Sunday, July 31, 2011

Deborah is with Jesus

Just received this email from our former Chaplain. His wife Deborah is home.

Brothers and Sisters,

Deborah is dancing on streets of Gold this morning. She went to be with the Lord at 8:56 last night with her daughters Tiffany and Grace laughing and playing at the foot of her bed. Grace was laughing so hard she was snorting, for those of you who know her. I said, "our girls are sure having a lot of fun". It was bath time and they were wrestling, esp since they were going to use Mom and Dad's tub, a first for Grace. I know this probably doesn't make sense, you would have just had to have been here. But Grace's Loving Mom just shook her head that little, little bit and gave the faintest of smiles. I was holding her hand, and stroking her hair, her girls were laughing and playing and she went to Dance with Jesus.

I can't begin to describe the range of emotions i am experiencing. I slept in an empty bed last night. I have done that many times in the past 10 years due to deployments, TDY's etc, but this time was different this time the bed was vacant. There were no boney arms reaching out to touch me, no boney fingers "anointing my head with Love and my face with joy". OUCH, i am crying again. Even though i Know she is in Heaven I miss her being here. I want her to be here, but that means she would be HERE and NOT There, who would want that? I do. How selfish is that? (I always tell people it is good to cry because it cleanses the emotions, but it makes it hard to type. I should have done this last night when i was "all business". right now i am a mess.)

This morning I am listening to "I will Praise You in this Storm" real Loud. Right now it is still Raining.

I will write more later today. I LOVE you ALL VERY much and i can't imagine this journey without ya'll. Deborah, Grace and I have lived the definition of Koinonia (fellowship). When one hurts the whole body hurts, when one rejoices the whole body rejoices. We can rejoice this AM because Deborah has been cured of cancer. PRAISE GOD.

The Crumptons

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Two and a half

Hard to believe (as it always is)

That our beautiful blue-eyed boy,

Is halfway through year two on Earth

Such a miracle. Such a joy.

He's our little bull in a China shop. He's very top heavy and just a tank of a little boy.

Elijah LOVES food. He loves to eat and loves to eat a lot. At lunch at the BX before they flew out, he had a corndog. Then he ate Isaac's PB&J that he Isaac didn't want. And then he begged for a granola bar. Sweets are okay for him, but he prefers the "beef."

He loves to give us "100 kisses" where he kisses each cheek, our nose, and lips -- something he invented.

Has decided that he wants to sit on the toilet backwards when he has to go -- yes, he faces the flusher of the toilet. Quite cute.

Loves watching TV -- I watch a movie Mom?" His current favorites are Mickey, Diego, and Chuggington.

Is constantly leaving us in stitches from the things he says and the way he says it. For example, the other day I asked him to come over to me so I could put his shoes on but he had to go potty. He put up one finger and looked at it semi-cross-eyed and said, "I be back in oneee minute Mom." Just so cute.

Loves to tell you, "You're my best friend" out-of-the-blue.

Loves his big brother. Is a bit lost when Isaac isn't up and awake to play with or when he's at the park and can't find his "I-Z."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wow -- God is cool

No word yet on a passport for Abigail. We are at day 10 right now which is the average for how long we were told it could take. It appears it will probably be at least Tuesday or Wednesday before we leave and that is if the passport comes through on Monday.

I am dealing with some pretty intense "baby blues." This is hard for me to admit because I am so unbelievably happy to have Abigail. She is a fantastic baby. So sweet. Truly a joy. I think having dealt with infertility in the past, I am very hesitant to admit any "issues" with having a baby. I never want to appear that I am complaining. I am not complaining at all. Abigail is AWESOME! But I realize these things aren't related. I'm just crying, basically, non-stop. I feel like it will be better if I weren't away from home, but I have come to realize that it would still be present. It's a hormonal "thing" not a "Germany" thing or an "Abigail" thing.

