Lux et umbra vicissum…

light and shadow by turn…

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A most-inclusive update

October 29th, 2008 · 1 Comment

I was going to say “an all-inclusive update”, but I’m sure I’ll miss something. 🙂  Anyway, I expect this to be a long post by the time I’m done, and since different people check my blog for different reasons I’ll divide it into sub-headings so you can just read the parts that interest you.  The sub-headings are as follows: adoption, kid reports, health report, spiritual insights.


We’re moving along, but there’s still a ways to go.  Our home study is just about finished according to our social worker (she needed a couple random bits of info from us which she’ll have in the next few days, but other than that I think it’s written), and USCIS (immigrations) has our application and just needs a copy of our marriage certificate and our home study at which point they’ll assign us a date to have our fingerprints done.  We’ve slowly been putting together our dossier as we wait on the rest of the funds to come in.  We still need somewhere north of $10,000 to send in the dossier, and then we’ll need more funds after that for various fees and travel.  We’ve already decided that Joel will travel alone to save some on that front.  Please pray that our funds will come in before L. ages out of the system.  She’s close right now, and the process of assigning ages is fairly subjective.

Kid Reports

Alexis – Her teacher did reading level tests, and she’s reading at a 7th grade level.  The teacher encouraged us not to be disappointed if Alexis doesn’t progress from there overly quickly.  Joel’s response?  “Heck, I want her to be through high school by Christmas!” 😉  Seriously, we’re very proud of her accomplishments in reading.  We’re mainly encouraging her to read books that are considered third or fourth grade level right now… you know, the Ramona books, various kids’ mysteries, that sort of thing.  We read aloud before bed, and for that we choose slightly higher level books.  Right now we’re working our way through the Narnia series (in its original order).  I haven’t decided what we’ll read when that’s done.   Other than that, she’s doing well.  She’s an excellent speller (she certainly doesn’t get that from me), and she’s doing fine in math though I think Branwen will actually pass her up in that area some day.  She says her least favorite subjects in school are art and PE.  Now that she gets from me! 🙂

Branwen (warning… potty talk) – Stinker-pot.  She keeps us laughing.  I was getting concerned because she was starting to lose bladder control, so she went to the doctor yesterday.  Turns out it all goes back to, of all things, constipation!  The doctor assured us that this is very typical for kids her age because they’re using the bathroom on their own and aren’t necessarily telling their parents about their bathroom experiences.  She’s had trouble with this before and it caused rectal prolapse.  Apparently the rectal prolapse has been happening again, but we didn’t know.  Also she’s been complaining of tummy aches, but since this often coincides with dinners that she doesn’t like we hadn’t made the connection with possible real tummy issues.  Anyway, it turns out that the constipation can also cause extra pressure on the bladder, thereby making it harder for her to get to the bathroom in time and also causing her to leak at times.  So now she’s on medicine for that and hopefully we won’t be changing her clothes as often.

She’s enjoying school, and especially loves arts and crafts as well as anything having to do with numbers.  While her class is working on counting to 10, she calmly says when asked what she can count up to “130.”  I don’t know why she stops there, but that’s what she says!  I’ve heard her count to 100 before, but I never tested her past that.  She also understands the basic concepts of addition and subtraction though her class hasn’t done them yet.  Math will definitely be one of her strengths.  If she can get past the desire to be dramatic any time she gets the tiniest of injuries, she’ll do well in PE, too.  She has a good sense of balance and coordination and a strong competitive edge.  Art has always been something she’s done well, and since she enjoys it so much I suspect she’ll continue to do well with it.

Desta – She’s been amazing us with how well she can now write some of her letters.  She doesn’t know what all of them are yet, but she’s learning more and more of them.  She sings the ABC song now (though some of it is kind-of muffled, so I’m not sure that all of the letters are right), and she counts to 10 with a little help.  Without help she gets the numbers a little mixed up, and then she usually starts giggling.  She’s gotten a lot better about laughing at her own mistakes, which I think is a part of adjusting to our family and really feeling accepted.  She used to get mad when she was corrected or when we laughed, intending to help her see that whatever she said wasn’t a big deal.  She now laughs more often than getting angry, so that’s a big step in the right direction!  Her favorite thing to do is play pretend with her siblings; usually it’s either princesses or “Troy and Gabriella” from High School Musical.  *insert rolled eyes here*  Oh well.  It could be worse.  Oh!  And she has a darn good arm with a frisbee and a bat.  No aim,  mind you, but man do those frisbees and balls fly!

Charis – She’s now three years old, and quite tall for her age.  We found out she’s in the 90th percentile for height and the 80th for weight. 🙂  If she keeps on at that rate, she’ll be tall enough to be a model… not that I’d really wish that particular line of work on her.  Too much stress put on the physical.  But anyway, she’s got a good head on her shoulders, too.  She sings the ABC song as well as Desta and counts to 10 about as well, too (meaning she can do it with a little prompting).  She’s more even-keeled than most of her siblings, tending to take things in stride.  Consequently, she does well with new situations and even with things like shots that scare the others.   I think the only other one who does as well with new things is Alexis who tends to take things on as an adventure.  Desta is adventurous, but she assesses new situations before getting involved.

