Thursday, June 28, 2012

Employed & Other News

Just a quick update:  Eric has a job!  He will be driving for a company based out of Lakeland and begins Monday!  We are so thrilled and proud of him!  Not too many men would jump from full-time ministry to full-time truck driving.  I am blessed with husband who cares so much for his family.  It will be a bit of an adjustment for all of us, but we trust the Lord and His plan for our lives.

In other news we survived Tropical Storm Debby.  Not too much happened for us other than lots of wind and rain.  In just one day we received almost a whole foot of rain!  The worst part was being stuck indoors for 4 days and having to entertain 4 very bored little misters.  Since the sun has been out the boys have practically lived outside.  Yesterday we went to the local public pool to cool off and today the boys opted to stay home and play in our baby pool and hose.  There is also the lake which has been a source of entertainment for them in the evenings as they look for frogs, toads, and various other critters.

We have also made another change in our plans.  This year the boys will experience public school for the first time; all 4 of them!  I am not going to get into all of the reasons why here, and I'm sure not everyone agrees with our decision, but we sincerely know that at this point in time it is what is going to be the best for our current situation.  Dima was going to be there anyway, and now we will have one in 4th, one in 3rd, one in 2nd, and one in 1st.  Eric and I also trust enough in our parenting to know that our kids, with our constant guidance, should be O.K. for one year.  This is only a year long solution and it is our prayer that next school year we can go back to homeschooling or private school for them.  In the meantime I am excited for them to experience something new.

Finally, we are really enjoying our new church home.  Last evening we went to our first Wednesday evening Bible study and truly enjoyed ourselves.  Not only that, but Dima got to participate in the children's activities WITHOUT Eric or I being involved!  He LOVED it and was actually behaved himself.  The other boys are slowly making new friends and learning wonderful lessons from their sweet teacher, Miss Dee.  Can I just take a moment and really express my gratitude for First Baptist?  The children's Pastor and his staff have really gone out of their way to make our boys feel welcome and  to include Dima.  Now there are many special needs individuals there, but most of them are adults from the Key.  Dima is the only child that I am aware of with overt special needs.  It is amazing to see how Dima went from not at all wanting to be there because it was not "his" church (i.e. it was not the church he was used to) to now wanting to be there every day.  That is the Dima we know and love!

Slowly we are beginning to see our future being laid out before us and it gives us hope.  Our next big obstacle to overcome is our housing situation.  Lord willing we will be able to make an offer on a home here in our new town in the next week or so.  The boys are ready to be in their own home once again and I sure am ready to be the momma hen.  I am thankful to my in-laws for all they do to help each and every day, but I sure do love being a mom and thrive on routine.  To those of you from our former church that continue to call, we are grateful for your prayers and concern.  Please know that we are well.  We cannot return every call and email but we are grateful to hear from you.  We miss our friends and familiarity of our "former life".  But we now see how God has orchestrated some wonderful opportunities for our family and can only fathom what is in our future.  We know that regardless of our situation GOD knows our future and only desires for His best for us.  In that we rest.

So in the meantime we are going to enjoy the remainder of our extended time with Eric, celebrate Elijah's 8th Birthday, and celebrate Dima's first 4th of July as an American citizen!  God is good!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

In One Year

In one year's time Dima has gone from being an orphan with little hope of a future to a boy who has a family, friends, loves Jesus, and is about to start school this fall!  Only God can do so much for one little boy and Eric and I give Him all of the glory!

But before I go on about Dima and school, I have so much with which I need to catch up on for you all.  Since our last post back May so much has changed for our family (some good, some bad) which has also changed some other aspects of our lives.

The biggest change is in Eric's job.  Unfortunately back in April Eric was let go from the church due to lack of funds.  I am not going to lie, it was painful.  What hurt more than anything was that my boys got hurt and that is something that no mother wants to see.  It was difficult to explain to the boys and 3 out of 4 did not fully understand.  One of the boys kept saying that we were "kicked out" and that only broke my heart more.  While that was not the reality of the situation it certainly felt that way.  Eric has applied to pastoral jobs all over the U.S. and Canada but so many men are looking for pastoral positions in a poor economy that pastoral jobs are scarce and difficult to come by.  Thankfully we sold our home and were able to move in with my in-laws until we find a new place, but it was a rough move (4 boys and 2 adults in a one bedroom garage apartment attached to my in-law's house!).  The boys were again sad to have to have not only a change in their daddy's job, having to move away from their home, but having to find a new church home, too.  In order for Eric to provide for us he enrolled in CDL school and will be driving trucks for awhile.  It will mean that Eric will be on the road and apart from us way more than we would like, but kudos to my dear husband for doing whatever it takes to provide for our family.  The bright side?  The boys have had fun living in this tiny apartment so close to their Grammy and Pa on a beautiful lake.  They look for lizards, catch toads, fish, go out in the canoe, and since we live in town, walk to parks and ball fields.  We are thankful for the simple things right now.

In the meantime we have a surgery date for Dima (FINALLY!!!).  July 11th he will be in Shands to get his tonsils and adenoids removed, tubes put into his ears, and to have a hernia repaired in his groin.  It has been a long time coming but all in God's timing, right?  We also took Dima to the geneticist and learned that he has regular Trisomy 21.  We were all rather surprised as we suspected that he had Mosaic Down Syndrome. This only further confirms that Dima is just awesome.  We also have an appointment coming up with the cardiologist just to make absolute certain that Dima's heart is in good working order.  It will feel so good to have all of this behind us so we can move on with Dima's development.

And school?  Dima will be the student at our local elementary school this fall!!  Yes, I homeschool, and still plan on homeschooling Jeremiah, Elijah, and Nathan, but with Eric being gone for stretches, we figured that it might be in our family's best interest to have Dima attend school.  Here in Eric's hometown there is the Crest School which is a special needs school.  I figured that maybe Dima would be able to go there but after a full day of testing and evaluation, he will be able to attend a typical elementary school and be in second grade!  It seems as though he will be in a self contained classroom with other ESE students, but he will have plenty of opportunity to interact with the typical students, too.  He will thrive, I'm sure, and I am so excited for him that he has the opportunity.  Again, looking back to his life this time last year, God has done quite a work in his little life.  As of the 12th of this month Dima has been home for 9 months!

Another positive change has been that of church.  We have finally found our new church home and were so blessed to find a church that embraces their youth and individuals with special needs.  There are lots of youth and a large population of individuals with special needs!  Jeremiah, Elijah, and Nathan will have lots of opportunity to get involved with Upwards, Awana, youth group, and Sunday School.  Dima will be in excellent company with other individuals JUST like him!  I am looking forward to getting involved, too (it will help pass the time when Eric is away).  I feel as though I am surrounded by life when I am there, and am so grateful for the change.

So all in all things are going well; as well as can be expected, anyway.  We just need for Eric to have a full-time job and then we are in business.  Would you please pray that Eric would get a good job and be able to be home a decent amount of time?  Until then, we will just have to hang on during the rough seas and know that God is holding us in the palm of his hands.