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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Two days before Christmas...

It is two days before Christmas and I haven't sent out a single Christmas card. Haven't made any cookies. The lights on the tree haven't been on in 2 days. I admit it... no Christmas spirit here. No twinge of excitement that Christmas is 2 days away. I am really trying not to be Scrooge like for the kids. They deserve Christmas in their hearts and they deserve the magic that it brings. What I would really like to do instead is run away. Maybe bury my head in the sand somewhere or sleep until its over.
I took Elias to the doctor a few weeks ago because he had been throwing up since September. I honestly chalked it up to school stress or maybe something he ate. We did some blood work and an ultrasound and his white count came up high showing that there was an infection somewhere in his body. His ultrasound showed that there was something going on with his kidneys. We then waited for 2 (AGONIZING) weeks until he could have the CT scan and the urologist appointment. After the 5 of us held down a screaming sweating 7 year old boy his IV was ready to go and they proceeded with the CT scan. They also did an x-ray while we were there. What a draining day... I didn't sleep a wink last night and today feels as if it has lasted forever.
We met with the urologist, who was the nicest person that anyone would want to meet. Very kid friendly and took his time with us as he explained the diagnosis at hand. Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction. Basically when Elias was being formed in my tum the junction between his kidneys and the ureter never formed properly, therefore he is not able to properly drain anything from his kidney to the ureter to the bladder. His kidney is distended and large and it is misshaped from continual kidney damage.
So we go back in the morning for another procedure - a renogram with lasix washout. It is about an hour and a half and it will tell us what his kidney function is in that kidney. Best case scenario from what I understand is a shunt to open up the obstruction. Worst case scenario would be to remove the kidney. So far the other kidney is working properly and that is what we want!
So that's where we are 2 days before Christmas. I am sad and I am angry. I am confused and concerned. One minute I am smiling and the next I am a blubbering idiot. But he is my baby. When I cannot fix him I feel insecure and scared. I want him to be okay and I want it now, please and thank you.
Everyone has been so kind with their well wishes and calls and positive thoughts. We appreciate them and please don't be offended if we don't want to talk about it alot. We are trying to make sense of this ourselves.
But I really don't want to be dealing with this at all. Yes he is 7, but he is my baby. He will always be my baby. The child I so miraculously gave birth to, weighing in at 8 lbs 2 oz and kicking and screaming up until he went to bed tonight. I want to be able to look him in the eyes and tell him that he is going to be okay when he asks. I want to be certain of that when he asks. But I cannot be certain. Yes there may be an operation. Yes, he may have to be in the hospital and yes, it may hurt. But when all is said and done I want him well. Shannon said tonight that it could always be worse. Yes, it very well could. But it could also be better. It could not be happening to my child. But it is what it is. I will be strong for him. I will hold his hand and I will pray for him when he is so nervous he can hardly stand up. I will wipe his tears away and I will hold him in my arms just like I did when he was a baby. All the while begging and pleading for God to keep his arms around my precious baby boy and to bring peace and comfort to his heart and to his body.

Merry Christmas everyone. May 2010 be a year of renewed hope for you and your family.

With much love....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh, this gets me everytime I read it. Just sends shivers up my spine..

"And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?"
— Donald Miller (Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road)

Monday, September 28, 2009

I feel like I am officially a part of the rat race. Always running here and there. Never a minute to just sit and play. BUT, with a 7 year old and a 2 1/2 year old there really is no time for anything!! I wouldn't trade it for the world!!
We recently got back from a 5 day trip to Disney. It was AMAZING! My mom, my sister, myself and the kids headed out on a Sunday and came home the following Saturday. The kids LOVED it and it was so nice to take a break! We all needed it! I will post pics soon!
Elias has joined the cub scouts and his troop meets every Monday night. Good thing is, his meeting are on the street over! How convenient!! He is such a cool kid. So witty and just down right hysterical! He will never know how much I love him. He will never know what a blessing and miracle he is to me.
Norah is 100 mph. She is now potty trained, talking her head off and extremely independent! Yesterday she got dressed... totally dressed by herself. Shirt, shoes, unders, shorts, socks and shoes. She even folded the socks down... I cannot believe how much she has grown and has become so totally comfortable in her skin. It is amazing to watch both of my kids grow and flourish.
We are meeting Norah's friend from Jiangxi this Tuesday at Charlestown Landing. Norah and Georgie were in pictures together that I got back from her care package. I was able to visit with Georgie when I took a tour of the SWI and when they said "Lan Ping's mama" her sweet little head was looking back and forth, I am sure expecting Norah to walk in the door. I asked them who Norah's best friend was and who she spent most of her time with and it was Georgie :) So it will be nice to get the kids together and see how they interact with one another. I wonder if they remember each other. I feel that they share a kindred spirit. I wish that Lindley could join this group too as I am sure that they spent alot of time together since they are all the same age. I will pot pictures of the visit soon.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Yes, I have decided to come from under the rocks and update on the Sharp family. We are all alive and well and getting into the grove of a new and improved school year. We had a great summer, but it certainly went by fast!!! Here are a few things that we did and some things that we are doing!!

