Mark, Jennifer, Ethan, Emily

This blog is about our family, who have dealt with the loss of two sons with Muscular Dystrophy, the adoption of a son diagnosed with Agenesis of Corpus Callosum and the birth our a healthy little girl. It's a crazy life, but we are loving it.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Adoption Link-Up

Today I'm participating in a link-up from Kelly's Korner that's all about adoption.

My husband and I lost our first baby, Chandler in January 2002 to a rare form of muscular dystrophy called Myotubular Myopathy (MD). After he passed away, we found out that I was a carrier of that disease, and it affected boys.

I was so devastated. That news meant having more children would be risky. We run the risk of having another affected child, in fact it would be 1 in 4.

We decided to try and adopt. We started by looking into fostering to adopt. We started the fostering classes in May 2002. We were very specific in what we wanted, and the foster agency understood our loss and understood what we wanted. We had a whole nursery set up for a baby. We still wanted a baby.

We got a few calls here and there for children, but it never worked out for one reason or another. Twice, Mark and I rushed home early from work only to get a phone call on the way saying they were going with a different couple or decided to go with a family member.

In March 2003, Mark and I decided to take a long overdue vacation. For kicks we chose Las Vegas. We went, had a fabulous time and enjoyed ourselves so much. What we didn't know was that a couple weeks after we came back we would get a phone call about a baby boy named Ethan.

Surprisingly, everything went quickly. They called us on a Tuesday and said they needed an answer by Wednesday because the baby was in the children's shelter. Now's the time I tell you that Ethan was born with a condition called Agenesis of the Corpus Collosum (ACC). Basically, he is missing the fibers in his brain that connect the right half to the left half (the "highway" in the brain). So we had some serious thinking, research and prayer to do in 24 hours.

I still remember Mark and I on our knees in prayer, in our old house, in our old bedroom praying and asking God if this is the baby boy we're supposed to have. I felt peace about it. Mark did as well.

Friday morning, April 17th, a fat, bald headed baby was placed in my arms. And he never left. Everything went so smooth. It had to be of God. Of course we had awesome case workers with our Foster/Adoption agency, with the state, with the attorneys, CASA and others who knew Ethan was meant to be ours.

Ethan was 3 months when he came to us. He was 18 months when the adoption was final.

Adoption Day, July 2004

Ethan's 4th birthday.

Ethan is now 10. Of course, we were able to have a healthy baby girl and Ethan got a little sister in 2006.

Branson, 2012

And unfortunately we lost another baby boy, Max to MD in 2007.

But, Ethan is most definitely our son. I believe he is the son that God has meant for us.

Ethan is really high functioning for a child with ACC. He has a slight learning disability. He has trouble with complex thinking and thinking "outside the box" or trying to come up with "what do you think will happen next". That's due to the missing corpus collosum which is called the brains "highway". Even though he is missing the "highway", there are back roads. But he is getting great help in school and has passed every class all 6 weeks in school this year. He is also getting "Excellent" in is weekly behavior folders this school year too.

We are so proud of Ethan. I don't regret going the adoption process one bit. I believe that God closed all the doors until Ethan was available. Once he opened that door, no one could shut it.

We love you Ethan!!! You are funny and handsome and you have the whitest most beautiful teeth! I love your teeth! Sometimes you blow me away with your maturity and you are growing up so fast! You, my son, are loved!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Too Funny!

I work for a Sheriff's Office. Part of my job is to view some of the dash cam videos from the patrol cars to make sure the videos uploaded, match the reports, prepare them with the cases, etc. Some of these videos happen to be for DWI and are really sad.

I came across this video from YouTube the other day. Hilarious! Of course it was from the t.v. show, Reno 911 and it's very exaggerated, but it's a hilarious take on a DWI stop. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Oh, How I Needed To Hear This

This video was on the Focus on The Family Facebook feed.

It totally warmed my heart when I saw this. It was so refreshing and I needed to hear this.

Hope you enjoy.

A Sleep Over, New Years And Of Course, Cookies

On Saturday, we visited Mark's family in Waco for our Christmas with them.

Ethan after unwrapping gifts.

As a special treat, we brought our niece and the kid's cousin, Angelina home with us. The girls absolutely love each other and always have a blast when they are together.

They laughed and talked and giggled the whole time.

Then a little toenail painting commenced...

On New Year's Eve, Mark decided to get the kids a few fireworks.

This is the first time the kids have done fireworks. They had a few sparklers as well. This was the first time I had ever done firework, too. The kids and I had so much fun. They were non-stop smiles the whole time. I so enjoyed watching them have a blast with the fireworks. It thrilled me to see their smiles and hear their laughs.

I'm not so great with my camera, but here are a few pics from the fireworks.

Emily with her sparklers.

I have been dreaming and craving cinnamon rolls for a while now. So after work on Monday, I decided I was going to make some. They turned out so good.

I've blogged about these before. The recipe is from here. However I used regular powdered sugar and milk for the icing this time instead of making the caramel icing.

Tonight I made these cookies for an upcoming order...

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

This is a serious cookie! Seriously, ridiculously, wickedly awesome.

We ate up the extras that were left over. Those Kraft Caramel Bits are the!!! YUM!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
Adapted from Diary of Dave's Wife recipe

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups of flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup Kraft Caramel Bits
1/2 cup chopped Pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
3. Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda & salt.
4. Stir in chocolate chips, caramel bits and pecans.
5. Drop by spoonful onto cookies sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
6. Sprinkle dough with a pinch of course salt (I used Kosher).
7. Bake 8-10 minutes until just golden brown. Do Not Overbake.
8. Take out of the oven, let cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool.