Sunday, December 28, 2014

had ourselves a merry little Christmas

we went to will's parent's house for Christmas this year and had a good time hanging out with namaw, poppie, cousins meri and ethan, and aunt lynn and uncle mike.  dax enjoyed playing puzzles, memory games, race cars, and kitchen time with his cousins.  
sporting an outfit his namaw gave him for his birthday.
on Christmas eve we went to a candlelight service at namaw and poppie's church.  the singing was beautiful and singing silent night a cappella with our candles lit had me crying.  we're so blessed in this life to have a saviour, have our family, to be healthy, have a roof over our heads, and plenty to eat.  poor dax had fallen asleep on the way to church and didn't wake up until we were heading back out to the parking lot, but it did make for a peaceful time and gave him some much needed rest.  
dax ended up in our bed on Christmas eve and was with us on Christmas morning.  he was a little groggy so we gave him a Christmas cookie and his "home" stocking to open in bed.  that helped his spirits lift to get him ready for the main event in the living room when the cousins arrived.  
he enjoyed finding some clementines, bunny crackers, and several toys in his stocking.
my baby and his sweet feet.
eating his clementines.
overwhelmed by the site of the gifts under the tree!
the three cousins.
i got the tape!  (as he attempted to catch a balloon.)
poppie started a fire with "money" - rolls of "money!
loving his magnet board.
he did really well with opening things, waiting his turn, and being excited for everyone.  most of his presents were educational and or had some purpose (like a snow suit, thick coat, and snow boots) - but i think he would have been happy opening boxes of crackers.  (ahem, vicki.)  after everyone had opened their gifts we took him into his room and played several puzzles to attempt to reground him.  he was a little overwhelmed with the chaos, but he quickly got back into reality with this little detox.
cousin ethan resting on the slide.
the day after Christmas we took advantage of the nice weather and took the kids to the park.  they all enjoyed running around and even daddy took a slip down the slide...
dax and daddy came FLYING off the slide and poor daddy hit the ground and his back on the end of the slide!  we decided to pack it up after this.
hope you and your family also had a merry little christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

joy to the world

ding dong ding dong - Christmas bells are ringing!  we slowly but surely decorated and got into the Christmas spirit.  dax was a huge help this season and really enjoyed decorating the tree, making ornaments at school to bring home, and reminding us to always check to make sure the lights are on every night (even though they are on a timer).
now that we've succumbed to the artificial tree we keep it stored in the attic.  dax wanted to use the long piece of "garland" that keeps the tree tightly wrapped as part of the decoration.  we let him hang that on the tree and then he went ahead and hung ornaments on that.

because dax's pre-school class is called "the owls" he's got quite a few owl ornaments this year.

 after tree decorating was finally done we found some other weekend down time to head to a live walk through nativity one night and then also to watch the local Christmas parade.  dax really got into all of the activities this year and especially loved the parade since it wasn't too cold outside and he got a lollipop.

dax and daddy watching for the first float.
we were all particularly fond of this high school marching band from southeast raleigh high.  this group of folks really got into it and stole the show!   

will held dax on his shoulders for the majority of the parade so he could see everything.  after a while he got a little fidgety, so i took over the holding process.  dax was liking this new perspective, and will was thankful for a break.

here we are seeing the big man in red.
this tuesday dax had his first pre-school on stage experience in their annual Christmas production.  dax missed several days being out last week for his ear infection, and so we were not quite sure how much he'd learned or how prepared he was for the big event.  he did surprisingly well standing on stage and even sang along to some of the songs at the critical moments.  earlier in the weekend he'd surprised me when i was singing "joy to the world" and he finished the rest of the song!  as verified they'd been working on it at school, so clearly he had picked up on some of it.  while he didn't sing every word, this boy sure does love a crescendo like his mama!

we're all excited to celebrate the season of Jesus' birth and cannot wait to spend time with family over the Christmas holiday break. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014


we've had a busy but good past few weeks.  we're thankful that daxton's eye surgery went better than expected and that he was able to completely enjoy his time with family at thanksgiving.  if you hadn't known he recently had surgery you probably really wouldn't be able to tell he'd been under the knife.

just before thanksgiving we noticed that one of dax's ear tubes was lying in his ear canal.  i removed it and commented that it would likely just be a matter of time before poor fella had another ear infection.  fast forward two weeks and here we sit with diagnosis #1 of an ear infection.  the dr. confirmed that the other ear tube is also working it's way out and laying further back in the canal.  she recommended that we schedule an appointment with his ENT to decide on the next plan of action - which is likely tubes round #2.  we've got that coming up on december 22nd.

