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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

crazy dinner time

I KNOW that this happens to many of you out in blogger land. There are days when I want to cry when this is happening. There are days that I cannot help but LAUGH OUT LOUD that THIS is what is going on in my kitchen as I try to feed my brood of 9. There are times when I say to myself " SURELY this is not really my did this happen?!?!"
As many of you know, my son Michael and Gwen's son Jeremiah play basketball on Team 147. It has been so neat to watch these young boys spread orphan awareness as they travel and play ball. We will be loading on to a big coach bus to travel to New Orleans on Friday for a tourney. During the "planning phase" Gwen and I agreed to it, and now we are doubting ourselves!! Their teammates and their families have NO IDEA what they have gotten themselves into! It will be a CRAZY trip for them huh? Gwen says that as she is boarding with all of her kids she is going to put out the disclaimer that we voted "no" when they all voted "yes" to riding together!! We will return LATE Sunday. I will have 3 days to pack and prepare for our trip to Uganda to see Katie. We fly out next Thursday morning. I AM SO EXCITED I CAN HARDLY STAND IT!!!! Gwen and I have never traveled to Africa together, we have a LOT to get done while we are there. We will be blogging the whole time. Grace is going with us...can you imagine traveling with Lucy and Ethel? that is what her trip is going to be like. She never lacks for laughter when she is with Gwen and I!! I would really appreciate your prayers for preparation. When I start to think of all that needs to be done, and I will be gone for 3 days in between I start to gasp for air. OH WELL...

Monday, May 23, 2011

can someone shout AMEN?!?!?!

I love all of these adjectives!! I really LOVE the end! WOW!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

to answer a few questions...

Because of the emails and messages that I have received about my last post, I thought I would just blog my answers...not that I have that many....haha

The minute, that the nurse asked "what are her daily meds?" my test chest tightened and I thought "OH MY, what will be her response?" As I listed them, her face became more and more perplexed. There was a short silence and she said "these are anti-viral meds for HIV/AIDS?" and I responded "yes maam." After she pulled her manual out, she explained that they were not equipped to diagnose anyone taking those type of meds. She told me that she dealt with AIDS regularly at her "other job" but had never seen it at this one. (HINDSIGHT: I didn't think to ask what her "other job" was...) I DID explain that the reason that I brought her was to get her ears checked and just get some "routine" anti-biotics. I knew they would not be drawing blood, etc... and that is when she said "no maam, I would get in BIG trouble for assessing her...and gave me a list of places that WOULD treat her.

After getting home, I thought back through my day. I was still perplexed as to why she couldn't just look in her ears and give me a basic z-pack or amoxicillin. My mother-in-law is an infection disease nurse and she said that the minute clinics are not equipped to decide what meds can mix with others. So, when you are on the meds that Josie is they just completely steer clear. It is still perplexing. If I had it to do over I have a list of things that I would ask... haha.

I was talking to a friend last night that had read my post and she was asking me questions about it. I said to her, " honestly, before bringing Josie home, if you would have told me that a mother took her HIV child to a minute clinic, I would have responded quite differently." I would have thought...."why would a mother take a child with HIV (something SO severe to a minute clinic?!??!) Is she crazy??!!" The reality IS our new normal and while it seems pretty insignificant now that she is well and thriving, we live in America and there is A LOT of educating that needs to be done. While it seems crazy to me, there are many legal ramifications that all of our doctors/nurses have to deal with. I have to be okay with it and continue to pray for the Lord to lead me in HOW to respond. HE will take care of the rest. I do not need to try justify anything, I am doing well to just live each day out relying on HIM. I will learn from my mistakes. Will NOT make them again, and be thankful that HE has entrusted me with her little life and HE will equip me with what I need.

I AM VERY encouraged that those of you that know Josie's story are now educated. You are equally as perplexed as I was on Sunday. THAT alone, makes my heart happy, that we are joining minds and hearts to bring light to the stigma that surrounds this virus. In the end, HE ALONE will be glorified through this little girls story!!

On an even MORE encouraging note, we are almost through with her testing for school/therapies. She is doing AWESOME!! the therapists are in awe of her progress over the past 19 months. They are so encouraging and are saying that they think that she can catch up and flourish in the classroom setting. WITHOUT DOUBT she is very intelligent! whoooop!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


If you follow my blog, you have seen over the past year what a stinker Josie Love can be. The other day, I asked her to go get her sandals out of her cubby, so that we could leave. When I didn't see her for awhile, I went searching. Josie+quiet=T-R-O-U-B-L-E!! THis is what I found.

She couldn't find her sandals in her cubby, so she just decided to go through every other child's cubby and look for her shoes. I could scream and get really frustrated or I could use this as a time to clear out all of the shoes that do not fit anymore. I chose the latter. (thankfully, we didn't have anywhere to be at a specific time.)

