Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nikolai aka "Sasha", our baby boy turns 4

This was a picture of our first meeting with "Sasha" in Moscow, Russia.

When we tell people we have three children, they look at us as if we have multiple heads or body parts coming out the wrong way. I am like "Have you seen the show "Kate and Jon plus 8? , That is 5 more than us. So, in comparison...three is like having one".

It used to be families were large and have 5 or more kids in it. I firmly believe however that the Mom was drinking Moonshine and it was so clear she told her kids it was water and they must always drink their water. That is how they got through big families :)

Today is a special day. Not only is it New Years Eve....But, it is our son's 4th birthday. Sure, I brag about our kids. I am huge proponent of celebrating birthdays!! It is a beautiful So, your life should be celebrated and that you were born to make a difference on this earth.

4 years ago today...our baby boy was Alexandr Nikolaevich Romanov. He was born in a hospital in Moscow, Russia. He was born prematurely and the mothers sac broke too early, leaving him with a condition called ABS. Amniotic Banding Syndrome. Basically, three of his fingers were fused together and the thumb looks like it has a rubber band tightly around it. He had a single mother who I am assuming knew that she could not care for this little boy. In Russia, it is a stigma (which I think is changing) to be a single woman with a boy...because the men don't want to raise another man's son. And strike two would be they classified him as "special needs". I am assuming again that she felt that this was more than she could do. So, Nikolai was left in that Moscow hospital.

He stayed there for 4 months as he was really ill. He was then transferred to a Childrens Home..(we learned that it is not PC to call it Orphanage anymore).

Back in the States....I was having ovarian cyst after ovarian cyst. So, we decided after being so sick with our second baby that we would not try to have another. We thought we were done. Then, in Feb. of 2005...we heard Stephen Curtis Chapman talk about his adoptions in China after they had 3 biological children. Something he said to me stuck forever "We are called to be a Father to the Fatherless". We knew that was a message to us. We hosted a little girl from Ukraine as part of a hosting group over the holidays of 2005. It was not allowed to be an adopting situation....just a hosting one. But, it got our minds going. Hmmm....should we adopt? Then, I got on several Yahoo boards about adoption.

One day, I heard about an amazing woman who an adoption agency. I called her and we talked forever. She told me she knew of a special needs child. It was scary at first, because we had two healthy girls at home and we weren't equipped to handle special needs. I mean, we had experienced the PICU and all of that. But, not long term special needs. That is what everyone thinks at first. She told us about him and my heart melted. We were allowed to see his picture since he was special needs and he had those big blue eyes. With tears in my eyes, I said "That is our son". It took my husband a little longer to think about it, because he was worried about what the International Doctor told us "He will be retarded...he will be this and that" Something in my heart knew that wasn't true.....

As life would have it...I wasn't meant to have anymore biological children anyway. In April of '06..I had an emergency hysterectomy due to a tumor. They felt it was benign, but, high concern for cancer. As this unexpected surgery was happening, we were filling out papers to try and adopt this little boy named "Sasha" translation...Alexander.

We met him in May of '06 in Moscow and we were in love. We had to go to court, fly home and come back 4 weeks later. I missed him so...I didn't even birth him, how could I love another child like that? It isn't about blood that makes a child is in the heart.

Blake and I flew together for the official court hearing where we would hopefully "officially" be his parents. I cried when the Russian judge declared him ours. "Nikolai Edward Ellavsky". We were not to take him out of the Childrens Home for another 3-4 weeks. So, I stayed in Russia and Blake had to go back home. I stayed with a Russian family and frankly loved it.... I took the Metro everyday and literally walked a mile to the Childrens Home. I held him and took him for a walk everyday. I barely spoke Russian, but, enough to get me by. My sweet host counseled me on how to become a Moscovite. "Caroline, you smile too much...people will think you are crazy here. Walk with the crowd...." And on he went. I had my all black attire on (which is what you typically see in the winter there) and off I went on my own everyday. I made friends with the local baker outside of the apartment (think of a row of vendors). She knew my name and I taught her English and she taught me some more Russian. I went with people that I met to the market to buy a leather coat and everything. I went grocery shopping by myself. I ate Russian food. My host would take me over to other families home and I loved everything! I wanted to hear the sounds, smell the smells...experience everything. Because, I was going to be the only baby book that Nikolai would have of his homeland. So, I needed to be able to remember it all.

