Adopting a child won't change the world, but for that child their world will change.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sanders happenings

Wow, where has the time gone.  I guess with six kids still at home I knew our lives would be a bit crazy, but it has already been four months since we met Mason for the first time and over eighteen months since we met Jayden and Seth.  Where to begin...all of the kids are doing very well in school.  I have had three parent teacher conferences this week for Maylin, Jayden and Mason who are all going to public school.  We got lots of positive reports from all of their teachers.  This is Seth's first year of all day private school and because the boy studies so much, he is getting straight A's without a tutor.  Seth has just finished soccer and started basketball practices.    
His last game was very cold and rainy.

Sami also finished up volleyball and although she misses it, is glad to have her afternoons back.  Both the soccer and volleyball teams finished first in their conference.  

Our daughter Destiny is due to have a baby boy towards the end of December, but has had many complications including one hospitalization and two additional times where she was monitored for preterm labor for many hours.  She has been seeing her OB doctor every week for the last month and a perinatologist as well with an ultrasound at every appointment.  The perinatologist found a heart abnormality so that meant appointments at Children's Mercy Hospital with Fetal Services.  Praise God that so far the baby's heart issue seems to be very minor and should not cause him any problems after he is born.  Destiny has been put on bed rest and medication to control her contractions.  She has six and a half more weeks to go and is already bored so she has been crocheting all kinds of fun things for herself, baby Layne and her sisters.  Because of the bed rest and an episode of almost passing out, she is staying with me during the day which is wonderful to have this extra time with her.  

The fourth week of October was a very difficult one.  Destiny was in the hospital for preterm labor on the 22nd and I stayed with her.  After she was released we came home and I received a phone call that boy that went to school with our kids and was on Richard's junior high basketball team last year had tragically passed away.  The boys had just had their first practice the night before.  We also received word within a few hours of this first devastating news that the daughter of a friend of mine was no longer remission...again.  She has been fighting cancer off and on for so long.  These two families have been in our daily prayers and will continue to be.  

On Friday, October 25th Mason went to Children's Mercy to have his dental surgery done.  Due to his heart condition, we decided this was the best place to have this procedure performed.  His anesthesiologist was from the cardiology department and was able to give Mason a special gas that is just for heart patients.  He has to be cavity-free in order to have his heart fixed due to the bacteria that are in cavities. Mason had two teeth pulled, three crowns placed and cavities filled on the remaining teeth.  When he woke up, he was mad at me.  He would not sit on my lap or even talk to me.  He was curious about his IV though.  On December 10th Mason will be having heart catheterization and after that we will schedule his open heart surgery.   

Mason three hours after surgery with big sister Sami and Jayden.

On Saturday we had trunk or treat at our church which the kids loved.  

Maylin, Jayden and Mason


Samantha handed our candy as well as decorated our van.

Maylin getting her face painted.
Mason after he got his face painted.
Jayden chose to have a frog painted on his face.
He did not want to move his lips.

Sunday, the 27th the kids carved their pumpkins.  Samantha carved the faces for Maylin, Jayden and Mason.  We thought Riley and Seth could handle carving their own...

Riley's hand slipped on the knife and he cut his finger down to the bone.  We took him to the emergency room and this mom who has seen many, many surgeries performed on animals over the seven years I worked at the veterinary hospital almost passed out when the doctor started injecting the lidocaine.
Riley with six stitches.
After we got home Riley said he was going to throw his pumpkin away, but the next day decided to finish carving it with a different knife and clean hands. 


Seth, Sami, Riley, Maylin, Jayden and Mason's pumpkins.

Lastly I will share a few other cute pictures.  I will try to do a better job updating the blog, but this entry has taken four days to complete.

Mason's art project from preschool.

Painting dinosaurs.
Friday night campout.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Another month gone by

August has been a crazy month.  We started out with an ultrasound appointment for our grandbaby who is going to be a healthy boy.  It is so hard to believe we are going to be grandparents in a few months.

We then celebrated Mason's 5th birthday.  He kept denying it was his birthday, but when we started singing happy birthday, he joined in.

A big thank you to Sami for making the yummy cake.  

Jayden showing off :)

We also went to Chinese church in Warrensburg and then celebrated Jaxon's (NingNing) 15th birthday with his family and friends at the park.  
Seth, Jaxon and Zane.  

Riley celebrating his win!

Samantha was annoyed cause her daddy had taken
about 20 pictures in a row of her.

Oh how we love these boys!

We then had six doctor appointments and three dental appointments as well as Mason's heart catheterization scheduled for August 15th.  When I took him for his presurgery physical two days before his procedure, they asked if he had seen the dentist yet which he had not.  That was scheduled for September.  I was then told he had to see the dentist and be cavity-free before they would perform his catheterization.  So we scheduled an emergency visit for the next day and got the wonderful news that...Mason has a mouth FULL of  cavities which will cost $2200 to fix.  The heart catheterization was cancelled and I was then informed that he has to be cavity-free for six weeks before they will schedule it again. So for now the catheterization is on hold.  Maylin and Jayden had already started school on the 15th and since Richard already had the day off we took Mason to the zoo without any of the other kids.  I think he enjoyed being the only one for a while although he missed Jayden.