I wish I didn't feel this way so I could just enjoy Abigail and not be crying all the time, but it is what it is. I actually called the "New Parent Support Group" nursing line here on Ramstein which was hard for me to do. (JB pushed me to do it too. He's been very involved via SKYPE from afar in checking on me.) A nurse stopped by to see me. Laura was great. She told me this was very normal. She said that the "baby blues" normally last about two weeks, but I am dealing with some other stressors too like being away from my family and waiting on the passport so I might push past two weeks slightly. Post-partum depression is usually more present past the two week mark so I'm not quite "there" yet. She really helped me to realize that I am normal and that I am okay and that we are okay and that I am doing a good job taking care of myself and Abigail.

I have been getting out and taking walks. I am actually feeling really great physically. But being alone for three or four days just left me feeling hopeless. I can't really explain it and I know it doesn't make sense. But it just is.

God is cool though. Way cool. Just when I was feeling so incredibly overwhelmed and daunted by the idea of endless days of being alone that I thought I might lose my mind, I called out to Him. I asked him to help me get through the next few days. I begged him.

And then Stebbins called me on Skype. And my mom's friend Noel who is deployed here called me and asked me out for dinner. And my friend Deana called and wanted to go out on Saturday. And then Stebbs suggested I contact our friend Casey who has a good friend here with a young daughter. So I did. And she wants to hang out on Sunday. And suddenly the weekend doesn't seem so overwhelming. And I haven't cried in awhile. And I am feeling better.

I would love all the prayers you could send my way. While prayers for the passport are appreciated, prayers for me are even more appreciated. Just pray that I feel better emotionally. And thank the Lord for being so cool to me.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

No passport yet

No passport today. If it comes tomorrow (Friday) the courier probably can't pick it up until Monday so I think the earliest I will get home is Tuesday? We will see. Holding out hope for a miracle that would get me home before the weekend.

I love to see ...

Isaac taking on someone not even close to his size!

That there are so many uses for a boppy.

That my boys know how to team up to get the job done!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My parents ...

... are on the way back to America.

My husband and my sons are in Turkey.

My dearest friends are scattered all over America and Turkey.

And I am here in Germany.

I know this should be a time of prayer. A time of sleep. A time of bonding with Abigail. I am asking the Lord to allow my heart to have that focus instead of the focus that I am now completely on my own in this big apartment in a country I do not call home. I can't help but want only to leave Germany and return to Turkey. But I want to enjoy these (few?) days with myself, God, and Abigail.

JB keeps reminding me that this is a "golden opportunity" for me. A time to sleep whenever Abigail is sleeping. A time to pray. A time to read. A time to write. A time to have a mini-vacation. I want to see it that way. But instead, I just dream of boarding a plane and emerging in sweltering Turkish heat and scooping my little boys into my arms. And kissing my husband. Of petting my dog. Of sleeping in my bed. Of sitting on my front porch and chatting with my friends.

I am praying for two things. I am asking that you join me in prayer. The first is that Abigail's passport comes today. If it doesn't arrive today, I will probably be here through the weekend. And the second is that I can enjoy the time I have here by myself -- with Abigail and the Lord.


Passsport Please

Talked to my passport person, Brittney. She has not received an update on Abigail's passport yet. Once she does receive word that the passport has arrived in Frankfurt, Germany, she will email me. She will then send a courier. The courier usually goes the next day. This means that at this point, even if the passport would come today, it will probably be at least Friday before I can fly back to Turkey.

My biggest prayer is that passport comes in by Friday so I don't have to wait the weekend. Keep praying everyone.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My men are home

JB and the boys are back in Turkey. My parents will be with me and Abigail here a few more days, making the absence of my men quite a bit more bearable.

John and our boys boarded the rotator right after lunch today. It was a close call as flying the rotator is always on "standby" and they almost didn't get seats due to a huge deployment flux (and a mistake in the order they called people!) But at the last minute, thirty extra seats opened up and JB and the boys were given a seat on board. (Gotta love military organization.)

