Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

We hope everyone had a great Christmas!! I know we did. It was great spending time with both sides of the family! We know Malachi had a great time too! He didn't want to sleep! And we are paying for it today!

I will post pictures when I have more time!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

1 Month

Peewee has been home with us for 1 month (on last friday). Crazy huh? Josh and I feel like the time has flown, but we also feel like he has been with us all along! Malachi has changed our lives for the better!




This is a picture from the 1st time we met him. He was only 6lbs. And had only been out of the hospital for a week. He was about 3 months old. This is the momment Josh and I feel in love with our son!








This was our second visit and our 1st family picture! I think he was around 7 lbs when this was taken. We went and visited him every weekend for 2 months. It was a long time of waiting and working to complete all the paperwork. It seemed like he would NEVER come home!





And here is our 2008 Christmas picture! He is 10.58lbs and getting stronger every day. He has been home a month and has enjoyed getting settled in. We can't wait to see what the next months hold. We love you little man!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Surgical Consult.

We got up super early and headed into Chicago for Malachis surgical consult on wed. After a lot of waiting we FINALLY got to speak to his surgeon (who we LOVE). He explained that the wall that separates the 2 ventricles of his heart was not there causing blood to "swish" everywhere and not properly circulated. Their plan is to go in and patch the hole (he has a little bit of the wall at the bottom and top of his heart, but it does not connect which makes a hole) with Gortex. Josh was pretty excited about this and said that Malachi was going to have a waterproof heart. (It was nice to have some comedic relief, i was feeling overwhelmed and on the verge of tears). There is another issue that they are going to have to fix, he only has 1 valve. So they are going to make 2 valves form the one. The actually surgery should take about 5-8 hours but the prep time will at up to 2 hours onto that. Because they are operating on his heart they are going to have to stop it. He will be hooked up to a machine (i forgot the name of it) to keep blood flowing to his brain. Because he is so little he will be needing a blood transfusion. He does not have enough blood to run through the machine. They will be braking his chest bone to get to his heart. I am scared. This is something no one should ever have to go through, let alone a 5 month old. He is a fighter and I know he will fight through this too! He is my Hero.

So we have to go in January 19 for some pre-op stuff but the surgery will take place on the 20th. We are waiting to get in contact with the social worker to see if there are any openings at the Ronald McDonad house that is close by. His recovery will be 7 to 10 days from the day they take the breathing tube out.

We need you to pray! Pray for the surgeons, nurses and Malachi. Pray for our family as this will be VERY difficult time. Pray for finances so that we don't have to worry about that too! We will be making a prayer card and mailing it to family and friends. If you want to be included e-mail me with your address. Thank you for all your support along the way. We look forward to the day when this is all behind us and Malachi is a Healthy little boy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

smiles and giggles

Last night josh and I got our first smile from Malachi. He smiles in his sleep, but never while he is awake...till now. We were playing the shake your booty game with Malachi when we let out a HUGE smile. A few momments after that he began to laugh. It was so cute and just melted our hearts.

Tomorrow we go to Rush for his surgical consultation. We will be talking to the surgons and nurses who will preform his AV canal surgery. They will give us the results of his carido cath and hopfully show us some of the pictures! We will also be able to pick the date of the surgery. We are hoping for the week after Christmas because Josh has it off from work. I will post the results tomorrow night! Please keep praying for us!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Graduation

Malachi in his little man outfit at Joshes graduation!


The stage!

Josh with his hood, waiting to get it put on. He was sooo happy.


Getting the hood
put on. (Sorry its so blurry)



Diplomia!

We are so proud!

The hood, light blue is for education.
The family!



At dinner with the extended family to celebrate Joshes HUGE accomplishment!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

making progress

Malach is eating GREAT!! I am so happy that spoon feeding him has been this easy! We have also been working on his neck strength and he has been sitting up in his Bumbo chair really well. He still has a way to go, but we like to celebrate each step of the way! Way to go Malachi!!!

I am taking peewee to get Christmas pictures tomorrow. Whish us luck, at our last photo session he didnt want to participate.He turned his hes the opposite way and refused to look at the camers! I hope tomorrow goes better.

Other than that nothing new going on in the Horton house. We are tired of the cold and ready to go on a family walk. We will have to wait a few more months for that one. Untill then we will picture palm trees and beaches! (not to mention a fruity alcoholic beverage with a little umbrella)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thankful

Today we had our baby shower at Joshes work. It was great to see everyone and show off Malachi to them. We got a TON of stuff and we are so thankful for everyone and their willingness to give to our son. It is a blessing to be surounded by people who love us and support us. We are thankful!

Last night we tried giving Malachi baby cereal. He didn't really know what to do with the spoon or the new consistancy. He didn't seem interested. Tonight we tried mixing it with a little bit of baby applesauce. He did a little better. I was told giving him a little bit of applesauce would help with his poops. Only time will tell. Anyone have any advice on feeding children with DS? Any tricks?? Let us know! We are thankful that we are learing as we go!

We also got a call from the cardio department at Rush. They set up our consultation for next week on wed. We will head to Chicago, yet again, and meet with his team of surgons and get a "plan of attack" figured out. We are thankful for the cardio staff at Rush and their eagerness to get the surgery over with.

On a side note, my hubby graduates with his Masters of Education this weekend!! We are so proud of him and all the sacrifices he made to reach his goal! I can't wait to see him walk accross the stage and get his diploma. It will be a proud momment for our family and a lesson to our son that with hard work anything is possible!! Way to go Josh!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

the big 5 months

Malachi was born 5 months ago today! He weighed 3lbs 13 oz. He had to have oxygen via an oxygen hood, he had congestive heart failure, respitory distress, he was born substance exposed, had a hole in his heart, failed his hearing tests, and had down syndrome. He spent the first 2 months of his life in the hospital and the following 2 months in a group home for children with special nedical needs. He hasnt seen his mom since he was 2 days old and has never met any of his 8 sibblings. But today he is 10.5lbs, 22 inches long , and rolling over. He has a mom and dad who love him more than anything. He has a home, with 2 dogs, a pool, a room full of books, clothes and toys and a sense of normalacy. He has a future full of endless possibilities and a family that will stand behind him and cheer him along. He has a church family who has been praying for him and loving him. He has come a long way in 5 months. He still has some hearing loss, he still has to undergo open heat surgery, and he still is a fighter. 5 months ago the world became a better place and we became better people. 5 months ago God put on earth a little boy who had everything working against him who had every reason to give up. 5 months ago he chose not to. 5 months later, we are enjoying the benefits of his strength, courage, strong will and love. And today we could not be more thankful for the journey Malachi has taken, each step has molded his heart and mind. Each challange he has overcome has proven that he will rise above the negitivity of the world.

"Thank you for a wonderful 5 months of life baby boy! You deserve the best in life and we are confident that you will not give up until you get it! Continue to be strong and remeber to love!! You are perfect in every way and we love you to the moon and back! Happy 5 month b-day peewee!!"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

success

Malachi's cardio cath was a success! The docs were are pleased with the procedure and found nothing "unexpected." Malachi was a trooper and showed very little signs of pain. Because of his medical history the docs wanted to keep him over night. So that means the momma slept (more like tried to sleep) on the cot next to the crib. Needless to say i got very LITTLE sleep! They ended up needing to put him on oxygen for a short time and he did not like it! But he delt with it and ended up falling asleep. I am so proud of this little man and his strength!! He is one tough cookie!

He is back to his old self today and taking to me right now as I type. I wonder what he is saying? I wonder if he likes his home?

