Monday, December 29, 2008

Sorry for the non-update. Christiana is home. She is doing much better. Thank God she was here! She went through a battery of tests. Everything from a spinal to nose swabs. After 3 days it was determined she had a really bad cold. Her pulse oxygen dropped to %60, thus requiring oxygen.






Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve at the Hospital

I just got home from the hospital. Christiana was admitted tonight on Christmas Eve. I have no idea how long she will have to stay there. Please uplift them in your prayer and thought.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Walking a Fine Line

This Christmas more than any other I am completely aware of the fine line between consumerism and blessing those you love. Sometimes ignorance is indeed bliss. Not only do I have my recent trip to Africa and your stories and blogs to remind me of what our true priorities should be, I also have a daily glimpse of the realities of this world when I look not only in the twins eyes but also those of Gedese and Christiana. Every day when I struggle with the selfish desires of my heart, I see 9 people that I love beyond words. When their demands are greater than my ability at the moment and can't help but to think about what the demands of the twins parents are like at the same moment, or the demands of Gedese's family. I am again humbled and ask God for strength and thank Him for giving me perspective.
Having Gedese and the twins here are like having a built in consumermeter. Do I really need a box of macaroni? Wouldn't it be more cost effective to make my own? Should I pitch the shirt with stains? Or wouldn't be better to maybe dye it? Do my kids really need more clothes? Isn't 4 pair of pants per kid enough? Do their clothes really need to be washed after wearing it once? I think just by having them here I have saved thousands on needless purchases. The thing is- I'm not really a shopper. We spent the greater part of our marriage without much-and now that we have I could do without. I really think starting our marriage and family out doing without was the biggest blessing. Sorry a little side tracked. Okay, but here's the thing. I love to give. I really do. I love to find needs and fill them. I would rather go without shoes if it meant I could give them to someone. (Lest you think I'm a saint- I should mention my desire to give is selfishly motivated-It makes me feel sooooo good! I love it!)
Sometimes the consumermeter that Gedese provides irritates me though. Like for Christmas.
I know my kids could live without gifts but again I love to give. So there is my quandary, the fine line between consumerism and blessing. I thought I did a pretty good job at this. My kids get three presents. One from us, one from the boys and one from the girls. However when Gedese heard this- I got a deep sigh followed by a tsk tsk and a never in Ethiopia talk. We have a lot of these. Then I started to think- Maybe I have crossed that line. My desire to bless really has become the transcending into consumerism at Christmas. I know people who don't gift at Christmas. I admire that, I really do, but my nature is to give. So here I am again walking that fine line.


BTW- thanks for all the prayers- I am feeling better. I'm on some crazy antibiotics. Diezel is a trooper. Other than his noisy breathing, you wouldn't even know he's sick. Xia on the other hand-Wow! night after night up crying. High fevers, cough, and throwing up. Christiana is holding strong. We continue to suction her out before every feeding and check her temp. She is at 99.8. So we get to stay at home.

If I don't post again before Christmas-
Merry Christmas! May the Lord's blessing pour upon you and your family.
Thank you God!!!!!! For sending your Son to die for me.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Uncle!

Up all night doing breathing treatments on Diezel and caring for Xia(who is now sick). I had to go to urgent care this morning. I am peeing blood. Waiting for test results.

and

I still need to go Christmas shopping.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Still Here.

Online is down again.
using hubby's laptop.
Diezel has pneumonia again. Pretty bad. Around the clock breathing treatments. He's still at home with us (no hospital). Christiana is getting sick as well. Praying to make it through tonight without any ER visits.
I slept most of the day so I could take the night shift to watch over Diezel and Christiana.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It Just Feels Right....

I wore Xia on my bag (African Style) tonight for the first time in 6 months. She melted on to me. I could almost sense her little body and spirit thinking, "It just feels like home."












* Note to self*
Never stop doing the little things that make my children"feel just right"

Holy Cow!

Just found out Tyson Griffin is also coming to the premier tomorrow night! It's going to be a great time!

Changed mind

I changed my mind-I was wanting the new blog to be a "safe" place for people to share experiences and ideas. However I also want it to be tool everyone can use. If there are links to organizations, fundraisers for adoptions and needs that need to be met please let me know so I can add them. Just comment on the new blog! I'm really excited to see what God is going to do.

So here it it: Remember it's pretty empty, just got started yesterday.

Meet Needs Today

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Blog

I created a new/second blog for the sole purpose of having a place to share my passions. Mainly for Africa, but hey, show me a need somewhere else and I'm there(at least on my knees). I realize that some people come here to my blog to check up on our family and how the kids are doing. Which is awesome! There are others who maybe visit looking for something different- a cause to rally around, a need that needs prayer, a mission that needs funding or just plain ideas on how to be proactive in doing something. I decided to separate my blogs in this manner. On this blog you will continue to read about our lives and our adventures. You'll get to see the dance, zits on my face, cute pictures of my kids, my thoughts on life, raising 6 kids and chasing after that quest to live happily ever after.
On my new blog you'll get to read about my organizations, candid reviews of agencies, ways to raise money, swap ideas about fundraising, causes that keep me awake at night, my victories and failures as I try to meet needs today! I will often have links to other sites, donate buttons and info. I will promise to do the best research I can to find trustworthy and credible causes and organizations to support. I welcome ideas and direction as I start this new endeavor. I hope it will be a resource for everyone. Due to the fact that we will be talking candidly about many things this blog will be private for a while. Please leave a comment on this blog or email me if you would like to have access to the new blog.