- We went to Myrtle Beach over Father's Day weekend... a long weekend :) It was so nice to be there with my mom and dad and sister and of course Shannon and the kids. There was no computer and we barely turned the TV on at all. There was a HUGE porch on the back of the house and we honestly spent more time there than anywhere else! Both of the kids loved the beach too. They were brown as little bears by the time we got home! We went to Broadway on the Beach and Barefoot landing. Shannon's mom and dad came down and spent a night with us too! It was alot of fun to just get away and play!!

- We are going to Disney in a few weeks and we are STOKED! We will be there from Sunday and coming home the following Saturday. I can barely sleep at night... Shannon doesn't want to go so it will just be me and mom taking the kids. We cannot wait!!

Here's the scoop on the cool kids:

- In the 2nd grade now
- LOVES StarWars and Lego and loves it even more when he is playing StarWars Legos
- He is a really good reader and is fantastic in math!
- He is an amazing big brother
- Wants to play the guitar and take karate
- He is very helpful around the house and earns allowence now... how cute :)
- Everytime I cough or sneeze, he is right there asking, "are you okay momma?"
- He is very independent and knows what he wants
- He gives the best kisses around.
- He picks flowers for me several times a week. Even if it is a weed, he is so pleased with himself.
- He still calls me "girly-girl" and I love it.

- A ball of fire
- Is talking our ears off now... seriously...
- When she hugs you, it is with everything she has and then some. She literally squeezes as hard as she can.
- She has to be reminded frequently that I am the momma. Not her.
- She HATES messes. She would be happy with a baby wipe cleaning all day.
- She is scared of the Geico commercial with the eyes on top of the hands
- She is even more afraid of mannequins.
- She is amazing. Beautiful. Smart.

Shannon and I are fantabulous. Now that school is back in session, things are getting a little more routine which I really like.
We are also adopting again. We have completed the classes that are required for DSS and will have our DHEC inspection and fire inspection sometime soon. Mrs. Teresa that did our homestudy for China will also be doing this one. She is such a sweet lady and knows more about us than anyone really should :) Not sure about the time line with this adoption. We are open to either gender ages 4 and under. I will most certainly keep you all updated :)
Anyway, let me know how all of you are doing!! Hope you are all well!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Playing Catch Up!

I have no idea why I do this to myself! I tell myself that I am going to be better at blogging and somehow it falls by the wayside! Oh well, we are having fun and that's what really matters, right? Right!

So let's see... Elias is out of school now and will be going into the 2nd grade next year. Wasn't it just yesterday that he was in diapers?? Man, that kid is growing up way too fast! It just breaks my heart! He has this really quirky personality. He is funny and way too charming. Everyone that he meets tells me that he is going to be an actor one day. Really? Ya think? Come to our house around 8:30 when it's bedtime and you will be amazed at the drama that unfolds! Tears and falling on the floor, begging and pleading, it truly is Oscar worthy. Wow. We aren't sure if we are going to keep him at the school he went to last year or move him. I am no particularly fond of the school he is going to now. But to switch him to the other public school would be way out of the way and even less sleep for me on the days that I work. We have toyed with Christian school, but money is a real factor these days and for some reason my tree is the back yard is bearing nothing. So we just need to think and pray on this one.
We have been going to the pool alot already and both of my babies are brown as bears! They are so good at the pool and I won't lie, I will tire them out on purpose so we can go back home and take a family nap. There is nothing like a nap after the pool!
Norah is amazing. I cannot believe that we have almost been home one year! It seems like yesterday we were in China being handed a baby that was screaming her face off! And she has just grown into this really cool kid that just takes my breath away!! Her favorite word these days is either NO or NOPE. Most times she will answer with Nope. Pretty cute. If you ask her how old she is she will tell you 2. She knows the hand motions to the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Patty Cake and it is adorable to watch her do it! But one word of advice... There is a 50 song minimum. If you do it once, plan on sticking around for a while! She is just amazing. Her and Elias fight like cats and dogs. But the minute I scold her for something and put her in the naughty chair and turn my back, he is giving her candy or toys or her yaya. And then I send him to his room, she turns to me and gives me the what for and runs to his room and beats on the door until he opens it. I tolerate it. I let alot slide with the two of them. They have both been through so much this past year and for them to come out on top like they have just gives me a renewed passion to be their mom. They are awesome!