Anyways, we should be getting a call next week to schedual a meeting with the surgons and nurses who will be doing the heart repair surgery. At this meeting we will discuss a date and get it scheduled. THe cardio nurse told me today that we should plan on at least 10 days of recovery! Yikes, that is going to be a VERY long 10 days. We are going to need visitors ( and money to eat at the hospital for 10 days! Yikes!!) to keep us sane!

I will pose pictures when I have more time!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Next on the agenda...A cardio Cath

Our sweet little boy is going in for a Cardio Cath. This is where they make an incision in his thigh and send a camera up to his heart through his pa moral (i think that's how you spell it) artery. While they are taking pictures they will also be measure pressure, blood flow and oxygen levels. This will give the surgens a better idea of the extent of his heart condition before they do the surgery. Josh and I decided to stay at a hotel in Ohare tomorrow night. We heard there is supposed to be more snow and being that we have to be at the hospital by 7 am, we figured being closer would be the best idea.

I am home tonight...alone (josh and Malachi went to Mens group, so i could get bags packed!) and I have to admit that I miss the little guy. We spent all day together and I really enjoyed more bonding time with him. I was reflecting back over the past few weeks and can't believe all the twists and turns we have been though to get Malachi home. Although majority of it was very difficult, I would not change the journey for anything. Those struggles prepared us for what we are about to face. Open heart surgery on an infant, recovery from the surgery and even the procedure on wed will be very drianing. I can only imagine how difficult it will be to give my son over to be cut open and for his little body to go through a MAJOR oporation. But I do know that God is the great Physician and He is in control. Death is a very real possibility. Can anyone really prepare themselves for the loss of a child, I dont think so, but Christ is our strength and we trust that His ways are prefect! So please be praying for the surgeons and nurses, that God will guide their hands and lead their hearts. We pray that God will use Malachi in amazing ways, to change people and melt the coldest hearts. We pray for a positive outcome and continued guidence in our decisions. Malachi is a gift to the world, and Josh and I are better people because of Malachi!

We love you all and thank you for all of your support!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Malachi's first week at home

Mommy and I wating to get discharged from the hospital so we can go home!!! I was VERY excited!



After my first bath at home, I was so snuggley!


My first bath at home, I am a wiggler and NEVER like to lay still.


Here I am meeting my cousin Ethan, we love each other!!



Sleeping in my swing, my favorite place to nap!




I feel asleep in my car seat and mommy took advantage of me staying still.





Happy Thanksgiving! Do you like my sweater? Mommy got it for $1.99, she likes a bargin!






My and my Uncle Mark, we are going to be best buddies, he is going to teach my how to play basketball!



Me and Uncle Mark, daddy and Grandpa! Grandpa is excited about getting me out to the race track!
This was my first week. I love my new home but I miss the nurses who took care of me for so long. I am getting lots of love and attention. I am eating better and starting to focus more. I rolled over twice so far and my strength surpirsed my doctors! I am also off my moniter which makes mommy and daddy VERY happy! Wish you all were here, I am having a blast!




















































































Monday, November 24, 2008

Joy unspeakable

"Joy unspeakable it wont go away" thats how we feel right now! Everything is going great and we are getting to know eachother and us as a family! Malachi sleeps great at night, he actually needs to be woken up to eat (and to take his meds). Its is neat to see my husband as a dad! He is great with Malachi and loves him so much. Im slowly getting used to being a mom. I woke up early sat. morning and washed bottles while the boys were still sleeping. I said to myself "this is my life now" truth be told, I like it!

Josh has to go into work today to get subplans together for the rest of the week so i am home alone today. Which leads me to this amuzing story. Malachi eats at 6am and Josh leaves for work at 5:45 am. So he brought up a bottle and started warming it up in some hot water. When my alarm went off at 6 I woke up, went to the restroom and grabbed the bottle. I realized we were out of diapers so I went to get some more out of His bedroom. I tossed the bottle on the bed. When I came back I realized there was an empty bottle in the bed. I thought that maybe I was so tired that I put an empty one back in the bed at the 3am feeding. I began to search for the bottle that I threw into bed. Suddenly I realized that my butt was wet. Then it hit me. The empty bottle was the one in the bathroom. Woops. Everything got we. The sheets, comfortor and blankets. GREAT! So now I will be doing layndry all day to gett the nast formula smell out of our bedding. All I want to know is why Josh took the nipple off the bottle to warm it in the water?? I will laugh about it someday.

Tomorrow we are off to Chicago for Malachis Cardio appointment. THey should be able to tell us some more detials about his upcomming heart surgery. Then wed. It is back downtown to his Peds doc. Then next week he is going to have a cardio cath done. Yike, we are going to be busy. Sometime with in all of this I need to get some hours in at work too!

Well Malachi is waking up and in need of a diaper change!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Welcome home sweet baby!

Malachi is FINALLY home! We ended up getting to bring him home on friday! He is doing wonderful and so are we! He has been a complete joy and a perfect member of our family! The dogs dont even seen to realize he is here. I will post more later, right now we are off to church with peewee!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Homecoming...postponed

Thats right. It doesnt look like Malachi will be comming home tomorrow. He is still in the hospital. I am sad, devistated, pissed, and angry. We dont know why he has not been released as he has not had a fever all week and is off the IV along with good feedings and good updates from the nurses. I am trying to get answers and will update as soon as we figure something out. Until then please pray that God gives us peace and understanding. Its so hard to be positive right now!

Latest update

Well Malachi is supposed to come home tomorrow!!!! There are a few medical issues that we are trying to work out but the plan is for him to be realesed to us tomorrow!! YEAH!

Admist the excitment of bring our peewee home there is also disappoinment and anger. THere are 2 family members that have chose to not be supportive. They don't agree with our decision to adopt Malachi and even said that it was a mistake! My first reaction to this was anger. Malachi is NOT a mistake and will NEVER be a mistake. He is a BEAUTIFUL baby who will grow up to be a wonderful man! And along the way he will touch people and change lives. As a Chrisitan I am called to love everyone in every circumstance. I am struggling with this especially towards the people who choose to not be supportive. I know we will encounter these types of people our whole life, but the fact that its family really crushes me. They are not even open to the idea, and even went as far as saying that he will be a burden! Im getting angry just talking about it! But it comes down to the fact that Malachi is our number one concern now, and if he is being treated unfairly, then we will have to seperate ourselves from them. It is not what we want to do, but to protect our child, it is what we will have to do if that cituation arises!


My sweet Malachi,
Your mom and dad love you so much! You are PERFECT, beautiful, smart, loving, strong willed and a fighter. God made you that way and remeber that He never makes mistakes. Our hope for you is that you grow up happy, loving, accepting, honest, strong, and healthy. You can be whatever you want, and accomplish whatever you want! With hard work you can do it and you will do it. God has given you something extra so that you can change the coldest of hearts. You are an assett to the world and our family! You will prove them wrong! We love to the moon and back peewee! We can't wait to bring you home!!

Love, Mommy and Daddy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I am thrilled to let you know that we are all....DONE!!! The home study went great and we got in the final paperwork we needed to. Josh and I are so happy its done and now all we have to do is wait.

We got to go to Malachis Dr. appointment on Wed. He was please with the weight Malachi has gained and decided that they could go ahead and schedual surgery. We don't have an exact date yet, but expect it to be done in the next 2 months. After the appointment, we went back to the home for some trainging and visiting with the little man. They told us about a staffing next week and that we needed to be there for it. They would be discussing a relase date!! WHAT? Josh and I were shocked that they were already talking about this, we were led to believe that it wouldnt be for a few more weeks. The head nure also told us that we needed to get downtown 2 more times before friday next week. So we came up with a plan. We are going to another Dr. appointment on wed so we will go visit and do some more medical training then. We have to go back on friday and have the meeting and then we have our CPR certification and the Heart moniter training. After friday we will be 100% complete with EVRYTHING! Friday is also the day we will get an exact relase date. Woo hoo. I cant believe that this is all finally over and we can start talking about a homecomming for the prince.