Candid - Real Candid

For you my dear Wife to the Rockstar blogging friend:



The assignment:

Take a picture of yourself right NOW!

DON’T change your clothes, DON’T fix your hair… Just take a picture.

Post that picture with NO editing.

Post these instructions with your picture.







Well, you can't get anymore candid than that. I sure wish I wasn't so zoomed in though. Me in all my glory.


I think the meds are wreaking havoc on me. I am breaking out like a teenager. Wouldn't be so bad, except just found out last week that we are having a huge red carpet event here in our home town to premiere our movie. Any advice on how to clear up skin quickly?

The premiere is on Tuesday- If you live in Missouri, please come!!!!!! It's only on Tuesday. We are honored to have three great fighters that are in the movie come to Tuesday's event . Ernie Reyes Jr., Gray Maynard, and JermaineAndre .

The whole family will walk the Red carpet this time-Even Gedese and Christiana!!!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Racing

My mind is racing,
I can't sleep,
thoughts, ideas, plans
Another sleepless night thinking about Africa.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Valiant Attempt

Here's my attempt at newborn photography. Good thing Christiana is sooooooo adorable.





More Pics.





Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Was Sorta Brave

I somewhat survived my dentist appointment on Monday. I've been a haze the past few days. Combination of pain, swelling, meds and then the side effects of meds. Yes, I did end up taking half a Valium before my appointment. I actually took half the night before because I kept crying every time I thought about dentist. I know, I know, It's beyond ridiculous. I think going to the dentist is my weakness.
I'm so glad I took the Valium. I mentioned to the dentist that I usually vomit for days after sedation. ( I was okay with this. He however was not) He decided to only numb my mouth instead.
I would not have been able to make through if I wasn't relaxed from the Valium. By the time he was done(over 2 hours) I was feeling the pain.
After taking some pain medication, I pretty much got to stay in bed most of the day. IT ROCKED!!!!!! Never happens.
Everything was fine until last night I started having a reaction to the antibiotic. I started freaking out that it was going to be like before(see here). Now they put me on something that I never heard of that comes with huge warning labels. I will probably go back in tomorrow because something is not right. My gums are turning grey/white at the implant site. The pain is also increasing. (Insert poor me violin music here)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Calling ALL Bloggers

I really want to start a blog list again. I miss reading everyone's blogs. The problem is I have to hunt through old blog posts to find you. If I visit your blog or have ever left a comment will you please let me know by leaving me a comment so I can create a new blog list. It would mean so much to me and save me tons of time finding you. Even if I haven't left a comment on your blog for a long time, I still want to find you. I miss you all. Even if you think I already have your link, please leave a comment, it will make my life soooo much easier:)

And if you've read my blog for any length of time, you all know I need help.

Thanks,
Steffany

Just One Blanket

One of my dear friends Brandi is asking for help to spread the word about a crisis in China.

You may have read about our KidsLake project this month. It just got a lot more urgent. NO BLANKETS will be given to this village until they have enough collected for ONE PER FAMILY. that means at least 222 more, or none. They are $10 per blanket. This is more than we usually raise with KidsLake. WOuld you consider putting this on your blog and encouraging others to do so too? Here is what I recently posted. YOu can also go to the original KidsLake post and copy and use any of that and any of those pictures too. THank you for your help! Feel free to forward this on too!

UPDATE for Blankets! URGENT

I just received an email from our contact in China. They have collected 370 blankets to give out in this village. But, the leaders will not allow them to give out ANY until every family can get ONE blanket. This means 1200 people living in tents, homes made of bundles of straw, and earthquake-damaged homes (some with tarp roofs) as well as some who live in completed but very sparce homes. Many have no electricity and none have any heating. It is more like going back 100 years when we go to this simple village. This is Africa type poverty. . but with winter coming! These families will go without blankets until we can raise enough to get 222 more blankets so they can give out one blanket per family!

We are asking for your help! This is a big project at a stretched time of year. Help us get the word out. Email your friends and family and ask for blankets for Christmas. Write about this on your blog and ask anyone else you know to do the same. Spread the Word. This is one of the most unreached people groups and we have the chance to provide warmth so that maybe, just maybe they can understand and hear about the real warmth that comes in the arms of Jesus!