I took her for the testing of her speech therapy and she did really well for the first 30 minutes, and then she decided to act as though she was sleeping. LITERALLY, SNORING!! I would shake her and she was like a noodle. (grin on her face the whole time!) Finally, I took her out of my lap, sat her in the chair and said "okay, you do it!" and she sat up real big in her chair did about 20 more questions, then went limp again, snoring, with a grin on her face. SERIOUSLY? I got my oldest four off to school, showered, actually fixed my hair and make-up, had a sitter come for Joshua and Caleb, for THIS!??! So, the therapist decided to do the rest of her assessment at her preschool. We have her occupational therapy testing tomorrow..please pray for me! haha

Mother's Day was a hard day for me. Josie has been really congested with allergy symptoms. She had started complaining with her ear hurting, so I figured that she had developed an ear infection. I was afraid to let her go another day because I didn't want the pain to become more severe. I decided to take her to the minute clinic and let them check her ears and give us some meds...pretty simple procedure..I THOUGHT. We sat for 45 minutes, waiting to be seen. The nurse practitioner called her name, we went in, she took her temp, blood pressure, weight, etc....and right before she looked into her ears she asked me if she was on any daily meds and if so, what kind. SO, I gave her the names of her meds and INSTANTLY a light bulb went off in my head and I thought "what if they won't treat her?" The nurse looked a little stunned and asked if her meds were anti-virals and I said "yes" and she said "I can't treat her." She pulled out a HUGE book and started thumbing through it. She landed on a page and pointed to script (at the time was blurry for me because my eyes were welling with tears) and said "see? right here, I can't treat her." She asked me if she had AIDS, and I said "no ma'am, she is hiv positive and her viral loads are undetectable. I would have never brought her in if she had any significant symptoms, no breathing issues, no temperature, nothing severe...just an ear infection" and she very quickly clicked out of our account and sent me on my way. I cried the whole way out of the store. I was ANGRY. I was ANGRY at that lady. I was ANGRY at myself, for thinking that it would be okay to bring her there. I was ANGRY at Mike for not thinking ahead and mentioning that they might not see her (just because he always thinks ahead, he always thinks of the unthinkable....) Has Josie's HIV become so "normal" to us that we are no longer "guarding" our hearts from the pain that instances like this one can cause? I could have reached a point of anger and hurt that would not have been unhealthy. Anger and hurt on behalf of my little angel who was sitting in my back seat totally oblivious that I was weeping on her behalf. At that moment, I had a decision to make. I could sit in my bitterness or I could be thankful. Thankful that she is so healthy now. Thankful that I do not even think of the HIV as even being an issue any more. Thankful that it IS my new "normal" and that my family is shocked when I return home and tell them that the nurse wouldn't treat her. And most of all, THANKFUL that this happened NOW, I learned from my mistake, and will NEVER make this same mistake when she is old enough to understand what happened in that office. She would have felt so rejected....but thankfully, I felt it on her behalf this time. Reality stared me in the face. Sadness filled my heart, and I couldn't help but to think that one day when we are in heaven, there will be no sickness. We will all just be happy to be in the presence of our sweet Savior. On Mother's Day, my heart longed to feel that presence. There will be no heartache and my little girl will be viewed from the world's eyes NO LONGER. Just our heavenly Father's eyes...who made her wonderfully and perfectly.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

psalm 139:13-18

you might need to go to my playlist (on the right) and hit the pause button so the music doesn't get mixed in with Josie's voice during the video

Saturday, May 7, 2011

time away

I always hesitate to blog if I have had the chance to get away. I typically get comments telling me that I live a "lavish" lifestyle or I could have spent the money that I spent on my time away on helping orphans...or a question asking me if I know what it feels like to "give til' it hurts." All of that said, I seem to always receive the most "AHA" moments when I am away because I sit quietly and pour out my heart to the Lord and he fills my cup, tablespoon, by table spoon. It is not until I sit quietly that I realize just how depleted that I am.

Mike's company sent us on a trip to Sea Island, Georgia. Over the years, it has grown to be my most favorite place on earth. It is QUIET, beautiful, smells of jasmine, and just dreamy. Mike laughs at me because I try to walk around with my eyes closed just soaking up the smell. I literally look around and whisper thanksgiving that HE would make our world such a beautiful place to live.

being thankful: check.

This year, I asked myself, is this place REALLY this extraordinary? or do I just TAKE the time to soak everything up when I am here?

A few weeks before we left for our trip I went to see a nutritionist. It was LONG overdue. I have been meaning to go for awhile now. I KNOW that Josie Love's diet is vital for her to be healthy, but quite honestly, since bringing her home, I've been doing well just to get everybody fed and her meds given. Not to mention, that Grace is now 15 years old, and she needs to know a HEALTHY way to eat so that she feels good. ( for that matter, each and every one of them need GOOD fuel for all of this extra crazy energy that they exude!)

She walked me through "good fats" vs. "bad fats", that we need to eat every three hours, and water, water, get the idea. Just making myself aware of what our bodies need to feel good (mama was lacking some energy) and be healthy was fabulous. Now that it is in the forefront of my mind, I am encouraged and excited rather than feeling a little overwhelmed on what each person needs for their make's all about having a "plan" hahha.

children's overall health: check.

Each morning, I got up, read my Jesus Calling, my bible, and took time to think about each one of my children. Their strengths, weaknesses, how I can pray for them, and what I specifically need to do for each one to make sure that I am reaching their heart and meeting their needs. While I KNOW how different they are, when I started doing this...I started feeling REALLY overwhelmed. they all have such different needs and wants. HOW IN THE WORLD CAN I DO ALL OF THIS!??!!

and then the whisper....."you're NOT..I AM!!" " I AM going to do it through you" is what I heard. I could have started crying.

Thankfully, HE has them. I am just here to make sure that their needs (laundry, food, sleep, etc..) is taken care of. HE HAS THEM. Whew!

once again, realizing that I AM NOT IN CONTROL: check. time alone with Christ: check.

Mike and I sat across from each other and talked, caught up on the past few months of sporadic conversations...actually finished them. I am SO thankful for him. He is such a gift.

time alone with my sweets: check.

And then, for my fortieth birthday present, my 3 best friends from high school came down!!! (I'm thinking I want to turn 40 next year also!!) Mike flew home, and I had 3 days with my girlfriends and we laughed and laughed and laughed.

relationships/laughter: check.



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I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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