Archive for December, 2008

The Children

Visions of Sugar Plums danced in her head…

This is where we found Adelaine sleeping after school
This is where we found Adelaine napping today.  She is so excited about Christmas!!!

Last Friday I took Mason to the Pediatrician because of a terrible cough and wheezing.  Really Bowen could have gone along as well, but he didn’t want to miss his Gifted day at school.  For that matter, it wouldn’t have hurt to bring Miss Adelaine too, but she’s such a social butterfly, she just wanted to go to her school.  Although Mason seemed to feel fine, his breathing was quite alarming.  Dr. Karges diagnosed him with Walking Pneumonia and put him on a five day Z-Pac antibiotics.  Adelaine had just finished 10 days of antibiotics for a persistent cough and sinus drainage, but was still no better, so she and Bowen started on 10 days of Amox-Clav antibiotics (Bowen had the same symptoms as Adeliane).  That was last Friday.

Today I decided to take them all in after school, because Mason still sounded horrible (but still acted fine), and Bowen & Adelaine were still about the same.  The boys have not been sick since, well, I can’t even remember the last time.  Adelaine has been on antibiotics six times since her last treatment, which ended on Sept. 5th.  Partly because of school and partly because her immune system will not be built back up until this spring or summer, as the chemo works it’s way our of her system.  She will have been on antibiotics for sixty days in four months!  As bad as that sounds, I guess she’s like a bird in the wild, you would never guess that she is sick, she doesn’t feel it.  Her pain tolerance is remarkable, but that’s what happens when you’ve been tortured for 2 ½ years, I guess!!!

The good news, Mason’s pneumonia is all cleared up, it’s all just in his sinuses now.  He can make this awful noise when he breathes which he thinks is so cool but really scares me.  He asked if he could be famous, I suggested he could go on Jay Leno!  Anyway the other two are going to continue on their antibiotics for another 10 days and hopefully they will be all cleared up.  Our next stop will be the allergist.  Mason already completed 5 years of allergy shots which really helped, but apparently he needs 5 more!  Bowen completed one year, but our insurance changed about 3 months ago and we couldn’t afford the out-of-network expense.  It looks like Adelaine is following in her brothers footsteps with allergies, but we will not start allergy shots on her for a while, hopefully ever.  While on chemotherapy we did have Adelaine tested for food allergies to see if that was contributing to her eczema, but all came back fine – no food allergies.  The Allergist wanted to wait until she was no longer on chemo before testing her for airborne allergens.  We are going to have that done as soon as possible.  Today we began looking for new allergist that accepts our new insurance.

As for Adelaine’s eczema, it flared up again after we got her ears pierced.  For six weeks we battled with it.  It would come and go, but finally it got so bad that her arms were cracking and bleeding, so I convinced her to just take the earrings out and see what happens.  I don’t think she realized that they would close up, but she agreed to let them go.  When we took the earrings out, her ear lobes were so swollen and she has huge knots where the earrings were.  They are finally almost normal again.  Well, even after one month of having them out, the eczema has just cleared up.  I believe that it may not have been the earrings (once we changed them to non-allergen), but maybe the “Chemo rash” that I’ve heard so much about.  Many children get a horrible rash after treatment stops.  I’m not sure if it’s because the chemo is coming out, or if their system is having some type of withdraw reaction.  I really wish we would have waited, but who knew we would have had so many problems.  Yesterday I told Adelaine maybe when she turns 7 we can try piercing them again.  She seemed happy with that.  Even though all the Powell children went to the doctor today, they checked out well enough and tomorrow they will continue on with their normal routine.  No pneumonia, just sinus stuff, probably just allergies.  What a great day for Mom!!!  I guess it’s been at least two years since the boys last went to the doctor with a sickness, way to go MonaVie and Juice Plus.  I also believe that Adelaine would be a lot more sick without its’ help!

Now about that baby…

Monday we got our second call – very exciting- this time it was directly from Placement.  Placement are the ones who get the children in and they call the different agencies, and they try and place the children with a licensed home.  It was about 4:30 in the afternoon and it went like this…  We have the perfect baby girl… just what you are looking for…  She’s five months old…  The only thing is she comes with a 3 year old…….. brother.

I tried to envision what a three year old boy would be like at our house.  As much as the boys say they would like another brother, they certainly wouldn’t want him stepping into “Lego Land” AKA the boys’ bedroom, and messing things up!  Chances are good that would happen since they would all be sharing a room. It would be like adding another brother to “Niles and Frasier Krane”, what would be the point?  Mason and Bowen are like two peas in a pod.  It’s like they speak their own language and finish each others sentences.    They are so into each other and in their own world together, I’m not sure a new addition could crack that code!  They have such a wonderful thing going, we just don’t have the calling or desire to change that up.