While I didn't want them to go, if they wouldn't have gotten on the rotator, they would have had to take a commercial flight sometime this week in order to get JB back to work by Monday which would have been expensive and much harder for 1 adult on 2 kids. (Think taking a shuttle to the airport, waiting for a flight, changing planes, and landing off-Base in Adana.) Not ideal.

I just skyped with JB from Turkey. The boys were SOOOO excited to be home. Scrubs was thrilled to see JB, the boys were thrilled to see Scrubs, and during our video chat, I caught Scrubs trying to eat a sock. Go Wendi! They were also excited to see Veronica and vice versa.

JB said the boys were fabulous on the plane although he did have to visit the bathroom on the plane six times in three hours with the boys. During the landing, Elijah expressed another intense desire to visit the "tuvalet." When JB told him he couldn't go to the bathroom because they were landing, Elijah began crying until JB reminded him that he was wearing a "just-in-case-of-this-exact-situation-pull-up". As soon as Elijah realized he could relieve himself, he got a huge smile over his face and said, "Ohhh. Okay Dad. Fanks." And the crying ceased.

I would so appreciate your continued prayers that Abigail and I can get home soon. I am really hoping we get home before the weekend and before I have to say good bye to my parents. God and I are having intense discussions about my desire to get back to Turkey asap.

I love you JB, Isaacc and Elijah. See you soon.

"He is so our boy!"

Yesterday we all went to the park. Papa. Grama Di. JB. The boys. Me. Abigail. We drove since it was a little far for me to walk post-surgery. On the way home, my Dad and Mom decided to walk back and Isaac asked to walk with them.

Our car ride back to the hotel, while short, felt wrong. It was just Elijah and Abigail, our two biological children. But something was missing. Our Isaac was missing.

As we walked up the door to our hotel room, JB looked at me and said, "He is so our boy." I knew exactly what he was talking about. Isaac is as much our boy as Elijah. As much our child as Abigail.

Our family would not be complete without the miracle of adoption. I would go through every moment of infertility to bring that little boy into our lives. Our firstborn. I love you Isaacc John.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Daddy's American Sweetheart

I was sitting outside Burg Eltz on Saturday. I had found a quiet spot to feed Abigail. I had my legs propped up on a bench. There were a lot of flies, and they were making a home on my legs which was a bit annoying. Elijah was standing near me, and JB told him, "Elijah, scare the flies off of Mommy."

Expecting him to shoo away the flies like a "normal" person would do, we all found ourselves bent over laughing when Eiljah came up and put his face near a fly and gave the loudest "ROAR!" you have ever heard. He decided to take the lion approach to shooing flies. It didn't work real well, but it definitely highlighted a lot of laughter the boys have been providing us adults with lately.

I wish I could remember all the things they say every day and how funny they are. However, most of the things are simply the way they say things and that often cannot be captured in words I can type. Other things they say are not quite/barely appropriate enough for the blog. The word "stick" for instance is chopped up a bit by the fact that Elijah pronounces his "s" like "d" right now. You know, that kind of thing.

But laughter, even laughter you can't reproduce via words at a later date, is unbelievably healthy. And especially right now, for me. I've been fighting a bit of "baby blues." I don't remember feeling this way after Elijah, but Elijah's birth was so muddled by hospital stays and illness and sleepless nights that I don't think I would have been able to differentiate between the tears I was producing from pain and frustration and those that were hormonally produced. I did struggle a bit with some depression/anxiety but that was six months after Elijah's arrival. And of course, there were no hormones to deal with when Isaac joined our family so the point is mute there.

But this time, I feel great physically, and yet I find myself crying a bit. (John would say more than a bit.) I find myself getting overly nostalgic. News stories leave me unable to cope. (Don't even get me started on the Norway incident.) As we pack up our little apartment here and get ready to send the boys and JB off, I find myself crying over leaving. (Really? I want to go home.) When Isaac wants his privacy in the bathroom, I find myself crying thinking about the fact that he is growing up. (Why would him being toilet trained make me sad?)