Blake and Sophia (our oldest) flew out to Moscow when Nikolai was allowed to leave the Childrens Home. He screamed and thrashed and basically was a ball of anger as he got into the car. So, it was not the scene people dream of "Angels came from the sky and trumpets were playing". He was pissed and scared. That is the only life he knew. Soon, with Sophia and Blake and I tickling him and giving him food (always works)...he started laughing.

We had to stay one more week until his paperwork was completed. We took him to Red Square, and everywhere. Most of us have a strong feeling about Russia. For me, personally...I didn't get into the politics. I just took in the life and that beautiful place where our son was born.

Today, he is a thriving 4 year old little boy. He loves life with all his heart. Everyday is a new day for him.

Happy Birthday our beautiful Alexandr "Sasha" Nikoleivich Romanov now Nikolai Edward Ellavsky. Thank you for waiting on your Mommy and Daddy to come and bring you home.

His first time walking on Red Square.

Psalm 68:5-6 tells us that as the Father to the fatherless, God delights in setting the lonely in families.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Our Norman Rockwell Story...Take II..Christmas Day

Christmas morning:

We woke up to gentle music playing and our little angels had made up breakfast in bed...oh my...they are only 8, 5 and 3. Down the stairs we went with lights all a glow....For St. Nick had been here and I didn't even know. We opened the presents one by one and the children laughed with glee....we then left to my parents where the rest of my family would sing and be merry. Our last stop would be at my Uncle's, where all the relatives would gather around and sing "oh holy night" It was too beautiful to even......"

Gotcha didn't I? You really believed me, huh? Sorry....I am jokester like that....

On Christmas morn, I thought I heard the pitter patter of feet. Then, I soon realized that our bulldog was just sounding her horn (she is so gassy) and off to grab the Febreze I went. I raced to get dressed before the children woke up. I didn't want them to see that I looked like death. I put my hair up and dabbed on some makeup. I went to the closet to sit and meditate before the craziness was sure to insist. Soon the door hit my face while my husband let out a yell "What in the heck (hell) are you doing in there". He went to grab his keys, because he thought his wife had gone batty and it was time to take me some where. I assured him I was least not right then.

The children woke up with foam coming out of their mouth...the excitement was too much for them to take. We had a blanket wrapped around the top of the stairs to give the subtle hint to be patient for mom and dad. We tore away the blanket and down the stairs they ran. The stopped abruptly to say "Where is mine?" For the next hour, presents were ripped open and I was smiling...for I knew the trick was to put ear plugs in and it was all for the best.

Everyone was happy, until it was time to eat.. (mind you, it is only 8am and we had been up for quite some time) The screaming and fighting started just as I knew it would. There is something comfortable about the familiarity of it all.

Then, the race begins...we head to my parents with all of our other presents and a group of grumpies in the back because we had to leave the house and our presents behind. I tell them how much fun it will be with such false glee.

There was 13 of us in a small condo trying to move around to hug the other... The children decided not to eat, because the presents looked to them like meat. The carnavores gathered around the Christmas tree stalking it as if it were prey.

It was time to let the chaos begin again. Noises at a deafening level were all about...soon, the children would start to fight. I am still smiling, because no one notices my ear plugs.

As it is every year of my 30 something years (did I mention EVERY YEAR?) My father gets in a panic because it is noon and we must hurry to be at his brother's (my uncle) at half past 3:00. Which honestly, is less than 5 minutes away. So, with 3 and 1/2 hours to go, I thought we were in the clear. But, as tradition dad would wait by the car and bang on it to tell us "WE ARE LATE!!!" Forgot to mention that we still had 30 minutes to go and my Uncle could care less if we came on the dot every year at 3:30.

As the bell struck 3:31 and I am helping my mother find her things and because she has gout that causes her to walk very slow and in pain. I am now panic stricken because I hear the beeping of the car horn and I revert back to childhood...."Mom!! Hurry....Dad is going to be so mad!!!" The remaining 12 of us try to get out the door, when my nephew comes in to tell us that Dad had taken off in the car. Side note here: He is an amputee, just had quadruple bypass and is not supposed to be driving for a while.

My siblings (except for my other sister who is in Florida...boy how I wished she was here...we always make her go first) and I look at each other in shock and awe and I start to take off my boot and run after his car. With his one good leg, the van left me in the dust. I am wishing that I could give him a good swift in the butt.