We have added our donate button to the side bar. Email me and I'll give you the html code so you can copy and paste it into your blog if you'd like! (often, people may not be inclined to link to someone else but might just click the donate button on your blog!)brandi@kidslake.org

One more thing. . we'd like to say a HUGE Thank YOU to Global Orphan Outreach who is partnering with us to raise the money through paypal. They are a great organization who I encourage you to check out as well!

Thanks! Brandi

What would happen if everyone who read this donated enough money for 1 blanket? According to my blog stats I'll the blankets that are needed would be purchased.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

7 Months Home.


Xia 7 months ago
22 months old
10 pounds.


Xia last week
2 1/2 years old
19 pounds.


Diezel 7 months ago
22 months old
12 pounds.

Diezel last week
2 1/2 years old
22 pounds.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Leftovers

I don't talk about it much, but I love to cook. I like to try new things out on my family. And yes, my kids are required to eat it, if they want to eat that is. Tonight I created a dish with leftover turkey.
I chopped up:
1 apple
1-2 stalk of celery
1/2 onion
1/2 green pepper
2 cups fresh green beans
some mushrooms
some fresh thyme, rosemary, and basil
I sauted the ingredients in olive oil and fresh garlic
I added a splash of white wine
pepper to taste

Cook until it seems right. Then add organic chicken broth/or leftover turkey stock and your leftover turkey. I also added cream of mushroom soup. Simmered it.

In seperate pan I cooked rice.

Then I combined them in a baking dish, topped with smoked provolone and fresh parmesean. I baked at 350. for 10-15 min. or until cheese was bubbly.

It turned out great.

My Two Front Teeth.

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. Do you remember that song? That song brought new meaning to me 18 years ago when I lost mine doing something stupid. Since then I've been paying for my choices with a smile I'm embarrassed of. After several attempts/surgeries to repair the damage done, and after running out of a dentist's office(in the middle of surgery) screaming,"She's the devil". No joke. I ran out crying and hid in Adam's car. He talked me into going back in. I then got a flipper(a tooth attached to retainer) to get me through my wedding. They told me it would last six months. Well 14 years later I still have it. Needless to say I built up an extreme fear of the dentist chair and the fact we were so dirt poor I could never afford to have the work done kept me at a safe distance from the chair. I never stopped longing to have my smile back though, but staying away from the dentist for so many years hasn't exactly helped improve it any. Okay, now stop right there. Would I want fear to stop my kids? No. Would I allow them to neglect themselves? No! Then what are my actions teaching them? This is the Christmas. The Christmas I get my two front teeth! I met with a dentist last week. He seemed confident, which I appreciate. So on Dec.8th I head to the chair! He told me it will be a long process spread out over 6-9 months and recommended I take Valium the day of my first procedure. So, I'm getting my two front teeth for Christmas!



So the tooth on the right to the visibly missing tooth is fake and the other front tooth is cracked all the way down and being replaced as well.
I guess I'm sharing all this because I'm both terrified and excited.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful

I love this time of year. Even more after this past year. The Lord took me on a journey. A journey to gratitude, a journey beyond myself. That's where it all starts really, beyond yourself.

Psalm 9:1

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

Psalm 50:23

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”

Psalm 92:1

92:1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;

Psalm 97:12

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!

Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Psalm 105:1-2

105:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!

Philippians 4:6

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.



Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Seeking

We are needing to make some difficult decisions this week. There are no simple answers or solutions. I pray that God gives us the discernment needed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Friday and That Means.....

It's time to give $10. for Water4Christmas!

Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all sickness and disease, and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Many people in the developing world, usually women and children, walk more than three hours every day to fetch water that is likely to make them sick. Those hours are crucial, preventing many from working or attending school. Additionally, collecting water puts them at greater risk of sexual harassment and assault. Children are especially vulnerable to the consequences of unsafe water. Of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation, 90% are children under 5 years old.

Today I saved another $50.00 at the gas pump and I already invested it here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shock.

Even though I knew this day was coming, I'm still in shock. The first wave of Gadese's medical bills arrived. Over $14,000 thus far. I think a mistake was made. I will go next week and speak with the hospital. I know God will take care of it all. I'm just a little shocked.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bonding


Mother and daughter, here by the grace of God.
Beautiful.



Diezel and Xia, here by the grace of God.
Beautiful.




Turkeys, here by the grace of God.
Beautiful.

What?
Okay, I know seems out of place, right?

Bonding: The process that a child goes through in developing lasting emotional ties with it's immediate caregivers, which is seen as the first and most significant developmental task of a human being, and is central to that person's ability to relate properly to others throughout its life.

The biggest blessing so far from choosing to home school McKayley and Faith has been the amazing bond that has grown between us. I truly believe because and by the grace of God that I chose to listen to His call for us this has happened. To me these turkeys (Thanks Crispy for the great link on your blog and the amazing home school resources) represent the bond that continues to grow with my girls.



Monday, November 17, 2008


I love this lotion for the twins skin. It is insanely expensive ($16.50), but well worth it. It has lasted over 2 months and that's daily application on two toddlers. Their skin looks and feels beautifully creamy.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm not Afraid to Admit....