I read a bit online and JB concurred that these "baby blues" are not the same as post-partum depression. Apparently the blues are very common. Most women get them. And for most women they alleviate themselves within a few days or weeks. Stinkin' hormones.

That isn't to say I am not enjoying our little bundle of girl. She is a great baby. While I don't know her like I know my boys yet, that bond is growing stronger by the moment. She is soft and sweet and beautiful, and I am blown away that I get to be her Mom. We are doing great. A few tears. Lots of laughs. But doing wonderfully.

And more ready than ever to get us all under one roof together on Turkish soil. Please keep praying for passport speed. It doesn't appear we will have the passport by the time JB an the boys go home, but I am still hopeful that we will have it by the time my parents leave later this week so I can take a commercial flight back home. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fort Lauderdale Christian Changes

Got word that the Christian School JB and I attended for nearly our entire lives, Fort Lauderdale Christian School, has been merged with Calvary Chapel Christian School -- a neighboring Christian School in the Fort Lauderdale area. Here are a few articles on the topic: Two Fort Lauderdale Christian Schools Merge and Calvary Christian Merges with Fort Lauderdale Christian School.

My father began working at this school in 1974. I attended it from 1983-1999. My mother drove the school bus for FLCS for many years. My brother worked there after he finished college for a number of years. JB's entire family began attending FLCS in the mid-80's. My uniform has been retired from this school.

FLCS has been in financial trouble for quite some time. The economy and the creation of Calvary so close by has caused attendance to drop rapidly over the last few years. Something had to change and this was the way it changed. We are glad to see FLCS not disappear entirely but sad to see the school as we know it no longer in existence. Just wanted to share this with those of you who are familiar with FLCS, attended FLCS, or loved FLCS like we did.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Burg Eltz Revisited

Today was another day for a field trip. We packed up early this morning and headed to Burg Eltz. JB and I actually visited this castle back in October when we spent a week in Germany on vacation. Of course, that time we did it with a hike. This time we took a shuttle bus so I had to do very minimal walking. My parents loved it, and since JB got to take the tour last time, I got to take the tour with my parents this time while my hubby watched all three kiddos. You can click here to read a history of this castle. It was a wonderful day. The boys were incredibly well behaved and the 1.5 hour drive each way was just gorgeous. I think my parents really enjoyed the opportunity to see a real, live castle and more of this beautiful country.

I am feeling very good physically. Today I could actually say I really wasn't in pain. Discomfort maybe but not pain. Emotionally, I'm definitely dealing with some changing hormones, but otherwise, things are wonderful.

Congrats Samantha

Samantha has won my book-give-away! Congrats! Email me your addres so I can mail it Samantha:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Veronica is "home"

I'm not sure who the most excited is about Abigail's arrival. But I think Veronica is at the top of her "biggest fan" list.


Veronica is back in Turkey. I think it was a bit of bitter sweetness for her as she has made some friends here in Germany. Time to return to her "real world." We sent her back a few days earlier than us so that she could watch Scrubs, get some R&R, and just have a little time by herself.

Next week, JB and the boys will be returning home. While I am still holding out hope for a miracle that would allow me to go with them, chances are, Abigail and I will still be here in Germany waiting for a tiny little baby passport to arrive. It has now taken five days. The average is ten. When it comes in, we can go home. But until then, Veronica will be doing a lot with the boys and dog and we wanted her to be "ready" for the grind.

My parents will be here a few days after JB and the boys which will be nice for me. I think if everyone left me at once, I might go into extreme sadness. But at least this way the good byes will be a bit more gradual in arrival.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hard to Believe ...

... that JB has a daughter. So many years of dreaming of parenthood and so used to life with our two boys. God has a crazy sense of humor. Can't believe we've added pink to our lives.

So far, Abigail has been a very easy baby. She cries only when hungry or when her diaper needs to be changed, seems to get full fairly easily, and sleeps well when not eating, even on her own. She loves to be held but doesn't seem to require it. She also loves to be swaddled but isn't much of a squirmer so we don't have to get the swaddle "just right" like we did with Elijah or even Isaac. She enjoys interacting with us, snuggling, and getting kisses from her brothers.

