Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Big day...

Kristina goes to her Cystic Fibrosis doctor every three months for routine checkups.  She had an appointment last week so she and I had a girl's day out.  (Boys were with daddy at their follow-up orthopedic appointments...and that's its own story)  We got there early as the traffic is unpredictable and it is about a hour and fifteen minutes with normal traffic...and we drove in rush hour!!  So, I took her to McDonalds for a second breakfast...actually brunch time.  There was a McDonalds between the place we parked and the building where her appointment was.  

Then when she was done eating we took pictures in their little courtyard.  She took a couple of me and I took a couple of her and one together to remember this great day by!

Her appointment was fabulous!!  We found out her weight was up four pounds!!!  Biggest weight gain ever!!    She didn't really get much taller...which mommy like because she is almost up to my neck!!  She really is growing fast!  The doctor said her lungs were clear...which is a HUGE praise to God!!  We have been praying and really working hard on that with extra time doing her breathing treatments!  

She had been sick for weeks and missed almost two weeks of school at the end of the year.  In fact she only went a half day on the last day of school because she was sick.  We were there with her for awhile and let her spend the last couple of hours there by herself.  We live five minutes from the school, maybe less.

This appointment was her annual appointment where we meet with the "whole team".  We visit with the dietitian, social worker, person to see if there are any clinic trials she can participate in (none of her personal information is used...they use the teat results and I am glad to do it if it means finding a cure for CF), and also the respiratory therapist to make sure her treatments are going well! So it makes for a LONG appointment but it is so worth it as it gives us a plan to work on for her next appointment!

I am so thankful to God that he has kept her healthy...yes, we have our days and possible weeks when she is not...but she gets well!!  We are Kristina's parents and we do what we need to do and God does the rest, biggest thing is relying on Him and having the faith to trust Him with her health!  He loves her so much and knows exactly how her life will be.  The good things and also the not so good things!

Enjoy the pictures and thank God with me that she is healthy!!  And also that he has so graciously given this wonderful girl to me!

Going on...

Wow, we have been so busy this summer I can't believe we are in the middle of July!!  I realized that I never acknowledged Srecko's gotcha day!  He has been home one year, one month and one day!!  This year was crazy because we had Gotcha Day/Father's Day, and my birthday all falling on the same day.  Crazy!

The day was a little laid back even with all going on, we grilled hamburgers and had a really nice day.  A few days after that we went to a state park near us and the kids swam in the lake.  They were thrilled!  We had a picnic with grandma and grandpa too!  The day could not have been more beautiful!

This summer has been filled with outings, therapies for the kids, playing outside and swimming!!  All the kids can hold their breath and swim under water!  BIG BIG accomplishment for them!!  And they run through the sprinkler...and they never did that before!  Maybe it has to do with the drought we are having...and the HEAT wave!  Whatever it is, I am glad they are all learning together!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nearing The End...

This was the day after we were told that the embassy had to contact Washington DC.  Wow, talk about many thoughts running through our heads...and here is how the day played out...

Boy, oh boy, We prayed so much...we talked about maybe God's desire was to have one of us be here to be a "light" for Christ.  We know who that would be don't we?  :)  (me)  And wow..we had a hard time taking about us and our makes me sad to think about it.  I thought about what being a Christian meant to me...and sometimes God wants us to make sacrifices.  And in faith like Abraham (Hebrews 11) I would sacrifice my brand new daughter that I waited my whole life for?  Yes, I would have to, if this is what God wants from us.  God comes first.  But, I thought..she is ill and needs treatment in the States to be better. God had the little details worked out.  He knew all about Kristina and her needs and also how I would react to all of the drama surrounding her visa.   Oh, I thought about lots...and Hubby and I talked lots.  Not so much on the negative side...just all the possibilites.

And our love...we have been married for 17 years and 9 days!  We knew our love would survive...but oh..we would miss each other.  We are friends who LOVE spending time together, have very many similar interests, and enjoy lots of the same activities!  And we figured out that about every 2.5 trips, he would get one ticket with turned in miles!  Enough sap, I know!  You get the drift!

Maybe the fear of the unknown...Satan really had us very nervous.  We tried to remain was a long journey out of  fear!

We got up in the morning...but we prayed HARD before our little girl woke up.  She woke up all smiles and very happy... made everything worth while!!  We had breakfast..she loves yogurt!!  She had more than that... :)  We got ourselves together.  Spent time on the phone and online.  Then I was irritated enough to go down to the US Embassy and sit.  Which is exactly what I did.  Armed with a book, copy of our dossier, and a bottle of water!  I waited only about 1 hour before I was given the run around and told that I would get a call between 4 and 4:30pm that afternoon.  Okay...fine I would go home.  Mind you I was alone!!