Thanks again to Brandi, I have been tagged to share information about myself. I find that the more people know about me though, it tends to either intrigue them or freak them out. So here I go once again, opening myself up to the possibility of judgment in the name of a game, called; Tag-Name 15 things you're not afraid to admit.
Let me start by saying, "Even though I'm a pretty open person. I have a lot I could hide or be fearful of admitting, but then that would defeat all God's work in my life." Since 15 things is a lot, I'm going to divide them into 5 categories.

Category 1 ( feelings)
1. I'm often lonely. I have very few friends.
2. I love the feeling of being lost- like when I'm hiking or driving.
3. I feel very loved by my husband and kids.

Category 2 (Physical characteristics)
4. My butt is metamorphosing. It is no longer rounded, it now is more the shape of a flank steak. it stretches from my lower/mid back and ends at my upper thighs.
5. I now have a mustache that requires shaving.
6. I really am considering plastic surgery on my stomach. My muscles were ripped apart at age 22. The stretch marks go from my little girl parts all the way three inches above my navel. I have struggled with this for 14 years now. I'm tired of it looking like ground meat.

Category 3 (weird things)
7. I love to pick my toenails. I know, gross.
8. I dance all the time. Yes, the white girl does funky chicken at the disco dance.
9. I refuse to use my cell phone when I'm checking out of a store. I rarely use it in public.

Category 4 (past)
10. I started using drugs when I was 10. (obviously I quit)
11. I have been arrested more than once.
12. I used to get suspended from school because I refused to wear shoes.

Category 5(misc.)
13. I'm a lot stronger than I look and have great stamina.
14. I use to sell Amway-Love their skincare.
15. I set our bathroom on fire when I was 8.

I'm not going to tag anyone, I find most people don't like to play. It's so disappointing to tag someone and check their blog incessantly, only to find they never play. Even though I love to read what other people write. Oh well... So if you want to play. Leave me a comment so I can read yours.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Steroids and Surprises

Adam surprised us and came home a few days early. I was so excited to see him, I could have cried. It was perfect timing. I had been up all night with coughing toddlers, and I had a fever with aches all over. He took one look at me and sent to back to bed. Thank you Lord! The next day Diezel's breathing got pretty bad. He ended up at urgent care. He is on steroids, breathing treatments and antibiotics. He went back to the doctor today. His pulse Ox is still hovering around 93%, not bad, but not great either. Christiana is still on her antibiotics and continues to improve everyday. We are just so thankful to have Adam home!





And Now For The Real Reason You Read My Blog:




Thursday, November 13, 2008

What's Going on Here? Part 2

This is part 2 of this post.




I now give you exhibit C


This is me yesterday after 4 hours of consecutive sleep, a shower, a little make-up and my hair actually brushed.




And finally I give you exhibit D.


Notice the hat covers the hair in need of some serious attention. The sunglasses cover very nicely the eyes that won't recover after the amount of sleep I get. They also cover the over grown and unruly eyebrows:)

Problem solved! Good as new.
and yes, I'm still smiling:)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No Money in My Pocket.

A strange but exciting thing happened to me today at the gas station. My tank stopped pumping at $58.36! I am so used to the usual $140 fill up every week. I know, I know- I don't want to get started on the sheer absurdity of that amount of money or the size of my car. Yes, I own a huge mega van. Remember I sold my smaller vehicle to pay for Gedese's expenses. Anyway, I started doing the dance. (For those of you new to my blog, the dance is something that is done when I'm overwhelmed with happiness) You do the math- that is $81.64 in my pocket. That is huge. Then a thought hit me. Wait-I was planning on spending $140. I budgeted $140. So really this savings is "extra" money. What do I usually do with extra money? I know I should save it, but in reality I find a way to spend it on things I justify needing. Not this time. I gave it.

Statistics show that Americans spend 450 billion dollars on Christmas every year. Experts estimate it would cost 10 billion dollars to give the whole world clean water. This has become a national campaign to see if we can change these statistics. To swing the pendulum from consumerism to compassion.
To see what happens when we come together and buy Water for Christmas.


I know I'm not the only one who saved money on gas this week. Won't you get involved too, and if not Water for Christmas; Then something. Anything. There are needs every where that God wants us to meet if we will only open our eyes.

My friend Amy is selling bracelets at Etsy to raise money as well.

It has been really hard for me to get behind causes and help raise money due to past experiences. I am incredibly slow to trust organizations now, but every thing I can tell from Charity Water and the people that support it-I believe it to be a wonderful way to help. And because of my belief in this cause, I was willing to publicly humiliate myself with the dance post from above.

Only God Knows When Our Time is Up.

I read this news article on Fox.com. I had to share it.

A grieving widow in Brazil was killed by her husband's coffin while on the way to bury him, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The hearse in which 67-year-old Marciana Silva Barcelos was traveling was hit by another vehicle while en route to the cemetery, local media reported. The hearse was hit from behind, causing the coffin to slam into Barcelos' head.

Her husband, Jose Silveira Coimbra, 76, had died of a heart attack the night before while at a dance.

The accident happened about 70 miles south of Porto Alegre city in Brazil's southernmost state.


It's kind of poetic, you know?!

Monday, November 10, 2008

What's Going On Here?

I give you exhibit A.


That is me this time last year.


Now, I give you exhibit B.



This is me tonight.

I know a lot has happened this year, but...Seriously?! Wow!

Who Am I?

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who Am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love, and watch me rise again
Who Am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

I am Yours
I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
'Cause I am Yours
I am Yours

Casting Crowns

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Strength

Isaiah 40:31

31 But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

4 More Hours

UNTIL I GET TO PICK UP GADESE AND CHRISTIANA!!!!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Screams in the Night!

Nothing ruins a good night sleep like a roach crawling in your pajamas.

I don't know if I'll ever recover.



NASTY!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

In Love With...


The Infection Has a Name.

Omphalitis is the medical term for infection of the umbilical cord stump in the neonatal newborn period. While currently an uncommon source of infection in the newborn in the United States, it has caused significant morbidity and mortality both historically and in areas where health care is less readily available.

Epidemiology

The current incidence in the United States is somewhere around 0.5% per year. There does not appear to be any racial or ethnic predilection.

Clinical manifestations

Like many bacterial infections, omphalitis is more common in those patients who have a weakened or deficient immune system or who are hospitalized and subject to invasive procedures. Therefore, infants who are premature, sick with other infections such as blood infection (sepsis) or pneumonia, or who have immune deficiencies are at greater risk. Infants with normal immune systems are at risk if they have had a prolonged birth, birth complicated by infection of the placenta (chorioamnionitis), or have had umbilical catheters.

Clinically, neonates with omphalitis present within the first two weeks of life with signs and symptoms of infeciton (cellulitis) around the umbilical stump (redness, warmth, swelling, pain), pus from the umbilical stump, fever, fast heart rate (tachycardia), low blood pressure (hypotension), somnolence, poor feeding, and yellow skin (jaundice). Omphalitis can quickly progress to sepsis and presents a potentially life-threatening infection. In fact, even in cases of omphalitis without evidence of more serious infection such as necrotizing fasciitis, mortality is high (in the 10% range).

Microbiology of omphalitis

Omphalitis is most commonly caused by bacteria. The most common bacteria are Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus, Escherichia Coli, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The infection is typically caused by a mix of these organisms and is, thus, a mixed Gram-positive and Gram-negative infection. Anaerobic bacteria can also be involved.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is usually made by the clinical appearance of the umbilical cord stump and the findings on history and physical examination. There may be some confusion, however, if a well-appearing neonate simply has some redness around the umbilical stump. In fact, a mild degree is common, as is some bleeding at the stump site with detachment of the umbilical cord. The picture may be clouded even further if caustic agents have been used to clean the stump or if silver nitrate has been used to cauterize granulomata of the umbilical stump.

Treatment

Treatment consists of antibiotic therapy aimed at the typical bacterial pathogens in addition to supportive care for any complications which might result from the infection itself such as hypotension or respiratory failure. A typical regimen will include intravenous antibiotics such as a penicillin which is active against Staphylococcus aureus and an aminoglycoside. For particularly invasive infections, antibiotics to cover anaerobic bacteria may be added (such as metronidazole). Treatment is typically for two weeks and often necessitates insertion of a central venous catheter or peripherally inserted central catheter.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

AARGHHH! Torn.

I'm struggling here. I feel torn and wiped. Adam is gone. I'm exhausted. I start to cry every time I take a moment to stop. I am so sorry about the vagueness of the last post. I only had a few minutes to ask for prayer. I realize so many of you are wondering what is going on.

1. Christiana's facial structure continues to reshape. Every time I see her, I marvel at what God has done. When we went into the c-section the intensity was high. Everyone knew something wasn't right. I was by Gedese the whole time. I never left her side from the time her water broke until Christiana was born. It was such a privilege to be with her. I love her more than anyone could ever imagine. I watched as the incision was made. Gedese was shaking all over. I held her. Then I saw Christiana pulled from her womb. My first thought was, "Dear God, No!" They quickly took her. I was torn, do I stay by Gedese's side or see Christiana. Gedese cried, "Steff, what's wrong? Please see my baby". When I saw her I wanted to scream so badly. My whole body wanted to cry out. I kept telling myself stay strong! Be here for both of them. They immediately went to work on Christiana. She wasn't breathing. Time stood still. I watched them, I watched Christiana in disbelief. Lord, she came here to have a healthy baby. Then I found out, no she came here to live. Her doctor looked at me and said I did a great thing. They would both be dead if they were still at home in Africa. "Me?" no, not me. It was God! I wanted to cry more. This woman, this baby that I love so very much, a stranger until 7 months ago living on the other side of the world, would have died?! Bittersweet reality. When I look at Christiana today, there is no doubt in my mind that God's hand is on her.
2. Gedese has spoken with Alex. I took the laptop to the hospital, so she can call him through skype. I know this is incredibly hard on him. He is praising God that his wife and baby are alive. As far as getting him here. We tried for 7 months and even hired an immigration attorney. When I finally realized it was not a possibility my heart broke. But trust me when I tell you, I will find a way to move this family here. When I take Gedese and Christiana back to Ethiopia in March, I am trusting the Lord that it's temporary.
3. Gedese is with Christiana now. She is able to stay with her. She is fighting an unidentified infection. It started at her umbilical cord and is spreading quickly. They are watching her and running tests. I have faith she will be fine and coming home in the next couple of days. I think they are taking extra precautions given her start in life she had.
4. Gedese is simply worn out. Given everything she has gone through her emotions as are mine are high. She hasn't slept much. After her c-section at 12:30pm on Sunday, I stayed with her until night. When I came back the next morning she was in incredible pain. She told me she was fine. When I asked the nurse when she got pain meds last, she told me Gedese has refused all pain meds. After talking with Gedese I found out she didn't want me to have to pay for them. Bless her heart! I quickly fixed that and had them give her something every 6 hours.

