Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Expect the unexpected.....

November 4, 2014

Over a year and I haven't posted.  Life is busy and good.  We have new news we are adopting ,again a baby girl from Henan China.  We totally weren't expecting this.  We were reviewing the files of a brother and sister from Uganda .  Sunday night two weeks ago I prayed , God if these children are not for us please let it be perfectly clear.  So clear that we can't mistake you.  We as humans mess up a lot.  We want to make good choices for our entire family.   So Monday morning there was a message from Chinese children international .  We had not talked to them for quite a while.  So I called them back and they said they had a possible match for us.  My mind was spinning, how could we have a possible match?  We didn't realize that when we filled out a family profile and medical conditions check list to view a child's file off of Reece's rainbow that we could be called with a potential match.  So I called them back and they had a file of a baby girl for us to look at!!!  Unknown to everyone was that I secretly had been praying for a baby girl from China.  I had been praying this for years and thought it wouldn't come true.  Our God is bigger than any hopes and dreams we might have or imagine.  Once again I am in awe of the great God we serve.

Last year at this time was hard to say the least.  From June until November I had been struggling with feeling bad.  I was dizzy, had shortness of breath, and chest palpitations.  Feeling terrible and trying to be a good mother engaged with the children left me feeling exhausted.  I prayed and prayed for things to get better.  I wasn't even excited for the holidays which is so unlike me.  I love holidays and Christmas !!! I have learned to manage my postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.  I drink lots of fluid, take salt tabs(to raise my bp), rest enough and limit my walking.   I am feeling better all the time.  I won't be able to go to china which makes me so sad:(.  Brent will bring baby girl home and experience her china.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer break starts Wed........

But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.
I can't believe another school year is gone.  I am ready for the break and I know Brent is.  No more rushing around in the mornings!!! All sports are done, concerts finished, and now to slow down and hopefully have fun.  I want to explore this beautiful area that we live in.  On the short list an Eagle sanctuary, a fish hatchery, the beach, Mount Saint Helens, and that is to start.    I just hope Sneha will adapt better than she usually does to summer.  She loves her routine and school.    We are starting the summer also off with more medical stuff. Sneha  has to have an MRI with sedation per her neurologist.  She gets very angry to go to the hospital so the sedation is needed. So we need an in depth  appointment with her new primary care provider since her doctor moved.  Elijah is need of his middle school shots so he has a physical next week as well.  Elijah foot and leg are doing just great.  He will walk better than ever before.  So we are calling this major surgery a success!!!!  Poor Brent terrible allergies!!!I have been feeling better with the increased dosage of thyroid.  A little heart racing and fluttering in the beginning but it is better now.  May will have to have a beta blocker to increase my exercise tolerance which is zero now.  That gets very frustrating to be at the activity level of a 70 year old.  My heart valve is that of an old woman, but I need to feel better.  Glad summer is coming and hopefully fun times.  Looking forward to starting to be a CASA and help a foster child.  We are sworn in on Wed and get to start Thursday.  CASA court appointed special advocate-we are a voice for a child in  the foster system.  A way to help with out adopting again.  As you know our little house is  pretty full for now.  Almost all states participate with CASA so if anyone is interested here is the website www.casaforchildren.org

A  good verse to start the summer.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 NIV

Friday, May 10, 2013

Spring time in the North West

About one month of school is left another year almost gone.  Elijah goes for his six week post op next week and he will get a walking cast.  Soccer is done for Graedy so he is looking forward to his next sport.  Elise is in track and soccer which is keeping her very busy.  Spring in  the north west is so mild compared to Colorado springs.   Joy is in on the bus at 5:50 am and home between 4:30-5:00pm which is keeping her busy and signing and learning is finally beginning to click.  Sneha still takes 3 steps forward and then next day 2 back.  Frustrating, but reality of life for her.   Thank goodness her brain will be restored in heaven.  Missing our extended family a lot lately.  My heart is always grieved for the orphans in our world without parents and family.  Ethiopia is on my heart and mind lately with the struggles they have to live a life  abundant. Our sponsor child lives there and we would love to visit she and her family some time.  Praying for the means to bless others! Praying for us to see the big picture not just our tiny speck in the universe. Very thankful for wonderful mothers that we have, wish we could spend the day with them.
John 14:18
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