Speaking of homecomming, we will be having an open house once we bring him home. I know there are lots of people out there who want to meet him. Please let us know if you want to be invited.

Please keep praying. There are still a few HUGE mountians in our way and we will need strength and endurance to get us through it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Home Study Tomorrow!!

Well tomorrow is the big day. The day that we have been preparing for, for weeks! The floors are washed and the carpets have been cleaned. We are ready! This is the final thing on our list. After tomorrow we will be 100% done with our part. I could not be more excited or happy!

We are also going to Malachi's doc appointment tomorrow. Josh and I both took the day off to travel to Chicago and attend him appointment at the Heart Doc. We are hoping to get many questions answered and hopfully get a better idea when his heart surgery is going to be. We are praying after the holidays!

After the Doc we are going back to the home with him to do some more of our medical training! This is another HIGE step we must complete before we can bring our little prince home.

We want you all to keep praying for us and DCFS. Pray that they process our paperwork quickly and issue our liscense. Pray for Josh and I as we prepare for the adjustment in our lives and our new roles as parents. Pray for family members who are still not supportive of our decision. Pray that Josh and I have understanding and patience with those people. Pray that Malachi will be a blessing in peoples lives and that he will continue to grow big and strong! Thank you for joining us on our journey and for those of you that have faithfully prayed for us!

I will post tomorrow night on our day with Malachi and the home visit!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Answered Prayers

It feels like it has been forever since I have written. Man how things have cahnged in the last week. We have some VERY exciting news, we will be finished with everything by November 17th!!! Our case worker will submit everything to DCFS that very day. Then we wait for DCFS to process all our paperwork and as soon as they are done...we get to bring Malachi Home!!!!!! It usually takes DCFS a few weeks to process the paperwork, but our case worker is going to try and expidite it. SHe did that with our finger prints and background checks and they came back in 2-3 weeks rather than 6-8 weeks! PLEASE be praying that this last step will end quickly and that we will be able to bring our son home by thanks giving or shortly after. God has provided through this entire process, we are beyond blessed!

I am so excited about all the little things I will get to do with Malachi. Rocking him in a chair when he is upset, changing his diaper, feeding him, getting him dressed in the morning and tucking him in at night. I cant wait to push him in a stroller, putting his carset in the car and giving him a bath. I can't wait for him to meet his anunts, uncles and great-grandparents for the first time. I can't wait to show him to our church friends who have been so faithful in praying for us and him. He is such a lucky little boy and we are lucky to have him as our son!!

We will be planning a "Welcome Home" party for him. We hope you will all be able to come and celebrate our little prince. We love you all more than words can express and are thankful you have joined us in our journey!! You have been the trunks that held up our branches when the wind was trying to push us down. God has truly given us the best friends anyone can ask for!! We love you and can't wait to celebrate with you!!

Ps. Josh and I both have our final interviews this week and our home visit next week! Please continue to pray for us as we prepare to bring home our son!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

standing still

Well the homecomming of our little man has been pushed back. Josh and I were really hoping for thanksgiving. Unfortunatly all our stuff will not be done by then. So it has been pushed back to Christmas. I dont have a lot of time to write, but please remember us in your prayers this week!! Life has been crazy and we have not had a chance to sit still. Off I go to the next thing...

Monday, October 20, 2008

growing

We saw Malachi again on sunday! He is now 8.4lbs!! He is going and we are soooo happy about that. There are still a lot of things we don't have answers for, but are trying really hard to be patient. Next week Josh and I start the first home visit and interview. I am really nervous, so PLEASE pray for me!! I put in a phone call to our adoption specialist to try and get some more answers, I am still waiting for a return cal from her. As soon as I hear anything I will share it all on here with you!

We had lots of fun seeing Malachi. He was VERY sleepy and had his eyes closed most of the time we were there. He did wake up when he was ready to eat! His mouth was going crazy, we knew he was a hungry boy. A few weeks ago I was informed that we can no longer feed him. We have to go through a medical training class before I can begin to feed him again. Im not sure why, but I will respect and follow the nurses rules. Malachi rarely cries. He made a few wimpers and josh and I thought it was so cute! It is getting harder and harder each week to leave. We are excited about bringing him home so we can snuggle with him all day! You might not see us very much when he does come home, we will be in our pjs snuggling with him all day!

We can't wait till you all can meet our little man. And we can't wait to show him off!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Interviews

I just talked to our case worker and we will be having our first set of interviews right before halloween!!! That means we have about a week to get ready for our home visits! Yikes. We have a lot of work ahead of us to get the house ready. Please be praying that this is a quick and painless process and that Josh and I are pepared for the questions. Also continue to pray for Malachi. He still has a long way to go. Pray for all the nurses that are in contact with him that they may be filled with love.

Will you be here to celebrate with us when we bring him home? We look forward to the momment we walk through the door with our son. We will be planning a "welcome home" party once we know when we will be able to bring him home!! We hope you will be here to shower him with love and kisses.

We love you Malachi and can't wait for the day when you get to come home! Your puppies are very excited to meet you too!!! Keep growing big and strong and keep fighting!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Our poor car!





Here is what we say when we left our visit with Malachi on sat. Not very nice is it??

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Visit number 3

Today we made the trip to Chicago to visit Malachi. He is doing okay. He sounded very congested and was doing this coughing thing again. The nurse said he has good days and bad days but she can tell he is a fighter and that he will be just fine. Josh and I are so thankful God has placed so many "mommies" in that place. All the nurses love him and really care for him as if they were his own. He has lots of mommies and for that we are thankful.

My dad and mom came with us today. It was the first time my dad got to see him in person. I could tell he fell in love. He was to nervous to hold him, but he did hold him hand for a long time. My mom showered him with kisses and somthered him with baby talk. Our favorite nurse DeeDee answered some questions for us and sat to visit for a while. She is so amazing and I can't wait to bring Malachi back in 10 years to show her all he has accomplished!!

We have good news on Malachi, he is now 8lbs!!! Woo hoo. He gained 1/2 a lbs in 1 week. He is growing! Soon he will be going to the Doc time find out when he can have his AV surgery. Hopfully not till after the holidays. It was a great visit and we are planning on going back monday, Josh has the day off.

When we were done with our visit we went outside and were trying to decide where to go to lunch. Then Josh noticed the car window was down. However I KNEW i didnt leave it down. Then we realized someone had broken into our car. The took our GPS and thats all. We had the IPOD and my cell phone in there but they didn't take it. Thank goodness. They did dent the door and brake the window, there was glass everywhere! Not a good ending to our visit, but we know we can replace everything. It just might take a while to do so.

We hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Interview

Josh and I have an interview on thursday. Its our first one with the new agency. Im excited to get all this done. Soon we will be able to bring malachi home, and all this dang paper work will seem like nothing. Just wanted to quickly update you on the process. I am still trying to find time to write about our visit on sat. Tomorrw is my goal! Until then...Erin

Monday, October 6, 2008

Its time for a givaway!!

Thats right friends. Go visit http://www.myspecialks.com/ and enter to win!!! Renee's blog is great, reading it has really taught me some much about having a child with DS. I can't wait to bring home our sweet baby boy and write all about our lives with him and we hope it will help others out there!!! Thanks Renee

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Complete

Yep, Its completed...do you like it? We do. And the pictures are from our latest visit to see Malachi. Isn't he cute?? We love him. I will write more about our visit later tonight!

31 for 21

Remember...

