Thursday, June 28, 2012

3 Days to Make a Difference

There are just three more chances for you to vote for Project HOPEFUL so they can win the $50,000 grant to help the world’s most forgotten and vulnerable.  Please, please, please vote TODAY, TOMORROW, and SATURDAY.  Ask all  your friends and family to vote.  Share on your Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, via email….anything you can do to promote this opportunity.  It just takes 2 clicks to vote, but it will make a world of difference in the lives of the least of these.


To vote, click HERE.  Scroll through the list to find Project HOPEFUL, advocating for waiting children around the world. 


Your support is so very important.  Every single vote makes a difference.  The total votes are hidden for the remainder of the contest, so it’s vital for everyone to vote daily.


Thank you!!!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Serbian Adoptions

If you’ve ever considered international adoption, I want to encourage you to consider Serbia.  It’s the least expensive country in the world to adopt from, but it’s not a country you often hear about.  Our beloved Princess Chrissie was from Serbia, so a big piece of our hearts will always have Serbia in them. 


If you’d like to know more about adopting from Serbia, please click HERE to visit the blog of a mom who has two Serbian children and advocates for Serbian adoptions.  She’ll be able to help steer you in the right direction regarding Serbian adoptions.  I pray more people will adopt from Serbia—please prayerfully consider it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Our Little Fishies

You guys have got to watch this video of Conner swimming in our pool.  I am completely blown away by how far this sweet boy has come in just three months.  He went from spending the first six years of his life confined to a crib 24/7 without any attention or affection to a family with tons of lovin’, good nutrition, and many life experiences. 


Conner used to be completely overwhelmed by everything this new life had to offer him, outside his orphanage walls.  The sounds were too much.  The touch was too much.  The toys were too much.  The food was too much.  The attention was too much.  The love was too much.


Now?  Conner has been REDEEMED!  Just look at this boy swimming in our pool.  Utter amazement.  Yes, it is true, with God, all things truly are possible.


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Cooper is really struggling with how to use his legs.  After six years of never standing or using his legs the way God intended, he has completely disconnected that he even has legs.  Now that Cooper’s bilateral club feet are repaired, it’s time for Cooper to start using his legs and building muscle and strength. 


You might have noticed the screaming/squawking/crying in the background of the video of Conner swimming.  That would be Cooper.  We’re doing water therapy with him to encourage him to use his legs.  He’s now standing on the ledges/seats in the hot tub, as well as the big pool.  This is a HUGE accomplishment for him!


I don’t know if you can see it, but in the photo below, Cooper is wailing.  While he completely LOVES the water, he does not like having to use his legs in the water (in terms of kicking and figuring out where his legs are, using his legs for balance, etc.)  Cooper had been acting like his legs were completely paralyzed, but we’ve encouraged him to use his legs in the water.  He’s starting to figure it out, but he’s not happy about it.  One day, when he is able to walk and run, he’ll sure be happy his family pushed him to use the body God blessed him with!

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Our little turtles all lined up overlooking the waterfall edge of the pool.  They all look so similarly sized, it’s hard to believe the youngest in this photo is 20 months and the oldest is 7 years.  From left to right:  Ella (age 7), Cooper (age 7), Kiefer (age 4), Conner (age 6), Selah (age 20 months).


We praise God for these precious blessings, and we thank him for the blessing of our pool, particularly when it’s 102 degrees outside!  So grateful everyone loves the water, too, because that’s where most of our time is spent each day.  Keep Cooper in your prayers, for him to use his legs the way God intended.  We know he can and will, he just needs to believe instead of doubting and fearing.  I bet this time next summer, Cooper will be running and jumping into the pool all by himself!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Very Unique Situation

You might have followed my Facebook updates Saturday regarding The Moghadam Family. 


If not, I’d like to ask you to pray for a US adoptive family involved in a tragic situation that occurred this past weekend while they were in Ghana (in the process of legally adopting four children).

