Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Testing, Testing, Is This Thing On??????

Safe to say this post has been mulling around in my head for quite sometime!  If you are still reading and checking in on us, thank you!

The last month has brought me closer to God than I ever thought possible.  Every day I am reminded of how much I need Him.  And thankfully, every day He shows up. 

We returned home on the 17th of Sep. and were greeted by an amazing sight at the airport.  Friends came out very late at night to welcome home the newest Kramer with signs, flowers, cameras, hugs, stuffed monkeys, and lots of smiles and tears (mostly mine)!  A dear friend that is a very talented photographer took some pics and I will post when we have them.  I also hope to get video that was taken and put it into some type of creative video with music....haha....in all of my spare time:)  We were truly overwhelmed and felt so cared for in so many ways!

Lots of you may know that Samuel went in for his appt. at Vanderbilt (the Down's Syndrome Clinic) for an appt. that we had scheduled before we left for Russia and had been home home just a few short days.  They ended up admitting him that day for "Severe Dehydration, Constipation, and Malnutrition."  We were there for 3 days and while I was with Samuel, my husband...Father of the Year!...was at home taking care of the 3rd child of the week vomiting profusely!  And of course, you know what comes with that...LAUNDRY!  Oh my dear husband!  He is amazing!  All beds were clean and everything disinfected when we returned home!

Basically, Samuel had not pooped for at least 10 days and the doctors believe from all of the blood work and x-rays that he existed these last 2 years in a constant state of dehydration and constipation.  It truly breaks my heart.  I won't go into detail (seriously, I almost took a picture!) but it took 2 suppositories, a full bag of IV fluids, a full enema, and 2 doses of Miralax for him to get it out!! Oh.My.Word!!!  He is now on Miralax twice a day because his colon is so stretched from the constipation over the last 2 years.  The hope is that if he goes once a day, it will eventually shrink and that could take many months, maybe a year.

We have gotten through some feeding issues, and although still not great, he is eating LOTS of new foods and drinking from a wide mouthed cup!!! Praise God....we are so grateful for that!  And he finally LOVES the bath.  To say he hated it at first is a gross understatement.  Again, very grateful!  He splashes like a wild man now.

As far as interacting with us and his brother and sisters, every day is better and better.  We have days where he is less "smiley" and seems distant, but he has been home for less than a month and has been through so much change.  We are constantly reminded that it will just take time.  He also flinches and screams/crys less and less with any type of hygiene/routine care such as wiping his face, cutting his nails, diaper changes, etc...  I can tell he is beginning to trust us more.  I must whisper, "Mommy will be gentle" to him at least 20 times a day!

We hope to start therapy within the next month or so.  Sweet boy has a long way to go and we cannot wait to see him grow more and more.  Funny thing is that everyone keeps saying how different he looks and how much weight he has gained.  Haha!  I love it!  He has actually lost almost 2 pounds...probably in poop!!!  Seriously though, I think his body is actually using the nutrients he is getting and it is so cute to see all his new little sprouts of hair!  His chest has filled in a bit and his skin looks less mottled to me.  He is still a tiny little guy at 17 lbs and in 12 month clothing, but beginnning to grow!  I truly cannot wait to see all that God has in store for this precious child!

All of the other little Kramer monkeys are doing great.  Their love for Samuel is really a beautiful and very innocent picture of how amazing children think and respond.  They act as if he has always been their brother...and in God's eyes he has.  Of course, there are adjustments.  Please know that it is not always rosey by any stretch, but overall all of our children are adjusting really well with all of the change.  Emily is loving being homeschooled and we are finally getting into a groove.  She amazes me daily! And Timothy is as much of a stinker as ever and truly melts me with his daily "I love you Mommy!"  Today in the car he said, "you look really pretty today Mommy." Melt.My.Heart! And sweet Stella Bella...oh my goodness I cannot breathe enough of that little pumpkin in.  She is truly intoxicating!  From her infectious little giggle to her mischevious blue eyes, I could literally eat her up!  I love my babies!  Each of them brings something so sweet and perfectly their own to our family.  Derek and I are blessed beyond my comprehension.  God sure has been gracious to us!