I want so badly to be there with her every moment. With Adam being gone, I just can't. She trusts me and counts on me to be her voice and when I'm not there, I feel like I'm failing her. When I'm not at home I feel like I'm failing my kids. So from morning till night I'm running back and forth in between the two worlds. Torn.


Yesterday, I fell asleep at the foot of Gedese's bed holding Christiana. Gedese took a picture of us. I just want to freeze this moment.

More Prayer Needed!

Gedese is officially discharged, but Christiana has been transferred to the pediatric unit. Gedese is devastated.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Praise Report and Introductions.

Christiana is beautiful! Over night her head has changed shape. So, what they they thought was some sort of frontal cranial fusion(theory #1) is now not even a possibility. The other theory was a slim chance the malformation was due to a traumatic birth(theory #2). Very slim though, because of the severity of the shape. We are still waiting test results to rule out theory #3 of a genetic/chromosome disorder. So, I'll take theory number 2#.
She finally started breast feeding a few hours ago. With her high palette it has been a little tricky to do.


Christiana Alebachew Reta
Born November 2, 2008
12:27pm
7 pounds
20 inches

I have been asked about where to send cards. She is at Boone Hospital in Columbia, Mo. 1600 E. Broadway. She is registered as Gedese Edeto. She will be leaving Wed or Thurs.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thankful

I'm sitting here in Gadese's hospital room watching her sleep with Christiana by her breast. I'm in a completely exhausted state of awe for so many reasons. The last 17 hours have been incredibly hard and filled with many emotions. My heart is swimming in gratitude. I had no idea God's greater plan when we first listened to His call to bring Gadese here to America. Only He knew that her life and Christiana's depended on that one choice made 6 months ago. It is without any doubt in my mind and that of the hospital staff that they would both have died today if they were back in Ethiopia. Praise God for His Mercy!

I know everyone is wanting more information on Christiana. As I know more I will let you know. We should know hopefully in the next few days if her circumstances are genetic/chromosome, or something that will require surgery or simply massive trauma during attempted delivery and uterine environment. I can say, I have already witnessed God's hand mightly upon her. Many of her facial features have already changed beautifully.

I am humbled beyond measure to be a part of God's plan in this way and I continue to be blessed to have you all praying for Gadese, Christiana, her family in Ethiopia and ours.

Peace

Momma has Baby in her arms . . .

. . . something physically is not normal. Please forgive my inability to describe in more detail, but I am not there. Steff said the challenge is chromosome related? . . . and will require some surgeries in the near future to correct. Please pray for God to give the doctors the right sense of direction and compassion for Christiana & Mama Gadese.

Please pray also for clear direction for Mama Gadese, Alex, Steff, and all our family and friends who love them sooooooo much, and are invloved so intimately.

Adam

Prayer time. Please pass it on.

Gadese is going into emergency C-section after all. The doctors are unsure if it is her fingers that they have been "feeling" presenting themselves. The ultra sound was apparently not helping them. Steff seems very concerned and asked me to request prayers from everyone who can pray for her.

Please pray for a completely healthy baby and successful delivery.

Amen
- Adam

7 cm & Going for Natural Birth!

Christiana's fingers are presenting with her head, but the doctor is going to go for a natural birth before defaulting to a C-Section!
Gadese's got a little relaxation medicine too.

. . . Update still by Adam.

Labor Update #2 (Don't cheat! Read previous one first!)

OK, This is Adam again with another update. Good thing Gadese came to America! Looks like Christiana (SP?) is lying sideways in the womb, so apparently the doctor is wanting to do a "C" section. . . bummer.
Both mommies are in good spirits in the hospital.
I Guess that means the baby is definitely coming today!
No 24 hour labor/first time mommy delivery this time.
Recovery will be longer though.
Definitely a hospital stay.
Thank you Lord for watching over Momma and Baby!

