Thursday, May 30, 2013

Reality For Some?

 I have several posts in my head but somehow my computer has freaked out and I can't post pictures on the blog. It's time to take it in but I need Doug to do that and he has been pretty busy. Hopefully it will happen this week. I really need my computer over the next couple of months.


Anyway, back to what I was getting at. I found a post on this blog that shocked me. I knew the orphanages struggled but not like this. I thought I would share what one of the oldest adopted children of the family said to his mother. If you want to read the whole post here is the link.



Monday April 8,2013


 He made me cry

I cried. I couldn't help it. 

Now understand, I am not a crier. I don't cry often. But I felt my heart just break. 

BROKEN.  I felt broken. And I understood for a few moments how God MUST feel, although I have no doubt that He shielded me from the full force of the pain. Because I'm sure I could not have taken on the BURDEN our Father has.

Where did this happen? Who did this? What was IT?

We were in the van, Chance, Kat, Phoebe and me. Going to get Uncle Roy and family at the airport, coming in from their vacation back to Japan ( yes, I'm jealous as all get out) but we were chatting, Chance and I as the two in the front, as I drove. The girls in the back were busy playing games.

We passed a church, and Chance asked "Why do we bury people next to the church?"  He finds that sooo odd.  And I said "Out of respect", and as usual, I love my Chance and love to jag on him some, so I said "Should we not bury you next to the church, how about in a hole in the yard." He said "Yep, just not too close (to the house) or he would stink."  Oh, my outdoor lovin' son, how he makes me laugh. (Yes, MOM we have a sick sense of humor, I know)

Anyway-- I don't know the exact words that led to him saying "I've seen dead people." And as a nurse, this doesn't faze me, nor as their mother have I learned to be shocked at what they tell me at times they have seen.  My children come from many years of orphanage care. It's not pretty. It's not cute painted pictures on the walls, big eyed babies waiting to be scooped up and loved on. I've heard horror stories before. (SADLY)

 My precious son proceeds to tell me very matter of fact, that he saw MANY children DIE. MANY-CHILDREN-DIE.  Some from not enough food, some from diseases. Not just babies with major problems that came in, but children he lived with for years, he knew them well.

So many children, in fact, they had to make a "fridge" at the orphanage to hold the bodies. And that a truck would come and THEY (as in MY CHILDREN, MY SONS) would be made to help load DEAD children in the truck to be taken away to be "burned up." Some 5-6 years old, some older, some babies.

I listened in silence. Feeling my heart breaking. Trying to concentrate on driving. As the tears welled. As they started a path down my face. As I started to sniffle.

He realized I was crying. He apologized for making me cry. "Sorry mom, I make you cry." And I couldn't say a thing-- so on he went -- "It just happened. Some were diseased, some not enough food, but some (KIDS)  did get adopted."  Obviously before they got to dying--

But then something hit my heart besides the horrible pain-- it was ANGER. And I said 3 words--


That's right- NOT ENOUGH got adopted. Because children/ babies/teens are DYING today. Because they have disease, yeah, maybe, but also because they don't have FOOD to eat.

They feed the kids by age (because they have to)--
 youngest must have food to make it- feed first
 toddlers, need food- they come next
 preschoolers, need to be fed- feed next
 school age- well, they can survive if they miss one meal
 but the teens, well, they can go with 1 meal a day, or NONE if there's none left when they get to them. 

So they GO WITHOUT, often for DAYS.

When's the last time you or I went without 1 meal and said the meaningless words "WOW, I'm starved" when we did get to eat our very next meal? I'm so ashamed, I have  thoughtlessly said that.

My children, along with MANY others, last count 285 children (when our kids came from their orphanage there were 150 children) know that "being starved" is not missing one meal. Hunger HURTS. When it's been 3 days and all you got was a piece of bread, your belly HURTS, it aches in a way you can hardly stand.

I'm sharing this because of what I said to Chance when I finally could say more-- still in the van, still driving, just sniffling now----

"Chance people SHOULD care. I care. No child should mean nothing more than a body- that they didn't get a chance to grow up, to be loved. God loved those children and He wants better for His children, someone has to care about those children----WE HAVE TO CARE."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Birds, Toilets, Birds Nests and Strollers

What do Toilets and birds have in common?

Nothing. :)

But Toilets and Strollers most definitely do. Can you guess how?

This is just a random compilation of experiences in the Walker home.