I held my Mom's hand and muttered underneath my breath. She was too out of breath to hear what I had to say. That is a good thing. The convoy of our family arrives only 2 minutes after my father. The siblings and brother's in law made a pact that we were not speaking to him. But, of little crew quickly proceeded to tell their grandpa exactly this "oooooooooo you are in trouuuuuuubbbbbllleeeee" And ran as fast as they could up the stairs to become the INFORMERS to tell us what they said.

The weather outside was frightful...almost 65 degrees. We are next to Virginia people...we are not in Florida...why is it so hot!! I take off my jacket and try to take off anything else I can, but, of course that wouldn't be prudent on Christmas day (or any other day for that matter). Again, I began to glisten and fume as my father was telling his brothers that we had plenty of time to get ready. Oh, if he only knew what my mother had gone through to get to this day. My face is as red as blood and I proceeded to go where my father was. I told my uncles it was time to eat. He said "go and get your father something to eat". I smiled and said "He is your brother, you were with him go get him something to eat". I turned and walked up the stairs and looked back to make sure my uncle wasn't there....because I couldn't believe what I had just said and I broke out into a run for fear that I would get in time out. I clung to my siblings and we were like children afraid to go downstairs. We ate until our hearts content (don't mom made my dad a plate but had it delivered through my nephew). I tried to be good with my eating...protein first and well...they said it was dinner, I tiptoed to the chocolate truffle and put it on my plate. I can hear in the background my uncles and cousins yelling about the election and corrupt politics. I roll my eyes as I do every year since I was old enough to understand that Christmas time at my fathers side of the family meant yelling and arguing and someone walking out.

My attention is diverted back to the truffle....Hmmm....that bite went down pretty good, I say. So, I took another and well, lets just say I took off running..... again. So glad that there was a bathroom nearby.

Time for presents to be open....20 some odd people in one room and my face is red and my belly swollen from being so sick....I watch the madness as if it were a slow motion picture film.

Wrapping paper went flying and all the children giggled with glee. I sat next to my brother and sister and we held each others knee to wait for Ashton Kutcher because we know we've just been punked .

Finally, my dad asks if I will ever speak to him again. I say "as long as you never leave my mother again." I stick out my tongue and he tries to hit me with his prosthetic leg. I am so glad that we are back to being normal again...

It was late that night, and all of the presents we had gotten were in the back of the car...we waved goodbye and gave our thanks. We get the kids in the car and within a few minutes, they look like they had been gassed as they all had their mouths open, eyes closed and drool coming down their face. My hair and my nerves were completely frazzled...well...let me show you, I looked something like this:

Hubby and I just smile at each other and I look out the window with my Zune in my ears....thinking....

"Thank goodness this doesn't happen but just once a year"

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our "Norman Rockwell" version of the holidays...

The night before Christmas, it was a beautiful sight. Not a creature was stirring...not even our bulldogs mouth. The snow was falling ever so gently and I stepped outside to try and catch a snowflake and hold it in my hand. I looked at my watch and realized it was time for bed...St. Nick would soon be here....the kids were already in bed. Up the stairs I skipped with my husband holding my hand. We woke up to gentle music playing and our little angels had made up breakfast in bed...oh my...they are only 8, 5 and 3. Down the stairs we went with lights all a glow....For St. Nick had been here and I didn't even know. We opened the presents one by one and the children laughed with glee....we then left to my parents where the rest of my family would sing and be merry. Our last stop would be at my Uncle's, where all the relatives would gather around and sing "oh holy night" It was too beautiful to even......

"CUT" (off screen)

Oh, I am sorry....I must have been daydreaming because I just read you a script from well "Mr. and Mrs. Rockwells" home. Silly me. I get confused a lot, you shall see. If my memory serves me well...I think it went something more like this...

The night before Christmas there was much chaos in the house. Our 3 year old thought putting yet another roll of toilet paper in the toilet would be so much fun. The joy of a toilet spilling over is so much fun to see. The bulldog was happy. I suppose it was because she was on pain meds so that her hip would feel better. Poor thing, she had no idea the decibel to which her snores could go. The children fought constantly, and were so jacked up on excitement that they ran around in circles for an hour at least. A lot of screaming happened while giving them a bath, because god forbid that one of them got the red towel when it was time to get out. For whatever reason, that set off a full blown brawl. We finally tazered, excuse me....we finally put the children to bed and two out of three never went to sleep until half past 1:00 AM.