I pictured a three year old brother in Adelaine’s room playing all rough with her girlie toys.  It just doesn’t make since to add another boy to the mix.  We’ve all prayed that it would be very clear, so as hard as it was to say, “No” we knew in our hearts that this was not the match for us.  I will always pray for these two sibling groups that we’ve said no to.  It is difficult on many levels, but we are determined to wait on God.  Surely in time He is going to give us the desire of our hearts, we are so excited it’s hard to be patient, but with each passing moment there is opportunity!!!  Two nights ago I dreamt that I woke up and walked over to the crib and there she was!  She was just beautiful and had big brown eyes.  My heart just melted, it felt like Christmas morning!

Angela

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Well the children had an absolute blast at Santa camp, go figure!!! We dropped them off Friday night and picked them up Sunday afternoon.

The entire weekend I keep saying, “Can you believe we just dropped them off like that?” It felt so strange. We’ve been to enough cancer camps as a family to know that there was a 99.9% chance that they would have the time of their lives! Strangely all we’ve taught the boys abut good hygiene, they apparently checked at the door! Bowen was so dirty that I didn’t even recognize him, literally! He never even changed into his pajamas, Gross!!!! In fact he was wearing the same clothes as I dropped him off in, only with a few layers on top of them!!! I guess I still have some work to do before I let them (the boys) go to summer camp for a week without us!


Mason & Bowen with Devon and Justin Evers. The boys must have made a pact to not shower or brush their teeth for the weekend. I’m sure it must have been all those Evers’ boys idea. Ha!!! Ha!!!!!!


Adelaine and Misty & Sesly Evers. The girls bunked together which was like old times from this summer. I’m sure this helped get them through those nights without their moms!


At noon on Sunday the camp had a butterfly release in honor of the campers who’ve past away since last year. It was sweet and beautiful. We have so much to be thankful for.

As for our sweet baby girl, not yet!!!! On Monday we received a call for two girls. One was a newborn, but the other was older than Bowen so we knew that this was not the right match for us. (We feel that for our family, it is important that the children keep their natural birth order.) However, it was reassuring to get the call, at least we know that the system is working. I was beginning to wonder if by changing agencies we fell into a black hole or something. (We changed agencies because the one we were with usually only places older children from their live-in foster facility. It could be a very long wait before they had any infant /toddlers, so we wanted an agency that more fit what we were looking for.)

Anyway, the call was reassuring. We know the system is working, there are just no matches right now. With each passing minute a little girl could come in, we just have to be patient. It breaks my heart to think about. I can only imagine how it would feel to be taken away from all you’ve ever known. It makes me feel good to know that there are families that do care and will be there to help these children pick up the pieces. I am so thankful that God has called our family for such a purpose. Its fun waiting, hoping, anticipating what God is about to do. Please continue to pray for us and the little girl. Please pray that when we get the phone call we will know for sure if this is the match God has planned for us.

Angela

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Doug told me he posted, and I’d hoped he would mention the baby-waiting update, but he apparently didn’t want to steal my thunder… well no baby yet! After reading his post I could see how the baby didn’t come up. We watched “Here on Earth” together two nights ago. I cried so much through the second half. Probably the fist time I saw it in 2000, I pictured myself as the girl. This time I put myself in her parents’ shoes! Cancer is such a nightmare. It is so important to do all we can to PREVENT it for happening in the first place. Our society certainly isn’t proactive about this. It’s up to each of us to learn all we can and apply that knowledge, so we can live disease-free.

Anyway, Monday’s inspection with the social worker was great, so were just waiting. Hopefully we will hear something tomorrow. We’ve been busy all week setting up Adelaine’s new bed. I painted a pink-marble patina on it which took until last night to complete. Finally it’s finished drying and ready for Princess Adelaine!

My cousins, Emily and John, are here visiting us through the weekend. We are so excited to have them here, and we are having a great time! Emily and I have been playing “Dance, Dance Revolution” on the Wii throughout most of the day. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life! For a good laugh, click below to see a You Tube clip of us…just kidding, not in a million years!!!! It’s bad enough embarrassing yourself just infront of family!

Tomorrow afternoon all three children leave for “Santa Camp” through Faces of Courage, by Carrollwood Rotary’s Hugs for Kids. It’s from Friday through Sunday, and is an overnight camp for the CHILDREN ONLY! I can’t believe I am actually letting them go, but I know they are going to have a blast. They’ve never spent the night away from us accept at my parent’s house so it should be an experience. The boys will hopefully do fine because they will have each other to bunk with. Adelaine will do fine because… well, if it involves girls getting together, she’s there. We got each of them their own little vintage-style suitcase. The children are just precious caring them around the house. It has gotten them even more excited about going!

If for some reason they get too homesick at Santa Camp to make it through two nights, I hope they all three get homesick at the same time! After doing the math, we could potentially have to drive back and forth to Brandon, Fl. twice just to drop them off and pick them up, then three more times if they each want to come home a separate times, totaling a whopping eight car rides!!!! More likely to be the case, will be that when we go to pick them up, they will want to stay…after all it is “Santa Camp”!!! Who can compete with that anyway? “Camp Clean Up Your Room”, “Camp Complete Your Homework Assignment, or “Camp Eat Your Peas”, it just doesn’t have the same ring to it!

