Summit, Adoption, and Surgery

We have hit the 15 month mark with having Zach.
We have hit the 2 month mark with Tim's company.

Both seem incredibly unbelievable.  A verse Tim has hung very tightly to for a long time, but now has real meaning is this...

Isaiah 42:16. I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.

Tim's company has been the best thing that has happened to our family. Summit Heating and Air and you can find us on Facebook for info and reviews! It has been also the greatest and smoothest transition we have ever had as a family. He was a born entrepreneur, hard worker, and we make a great team at getting it done. It has been so fun and exciting to watch the business grow. This time of year was perfect to launch it because things aren't too crazy yet. We are a little nervous about the summer and the pace that is about to hit, but ready or not, here comes the heat!!!

I have been helping Tim with the logistical parts of his company because that is the only way I can contribute! And that is also my gifting and what I do on a really part time basis. I took on 2 big contracts this year with corporate event planning and have my days planned out for the rest of the year. It has been a blessing and also a great outlet for me to step away and run something start to finish. Most of my time, however, is still spent as a mama. I am at the school all the time and I am soaking in the times of field trips, eating lunch with them, reading to their class, and all the parent teacher meetings that come along with a kindergartener, first grader, and second grader. I get in carpool line every day at 2:45 and bring them home to have our time here. I always thought when they were out of the house for a big chunk of the day that my house would be clean. Those are lies... just so you know!

I also thought at this point in motherhood, that I would not struggle as much with how hard the days can be. That is also the same. Some days we have great accomplishments. Other days, I feel defeated. I wonder what in the world I have done wrong to get the attitude and tones of voices that come out of each of my kids mouths. I critique, beat myself up, and make vows that I will surely break the very next day. I cherish each moment with each kid, but at the stroke of bedtime, completely praise God I have made it. We are fine tuning behaviors and responses. We are trying our best to do it right. But, we shake our fist and the inability to do it right all the time.  I get frustrated. I get impatient. I yell. I put off important conversations because I am just too exhausted to do it. I care so deeply and love them fiercely, but they can all 3 break this mama from time to time.

It is in these moments that I am desperately glad we have a Savior. Because of Him, I have the strength, hope, perspective, grace, endurance, forgiveness, humility, love, wisdom, and truth to raise them. It is in these days of defeat that I can not point them to myself, but to the Father I know. And that  loves. And that loves me back no matter how far I steer off course.

Adoption, I now believe, hits up there at the hardest thing we have done. The layers and layers and layers and layers of a hurt, abused, abandoned child are endless. Exhausting. Compassion can carry you for a while, but then you have to ask God to give you his energy to work in you and through you to carry out the calling you have. He is un-recognizable from the child we met 15 months ago. He is on his way to complete healing.

15 months ago when we moved Zach in, we were dealing in crisis mode. Zach spoke few words. Zach had not been a general education student. Zach had not been in a home, not with a family, not with a mom and dad, and certainly no idea of what a brother and sister were. 
I feel as though sometimes right now I am currently experiencing some post traumatic stress from going down in the hole with him, sitting with him, and waiting until he was ready to come out. I have flashbacks to the very beginning. Zach didn't know basic self care. Zach didn't know the names of most normal food that people ate. Zach had never been anywhere and definitely did not know any social norms, rules, and appropriate things to do in public. His responses to others were animalistic .... he was in fight or flight and could not communicate. I remember the other kids. Zach was one of seven at the orphanage. I will never forget their faces. I remember them the night we took Zach for good. I wanted so bad to grab all of them as we left with 1 black garbage bag of all of the things Zach owned. I wanted to take those others and not leave them behind. Mackenzie asked me what would happen to them and it broke my heart that I could not answer that for her. The injustice stung and unfairness for these kids was too much.  I had to take my passion and put it towards the one I did get, the one I fought for, and the one that we had to pry out of the state run facility. 
The ability for a child from his kind of trauma to immediately latch onto his new family, call us mom and dad right away, and attach to us like we have always been together. There has been hope.
The first real prescription pair of glasses he got changed his life when he could see. There has been hope.
The first time he saw a family function in a house hold. He learned to get dressed, brush teeth and go to the bathroom in a weekend. There has been hope.
The first time we heard him answer our questions, start asking us questions, responding and interacting with people. There has been hope.
The fact he has gained 25 lbs and grew too many inches to count and 3 shoe sizes in 15 months. There has been hope. 
The ability for him to learn, become like his peers, play sports, do chores, and do everything a normal 8 year old boy should do. There has been hope.