While Gideon was in the hospital the kids had some excitement. They woke up to a bird in the house. After some gentle manipulation they coaxed it out. They then went on the hunt to see how the bird got in. This bird had obviously been trapped in the laundry room because he left his mark, if you know what I mean, on the cupboard, floor and clean clothes. Funny, I cleaned it all up when I got home after a long sleepless night in the hospital not the kids. :) They were too grossed out by it.  No hint was found as to where the bird got in the house. A few days later another bird got in. Still no clue where he came in from. Weird.

Yesterday Gideon walked out of my bedroom with the rod that holds our toilet paper. I knew from that he had been playing in my bathroom. 2 year olds and bathrooms don't mix. I immediately went to him and asked him to help me put it back. We walked in to this site.

This is Bria's church shoe, a full roll or toilet paper and the instrument to stir the pot, our toilet paper rod.

For the last couple of weeks I have noticed that the dryer takes an hour and a half to dry a load that should take 45 minutes. I began to wonder if we needed to hook up our second dryer and get rid of this one. This morning I decided to see if there was something plugging up the dryer vent. It was fairly unlikely because our dryer vents directly outside with about 4 inches from the dryer to the outside wall, a straight shot. I pulled the dryer out and climbed behind it. Voila!!


A birds nest. Now we know where our random birds came from.
They had to have flown out of the open dryer.

Now how do strollers and toilets go together?


Gideon had brought all but one stroller up from the downstairs and
proceeded to throw them back down the stairs, just for the fun of it.

Maybe we have too many doll strollers. 

We have been struggling with Gideon taking all the books off the shelves and carrying them around.
Today he chose a new activity to use the books for.
He took off the heating vent in the floor and shoved several down the vent.
The worst part was, his book of choice, the scriptures.
Maybe he loves the scriptures so much already that he needs to have them as his constant companions.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Diaper Ritual

A day or two after we got back from China I was changing Gideon's diaper. As I have done for many of the babies in our house, I take the diaper off, fold it up and toss it to the nearest child to put in the garbage outside. This one action started a ritual with Gideon. As soon as I finish changing his diaper he has to grab it and throw it to the child of his choice so they can throw it away.

Now, the kids don't think this is such an honor but they are all good sports. Unfortunately for Niya and Marshall Gideon likes their names best so they are called most often. This morning when I took off the diaper Gideon jumped up before I had him dressed. I had mistakenly handed the diaper to Pierce to throw away so Gideon had to hurry and take charge. Gideon, wearing only his diaper, grabbed the used diaper out of Pierces hand. He then started yelling "Niya, Niya". I looked over to see Gideon, with his arm raised high diaper in hand, staring down Hyrum. Hyrum knew he was pegged. His eyes opened wide as his lips formed a perfect O. In the next second Hyrum turns high tale, arms out, yelling 


Pictures from a different diaper experience but still cute.
Please note, the dirty diapers don't get tossed only wet.

If you are wondering, Hyrum loves to wear mom's sweater on his head.
It must make him feel like a super hero.
He can do anything now that he has a mom, right?

I love these boys!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gideon's Medical Checkup

This morning we were off bright and early to see the doctor. We weren't sure what to expect or how long it would take so I wasn't as prepared as I should be. Gideon's adoption has thrown me for a loop. With Hyrum and Bria I was always prepared with food, diapers and water. Now, I forget one or the other most of the time. Poor Gideon (and Mom) were up until 3:00 am.. Because of the lack of sleep, Gideon was an angry bear. I didn't even have food and water to appease him.  This made things a little difficult when we had to do x-rays, the echo and EKG. Thankfully we got through it with all the information necessary.

The doctor is pleased with Gideon's recovery and said he has flown through it. He did warn us that there are still possibilities of complications but they are not very likely considering how well he has done so far. We asked some very blunt questions and got clear answers on what to expect from here. The surgery that Gideon had did not close any doors for future options fixing his heart. We may still be able to go in and repair his VSD which means putting a patch in the lower portion of his heart to divide it into two chambers. With that they would need to shunt his Aorta into the correct Atria, or upper portion of his heart. At this point there is not a surgeon that wants to do it but that could change. The other option would be to do the Fontan surgery as planned. If the Fontan is done the doctor estimates his life expectancy to be 17 years. At that point he would need a heart transplant. Transplants are good for 10 years on average.The repair however, would increase his life by 10 years over the Fontan but it would be very risky to do. The full repair was not an option this go around because of how fragile Gideon was at the time.

