We have been home almost 8 months now and the word we have gotten from the Doctors both at Childrens in Cincinnati and Shriner's Orthopedic Center in Lexington was he will never walk. Get used to the idea of him being a "sitter". Get a powered wheelchair and we'll teach him to use it. I still wasn't satisfied and was feeling very frustrated. Our physical therapist, Molly suggested taking Gideon to Delaware to see Dr. Jay and his team. So in early November I made the appointment. Thursday Dec 17th Gideon myself and my sister Joy began our journey. The drive was supposed to be about 10 hours--North to Columbus then East to Wilmington Delaware across the Penssylvania Turnpike. Our 10 hour trip took 12 1/2 hours. After checking into the Ronald McDonald house and getting Gideon a quick bite to eat it was off to bed. Our appointments began at 9am with Reenee the physical therapist then to Marnie the Occupational therapist and finally with Dr. Jay at 12:45 and meet with all 3 for a plan. After 6 hours there we came away feeling great. Our Gideon will walk, they have no doubt. We have a long road ahead of us with many more trips back up to Delaware and surgery in the future but he will be able to walk. They had him in a gait trainer called the "up and go" and he was trying to walk--It was all so much to take in. He received 2 new sets of splints for his arms and hands and a new set for his legs. He will be fitted for new hip to toe braces in April after he has used these new ones and gone through weekly therapy. Well we were feeling very blessed and happy with the news but.....there was a huge snow storm brewing and we needed to get out of Delaware, sooo after spending all day at the hospital we packed up and hit the road about 4:30 friday evening and drove as quick as legal. We needed to get as far across the Pennsylvania turnpike as possible. The whole area was expected up to 2 feet of snow! Well about 9:00 pm the snow was starting. About 10:30 we were checking into a hotel for the night. It wasn't the nicest place but it had heat and hot water! Through all of this Gideon was an absolute angel. The next morning we awoke to about 8 inches of snow on the ground! After eating and listening to the forcast of continued snow we knew we needed to keep going so after cleaning off the car and purchasing some items for the trip home-gloves, flashlight, lighter, snow scraper, drinks and snacks we were once again on our way. Well as we started to get on the turnpike at the toll gate we asked the man how the roads were and he said they were not good. He said they were very bad and to stop at the next town about 35 miles away and ask them what Interstate 70 looked like before continuing on. He was right the roads were treacherous. But at the next town they said the worst was yet to come so we kept going. We passed 3 serious wrecks but we kept going and praying--we of course had everyone praying back home as well. So after 9 1/2 hours of driving on Saturday Gideon and I arrived home at 8:30 pm. We were carried home on the prayers of many! It was just an amazing trip provided by an amazing God and we are so blessed!
June 12, 2009 We haven't disappeared we are just extremely busy. So much has been happening. We have been home for about 6 weeks now and Gideon is doing magnificent. He has adjusted so well to our family and keeps us smiling. He continues to be such a happy baby. We have been seeing many doctors. Some with encouraging news and others not so encouraging. I guess I just haven't wanted to post the not so encouraging news but I want you all to know what has been going on. We have seen another orthopedic Doctor at Childrens who took a lot of time with us, took xrays and thoroughly examined Gideon. His prognosis was that he feels any surgery for the hips and knees would be to risky due to the way his joints are formed and due to the webbing of skin behind the knees and at the pelvic area. He says that the nerves and blood vessels are too close to the service and the risk of causing more harm is too high. He says we should look at him being in a wheelchair the rest of his life. I was not very happy with that news and have talked with our pediatrician and we are pursuing a 2nd opinion with Shriners Hosp in Lexington. We wanted to coordinate this prior to any casting being started on Gideon's clubbed feet--This was also decided - to proceed with the serial casting (Ponsetti Method). Anyway we have an appointment with Shriners June 25th and the casting starts june 29th. We also saw the Pediatric Medicine and Rehab Dr at Childrens who will also follow along. They are recommending to see the Physical therapist for treatment as well as wheel chair fitting. We are trying to find out how much will be covered by insurance and pursue some aid. I have been on the phone a great deal trying to figure it all out. It is all very complicated. We live in northern Ky so go to Cin Childrens Hosp but if we do this we can't get help from Ky--we have to go to Ky doctors--all the way to Lexington. Anyway--we have to think about our house and car as far as being accessible for the wheelchair as well. Needless to say we are a little overwhelmed. It will all work out--because He is in control. He worked miracles to bring this precious little one home and I know he won't stop now. Anyway Gideon is getting stronger at sitting up. He is talking more and more. He is eating more solids though still hasn't gained any weight. He loves to go for walks and play outside. He now loves the swimming pool and likes to take a bath too! I am back to work 3 days a week and he is doing great with that as well. We are settling in to more of a routine and things feel like they are more back to normal. We are a very busy family but we wouldn't have it any other way! We are so very blessed to have been chosen to be the parents of our 7 precious children. I will post pictures tomorrow. Have to go get all the kids ready for bed. Tim gave me an hour to myself and it is over. I am blessed with a great husband too!
