Thursday, December 31, 2009

In His Time

Dear Adoptive Bloggers,
A year ago right now, Ryan and I were spending every spare moment planning fundraising events, applying for grants and dreaming about our future children. I told people often that I was confident that if God put this desire in our hearts, He would see it through. Funds were raised as we needed them and we felt that this adoption was such an amazing way to glorify our Father. After we got our referral, we literally ran out of time and money. We humbled ourselves more then we could have imagined, scraped the bottom of the barrel and begged to borrow money to bring our boys home. After so many tears and sleepless nights, it happened. I was so confident last year at this time that we'd have the resources we needed. I was totally and completely wrong and that is the beauty of what God does. He provided everything we needed in His terms. I know how all of you waiting parents are feeling, all the uncertainty of adoption and the longing of your hearts. Hold fast that He will care for you and your babies in His own majestic way.
On another note, as a nurse practioner and adoptive mom, I feel obligated to tell you parents a few other "lessons" learned:
*Giardia rarely goes totally away without first initiating a TOTALLY lactose free diet. The gut needs time to recover after the therapy and many physicians may not know or recognize what a difference this makes.
*Ringworm is the norm but on black skin it rarely appears as a "ring." Most of the time, it is in bald spots on the scalp. Take lots of antifungal cream for everyone and be prepared to take oral treatment-point this out to your doc too because they may not know to recognize it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Entitled Complete because Christmas Eve, as we were snowed in just the 6 of us, I rocked Zeke while listening to Etienne, Blake and Molly whispering to each other in the next room, and that is the word that overwhelmed me. Ezekiel fell asleep with a smile on his face, Etienne asked over and over about Baby Jesus and Molly and Blake prayed for children at Home of Hope. What else could I possibly need? Wow. I can't put words into the gratitude I feel for the miracle of my family.
A year ago, we were planning our BBQ fundraiser and just getting our dossier complete and only beginning to imagine what our future new family members would be like. Three months ago, I was praying that I could find the strength to survive the day, that Zeke wouldn't cringe when I touched him and that Etienne would just hold still enough to for me to catch my breath. God has worked so many miracles in our family and I wish I could put the faith and joy that I feel in my heart into anyone else who may doubt that their Creator loves them.
I know that much of our country was snowed in, church services were cancelled, family gatherings delayed, but this snow allowed us reflect on the simplicity of what Christmas really is. We don't need to open a lot of presents with a crowd of loved ones, we don't need to sing carols and light candles; we need only recall the true miracle of the King born into a stall on a cold night to save the world.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Just another parasite....

We are thankful to have official results from Zeke's labs last week. He does not have tuberculosis and he does not have HIV. Praise God! We don't yet have all the Hepatitis results and we continue to have several severely stinky diapers a day. He has taken the last expensive round of anti-parasitic treatment, but it could take a few weeks for his gut to recover and he has moved on to a lactose free diet. The parasite has resulted in these stats since Zeke's arrival:
-2100 baby wipes (thanks, Andy and Katie for the cases we didn't think we'd ever use up!)
-570 diapers
-40 days of Flagyl treatment
-mastering of some first English words including "yucky" and "stinky"
-a personal relationship with the HyVee pharmacist. At this point, I know him better than my neighbors.
A parasite is nothing the Ezekiel can't beat. God moves mountains everyday and a parasite is just a little mole hill.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Little Hero

Mr Zeke was more than a trooper today. After reviewing all of Zeke's symptoms with the ID physician at Children's Omaha, she felt strongly that besides treating the giardia, we needed to retest him for a number of other diseases. This includes tuberculosis, HIV and the Hepatitis series. It isn't uncommon to test "false negative" when a child is nutritionally compromised, and then test positive after being in a healthier environment. In other words, this infectious disease doc may it pretty clear that she was "suspicious" of what was going on besides his parasite. We also have one more med to try orally ($45 with insurance!!!) before he needs IV therapy, so we are glad for that. I told the physician that this was nothing compared to all the mountains God had already moved for Ezekiel (and I didn't cry either!). So Zeke had 9 sticks before the lab could obtain enough blood. He visited radiology for awhile too and had a few other exams inbetween. The below pic is after he got his reward of french fries. We know that our Savior can move mountains, we've been blessed to witness His power in Zeke and Etienne's little lives, so we know that with faith, grace and prayers, Zeke's little body will test healthy soon. But my heart still needs reassurance.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

ID (as in infectious disease, not login)

Mr Ezekiel has earned himself a visit to the infectious disease clinic at Children's Hospital this week and I have to say, it can't come soon enough. There are times when he slips back into his old, orphanage behavior of screaming and screaming, but we are often wondering if some of his screaming is related to his crazy distended belly, his stinky diapers and constant dripping nose. The little guy has run the course of anti-giardia meds several times. Bless his heart, he is now putting himself in the timeout corner when he screams, says "peeze" and "dank eeww" better then all his siblings and a form of "sorry," after he throws a fit. Melts my heart every time. Although I still feel overwhelmed and frustrated, that I hide in my closet to cry; I am ever so grateful for these little blessings from our screamer.

Monday, December 7, 2009

So many firsts!

The last week has been eventful for the newest Higgins' boys. Here are some more "Firsts:"
1. Etienne got his first haircut (including a wash and blowdry), a very handsome 'fro for only $4!! Plus, Mama was educated, lists of supplies were made and hair pics were purchased.
2. Zeke slept a full 8 hrs without yelling, crying or even "bbbaaa"ing.
3. Both boys tasted snow on their tongues and on their little faces
4. Etienne and Blake are sleeping together in the Big Boy Room and loving it.
Wow. We've come such a long way in such little time! I am still frequently overcome with emotions as their mother and as God's blessed child. Today at Target, Molly saw a baby swing and she commented that it made her sad that her little brothers never got to have baby swings or cute onesies. I cried and I cry as I write it. Although I am sad for all the babies that don't get that special swingtime or cozy snugglie, and heartbroken that I missed E and Z's first years; I know that God is loving each of those orphans as He loves each of us. It is a season of gratitude.