Your presance is a present to the world.
You're unique and one of a kind.
Your life can be what you want it to be.
Take the days just one at a time.

Count your blessings, not you troubles.
You'll make it through whatever comes along.
Within you are so many answers.
Understand, have courage, be strong.

Don't put limits on yourself.
So many dreams are waiting to be realized.
Decisions are too important to leave to chance.
Reach for your peak, your goal. your prize.

Nothing wastes more energy thank worrying.
The longer one carries a problem the heaver it gets.
Don't take things to seriously.
Live a life of serenity, not a life of regrets.

Remember that a little love goes a long way.
Remember that a lot...goes forever.
Remember that friendships is a wise investment.
Life's treasures are people...together.

Realize that it's never to late.
Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.
Have heath, hope and happiness.
Take time to wish upon a star.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Under Construction

Yep we are giving the blog a face lift. Please bare with us as we try to decided on a new theme!

31 for 21

A few years ago I saw a poster in a store. The poster said "I believe" in lagre letters and then listed i believe statements underneath. I was really moved by some of the statements, but never bought the poster. I regreted it, but soon forgot about the power in the words I read that day. A few years after reading that poster I found myself newley married and living an hour away from every single person I know. I was not adjusting to life in a town of 1000 very well and was pretty mopey and sad. For some reason I remembered the poster and decided to google it. I found the poem, printed it out and put it in the office. I read it often and reflected on the beliefs and tried to apply them in my daily activity. I started to adjust to life and my new town. We began to meet people and really get involved in the community. I soon forgot about the poem and other papers got posted over it. Well today as I was cleaning the office, I found it. It might be just the right thing you need to read to get out of your rut or change your attitude. I will make the ones I really like in bold.

I Believe...
I believe- that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
I believe- that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I believe- that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
I believe- that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
I believe- that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
I believe- that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I believe- that you can keep going long after you can't.
I believe- that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I believe- that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I believe- that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.
I believe- that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I believe- that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
I believe- that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.
I believe- that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.
I believe- that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
I believe- that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.
I believe- that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.
I believe- that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I believe- that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.
I believe- that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
I believe- that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.
I believe- that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
I believe- that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
I believe- that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you. I believe- that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you you will find the strength to help.
I believe- that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
I believe- that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.
by Unknown

I hope this will speak to you today. Is there something that really spoke to you? Let me know, Im interested to hear!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

31 for 21

We are going to see Malachi again on sat! I am so very excited. Joshes mom and my mom are comming with us. I can't wait to them to meet him. I know my mom will be in tears, this will be her first grandchild! We are going to give him a bath and hopfully be there to give him his bottle. This seems like something so small, but it really means a lot to us. We want him to be home with us, we want to wake up at 3 in the morning to feed him. I am excited to give him a bath, becuase it reminds me of home! I will post all about it.

We tonight I am home alone. Josh is at the cubs playoff game in chicago. I will be going to my mom and dads for dinner. Its great that they live so close.

Sorry there is nothing spectacular to write about today. I promise tomorrow will be more entertaining!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October...


is Down syndrome awarness month! I will be posting each day in honor of 31 for 21.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chicago Cubs

We spent the day in Wisc. at the Brewers vs. Cubs game. I surprised josh with the tickets on tuesday. They were actually a gift to "dad" from Malachi. I found 19th row on the 3rd base side for a resonable amout. We had lots of fun even though the Cubs lost. We got to do a little tailgating before the game too. It was a very long day, but we enjoyed it. I know when Malachi comes our lives will change, so we are doing as much as we can before that day comes. Don't get me wrong, I CANNOT wait to welcome Malachi home, but a little part of me will miss the freedom. Josh gets to go to a playoff game on thursday with his best friend! He is excited and believes this will be the year they win the WS! Go Cubbies!

Our next visit with Malachi is not till next weekend. Its going to be a very long week. Tonight we will be relaxing, finally!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hearing test...Check

When we got to hold little Malachi, we instantly fell in love! His sweet little hands and big brown eyes, who wouldn't fall in love. I looked at him an saw endless possibilities. I also saw a little baby who would have MANY challanges ahead of him. This just breaks my heart! When he is out in public people will look at him differently and place sterotypes on him. My prayer and hope is that one day we will live in a world where different is considered beautiful. I am grateful that Malachi will grow up in a family where he will be loved and taught that different is beautiful! Malachi might look different on the outside, but inside he looks the same as you and me! Are you teaching you children to love everyone? That we are all special and God made us all different? I challange you to start early and bring your children up to love as Christ loves!!! It will be a glorious day when Malachi will be looked at and people will only see his heart!! This is my lifes mission and I can't wait to see the lives changed by the joy this little boy brings!! Thank you God for choosing us to be Malachi's parents!

We learned a little more medical information about Malachi. On wed. the told us that he has failed his hearing test. That was a HUGE dissappointment to josh and I. We talked about what kind of challanges that would bring to us and to his development. We decided that this was not an issue for us and we would continue on. This morning I got a phone call from his case worker, and they decided to give him another hearing test. Guess what? HE PASSED!!!! Yet another HUGE mountian that God choose to move. I don't know why God chose us, but I am beyond thankful!!!

I thought I would post the Down syndrome Creed online for you all to read! It is wonderfully written and something that I think the world needs to read!!

My face may be different
But my feelings the same
I laugh and I cry
And I take pride in my gains
I was sent here among you
To teach you to love
As God in the heavens
Looks down from above
To Him I'm no different
His love knows no bounds
It's those here among you
In cities and towns
That judge me by standards
That man has imparted
But this family I've chosen
Will help me get started
For I'm one of the children
So special and few
That came here to learn
The same lessons as you
That love is acceptance
It must come from the heart
We all have the same purpose
Though not the same start
The Lord gave me life
To live and embrace
And I'll do it as you do
But at my own pace

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The First Meeting

WE GOT TO MEET MALACHI!!! The case worker finally called back and we were able to start our trip to Chicago!! The firt momment we saw him, he was being held by a nurse and all wrapped up in a blanket. They brought us into a bedroom and gave little Malachi to me! He is perfect, just they way God wanted him to be. He was bigger than I thought and even cuter. I heal him for a while and just looked at him. He has a mini afro (i love it). Everything is perfect about him. He has some repitory issues that the nurses are working on with him. He was a month and a half premie, and because he has a hole in his heart, he really works hard to do anything. The nurse came in after a while and gave him his bottle! Man can that kid eat!!!! But they have to do it slow. His little tummy can't take all that food at once. So she fed him 1 oz and then left him with us. About 20 mins later she came back in and let me feed him the 2nd ounce!!!! Josh got to hold him too, though not as much as me. He was a little more scared to hold him because he has an apniea moniter on, and josh didnt want to mess it up.

We both fell in love and can't wait to go back next weekend. My Mom and dad are comming with. I am excited to let everyone meet him!!! We were not supposed to take pictures, but we did anyway. I will not be posting any online yet. I have to get clearence and I wont get that till he is placed in our home. Sorry...call me and we can arrange a time so you all can see him!!! Thank you for all the prayers, and support!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

This game is not fun...and I dont want to play!

Thats right, I am TIRED of leaving voice mails. Don't they know that we REALLY want to see our son? Grrrrrrr.

We were told some wrong information. Little Malachi has 2 case workers. Barb is with CHAA and Steph is with CPA. Barb told us that once Malachi was released from the hospital, we could visit as we wish. However we were informed last night that we need to coordinate each visit with Stephanie, his case worker at CPA. We called Stephanie last night and left a voice mail. We never heard back from her. Today (at 9:07 exactly) we call CPA and found out that she has been sick and might not be in today. Ugh. Josh and I both took today off to see the little man, and we might not be able to see him at all. Huge disappointment. We got a number for the supervisor there and left him, yet another, voice mail.