I change into my bathing suit because frankly, it is hot as hell. The only thing pouring down gently was the sweat (no, girls call it glistening) down my head. We thought we were finished wrapping....but, oh no...the spots in which I hid the presents so that I can find them later....well, it took an hour to remember where my clever mind put them.

Finally at 2 AM and it raining outside... I tell my husband " is time for bed". With my hair sideways, and blood shot eyes....I fell flat on the bed and never moved again until 4 hours later.

To be continued........

Monday, December 22, 2008

When Love takes you Home....

When I was a little girl, my favorite time was Christmas...because I knew we were going to get to see my grandparents, a few hours away. Grandma had the tree fixed so beautiful and the tinsel was hanging and she had those big know the ones. I could always smell something amazing cooking in the kitchen. On Christmas Eve, everyone would drop by and see my grandparents and I loved it. Before we would go to bed...Grandma had one of those old timey radios. She turned it to the channel where it told us exactly where Santa Claus was. She would always say "You better hurry up...he's over in England now and it won't take him long" My brother and I would take off running for the bed. My sisters were older, so they shuffled instead of running. :)

It was like magic waking up and being in their home. It felt like a warm blanket being lovingly wrapped around you. You could smell the freshly baked bread, I could smell ham before my feet even hit the floor. I would run through the house and scream for everyone else to wake up. My Pa (grandpa) was already dressed in his always.

Grandma would sit next to me near the tree while I opened my presents and to see her smile made the world alright. There was always laughter, no matter if it was Christmas or any other time.

I loved my grandparents with all my heart. My grandmother (Alva) was my hero. They lived in a very old home and it was sloped sideways just a little because of the length of time that it had been there. In my eyes, and even today when I drive was a Castle. There was love and constant food. I loved going with my Grandmother to take Aunt Ruth (my Pa's sister) a present and food to the nursing home. We would bring goodies and I loved handing out candy canes and skipping down the halls. Aunt Ruth had to be told each time who I was. And each time she would say "Well, lord you've done grown up and gotten fat". I would look at Grandma with a tear starting to form. She would just pat my head. Then, I would just skip down the halls and wave to everyone. ***Side note: Aunt Ruth said that every time until the day she died***

Many years have passed since those beautiful times. My "Pa" died around 1999. He was the finest man on the planet. Loved God with all of his heart. So did my grandmother. God was their whole entire life. My grandmother missed my Pa so much...they had been married for over 55 years. He was the love of her life and he was hers. But, God was the true love of their lives.

On Sept. 29th, 2000, Grandma went to revival at the church they attended and where my Pa used to preach. She got in line at the buffet and I envision her right this minute saying "Well, bless your heart, you go on and get some food, I will get mine in a minute". She probably had that beautiful smile of hers. She had her plate in her hand and she fell to the ground suddenly. Love took her Home on that day. My first born was blessed enough to be held by that Godly, amazing, strong, beautiful woman named Alva. I just wished she could have met our other two children.

I see her all the time, I smell her perfume, I smell her cooking. Most of all, I remember the little things which now are huge. Like rocking on the front porch with her and her just holding my hand as the cars went by. Or when my Pa would let me stay up late when my parents were away. I thought it was awesome to be able to put a blanket on the floor next to my grandparents. The memories are so etched in my soul.

Love took a lot of people Home that have been in my life and those around me. Both my other grandparents, Husband's grandparents (except for Grandma Dot), Siblings, a child, Uncles, Aunts, cousins, friends of both myself and husband. And in 2004, it was time for my Father in Law to go home and live a life in heaven without cancer.

Even though I am surrounded by my whole family, also my Mom and Dad, brother and sisters, sometimes the holidays are hard for me. I am always told how sensitive I am. But, God gave me that trait. So, I am not going to repress it. But, especially at this time of year, I am so sensitive to those in need. I hurt for those that are hurting. I want to do everything to let people know that they are loved. Alva did. She would make bread and hand them out to those that were needy at Christmas time. And yet, my grandparents were so poor that they accepted food from the church. I know she was so humbled by that, but, she was a prideful woman..but, she took the help with grace.

