Moving Forward

Sometimes there is so much happening in my life at one time, that I give my blog the cold shoulder.  It's like hitting "ignore" when a long distance friend calls... not because you don't want to talk to her, but because you can't possibly talk to her until you have two solid hours to actually fill each other in on everything going on.

So, here we are, more than a month since my last post, and a lot has gone down.

First and foremost, I want to thank all of you who offered prayers and condolences while Grandpa Anderson (or Papa as he is known by our kids) has suffered from pancreatic cancer, been in hospice and finally, went home to be with his own Papa in heaven.  We felt loved and supported by so many who prayed for our family and came to his funeral to celebrate his life alongside our family.  It has been a long few months watching Papa change into a shadow of himself, but up to the very end he made sure that all the kids had plenty of love, hugs, laughs and treats from Papa's candy bin.

Grandpa's diagnosis came shortly after we brought Jaylen home, so the whole family has been living this parallel life... going from appointment to appointment, test result to test result, and admittedly, from worry to worry.  It has been a very challenging season for all of us.

As far as Jaylen's health is concerned, I am so happy to report that he is doing wonderfully.  He is still considered developmentally delayed, but he is doing exponentially better than he was.  The unresolved issues that he seems to be facing are not at all detectable to an untrained eye.  His muscle tone is still more rigid than it should be, and the default position for his thumbs remains that they are typically indwelling, or sort of tucked in more than they should be.  Both of these things have improved considerably over the past couple of weeks, though, so I am rejoicing in each developmental step that he reaches.  He is rolling over, and holding his chest off the floor, and even seems very close to creeping and crawling soon.... I guess having rigid muscles isn't all bad.  (I've been working very hard to get a little rigidity to my tone, but that isn't working out as well.)

On the hearing front, Jaylen seems to be in the same place.  He is still not responding as a hearing child would, but not entirely as if he were profoundly deaf either.  After wanting a second opinion, and receiving mixed reviews about the results of his Audio Brainstem Response test, the audiologist has decided to repeat the test, hoping for more accuracy now that he is a little older.  That will be in July, the same week that he will have his brain MRI.  Hopefully the two results combined will give us a clear picture of his neurodevelopment as well as the status on his hearing.  In the meantime, the county is sending a physical therapist and a T.O.D. (teacher of the deaf) to the house once a week.  This will help equip us in learning sign language if we need to, as well as give us tools for teaching Jaylen how to communicate.

As if all this weren't enough to keep our minds perpetually occupied, we have also learned that Tom's job situation is a little shaky.  The school he works for has been forced to make a lot of cuts, and we are  waiting for the ax  trusting that the Lord will provide for all our needs and are  absolutely terrified  excited to see what He has in store for us.

The best news that I've got going for me is that Jaylen is doing much better, and he is seriously cuter than all the other babies on planet earth.  Because he is improving, my average of 3-4 appointments/week is now down to maybe 1 per week... which is much better.  Additionally, we finally received a Medicaid number for Jaylen, so the medical bills that are piling up (literally, not figuratively - they are in an actual pile) should all be retroactively paid.  The last time I felt this relieved was when I finally wiggled myself out of a dress that I had stuffed myself into and got stuck in at Marshall's.  Sweet, sweet relief.

In other news, I turned 32 which means I am two years into my mission of becoming fabulous in my 30's.  I have plenty of time left people, so don't panic.  I will be fabulous in the next 8 years.  And then I will buy bedroom furniture... obviously.  I re-read a post that I wrote exactly one year ago today... it was shocking how much has changed, and in some ways, how little.  I feel like I am in a constant state of two steps forward and one step back, and for a long time I settled for that because "Hey! That's progress."  But, I am learning to take those steps back a lot more seriously because they are usually steps caused by self-deception, or laziness, or excuses, or compromise or just plain sin.  I have new standards, where I no longer tolerate myself blatantly taking a step backwards, because life is one slippery slope and this girl just doesn't have enough traction under me where I can afford to excuse even the smallest amount of backsliding.

So there you have it... I haven't come too far in the past two years, but I still care, so that's something.  It's been a big year for our family, hard and good and heartbreaking and beautiful.  We have grown as a family, both in numbers and in faith, and we have learned an unbelievable amount about how God truly does provide.  This past year he has provided us with the strength to move through the first failed adoption, and then provide us with the perfect child for our family.  He has provided us with a group of new and developing friendships, and He has provided for us in so many ways through our friends and church family.  He has provided us with a strong family support who has helped us this past year in more ways that we could describe.

I think that His provision over the past year has proved that He is worth trusting, even during the uncertainty we are facing now with Tom's job.  I think He is worth trusting, and He is definitely worth honoring with as many struggling steps forward as I can possibly muster.  I don't care how small or pathetic they are, as long as I am always moving forward.  After the year we've had, I can't think of anything worse than letting myself go backwards, or God forbid, stop moving altogether.

 In Loving Memory...