i had lots of ear problems and multiple sets of ear tubes growing up.   it's sometimes almost unbelievable how in such a divine way we were given the child that God wanted us to parent.  it may seem small or insignificant, but i cannot stop thinking about how right we are for dax and how right he is for us.  by just previously dealing with tons of ear infections up into my twenties i'm better equipped to be his caretaker during the times he's having similar troubles.  will read two articles recently that discussed this idea - what a blessing it is that God gives us the right children.  we've never doubted - since dax came into our family - that he was destined to be with us, but its honestly a very emotional thing to think that even though your child was not born of your flesh they are so clearly born of your heart and how we fit so perfectly together.

wherever this frequent ear infection saga leads we've got faith in the outcome, but we're also glad we're equipped to handle the journey.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ptosis - levator resection surgery

we knew from the time daxton was a few days old that his sweet little eye lid on the left side just wasn't going to fully open without some coaxing.  when he was first born the doctors told us to apply warm compresses and see if that would help.  after that wasn't doing much they then suggested a blocked tear duct was causing some issues and then finally derived with the diagnosis of ptosis.  they weren't sure how severe it would be when he was just a little fella, so his opthomologist suggested waiting until he was three years old to do the re-evaluation and consideration of corrective surgery.

the doctor had assessed that he had 30% of the range of the right eye's lid use and he was a good candidate for the surgery.  it was hard to believe the time had come so quickly.  however there was no question of if we'd elect to do the surgery for him.  his primary doctor's office questioned us about it each time he came in and we reassured them we were going through with the levator resection surgery.  we knew just from watching him that he was compensating for not being able to see things by holding his head certain ways - tipping it back to see tall people or trying to open his eyes wider just to take it all in.  there were multiple occasions where kids made fun of him and we knew that it would only get worse as children get older and they tend to compare differences. 

three years came and went and we faced november 11th 2014 like champs.  (well, dax was a champ and will and i were sleepless babies.)  we had to be at the hospital at 6:15am which meant we needed to leave our house by 5:15am which meant we had to get up at around 4:30.  for me this meant no sleep.  i am a night owl and rarely fall asleep before 1am on a good night.  we had to get sweet sleepy dax from his slumber.  we'd told him several days ahead that we were going to the hospital and the dr. was going to do a surgery on his eye to help him see better but it still came as a shock when we woke him up from a dead sleep to put on his coat and hat.  we loaded him up into the car and began the nervous drive across town.  he was quickly checked in to registration and then the wait began to have him called back to the prep area.

dax had a blast playing in the waiting area and even thought it was fun to go back and play on the "pad-pad" while the nurses scurried around doing all of their pre-op work.  will and i sat nervously as we waited for his turn in the operating room.  the doctor went over the procedure again with us and then we met with the anesthesiologist who must have had to prepare us for the worst but it was just making my stomach churn in knots.  he gave us scenarios of daxton  throwing up and regressing with his speech and functions.  it was all just too much.  but, at this point what are your options?  so, before we knew it our sweet fella was being whisked away on a stretcher by two nurses who told him it was like "lightening mcqueen" and they raced him off to surgery.  we gathered up his things, not really looking at each other once he was gone and we've both since admitted to be crying.

we made it out to the waiting room for what we were told was going to be a one and a half hour procedure.  we waited.  and waited.  and waited.  they'd given us a tiny little status card with a number on it that you were supposed to use to watch your patient's status on the monitors with.  but, we kept watching and our sweet little's status was just not changing from OR to recovery.  so, after over two hours of nothing will had to go and ask what was going on.  the receptionist called back and got him an update that while things were taking longer than expected, they were going well and they were closing him back up at that time.  shew!  i was still on pins and needles until the doctor finally came out to give us the low down - but at least we could breathe!  

once the doctor came out and gave us the good news we were then taken back to the recovery area after about twenty more minutes wait.  when we rounded the corner we heard dax crying and both of our hearts went into a bit of a panic.  last november (when dax had his ear tubes/adenoid removal surgery) he did not do so well coming out of anesthesia and this is what we were fearing most from this procedure.  then, when we saw him he was being held by one nurse, connected to monitors, with his entire left side of his face patched over.  gulp.  it was a rough twenty or so minutes while we attempted to calm him.  (i applied do terra essential oils while nobody was looking and he did calm down a great deal.)  however, i figured out that they'd given him NO pain medication and i immediately demanded that they give him something.  it took quite a long time and i threatened to go to a pharmacy in the hospital and buy something to give him and they finally produced some tylenol with codeine.  after the dose of meds he was free to leave after thirty minutes.  he was doing well, so at that time we packed up our things and scooted back home.