This time of year, I just want to run to Grandma's house and be hit with all the smells, people and laughter. Most of all, I want to put my head on her lap and have her run her fingers through my hair and tell me that "everything was going to be alright, if you just put it in Gods hands" I wanted her to meet our other two children that she never got to see.

There are so many memories from so many people that Love (God) has taken them home.

I know many of you have lost a parent, a child, a friend, a significant other, a beloved pet, sister, brother..the list goes on. If I could, I would give each of you a hug right now. This time of year can bring out loneliness for those that have lost someone through death...or have lost them through breakup or whatever it may be. What gets me through, is that I envision my sweet grandma up there having a wonderful time and laughing and dancing. She is smiling on us right now. So, for those of you that have also lost someone through death...just know that they are up there having the best celebration and feast that our minds can't even grasp. And, they are looking down on each of you and they are your Guardian Angels. Celebrate that fact.

We bake a cake every year for Jesus birthday and for me it is also a time to celebrate those that I loved that were taken home. Sure, I cry and somehow...I know one of my angels are wiping away my tears. So, if you are lonely, depressed, sad, discouraged...bake a cake in honor of your loved one, or if you are with those small candles and get together with your friends or family and light the candle in remembrance. Not so that you can feel the pain all over again. So that you can celebrate their life. Because trust me, they are free from pain, hurt,and all the worldly things. They are having the best time of their life. And I know, they want that for each of us.

We never know when Love will take us Home.....lets try to make each day count and tell the people in our lives that we love them and appreciate them. Not just your family, but, your friends too.. both new and old.

I have attached a video that is about losing someone. For comfort is knowing that Love (God) took them Home.

It is well with my soul and let it be with yours.

This video was made for Maria Chapman (daughter of Stephen Curtis Chapman) and listen to the words. They are so true for any of us who has lost someone.

Friday, December 19, 2008

You know what makes me laugh this time of year?

Things that make me laugh around the holidays:

**Watching white guys (sorry, but, it is true) get out on the dance floor at your corporate party and try to do the running man, because you still think that is "in"

**Trying to back out of a parking space (which happened to me a couple of days ago) and have two women right up on your tailgate to get your spot. One had a handicapped sign, the other had some other kind of sign going with her finger. They got so angry with each other, that I never got to get out of the parking space. Finally, I did...and I think the handicapped woman won...but, I do know some sign language and the other lady well...lets just say had some choice words.

**Why is it that my mother thinks because something is 75% off at a store, that she has to buy it for Christmas just for me. It is always those 1970 gold slippers. What is up with that? Or she buys me a Triple X Large Shirt because it was on sale. I am a Medium. She says, "well you never know when you might need it"

**Tell me please why people are so angry this time of year? If you go into a public setting...there are scowls, and anxiety from not buying that perfect gift, or stress from making 1000 perfect cupcakes or cookies. Somebody enlighten me.

**Why is that Christmas music starts Nov. 1st and by now, you want to throw a brick at your radio. That makes me laugh...

** The funniest thing about this Christmas has been this thing called "Elf on a Shelf". The premise is that the "Elf" has magical powers to move from room to room in the house. He is always watching you, so, he will tell Santa Clause what you have been up to. Our kids wake up and the first thing is to find "Buddy" (after Will Ferrells character Buddy in Elf) and they love it. But, for us...each night we (well, Blake) are scrambling to find the next hiding place. The things you will do....

But, what really makes me laugh this time of year is to watch our children. They LOVE Christmas and the decorations, lights, the whole nine yards. They remind me of everything that we need to do to prepare for Christmas as I am driving them to school.

"Mom...we can't forget to buy the cake stuff so we can make a cake for Jesus birthday. I am pretty sure he wants chocolate with red and green stuff on top".

"Mom, please don't forget to put out the food for the reindeer. Do you think they are going to need a water bowl, there is a lot of them?"

"Mom, I hope Buddy (the elf) doesn't tell Santa that I peed in my pants. Do you think he will tell him?"

It makes me laugh so hard. And watching our youngest son just sit right in front of the Christmas tree and stare and lightly touch the tree. He won't move for hours.

There is laughter in everything....look for it. It is there. Slow down when you are trying to find that parking spot. Who cares anyway? You will find another one. Don't worry so much about the gifts...make someone something from your heart, a picture book with your favorite pictures of them. That will be something what they keep around for a very long time. Don't kill yourselves over the cupcakes and cookies. The children will not care how pretty they were. They just care that it went into their bellies. And instead of getting yet another pair of gold slippers...I am just going to be grateful that I have my mom and dad here near me.

