I just wanted to send out a fairly quick update to my last post because I promised to send a link for meal sign-ups in case anyone wanted to help provide meals for our kids at home while we are in the hospital with Lilyan. You should be able to go to this Meal Train link and sign up. There are some dates still left open, and all important info (number of people eating, time for meal delivery, food allergies, etc.) is there. We will also try to post photos and updates there as we go through the surgery and post-op period.
Also, a number of you have been praying about Scott’s and my getaway and have even written to ask if it’s going to happen. Man! It’s like all the powers of Hell have been trying to prevent this trip.
One of the things we felt was critical to helping make this happen was a day off for all of our big kids. So on Thursday, Scott and I sent the twelve oldest out for a time of rest and fun. Then he and I decided to see if we could manage a little trip to Sharon Woods for a quick hike with the nine who were left here (including granddaughter Jhannel). It was hard, especially with the limitations caused by my Achilles tendon inflammation, but we had such a great time with them, and I just iced a lot after we got home. I’ll post a few pictures at the end of this post.
The older ones had a great time and returned that evening refreshed and ready to jump back in. So we began making plans, in earnest, to move forward with the trip.
Then yesterday morning, everything began falling apart.
- Roslyn has been having stomach pain for about a week. Short version of the story is that, as the week passed, we (along with a couple of her doctors) were able to determine that there didn’t seem to be anything wrong urologically, and that it appeared to be a problem with her colon and the incontinence issues she struggles with. Her colorectal doctor got involved, and we were able to help ease her pain, but it still hasn’t gone away completely. They are all stumped and are checking urine again to make sure we aren’t missing something. We were concerned about leaving her with things still unresolved.
- Then there’s our dog, Saxon. He is such an awesome dog for our kids, but he has been unhealthy and on heavy medications for years (vet’s best guess is that he is allergic to, well . . . pretty much everything). He was doing so great this past summer that we tried slowly weaning him off all of his meds. He was better than we had seen him in years — no allergy issues, no lethargy caused by the meds. He was playful and frisky and so happy. We were down to only one pill a day and planning to cut that one today. But yesterday, he erupted in a terrible systemic allergic reaction. As I type this, Scott is off to the vet with him to get a steroid injection.
- Ethan, whose seizures have been stable for months, had a mild seizure Thursday evening, after some hints of possible seizure activity during the past week. We reached out to his neurologist yesterday, and he has increased Ethan’s meds a bit, but we were concerned about leaving him with things still kind of uncertain.
- One of our middle kids, and one of our younger kids, has been going through some behavioral regression. Parenting these kids from hard pasts is no joke, and it takes so much time and energy, and sometimes there’s no way to predict what might set them back. We thought we had gotten through this with both of them, but yesterday some really ugly stuff came out, and we are, once again, dealing with some deception and manipulation and pretty significant selfishness. We understand where this comes from, but it has to be dealt with, of course.
Anyway, we decided yesterday afternoon that we just couldn’t leave them, and were working hard to get a handle on our deep disappointment about this. Then some of the older kids urged us not to give up and cancel the trip, in spite of everything that was happening. They kept trying to assure us that they are well-trained and prepared to handle these things for just a few days.
Scott and I spent some more time talking and organizing a list of ways for them to handle the unresolved issues if anything came up, putting together a clear plan for the two whose hearts are in not such good places at the moment, and devising back-up plans that would involve reaching out to our oldest daughter and son-in-law if needed (even though they are dealing with many life struggles of their own right now).
Robyn helped me put a structured schedule in place that includes crafts and organized games and other activities, as this is a critical piece to keeping things flowing smoothly — unless unexpected problems come up (then they go to the back-up plan.)
Bottom line — barring any catastrophic events today or tomorrow morning, we are planning to pack up and try leaving at about noon tomorrow. This is mostly because it has become clear to us that it’s really important to our kids that we try to do this. They really want to give this to us.
If you think to pray that we can leave this all behind and just focus on each other and resting up for this surgery together, we would love that. Also, that the kids here will work together and that health issues will remain stable until we return, and even that they will have fun while we are gone. And especially for our children’s hearts as we stay the course in our attempts to help them all find healing from their histories.
That’s it for now. Thank you to all of you who pray for, and help care for, our family so faithfully, year after year.
Here are a few photos of our time with our younger kids on Thursday: