Monday, September 29, 2008

Quick Update

First of all, I've been swamped at work last week, so there were no times for updates. I apologize for that - but more about that later.

It's been a busy few weeks for the family. Titus is doing good - although he still has a wet cough. The pulmonologist checked him out this week and his lungs are clear, so it's basically just drainage. It could be allergies during this change of season. Fortunately, we have the suction machine and are quite adept at using it. Now, Titus doesn't like it very much, but it does clean him out. We do watch him carefully though since we don't want this to go down into his chest.

Titus is growing, but has not put on much weight. We have bumped up the amount of formula so we will see how he does with that. He does seem to show a renewed interest in the bottle. Some of that could be due to his teething, but he is even wrapping his hands around the bottle helping to hold it in, or pull it out.

Titus has gotten some new toys - and he's loving those, but his favorite toy is still my electric toothbrush. He loves the vibration and he definately shows his discontent when you turn it off or take it away from him.

Cade got his hearing aid last week for his right ear. He LOVES it - and goes around telling everyone and showing everyone. He is so excited about it that now Tucker wants one. We keep telling Tucker he doesn't need one, but I won't be surprised if I get home and Tucker has made one and will be walking around with play dough in his ear. BTW, if you see Cade, ask him about his upcoming birthday. He is so excited to turn 4 in October.

I haven't mentioned my work lately, but just a quick update on my status. The division I work for was sold to a private UK-based company in July. It has been extremely busy over the last few months as we have been learning the new company while keeping the business running. But, since the new company only bought a portion of the company and not the entire corporation, we have been incredibly busy creating a payroll system, HR system, benefits, etc. It's very much the analogy of building the car while you are driving it down the road. Or, as my VP states, we are ducks on the water - sitting calmly on the surface, but kicking/swimming like crazy under the surface. The great thing is my job is secure, the new company is great, and although very tiring, I'm having the most fun I've had in years learning new things.

I'll close for now, but just wanted to give a quick update - look for more over the next few weeks. We can't believe Titus is almost a year old.

Friday, September 12, 2008

God Made Me Fast

Ever since the Olympics, Tucker loves to race people on the sidewalk. His big brothers are incredibly accomodating for their little brother. So, they all get in position, Tucker says "ready, set, go" and takes off. And, of course, they let him win.

After racing the other day, Tucker comes up to me and says, "God made me fast. But Poor Noah, God made him slow". We fell out of the chair laughing.

But it reminded me of the comment in the 80's movie "Chariots of Fire". Now, I must admit, I'm the only person I know who fell asleep watching the movie, but there is an incredible line in the movie spoken by the character Eric Liddell - a committed Christian and missionary.

"God made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure".

We all know the feeling of passion, completion, and joy we experience when we are doing the one thing we love most. It really doesn't matter what the talent or act is, but we are all blessed with gifts from God to utilize for His worship. And when we do, we can experience and feel the pleasure of God.

And I have to reflect, am I experiencing the pleasure and presence of God in my own life.

Last night, Becky and I were watching a movie (not Chariots of Fire - but I still fell asleep anyway). Titus was playing in his crib and determined to not fall asleep, so Becky finally got up and brought him in with us to watch the movie. He finally settled down, snuggled in the arms of his mother.

I leaned over him and gave him an eskimo kiss (rubbed noses). This is something I've done with Titus since he was born. Titus was almost asleep, but as my face neared his and my nose touched his, he began to smile. And, as we rubbed noses, he cooed with glee. Becky looked at me and sayed "He knows it's you - He loves when you do that".

And, what a beautiful picture of joy of a son in the presence of his father. And, I thought this morning as I was walking, when God draws near to me, do I smile? Do I feel his presence? Do I enjoy the pleasure of God's company? When God hid Moses in the cleft of the rock and passed by - did Moses feel pressured for being in a tight spot - or did he marvel and pleasure that he was in the presence of God.

Just like Titus, I want to revel in the presence of my Father.

God made me ____________ (Fill in the blank) and when I _____________, I feel His pleasure.

Monday, September 8, 2008

4 Years and 3 Sons Ago

4 Years and 3 sons ago, we were anxiously awaiting a referral of a Korean baby boy from our adoption agency. I had been laid off from my job that summer and God provided an incredible contract job opportunity in downtown Dallas that summer. The contract job not only paid our living expenses, but also paid for all our adoption costs - it was an incredible blessing to us of God's provision.

On the last day of the contract job, the people I worked with had gone out to dinner to thank me for the work. While sitting on the balcony of the Iron Cactus eating chips and salsa, my cell phone rang.

"We got a referral" were the first words I heard.

The world stopped at that moment as I heard Becky tell me the details about a little 6 week old baby boy who had been born at 34 weeks and weighed 4 1/2 pounds. He was perfect in every detail - and we knew before we ever saw a picture of him that he was our son. I went back to the office to retrieve all the referral paperwork and then catch the train home.

I must have read the referral paperwork a dozen times on the train. My heart broke for the birth mother as I read the circumstances, but yet, knew she had made the right decision. And we rejoiced that she choose life - not only for this baby but this life was to be our son. A new life for us after years of waiting, years of loss, years of infertility.