The Moghadam Family is a legitimate US family in the process of adopting four boys from Ghana.  They are using a US agency for their adoption, and they have done everything required of the US government, as well as meeting the requirements of Ghana, to adopt these children.  The Moghadams took their two biological sons with them to Ghana this June to attend court and finish the legal process of bringing their newest sons home.  They had court and filed their I-600 in country (official adoption paperwork required by US immigration in order to bring children into the US) this past week, then things suddenly and unexpectedly spiraled out of control.


Apparently an anonymous tipper contacted the Ghana police and made accusations that the Moghadams were child trafficking.  The police acted upon this tip, interrogated the Moghadams, but when the Moghadams only had copies (as opposed to originals) of their adoption paperwork, the Ghanaian police arrested Sol and Christine Moghadam and removed all six of the children from their custody for further investigation.  Sol and Christine were put in jail while their six children, including their two biological US children, were held in a government orphanage overnight.


The Moghadams’ adoption agency (Dillon International) acted quickly, as did others in Ghana, as did countless people in the US adoption community.  Sol and Christine were released from prison Saturday afternoon, their two biological children were returned to them, but their four adoptive children from Ghana remain in the orphanage until the Ghana government investigates and clears the children for international adoption. 


The Moghadams have been falsely accused of child trafficking, and they have all of the official legal paperwork to prove that the adoption of these four children has been done legally and with integrity.  While it’s wonderful that the government officials of Ghana take child trafficking seriously, it’s heartbreaking to see this happen to a legitimate adoptive family.


The Moghadams need your prayers and support.  Please prayerfully consider donating to help them with the extra costs this delay and detour will cause.  We don’t know how long this will take to clear up, but prayerfully, God’s TRUTH and JUSTICE will prevail in Godspeed.


Click HERE to donate to the Moghadam’s adoption fund.  (Donations are tax-deductible.)


Click HERE to follow the blog of the Moghadam family.


Please pray for this family and support them with encouraging comments.  This is a highly unusual circumstance, so please don’t let this episode deter you from adopting.  God will use this for His glory, He will use it for good, and He is sovereign over this.  Thank you for praying!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hope Is…

I woke this morning singing,”My HOPE is in you, Lord, all the day long…”.








And then it became my conscious prayer.


I pray for YOU to help make HOPE a REALITY for many around the world who do not yet know the HOPE that is offered through our Savior.  Our efforts to reach out and serve, love, educate, and help the least of these is the tangible HOPE on earth is translated into eternal HOPE in Jesus Christ.


Project HOPEful offers tangible HOPE in countless ways, in the US and around the world.  They are an incredible non-profit organization run completely by volunteers.  They are credible and of utmost integrity.  All funds they receive are accounted for and used to spread HOPE to those who need it most.  Unfortunately, funds are required to spread HOPE in tangible ways.  These funds are not for the volunteer staff, the funds are for the people who need HOPE most, from unborn babies, to pregnant moms, to starving people of all ages, to sick people of all ages, to next door neighbors, to people halfway across the world.  Project HOPEful is serving, educating, helping, and loving BIG, and we have an opportunity to get behind them and watch what God does if they are awarded a $50,000 grant.


Here’s what my precious friend Carolyn Twietmeyer, founder and director of Project Hopeful, said on her Facebook status update today:

WHY VOTE AND SHARE FOR 6 MORE DAYS!!?? This $50,000. grant will go toward our existing programs, for helping moms with HIV keep their children and live (currently in Ethiopia and heading to Uganda)! To help us RAISE UP A VILLAGE OF HOPE where their HOPE was slim and spread our HOPE+ to mothers there too! It will help us further educate families deciding to adopt some of the worlds most overlooked ...children for adoption...AND help us to continue to slay STIGMA and spread TRUTH to prevent the isolation and pain needlessly hurting people with HIV and other special needs and considerations! We plan to share what we do with these funds and why we do it! Join the party! Whats MORE awesome is that we are inviting you on the journey to see what God CAN AND WILL DO with $50,000. for the families and children we serve!! Because we have seen what HE can do with $5 BUCKS and our simple YES....We cannot WAIT to see what He does with THIS!!! We want YOU to see the MIRACULOUS that we have witnessed for the last 5.5 years!!


