claim their freedom. We accept! Praise God!!!

PS Since Doug will not make it on this vacation, I will be looking back and missing him. I love you baby. Take good care Daisy, or as Adelaine likes to call her, Bebe Daze!!!!!

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Getting Ready!!!!!


Adelaine is having a great week at Vacation Bible School! I signed her and the guys up last spring. Monday morning I was really second guessing myself about letting Adelaine go, but she was soooo excited that I just couldn’t say No. Her teachers diligently follow her around all morning with hand sanitizer, thankfully they are trying to help her out! I feel that with lots of prayer and their good efforts we can make it through without getting sick. Please pray for her, we leave for Maine on Saturday. I so hope that we can go on all our trips with everyone feeling great. After we get back we have about six days and we will be leaving for Michigan. Doug still has family there and we are excited about getting together with them!

On Tuesday we skipped VBS to go on a day cruise with Brad Richards who is now with the Dallas Stars. Adelaine had fun attaching herself to Dana the entire outing and occasionally giving the rest of us a little of herself! I told Brad that she even prefers Dana over us!! It was a great time and Adelaine enjoyed “Pretend School” on the boat with Brad. Last week when we went to the Cubs v/s Rays baseball game Adelaine asked, “Where’s Brad Richards”. I had to explain that this was baseball, not hockey!

Today we finished our Home Study and everything is all coming together. On Friday the Health Department will come to our home to do a thorough inspection. We now have 5 smoke detectors in our home, they are around every corner. If we ever do have a fire we won’t even have to call the fire department, THEY ARE SURE TO HEAR without the call! We also have emergency escape plan posted in every room. We don’t really need to go on vacation, we can just look at those plans and pretend we are in a Hotel! Two of the biggest chores we’ve had to do to get ready for the inspection is locking up all medications, and locking up all toxins. If it’s not ok to swallow then it’s not ok to be available, this has proven to be a tough rule to follow. The meds alone took two days to put away and we had to rent a small storage shed for all the chemo, just joking, but it did take a lot of work cleaning out medicine cabinets, under the bathroom sinks and all the drawers. I did some serious spring cleaning and we now have a lot more room which is nice. It is strange looking at the lock and key we have on two of our kitchen cabinets. We also had to purchase a commercial grade fire extinguisher, apparently the ones from Walmart aren’t good enough. I guess they know how I am in the kitchen! If we don’t pass it will really hold things up because of our frequent vacationing until August.

Along with reorganizing and childproofing the house we’ve also had the daunting task of packing for our trip, I ‘m really not sure which has been harder. Flying used to be so excited now it’s such a choir. With the new airline rules we are only allowed to check one bag per person, and the dimensions of the bag cannot exceed more that 61 inches. So now it involves measuring and precise packing magic! Also they have something against duffle bags so that one bag has to come in a square box. They are getting really close to cramming us all in boxes and shipping us like cargo. You cannot enter with food or drinks and apparently lip gloss, (my friend got hers confiscated on our Memorial weekend getaway). Maybe it’s because the lady behind the desk really liked it. Katherine says if they see it and they like it, they take it! Maybe I’ll add some eucalyptus, peppermint and oreginol to all my liquid make up, that would teach them!!!! But at least were not driving. It took Kat and me 13 hours just to drive to Georgia with our 7 children, if we were driving all the way up north it could take nearly a week to get there, so really I’m grateful!

Tomorrow Doug is taking Adelaine to the clinic for her finger poke to test her blood levels. Please pray that everything is normal and that they can finish in time for VBS!

Angela

PS We still haven’t gotten a new computer yet, so if your emailed me please forgive me for not getting back with you yet. My email is apparently in morning over our computer!!!!

