Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jordan Turned ONE!!!

It's hard to think back to bringing her home one year ago.

Shannon was at the men's retreat through our church (Compass Bible Church - see link on our page) and I was supposed to meet the wives for a park date with the kids. I started having some serious contractions at around 8:00 in the morning. Somehow I was in enough denial that I was able to get Noah bathed, dressed, fed and loaded into the car and I even packed my hospital bag. As I was getting the car loaded and Noah was eating breakfast in his high chair I had to lay down on the ground in the kitchen because I couldn't stand up anymore - Noah was laughing SO hard thinking I was playing a game. I managed to drive myself and Noah to the park all while putting on lipstick and talking to Staci along the way (yes I'd put the phone down during a contraction - I'm not that much of a road hazard - hahaha). When I got to the park I had no idea how I was going to get Noah over to where the other moms were without having a contraction and having to lay down in the wet grass while they're all watching me walk up (they had now gone from 6 minutes apart to like 2 1/2 minutes apart).

Praise God I have some AMAZING and dear friends. They took charge. I only had one moment of a decent cry from the pain and just the thought that she was finally arriving and that there were so many unknowns. Sarah Cox took me to the hospital while the resident nurturer, Rebecca Millsap took sweet Noah to her house. Sarah insisted I'd be in labor for 12 hours or so and therefore I needed a shake and protein bars from Mother's Market. I sat in the parking lot having some MAJOR contractions, trying to remember what Sarah had just taught me about breathing through them, and here's Sarah hemming and hawing over which Power Bar to get me. Oh we laugh today!!!!
Even funnier is our hospital check in. Sarah is wearing a baseball hat and a grungy boy-type tank top while my hair and make up are fresh with a pretty sweat suit on. We were certain the check-in nurses assumed she was the "father" and it sent us into torrents of uncontrolled laughter. In between my 2 min apart contractions we were falling over laughing and the nurses were getting annoyed. :) I'm cracking up writing this! Our nurse insisted all I needed was a little water and that I'd be going home in an hour...I tried telling her that was NOT in fact the case. She didn't listen until she finally checked and I was dilated to an 8 or something close (is that right Sarah?). I had a near nervous breakdown over the thought of no pain meds so they rushed us in and made sure I got the epidural. I asked Sarah if she wanted to stay for the delivery and she was (oddly) overjoyed at the thought. I could not for the life of me think why she would want to see that, especially since I've seen it before in the mirror with Noah's delivery. It's really not a pretty site. She wanted to though and it was truly such a comfort having her there. While all of this was happening we found out that our friends, the Youngmans, had their triplets and were downstairs. Their daughter was 1 pound, not expected to make it and their two boys were 2 pounds. We cried for them and prayed for them and had an amazing perspective throughout our own delivery thanks to them.
Shan finally arrived by now and in about 20 more minutes I pushed a few times and out she came...beautiful, healthy, perfect, made in God's image! It was so great to finally see what she looked like. We felt a mixture of emotions - overjoyed to have our baby girl yet sad for the struggles she would be facing, and comforted by God's grace to sustain her throughout and to use her trials for His glory and her good.
One year Thanks to everyone for being here for us this year and for loving Jordan. Please continue to check the blog for updates this month.
Love, Jen

Happy 1st Jordan Joy!!!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

I was procrastinating getting to bed and was researching info on palate repair. I came across this info in a GREAT article which actually quotes Jordan's surgeon. This site gives the best overview of the cleft lip and palate situation I've seen.

Surgery to repair the cleft palate generally occurs when the child is about 1 year old and involves undermining mucoperiosteal flaps from the left and right sides of the palate and suturing them at the midline, and reconstructing the throat muscles. The most significant reason for repairing the palate is to preserve speech, explains plastic surgeon Henry K. Kawamoto Jr., M.D., D.D.S. “A child can have a hole in the roof of his mouth and still be able to eat OK—they adapt,” he says. “But with a cleft palate, they will never be able to communicate in terms of speech. Repairing the palate is, for that reason, very important.”

Another site I found, talks about how to deal with having a facial "difference." It's really great!

Also wanted to let you prayer warriors know that Jordan will not be having the eye surgery to clear the blocked duct tomorrow. We are going to have her plastic surgeon do it at the next surgery on 10/22.

