Sunday, June 28, 2015

Thirteen Already?

It was a normal Wednesday night and we went to bed. I was 34 weeks pregnant with our third child. I woke much earlier than normal not feeling well. I got out of bed around 5:45am. I was not sure what exactly was wrong but I soon realized something was very wrong. Jeremy was not feeling the greatest as his stomach was a little upset. I did not say anything. Part way through my morning I called my sister. I did not call my mom because I think I knew what she would say and do! 

I realized that my water had broken, not sudden but definitely broke. I was not due for six more weeks. It could not be so!

I called my OB's office and then Jeremy. We had an appointment that afternoon. We went to the appointment then we were rushed over to the hospital for a room. The testing confirmed I was not going to stay at our local hospital to deliver this baby. Our baby girl's lungs were no where near ready to breathe outside of the safety of my womb.  It was also confirmed that her umbilical cord was around her neck twice (our doctor saw that on the ultrasound). My wonderful neighbor/friend did not even hesitate to keep my older boys until we could get things figured out. They loved Miss Bill Bill so that choice was easy.

My parents did exactly what we asked them not to do. They began their trip here to WV. However, I had to tell them (as they were halfway here) that we were being transferred to WVU Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV. 

I arrived at WVU around 10pm June 27th...............16 long hours after labor had begun. I was miserable. Jeremy had driven so fast and my parents followed. It was a dark, dreary, rainy night. Jeremy and my parents sat around my bed.

The head of pediatrics came into our room and give us a very grim outlook for our baby girl. She was struggling. 

I do remember that Jeremy's parents arrived sometime on the 28th. The hours were long and all ran together. We all sat and waited for progress. Many doctors came and left my room. Then I was taken to the delivery room.  It was explained that they needed to be sure they could take our baby immediately to the NICU.

At 9:33pm, June 28, 2002 we welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our lives. She was whisked away from us as quickly as possible. She was struggling. She was gray.

Rebecca was resuscitated twice. It was quickly decided she needed intubation. I was finally allowed to see my baby girl at 3am. Oh my! She was beautiful! I was heartbroken to see her first tear. She was on the vent and unable to verbalize anything. That tear ran down her face and pooled into her ear. I remember crying as I saw that.

Those first few days were difficult. She struggled with her blood pressure, bilirubin, and her lungs. She was so bruised from the trauma of birth. Her face was black and blue. Her eyes were blood-filled.
Everyone was amazed how quickly she improved. She was removed from the vent after only 3 days. Her lungs were still not mature but she was improving. I finally was able to hold my baby.
She came home on July 5th. Just one week later! God performed an absolute miracle in our baby girl. Rebecca Rose was our sweet baby girl.

I am still amazed as I watch this daughter of ours. There could not be a more blessed family than ours. Rebecca has blossomed into a radiant young lady.

Beautiful for a wedding!
She passed me in height a year ago and now stands at 5' 4" tall. She is the most selfless girl I know. She gives and gives anything to anyone. Material things mean nothing to her (which I admit can be frustrating to a mom who spent a lot of money on a new necklace that she willingly gave away). 

Just a month or so ago at church, Rebecca sat with a Chinese college student who was leaving to  go back to China the next day. We had met her just two days before. The family that Rebecca was sitting with are friends of ours and as soon as church was over they told me that they believe Rebecca is a missionary in the making. I guess Rebecca just sat beside this student and talked to her and then shared her Bible with her. I was almost moved to tears that this family saw that about our girl.

We have watched her grow up. We have watched her sacrifice so much over the past few years. Yet she only wants to give more. Rebecca takes all change in stride. I know I would not have been so understanding as a teenager having to give up my bedroom to a stranger then share a bedroom with a rambunctious toddler nine years younger. Yet, she never complains and is usually the first one to offer help.

Always willing to be a great sister.

I see so much of myself in her. Not necessarily the good things. She is stubborn and bossy. I remember as a little girl she would say, "Mommy, where are our boys?" She really thought she was in charge of them. The funny thing is........mostly they listened to her instructions!