Charis also continues to be the sweetest of the children.  She’s the quickest to try to cheer up a crying sibling, and the first to offer to let someone share her toys and books.  She smiles most of the time, and she doesn’t tend to like to have everyone’s attention on her at once.  It was actually hard to get her to open her birthday presents because we were all looking at her!  I predict that if she ever gets involved in theatre she’ll be one to want to work backstage instead of being in the limelight. 🙂

Eli – He is all boy.  Ok, so sometimes we find him wearing a pair of his sisters’ high-heeled dress-up shoes or carrying a spangly purse, but inevitably he’s the one who’ll also be roaring, banging, charging, and knocking down.  Daddy is still his favorite person in the whole world, and he loves jumping on him and trying to knock him over.  Not that he’s often very successful seeing as he’s still in the 5th percentile for weight and below 5th for height. 🙂  Other than the physical growth, he’s done a wonderful job catching up developmentally.  He chatters away almost constantly now (not that it’s all understandable, but he says an awful lot), he runs and jumps as well as any two year old, and he likes to try to count and name colors.  Sometimes he gets them right. 🙂  He begs me to read to him, but rarely manages to sit through a whole story.  He’s just got too much energy to sit still for very long.  He likes to help with things, too, and actually gets quite upset if he isn’t allowed.  Why do I have a feeling that attitude won’t last? 🙂

As a note under the kids’ section, I’m on facebook now (joined while I’ve been stuck on the couch with a hurting back), and I’ve found that it’s a good place to post photos.  There are recent ones of the kids there.  You’ll find me under the name Rebecca Anderson Fouse.

Health Update

I’m getting used to my new diet regime.  I’ve lost the weight I initially gained upon being told to eat six or seven times a day. 🙂  I’ve become much better at figuring out appropriate portions for each small meal, I think.  I must say that this time of the year is absolute torture, though.  I can make meals as healthy as you please for all of us, but in the late summer and fall I have to make five different birthday cakes plus cookies or brownies for the school-age ones to take and share with their classes.  Then there’s Halloween.  This year we’re actually not doing the trick-or-treating thing for our own kids.  We’re tired of the greed that it promotes.  Not to mention we’ve tried to reduce the amount of candy they eat just for health reasons.  I’ll still hand things out, though.  I got scripture candies from Oriental Trading and Chick comic book style tracts to stick in people’s bags.   But anyway, that’s kind-of off topic for health, isn’t it?  I’ve still been having some hypoglycemic episodes, but not as often as I was.  I’m hoping that means that once I’m able to add exercise to the diet regimen it’ll take care of things and I won’t have to go on medication.

As to my back, it’s getting better.  I’ve started seeing an excellent chiropractor in our area, Dr. Scott, and he’s been able to help it quite a bit.  He told me it’ll take a little while for my muscles to completely heal, though, because they were working overtime trying to protect my nerves and now need a nice long rest.  I can walk around the house now, I just have to be careful how I turn and bend.  I’ve also been advised to not walk outside of the house alone since I got stuck after dropping Branwen off at school one day.  My hip started giving out (apparently a result of a pinched nerve) and I couldn’t make it the rest of the way home.  So I have to wait a while before trying that again.

Spiritual Insights

I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer lately.  I had the realization recently that my prayer time has gone seriously downhill, so while I tend to be very vocal about prayer’s power and the necessity of prayer, I wasn’t exactly following through on it myself at the moment.  Thankfully, this has led to a renewed interest in finding time for prayer and Bible study.

I’ve been struggling with the idea of being anxious for nothing, yet praying fervently for things.  Fervency, to me, suggests a certain level of… well… tension, anxiety.  If I have a friend in a desperate situation, how can I pray for them fervently and yet not be at all anxious?  I guess the answer is that the fervent prayer is often what helps to remove our anxieties.  When we truly hand the things to God in prayer that concern us, then we can stop worrying about them ourselves.  Easier said than done, but I think that’s the idea.

I was also thinking about the “pray without ceasing” command.  As I’ve heard said in several sermons, this doesn’t mean you have to be actively on your knees all the time.  That would make your knees hurt and you’d get awfully hungry.  What it means is constantly having an attitude of prayer.  Ok, so what’s an “attitude of prayer”?  Well, the way I’ve come to think about it is this: when I say “amen” at the end of my prayers, I need to mean “may it come to be” and not “goodbye.”

Tags: Adoption · Faith & Ministries · Family Life · Medical

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 auschick // Oct 29, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    wow, what an update!
    I wonder if Alexis would enjoy reading Princess Bride – it might be a little advanced, but it’s one of my absolute favorites!