Thanks and we'll post 1st bday pictures and pre-op udates as soon as possible.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Two Peas in a Pod

How different can two kids be?? Noah hates having his hands dirty and is the pickiest eater around while Jordan relishes messes and gobbles up anything we put in front of her. The true test will be the first birthday cake. Noah cried when we put his hands in the frosting. We shall see what little JJ does with hers.
These are from some fingerpainting we did today. Noah was rather perturbed when we forced his hands into the paint while Jordan couldn't get enough. They are both so funny and so cute! Each so great in their own ways.


I had planned on briefly posting dates and details of Jordan's upcoming surgeries and development but decided against it. Following in the footsteps of most of my dear friends I will post my thoughts, my recent revelations and how they all tie into this next season or our life here.

I'm reading the book The Mother at Home by John S.C. Abbott and although it is taking me months to get through 123 pages I'm soaking it up (I sneak away any second I can to read a paragraph or a page). A section that struck me tonight is fairly long so I'll quote sections for you:

"The parent must strive to be herself just what she wishes her child to be. She must cherish in her own spirit those virtues and those graces which she desires to see as the embellishments of the character of her child...Would you have your children look to God sincerely, affectionately, cheerfully, as the Father and their friend - their sympathizer in joy, their comforter in sorrow? Lead them to do this by your example. Let them see this spirit in you...When disaster comes and sweeps away your means of luxury and even of comforts, when disease takes you from the busy cares of the household...then is the time, in which to show the loveliness and blessedness of confidence in God. A smile upon your countenance, a glance of confiding affection in your eye, a word of calm submission from your full heart, will then go to the hearts of your observing children, with great and effectual power...What child ever ceases to remember the life, the daily life, of its father and mother...this is your hour of conflict. Gain the victory yourself, and your child will gather strength from your success to struggle with her own temptations and sins...Say not that the annoyances and trials which you have to bear are too great to always be endured with equanimity. God lays upon his children no intolerable burdens." (page 77 - 78)

This section is both convicting and encouraging to me now. As I sit here looking at my calendar for the next two months (not to mention Thanksgiving and Christmas following suit) my eyelid continues to twitch. Ha! You think I'm kidding. Stresses of daily life, pre-op appointments for Jordan, well baby check ups, shots for her, blood tests, two surgeries, and her blessed first birthday rapidly approaching I find the need to, once again, remember who it is that has ordained all of this for His glory and my good. I need to remember that in challenge I should be most joyful. I am at home training two children in righteousness (trying at least) - what an opportunity this current series of trials presents!! I am even better able to put my words into practice for them to see my faith and trust lived out. They will remember these days and my actions and, Lord willing, take heed of my instruction.

John Piper's book What Jesus Demands from the World, in a section titled "Our Joy is Not Mainly in Prosperity but in Obedience and Pain" he writes this, "What's wrong is that the aroma of suffering is missing. For Jesus the demand for joy is a way to live with suffering and to outlast suffering. Therefore, this joy is serious. It's the kind you fight for by cutting off your hand (Matthew 5:30) and selling your possessions (Matthew 13:44) and carrying a cross with Jesus to Calvary (Matthew 10:38-39). It has scars. It sings happy songs with tears. It remembers the dark hours and knows that more are coming. The road to heaven is a hard road, bit it is not joyless." (p 87)

I have a friend whose husband is dying and is in constant pain. This has been going on for a very long time along with many, many other challenges in her life. Through God's grace she has found peace and joy in the midst of it and is a shining example to many wives and mothers I know. As I look at her life and then examine my own I find that the peace and joy is oft missing. Efficiency and order have been my idols. At the beginning of this new season I am praying for that to change. As you pray over our requests remember this present struggle of mine.

One last quote from John Piper, "We will take heart from the fact that Jesus offered himself to die for the forgiveness of our failures to rejoice in him as we ought...'The Son of Man give his life as a ransom for many' (Mark 10:45). So our joy has this solid foundation: Jesus shed his blood so that our failures to rejoice in him might be forgiven." (p 89)

Sept 25 7:00 a.m. - Jordan has her surgery scheduled to clear the blocked tear duct in her left eye. The opthamologist thinks it will be a routine clearing of a blockage in the duct but I am concerned that he will find that the blockage is due to an anatomical defect caused by her clefting (notice that eye is pulled down - our plastic surgeon says it is basically a third level clefting and that he wants to wait to reshape it until she is five). Please pray that it is a typical blockage that can easily be cleared. This is thankfully an oupatient surgery.