Trail of Towels . . .

(Yes, this update is from Adam)
Hello everyone! Alex literally called from Ethiopia, within minutes of her water breaking. (4:30am our time) It shows the incredible bond that God has created between Mother and Father. Across the world his God given protector instinct kicks in, and they are united even though so many miles are between them. We had to tell him "call right back, the baby is coming and they have to go to the hospital, NOW!"
He was crying with Joy when I called him back just now.
. . . So the long "I must tell someone my body is leaking and I'm freaking" trail from her room downstairs up to our bedroom and then onto the bathroom is mopped up and now covered with a trail of blankets, like a breadcrumb path, only this one doesn't lead to "Grandma's house." I'll try to take a picture just cause it's fun!
They left in the not so calm, but definitely cool and experienced hands of Steffany and by this time are probably lying in a bed at the hospital, feeling very excited!
WAHOOO!
As they say in all the good cop movies, "spread 'em!"
Now I'm going back to sleep like a veteran surrogate dad should. This day will prove to be an adventure I'm sure!

Ama sekenaloe.
Adam

There Is Water Every Where!

All over the house! We are going to the hospital now!!!!!!!!!!!
Pray for us!
Here comes Christiana!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Gadese baby updates for everyone who is checking daily:)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Still....

Waiting:)

Bed Time Request

Last night when I was tucking Lukas into bed he requested a song.

Lukas: Mom, will you sing the monkey and bird song?
Me: The monkey and bird song? What is that?
Lukas: Mom, the monkey and bird song! You know.

I had no idea what he was talking about. So, I made up an elaborate song about Lukas, a monkey and a bird swinging through the jungle. I was so proud of my song. In spite of the fact Adam was in the corner cracking up at my musical endeavor. After I was done Lukas looked at me.

Lukas: No mom! you know the monkey and bird you're going to buy me.

(insert light bulb here)

Me: Oh.... You mean -Momma's going to buy you a mockingbird?!"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A long Overdue Post

In July we had an amazing opportunity to walk the Red Carpet as a family with our three oldest kids to celebrate the completion of The Red Canvas. It was a fulfillment of one of my husband's life long dreams. Months ago I only had one picture to share. I finally found some more.






I love this one of the girls. When it was all over Faith said, "Okay, mom. That was really freaky."



Jace on the other hand said, "That was awesome! I could get used to that. When can we do it again?"

Well.......

Nope.

Just left the doctors. Even after contractions 3-5 min. a part for 20 hours, she hasn't dilated anymore. Christiana is still floating. She isn't engaged yet. She is also "sunnyside up". This could mean a longer labor. Gadese is growing increasingly more silent and tired. She is so strong. I am in awe.

Monday, October 27, 2008

No Baby Yet.


Everything is okay. She's having strong contractions every 3 minutes. They just not doing much though.

So now we are back home. The contractions are still coming fast and strong. I'm reading up on home births just in case:)

Going to the Hospital

Please pray. After talking to Gadese's doctor we felt like she needs to go for monitoring. She is feeling sick and Christiana's movements are very weak. I'll update when I can.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

By Coincidence? I Think Not.

With the kind of life I have lead, I know better than to question God. I normally don't ask, "Why?"or, "Where's the good in this?" I trust Him. I don't always understand. Most of the time it's easy not trying to figure out God's plan and simply trusting him, then there are times where it's just plain painful. I still trust him, but I'm left looking for the good. Three weeks ago when Adam and I went on my birthday ride(16 miles on our bicycles along the river to a beautiful winery/restaurant), we stopped at a gas station to pick up a flashlight in case it got dark on the trip. The moment I pulled my bike in, I felt an intense weight in my heart. There was a group of 5-6 teenage kids hanging outside with baggy jeans and hoodies. I looked at them and then I saw him, D. (If your not familiar with our history with him, you should be. He is a huge part of our adoption journey.) Adam was the first to hug him. He was surrounded by all his friends, I didn't know how to respond. We spoke with him for awhile. Then he looked at me and said, "Happy Birthday Steffany." He remembered, I could have cried right there. He remembered my birthday after a whole year. "Thanks D." Thanks D, that's all I said. I wanted to scoop him up(even though he's a lot bigger than me) I wanted to tell him, how much I loved him, that I missed him. That I still feel the hole that was left behind. After they left, the attendant came out and asked how we knew D. She lives in the same neighborhood as him. She told us that she had just kicked out D and his friends for shoplifting. After we told her our history with him, she shook her head and sighed,"He's a good kid, I just wish he hung out with different kids." For the rest of the 15 miles Adam and I rode with a heavy weight on us. We started asking, "Why?"and "Where's the good in this?" Today three weeks later, Adam decided to call him to see if he could go with Adam and Jace to St. Louis to see our film, The Red Canvas. D. was a huge part of our lives during the filming the movie. We were filled with hope when we made the call. Only to be told by his new foster mom that D. made a conscious decision to set fire their house. Again, I'm asking,"Why Lord, why?" I know we are suppose to be involved in his life. I just thought it was to be his parents. It's hard to be around him and not mother him, but that's not the role God chose for me. As I type this I'm becoming more aware of the answer to,"Why" and the,"What good is in this Lord" questions. Sometimes it's just not how I pictured things to go. Okay, if I back up, it never goes how I planned, I should know that by now. It does however always go how God planned it. Even the pain.

