Randy and I joined in the regional business meeting, then heard from an expert doctor in dysplasias at Seattle Children's. He talked about the historical perception of people with dwarfism (gods, pets, defective, and now???). After lunch, we heard from a nutritionist. Volunteers from Camp Korey (a camp specially designed for children with life-altering medical conditions so they can safely enjoy the activities of traditional camp) provided childcare and fun activities for all the children. Our two oldest boys went with the older kids group and had a blast. They befriended children with dwarfism and played so naturally with them. We were so proud of their ability to see people as people, no matter how short or tall. I think there's a Dr. Seuss book about that:)
Henry was well cared for and had a blast doing the activities as usual. We didn't meet any other children with SED but we did meet a young lady just adopted from China a few months ago who has another bone condition. She is in wheelchair and I think Henry made a special connection with her. I was inspired by her adoptive mother who also has the condition and traveled to China to get her. I can't imagine the challenges of traveling in such a non-accessible country as a foreigner, but what a picture of the kind of strength and courage God gives us.
Our family had a really nice Memorial Day and is so thankful for the sacrifice of countless men and women to protect our freedoms and very lives. It was a beautiful afternoon on Monday when we headed to Northwest Trek to ride the tram and walk the grounds to see many amazing animals. Henry saw so many new animals to him, and says his favorites were the beaver and bison. We also saw caribou, elk, mountain goat, black and grizzly bears, deer, bighorn sheep, and much more.
Henry had his first playdate at home this week with a friend from preschool who also has a form of SED. At first, Henry wanted to know why the boy was playing with his stuff:). It was really sweet and I enjoyed visiting with the boy's mother as we are and will be going through similar things. I have been truly amazed and blessed at how the Lord has provided different people from a variety of places to walk through this journey with us, with me. The majority of time, our days are so full of love and laughter, learning and growing together. But there are days when one, both, or all of us are just struggling to get through. I've started reading a wonderful book called "The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities" by Kathleen Bolduc, and it has already been such an encouragement and support to understanding and accepting the highs and lows of this journey...because there are certainly both. But, in God's hands, we are all beautiful messes and He does make beautiful things out of the broken pieces of our lives when they are offered to Him. I know Henry is learning so much, but perhaps we are learning the most. We certainly do need each other and we couldn't have been blessed with a more amazing little boy to adopt. Thank you, Jesus!
It is only 11 days now until Henry's surgery at Shriner's. He had to have some pre-op blood work done yesterday and he just smiled through it. So brave so quickly! The Lord has provided some friends to keep the older boys during the surgery so they don't have to miss school. Randy will be with Henry and I for a couple days, then need to return to work and the boys. We will be in the hospital for 5-6 days and have to go up next Wednesday for pre-op consultation. I have also inquired about a wheelchair or motorized scooter for Henry for school next year so he will get to practice on one when we are there next week. He is pretty excited about that! He's already asking me how fast can it go.:)
Next week, we also have Henry's 6-month post adoption home visit, a well-child doctor visit, and I will get to see him participate in his preschool's end-of-year program. I also have a root canal scheduled- fun, fun. So, with the visit to Portland also, you can see it will be a full week just prior to his surgery. There are a number of preparations to take care of, so please pray for all of these details and events. I cannot thank you enough; we sense them especially on those hard days and when everything comes together just as it should. We can truly trust God in the highs and lows, good and bad. I will keep you posted with specific surgery-related prayer requests as we get closer. And, of course, there will be a learning curve and many adjustments following. Blessings!