All of this is in the  future and we were instructed to live life. There is nothing that can be done to make things better right now. Gideon will continue to turn blue here and there but that is OK. The reason he still turns blue is because there are no oxygen reserves so when his body is under stress he requires more oxygen. This doesn't mean he will be blue whenever he's is stressed just once in a while. Gideon has no limitations outside of our not turning him upside down. He may even get off one of his medications in 6 weeks at our next appointment.

On a side note, we started getting statements from our insurance. It looks like the operation and hospital stay will only be about $50,000. Not bad compared to what we expected. Maybe our insurance rates won't go up too high next year.

The reality is setting in a little more deeply. It's time to stop accomplishing things and add more fun to life. We want to make more memories and spend more time together emotionally not just physically. None of us know the day or the hour when our work is done on this Earth. Because of that we tend to take life for granted. I don't want to do that anymore. The only thing we take with us in death is our relationships. Relationships with God, family, friends and self. This will be hard to retrain my thoughts and ideas from filling my day with responsibilities that need doing to slowing down to love and cherish all in my circles. The Lord has much he wants to teach me. Hopefully I will be clay in His hands.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Laundry Party!

Yes, the laundry got out of control again. Any bump in the road causes a  laundry pile up. So this time I decided that since the kids are off track that they would have the opportunity to fold. :)) Here is what happened.

All the kids brought the laundry into the family room so there would be room for everyone to help.
Pierce picked up the camera and decided it was more fun to be the photographer.

Casey then turned on the soundtrack of Cool Runnings.
This started the dancing. Gideon loved his newer found abilities to dance.

Bria is a great worker and once she gets started she will help to the very end.
Getting her started is the problem. :)

Hyrum loves the praise. As soon as he gets it he is done.

Gideon even tried his hand at folding, or unfolding.

Notice the kids hiding in the back by the couch. I have evidence now!
Anyone that has children knows there are some that
have a harder time working than others.

The fashion show begins. Marshall decided he wanted to be a ballet dancer.

This is a great bribe shot. How many 12 year old boys would allow you to take a picture of this?

Hyrum LOVES to dance. He was in heaven with the twirly skirt!

What an adorable princess Bria is.

A cute picture just for good measure.

And once again, Casey in yet another beautiful dress.

Malia and Bria were hugging so I told Pierce to get a picture.
Clayson had to jump in and be a part of things.

This has to be my favorite picture! 
What precious soul Gideon is.

Everyone worked SO hard, not, that they got tuckered out.
Sweet picture anyway. 
I find great joy in seeing the love and tenderness between the kids.

Gideon's first check up is in the morning. From what I understand he will have another Echo and do some other testing. Hopefully it's pretty thorough. I have some concerns and hope that there is something that can be done to help. I am also going to ask about an oxygen monitor that is accurate. I would feel much better knowing where his oxygen is when he is getting blue. Last night was the worst episode yet. His lips, fingers and toes all turned blue. I was really hoping that wouldn't happen for a couple of years.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Growing Love

As a mother it is very satisfying to see the evidence of love between children. We witness these acts of love more every day with Gideon being the instigator of much tenderness. We have done 8 adoptions and know that what we are experiencing now is a gift from God and from a pure little boys heart. 

The children came to visit Gideon in the hospital and while we were there
Hyrum walked up to the bed and Gideon grabbed his hand and held it for a long time.
Gideon had only known the children for a week at this point but he quickly developed 
a love and trust in them. 

Yesterday Gideon grabbed on the Bria hand, or finger, and walked with her. 
He was so sweet with her and just wanted to be close. We got another picture of Gideon
holding Bria's hand. We just missed the kiss that he gave her.
Gideon has brought so much love and peace to our family. 
We could never imagined the blessing Gideon would bring to us.
I hope that through this experience I will not question when
God asks for us to act. He always blesses us

though sometimes we don't see or experience the blessings
until after the trial of our faith.

Hyrum couldn't find a spot on my lap so he chose to hug my leg.
I love that smile of his.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Healing, Adjustments and Hair Cuts

This week has been way too busy. In my mind I expected to come home from the hospital and sit with Gideon while he was still down. I was with Gideon a lot but there was no sitting. This little boy has been up and around all week. Even when he was not on pain meds he didn't slow down. Gideon has a new found energy and is using it to the fullest. He wants to be in the middle of everything. It has been pretty clear most of the week when he was in pain. He would start to fuss or cry and grab at  his chest. A clear sign medicine was needed. He doesn't like the medicine but has been very compliant, that is until he started to feel better.

