Tuesday, January 19, 2016

State of the House-January

While I am no longer doing weekly cancer updates (yay, yay and yay!), I thought maybe a monthly-ish update of things happening around here would be helpful. (With a sprinkiling of random photos from the month.)

Today marks sixteen months since diagnosis, the day we were "walking across the street and got hit by a truck", as the surgeon described it. We're more normal than we've been in more than a year, yet it can hardly be described as normal.

The nurse comes three times a week to attend to my wound, as she has been doing since July. The latest "thing" we're trying is the wound vac which is on 24/7.  I wasn't happy to have it back, but I'm also game to try anything right now. We're praying in the next month or so this does what it needs to do. My energy is good and it seems there are no harmful, lasting side effects from the chemo...yay! It feels so amazing and wonderful to not be dealing with all that "stuff" (maybe that goes without saying?).

"H" has been with us one month already! When we got the call about him we were just a couple weeks removed from chemo treatments and tax season was just around the corner. We agreed to take him on a weekend trial, and quite honestly, a big part of me was looking for any sign that he would not be a good fit for our family....it just didn't seem like ideal timing to be jumping back into things.

But our "trial" time went well and it just feels right. I trust that God brought him into our lives and so I can also trust Him for the wisdom and strength to be mom to H for as long as he needs. One of the most common questions we get, how long will he be with you, is one that is most hard to answer because no one really knows. We'll have him until he goes back to his biological family or college, so 1-4 years....not exactly a precise estimate.

Our house is a culture shock to all who come. Imagine showing up at a stranger's house with your overnight bag, ready to make you home with people you've never met. Everything is new and different from what you are used to....sounds (the refrigerator clicking on and off, water running through pipes, music playing), smells (laundry detergent, pets, food cooking), household rules and rhythms (bedtime/morning routine, screen time, eating habits)...and on and on, all at once. Much of it we can't help, but where I can I've tried to soften the transition. I bought cocoa puffs and we've allowed some family-friendly video game time, for instance. Though its awful what's asked of them, I am continually amazed at how resilient kids are.

Tax season has officially begun. It is a strain on us all, but we are veterans and continually work to make something that is hard not be something that is also bad. We are so very grateful for God's provision and are excited about what's in store for Shaun's financial services business. He's a hard-working man and I'm thankful for him.

Now that its cold, the kids go right into the school at morning drop off. Amanda asks me to wait by the window until she's climbing the stairs to the second floor so she can wave and blow kisses. She also makes hearts with her fingers and she's pretty good at lip reading so we sometimes have a conversation. I love her big heart and shameless affection.

Every day we have choices to make. Little ones with big consequences. Like choosing others over ourself. Acting out of vulnerability rather than defense. Choosing grace over judgement. Filling our spirit before indulging our flesh. Rejoicing rather than complaining. Forgiveness instead of bitterness. Behaving out of love, not fear. Trusting instead of controlling. Interruption over schedule. Choosing welcome above tradition. Encouragement more than critique. These little but big every day choices have the power to change our mood, lighten our burden, empower another, sow love, reflect Jesus. Sometimes changing the world happens right in our own home. ~Lori Manry


Melody said...

Love the B&W pics!
Thanks for the updates - still praying for and cheering you all on in this season of continued healing and taxes and adjustments...

The Bug said...

Here I am feeling annoyed that Mike has to teach five days a week, basically from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every day. Where is my house husband? But I think I should be glad that he's home for dinner every night & can still do some of the shopping & cooking :)

Meg A. said...

I love how you titled this one and LOVE the b&w! Praying that the vac solves for the wound, once and for all. I liked hearing how you try and "soften" some of the transitional household rules...can't imagine what H (and others) face in those moments, joining a new household. Thankful that you are so in tune to what it must do to their little hearts! Loved the shot and commentary on Amanda! That girl is something else!!!

Ashley Beth said...

You guys seem to be pros at going with the flow and following where God leads. I'm inspired by your ability to do that!