Thursday, January 21, 2016

The value of a life...

This day, January 21st, 2016, our precious Rosalinda Marguerite Winslow turns 4. The photo on the left is when we first met her at the Elliot hospital in Manchester. She was 5 weeks old, and rejected. 

You see, sweet Rosie was born drug addicted. Her mama, (who had already had 5 other children before), had NO pre-natal care and came into the hospital on the 21st of January, 2012, had Rosie, and left the next day. Abandoned her to return to her life on the streets. So Rosie was loved on and cared for by the nurses in the intensive care unit. She had 5 hard weeks of withdrawing from the drugs in her little body. How horrible it must have been for her. She did NOT choose this, it was chosen for her.  Child and family services had stepped in and thought it would be very easy to find a home for this little one. One by one they called their waiting list people, and one by one they were told, "No"...Why?? "because she was drug addicted and because she was part Hispanic"...2 strikes against her. You see, everyone was looking for the "perfect white baby", and they didn't see the value of this little life.

Well, God knew one month before Rosie's birth, we would step out in faith and visit an attorney and start a private adoption process. This attorney told us that she NEVER gets NH babies, but that we should pray for one anyway, and so we did. Do you see the storyline developing?

You can read about it here at:  Rosie's Story It's really such a blessing! There are also photos of Rosie's first birthday with us.

God knew He wanted Rosie to be with us. God valued her life GREATLY!!! We are so thankful to her mama that she actually gave birth to her, and didn't choose to end Rosie's life.

We are so thankful that God chose us to be her family! 

Monday, January 18, 2016 life is forever changed...and so am I...

I know I haven't written in a bit...I'm sorry for that. Let me help you to get caught up! ...

I was chatting with my Dad the other day. I was talking with him while here at the children's hospital in NH with JoyAnna. He wanted to know how she was recovering from her surgery. (she just had her first of several foot reconstruction surgeries on Friday) As I was sharing with him all that we had gone through in such a short time, and how hard it was for me to have JoyAnna in so much pain he said to me with tears in his eyes... ( he had such an incredibly tender heart toward our precious little girl!)...

" life has changed so much, hasn't it?"

(tears are always in my eyes readily these days) "Yes, Dad", I answered, it has and I wouldn't trade it for anything! 

I'm writing this blog post from my little twin sized bed in the "insect" room at David's House. Each room has a theme and is decorated accordingly.

My home away from home right now while JoyAnna is recovering from her first foot reconstruction surgery. Jon and I are sharing this room, with butterflies and caterpillers on the walls, and pretty lady bug bed spreads.

 It's so peaceful and quiet here. It's absolutely beautiful, this home. Lots of love and caring here, and I am so very thankful for it. This home where you can stay as long as you need at no cost at all. This home that is run by volunteers. Sweet wonderful people who are so kind and caring, who come in daily to clean and make meals..  The other night I spoke with the program manager here for an hour or so. She was asking me about my family, and so of course I got out my i-Pad and showed her everyone and told her all about each one. (My husband has a joke with me....he'll start to watch the time when I start chatting with someone and he says it's just a matter of a minute or so before I get out a photo, and then hand out our business card, etc. I LOVE doing this! )So when I got to sharing about JoyAnna, and Jerry, and of course Zoey, and I shared with her where the girls had come from and how Zoey died before we could come and bring her home, she cried and just kept saying over and over..."I had NO idea, how can this be happening, this is criminal, I really had NO idea"....This is such a common answer. This is when I gently say to folks..."well, now that you know.....there are many ways to help and be a blessing"...and then I give out our family business card and share about our blog and such. Planting seeds...sharing truth...showing God's love. She cried when I showed her this photo of Jerry and JoyAnna at one year home! She was shocked and she herself said..."their lives are forever changed!"...yes, Susan, they are, but so are ours, too. So are ours...