All by myseeelllffff, all by myyyysssellffff..    How was I to get home?  I asked if there was a way to call a taxi...I was told no.  Okay...hum...I was petrified to "hail" a cab!  Are you kidding and risk losing a foot or get run over?  Not to mention the fact that I had to look like I meant business!  More things were running thru my head...I had to cross the street to be able to get the cab going in the right direction.  If I was going to do that, I might as well just walk home.  So, with my faith showing on my sleeve, I walked.  I really wasn't really that nervous..and it gave me a chance to pray.  Doing that didn't make me feel so lonely!  And it helped my stress level!!  The walk went by felt kinda good too.  I was walking alone in a foreign country!  What an accomplishment!!  :)

When I got home, Kristina was waiting for me with open arms.  We walked to the Pekabetta and got some food for supper.. And to help pass the time.  I think we even picked some great frozen treat...The afternoon passed and at about 4:23pm we got a call.  The guy said that they were still waiting for some more info.  But, he sounded positive...could it be?  I prayed for such a thing!  I was feeling better.  Still nervous...cuz my faith bucket got tipped.  We had a nice supper and relaxed a bit.

Kristina had her bath and went to bed.  We wanted to watch a movie...Hubby found out that the couch made into a bed.  So, we got ready for a slumber party.  :)  The movie started and we fell asleep.  However, in the middle of the night..we got up to sleep in our own bed.  The couch bed felt like a torture chamber!!  Good Night!

The next day I again went to the embassy to wait.  Isn't it the squeaky wheel that gets fixed?  The guy behind the counter was not happy to see me.  I basically did the same thing as the day before...sat and waited!  He then told me they did not have an answer yet.  Okay, I was getting angry and had about enough of this whole mess!  I left and when I got outside I had this conversation with myself...just suck it up and walk home was one thought.  Then quietly I had an impression (I truly believe from God!) to walk a different way home.  I said to myself, you have got to be kidding me!!  All by myself?  Really?

I was sure the guards could see the conversation bubbles going on over my head.  So, off I went walking a different way home.  Oh, did I tell you that there was no way to get a hold of hubby and let him know anything?  A few days before we were riding in a taxi we went down this really STEEP STEEP hill and I said to him I am glad we don't have to walk on this street.  Guess what street I found to walk home on?  Yes, you guessed correctly!!  I thought I was out of my mind and wanted to turn around, but my legs kept moving forward.  After that moment I started actually talking to God, and it felt like I was doing it with him walking beside me.  It was a very different journey that I had ever been on.  Like I was walking on a rode that led right up to heaven.  I am serious...  Well, I had walked for hours...literally!

Anyway, my prayer was that I would do whatever God asked me to do.  If he wanted me to stay and share the gospel...telling people about God and the way to salvation, then I would do it and no questions asked.  I thanked him over and over again for the chance to become a mother of the most beautiful girl in the whole world that He hand picked for me to be my very own!!  (of course hubby's too)  I told God that I never asked him if I could be a mother for any amount of time...and I knew if we stayed in Serbia that she would likely die because she didn't have the medical treatment that she needed to live.  But, I thanked him over and over again...I was following God's will and he gave me the desire of my heart, a child.

I praised him for the wonderful journey we had been on...the whole experience of trusting God and persevering...and patience!  Oh, those words!  Just thanking God for everything!!  I thought for a split second that I was lost, did not panic and kept walking and found out where I was.  I walked by a hospital and saw a teen age girl with a scarf around her head...the kind that gets worn if you have no hair.  I prayed for her and her family...and thought wow God, I wonder if she is going to die and wonder if she knew him.  I continued to walk all the way back to the apartment...boy did I go WAY out of my way!!!  And before I arrived back at the apartment I went shoe shopping for Kristina!  :)

After my LONG walk I got back to the apartment and hubby tells me that Kristina's visa was ready.  I said what?  Really?  When?  And he said about 10:30am...that was shortly after I had left the embassy!!!  It was now time for me to hustle back there to pick it up.  I called a taxi and got a driver we had in the past.  Great guy!  Told him the story of the visa...he thought it was great!  I got to the embassy at about 3:20pm and they close on Friday's at 4:00pm.  Could hardly contain my excitement walking back home...the SHORT way!!  I am sure people thought I had lost my mind or something while I walked with a HUGE smile on my face!

We had ice cream for dessert!  And a long shower!  But Praise God we got her visa!!