What a difference a year makes..... Hard to believe how fast the time  goes once a child is home.  Joy attends the Washington School for the Deaf and is finally learning her letters and numbers.  Everyone is learning to sign together slowly but surely.  The year has been full of transitions and struggles, but we are so glad that our Joy is home.
In Ghana with Romana

In America with a family

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV


Monday, February 4, 2013

 Elise, Elijah, Grandpa and Graedy in the mountains last summer

Elijah, Elise, and Graedy on their visit to Colorado

 Elk with Christmas lights wrapped in antlers in Estes Park
View from drive way where I grew up

Last week was rough.  Graedy had the colonoscopy and endoscopy at children's in Portland.  They took very good care of him and his stay was pretty non eventful.  We did find out that he has some form of  inflammatory bowel disease not the answer we had hoped for.  On Wednesday we find out if he has crohnes or ulcerative colitis.  Then on Thursday our beloved Davinci dog of 14 years  had a massive seizure in the day time and then he died that night.  We miss him so much and his faithful companion Dali had some very sad days.  We have always wanted to adopt a greyhound so when we are moved and settled we will get one.  They are supposed to be great dogs.  The news for Joy was we get to wait to take out her tonsils for at least of couple of months.  Good news and hopefully we can wait until summer.  Looking forward to the new house and finally being able to fell at home once again.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Moving again, but just a mile or so......

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-28 NIV

We are moving in the new year to a more affordable house.  We think we have found the house!  It is on a hill with a view and not in a flood plain.  It even has wood floors newly refinished, all new paint inside and out, good storage, lots of nice light and views.  Even a level area for bike riding and a yard without a lot of mud.  It will be so nice to not be renting and be able to paint and do what we want.

The kids will still ride the same bus and go to all the same schools.  This was the hard part in finding a house keeping the kids at the same schools.  I really hope this will be our last move for a long time.  No stairs which I am very glad about.  We are downsizing once again, but we have lots of stuff that we do not need. 

Graedy is continuing to swim and like swim team.  He has had a lot of digestive issues and will see a pediatric GI doctor in Portland. There are indicators for crones or some other no so fun diseases.:( Joy has huge tonsils so we went to an ENT and she is on antibiotics and allergy medicine to see if they will shrink.  If they are not better in 1 month she will have surgery to have them out.  She snores so loud at night and has very interrupted sleep.  On Monday Elijah goes to Shriner's in Portland to be evaluated for his problems related to CP.  His AFO (foot brace) is not helping like it should so they will check it out, they will xray the curve in his spine, look at his very weak left hand, and they will also evaluate his left leg since it is twisting in ward.  This week Brent and Elise had the flu, but they are on the mend!  Lots of medical issues here, but so thankful for good health insurance.  My medication was changed and Benicar is helping my heart to function much better, so I am feeling much better.  Sneha is learning a lot at school this year and being able to help a little at home with simple chores.    Always lots of changes in store for the Arnold family.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Luke 2:11
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, he is the messiah, the Lord.

From our house to yours we hope your year was full of health and happiness. The Arnold House was once again a place of change. Our family grew from 6 to 7 members. The good news is that we are finally settling into life in Longview. A big change from sun, wind, and snow to what I call the 3 D’s dark, damp, and drippy. The weather is much more moderate here with sunshine and little rain in the summer. The winter brings rain, rain, and more rain. We do have beautiful trees and sights all around us.

Let us start by saying Graedy has had a huge growth spurt. He is catching up with Brent and surpassed his mother’s height. The year is 9th grade Mark Morris High. He played water polo for the first time and learned what commitment takes when practicing at 5:30 am. Games were often late and up in the Seattle area about 3 hours north. Now he is on the swim team and wow do they swim? He has had to swim 65 laps in 30 minutes or 125 laps 2.5 miles to build endurance. He has embraced the changes with ease. A huge step since change used to be so hard for him. He is constantly engaged with his siblings some times in jest and other times as a tempest. He is a huge help with chores reaching things on high shelves now, hauling the trash can down the hill, and the best to empty the dish washer for his mom. He is turning 15 and driving is right around the corner. Can I say how wonderful it will be to have a chauffeur! Graedy wants to go into engineering at a NW Christian University. This is our Graedy