As for me and Derek, we are stretching and growing closer in so many ways.  We have never walked so closely and been in such desperate need of our Father.  Derek is caring and very sweet, dedicated and loyal, tender and funny, a man that I never thought I would end up with.  He is a gift.  He challenges me and through this journey of faith and obedience, God has used Derek to teach me a lot!  And praise the Lord!, we had our first real date the other night in a LONG time!  It took 2 babysitters, but it was SOOOO worth it!  Thank you Jessica and Juli...what a gift you are to us and our children! 

Finally, I should mention that we have celebrated birthdays galore!  Derek and Stella are in July.  Timothy was in August (seperate post to come) and Samuel was in September.  We had prayed early on with many friends that Samuel would be home by his 2nd birthday and it was such a joy to celebrate with many of those friends who are in our Community Group last Wed. night.  Samuel turned 2 on Sep 28 and had his first chocolate cake.  He fits right in because he LOVED it.!!  We will have a party for him that literally anyone and everyone is invited to in about 2 weeks!  More to come on that:)

Please keep us in your prayers.  The transition is still on-going and I feel the enemy continuing to try and press in.  God has been so faithful and so kind to us!  I feel His presence at every turn very very deeply!  I love my Lord so much and am grateful for all that He is doing in me, for refining me, and changing me!  I am broken....BUT GOD!!!!  He is faithful.  He is true.  He is so good. 

Now for the pics!  I know that's what you came for:):):) Enjoy them friends!  And know that you ALL played a part in bringing Samuel into our family!  He would not be here without you.  Our eyes have seen what his future would have been and I cannot express the gratitude in our hearts that he is home and has a chance to thrive and grow into all that his heavenly Father created him to be!  October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month in case you didn't know...pretty sweet timing, huh?!?:):):)

And I apologize, as much as I would love to caption every picture....well, it just isn't going to happen.  Oh well, enjoy the pics anyway!  They are chronological starting with our time in Moscow and then our first days home (pre-hospital stay) and then the photo where we are all on the blanket is the day our family was finally all together again.  Everything that follows is in order all the way up to our zoo trip this past Sat. together as a family!


Melanie said...

Loved, loved, loved the pictures!! Such beautiful children! BTW, we had our pre-travel consult today where we talked about court - now I'm scared, ha! You've got to tell me what kind of questions they asked you guys. Glad to see things are progressing well with your little guy. It's good preparation for me, too, to know some of the things we might possibly face.

Jane@flightplatformliving said...

i am so glad you are back!i have missed you!

that poor little man with his malnutrition and dehydration...not to mention the poop!!isnt it such a tragedy when it just doesnt have to be this way. i am si thrilled he is home with you being whispered to that life is now gentle. what ahuge change he has been through. i still cant quite get over how much he looks like his dad!!

and your words about your husband filled my eyes with tears. there is such love in your home...you are an inspiration! do pop over (in your ramaining spare time! LOL) and link up some posts on my Sunday linkup (sharing sunday) i am desperate for families at the end of the rainbow to share WHY we fundraise.

loving you and yours. janexxxxx

itsghisme said...

I loved the pictures and I LOVE your words... you are just amazing, do you know that? I hope you do... Sending you love, friend, and know when you wrote he lost 2 pounds those same words came to my mind, probably in Poop... Give everyone a smooch from me and know we are praying for you every day!

The Moore Family said...

Oh man. I just loved hearing all this from your sweet mouth and most of all, seeing pictures of your new family of FOUR!!! Looks like Samuel is so loved and is really getting used to the tremendous blessing of being a Kramer! I am absolutely DYING to kiss that sweet little face. November, baby. I love you dear.

Rachael said...

Love the post! I was starting to think you had forgotten about the cyber world (haha)!! So glad to see you back and posting. Love you and miss you and the babies and even Derek.
BTW...Derek is looking a little on the skinny side and what's up with the facial hair??? Kind of reminds me of the days when Scott was growing those awful sideburns...lol
Talk to you soon

Cindi Campbell said...

Awww....just what we have been waiting for. He is adorable! Looks like it is going well.

Anna said...

I happened to find your blog, and just wanted to say I think you're amazing for giving this boy a family! I have a little boy with Down Syndrome, and cannot imagine him in some of the conditions that exist for children with special needs overseas. Devastating. I wish I could adopt them all!