Mothers Day finally with our Gideon (missing Danielle)
Hannah's Dance Recital
Danielle home week prior to Mothers day
Wow we have been home for 2 1/2 weeks already. We have settled in and are doing great. Gideon has been awesome. He is a very happy baby and a very good baby. We have seen a couple doctors and have more to see this week. The orthopedic specialist for his arms and hands wants to take it slow. We will start with therapy for the arms and hands and splinting for the wrists and hands. We will talk surgery in about 6 months once he is settled in. We see the leg and feet specialist this week. He is already doing better. He really tries to use his hands a lot and the doctor feels he will have good function and be able to feed himself, write and more. We start therapy tomorrow. We have had some great family time and are just trying to get the house back in order. We had a great weekend with our daughter Danielle who visited from Virginia with her boyfriend Drew. Then mothers day was very nice with all my children except Danielle. Hannah, Caleb and Grace are doing well with their new little brother. It has been hardest on Gracie but she is doing better. We are looking forward to school being over at the beginning of June and having a good summer. I will of course be going back to work as of June 8 but only part time. I still look at this precious gift with awe. It was quite a journey getting him home but we knew he was chosen for us by the one up above and proved that by all the mountains he moved along the way. We so enjoy this little guy and know that the Lord has big plans for him. I will share some pictures of what has been going on over the past couple of weeks. Enjoy. Thank you all again for all those who had a part in God's big plan to make it all happen.
May 1, 2009 Yes we made it home safely. Our last day in Guangzhou was rushed but good. We spent the morning going to breakfast and to Starbucks and taking a walk. It is so nice just walking around Shamian Island and just taking in the sights. We went to the White Swan and got our Red couch photos. We later took our luggage to our friends room and checked out before going to the consulate. Our appointment was at 3:00. There were only about 6 other families there. Not so many due to the Canton Trade fair going on. The island seemed deserted with so few adoptive families. Anyway the oath went smoothly and then we headed back to the island. It was very difficult to get a taxi but we finally did. We met our friends and went back to the White Swan for pictures with them and then to one last dinner at Lucy's. We said our goodbyes to our new dear friends and got in the waiting van to take us to the train station. It was again difficult with the luggage but the train ride was actually nice. We arrived in Hong Kong safely and headed out to find a taxi. While we waited in the taxi line a man asked us where we were going and we showed him the paper that had the name of our hotel. He told us he could take us and gave us an amt in Hong Kong money. We asked how much in US dollars and he said $10. We went with him. He got us right to our hotel The Metropark which was very nice. It was late once we got to bed, almost midnight. We awoke early to a nice breakfast buffet and then caught the shuttle to the airport. We got our flight without much difficulty. Gideon did reasonably well. He was very good the first few hours, napped for a short while and then the last few hours he cried off and on. He just couldn't get comfortable. We arrived in Chicago about 5 minutes early and made it through immigration and customs rather quickly. We headed to check our luggage back in and were stopped for any United connecting flights. They took our luggage there and we were off to go to the shuttle and then through security. We made it to our gate with about 10minutes to spare. We arrived home about 5 minutes early to a wonderful welcoming committee who had just barely arrived. Our 4 kids were so happy to see us. They had made a sign. Our sister Toni, sister-in-law Paula and mom were there as well as our good friends Cindy, Terri and their kids. We went to retrieve our luggage and found it was lost. They said they would locate it and send it to our house as soon as it was found. We arrived home to find our son Chris and his girlfriend Cassie, they brought a meat tray . Our pantry and fridge had been stocked by family and friends and a friend had cleaned the house. Gideon loved the carseat, loved his brothers and sisters and slept fairly well. He was up at 4am. Since then he has been a bit crabby. He had a doctors appt today and we found that both his ears are badly infected. He only weighs 16 lbs and is 31 inches long (approx). He received 2 shots and a TB test. He will have blood drawn Monday and see the orthopedic arm and hand specialist. We are all feeling the jet lag. We are so happy to be home though and are settling in. Our daughter DAnielle and her boyfriend came home from Virginia today and we are just enjoying some family time. I just look at Gideon and am so amazed that he is hear. What all looked impossible a year ago the Lord had said with him it is possible. I had to trust and believe and I am sooo glad that I did. We have been blessed immearsurably once again. Our God is an amazing, awe inspiring, miracle working, mountain moving, gasp causing God! (quoted from a bloggy friend). If you ever doubted the Lord could make the impossible happen just read our journey from the beginning. He has done amazing things!