That is why I am tired of playing the voice mail game. How about you people be in your office when we call and answer the phone!!! PLEASE, for my sanity, I really need you to do this. Its not like I am asking a lot...just answer your phone...just today,then you can go back to not answering. I want to meet my son...thats all. Is that to much to ask? Answer the dang phone!!

Okay, I feel better now. So now we wait for a return call. We are only 15 mins into the wait and it seems like it is taking a Lifetime!!!!! We are trying to find things to keep us busy. I might wash the floor...vacuum or even clean windows. You know its bad when I am cleaning to keep busy! I HATE cleaning (even more than I hate people not being in their office and voice mail!). I am off. I will try to keep you all updated!

Please pray that someone calls soon...I think God is trying to teach us patience...and I don't want to learn that right now. haha

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tears of Joy!

I talked to baby Malachi's case worker today! And I cried tears of joy for the 1 millionth time...our backround checks are in and either today or tomorrow Malachi will be realeased from the hospital. Once he is released we are free to visit him!!!!! Josh and I will get to meet our son THIS WEEK!!!!!! We are beyond excited.

This little baby has been through so much in his 2 short months here on earth. I can't wait to hold him in my arms and kiss his little head!! God will use him to do AMAZING things. Lives will be changed for the better just because this little boy is in the world!! I can't wait to meet our little man!

Most of our family and friends have been beyond supportive. There are still a few people who question our decision. This is a fact of life, but Josh and I KNOW this is the right thing for us. We are ready and willing to face the challanges ahead of us. And I know that God will provide our every need, so we dont worry about the "what ifs?" And I know that once those people meet this little guy, their questions will be answered and they too will fall in love!

We get to meet our son on Wed!! Please pray that his transition from the Hospital to the Childrens Place Association will be smooth. Pray that he continues to gorw big and strong. Pray for Josh and I as we prepare to welcome home the little man. And remember to praise God for our son!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

We went shopping!!

Yes, it was time to spend some of those wonderful gift cards!!! I went to target the other day and got our moniter and changing pad cover (actually 2) and a bunch of other little things we needed. It was so much fun! Tonight Josh and I (my mom too) went to the grand opening of Babies R Us in Rockford! My mom bought us a few outfits, I got a diaper bag and a few other things. We also got the bottles we decided to us. We chose the Dr. Browns glass one. I wanted BPA free and I really liked the Dr. Brown ones. I did a lot of research online and decided that those were the best decision!! I am so excited to make the first bottle to give him! Tomorrow we are going back to get our pack and play (I forgot the 10% off, woops). I am going to finish his room tomorrow and post some pictures!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"So guys when is he comming?"

The answer is..... most likely 6-8 weeks. That is all dependant on his surgery when he can have it, his recovery...But most likely he will be around for thanksgiving!! What a wonderful gift for the holiday season!!!!

I am off to work, I will post more later!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Extra, Extra...Read all about it!!!

WE HAVE AN UPDATE!!!!
I FINALLY talked to baby Aurthur's case worker! I have some wonderful news to share with you all! He is doing wonderful. He is off oxygen and feeding well. He will be discharged from the hospital either the end of this week or the beginning of next week! After he gets out of the hospital he will be placed in a specialized home where they can monitor him and have nurses available to help if an issue arises. He is going to need heart surgery. He has a hole in the wall of his heart that separates both ventricles. This is a major surgery and a common surgery in child who have Down Syndrome. He will have this surgery once he reaches 8.8lbs!! Josh and I are so excited and busy getting the house ready for our home visits!!!YIKES, this is happening all so fast. By Christmas we will be parents!!
Keep Praying!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mountains



What do you see when you look at this picture? The snow topped mountains? The beautiful lake reflecting back? Do you want to know what I see? I see a struggle. Last night at re:group we sang a song, this is one of my favorite worship songs because I can apply it to my life. (not sure what its called, but I will figure it out for you) At one point in the song it says "My Savior, He can move the mountains..." And last night this phrase really hit home.

Josh and I have been on the incredible journey. We feel that God as called us to become foster parents. Faithfully, we have followed Gods plan. Recently God has brought a child into our live. His name is Aurthur. Many of you have read about baby Aurthur over the last few weeks, but I wanted to tell the story for some of our new readers. Aurthur was born July 6 and at one month old only weighed 4lbs. He was born in Chicago and due to unfortunate circumstances his mom was not able to care for him and his dad is no where to be found. God chose this little boy to be special, he has Down syndrome. Aurthur was left in the hospital, alone, to get strong and hopfully his case worker would be able to find a loving family for him to go home to. Josh and I felt like sweet baby Aurthur was suppposed to come home to us. So we began getting all the information we could about Down syndrome. We wanted to be prepared and provide this little guy with every resource avaliable. A few weeks later we found out that Aurthur was not strong enough to come home from the hospital. He was and is suffering from heart failure and will need major surgery. Like many children with DS, he was not strong enough to have surgery right away. They need to get him stronger and healthier. This is not an easy task and his case worker didnt seem to have a positive outcome for this little man. Okay, now you are caught up.

Josh and I have tried calling Aurthur's case worker, but she is on vacation till monday. We have questions and want answers. Josh and I are committed to brining this child home with us is possible. I think of Aurthur struggleing in the hospital, with no family there to hold him, or give him a bottle. This is when I think of the verse in the song. This is a HUGE mountain we have to overcome, and if there is anyone who can move that mountain, its God. He is mighty and if Baby Aurthur is supposed to come home with us, he will. But we need to remember that it is in Gods timing. I am joyful when I think about the mighty power of Christ. I think about all the amazing things he has done in my own life, the mountains he has moved for me and I am confident that he will move those for aurthur too.

I am not sure who gave him his name. Josh and I have been talking about changing it if we do get the opportunity to adopt. Malichi means "His messanger" and we think it is a perfect name for this child. I think of all the people whose lives will be changed by meeting him,and I am overjoyed. I know he has changed my life, and I have never even seen a picture of him. God is good...

"My Savior, he can move the mountains...My God is mighty to save, He is mighty to save."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Say what?

Well...baby Aurthur's case worker is on vacation till the 15th. Josh tried calling today, and that is the only new we got. It is soooo frustrating. I have a million questions, and I am not a patient person. So...we wait...again.

This weekend my good friends and sister in law are throwing josh and I a baby shower. Its more of an Foster/Adoption shower. It is to help us get some of the stuff we will need to adopt/forster parent. I am really excited to spend time with family and friends and share the process with them. I am sure it will be a great time and a time to celebrate familes, no matter how they come together.

Keep praying for baby Arthur and for Josh and I.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fall

We came home from vacation to be greeted by fall! I LOVE fall, it is my most favorite season. I can't wait to make the firt trip to Edwards. Maybe this weekend.

We have no news on baby Arthur. I am planning on calling the case worker tomorrow. I will write again when I get more info. Have a great rest of the week. Tomorrow Josh welcomes his students for the first time this year!! Be praying that he has a wonderful class!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vacation!!

Yep, its that time of year again. We are going on a family vacation to Galena, IL. We rent a house and the whole Horton clan comes. Last year was the first year we did it and it was great fun. I am sure this year will be even better.

Keep praying for baby Arthur!!! And evjoy your labor day weekend!! We will be back on monday!