We also had volleyball tryouts for Samantha who made varsity, YAY!  Then we had preseason VB and soccer tournaments.  We tried our best to get to as many games as we could, but it was impossible to see them all as some of the games were scheduled at the same time.  Seth's team did not do so well, but they have a very young team.  Eight of the players are in middle school.  Seth has shown alot of improvement and had several shots on the goal.  Sam's team did better getting first place in the Silver bracket and she played good as well even with shin splints.  

Jayden has started kindergarten, Maylin sixth grade and Mason preschool all at Fort Osage.  Seth and Samantha are both in tenth grade and Riley is in seventh grade all at CPRS, a Christian private school.  Mason is picking up English so fast and is already spelling his name as well as writing it.  Here he was matching up the letters with pictures.  His teacher said he is doing incredibly well.  We are so blessed. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

One month as a Sanders

Tomorrow marks one month since Mason's gotcha day.  Where has the time gone?  

It is so hard to believe that it has only been one month as it seems like he has always been here, but on the other hand time has flown so fast that it has already been a month since we were in China meeting him for the first time.  Does that statement makes any sense!?!

What a blessing Mason has been.  He is so full of life and ENERGY!  To look at him you would never guess that he has a complex heart defect.  Especially when he is jumping off of the coffee table or hanging by one arm on the monkey bars or sliding down the stairs head first.  This boy is ALL boy.  The boy with million dollar smile :)

Jayden has become his best friend and they hate to be apart.  Today was only the second time they have been apart since Mason became a part of our family and several times Mason kept asking for Jayden.  He also had to get stickers from the nurse to take home to Jayden.    

Today we went to see the Cardiology doctor at Children's Mercy Hospital.  We had to wait until today because about the time we got home Dr. Kaine went on vacation and he is supposed to be the best so we wanted to see him.  He also is the doctor that we have consulted with since October of last year when we first learned about Mason.  We first met with the nurse who did weight, height, blood pressure and checked the oxygen levels in his blood.  I was very curious about this last one and his O2 levels in his blood was 81%.  It should be between 96-98%.  This is why his lips turn slightly blue when he has been playing alot and he has some shortness of breath

He also had an EKG done and an echocardiogram.  He was such a trooper for the echocardiogram.  He had to lay still for almost 30 minutes while they took an ultrasound of his heart from three different the bottom of his sternum, over his heart and then at the base of his neck.  Just as soon as she was done he wanted the yucky gel wiped off and when she missed a spot he let her know by pointing it out. 

All of that took about an hour and half.  We then waited for the doctor to look everything over and then meet with us to formulate a plan.  This is what he told us...if I can get it all right.  

Normal hearts have four chambers...Mason's has two.  We already knew this.  He said many kids with this defect have the problem of too much blood to the lungs and not enough to the rest of the body causing damage to other organs in the body.  He has pulmonary stenosis, a narrowing of the vessel in the lungs which has restricted the amount of blood flow to the lungs and forced the blood to the other areas of his body.  Blessing number one!  

The doctor also said that many times kids with this defect have problems with their heart valves being weaker and allowing blood to back flow causing pressure problems.  Mason's valves are very strong and working properly.  Blessing number two!  

Dr. Kaine then told us that the Glenn shunt that was done in China looked great and was functioning very well.  Blessing number three!
He does have a small heart murmur and the oxygenated blood is still mixing with the non-oxygenated blood which is why his O2 levels are running lower then they should.  The final repair that Mason needs to have will correct this last problem.

Dr. Kaine said that because Mason's heart looks so good considering how complex his defect is 
that we do not have to have his final open heart surgery until next April.  Wow!  Blessing number four!!  

When we got Mason's file back in October of 2012, his file said his heart was unrepaired.  I think this scared away many potential families.  Even our China coordinator asked us if we were sure we wanted to move forward with him and that was after we had discovered on our own that he had had the first part of the repair done.

The photo that a wonderful family was able to get for us last fall
before we committed to adopting Mason.  If you look closely
you can see the scar on his chest confirming to us that he had
had open heart surgery done in China.
We are so thankful that we listened to God and moved out in faith to adopt this beautiful, energetic, smart little boy. 

We are currently waiting for a call to schedule a heart catheterization some time this next month.  This will give the doctors a detailed look at Mason's heart anatomy.  The cardiac team will then discuss his case and unless they find something unexpected we are planning surgery for April or May of next year.  This is such great news for us as we will now have more time to continue to bond with Mason.  We are also getting ready to go into a very busy time for our family.  Seth has already started soccer practice four times a week and Samantha will be starting volleyball practice on Monday four times a week.  Jayden will be going to kindergarten and we have decided to put Mason into preschool.  He learned so much from the Sunshine Academy in China that we do not want him to lose the English that he has already acquired.  He can write his numbers to 20 and most of his ABC's.   

A big thank you to everyone who has prayed for Mason and our family.  God has truly answered them.  We have been so blessed by these two little guys.