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We had a very interesting night last night! Let me start off by saying this…. As a grownup I have learned to compartmentalize my life. It helps me to wear all my different hats, form mom, to nurse, to wife, to friend, to chief, to swim instructor, to caregiver on the job, to daughter… you get the picture…

Can you just imagine my surprise when last night we went to the pool to swim and our Oncologist was there? Oh yes! I had her put away in the clinic/hospital box, never even considering running into her somewhere, much less at the pool, our pool, AND THERE SHE WAS!!!!! Granted it is the St. Pete Country Club, but still it was so bizarre. She came right up and asked if I recognized her, she normally has curly hair, crazy curly, but it was completely straight. I took Adelaine over to see her. Luckily Adelaine didn’t grab her port and start screaming, No, No, No!!! What a well adjusted little girl she has turned out to be, despite the odds! We talked for a while and met her children. Later that night, as I sat comfortably in my lounge chair, listening to the band play and watching the children swim, I looked over and there she was dancing to Jimmy Buffet!!!! I just looked up into the sky and started laughing, what a crazy world this is, you never know what surprises are in store!!!!!

Speaking of surprises here’s one…

Let me back up, this is something that many of you already know about me, but some may not…
When I was a little girl, I loved babies. By the time I out grew playing with dolls, I started babysitting! Every Sunday I worked in the church nursery, from the time I was about 10 years old until I had my own children and kind of needed a break! After I graduated from college I open my own daycare in Georgia. I have always loved them. I can remember begging my mom to have another baby, but she didn’t listen! Ha! No one that really knows me should be surprised that I would have a lot of children!!!

During College, I had decided to adopt a baby girl from China. My roommate in London was Chinese, and I guess you could say was inspired. As soon as I graduated, I began working on it. In about a year’s time, everything was complete, INS had received my Dacia and I was to begin the, then, 9 month waiting period (now its several years). Well soon after that, the laws in China changed and I no longer meet the new age requirements as a single parent. But, during that time I had met Doug. He said that once I completed the adoption, he would love to get married and adopt her too! Well, after things fell through with the adoption, we were able to get married whenever we wanted, so we did. Ten months later, Mason was born! Two years after that came Bowen, and two years after that, came Adelaine, and then came cancer!

Let me back up to when I no longer met the age requirements in China. It was devastating. I guess it’s true when one door closes another opens, but, my dream of holding my little Asian was crushed. This baby that had grown in my heart for such a long time was now gone. I mourned over that loss for years. Doug promised that we would adopt from China one day, so I really held on to that. But realistically, it costs a small fortune to adopt from another country. When I was single and running my own business, I could afford it, in fact the adoption was already paid for when I got the news. After we moved here we met a couple who were waiting to get their baby… they are still waiting!!!!

Last year, I started praying diligently that God would take away my desire to adopt from China. Guess what? He did!!! I no longer feel that a little Asian girl is somehow missing from our lives. If it really wasn’t going to happen, then why should I feel in bondage over it, you know? It really did help that China can be so, “sand in the bathing suit” about letting their abandoned children go. I’m not really up for a mountain of paperwork and a year’s worth of fiery hoops to jump through just to start waiting… and waiting… and waiting. By the time we went to get the baby, again we probably wouldn’t meet their age requirements, this time it wouldn’t be because we were too young, but because we were too OLD!!! Now, I can search deeply into my heart and I have been healed from that desire. I feel so free!

So, ready for the big surprise? No, were not pregnant. I’m not sure I am up for going through all that again, but we are expecting…

We’ve just completed 10 weeks of classes and are midway through our Homestudy. Our instructor, Ed, was incredible and we really enjoyed the classes and the people we met there. The social worker doing our Homestudy is such an amazing person, we just love her! By the end of summer we are expecting to be bringing home a beautiful baby girl! Adelaine’s dream of getting a sister is just about to come true! Our entire family is very excited! We are going through the Foster program of Hillsborough County. Yes, one lucky little girl will be coming here to live with us. I say she’s lucky because she will be soooo loved and cared for. Adelaine will finally get to be a big sister. One of the social workers said that there is usually about an 85% chance that the baby would NOT be reunited with her family and we would be able to eventually adopt her. This is where ALL of YOU come in, please pray over this situation. It would be devastating to have a baby here and then have her taken away. I said I would NEVER foster because of that risk, never say never, right?!!! So far everything has fallen right into place and the entire process has been as smooth as glass.