A few videos

A few months ago i started to hear about this song Healer. We sang it in church on wed. night and people were really talking about it. Someone sent me a link to a video on YouTube and I watched it. I cried. It is an AMAZING testimant to the power of Christ. Please click the following like and watch the whole video. I promise you will be moved. (Sorry it has subtitles in another language, I couldnt find the original.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McqWVOEt5qU

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Setting in

Well its setting in. This little boy that has been on our hearts and minds over the last few weeks might not make it. We have never met him or even seen a picture of him, but we feel connected to him. This process has grown Josh and I in ways we never knew possible. We have learned to have faith in the Lord. We did not, and still don't, know what is in store for us, but we are being lead by Christ and following Him every step of the way. We have talked about very real issues about parenting and raising a child, with or without special needs. Althought it might not always seem like it, we have learned to be patient. This process is anything but speedy and we still have a long way to go but we are ready to go the distance. If the end of this path winds right back to where we were 2 weeks ago we will be better because of it, all beacause of a little baby boy whom we never met.

Even thought there are alot of things we don't know, we do know that our God can do amazing things. A few days ago I heard a song on the radio by Brandon Heath. I want to post the lyrics so that you all can read it. I want this song to be the passion of my life. Here it is...
Brandon Heath "Give me Your eyes"

Looked down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touched down on the cold black top
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breath in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos
All those people going somewhere, Why have I never cared?
Chorus:
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
Yeah Yeah
Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what's underneath
There's a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He's out of work
He's buying time
All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared?
Chorus
I've Been there a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just moving past me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way you see the people all along
Please pray for baby Aurther (thats the name that was given to him in the hospital, but he is known to us by Malichi which means His Mesanger)

We got a call...

Finally we heard from the babies case worker. He was never released from the hospital. The docters didn't think he was stable enough to so to a transitional home. He is a very sick little boy and will need major heart surgery sooner rather than later. He has what they call a serious cardiac leison (spelling?), I am not sure what that is, but will be doing research and will post what I find. Right now we are not even worring about the possible adopting, we just want him to be healthy. Our number one concern is getting him stable and are confident that His doctors will be able to do that. Pray for him right now, he has no mom and dad, but he had a father in heaven that loves him more than anything and is hold him is His arms. We probablly wont hear anymore till next week...So we wait...and pray...again.

Erin and Josh

Call us back already!!!!!!

Can you believe that we still haven't heard anything? We have called at least 2 times...A DAY! She has yet to return our call. Josh called a few mins. ago and asked the secritary if Lesliee (His case mananger) was on vacation or something and she told us that she was in her office and on the phone. She connected us to her, but she didnt answer. So we left another message. This is soo annoying. I hate it when people don't return phone calls.Grrrrrrr.....

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday..Already?

Well our weekend flew by. It was nice having absolutly noting to do. My good friend Jamie ended coming out on sat. We worked on some shower stuff with my mom and had pizza with my dad and Josh later that night. Its always fun seeing Jamie, she is a great friend and I am so thankful for her.

Today we did nothing. We got up and went to church. That was great as usual. We came home and did some cleaning up stairs, which was long over due. Josh made Chicken and Dumplings for dinner and now we are relaxing and watching the closing ceromonies of the olympics.

Hope you all had a great weekend!! Its back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

*Sigh*

I am sorry to tell you that we NEVER got in touch with the baby's case worker this week. I told Josh that if we didnt hear from her by 3pm on friday, that we would call. Well, we were out an about with friends and completely lost track of time. We called around 4 and left a message. She never returned our call. Such is the life of a case worker. They are always super busy and often overloaded with work. So now we all must wait till monday.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Still

We didnt hear from his case worker today, that meas tomorrow we will get some information!! Untill then I leave you with this...

"If the Lord calls you to something, He is going to bless you through it. He called us to take a leap of faith and give a home to this tiny orphan boy. And every single day, we reap the rewards of what God will do when you step out in faith."

This is how we feel and we havent even met the little man yet. Are you willing to step out on faith with us? Are you willing to let you heart, life and mind be transformed by this little guy? God has amazing plans for him, and will use him in amazing ways. We are confident that he will accomplish many things, it doesnt matter how big or how small they are. We are continually praying that God will protect him and give him the strenght to overcome EVERY obstacle and the He will use this little boy to do big things!

We should have more info tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The waiting game

Yep, we are playing the waiting game...and I don't like it. Today the baby was released from the hospital and becomes an official ward of the state which means we should be getting more medical information soon! We talked to the adoption supervisor last night and she said she would be calling tomorrow or friday. She also took our information so she could run a backround check on us. Once that is finished we can meet the baby!! YEAH

Untill tomorrow we have to play the game. Good thing we have all of you waiting with us!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A son?

Yep, we might be parents sooner than we thought. As I said in my last post, God has placed a little boy in our path. He was Born July 6th and is a 4lbs 6 oz. Hes a preemie, thats for sure. Unfortunatly His mom is not capable of parenting him (or his 9 other sibblings, they are all in foster care or adopted) so they are looking for a family to adopt him. He is african american and he has down syndrome.

Josh and I have decided to continue on this path. We are seeing where God leads us through this opportunity. I dont have to much info for you all. We are still waiting to get the rest of his medical information, which should come either tomorrow or thursday. The case worker put our information in for background checks so that we can visit him soon. I will update again when we know more.

Josh and I both know that this will be alot of work, but we are excited to see what this little boy has in store for our lives. We are excited about the people we will get to meet and to see the lives that are going to be cahnged because of love this little boy will give. We believe that God calls special people to do special things. I am hopful that this is the start ouf our family and that we will soon have someone calling us mom and dad. Please, please, please pray for us as we have to make a HUGE decision. A decision that will not only change our lives but the lives of people around us! We cant wait to share more info with you when we get it!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A new turn

We have said all along that we don't know where this path to become foster parents is going to lead us, and we have just experienced our first turn.

Some friends of ours from church told us about an e-mail they received about an infant with down syndrome. He has no mom and dad and is up for adoption. We didnt really think much of because it sounded like they were going to pursue adopting this child. Well this week a regroup they approched us and gave us the number of the lady to call. Josh and I went home and talked...alot and prayed....alot about this little boy. (he is an African American, born in july and onle 4lbs) We decided to pursue this and see where it takes us. I just got off the phone with this childs case worker and it seems like this is a real possibility for us. We are praying for Gods guidance and wisdom as we seek more information on this baby. Please pray for us over the weekend as we have a lot of talking and thinking to do. Gods ways are amazing and josh and I are prepared to turst and follow Him whatever path He brings us down. We are scared out of our minds but excited at all the possibilities.

PS. thanks for all the support from those of you at regroup last night. As we see where this turn leads us we ask that you continue to support us, as things suddenly just got more difficult.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Whats next?

So I am sure you are all wondering....Whats next? We finished our last PRIDE class and are super excited to be dome with that. To be honest, we are not sure whats next. We do know that we are going to be having 3 visits from our case worker. We are just not sure when. So to be honest, we don't know whats next. Its annoying, but we are trying to be patient as we wait for the next step. I've said all along we have no idea where this journey will lead us, and that is proving true at this momment. We made some great relationships in our PRIDE class and we learned a lot of information that will be essential to our succcess as foster parents. We are waiting to be able to use all of this knowledge.

So today I went to Target with a friend. We were looking at childrens clothes and we met a women and her young foster child. He was soo cute. I could tell that he had a rough life, he had a lot of scaring and scabs that were healing. I asked her how long she had the placement and she said about a week. She then proceeded to share a little of his story with me (This is a BIG no no, we are leagally not allowed to discuss this with perople). I thought I would share it all with you. I am sure you have no idea who I am talking about, so i feel safe. Anyways, she said he came from his aunts house were they didnt feed him. He only got the left overs, when there were some. My heart broke. THe only thing he drank was pop from a straw. Needless to say the child was VERY under nourished. He was 2 but only wearing size 12 months, and even that was to big. It was a very real feeling I had that this will be us in a few short months. Am I prepared emotionally? I dont know, I thought I was, but seeing this little boy just melted my heart! I am praying that God will continue to work in Josh and I and prepare us for this. I am still confident that this is what God wants us to do, but I am scared. Is that normal? I think it is, and I know that it wont be easy but I am trying to remember that God is in control and He will lead us every step of the way.