the first night was a little rough, but we were sent home with ointment to place on his eyeball every hour and another ointment to go across the eyelid where the sutures were once daily.  every time you put on the ointment you also have to remove the guard and therefore remove the tape that holds the guard in place.  after removing this guard several times we noticed sweet boy's skin was becoming irritated.  it seemed the tape given to us in the hospital was some sort of industrial strength and it was literally pulling off his top layer of skin!  oyesa!  once we noticed all of this we attempted to get better tape, some duo derm, apply the tape in different areas each time, and remove with a warm wash rag held against the skin.  however, it was a little too late and sweet boy was already a little traumatized.  sigh.

the doctor told us that his eye would need to be covered by a clear plastic guard for two weeks, it may not ever fully close again, and it may take up to a year for it to come to its final resting state - which could be wider or lower than the other lid.  with all of the extreme information we didn't really know what to expect.  however, we have been pleasantly surprised in all of the following ways:
  • how he had very few side effects from the anestesia
  • how willing sweet boy is to work with us on keeping on the eye "bubble" (as he calls it)
  • how he keeps tiny fingers away from his eye
  • how he is recovering so quickly
  • how amazing his eye looks
  • how he can already blink his eye and force his faced into a squinched up position to close it if he wants
  • how adaptable sweet boy is
this is one snapshot of daxton watching about the fifty third showing of "the fox and the hound" which he absolutely fell in love with during this time.
tomorrow we go in for daxton's follow up appointment with his eye doctor and we're fully expecting to hear that the eye "bubble" can be removed just in time for a happy thanksgiving!  we're so thankful we did the surgery and daxton already tells us that his eye is "all better".   

(so, no regrets here except for telling the nurses prior to surgery that we wanted him to have pain medication as soon as they were able to give it to him.  no reason for unnecessary suffering.)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mommy's Freckles


Over there to the right!  See that book cover?  It's a link!

Announcing the "publication" of a book [Mommy's Freckles] written by yours truly in the fundraising efforts for our second transracial adoption!  This sweet little book is written through the perspective of my precious son Dax's eyes and tells the story of a family built by transracial adoption which reminds us that while we're not all entirely the same, we share lots of similar traits. Likewise, regardless of how similar or different we are we're all made in God's image and we're all perfect in His eyes!

Get your ebook version available for download on your ipad or a soft back printed copy today!

One hundred percent of the sales of this book go to benefit our second domestic transracial adoption.

Much Love,
Adri, Will & Dax

Monday, November 10, 2014

dax is three!

grab a cup of coffee and settle in, because this is going to be a little lengthy.

halloween was mostly fantastic.  daxton found out in the early evening that he was going to be buzz lightyear.  he was so impressed with his costume that he could not wait to get it on.  will helped him get fully dressed and then he proceeded to strike some poses and even show off his costume to his buzz lightyear toy.

he had a great time trick-or-treating!  he went from door to door, up and down long driveways and sidewalks, to ring the doorbells standing on his tippy toes to say "twick-or-twee"!  he always took just one piece of candy and was sure to follow it up with "thank you and happy hawwowee"!  we were very pleased with his manners and super exited how happy he was to be running around collecting something he'd never even eaten before.  he ended up scoring about three lollies from the grand adventure and i think some monster must have eaten the rest of his loot.

the reason things were only mostly fantastic was right before this shot of dax and buzz i realized something was wrong with my camera lens.  it was making a strange noise and i could not get the lens to adjust.  i left his room and went to check it out and heard something rattling around inside.  not good.  sigh.  then, after further inspection i found a metal clip was broken off flopping around inside the body of the lens.  yuck.  a trip to best buy where it was purchased confirmed the warranty was expired and then a trip to a real camera store a few days later confirmed we'd have to mail it back to canon to have them see if it could be repaired and if it would be cost prohibitive since it's likely going to be pretty expensive.  bigger sigh.  and so i go not only into dax's birthday, but the busiest holiday season of the year with my favorite lens in the crapper.  poops.

friday we took the day off and took dax to his favorite park.  we wanted to spend a little one on one with him before all the birthday craziness commenced.  he had fun running all over the place, playing in the sand, going up and down the slides, and swinging on swings.  he cried when we had to leave, but we had to make it to a doctor's appointment before the fam started arriving.  he did well at the doctor and when we got home it was about ten minutes before namaw and poppie arrived.  we had fun hanging out and watching namaw play the guitar.  shortly thereafter we had more guests when gran and nani arrived.  dax was pushing the limits of his day without a nap, but we survived through dinner and got ready for the big day.