Project HOPEful began as a ministry to help HIV+ orphans.  In the last five years, God has done amazing things.  Recently, Project Hopeful has expanded their mission to help all special needs/waiting children, as well as developing programs to help countless desperate HIV+ moms.

Click HERE to vote for Project HOPEful!

scroll to find Project Hopeful in the list—”advocating for waiting children”



Village of Hope Guatemala is a mission of Project Hopeful and Lifesong for Orphans that will directly benefit if Project Hopeful wins the $50,000 grant!!!  I encourage you to “like” Village of Hope on Facebook by clicking HERE.  I’m personal friends with the missionaries who are on the ground in Guatemala working round-the-clock to get Village of Hope up and running.  It is a mission of integrity, truth, love, sweat, and tears—JESUS. 



Here are some photos of the VOH (Village of Hope) property in Guatemala, a place where international adoption is closed (not an option), yet there are countless lives in need of help, HOPE.



As you can see, there’s LOTS of work to be done to make this mission happen, but with many hands, the work load becomes light. I am planning to take two of our children to VOH in August to help them with the ground work. (BTW, if anyone has frequent flier miles they’d like to donate to us, email me at BossYourHeart (at) gmail (dot) com. :-)




I love this photo of the staff and volunteers praying over the VOH property.  This is what will be the tangible HOPE for the hopeless.  This is what will translate to eternal HOPE through Jesus Christ.


Be sure to vote HERE for Project Hopeful so the $50,000 grant can help offer HOPE to the hopeless in Guatemala!!!


And if God leads you to support Village of Hope, you may give your tax-deductible donation by clicking HERE.  100% of your donation will go to Village of Hope.  You may give a one-time donation or get set up for an ongoing donation.  Any amount will help bring HOPE to those who need it most in Guatemala.

“And now, Lord, what do I wait for?  My hope is in You.”

~Psalm 39:7 (NKJV)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hospital, Home, Hope, and…Cheeseburgers

Matt had his gallbladder removed Wednesday afternoon (praise God) following the official diagnosis that his gallbladder was not longer working.  We’re delighted that Matt was able to come home from the hospital Thursday, and he’s doing great.  He’s tender where the incisions are (there are 4 incisions—it was laparoscopic surgery), and he’s uncomfortable from all the CO2 they blew into his stomach to pump it up in order to get all the cameras and instruments in.  But he’s SOOOOO glad to be HOME and to have his gallbladder out.  He’s been able to eat without any pain, which is a huge praise.  Thank you all for praying.


Will you please do me favor?  Read the message below from my friend Amy (this was taken from her blog) and then GO VOTE!!!!!!

One of our amazing partners here at Village of Hope has the opportunity to win $50,000 to help special needs children all over the world- even here in Guatemala!

They have just a week left to vote and are currently in 1st place but the competition is gaining on them quickly.

Would you PLEASE take a second to vote for PROJECT HOPEFUL today and for the rest of the week? It's an EASY way to give without it costing you anything!!!
Simply go here: scroll down and find Project Hopeful and VOTE. THANK YOU!


And now, for some viewing enjoyment, Kiefer singing the cheeseburger song from Veggie Tales:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday, Cooper!

Cooper’s 7th birthday was yesterday (June 20), but I was at the hospital with Matt while he had his gallbladder removed, so I didn’t get to create a blog post in honor of Coop’s big day.


It’s so hard to believe that this little guy is 7!!!  I went through our photos and pulled a few photos from the past 3 months, ranging from the first photo we ever saw of Cooper all the way down to this week at home.


Cooper has changed SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much.  He’s gained 15 pounds in 3 months (he weighed 21 pounds when he got home March 3, 2012, and now (June 21, 2012), he weighs 36 pounds).  It’s really crazy to think about how much God has done in such a short time period.


Cooper’s club feet have been repaired, and now he’s learning to pull himself up and take steps with assistance.  Just 3 months ago, Cooper couldn’t stand at all, nor take steps.  So many things have changed in such a short amount of time, but the one thing that remains constant is our love for this lil guy.