So here are a few pics for you. I am pretty tired and should be wrapping this party up right about now.

Sleep tight all :)

Norah and Grandpa at the beach

Norah and Sissy at the beach

I just love this picture

Handsome kid!

One of my favorites

Another favorite

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A day at the pool...

Valarie and her kiddos came over yesterday and we enjoyed a lovely day at the pool! The weather was absolutely awesome! It was Mason's first time in the pool and she did great!! Both her and Norah feel asleep at some point along the way in the pool. My kids were pooped out by the time we got home! My friends Joey and Kerri and their little one Gabe came in from Georgia. They spent some time at the pool with us and then stayed the night before their vacation on Folly Beach. We had a great time and it was so good to see them! Enjoy the pics!!

**While I was sorting through the pics, there isn't one of Tanner. Tanner would be Norah's husband in 20ish years. They have this love for one another that is just so sweet! Anyway, not sure why there are no pics of Tanner. I need to work on that!! Bad Aunt Penny!!

Norah and Gabe having a snack :)

Mason, asleep

Norah, asleep

Kerri, Joey and Gabe

Cole and Elias

Ms. Mason before the bathing suit...




A Bugs Life...

Elias found this bug outside while he was playing... He thought it was pretty cool. And the bug was playing dead!! Really!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Just wanted to post and let you all know that we are all alive and well here in the Sharp house :) It is not so easy to post everyday and we are pretty boring and low key....
Last Monday I got my wisdom tooth out. I was pretty stressed about it for sure, but it came out like a champ and I am not back to full power :)
Elias had his last day of school Thursday and I have to say, he did fabulous on his report card! He brought up ever single subject! We are so proud of him and we are just amazed at how much he has grown this year both physical and mentally!!!
Norah is just cruising right along. She is just the coolest thing ever! She and Elias are truly like 2 peas in a pod and he is so good with her. We are so blessed to have to really cool kids!
That's about all really... I will post some pics in the next day or so. We have been pooling and beaching it a good bit, so no time for sitting at home :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Tuesday!

I took some pictures of the kids today since it was raining outside and they were a little bored. They, unfortunately, didn't think that was a great idea! But I got a few good shots anyway. And I threw a few in of Norah "telling" her brother just how it is.... boy am I gonna be in for it in a few years!!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

What Mother's Day means to me...

For those of you that have heard this story before please catch up after the photo... :)

I had a dream one night about 8 months after Shannon and I were married. Shannon worked night shift at the time so I was of course, home alone. I dreamed that I was in the hospital. I wasn't sick, I was having a baby. I walked out of my hospital room and down a very familiar hallway. I then walked into a room and sat down in a wooden rocking chair. And just like that, I was holding a baby. Not just any baby, but my baby. He was in a diaper and a t-shirt. The tiniest diaper and t-shirt I had ever seen. Where his bellybutton was, there was blood on his little shirt. I looked down and into this little angel's eyes. His dark brown hair and brown eyes just captured my heart. I cannot explain the feeling... He looked at me and just as plain as day said to me, "Don't worry momma, I will be home soon." And then I woke up. Alone. In bed and not in the hospital. Not a mother at all. Just alone with my thoughts. It was so real this dream. I sobbed and cried and cried thinking this was the worst joke imaginable. I drove to work that day in tears and remained that way for the majority of the day.
Just to clue you in, I wasn't "suppose" to have a baby. It wasn't in the cards for me to be a mother. But the Great Physician had other plans...
I took a test and it was positive. I was indeed pregnant. I was pregnant during that dream and had no idea. Oh my, and how those brown eyes and brown hair can put the best bandaid over this broken heart. He sure did :) May 14th 2002, after 2 days of labor I held this tiny little one. Just like I had in my dreams. He is Mother's Day to me.

Fast forward 5 years. Half way around the world. In a place where we didn't know the language, no familiar faces, no familiar way of life. In a hotel in Nanchang,China, this little precious gift was handed to me kicking and screaming, just as Elias had come out. She too saw no familiar faces and could not understand the language. But she was handed to me just the same. And I was a mother again. We made it. We are a family. Was there ever a time that she was not here? My little "Bella"....

My children are miracles. Both very much prayed for and both very much loved and wanted. Both of them came to me after I spent much time on my knees praying asking God just one more time. One more time to be that mother that I wanted and needed to be. I hope one day they realize how much they mean to me. And how much I really love being their momma. Nothing in this world makes me happier and there is no better place then when they are in my arms. They are my miracles. My angels that walk this world with hidden wings.