Zach really is a modern day hero, yet everything has come at such a huge cost. It takes every ounce of energy (way more than renovating a house) to acclimate a non socialized person into a socialized world. There is this window of moldibility we have to transform, make new, and re-train, re-correct, and teach him how to do everything.

It is already hard with biological kids to do those things on a normal timeline, but then you have a child that basically is similar to a newborn, and you have 8 years to catch up. And that's in my court now because he is our son. Our personalities are intense and we go all in. We won't stop for him and we will make it all right. And we will plead to God for Him to make it all new.

We found another big missing puzzle piece that we know is going to help Zach. He was like this box of puzzle pieces with half of them missing that we had to find. That we had to figure out the big picture. It feels like it has taken us forever, but it has only been 15 months. So here is the story:

The very 1st appointment I took Zach to was a ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) doctor. My gut said something was up. Wrong. Bad.
They did a check up and topically checked everything and said he was fine. I moved on to the other 4,000 appointments I had him booked for.
A year later, it still bugged me. He wasn't fine. He isn't fine. They are wrong.
Literally, in the middle of the night, I woke up and the words sleep apnea came to my mind. Front and center. Like God literally spoke those words and put them in my brain.
What is sleep apnea? I don't even know.... I don't know anyone that has it and I don't even know what it is.....
Thus led to one of my fun all night long internet research studies to learn. Zach had about half of the red flags. I slept a few hours and woke up and called the ENT. 
To my surprise, they had an opening THAT day!
You can only imagine the crazy looks my husband is giving me the next morning when I tell him Zach has a 3pm ENT appointment for sleep apnea. Tim is used to my crazy so he wasn't even going to ask questions about it, but said to call him after.
The ENT was concerned enough to book a sleep study. So, next thing I know, we are spending the night in the hospital for a sleep study. He rocked it and took it like a champ. Another thing I couldn't believe he did.... fell asleep in a crazy room with 1 million wires hooked to him.

Sadly, the sleep study gave us some results. We followed up with a CT scan of his head and although he doesn't stop breathing during the night while he sleeps, he had almost complete blockage and impaction. Because of the type of care he had early on in life and prior to coming to us, Zach's infections from colds, viruses, strep, ear infections....  had caused his adenoids to enlarge WAY WAY out of control big and block airflow and also be the culprit of his nasaly voice. Before surgery was booked, the doctors put him on heavy rounds of steriods, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatorys to see if they could heal it. The meds slightly helped some of his airways enough for them to decide to NOT do reconstructive sinus surgery, but they said the adenoids have to come out.

The doctors are so confident in this surgery, they say it will increase his breathing by 100%. That air flow will help clear the rest of his airways. I have no idea how life changing this surgery is about to be. I just know that he will be able to really breath for the first time. And that he will be able to sleep soundly and deeply for the first time. He told me before that he has never had a dream. I don't think any of us know how much this will help him. I know lack of oxygen is a huge game changer for sleep, behavior,  and development. His airways in his sinus cavity are under developed from lack of oxygen so the doctors think he will catch up in no time at all. 

Its so easy to be excited that it is fixable, but I have to try so hard to not be so angry at how preventable it could have been. It is heartbreaking, but another step in Zach's healing and recovery. And for Tim and I .... another glimpse of hope. 

Please be praying for our boy! Surgery is April 6th. We are definitely praying and remain full of hope. Thankful for our community of support not only with our family, but our business, we are incredibly grateful for all of you!

1 comment:

Beth Stewart said...

I read all of these posts. I look forward to them, and I drink them in like water for my soul because that's what they are. They show me that is possible to do hard things. They show me that God gets you through the hard things. You, Jennifer, are a Warrior, and I am so proud to know you.

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