April 29,2009 We made it safely to Hong Kong and got to our hotel room around 11 pm. The hotel is very nice. Thank you Doreen. The train ride was much better than the first one. Very nice seats and air conditioned. Just getting all the luggage on and off with baby was difficult. Once in Hong Kong a driver got us out of the taxi line and offered us a ride to the hotel for $10. We took it. It is 7am and both Tim and Gideon are still sleeping but we need to get going to breakfast because we need to leave for the airport at 9:10. It won't be long now and we will all be together at last. We have felt all your prayers here. Everything has been so well orchestrated. Gideon is a genuine gift from up above and we are so very blessed. Just about 24 hours and we will be there. We will call Paula from Chicago to let her know if we are making our connecting flight. Love you all. Last post from Hong Kong, Tim, Jackie and Gideon
April 27, 2009 Our day started out just like most of the others with us getting ready and going to breakfast. Gideon loves his congee. He eats a bowl full at each meal. He loves yogurt too. He is getting a little better with solids but still hasn't mastered chewing very well. We went to Starbucks again and enjoyed the morning. We skyped with the kids again. They all look so sweet but kind of sad. I know they miss us so much. Paula looks tired and ready for us to be home too. We talked with our friends on Skype too and then Gideon and I set out for our walk around the island. It is so peaceful and the weather is great right now. It was so nice to just watch the people. There were brides all over the island today having photo shoots. They are so beautiful to watch. We met up with our friends from Seattle for lunch at Lucy's again. Then it was time for the girls with the babies to head out to the market area. It was so crowded and very loud there. We shopped but honestly it was difficult to shop with so many people everywhere. We had fun though just shopping and talking and the babies were soo good. We walked back to Shamian island--not a simple feat I might add but we did it. Tim and I went back out for dinner and a little walking around the island. We went back to our friend J's store to shop and to tell her good bye. We exchanged email addresses. We will stay in touch. Tomorrow is our last morning here. We have our oath ceremony at 2:45 and our train doesn't leave until 8:45. Not sure what we are going to do with the over 4 hours but we will figure it out. Please be praying for our safety on the train and for us to get around Hong Kong on our own. Then to make our flight without any difficulty on Wednesday. We will be all on our own with no guide. We need big prayers to make our connecting flight in Chicago as we only have 1 hour between flights. We should be arriving home Wednesday evening at 6:02 pm on flight 6476 on United. Can't wait to see everyone and tell you all about our very blessed adventure. Saying good night on our last night in Guangzhou. Tim, Jackie and Gideon
Today has been a great day. I was able to sleep through the night from 10 pm to 7am. The best nights sleep yet. I showered and got ready for the day. Gideon woke about 8am happy as usual. We went to breakfast about 9am. Breakfast at the Victory was very nice. Not quite the White Swan but still very good. After breakfast we walked to StarBucks and had coffee--I actually had a cafe mocha. It was good, just not hot enough. We relaxed on the patio for a while and then headed back to the hotel to get ready for church. We went to the church that is both Mandarin and English. We sat in front of a family from Peoria Illinois. The father was there adopting his daughter and his 2 teenage daughters were with him. We had met him the day before at the medical exam. The church was packed. There were only a few americans there. It was so nice to sing and worship together. I got very emotional singing the songs in both English and Mandarin. The sermon was from John 13:34-35. He spoke about love. After church we walked though Shamian Park and met a very sweet chinese girl named J. She had seen us in the church and was anxious to talk to us. She was excited to tell us that she was a Christian because an American had told her about the bible. Her family is Buddhist and she hopes that one day they will listen and want to know about being a Christian too. We went back to the room for a while and then Tim laid down and I went out to walk and shop a little. Gideon and I walked and walked all over the island. The Christian girl I saw earlier found me and took me to her shop. She was trying to teach me to say things in Mandarin. She said I was very good. We talked for a while and then we walked some more. Tim and I then had plans to meet a couple we had met in Nanchang for dinner. They took us to a Shanghai restaurant and ordered traditional shanghai food. It was mostly good. Some was not but we really enjoyed most of it. We then walked to Lucy's for dessert--good old apple pie ala mode. Gideon and their little girl Anna sat side by side in their strollers and played. We then walked around the island with our new friends and really had an enjoyable evening. We plan on having lunch with them tomorrow at Lucy's and then going to the Market together. We have to stay in our room from 9am-12 noonwhile our guide is at the consulate in case there are any questions. Our new friends Jennifer and Peter are here until Thursday. We have really had a pleasant day today and Gideon has been the perfect little angel. He really was good all day even though he wouldn't take a nap. He went right to sleep as soon as we got back tonight and is sleeping soundly now. We are so thankful for all the blessings we have been given. We miss all our precious ones at home waiting for us. We can't wait to get home to all of you. Good night from Guangzhous, Love Mom, dad and Gideon.