I keep thinking about the percentages we’ve been quoted over the past two years. We’ve been given a small chance that Adelaine could relapse and we’ve been given a small chance that we may not be able to keep the baby we are bring into our home. If Adelaine was placed back into my arms and they said, “Here you are, she’s all fixed and you never have to worry about cancer again”, and if they said, “Here’s your beautiful adopted baby girl, she is going to be yours forever”, I can’t lie, that would feel great, but by knowing God I don’t HAVE to hear those things. I can go to my Father in prayer and share the desires of my heart. I know He hears me and wants what is best for me, all I can do is lean on Him and trust in Him, I really don’t have any other option. I think my loving Heavenly Father wouldn’t have it any other way. He wants us to have faith and trust Him. He wants us to come together and pray for each other. I firmly believe that Adelaine will not die until she’s an old woman warm in her bed, and much of the reason I can believe this is because I know so many people have prayed God’s healing on her. If we have everyone praying for us to adopt a baby girl I know He can do that too!

We will keep everyone posted about the baby. Please pray for God’s special purpose in her life. Please pray that God will protect her and give her everything she needs until she can be rescued. We can’t wait for our two worlds to collide! And if our sweet baby turns out to be Asian, wouldn’t that make me laugh!

Angela

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Adelaine is doing so good! One more day of steroids and she will be done for the month. She and the boys had a fun time celebrating Father’s Day with Doug, and so did I. Doug opened presents, enjoyed an art show featuring all the art work the guys completed last week at Art Camp, and we had a relaxing day at home. The children all made their cards for their Daddy. Adelaine even wrote all the words out herself, she is getting so big! She also drew a picture of a baby and scribbled a blanket over it. She explained to Doug,” That’s my baby sister wrapped in a blanket.” Yep, the pressures on! We went from a fish, to a puppy, and now a baby sister! What’s next? I’m afraid to ask!!!

The guys all had fun playing video games most of the day. While I was getting a few things done around the house Mason and Bowen were playing baseball Wii. I heard them say, Wow, Adelaine, what a great catch”. I looked up and there was little Adelaine in the outfield making her big play, pink shirt, blond hair, blue eyes, pigtails and all! How remarkable these games are today, it really did look just like little Sis! I remember when it was just Pitfall, Packman and Donkey Kong! I stood there in awe while I watched all the Wii Me’s they’ve created. There is this one that looks like an exact duplicate of my friend Katherine, but she wasn’t out on the field today, instead they placed Adelaine out there with “Homeless Guy”, I kept looking for him to place the balls he’d caught into grocery cart and push them across the field. They did a great job designing him, he was a perfect looking hobo.

I left the room to go mop the floor in the bathroom, I know, not too glamorous, but somebody’s gotta do it. I kept thinking of the game. “I can’t believe my little girl is out there on that field with Homeless Guy. What if something happens to her? I mean, has anyone done a background check on him? Then I hear all sorts of cheers for me, “Way to go Mom, good catch”. You are awesome”! The cheers went on and on. Finally I went in to see what was going on and there I was playing baseball. It really did look just like me too, complete with the beauty mark on my cheek! I was thin, I was tall, good thing or we would have had to make some changes, Ha! It was a beautiful day, blue skies, packed house, fans cheering, playing a very good game if I do say so myself. I was a bit relieved to see that they didn’t just stick Adelaine out there with Homeless Guy, just the two of them together. But the three of us, we really kicked some booty! It was quite entertaining that while I was cleaning the bathroom my Me Wii was having an awesome time playing baseball with the kids! What a bizarre world we now live in!!!!!