So, today, 4 years and 3 sons later, I look back and remember the day we found out about Tucker Paul Jin.

To my precious Tucker Toes - you are forever mine. We love you dearly.

Quick Update on Eye Evaluation - UPDATED

UPDATE - Becky and Titus were released in the afternoon and got home around 8:30pm last night. Titus is doing good - and was so glad to be home. When I laid him in his crib, he laughed and cooed - stretched his arms out and felt the sides of his crib - and he just smiled. He knew he was home.

The glaucoma specialist checked Titus' eye pressure this morning after they put him under anesthetic - and his pressures were good - well within the normal ranges. So, they did not have to do further surgery and can check him again in 6 months. That's a huge answer to prayer.

BUT, his dry cough has now become more of a wet cough and they suctioned some secretions (i.e. gunk) out of his lungs and throat. They feel he may have a little virus. So, they have not released him from the hospital yet. In fact, Becky and Titus are still sitting in the post-op room waiting on a pediatric pulmonologist to come by and check him out.

We have gone through this before with Titus and are very aware of how to manage him and his secretions when he gets a cold - but being in Houston with doctors that don't see him all the time don't know that. Please pray that the pulmonologist will come soon and they will be released to come home.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Trip to Houston

Becky and Titus left for Houston on Sunday. Titus will have an evaluation-under-anesthetic with the pediatriac glaucoma specialist. Our last check up 3 months ago indicated his eye pressures were within range and we are praying that will be the same this time.

Becky has a good friend driving down with her, and then will have to be at Hermann Children's Hospital at 5:30am Monday morning so they can prep Titus for the procedure which should be around 7:30am. If his pressures are high, they will immediately do surgery to relieve the pressure. If his pressures are normal, then they will bring him back out of the operating room and release him to go home as soon as he comes out of the anesthetic. We would appreciate your prayers this morning as he goes through the exam. I'll update later today when we know the results.

Titus has had a dry, hacking cough this week. Becky and I both came down with a cold upon our return from Indianna and we have tried to keep Titus from getting it. He's not draining, but just has the dry cough.

And, I forgot to mention in previous posts, but Titus has cut not just one, but two teeth last week. As soon as we got to Family Camp last week, someone else noticed (aren't we ever observant) and 2 days later, the another one broke through. They are both on bottom . And, just like Titus, he's not showing any of the normal signs babies do when they teeth - no fever, no fussiness, no drooling - but he is chewing on his fingers (but he does that anyway).

And, one more thing - Titus is doing great in therapy. He not only plays with his feet now, but is starting to roll from side-to-side. He's not rolled over yet, but it's so cute to see him on the floor, just laughing and playing with his feet and then rocking his body side-to-side. If you lay next to him, he reaches over and grabs you. His brothers are so precious playing on the floor with him.

Family Camp

It's hard to believe we've been home from Family Camp almost a week. This is our 3rd year to drive to Twin Lakes Camp in Indianna to attend Family Camp with our friends in the Growing Families International Parenting ministry. We had a wonderful time with our dear friends from around the country. The boys loved fishing, canoeing, swimming and playing with their friends. Since Aidan is going into 6th grade, this was the first year he got to stay up late with the other youth for special games at night.
And, we had to continue our grand tradition of doing a silly song for the talent show on the last evening. This year, our friends from Lake Jackson joined us in our choreographed version of Tony Chestnut. (Now, if I can just get the tune out of my head, I think I'll survive - but as soon as it begins to ebb away, Cade breaks out in song at the top of his lungs).

Of course, Becky and I stayed up way too late each night talking with friends and playing games, but it was so worth it.

And, we were so blessed with the incredible schedule they put together to take care of us. Several of the ladies are nurses, so they all took turns caring for Titus in the afternoon so that we could play with the other boys. I'm not sure who was more blessed - Titus or these precious women. But, much thanks to Anne Marie, Karen, Carla, & Carol for watching over Titus those days. I do believe Titus has them wrapped around his little finger.

Joey and Carla L. - thanks for planning this every year. It truly is the highlight of the year for our family.

Gary and Anne Marie E. - thanks for the encouragement, the prayers, and the incredible message on Sunday morning.

And to all the other families, we love you guys. You are truly garden friends. We look forward to seeing more of you through the next year - you know our door is always open. And, I promise to give you directions to get here that will avoid all hidden toll road charges.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Titus Meets Titus

We are home from Family Camp. What a great vacation for all. I'll post more about Family Camp later this week, but wanted to show you one of the highlights of our trip.

Titus met Titus.

Several years ago, Becky and I met an amazing young man. We were so impressed with his family and his servant's heart. Now, at 17, Titus K is an incredibly role-model for my boys. Every time we are around his family, they challenge us to "raise-the-bar" on our parenting by the example they have set.

When Becky and I were searching for names last year, we loved the name Titus since it was Biblical, unique, and . . . well, basically because of Titus K.

So, Titus met Titus.

Titus K. - Thanks for living your faith out-loud. God has incredibly things in store for you.