Looking back and ahead

Just a few days left in 2017 and what a year it has been. 2018 will start off equally, if not more, intense for us. The blog may go quiet for awhile as I try to stay focused and keep the priorities straight. I hope that in the meantime, some of the new content I put together in the main pages will be helpful and encouraging to those who are considering adoption or in process. Here’s a quick snapshot of where we’ve been and where we’re going…

2017

6 months of adoption paperwork and preparing for Emily, 1 trip to China, 1 new daughter!

6 surgeries between James and Emily. 5 inpatient and 1 outpatient. More therapy and doctor and orthodontist appointments than I can count between all four kids, but because I have to report our out of pocket medical expenses I’ve had to create a multiple Excel spreadsheets to track mileage and visits and co-pays so I do know that we’ve accumulated close to 6000 miles just in medical driving travel.

6 months of homeschooling and now 3.5 months at a Montessori school for Andrew that is absolutely amazing! We are so thankful he is part of this school – it’s the perfect environment for him. Travel soccer in the spring, now taking a break from extracurricular activities but busy with all things building and creating – paper airplanes, legos, Minecraft, anything he can get his hands on.

6 months of Pre-K 4 in an integrated classroom, and now 3.5 months of Kindergarten in a Gen Ed classroom with a 1:1 aide and James is thriving!

6 months of a really tough 5th grade, and now 3.5 months of a muuuuch better 6th grade for Gabi 🙂 Spring voice lessons, summer musical theater program, fall acting troupe, and volunteering at church kept her busy.

Next week is 6 months since Emily became our daughter. She has added great joy and light to our lives and we are so thankful for all of the progress she’s made in so many ways.

2018 will kick off with a weekly schedule that includes 3 standing therapy appointments at our great therapy center but it is a 40 minute drive one way. Every Wednesday in January and likely into February, I’ll be taking Emily to Delaware for the serial casting on her clubbed foot and James will be seen alternately there and in Baltimore twice a month for X-rays and check ups on the progress of his spatial frame fixator which is daily turned to create straightening and lengthening of his right ulna bone. Emily has two intense days of testing in early January to follow up on how she’s doing post-op. Pending those results, we’ll adjust her daily meds and plan for future procedures.

We are anticipating some changes to Kevin’s job which will increase his travel significantly early in the year, and also bring us new insurance in the spring which will increase our out of pocket expenses significantly. We’re hopeful that this new position will bring the kind of salary increase that will cover these increased medical costs and the cost of Andrew’s tuition for another year at the Montessori school where he is flourishing. It’s been a huge relief to see him doing so well in school as the public school system could not provide the kind of accommodations he needs and continuing to homeschool wasn’t an option. He really needs to stay at this school so we are praying this will provide the funding. We only had enough money to get him through this first year.

I will be starting a very limited freelance communications job with an adoption agency that I really believe in and am excited to support with my skills and experience. I think it will be mutually beneficial in helping them to continue to grow in serving families and children, while allowing me an outlet for my passion and the chance to keep my skills sharp. If needed, I may have to take on a second part-time job this summer and beyond to cover Andrew’s tuition. But, we are hopeful for a summer that will allow us to really scale back on medical appointments so that we can enjoy some downtime with day trips to the beach and visiting family and friends!

May you have a blessed and Happy New Year!

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