To Blog or Not to Blog

Have you ever had so much on your mind that you want to blog about? I find myself wondering, do I make it one big, long and incoherent post? Do I post three different posts? Or, do I just not post anything? Each thought deserves it's own place in blogland. Yet, here I am stuck, unable to formulate anything. AARRGHH.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Winner is.......


Robbin! Email me with your address and which company you would like your prize from. The choices were: Africa Bags, Zambian soap basket or Tiny Rockstar t-shirt.

That was fun. Thanks everyone for participating.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Prizes and Proverbs (First Giveaway)

I love giveaways on blogs. I still have yet to win anything, maybe one day. Until then , I decided to have my first one. You have a chance to win your pick of one of the three prizes below. They are from organizations/companies who are involved in Africa. So by participating and maybe winning you are helping them. Cool, huh? Are you ready for the rules?

The proverbs you read are Ethiopian. I want you to tell me your favorite one and why. It's that simple. I will randomly pick a winner out of a hat.

*Bonus*- If you can correctly pick out my favorite proverb and are the random winner, you may choose two items.

That's it. Have fun.
Tiny Rockstar Shirt
Africa Bags
Zambian Soap

Contest ends Friday at 7pm








1. To one who does not know, a who garden is a forest.

2. When one is in love, a cliff becomes a meadow.

3. Evil enters like a needle and spreads like a oak tree.

4. Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.

5. Restless feet may walk into a snake pit.

6. Snake at your feet a stick at your hand!

7. The witness of a rat is another rat.

8. He who learns, teaches.

9. Woman without man is like a field without seed.

10. Unless you call out, who will open the door?

11. When the heart overflows, it comes out through the mouth.

12. You cannot build a house for last year's summer.

13. When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.

14. The fool speaks, the wise man listens.

15. A cat may go to a monastery, but she still remains a cat.

16. A silly daughter teaches her mother how to bear children.

17. It is easy to become a monk in one's old age.

18. The fool is thirsty in the midst of water.

19. One's name remains above the grave.

20. As the wound inflames the finger, so thought inflames the mind.

21. Move your neck according to the music.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two Doctors in One Day.

Gadese has had a lot of back contractions the last few nights. We had a doctor appointment this morning. He checked her and she's 3 centimeters, 75% effaced and he felt Christiana's head!!!!!!!!! We are super excited. So, little Christiana will be here soon.

After her doctor appointment I went to mine. I have been sick off and on for the last month or so with similar symptoms to post Africa. I had quite a bit of blood drawn. The only thing I know now is my liver and gallbladder are sore and inflamed. I have a fever, nausea, vomiting, and the poops.
I'm hoping they can figure out what is wrong with me, and soon. Please pray for my health and strength to serve my family and Gadese.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Let the Weirdness Begin.


Thanks to Kim and Sharon I get to shock the readers of my blog with all my weirdness. I'm not sure you all will be able to handle it;)

For your enjoyment at my expense, I also am including my five weird things about me post from last year :



1. When I laugh I snort.

2. If I squeeze my belly it looks like a pound of ground beef.

3. I ran away and joined the circus (true)

4. My front tooth is removable (really freaky) I lost my original in some guy's head while stage diving at a concert.

5. I like the smell of skunks

Now on to the new more embarrassing list.

6. When I squeeze my belly now it looks like 2 pounds of ground beef.

7. Ummm, there's no other way to put this. So here it goes, I pass gas like a trucker.

8. I survived a Mexican jail.

9. I love jalapenos. I can eat a whole jar. My new favorite is sauteing fresh jalapeno with onions and eating that with my meals.

10. I have swam with otters at a zoo when it was closed.

11. I used to babysit monkeys.

12. I am scared to death of confrontation. I avoid it like the plague. It's so bad that even if my order at a restaurant is dead wrong, cold, or just plain nasty, I still won't say anything. Maybe the fear of having someone rub my steak under their armpit is stopping me.

Well there you have it. I hope you all still like me.
So I tag: Because I would like to see more posts on their blogs-They are majorly slacking
Laura G.- I need something from you- anything. Please
Candace; wait you're private. Well maybe you can at least share for my viewing pleasure.
Paula- I know there's nothing new on the adoption front, but...
Robin- Yes, you have an adorable toddler at home now, but what's new?
Jenny F. aka Sandra-She doesn't have a blog. Hint hint. At least email your weird things.
Laura from Stepping out of the Boat- Don't hold back girl. Remember I know how weird you really are.
Kelly from Squid. I know you are taking a break, but maybe you'll share some weird things:)