Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Calling All Cerebral Palsy Bloggers!

1 What are your thoughts?
Tomorrow is the day we will all link up and connect with one another. I shared before that it has been in my heart to create a "Cerebral Palsy Connection" or community. This connection will allow us to support, encourage, and learn from each other.

So here is the scoop...

1. Write a blog post that relates in some way to Cerebral Palsy. Not sure what you should write about? Here are some ideas.
  • Introduce yourself, or your child. What type of Cerebral Palsy do you/your child have?
  • What was it like to recieve your child's diagnosis?
  • If you are an adult, what advice would you give to us moms?
  • What has helped the most in this journey? Therapy? Surgery? Emotional support?
  • What has been your biggest challenge?
2. Once you have your blog post finished, make sure to include this image at the bottom of your post.

All you have to do is copy the code (the code is all the "writing" in the box underneath the image) and then paste the code into the body of the post.

3. Publish your post and come back here. You will see a blog post titled "CP Connection #1." At the bottom of that post, you will see a "Simply Linked" widget. It will ask for 3 things.
  1. Link Title: This is where you post the title of your blog post.
  2. E-mail address. It will not be displayed!
  3. URL: Here is where you post the link to your blog post. Be sure you are linking to the specific post, and not to your general blog.
Submit your link and you should see it appear in the widget.

4. Once you are linked, take the time and visit the other blogs. Make sure you leave a comment too, so they know you stopped by and visited.

There are so many adults with Cerebral Palsy out there that have much to share with us moms, I value their insight tremendously. These adults help me understand what Cerebral Palsy might look like for us in the future, and how much Nina will be able to accomplish. They inspire me, really. And as moms, it is nice to hear what other moms deal with. It is nice to know someone else "gets it" and understands our challenges and struggles. Some of my closest friends are those that have children with special needs, we just have a special connection.

Spread the word, and I cannot wait to visit all your wonderful blogs together so that we can connect and learn from each other!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why Moms Need Friends

5 What are your thoughts?

Moving to a new town and having no friends can be pretty lonely. At the beginning of the school year, I joined a MOPS group because I desperately needed friends that are at the same stage in life I am in. Last night, I hung out with some of these new friends from my MOPS group. Time flew by. A little get-together that meant so much. 

So in “top 10” style, I will tell you why moms need friends.

1. Because loneliness among moms is too common, and it doesn’t need to be that way.

2. Because it is nice to know that other moms make ramen noodles for lunch too, are lucky to get a shower before noon, and that ponytails are in style.

3. Because we like play-dates just as much as our kids do. 

4. Because we need adult conversation where we don’t have to ask, “Do you need to go poopy?”

5. Because our husbands cannot provide the chatter that comes along with “woman territory.”

6. Because you can indulge in tasty treats when you are together and not feel guilty for the calories you consume since “everyone else is doing it.”

7. Because it is nice to have someone understand how exhausting it is to care for little people, while at the same time, it is a precious time in life that only lasts so long

8. Because we need heart to heart connections with other people that get it.

9. Because we want to be known, and accepted, regardless of our flaws.

10. Because God created us as relational beings, we are not meant to do life alone.

Top Ten {Tuesday}

Monday, November 28, 2011

Their Hope and Their Future

4 What are your thoughts?
It fills me with awe when I see Nina and Oksana together. Two little girls with Cerebral Palsy that had no hope and no future tucked away in an orphanage in Ukraine. In the confinement of those walls, they at least had each other. They played together, talked, and giggled. Somehow, they were the only family they had.

God, who loves them intensely, called us to adopt Nina, and the Loraines to adopt Oksana. Our families, strangers to each other, adopting 2 little girls that were like sisters.

There were a couple of times when I visited Nina at the orphanage and Oksana cried asking to be with us. I then asked for her to join us, I did not mind having her around. Little did I know, the day I visited with Nina while holding Oksana in my arms, that I would give her a hug once more in my own home. I never imagined that her family would become so dear to our family, and that this friendship would be a treasure to last a  lifetime.

While we know nothing about Nina's birth family, and Loraines know nothing about Oksana's birth family, we do know that they will always have each other. And in this new life with a family, they have hope and they have a bright future. And through these little girls, our entire families are blessed!

This Thanksgiving, the Loraines come to our home, and we enjoyed our time together immensely! The days were full of talking, playing, thankfulness, and joy.

You can visit the Loraine's blog, since they have much better pictures, but I will copy Erin and give you a little summary by day, along with some snapshots.

Loraines arrived and it was fun just hanging out, getting settled, and talking. They brought lots of very yummy treats so we were looking forward to dessert!

We had an easy morning and Nichole willingly shared her iPad with Oksana and her family.
Later that day, the dads took the kids out to jump in our monster pile of leaves while Erin and I worked on the food and Nichole took a nap.

We had the 3 big girls wear matching outfits, hoping for a nice picture of Nina and Oksana to send to their orphanage and to frame for their rooms. These 2 girls had serious problems posing and smiling!
But they were all so cute together so we did get some nice shots of the girls.

Thanksgiving dinner turned out pretty good if you ask me! Although my mashed sweet potatoes turned out the consistency of baby food,  the rest of the meal was good!

We went to Legoland in Chicago, and it was a lot of fun!

The girls loved riding in the giant swing. They rode this thing over and over! Ellie and Nina both wanted to ride with Oksana every time!

Nichole had fun, although I think her favorite part of the day was eating a bag of chips!


On the way out, the girls had to have their picture taken with Sponge Bob, who happens to be a celebrity at our house. Don't judge me, as a parent, you have to pick your battles, and I would rather have Sponge Bob than Hannah Montana or iCarly at this time in life.


And, even Legoland was happy to see me!

We ventured into the world of bounce houses and craziness! And let me tell you, helping a child with mobility issues is quite the workout! But we all had fun!

Loraines came to church with us and got to be a part of the service. It was such a blessing! Larry played the guitar and Erin and I shared how God worked in our lives through our adoptions. It was so good to have them here at our church. 

Where would our girls be if we had not adopted them? Where would we be? God's blessings are many, and He showers us with His love as we live life thriving to honor and serve Him. This weekend, we got to experience some of those blessings throw this friendships that have come to us thanks to our girls. We really had so much to be thankful for!



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