As I am sitting here writting this Josh is watching tv and the dogs are relaxing on the floor. I am reminded that this will soon end and our lives will be crazy. I get excited just thinking about it. Its a beautiful night for a walk. I can't wait to show a child the beauty in nature and that there really are good people in the world. I can't wait to give away one thing that costs nothing...LOVE.
So be praying that God grants us wil unconditional love, genuine love and love that we can freely give.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Only 1 class left!

I couldn't tell you what our thursday night class was about this week. I was not feeling well and really should have just stayed home. So this post wont be about class...But I did want to let you know that all we have left is tuesday night! This excites me more than you know! We may be almost done with our class, but we still have a TON to do at home. Oh and we went and registered for another class. This one is Education Advocacy. Its only 2 nights and I am looking forward to it.

Well it is official, we are spoiled. My mom has already brought over new clothes for the child and she just told us she bough the crib set we registered for. We are so thankful we have such a supportive family! We really wouldn't be able to do this without them. It makes me laugh to think that I was so worried about getting everything we needed. I know we will!!! Praise God for all the belssings!! Well its early and I am off to be...I have to work this weekend! Yuck!
Have a GREAT weekend and stay cool!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Only 2 more classes!!!

Last night in class we went over the court process. We started with removing a child from a home and the court proceeding that follow that all the way through to adoption. I was a little discouraged. It may take MANY years before an adoption is finalized. We are both confident that this is what God wants us to do and so we will wait and deal with everything as it comes. I guess it all comes down to being faithful that He will provide our every need.

Good news, we finished painting the room that will belong to the child. Its so cute, I am excited to get things in it. The crib still needs to be painted as well as the dresser, but the changing table and book shelf are all done and found their place in the room.

We had an AMAZING weekend. We got to see some friends from Josh's work who are in the process of adopting from Vietnam. We celebrated families, how ever they come together. It was fun spending time with my husband and our neice and nephew. It was a late night, but definately enjoyable. Sunday we went to Chicago and saw Kooza with my ENTIRE family. My cousion and his gf flew in from Boston too. It was great to see Him since its usually only at christmas and thanksgiving. His Gf is really nice, I think they will get married. Kooza was wonderful and dinner afterward was delicious. It was another late night, but we all had a blast! We are soo blessed to both come from great families. Its definatly something we take for granted to often.

Josh has had this week off which has been nice. We have been able to get somework done and even find time to nap! He is going back to work next week to teach summer school, which is another HUGE blessing. It will be about 3 weeks of work and extra pay! Extra money is always good!

Well I hope you all are having a wonderful week!! Only a few more days then its the weekend!!! Love you all so much thank you for your support and prayers through this time!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Class # 5 and 6

Only 3 more classes left!!! Then we are one step closer to welcoming our first child!! This weekes classes were on visits and punnishments. Kinda borning, but a good refresher.

We also had our meeting with the Pastor at ECFA. It went well, I was nervous but there was nothing to be nervous about. Josh and I each got a change to share our childhoods with him. And then we explained our life together. It was good.

Josh finished his masters degree this week! I will now be able to see my husband. He is happy to be done and already looking to "whats next."

We are excited to finally have a weekend together!! Tonight we are spending time with our very best friends!!! Tomorrow we get to take our AMAZING neice and nephew and sunday we are going to Chicago to see Kooza. My aunt bought my entire family tickets for christmas, and we are finally going. After the show we are going to dinner. I am looking forward to it.

I am STILL sorting baby clothes. I will post pics soon!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Class #4

Have you ever experienced loss? Loss of a loved one, loss of self-esteem or loss of basic needs? Im sure we have all experienced loss at one time or another. Sometimes our loss is expected and sometimes is not. Either way its difficult to deal with loss and it take time to learn to cope. Well in class number 4 we talked about the loss these children will experience when they are removed from their home. We discussed the mental/physical process we go through when we have loss. Like all our other classes we learned a lot and will definatly use it to make loss eaiser with the children placed in our home.

Things are moving along here at home. We are collecting more and more stuff, which is great! We registered at target and babies r us for the shower. I think like we are slowly getting prepared. We have an AMAZING collection of girl clothes 0-12 months. Boys stuff we have a good start but are still in need of some little boy stuff. Toddler clothes we have none of at least not 2t or 3t. It will come I am sure. We picked up some more toys from a freecycle member. I am planning on taking photos of all this stuff when I get my act together. Who knows when that will be. I will post more on tuesday! Hope everyone had a great weekend.

E and J

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Class number 3

Tonight was all about attachement issues and types of abuse/neglect. Not an easy night emotionally. We watched some pretty tough videos and talked about some pretty deep things. We are learning so much!! I feel like after this class we will be prepared to be foster parents and even better parents when we do finally adopt. A quote keeps comming up in our classes and that is "its not about you." I really think I am going to paint this on my wall somewhere. Its a good reminder and something that we all need to keep in mind in our daily lives. When I think about finally being able to give the child back to their birth parents (that is the ultimate goal, but we are praying that god places children in our home that will never be able to go home and therefor open for adoption.) and how sad we will be. We need to remember its not about us, or how we are feeling. Its about the child, not us. When we see the child behaving poorly due to past circumstances, we need to remember that they are not acting out towards us and that they are our focus. This is something I think we are going to need to remember on our path. We are not doing this for ourselfs, its all for the kids.

We also found out that DCFS does NOT supply us with furnature or carseats. We need to be prepared for that and its our responsibility. AHHHH. Our trainer suggested a Foster to Adopt shower. And my good friend is busy planning our shower!! YEAH! Its going to be a different type of shower but we are praying that people are open to the idea. We are also praying that people are willing to open thier hearts and provide for a child. Even if its just a sippy cup and an outfit. It all helps.

Josh and I have been busy going through clothes my sister in law gave us (thanks Katie). We have been washing (they have sat in the basement in boxes for 2 years) and organizing them. Its amazing the amout of baby girl clothes we have. Its definatly a good start. I will take pictures once I get it all wased and folded. Its soo fun to wash baby clothes. Well have to get going the dryer just beeped at me, another load done!

Monday, July 14, 2008

FreeCycle

Josh picked up a bunch of free baby stuff from a lady on free cycle. Some of it was good, some of it was not so good. Either way I am happy, we got about a box of girls clothing, a bassinett swing (a good travel crib if nothing else), toddler spoons and a few (def. used) bottles. I am going to keep the bottles in case we dont get any others, but would prefer to get a few in a nicer condition.

I am so quick to worry. If you couldn't tell by last nights post. Every need in my life has been met in some way or another. There is still a ton of things we need (I actualy made a general list today and its about 2 pages long) but I believe that God will provide it all for us.

We have another meeting tomorrow, class number 3. Woo Hoo.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Welcome to the Jungle


We picked out the bedding for the "babies" room. We wanted to do someting neutral because we have NO idea what gender the first child will be. We just bought the sheet thus far and will be adding to it over the next few weeks. We picked out wall color and we decided to go with a "crushed cracker" color. Its a tan/brown. We also got paint for the crib and changing table and paint for the dresser and book case. All of which was given to us (thank you to all of you have been so willing to share!!!). Here are a few pics of us painting. The theme of the room is "Welcome to the Jungle" and you have to say it like the song.