Elise our dramatic one is now a teenager, 13 years old. She played her first season of volleyball and we had a great time watching her games. In March Elise had the privilege to travel to Ghana to pick up her little sister. She did very well with most of the cultural differences and learned a lot. She learned to cook a couple traditional foods. We were very lucky to stay with another fellow adoptive mother that was living in Ghana while waiting for her daughter’s adoption to be finalized. She visited 4 orphanages, went to street market, saw a huge botanical garden, experience an African Reserve, and saw how many in the rest of world live. She is a great help with chores her specialty is vacuuming and cooking. She is still playing the clarinet, flute, and trying to learn the saxophone. In her spare time she loves to dress her fix up her little sisters, the living Barbie dolls. Her dream is to attend a culinary institute, study in France, and then open a Victorian bed and breakfast with restaurant...

Our Elijah from China is now 11 years old. He is completely at grade level reading and writing after knowing English for less than 5 years. This is a huge accomplishment on his part. He loves math and it just comes to him. He wants to be an accountant in the future. He is a wonderful singer and is in choir at school and tried out for honor choir and made it as well. At church for the Christmas play he will be singing as the INN KEEPER. He and Joy are being to interact and play together more all the time. He is a big help with chores trash duty, pet care attendant, and the maker of the Pbj’s for lunches.

Sneha is now 11 and in 6th grade at Cascade with Elise. She loves school once again with a wonderful staff to help the special needs kids. She gets to swim with school twice weekly and she signs about swimming throughout the week and into the weekend. She takes a new medicine and it has helped with her concentration. She had her first in depth dental treatment under anesthesia and did wonderful and all of her teeth were cleaned, filled, and had sealants applied. She has an excellent medical team here in Longview to help us meet all of her needs. A few of her favorite things are glitter, pink, purple, and candy!

We would like to introduce the newest member of the Arnold family Joyce (Joy) Abena Nyamekye Arnold. We adopted Joy from Tema Ghana Africa. Joy was in the care of nuns from the order of Mother Teresa from the time she was 6 months old. The loving Catholic Priest Father Campbell took interest in her and made sure that she had life saving heart surgery in Accra. Once the Sisters and Father knew her heart was declared healthy they pursued an adoptive family for her through Beacon House in Accra which is owned by a great Italian lady Romana Testa. She provides a home for them in Accra until they are adopted. She advocates for hard to place and special needs children the have been abandoned in Ghana. Joy is very hard of hearing almost deaf. She is bussed daily to the Washington School for the Deaf in Vancouver. Her days are long, we arrive at the bus stop at 5:45am and she returns at 4:45pm. They are amazing- teaching her sign, English, and daily skills.   Joy loves to eat and watch cartoons.  She is learning to be part of a family and to live a life on the go.

As a family we have enjoyed being close to Andrew my brother and his family.  It is fun to visit them just an hour away in a vacation destination on the coast with views of the columbia in their victorian retreat.  The kids have enjoyed getting to know the other cousins.  A fun adventure for us is to go out and explore new restraunts either on the coast or in Vancouver or Portland.  We have ventured to try Lebonese, Korean, Chinese, Indian, Thai, German, and Bosnian cuisine.  We have gone to Longbeach, Cannon Beach, Ecola Beach State Park, and the Portland Rose & Japanese Garden.
Brent once again has the first hard year at new job under his belt. The PUD launched the new website a major project for Brent and the staff. Brent experienced his first kidney stone for a Thanksgiving to remember. We are proud of Brent at his accomplishments at the PUD and hope for many more years to come.

Wishing your family a Merry Christmas remembering the birth of our Lord Jesus. We look to the new year with hope, health, and happiness. We are thankful for the many charities that have blessed our lives Chinese Children Adoption International, Beacon House Ghana, The Sisters of Charity Tema, Ghana, and Father Lou that gave the gift of life saving heart surgery to our Joy.

James 1:12
Blessed is the one who perserveres under trial because having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. Mother Teresa