Happy 7th birthday, Cooper Immanuel Patterson!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Recap of Tuesday’s Hospital Experience. Sigh.

I’m too exhausted to write out a summary of what Tuesday’s hospital experience was for Matt.  Here’s some screenshots of my Facebook status updates for Tuesday that will help sum up how the day went:

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The above photo is a shot I took of a page in the patient handbook that encourages patients to speak up and be involved in their care, expressing concerns, etc.  Even after Matt threatened to rip his IV out and walk out of the hospital, no one responded.  Speaking up doesn’t really work if no one shows up to listen.  Not even a nurse.  Unreal.

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Yep, that pretty much sums it up.


If anyone has advice for me on how to file a formal complaint (that would entail MANY complaints regarding multiple mistakes made, maltreatment, lack of communication, lack of response from nurses, lack of ethics…many different things), please let me know.  We’ve had poor experiences at every Seton hospital we’ve been in…Seton Southwest, Seton Hays, and Brackenridge (owned by Seton).  Dell Children’s has been wonderful, and it’s owned by Seton, but that’s the only one with a positive experience.  If any adults in our family have to go to a hospital again, we’re driving to San Antonio to go to the Methodist Hospital where patient care is fabulous.


The VP of Seton Hays said he guaranteed this would never happen to us again…I agreed, but only because I declared that we would never come to this hospital again.  Ever.


I’m sleeping at home tonight, will take care of the littles in the morning, then head back to the hospital as soon as I can.  I am grateful for God’s provision for our family during this time.  Our church family has been tremendously helpful.  Even when I said we didn’t need meals, people showed up anyway.  And, of course, Rowan’s mom (Carrie) is bringing a meal Thursday, just like she always does when there’s an opportunity for her to bless our family.  Thank you ALL for praying for us, blessing our family, and supporting us in so many ways.  We are truly grateful.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday AM Update on Matt

Well, yesterday was a rough day.  Grateful His mercies are new every morning, cuz I’m greatly in need of some new mercies on this morning.


Matt and I arrived at our nearest hospital yesterday morning around 7:30ish.  Matt was scheduled to have an infusion treatment for his colitis flare up (he had scheduled that a few weeks ago).  Since we knew Matt really needed to have the HIDA scan to test his gallbladder function, plus the fact that the HIDA scan must be ordered through a doctor and cannot be ordered via the ER, we had made a plan to contact Matt’s gastroenterologist to ask him to order the HIDA scan Monday morning.


Well, Monday was just a tad bit crazy.  And frustrating.  And sad.  And exhausting.  Physically.  Emotionally.  Spiritually.


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This is how our day looked, in a nutshell (pics are my Facebook status updates throughout the day.  BTW, I have no idea why my Facebook profile pic is showing up with someone else’s kids in it!  That’s not my profile pic, but it showed up in every screenshot I took.  Weird.):

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There were just So.  Many.  Things.  That.  Went.  Wrong.  I truly couldn’t believe so many things back to back.  I felt a little bit like Job, with Satan just picking on us, although, praise God, it wasn’t even comparable to what Job endured.  I just hate Satan.  He’s such a slimy, relentless serpent who’s never going to win, and yet he never gives up.

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By this time, we’d been at the hospital waiting to be seen by a doc for about 6 hours or so with my husband suffering in pain without answers, being given the run-around, not being able to have anything to eat/drink since he might have surgery, having no pain meds since he wasn’t admitted to even the ER for the greater part of the day.  A bed finally opens in the ER, but it’s located in the only double room in the ER.  Do we care about sharing?  Not a bit.  Just grateful to have a bed.  And some medical care!  And it appeared that the patient sharing the room with us, separated by a mere thin sheet/curtain was dressed and ready to be discharged.  At least it wasn’t an insane person screaming profanities (we’ve had that before) and at least it wasn’t a teenage stabbing victim who was vomiting everywhere with police escorts to restrain him (we’ve had that before, too).