And Mother's Day would not be complete without my mom. My steady and my rock. Thank you for all that you do and for all that you have done. I hope I'm as good as you one day. And I hope my kids feel about me the way I feel about you. My love, Minnie XOXO
Momma, this one is for you :) I love you! Happy Mother's Day!!! XOXOXO

Monday, April 06, 2009

Please slow down....

From the movie Hook"

"Your children love you, they want to play with you. How long do you think that lasts? Soon Jack may not even want you to come to his games. We have a few special years with our children, when they're the ones that want us around. After that you're going to be running after them for a bit of attention. It's so fast Peter. It's a few years, and it's over. And you are not being careful. And YOU ARE MISSING IT!"

This is a quote that I came across today and it spoke volumes to me. Seems that lately I have been busy with work and keeping the house clean and all of the trapping of real life. I feel like most of the time I am barely awake and can hardly function like a normal person. Working nights will do that to you I suppose. I also find myself getting snappy with the kids and get onto them more than I probably should. I am not perfect. I will be the first to admit that.

Our computer has been in the shop since Thursday. Isn't it funny the things that you can get yourself into when you have no internet?? I got up today and hung out with the kids, not rushing to check my email, or Facebook or Craigslist or other blogs that I love so much. And guess what... when I got to work tonight there was no earth shattering news that I missed.

I need to take more time with my kids and a little less time on the computer, or making sure that the house is neat and tidy, or doing all of those things that won't really matter in 5 years. Elias and Norah will be grown before we know it. I cannot belive that Elias is almost 7. Sometimes he looks like a little boy but most of the time he just looks.... big. And Norah. Well, the same things will be happening with her.

Time is going by waaaay to fast for me.
Please slow down and makes these days last.

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Two Kids

It seems like it has been forever since I have posted but life waits for no one these day! We have been so busy with the day to day that every time I sit down to post I am so exhausted and would rather looks at everyone else's blogs instead of doing my own!

This past Wednesday Norah had her visit with the International Adoption Clinic at MUSC. We were there about 3 1/2 hours and that fun filled trip included a visit with 2 doctor's that specialize in International Adoption, Physical Therapy, one TB test and at least 8 tubes of blood drawn and an ultrasound. Phew!! By the time we were ready to go home Norah was mad, hungry and oh so sleepy!

Her ultrasound was clear, meaning there were no tumors growing anywhere! With her hemihypertrophy, there is a chance that she will develop Wilm's tumors so we must get an ultrasound every 6 months to check for those. Her TB test was negative also. But they did find a heart murmur that we need to follow up with a peds cardiologist sometime soon. When she was in China she had a Patent Foramen Ovale that resolved itself while she was there. There was no indication of a heart murmur and her pediatrician never heard one at any of her visits. So we will be following up with that as soon as we can. She will also need to make an appt with her Ortho doc in June for her 10 month visit. They will check if her leg length discrepancy has gotten any worse or if it about the same. I am not sure what they would do if it has gotten worse. Some days she looks like she has more trouble than others.
They also wanted us to consider speech therapy if she has not improved over the next three months. She is doing great with just one word but putting two together has seemed the challenge for her. We are constantly working with her and encouraging her to talk instead of whine her way through the day.
And last but no least, they had a question as to whether she was as old as the SWI said that she was. I feel that her birthday is correct since she did have a birth note with her actual birthday on it, but as far as how correct it is I am just not sure. They are going to refer her to a geneticist to make sure that her hemihypertrophy is not associated with any syndrome such as Beckwith-Weidman.
Just keep this little trooper in your prayers :)

Elias is just growing by leaps and bounds! He has lost one of his front teeth and the other is just hanging by a thread. We told him that for his front teeth the tooth fairy will only come when BOOTH teeth are out and he will get double money for them. Hopefully that will encourage him to get that other tooth out!! I can handle just about anything but loose teeth!! ARGHHH!!!
He is doing awesome in school! He whizzes through his homework in no time and is reading everything he can get his hands on. He loves math too and just amazes me with his quick and accurate problem solving skills!! I just cannot get over how much he looks like a big boy and no longer a little boy :( Makes me so sad to think that he is growing up. His behavior at school is rockin too! They score a 0 (perfect day) to a 4 (bad day) and for the last two weeks he has gotten all zero's! For those of you that remember K-5, you will know that this is a HUGE improvement for him!Now if we can just get him to not be such a turkey at home!!!

Norah is just growing like a weed. Although she has only gained 3 pounds since we have been home (gasp!!) her personality and trust have just blossomed! I just cannot belive what a lucky momma I am to have such beautiful children. I am truly blessed!!!