Rebecca is a unique combination of Jeremy and me. She loves to help me clean and cook. She loves to wear a pretty dress/outfit and have her hair fixed. Yet she knows all about The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars,  and is not afraid to play with bugs of all kind!
She knows her Nerf guns and is well versed in handling any weapons.
She is one tough girl!

She has a great sense of humor!
Since she shares a bedroom with Mariah, quite often we will hear stories about them in the morning. Mariah sometimes crawls in bed with Becca. Since it is early, Becca will not allow her to come over to our bedroom and instead she snuggles with her until they both fall back to sleep. Becca protects her siblings. She always has.
Jeremy and I realize that once a boy comes around and begins to realize her great qualities, she will be snatched up. But it will be on her terms! 

These are the reasons we chose to take this girl to China with us to meet Selah.
It was the perfect match! Becca is the best sister and friend.

We are such a blessed family to have this sweet teenager of ours. She is one very special girl whom we love more than we ever thought possible! 

Happy birthday Rebecca Rose! You are loved and cherished!!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Better Late than Never

This photo was taken just two weeks ago as we had 12 inches of snow in 24 hours. It sure was a beautiful snowfall!

I am struggling how to blog after I have been silent for almost three months. I had a friend who wrote to me recently and really encouraged me to blog again. I decided to try again. 

Adopting a teenager encompasses more than just teenage hormones. There is so much trauma buried deep in her own mind that we often compare those memories which contain many holes, like Swiss cheese, random. But the result of her loss and trauma is no doubt what we are dealing with. Her reaction to many things is not typical for a teen raised in a healthy environment. For instance, when I ask her a question as simple as, "Did you sleep well?" She sees that question as a threat and refuses to answer. Her brain has made a different way than normal to handle perceived stress/danger. I feel the Lord is gently instructing me as I make many fumbling attempts to be a mom to a teenager with so much trauma in her history. 

To be completely transparent I'm afraid I would violate our daughter's privacy. But I struggle because when I started this blog I promised myself I would not paint a beautiful picture of a pretend life. I decided it was easier to not write at all. I was struggling to find my own way on this journey.

We are emotionally exhausted. While we occasionally see progress in baby steps, we also see the giant leaps back. We definitely had a honeymoon period.  We are now in the trenches and it feels like a battle zone. 

It is next to impossible to connect with someone who sits silent. This is probably my biggest battle. We love Karyn Purvis and her teachings on raising children from a traumatic background. Karyn teaches "Connective Parenting".  Yet this is nearly impossible with someone who is silent. The challenge is very real. 

We do have some very sweet and normal moments. Selah just has so much hurt in her heart that the healing is slow and painful. That pain affects us all.

I choose, for now, to write about the things that I have allowed to get lost these past few months. 

We have a truly amazing toddler who loves us so deeply that we find it hard to not laugh at her antics! Momo is such a lovable child. She tells me no less than a hundred times a day that I am her favorite mom! She is famous for saying things like, "Mom, you know what? I love you!"

She loves to help me in the kitchen or anywhere. We recently made No-Bake cookies.
She easily convinced daddy to model a big flower headband.
......and for Kyle to play pirates with her.
She believes she is helping me with the kids school work. Messes will one day be missed, I'm sure.

All of the kids have enjoyed the snow this winter. So much snow has fallen that our local schools have cancelled so many days that I lost track. Mariah has had so many speech therapy sessions lost due to school cancellations. Looks like we will likely attend summer speech again this year. 
 Our kids enjoy shoveling snow. Weird, I know!
Selah tried shoveling but was not impressed.
Rebecca is growing up too fast.

Ben just has way too much fun.
And this was too cute not to include.
Spring brings new life. That is my prayer for the heart of our girl who has endured more than any child ever should be allowed. Lord, soften her heart so that she can finally accept you into her life and give her the sweet peace that she longs to experience.