Sept 28th - Shan leaves for the Men's Retreat through our church (Compass Bible Church in Aliso Viejo)...yes the same retreat he went to last year but had to come straight to the hospital the next morning because I was in labor four weeks early.

September 30th- Jordan's 1st Birthday! Can you all believe it??? It's been the longest year and the shortest year all at the same time if that makes any sense.

October 5th - I leave for the Women's Retreat.

October 22nd - Jordan's next surgery. This one is a biggie. She will have her hard and soft palates closed by Dr. Henry Kawamoto. I still cannot believe my eyes when I read his name on our paperwork. Before she was born I said, "He's the best, we'll just have to get him. We'll find a way." Through a series of events that I saw as frustrations we eventually ended up with him, to no credit of my own. It's an amazing story too long to put in here tonight.
Jordan will also have her index and middle fingers separated and her toes "worked on." I am not sure what Dr. Neil Jones (the other doctor we said we had to have - yes all part of that great story) will do with the toes but I'm hoping they end up looking and functioning as normally as possible. He is skeptical that they will stay separated but I'm hoping he's wrong.
Someone forgot to tell Dr. Jones that I've waited a long time to paint my daughter's toes!
This surgery will involve both doctors and hopefully only one night at UCLA. My mom will be in town with Noah, thankfully, and we're sure that we'll be ready to get home afterward. As some of you know, there is no rest in a hospital - ironic. We will be hibernating for a week before the surgery so please be praying that Jordan does not get sick as they'd have to postpone the surgery.

Prayer Requests:
- That all of our pre-op appts and blood tests will go smoothly and will be positive.
- That Jordan's eye surgery will be simple and routine with no problems.
- The our family will stay healthy leading up to the surgery so that it will not be delayed.
...her speech is already delayed due to her palate and she has trouble eating hard food and has choked many, many times. It is very stressful for me and if we have to reschedule it could me months before they are able to do it.
- That we will be able to focus on the gift we have in Jordan around the time of her first birthday, cherishing this life that doctors said we could take. I can't believe when I look at her now that doctors told us we could kill her if we wanted to. A 'simple' decision in a time of great stress and she wouldn't be with us today. Amazing to think about.
- Jordan is still not crawling or pulling to standing and just has some funny things she does that we and the therapists are working on and watching. Pray that her development continues to catch up.
- Pray that I will be a godly example of joy and peace and self-control to my children as I am working to raise them up to love the Lord. That they will see Christ's love in and through me in the details of our everyday lives.
- Please pray for our friends' daughter, Tessa Joy, who is having her cleft lip surgery on October 12th at 7:30 a.m. You can see their blog at

Tremendous thanks to all of you who faithfully check our blog even through my dry spells when I don't post anything.


Friday, September 07, 2007

Ahhh Summer Vacation

Click on them to enlarge~
Hi everyone! I've been feeling guilty for not updating our blog very regularly. Since we're on vacation I have a few minutes to spend on the computer....just a few though because I would honestly rather be out at the beach than in here on the computer - n0 offense. :)

We're in Avon, North Carolina at the Outer Banks. We're here with my mom, stepdad and brother. My mom's friends let us use their house for the week and it's been really nice. Shan hasn't had much surf time but it's been nice having him all to ourselves without the distraction of those darn waves. Our days have mostly been spent at the beach - my brown leathery skin is proof of it. Noah got his first boogie board (I've heard it's a "boogie" board until he's older when we'll have to rename it "body" board), Shan tried teaching my uncoordinated self to surf (didn't work out so well - I flopped around out there and couldn't even sit well on that thing), Jordan has been playing in the pool and at the beach, we played mini golf (Noah now calls himself Tiger Woods), ate ice cream, ate fresh fish Dennis caught and even spent some time with the Veales who happened to have a house a few doors down (our friends from church). It's been a wonderful break from the busyness of our lives. We will spend a couple days in DC at my mom's then head back home to start fall 07 and get ready for Jordan's next surgery. I'll send updates on that once we get back and things start happening. We have many, many appointments in September and the beginning of October before we hibernate leading up to the surgery. We will be praying she doesn't get sick causing them to postpone the surgery.

I'm going to post some pictures from our trip on our slide show here for you to see.

Thanks for checking back!