This was the progression of administering his lasiks last night.
You will notice the bruise on his cheek.  Hopefully Gideon will become more steady
and not fall as often.

Today was a different story. He decided to run away when it was time for medicine. Our compliant little boy has disappeared. I guess that means he is more comfortable with us.

The whole family has had to make adjustments. Over all it is going well but there are moments of challenge. Hyrum and Bria have shown the greatest signs of stress from adding a new sibling. It has been cute to watch Gideon's reaction to all the children. Every child in the family has welcomed Gideon with open arms. It is clear that Gideon knows he is loved here. Yesterday the family went to church while Gideon and I stayed home. He was so sad and fussed the WHOLE 5 hours they were gone. As soon as Doug and the kids got home he was all smiles. 

Gideon is really feeling the adjustment and loss right now. He cries easily and gets fussy out of nowhere. I have seen great progress but it is still hard to watch the pain of his loss. Mom is his go to person when he is not feeling secure. Even Dad does not cut it any more. I see him feeling his pain and at times it is frustrating because I can't do anything for him. For the most part though, I realize this is what needs to take place for the fastest healing.

Gideon's first camp fire. He likes marshmallows but not roasted.

Last Saturday while I was still at the hospital Malia decided she wanted to cut her hair. I'm not sure the exact reason because I have gotten several. The bottom line is, she took the front of her hair and cut it about 4 inches from the scalp. She didn't want me to tell anyone but there was no hiding it. I finally convinced her to get it cut short so today off we went to the salon. 

Malia didn't want her picture taken but she consented when I told her Ressa, 
her sister, would want to see it.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Easter, Birthday, Life

This picture was taken before Gideon's heart surgery. You can see his bluish lips and cheeks.  That was a pretty common site before surgery. The stairs are a challenge because he is so unstable. We don't know if he is wobbly from being light headed at times or because he lacks muscle tone due to the lack of proper nutrition during the first two years of his life, but whatever the reason, we hope he gets stronger and more stable quickly now.  More oxygen to the brain has to be a good thing!  

We are noticing how much weight Hyrum and Bria have gained in the 18 months we have had them.  So we expect Gideon will do the same, especially now that his body is working better.

Gideon with his handsome older brother Creed.  It's been hard to catch Creed with a good smile in pictures lately - so either he really likes his new younger brother or he is not embarrassed anymore by the braces he just got taken off.   Maybe both.....

Here is another special little guy in our life.  Grandson Preston Heath.  
The cuteness continues to the second generation!

Hyrum showing off his Easter treasures.  He loves hard boiled eggs and he had to wait 3 days after coloring the eggs to have the Easter egg hunt.  He ate every one in his basket.

Mom pulling weeds during the Easter egg hunt.  Or at least that is what I accused her of.  You see, Deanne has this urge to pull weeds whenever she is outside.  The kids can even substantiate this.   And it's a disorder that doesn't just manifest itself in our yard.  Oh no.  She can be anywhere, anytime and if there are weeds in sight, she starts shaking and breaks into a cold sweat until she can satisfy her addiction to become one with nature and rid the area of the offending weeds.  She thinks it is due to a lack of minerals so she needs to get her hands dirty to provide the supplemental nutrients she lacks in her diet.  I was already a little embarrassed that I had not fired up the weed eater this year yet.  After all, we had been home from china for an entire week before we had the backyard Easter egg hunt.  So when I saw her pulling weeds I had to take a picture of it.  Actually, she was helping Gideon in his FIRST EVER Easter egg hunt and she said he wouldn't reach his hand down through the tall grass to grab the hidden egg.  So she explained that she was clearing the grass so Gideon would grab the egg.  At least that is her story and she is sticking to it....   

Gideon caught on really quickly to competition side of the fun. 

Clayson's birthday that had to wait a few extra days when Gideon was admitted to the hospital.  He wanted a white chocolate fountain with all the fixin's for dippin.  What happened to cake and ice cream for a kids birthday??

Life still happened while Deanne and I were rotating our shifts at the hospital.  Here is Casey taking advantage of the lack of parental supervision.  At least he put on his helmet and pads  :)  BTW - for those of you wondering about how we get mobile for long road trips, our 22 passenger bus is in the background.  Deanne drives the 15 passenger sport edition Chevy around town. 

Cuts, pokes, tube holes, etc...

Still smiling all the way!

Doing what 2 year olds do best...

With a little help from his brother and sisters.