Josh painting the night stand, it was blue but soon will be green. The changin table is in the background, its brown.



My best "Welcome to the Jungle" face, complete with claws.


Josh and his best face...his claws are way better than mine.


Here is the sheet we picked out. Isn't it cute?

Here is the best pic I could find of the quilt.

Lately we (mostly me) have been feeling...ummm...whats the best word? Hurt? We are in need of sooo much "stuff." We couldn't possible go out and purchase it all, we simply can't afford it. Think about all the stuff htat is needed for a baby. Yea, we need it all. How are we going to get it? No idea. (Thank you to all the people who have helped make this list smaller, we really dont know what we would do without you) Anways, back to why we (mostly me) are feeling hurt. I have always been a person (not to toot my own horn) who will give everything to someone in need. Weather it been money, "stuff", support or encouragement. I am often told that i put others needs before my own. Which is true in some cases. I have always felt blessed that we have never needed anything. God has always provided more than enough for us. I want to share that with others, so I give. To me it doesnt seem like a sacrifice, because I always have enough. However at this momment in time...I am in need. I(josh too) need support through friendsip and family. We need stuff for the baby that will be comming into our house soon (could be a toddler, not sure) We need boy things and girl things. Toddle things and baby things. We need to be prepared, we could get a phone call at 2 in the morning saying that they need a home for a baby right out of the hospital. We need to be ready. So at this momment in time, Josh and I are in a great need. And the more I think about it, the more I realize its not things we need for ourselfs, its things for a child. A child who didn't ask to have suckey parents, and child who doesn't deserve to be neglected. It hurts me to think more people in the world are not willing to give to them if not of thier time, at least some of their treasure. Maybe I am being selfish, i dunno. I am just frustrated that people are not more supportive through this time. I do know that God is in control and when people around us fail, he will will be there.

Call #2...Done

We are already finished with 2 of our classes...only 7 more to go! YEAH. Everything went well on thursday night. We talked about teamwork and that we MUST have teamwork to create a positive outcome. Josh and I as Foster Parents will be part of a team of professionals that will help make decisions for the child. But we will also be in teamwork with the birth parent(s). Josh and I will need to model good parenting to them. We are nurturing the child just as much as the parents. Most people dont understand that, but its sooo true. Josh and I are getting ready for this adventure, its overwhelming, but exciting. Class number 3 will be tuesday!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Class # 1


We are done with class number 1. It was good, and went by super fast. We had trouble finding it, my wonderful husband forgot the directions at home, so we were about 15 mins late. For those of you that know me, being late is my BIGGEST pet peeve. Anyways, we made it, better late than never I guess. We watched a short video and then dicussed our "ideas" of foster parenting. We were able to share a little about ourselves and get to know the others in our class.













Here is the paperwork we got tonight. The stack on the far left is homework! Yuck. The Blue binder is what we are going over in class. The other stuff are things we need to read on our own.


Here is Josh doing his homework. We just got home and he started right away, I will wait till the last min.



Me with the binders. I look happy, but inside I am worried. How in the world are we going to be able to remember all this info? AHHH....

So i am frustrated and I am going to tell you why. 2 times today I have heard people say that "she had dreams she could change the world." THe first time I heard it was at work for a lady talking about a special ed teacher who quit after less than a year of teaching. My coworker claimed that she "didn't succeed" at her job becase she thought she could change the world. Tonight as class our teacher (who is a case manager) made a comment about the turn over rate of case workers. She said that young women right out of college come in "thinking they can change the world" but quickly realize they can't. This way of thinking makes me sooooo mad, you truly have no idea. Hear me out. 1 person cannot change the world, I get that. However, 1 person CAN change the world for someone. If we all changed the world for 1 other person how much better would we all be? I think more people need to believe they can change the world, its the people who think they can't that cause those of us the believe we can to fail. So maybe we should all believe that we can change it. Perhaps then we would have a world that would give for eachother rather than just take for ourselves. To all you who believe you can change the world, keep believing. To all of you that think you can't, change your way of thinking and see what happens, think you will be surprised at the outcome!

Good night everyone... and tomorrow...I WILL change the world, even if it is just for one person!

E and J

Sunday, July 6, 2008

July Already?

Wow, I can hardly believe it is July! Our summer is flying by as I am sure many of yours are as well. We are enjoying spending time with friends and family. We have spent many of hours in the pool and I must say I am getting tan. This is an accomplishment I have worked toward for many years. My legs are still white as can be...but I am taking baby steps.

Tuesday this week we atart our PRIDE class. I am not exactly sure what to expect. But i will find out soon enough. I am sure I will have a TON to write after tuesday nights class. Be looking for it!

Today is Sunday and my favorite day of the week. I love getting up, eathing breakfast with my husband and then heading to church. There is something about sundays that just scream family. Today we went to church like normal. However, today, i left feeling filled up spiritally. I really felt God was confirming our choice to become foster parents! Although i have never doubted Josh and I's call to minister in this way, there have been times when I question if it is something I am totally ready for. I think about all the things that are going to change. All the time and energy that will be put into these children and we might not get to see them as the grow up and become adults. Thas hard to think about, but God is reminding me daily that He is incontroll and that I should trust Him. It's not always easy, but I know that my God is bigger than anything.

Today after church we went to lunch with some friends. Their friendships have been amazing and a true answer to prayer. I honestly dont think they know how much they mean to Josh and I. So friends from Re:Group if you are reading this, we want you to know how much you mean to Josh and I. Thnks for opening your hearts to us, good friends are hard to find. And to think we have so many, we are truly blessed.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Update

Not much new in the foster process. We start oour PRIDE training next week. I am sure there will be a lot to post once we start that.

As far at my health, i went to the doc last monday for my ultrasound. We found out that the lump is not a cyst like we all thought, but a tumor. They do not believe that it is cancerous, however they are having me get a ultrasound guided biopsy. So I go in for that early wed. morning. Josh and I are praying that it will be nothing more than a tumor. While they were looking around last monday they also found another lump, a very small lump, that they are not sure what it is. So they will also take a sample of that to test. I go in the next day to get the results. Keep praying for me, that God will comfort us through all this and that no matter what the outcome is, that we can be faithful that it is in His plan. I will let you all know how it goes.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Doc Visit

I just wanted to update you all on a few things going on with Josh and I aside from foster parenting. I went to the Doc on friday for a lump in my breast. (she didnt think it was anything to worry about, but is sending me to have a ultrasound done on it on monday.) While in the office she asked me a million questions on my health. The normal questions. She asked if I was "using protection" when I said no and that I hadn't been for almost 2 years she asked if we wanted kids in the near future. Of corse Josh and I both answered yes, we have just been waiting to see if God would bless us with one. She suggested that we start looking into infertility testing. So, thats what we are doing. I am going to make an appointment for next week. Infertility has effected family members and we know it wasn't an easy of fast process for them. We want to have our own children and the years are going by quickly (I will be 25 on friday! AHHH) Be praying for us through this process, I will keep you updated!

PRIDE Training

Well we can cross another item off or list. We have registered for the PRIDE training and will start that on July 8th. It is a class that will beging to give us tools to use with children and all the issues that come along with those children. I know this will be full of helpful information that will really help us along the way. However, I know that Christ is bigger than any class and if Josh and I put Him in control of the situation and continue to follow His will for us, then we will be okay.

Our excitment is growing daily as we are getting closer to welcoming the first child into our home. We can't help but feel overwhelmed, there is still a TON to do. Not only paperwork, but we need to prepare a room, collect all the things a baby needs. The list of things we are going to need is a mile long in itself. I tend to get more worried about this that Josh, but he quickly reminds me that God will provide. And He will!