Just laugh...that is the greatest gift.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Tell me why?" A question asked from a young child

Our children ask me a lot about the little girls in our picture at home. Especially our 8 year old. One is of Philisia whom I have sponsored since 1995 from Africa and Alyona our host child from Ukraine. She asks me " Why does she have no food or water (regarding Philisia), or why does Alyona not have a Mommy and Daddy and does not get to have a bath like we do" Or why does Santa not come and visit them?" I have Philisia and Alyona framed and put on our wall so that they will not be forgotten.

Then comes the questions of our son whom we adopted from Russia in 2006. The girls ask about why he was born with a deformed hand. Or why did his Mommy leave him in the hospital and never come back?. Sophia went to Russia with us and she saw the children in the orphanage. She constantly asked "Why?" Like "Mommy, why can't that boy hold his head up, does that mean he will never get a Mommy and a Daddy?" The little boy was severely disabled.

No one gives us a book on how to answer these questions. Blake and I struggle a lot on the "Why" questions, especially when it comes to tragedy, unfortunate situations, etc. I was blessed going on Mission Trip in the youth of my life and saw things that I never expected to ever see. I try to speak from what I learned from those experiences.

We tell our children that God has a plan. We don't know what that plan is. But, He does have a plan.

About Nikolai....we tell them "God made each person in this world special, including you and you, and Nikolai is no different. He has a special hand that maybe one day, he will throw a wicked curve ball in baseball or find a cure for a rare disease...who knows?, But, God had this woman carry Nikolai in her stomach so that he may be born into this world so that he can meet his Mother and Father and family....and that is us. Sometimes, the family we are supposed to be with is not always in front of our eyes, or from our blood, or they may be half way across the world like us. But, God had a plan. It just may not be the kind you are used to seeing"

Or Philisia in Africa. "God has something just as special for her too. Maybe with our help and those of others, she can learn new things that will help her make a difference in her part of the world"

Or Alyona in Ukraine " God is watching over her. He knows where her family is. It isn't always the people that helped bring her into this world. God picked 2 people to be a vehicle to bring her to the parents that were meant exactly for her. And, blood does not always make a family. It resides in your heart. So, she may be 11 years old. But, God has a plan. And our job is to continue to pray and to support her in any way we can. We send money to help her learn English so that she may have more opportunities."

We don't have the right words. But, even as adults we ask "why". I just told this to our 8 year old lying in bed reading a book. "Mommy and Daddy don't always have an answer to your why's. But, I can tell you this much....we are put on this earth to serve. Not to just get get, get." Of course she said "Serve what? donuts?" Laughing..I say "No, we are put here to help others in anyway we can. So, when you ask us "Why did God let this happen?, how about next time, let us all ask him "What?, instead of Why?"

And truthfully, that is what I believe. We all ask 'Why?" and we may not get our answer today or tomorrow. But, God has a plan.

I say to all of us, especially to myself..."What can I do to help take away their sorrow or help with their burden" Isn't our time on earth about that?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I am NOT a good sick person. I do not do well at all being made to rest. I get angry and sad. Because, I like to be in control and what has been happening to me....there is no way that I can be in control. Makes me so frustrated!!

I am not complaining though, because I have made it 2 or 3 whole weeks without being in the hospital or ER. Trust me, that is a victory. I have mentioned before how easily I could pass out. Unfortunately, the last 2 times have been much longer in duration. I hear the person coming to my aid, but, I can't do anything with my body. So, last night...I got so sick to my stomach and lets just say, I was so sick that my shoes came out. (i know, I know).

I try with my nutrition and keeping hydrated. That is what helps my kidneys and intestine issues. But, when I get sick like that, there is nothing left. I am deficient a lot in potassium and and what happened last night....I stood up and took a few steps and went face down, out of it for what seemed like forever. I couldn't move my body....but, I did wake up enough to call out for someone. Finally my daughter found me and got my husband. They quickly put me in the bed and Ran for some type of sugar and something to drink. I don't remember much and must have feel asleep and abruptly woke up at close to midnight and then had insomnia. Obnoxious.

