Monday, July 16, 2012

What if that was me...

My mommy has a friend who went a long ways away to go bring her little girl, Katie, home.  I would love to be Katie's friend.  Katie has Down Syndrome like me, and she has lots of brothers and sisters now like I do, but she has had a very different life than I have had.

I was born to a mommy who loved me and stayed by my side every day that I was in the hospital, and then she I was strong enough she took me home.  Katie never new knew her mother and until her new mommy came and found her, she had spent every day of her life in a place like a hospital, but no one took good care of her their.

I was taught to do the things that I couldn't learn to do on my own - I was taught to feed myself, to help get my clothes on, to walk and run and things like that.  Katie stayed in her crib all day, every day.  She was never taught how to do anything.

I had my diaper changed many times every day, and I was fed three meals a day and lots of snacks too.  I got lots of nummy mommy's milk for my first few months, and healthy formula after that until I could start eating real food.  Then I got to try lots of different foods and I loved most of it. Katie was given a bottle every day, propped up so the formula would run down her throat, make her choke, and a lot of it got on her bed.  I had to have my liquids thickened for a long time so I wouldn't breath in the fluids and get breathing problems.  Katie probably ended up breathing the liquids and getting sick from that happening.

I was talked to, hugged, kissed, cuddled and rocked to sleep. If I woke up during the night, my mommy would feed and care for me and help me to go back to sleep.  Katie was rarely held or touched except for bottle feeding and diaper changes, but the diaper changes were only once a day.  If Katie woke up at night there was no one to hear her cries except for the other children in their cribs.

My mommy carefully weighed me regularly to make sure I was gaining weight like I should and I did great - in fact I'm big for my age!  Katie was probably weighed and when she went home to be with her forever family she weighed only 10 1/2 pounds.  That's not bad for a newborn, but she was NINE YEARS OLD!  I weighed that when I was 2 months old, and I had a big heart problem that made it hard for me to gain weight!

My mommy took me to the doctor when I got sick.  Katie and her friends have probably never seen a doctor until her mommy found her.  If I had lived where Katie lived I would have died.  Many children die in that house - 18 in just one year.  This is so sad.

Thankfully my friend Katie no longer lives at that hospital like place called Plevin.  Thankfully God brought Katie to her forever family and now she's just like me! Well, almost.  But Katie is growing fast - she weighs probably over 30 pounds now.  She isn't walking yet, but she's learning by using a special walking machine.  She gets lots of therapy, especially from her brothers and sisters just like I do.  She's learned to feed herself, and she never gets a bottle anymore.  The best thing she has learned is that she is loved.  She is happy now and always well cared for.

I think the best thing that Katie has gotten to do since she came home to her forever family is to go outdoors.  She's played in the sprinkler, swung in a swing, swam in the lake and enjoyed all the beautiful flowers too.  She loves to do those things just like I do.

But do you know what is really sad?  There are so many other children living at Plevin.  Still waiting for their forever families to rescue them from that terrible place.  Maybe people are working to make Plevin better, but it will never compare to having a home where they are loved and cherished all day, every day.

My mommy want you to help - go to Katie's mommy's blog post to see some of the children still living in plevin and see if your forever child is there.  Or help the Brown's to adopt Gemma by sending money to them through Reece's Rainbow.  Or maybe you could become a Prayer Warrior or an Orphan Warrior like my mommy did!  Just do something. These children need a loving home like I have, like Katie has. It's just that simple.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fun times with Esther and lost photos!

Esther has had some great new experiences in the past few weeks!  First off was going to the Lynden City Fire Department for a tour.  She got to sit in an ambulance and a fire truck and even got to take home a fireman's hat.  She loved all the firemen, but got a bit board when they talked for too long and she tried to run out the big doors...but we caught her before she got very far!

Esther also got to spend two days at the lake, playing in the sand, the waves and exploring our friend's back yard even thought it was a cloudy day and it even rained a bit.  She got really cold, but her sister, Rebekah helped warm her up by putting her in our Ergo carrier on her back and putting mama's coat over them both.  She also enjoyed posing for the camera during our dinner on the deck.

 Riding on her sibling's backs is one of her favorite things to do.  Riding in her car seat is always fun because Esther knows that going in a car/van/truck means going to go do something fun, usually.  When we leave with out her she is so depressed.  She cries and cries.  This trip she was upset about something, but she then consoled herself by her usual way - sucking her thumb.  I know, she's almost 4 years old and it's getting time to start breaking her of the habit, but I just can't do it yet.

Esther also got to go to a birthday party and she sat up at the table with great manners and made her mama so proud!

Esther has many talents that keep us entertained.  The older kids made up some ribbons on sticks and Esther loved to spin them around, especially when she would get two of them.  She was moving them so fast that I decided to try to do a blur action photo and it worked wonderfully.  Her symmetry of motion with both hands was amazing!
At the dentist's office she did so well that she earned a sticker, and it was such an appropriate sticker because Esther smiles so much of the time. Her and her sisters had a lot of fun with this sticker, that is for sure.

Speaking of sisters, Esther has 5 sisters now and she got to have her picture taken with all of them recently.  Three big sisters and three little sisters, isn't that just wonderful?

Esther loves to smile, as I've said before, and she also loves to pose for the camera.  Often she's making funny faces too or making weird poses, but this is Esther through and through!
Recently I resurrected my I-phone and found some photos on there that I had never taken off.  This is Esther when she had pneumonia.  She was 2 1/2 and spent 5 days in the hospital.  I know it was March 12, 2011 that she was admitted because I got to watch all the events unfold in Japan when the huge earthquake and tsunami wreaked such devastation there.  She was one sick cookie!  Since then we have been using breathing treatments whenever she gets a cold and she hasn't had any major problems with breathing when she's sick.
In the next photo you can see when she was starting to feel better and starting to eat again, but you can tell by her eyes that she wasn't herself again yet.  In the next photo you can see that she is ready to go home.  She's cleaning her hospital room!  She was a very busy lady who wanted to get down and play on the floor and take everything out of the drawers.  I knew she was feeling better because she wouldn't be content in her bed anymore!
In these next photos, you can see when Esther fell and cut her head.  She had just learned to walk well and tripped and fell while holding a plastic cup.  Her head landed on the edge of the cup and it cut through right above her eye and left a round bruise under her eye.  She was quite the little trouper at the hospital, but she did not like having the cut irrigated, not one bit. But between Jessica and I we were able to comfort her through it all.