Friday, August 22, 2014

The Birthday Boy-Firefighter

We've had a really fun week celebrating Henry's 5th birthday...his first with his forever family. On Sunday, dear friends gathered at our home for his firefighter-themed birthday party and he was one happy boy at opening all his gifts. He then turned five on Wednesday and opened his last few cards and gifts...a Thomas train table and authentic fireman's uniform complete with suspenders, jacket, and helmet. He has really enjoyed all of his gifts and cards, so thank you to those who blessed our sweet Henry this week!

On Wednesday, we also left for a two-day excursion to Mt. Rainier Nat'l Park where Henry got to see the majestic mountain up close, hike, stay in a cute little inn, and then ride the Mt. Rainier steam train. It was a really great time! We are glad to be home though and will have lots more fun tomorrow at our church's block party. Looking forward to Henry riding his first horse! And Henry starts preschool for 4 & 5 years olds in our local elementary school on Sept. 8. He has been moved to the afternoon class so we are trusting God's plan for him in this.

We love Henry so much and he brings so much joy to our home and hearts each day. As much as he is blessed to have a family and be well cared for, we are blessed all the more to be his family and get to take care of him. He has been with us eight months now and though some days we are still obviously adjusting and needing extra grace, most days have settled into our new normal quite well. Please continue to pray for all of our adjustment, not only as an adoptive family but as a family with special needs. And please pray for Henry's body to continually heal and strengthen after the surgery and halo, and that we would know how to make him as comfortable as possible as some days the joint and back pain seem extra high. It is hard to see and know that pain will be a part of his life, but more than anything, we want him to have the best quality of life possible in its midst. He has already done amazingly well recovering from the c-spine surgery and halo. We know you have been praying for him so, thank you! 

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Henry's halo is off! He's doing great and as I write, in the kiddie pool outside enjoying every minute of his freedom. For time's sake to let you know how things went at Shriner's, I am copying my Facebook posts here. Enjoy!

Monday, Aug. 11
Henry, Joshua, and I head to Portland this afternoon. Henry checks in tomorrow, 6am at Shriner's for halo removal. Then he has a few days of PT appointments to practice driving the power wheelchair he will bring home on Thursday eve. I'd appreciate prayers for our trip...thanks!
And here's a cute video of Henry's "happy" video he made for New Day Foster Home's video being put together of their adopted kiddos. Enjoy!

Tuesday, Aug. 12
He just went back and they've started the removal. Just a little nervous but mainly excited. Always great fun to see him super relaxed and silly after the med they give him:) ...
All is well after lots of cries when coming out of his sleep. Turns out he was super hungry and is fed, so much better:). I LOVE holding him fully close now...he'll be off and crawling away soon enough.
Ready to get it off!


Napping wonderful it must be to lie down without the contraption. We come back in six weeks for a checkup. He just has to wear the foam neckbrace during the day until then. Doc says he looks nicely healed up already. Now we just need to restrengthen those muscles, which shouldn't take long as much as he likes to move around.
Henry does his first power wheelchair practice drive at 4 p.m. Feeling so good today, PTL!!!

Wednesday, Aug. 13
You all overwhelm us with your 'likes', love, concern, and celebration with and for our family. Thank you! It is especially obvious that Henry has a fan club all over the world:). I think I gave him hugs enough for everyone yesterday! I can't tell you how good it is to hold him close again. 
Henry did fabulous driving his power wheelchair yesterday, like a pro. He will go at it two more times today and then tomorrow, with chair adjustments and a custom order to be made this morning. Not sure how long it will take for insurance to approve and the new chair to be delivered, but one little boy is going to love his very own GREEN ride when it comes!!!

Thursday, Aug. 14
Just a little bit of anxiety at turning Henry loose at driving a 200 lb vehicle at the age of four (almost five). He's so bright but there's a lot to think about, especially concerning the people and things around him which he has not had to think about before, especially behind him which he cannot even see. Plus, he is easily distracted and not good at listening...yes, he's doing great but perhaps we could use some prayers, the both of us! 
Also pray for wisdom in his physical activity so soon after the halo is off. Many of his muscles have been inactive for 9 weeks and he had some sharp back pain yesterday, along with neck discomfort. He's wanting to get back to where he was super fast and the body is not cooperating. Thx! ...

I can definitely feel the extra 200 pounds in the back of the van when driving.

Last Night
I walked with Henry down the street as he drove his chair on the sidewalk and did a great job. I was greatly encouraged and think time will help him a lot. So much to take in at Shriner's in a short time, but after rest and less distraction, we are both doing better:). Thanks for prayers!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Goodbye, Halo!

We have some wonderful news to just five days, on August 12th, Henry's halo and vest will be removed! Check in is at 6 a.m. We got a great x-ray report on July 30 that his c-spine fusion is healing very well. He will wear a removable neck brace for a few weeks following, but then he should be free! Until the next surgery, of course, but we don't have any date on that yet; he will have more spine surgery behind his chest as there is compression of the spinal cord. But what a blessing to have some summer fun without the halo restraint!

And more summer fun we will have...Henry's 5th birthday is coming up on August 20. We are going to have a fire truck birthday party on the 17th, then travel to Mt. Rainier on the 20th to stay the night in a cute cabin and then ride the Mt. Rainier steam train the next day. We are really looking forward to this outing. Henry will also go to the county fair for the first time this weekend. That should be fun, too!

We did get to ride the Chehalis-Centralia steam train last weekend, and then see some neat things at the Veteran's Memorial Museum next door. Henry's favorite was getting inside a real helicopter and pretending to drive. While in Portland, Henry and I visited the beautiful rose garden and Japanese garden. In the last few weeks, Henry also attended his first wedding and National Night Out community gathering in which he got to meet search-and-rescue dogs, see a fire hose connected to a fire hydrant, and SPRAY his first fire hose! Henry was one happy boy:).

Enjoy the photos and keep Henry in your prayers as the halo comes off. He will have some punctures to heal but I am sure they won't slow him down much. Thank you so much!