I hope when the new baby does get here, they will at least be here for it. I know God has it already worked out, and it’s such a greater picture than just what I want. It’s all in His perfect timing. I picture Him holding a delicate little rose bud in His hand, in the center of the bud is our foster baby. The rose is right in front of me, but I can’t force the petals to open. All I can do is waiting patiently on God and pray His perfect will over our lives. Please continue to pray over this too.

Angela

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Here on Earth

Just got finished watching a movie on HBO. Angela and I actually saw this movie in the theatre right before Mason was born. His birthday is April 27, 2000 and this movie came out on March 24, 2000. We never went to the movies for at least a year after he was born. In fact, this is probably the last movie we saw at the theater before we were parents.

here-on-earth

Now this movie is a defining moment for a couple of our favorite actors Josh Hartnett and Chris Klein. This was the first movie we saw either of them in. They usually play a nice guy role and give you a feel good feeling with the characters they play.
Now the premise of this movie has long been forgotten by me and probably Angela.

If you are planning on possibly watching this STOP READING HERE. It really is a good heart warming movie, don’t watch it with kids though adult situations.

If you read on the movie will be spoiled and this is your last warning cuz it really is pretty good.

Ok, you asked for it.

Klein is a rich brat that wrecks a restaurant in a small town when drag racing a local guy, Hartnett.

Klein has to help Hartnett fix the place or go to jail.

Klein steals Hartnett’s girlfriend and they fall in love.

Here is the gut wrencher. Seriously stop reading spoiler alert. The girl has cancer. Klein takes off back to his rich brat life. The girl has a line though that really hit me something like this, “Daddy some people live their whole life without falling in love. I have lived my life and I have loved.”

We have known far too many children that have not known “falling in love”. They did not get to grow up. Some that never even got to go to preschool.

Take care of your bodies and especially your children’s. I never was a healthy person growing up. Doritos, oreos, pepsi, Little Ceasers Pizza were my diet in high school. This is not an acceptable diet for anyone at any age. I am going to upset some people here, but oh well.

Your health is directly related to what you put into your body.

Eating garbage will allow you to live, but your body and your mind will not truly be functioning at its peak. In fact the junk will actually break down your defenses and allow you to get sick more easily.

Cancer is generally thought to start with free radicals in your body. Free radicals are in everyones body. Anti oxidants actually cancel free radicals out. That is why a diet high in anti oxidants is so important.

Well, where do we get anti oxidants? The best place is from locally grown organic fruits and vegetables.

Why locally grown?

Well, 75%+ of the nutrients ( antioxidants included) are formed in the last week of the ripening process. There fore if something is picked green far away, say another country, picked green so that it will “ripen” in transit and be the proper color once it hit the shelves at the grocery store.

This is not true ripening, it is actually rotting. That is why fruits and vegetables at the store don’t generally taste as good as out of your garden.

Why organic?

Organic generally means the grower has not used any genetically altered seeds (verrrrrrrrrrry bad stuff) they have also not used chemicals to enhance the growing process artificially (also bad). They also have not used recycled sewer water to water the plants. That is what is believed to have caused the salmonella poisoning outbreak this summer.

Now, I don’t blame any parents or anything like that for their kids getting cancer. Cancer has to have so many variables available to happen that not any one thing can be blamed. I do want you to know that you have to do everything in your power to try to prevent cancer in your kids. By providing the healthy choices and saying “No” to unhealthy choices not matter how much they beg and plead and demand and cry. Sugar is a fuel for cancer and needs to be avoided.

Trust me, providing healthy choices and putting up with a few moments a day with whiny kids is much easier to deal with than a critically ill child.

Up until this point, you may have not known this or been like most and decided to not think about why we are supposed to eat healthy. You now have no excuse. Give your kids the fighting chance they deserve. There are so many other things in our lives that will harm us, give your family the best chance of winning. Take care of their health.

Does it cost more?

It is less expensive than you think. The organic vegetables actually last longer. Organic milk does as well. Less rotting food = saving money
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Try it with just your kids if you want. I beg you. Stop the sugar. Stop the junk. They will fight you. You are their ONLY advocate. Act like it.

Now I left the ending out of the movie so I didn’t spoil it all the way.

Go watch this movie. Then look up the local farmers market and make certain they grow organically. You should actually be able to go see the farms where they grow their crops. Make a day of it and show your kids.

I love you Angela. I am so glad you take such good care of our children’s health, even when they cried for fries. Now Mason doesn’t even want meat at all especially in his lunch at school. His friends think it is cool that he is a vegetarian. (Don’t tell them, but he did have turkey for Thanksgiving, but we all rarely eat meat now.)

dug

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