This is the first time I haven't stayed right in the hospital room with JoyAnna. It was recommended that I sleep here since I'd have Jon with me to help for transporting Joy to the surgery and coming home. I'm thankful for the good night's sleep that I'm sometimes getting, but I sure do miss not being there with her. 

I'm remembering this verese..."I lift my eyes up to the Lord, where does my help come from, it comes from You Lord, the maker of heaven and earth!" Psalm 123:1

This has by far been her hardest hospital stay. I have NOTHING to compare in my life to the pain this little ray of sunshine has experienced in her life already, and NOTHING to compare to the pain she is having from her foot surgery. Bone surgery is the most painful surgery to recover from. The first 3 days are the worst, and we are just completing day 2.  I don't have any experience with this type of pain, but dear readers, Jesus sure does, doesn't He? And so does my Heavenly Father, too. 

Oh dear blog readers...Can I confess something to you....?? I'm struggling with such anger issues toward her orphanage, and those people to contributed to the reason why she even needs this surgery to begin with...I find this anger rising up out of seemingly nowhere...especially when JoyAnna is screaming out in pain......UGH.........but that isn't going to help JoyAnna right now, nor will it help those all around her. And so....I must nail that anger to the cross, and I ask Jesus day in and day out to remove this anger from me, and allow me to love these people.... I pray that God will give me a spirit of reconciliation...."that I will love my enemies, and bless them that curse me, and do good to them that hate me and pray for them that despitefully use me,.....that I may be a child of my father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:44-45 You know something, too, JoyAnna really has no anger toward her caregivers...maybe fear...but no anger. Maybe post traumatic stress related to medical care...but no anger. Lord, please do NOT allow me to teach this to her. PLEASE!!

We thought we'd be able to go home today (Sunday), but that was not to be. It's not looking good for going home tomorrow, either. Her pain needs to be under
 control, and she needs to be able to sit up and tolerate that for a good length of time.

She had about 3 good hours in a row today where she was comfortable.  This is progress, but it's not enough progress. Her night last night was really restless. She had many night terrors, my dear friend Chloe told me tonight. (Chloe is a nurse's aid we've had all 3 times we've been here overnight and we love her! She is like an angel from heaven just for JoyAnna!) 

This morning was really hard, too. And there have been many, many people that just don't understand what it means to not be able to have a voice like you and I have. JoyAnna isn't able to answer the question..."on a scale of 1 to 10, what is your pain like?" as we would answer it. Instead she indicates her pain level with the type of cry she has. I know her cries VERY well. I know when she's hungry, or tired, or frustrated, or grumpy, or even when she is faking it. I also know VERY well, when she's in pain. 

JoyAnna spent 7 long years with NO ONE answering her cries. Not many people caring enough to even determine what kind of cry it was. But I know, I know those cries  very well, and so does everyone in my family. And you know what?? The wonderful nurses at the hospital are beginning to know those cries, too. What a blessing it was for me to run into two of my favorite nurses tonight before I left. One of them came up to me and just hugged me and hugged me and said..."Oh Mary, she looks so good, she's doing so well! You have done such an amazing job with her!" This precious nurse has seen JoyAnna when she first came home, really at her worse since she came here! Thank you dear Chloe for your wonderful words, like a balm to my soul this night. 

I am clinging to this verse given to me by a dear, dear friend this week:  
"but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 4:31

Dear God, renew my strength, dear Lord...I am weary....I am so weary....But I have the power living within me that has raised Christ from the dead! For this reason I will NOT grow weary while doing good! I will NOT lose heart! I know that God promises that I will reap! 

So very thankful to have her big brother Jon here on this trip with me. What a wonderful young man he has become. So kind and loving and helpful to me and to JoyAnna. He's a HUGE blessing! Love you Jonnie, and so does Joy! Don't you think??

So to answer your question life is NOT my own. This world is NOT my home. This life has changed so much, and therefore so have I, and because God entrusted us with this precious little girl rightly named Joy, I am forever changed and continually blessed. Trusting in the God who promises to restore what the locusts have eaten...

Good bye for now!