The good thing for me is that there is more and more larger time spans in between the major problems or the fainting. I had a wonderful weekend and plan to again this weekend. I take each day one at a time. I am grateful for a lot. All of my doctors and alternative doctors are drilling in my head that I had to do whatever it takes to take out the stress. I don't know how people do it. I do meditation, starting back in Yoga, Pilates. But, I don't know how to remove the stress. I noticed that a couple of days before last night, I had a lot weighing on me and I internalize things and then I don't want to eat or drink and it takes me down a very bad phyiscal road.

At least now, I can look back and see when the stress is happening and what kind it is. So, I am prayerful that I can not let things/people affect me so much. That is going to be a true goal for me.

I feel so terrible that it traumatizes my husband and children so much. But, many times I have no control over it. But, I can at least recognize when I am getting worked up and eat protein and keep my fluids way up.

I am grateful that I have my parents to help me when I am very weak like today, while hubby is out of town.

Frankly, I have sooo much to be thankful for.

I am not going to let this take me down.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Power of Friendship..

The one thing that I have especially learned over the years, is the power of friendship. Friends (and family can do this) can make you feel like you can take on the world. And with that same power, friends with just a few words or no words at all can cut you to the bone.

I have talked about the fact that for the last several years, I have not had a good few years, especially this year with health. Unfortunately, I have actually gone into a shell and did not reach out to anyone. Many different reasons, I didn't want to constantly talk about this and that surgery. And I slipped further and further away. Down to the point, where I was no longer speaking to anyone.

So, I was that friend where the other person didn't know if they did anything wrong and I would always cancel going anywhere. I realized that it does take 2 to be friends and I couldn't keep dumping all the bad stuff on them all the time.

Since my last stay at the hospital (October), I realized that I had to start living and living means to start opening up to old friends and new friends and just try. Because you never know how long you have in life. I had a family member tell me that all I think about was myself and am not aware of what anyone else is going through. It hurt me, but, she made me realize that she was right. I was so self-absorbed with my own issues.

So, that is exactly what I have been trying to do slowly but surely. I am so far behind with so many people. But, with the new invention of Facebook, it has been a blessing in connecting. Some of my old friends would never understand this...but, it has taken a long time to get the nerve up to reach out. I was always the one that was the outgoing one and never really had a problem making friends.

Now, if there is something going on the neighborhood (and assuming everyone is well), I try to get involved or at least write my neighbors, who are on face book.

Good friends will stick with you through the storm, you won't get a lecture while the storm is raging. So, I have to keep my eyes on that and remember that God is putting people in my path that should be there. I have prayed and prayed so much for Him to bring new and old friends in my life that would help lift me up, not bring me down.

So, thank you new and old friends for connecting back with me. You have helped me more than you can ever, ever know.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Way You Love Me

*****I write with a heavy heart today. Albeit, I have much to be grateful for. I never forget that. This is one of my favorite songs. It is so true for many periods of my life. I haven't lost it all right now, but, I could if I keep doing things my way. So, it is time to let go and give it up to Him. Realizing that tears are not a sign of weakness, for me.....Ms. Independence, I can do it all by myself, I don't need any help, I can do it on my own.....tears are a sign to me that I am gaining strength.***

The Way You Love Me - Anthony Evans

This heart breaks slowly tells me “what are you doing to me?”
When I prayed, do what it takes
I didn’t know I’d lose everything

Everything that meant anything to me was gone
Something right has to come from this wrong

It is the hurt that breaks me
It is the pain that pulls me to my knees
And the tears, they’ve changed me
To what I couldn’t see
Become so clear to me
This is the way, the way that you love me

My way destroyed me
I couldn’t see I was my worst enemy
So you took away, till my soul ached
And I knew it was no mistake

Everything that meant anything to me is gone
Something right has to come from this wrong

It is the hurt that breaks me
It is the pain that pulls me to my knees
And the tears, they’ve changed me
To what I couldn’t see
Become so clear to me
This is the way, the way that you love me

You loved me so much that you let me, you let me fall knowing that I would lose it all and hear your call
You loved me so much that you chased me, when I ran away you captured me by letting me run
To the end of myself, to the end of myself

And this is the way you love me
The way you love me

It is the hurt that breaks me
It is the pain that pulls me to my knees
And the tears, they’ve changed me
To what I couldn’t see
Become so clear to me
And this is the way, the way that you love me

This is the way you love me