that night we set a ton of balloons outside of daxton's door.  then, in the morning we serenaded him with our rendition of happy birthday.  we won't quit our day jobs.  then, it was off to the living room to start the approximately 12 hour package opening extravaganza.  personally i did not feel like i had purchased too many gifts, especially since i bought some here, some there, some two weeks later, etc.  however, when everyone else showed up with the same over the top amount the kid had seriously a package an hour to open, plus all of the frenzy from the birthday party.  shew!

we treated him to a cinnamon roll number three.  when we asked him if he wanted cinnamon rolls he said "no rolls" and then when he saw it he called it cake, and definitely wanted some - so we all played along.

after cake he had lots of energy to open some big gifts so he started with a giant box from namaw and poppie.  he was excited to see it was a farm and we had daddy build it so he could start playing immediately! 
after the farm was played out he bounced back to hungry hippo that he'd opened earlier and gran had to check out the "woo-wie" doll.

after lots of present opening and playing we all got ready to head to the gym for dax's birthday party.  he'd invited his entire class from preschool, some friends from church, and some of our neighbors.  we were excited that lots of people could make it since it was going to be dax's first party with friends.  we, of course had a buzz lightyear theme and served cake and popcorn - just like dax likes!

an amazing local cake baker/decorator made daxton a buzz cake.  he was amazed with the fact that buzz was coming right out of the cake!  there were also some alien cupcakes for the kids and parents to enjoy after the kids played at the gym.  everyone had fun bouncing, doing the obstacle course, playing with the hula hoops, going down the slide, playing with the parachute, and just running around and being somewhat crazy.  after enjoying the cupcakes and opening gifts dax thanked everyone for coming and we headed home.  we weren't out of the parking lot for three minutes before dax fell fast asleep.

however, once we got home he woke up during a diaper change and we couldn't get him back to sleep.  since we knew his birthmom was coming we let him fight it and stay awake, praying he wouldn't be too moody when she was able to make it.  

dax was super excited when the door bell rang and it was for him!  he opened the door and found his birthmom, half brother, and a cousin.  they all came in to play and wish dax a happy birthday.  it was great to catch up, show them the pictures from the party, and watch the kids play together.  we're always so thankful for the time that we can share together.  the most exciting little tid bit of the evening was when we learned that dax's birthmom has the same difficulty in keeping her pinky down if she holds up three fingers.  dax's pre-school teacher said she'd been working with him on that this week and he just couldn't keep that pinky down.  we'd noticed its cuteness as well, and we think its so precious that we can know where he gets that from.

will and i both commented that we think this might have been dax's happiest birthday ever.  he was surrounded by family and friends, got to play all day long, was the center of attention, got a phone call from the paw patrol, and got to eat cake at every meal!  there's no doubt how much this boy is loved - and so on that note, let me wish my boy a happy birthday.


You are the most amazing boy I know.  

I love your tender heart and the fact that you are always concerned when you hear a baby cry or think someone has a boo boo or hurt feelings.  I love how you run and hug me screaming "mommy" when I pick you up from pre-school.  I love how you want to "talk to Jesus" each morning as we pass by the stained glass windows at church.  I love how you're working so hard on your words and building your vocabulary and numbers.  I love all of the little projects you bring home from school each week, and how proud you are when we hang them on the wall.  I love how you love your daddy and you're always so excited when he comes home from work, and how you comment in the morning that "he'll be right back" - even though daddy's work days are about 12 hours long.  I love how you're trying new foods and even if you don't like something you at least let it touch your tongue before you say "ewwww - yuck"!  I love how you love to run, jump, and play outside.  I love watching you run with a huge grin on your face - feeling the wind as you scamper down the sidewalk and run off into the yard.  I love how you get so excited over simple things like ice, or airplanes flying in the sky, or even seeing a store display with some character from the movie frozen.  I love your innocence and how you always say a cheery "hi" to everyone we meet.  I love how you're still slightly offended if they don't respond.

There's not one thing I don't love about you, but the thing I love most is that I get to be your mommy.  It really makes me cry just thinking about how amazingly wonderful it is that God gave me the special gift of being your mom.  It's the best thing I've ever known and I'm so thankful for every second we've been given to watch you grow, learn, and love.


Poppie, Namaw, Will, Dax, Adri, Nani, Gran

(tomorrow is the big ptosis corrective surgery, so we'll chat more on that asap.)