For dinner Doug cooked one of his from scratch homemade pizzas. Yum! I got all my chores done this weekend and the children and I are planning to spend a relaxing week at the beach and the pool. Next week all three children have Vacation Bible School. This will be the boys fourth year going, but Adelaine has never gone before. Last year, the risk would have been too high for her, with her weakened immune system. I am planning to let her go this year, but there’s always that chance!

After that we will start our summer travels. First up, Maine, Camp Sunshine, http://www.campsunshine.org/ ! We will be leaving with the Evers on the 28th and returning on July 3rd. I can’t believe it is almost here. I started getting things ready today. With the new one suitcase per person rule, it will take some serious effort and condensing to make it work. I’m not sure how realistic it is to pack blankets, sheets and towels plus everything else into one suitcase each. I don’t think just sitting on the suitcase is going to do it, we are most likely going to need a bulldozer!

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Adelaine made it through her 2nd to last I.T. (Interthecial spinal injection) of chemo today! Her last one should be around September 15th,after that she will have her port taken out and she will be all done with Anesthesia hopefully for the rest of her life. It was a long day, but she made it through just fine. Daddy says she did great with him at the clinic this morning. I met up with them there just before it was time to go over to the hospital. The anesthesiologist thought it would be necessary to take me out into the hallway just before her procedure and make sure I knew all the risks that were involved in putting her to sleep. So once again, just for review, just in case somehow the risks had slipped my mind, even though we’ve been doing this for two years now, he reiterated that there could be permanent heart damage, brain damage, liver damage and possible death. The risks were slight but ever so present…

Before that Adelaine and I were having a pretty good time playing our little games like, “Stare Wars”. We close our eyes tight and then say, “stare” Adelaine is VERY good at this game and she usually wins. I guess since she doesn’t have any reflexes in her knees because of the Vinchristine chemo, maybe it has somehow affected her eyelid reflexes as well. We just discovered how great she is at this today. It was a lot of fun. But after the little hallway chat I was no longer able to be so lighthearted. Usually the anesthesiologists don’t review all the risks over and over with me. I guess they know that I am well aware already, so why make it even worse. The last two times we’ve gotten doctors who are very Type “A”, which does not make for very good conversation. But I guess when it comes to administering lethal drugs, Type”A” can be a really good thing!

Next I suited up and we went back to the OR. Adelaine was very upset once we got back there, but before long she was OUT. Once that happens things go into crises mode back there and they always kick me right out, but not before one last quick prayer and a kiss. I left there and called Doug up in tears. I was so worried that something was going wrong and our little girl was never going to be the same again, or worse. Doug reassured me that everything was going to be fine, but in my heart I knew that he had no way of really knowing this. I started praying again as I paced around the hospital. Instantly I got calmness in my body. I knew God was saying, “Just trust Me, I’ve got our girl”! I was able to calm down and wait it out. Before long they brought her to me. She seemed completely untouched by all this. My sweet, angelic, hungry little chatterbox was safely in my arms again. The nurses over in Short Stay really do spoil her rotten! She had waiting on her all her favorites, cheese pizza, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, blue jello and a yummy red Icee to top it off! Her nurse said, “You know the drill, just call me once she’s done eating and you’re out of here”! All in all things went well.

Thanks for caring! Thanks for praying!

Thank you Kristen for helping out with the boys!

Angela

Oh,I almost forgot Adelaine’s counts! Her red and her white blood cells are at the very bottom of the normal range. Her platelets are quite good. Her ANC is at 2,000. It all looks pretty good for a girl on chemo. They are slowly taking her oral chemo back up to where they were before her white cell crash. It looks as though she has fully recovered from the virus in her blood. WOW, that could have been very bad! When this is all done, don’t be surprised to find me melted into a little puddle somewhere!!!!! Only God can keep this egg from cracking, but I know He will!!!

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