Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas (or "mary kissma" as the girls love to say!) and Happy New Year ("appi ewe ear")! In November, we celebrated a year of listening for the girls. To celebrate and thank each of you for your support along our journey, we created a little movie of their journey. You can check it out
Christmas Eve with the crew...

The girls love to say, "luv ewe".

Making Christmas cookies...

Raena with santa at the school Christmas party...she's obviously not a santa fan.

Twins...Sophi's not a fan either.

Sophi's favorite Christmas present...she loves to perform!

Twins again....Rae's favorite too...so glad we bought two microphones!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!

We enjoyed our very first Halloween outings! First, it was a trip to the zoo (we went as hippies...it wasn't much of a stretch!), then to the twin club fall festival (hippies again), then trick or treating at school (we went green...as frogs...thanks, Nikki for the costumes!) The girls' new favorite sign and word..."candy" of course! We tried to keep them in the dark long enough with the sugary wonders...no worries, they go for their first dental appointment in November!
We LOVE candy!!!

Hollywood 1 (Soph)

Hollywood 2 (Rae)

Enjoying our front porch at our new house. We love "pun-kins"

We're still working on learning to bend and jump with our physical therapist...we thought frogs would be inspiring!

The girls with Ms. Mary Beth, Ms. Paula and all their friends at school.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I spoke too soon....

The day after my last entry, we were back at the children's hospital in the ER with Rae getting x-rays and a cast for a fractured tibia. Talk about a way to "celebrate" our one year anniversary since surgery! She tripped 40 minutes before we were scheduled to close on our house and after her lips turned blue and she went limp (from the pain), I rushed her to the pediatrician. We were a circus act as they wrapped it and sent me to sign papers for our closing with instructions to take her to the ER immediately after we closed. So, we had an 8-hour reunion at the children's hospital that resulted in a cool purple cast (and Rae's first trip to McDonald's for being so brave)! She's scooting around everywhere and quite frustrated with big sister out running her!

We enjoyed meeting sweet Eva and Stella. They are beautiful twin girls that our friends adopted from Ethiopia. They have quite a testimony and we are so glad they are doing so well!

Only Hilltoppers will likely understand this photo. There is an infamous bridge at our alma mater WKU where many romances start and many marriage proposals take place. Jeff asked me out on our first date there after a walk one night. Seemed an appropriate place for a family photo.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

One year anniversary since surgery....

The girls with George on Labor Day.

Today I sit in tears thinking about where we were a year ago today. I was sitting in the playroom at the local children's hospital trying to entertain Sophi while completely masking the fear, anticipation, and heartache of knowing Raena was in the middle of surgery and enduring more needles, medicines and other medical vices that children her age should never have to experience. I looked in Sophi's big brown trusting eyes and my heart broke knowing that she would be in the same operating room undergoing the same surgery in a matter of hours.

After months of research I was praying against all of the possible complications and praying for assurance that we had made the right decision. To many hearing people, the choice was obvious...why wouldn't you want to give your children a chance at learning to hear. For the Deaf community, the choice was bitter, why would you want to change what God had created. Why would you want to put them through surgery and possible complications. The decision was made with much consideration, research, conversations with people in the Deaf community who both agreed and disagreed with us, and ultimately with many prayers.
I still remember Amy, our nurse, carrying my sweet Sophi off to surgery while Raena was in recovery. I felt completely helpless as I had when they spent their long two months in the NICU. Again, the medical community was serving as their surrogant mothers and I was left empty handed with only prayers that they were ultimately in their Father's hands and that was the safest and most blessed place to be.

Today, I look at them with absolute amazement. Their bare skin that illuminates their scars are the only marks left from that day. The outcomes from the surgeries....well, they are endless. Their little voices saying, "please", "thank you", and "i sorry" are priceless. Their wiggling toes and arms while dancing to their favorite music is miraculous. Their little fingers signing, "i love you"....breathtaking.

They heard their first sounds in November. We'll make sure we post a video then so you can "hear" where they are. My courageous girls....is there anything more blessed?
Below: Raena & PaPaw hit the slide, Rae checks out an alpaca, Sophi cools off the alpacas with a shower.

Family reunion with Great Grandpa E. Who would guess he's 95?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Beach Party!!

We recently went on a family beach trip. Here are some fun photos we took and the girls vs the sand.

Sophi refused to put her feet down in the soft sand!

Family photo op with Papaw, Grandmother, Katrina and Kelsey.

Feliz Cumpleanos!!!

We celebrated the girls' second birthday in the Dominican! We planned on keeping it simple with a cake, however, our friends Samira and Vanesa had other plans and threw a classic Dominican birthday party complete with an elaborate cake and decorations! Gracias, Samira y Vanesa!!
Vanesa poses with her girls.

The "simple" cake!

Sophi dives in.

Tony steals a kiss.

Samantha loves on Sophi.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Summer fun...

The girls experience their first sprinkler with their cousin, Grant.

Drink, anyone?

There's my girls! Who cares that we're in dresses!

Raena & Sophi pose with their cousin, Audrey...pre-water fun!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Something to Talk About...

This morning I awoke early and spent time in prayer on the back porch. I was in complete awe of everything that appeared before me. The day grew brighter and brighter as the dawn unfolded. The birds sang with gratitude, the flowers opened with praise, the clouds broke with anticipation of the glorious sun. I sat, a mere mortal, in a metal chair grieving that I so often fail to praise this miraculous event that has taken place morning after morning for thousands of dawns.
This afternoon, I was again in complete awe of the miracles of my heroes pictured above. Every day, they face new challenges with such strength, perseverance and patience. When they smile, joy immediately fills the room from corner to corner. On our simple daily walk hope is restored to the grumpy elderly man at the grocery, joy fills the heart of the man sitting alone in the corner at our favorite coffee joint, and the faithful workers at the American Red Cross are reminded why they remain faithful to what they do.
We had our six month evaluation with our developmental therapist today. I sat speechless with tears in my eyes as Emily asked the girls to do a particular skill and they did it with no hesitation. She went over how they are doing developmentally and my heart was overwhelmed. Nearly two years ago, the doctors and therapists told us about the multiple challenges the girls would face from their premature birth and their hearing loss.
Today, the girls are walking, they dance, they try singing, they sign over 100 words, and they speak over 40. Their favorite new phrases are "bye bye baby", "fall dow (fall down)", "no, no o-e (no sophi)", "no, no a-na"(no, no raena), "night night baby", "luv yew (love you), "be rye ba (be right back)", "e pease (eat please) and my not so favorite new Sophi phrase..."bye bye, Bicki". She stopped calling me mommy and has resorted to my first name! Unbelievable! Six months ago they scored at 10 months old on the language portion of the evaluation. Today, they scored at 24 months!
The girls love dancing together.

We even love kisses and hugs.

Big girls at their learning table.

Therapy time with daddy.