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Then the ER doc walks in and it’s the very doc who misdiagnosed Matt last Thursday night.  UGH!  At least she ordered him some good pain meds and was empathetic.  So, Matt’s nurse gave him some Dilaudid (7/x stronger than morphine), along with Zofran for nausea.  Then Matt was feeling good.  Euphoric.  He no longer cared about his pain, his grumbling belly, his inconveniences and discomforts.


In walks the HIDA scan tech to inform us that Matt cannot get the HIDA scan because he was just given Dilaudid!!!  The scan must be done without any narcotics in the system.  UGH!  The tech apologized and explained that he tells the ER docs repeatedly that they cannot give pain meds with the HIDA scan.  The tech explains that Matt won’t be able to get the HIDA scan until Tuesday.  Great.  Another delay in this already long and frustrating day.


Patient next to us is discharged.


We have the room to ourselves, so I begin to discuss with the ER doc that we want them to just remove Matt’s gallbladder, without waiting to do the HIDA test. 


That conversation was interrupted by a woman being whisked into the empty slot next to Matt’s bed.  This woman had just arrived via ambulance, she had her clothes torn off as about 15 people worked feverishly on her.  My palms sweated.  The ER doctor turned to help them.  I knew instantly what was happening.

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This woman was in cardiac arrest.  She had coded.  The glass doors to the room were closed and we were locked inside only to relive the exact scenario of losing our very own daughter.  Same words.  Epi in 3 minutes.  Epi in.  Pulse check in 15 seconds.  We have no pulse.  We have no heartbeat.  We need a different bag.  Bag her.  More epi.  Epi in.  No pulse.  Pupils fixed and dilated.  Same sounds.  Alarms beeping everywhere.  The pumping of hand compressions on the chest.  Panicked voices.  Same smells.  Blood.  Same emotions.  Tears.  Shaking.  Sweating.  Praying. 

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I could hardly believe it.  I sat there and cried.  And prayed.  I wanted to run, but I needed to stay.  Complete disbelief that this was actually happening.  I never ever thought we’d have to relive that moment.  Although it wasn’t our daughter on the other side of the sheet/curtain, it brought me back to the exact scenario that played out the morning that Chrissie went to dance eternally with Jesus. 

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And then after 25 minutes of compressions, the sounds stopped.  The alarms silenced.  No more compressions.  No more bagging.  Now just tears as the family was brought in and the woman was pronounced dead.  We were quiet as a mouse, trying not to disrupt the family’s grieving.  So, so, so sad.  So, so, so tough.  Hard, hard, hard stuff.  Why, oh why, out of all the other rooms we could have been in (private rooms) were we placed in the only double room at the exact time of a code to relive the exact way our daughter’s last moments on this earth were spent?  So, so, so hard.

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And then as I wanted to pray over the family, the doors were unlocked and the receptionist came to wheel Matt out to another room.  Everyone was apologizing that we were locked in there.  No one had any idea what we had experienced on May 19, 2010.  No idea.

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Y’all, I had to do some serious bossing of my heart.  My emotions were all over the place.  I needed to make my heart beat in sync with God’s, following the example of our princess Chrissie.  I was desperate for my Savior to take over, as I was done.  For when I am weak, He is strong.  Praise Him for His strength.  There is nothing too much for our God.


We sat for a while in our new ER private room, waiting to hear what the plan was.  ER doc ordered another ultrasound of the liver and gallbladder.  Radiologist reported that there appeared to a gallstone at the neck of the gallbladder.  Would Matt have surgery that night?


Nope, Matt would be transferred to a patient room around 7PMish where he would wait to hear from the floor doctor.  He could have clear liquids, but nothing else.

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Floor doctor came by around 9:30PMish to let Matt know that he would get the HIDA scan in the morning sometime.  He would be NPO (nothing by mouth) after midnight and no pain meds so the HIDA scan would be accurate.  A plan would be made based upon the outcome of the HIDA scan.


Please pray for accurate results, an accurate diagnosis, and prompt, correct treatment of the problem.  I’ll most likely update via Facebook as it’s just easier to type quick updates there than it is via the blog.


Thanks so much for praying!!!

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