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Monday, February 13, 2017

Ivy's Forever Family Day and an update on her precious heart

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                                       5 YEARS HOME!

We came home from California on Friday. Her Cath went well but there was no intervention done. To cut right to the chase, she needs another Open Heart surgery. Her Mitral Valve and her Pulmonary valve need to be replaced. And while they are in there they will replace the batteries in her pacemaker. 
While we are sad our sweet girl needs to go through this again, we are so very thankful that there IS something more they can do! This is the answer to healing her lungs! The reason her Pulmonary Hypertension has not responded to the many forms of medication we have been trying. It's why her legs hurt when she walks. (lack of blood flow) It's why she can't ride a bike or run along side her sister or wrestle with her daddy without getting completely out of breath. And I really hope it is the answer to getting her to eat again because this mama is exhausted by the amount of time I spend trying to get this little one to eat anything... drink anything other than ice water. She just gags and wretches. The little girl who used to always have a box of fries or a bag of chips in hand.. no more. To be able to play hard, laugh hard and eat a regular meal.... to do these things with ease... Ivy says it will be far worth it! She is the bravest and strongest girl I know!

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Isaiah 43:1b-2 (NIV)

Today we celebrate the day we met! The day we had our first cuddles! The day we became a family! She needed us and we needed her and nothing has changed! We love her and she loves us!

Tomorrow we celebrate valentines day and the day we signed that paper that made it all official. She loves that we get 2 days to celebrate! I was thinking today about our first few days together and trying to remember every detail. The obvious things are hard to forget, how blue she was, how clubbed her tiny fingers were. How it felt like someone was beating on my chest when her heart was pressed against mine. 

But I wanted to spend the day remembering the other things. Like how quickly she bonded with me, but yet how she gave everyone else the stink eye. How she would give the sweetest most delicate kisses. How much she loved to go for walks outside. How she would eat just about anything! (those were the days.....) How she laughed with no sound, but how adorable it was even without sound. How she thought it was so funny to throw herself backwards from sitting position so she could laugh at my panic as I scrambled to break the fall. She knew I would catch her! How she would shake her head no when she tried to crawl and when she pulled up to standing position. She did this because in the orphanage she was not allowed to do anything to exert herself.  She was so proud of herself. I knew from that first day that she was incredibly strong. To hear her breathe was like listening to a staticky radio station. And yet she just smiled and went about her business. She was crazy about her first bath and she still loves baths more than anything. She'd never get out if there was no time limit. Take that girl to LUSH and she will attempt to buy every bath bomb and bubble bar she can afford! She has always had a zest about her. A sweet and gentle spirit with a side of hot sauce! 
Oh how we love her!
Worlds best sister always by her side! Always encouraging, always understanding! 
These 2 are so good for each other!!!

We are waiting to hear back from Ivy's cardiologist about when this surgery will happen. In California they mentioned early June but we really don't know anything for sure yet.
One day at a time! 

Lord bless me with peace and freedom from fear. I will hold your hand and trust your heart with all that is within me. Give me courage today to be the person you created me to be. Amen


Let’s ask God to show us what we are afraid of. What is paralyzing our faith and keeping us from living confidently in His peace and freedom? And then let’s give God a chance to come though for us as we courageously walk through our fears, holding God’s hand and trusting His heart to lead, protect and preserve us each step of the way.
Dear God, help me walk through my fears by facing them instead of being paralyzed by them. I want to take Your hand and trust Your heart with all that is within me. Give me courage today to take the first step. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Chalottes Smile

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While we may never have baby pictures of our little Charlotte, we are blessed to have a few of her today! And look at that smile!!!! Praising God for this sweet gift and for reminding us to Be Still

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Thursday, January 19, 2017


Pin It I've been anticipating an update on Charlotte for a few weeks now. We sent a cake to her for her birthday and in doing so, the guide who will take care of us while in China, receives photos of the "eating of the cake". This morning, we were blessed by new pictures! She is so precious!

Charlotte is from Guangdong province and the more common dialect within Guangdong orphanages is Cantonese. Her fluent, common language is Cantonese. So the little bit of studying struggling to learn a teensy bit of basic Mandarin, may still help me find the bathroom and order some water while in China... but it won't help me tell Charlotte we promise to love and care for her forever,  or... ask her if she needs to use the bathroom ;) . 

In a few weeks, we will head to California. Having Ivy on oxygen has certainly helped her to have less fatigue and more activity, but by 3:30 she just looks so tired and run down. We are hoping that the Heart Cath will either allow some intervention or give the information needed to make a plan for what will get her feeling great again.  She never ever complains about her health. She stands tall and proud to be the warrior she truly is! She never complains about all the meds she has to take or the blood draws or the appointments or the caths or the other surgeries. She just goes with the flow. She tells me it's her job to set an example for the baby warriors. And she's doing a darn good job, I'll say! She is the strongest girl! It's why she is here! God made her strong and He made her a fighter. You all know that already!
Last Friday Ivy represented Make a Wish on the News to promote the Arizona Concours De'lgance. She stole the show. Cutest thing ever... I've posted the clip below.
After the morning news, Make A Wish got a few calls from people saying they'd like to make a donation after seeing the little girl on the news that morning. All for wishes! I thought that was so awesome! 


JOHN 15:11
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.    


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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 in review... A year of blessings

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Little Blessing! In February our daughter and son in love brought our first grand baby in to the world! 
Henry is now almost 11 months old

We love him so much!!

In March we spent Spring break at our time share on the beach. It was a week of R&R and a great healthy time for little Ivy too! We love it when we can have a vacation without emergencies!! Ivy's heart loves the beach! It does not like the mountains, we have learned that the hard way a few times too many!

Ivy has now been on Tyvaso, her inhaled medication for her pulmonary hypertension, for 2 years. Sadly, it has not made a difference and we are looking in to new intervention. She continues to tire with exercise as simple as walking from the car to the shopping cart. The good news, she is stable and there is still much hope that she will still one day have healthy lungs. Her heart continues to work hard. There is a possibility she will need a new mitral valve within the year. She presses on with the same constant joy and never complains, just like the little girl you all came to love.

In May were were able to pay a visit to Disneyland. The characters remain the girls favorite part about it! Ivy's medications make her dizzy enough. So she rides very few rides but loves the parade and the shows. Lexi loves everything!

Ivy Joy turned 6 years old on May 6th!

And our newest Addition, Molly the poodle, turned ONE!

Summer 2016 was full of swimming and playing! 
We traveled to Las Vegas for Nationals with Lexi's dance company. We enjoyed some cool shows like Blue Man Group and O. The girls thought is was fantastic. 

In August our daughters Rylee and Cassidy moved in to their own home. It has been so sweet watching them grow up and learn to make it on their own but also a big adjustment. Not seeing them every single day has been sad for all of us. The girls have now adjusted but mommy will never stop missing saying good night to those girls each night. (my kitchen stays clean so much longer now....) But is miss them!

October is Ivy's favorite month! I don't know why but this little girl loves Halloween! This year she wanted to be Shirley Temple. She looked amazing! Best Chinese Shirley Ive ever seen! ( Also the only one! ) She loves watching Shirley Temple videos on you tube kids. Lexi had a hard time deciding what to dress like. In the end she chose Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony. Baby Henry was a lion!


In December our 1st China baby turned 8 years old!! How can that be? 

And in December we were matched with our newest daughter Charlotte Hope Anjuan Sammons. She is 5 years old and is currently living in Guangdong China. We hope to travel to bring her home in March. 

            “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”  

Isaiah 6:8

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Eve 2016

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On Christmas Eve we had breakfast with Santa Clause, our annual tradition. It was wonderful! 
Next year we will be squeezing another daughter in to this picture. New Years day will mark her 5th and LAST birthday without a family. We'll share more later, but for today, here are some photos of 4 of our 6 enjoying the morning. 

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