As for night time, the last few nights, I have fed her around 8pm and then gone to bed. JB or my Mom gets me up around 10-11 when she is ready to eat again. (They try to keep her up as much as possible during that stretch so she is good and tired.) She is up from 10pm-2am eating and crying a bit but then does some good 3-4 hour stretches from that point forward. Not too bad for less than a week old.

Of course, we are sticking with our Sleep Bible Rules. The rules the first week of a new baby are easy. Concentrate on the baby getting a full feed. In other words, work so that she doesn't fall asleep while feeding. You want her to finish her meal. During week two, we will work more to get a little bit of a schedule established. I will keep you posted on how that is going.

Prayers for the John, Becky & Joshua

Please join me in praying for my good friend Becky and her husband John as they continue to wait for word that they can go pick up their son Joshua from South Korea. When they reached the last step in their journey, the maximum amount of time it usually takes to travel to pick up their child is eight weeks. They are now at ten and there is a lot of confusion as to how long it could continue to take. Please pray that Joshua comes home VERY soon. It is time that he gets to be with his forever Dad and Mom.

Happy Anniversary & Birthday

A tad late but hey, I've got a bit going on. While here, my parents celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary (July 18). And then today, my Mom celebrated her 36th birthday as well. (Okay, that part isnt' completely accurate.) Happy anniversary and birthday Dad and Mom. So glad we can spend it together in Germany.

Trier (Again)

Yeterday we decided at the very last minute to make the one hour drive to Trier. This was the same city we visited with Joan and Veronica via train a few weeks ago. You can click here to see the past blog and click here to see the past album on Facebook (courtesy of Veronica) of our previous trip to the oldest city in Germany.

We were going to go to the Base pool since the weather was supposed to cruddy (and the pool is enclosed). I was just going to sit on the side with Abigail, of course, while the fam swam. However, the kiddie pool was broken. So we needed a Plan B. We decided to drive to Tier since I could sit for the most part and take it easy while enjoying being out of the house a bit and having the opportunity for my parents to experience a bit of Germany. It may have been a bit lofty five days after delivery, but it went wonderfully.

Here are some pictures from our trip there yesterday with my Mom and Dad:

Papa showing the boys the next car that he would like to buy. A good fit don't you think? (I have no idea what Isaac is doing.)

We took a one hour river cruise on the Moselle River. Here the boys are "taking turns" climbing on their Grampa's back while we wait for our the boat to begin boarding.

While I sat and relaxed at a restaurant with Abigail, JB took the boys and my parents to St. Peter's Cathedral. It was the first time they had been in a "rea'" Cathedral and they were quite impressed with the serenity and beauty.

A great pic of my boys with their grandparents outside the cathedral.

Elijah got up here and posed all by himself. It was so funny!

Smiles on a letter "T" in Trier.

A smile from Isaac.

Here are my parents ouside the Porta Nigra -- the largest surviving Roman gate world wide. Also called the "Black Gate." Dates from the Middle Ages (1060).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Book give-away

Gonna pick a book winner any day. Please click here to add your comment if you'd like to be entered in "the drawing."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Winging it

Isn't that what you do with a new baby? You "wing it" don't you? There are no patterns, no routines, no normal. There is just a learning curve. Adjustments. And that's what we are doing.

Abigail is doing great. My milk is in, and she seems to be enjoying a being a full baby. She basically feeds throughout the day every 2.5-3 hours. When she isn't eating, she is usually snuggling with someone. And of course, sticking to my sleep rules, we make sure she takes at least a nap a day in her crib solo -- which she does very well.

Our hardest stretch is currently from about 7pm-2am. She wants to eat closer to every hour or hour and a half and is pretty wide awake. This matches the activity she produced while still in utero. Come my time for bed and she would think it was her time to be awake and play the drums to her heart's content. But now that she is on the outside, each night seems to get a little better and last night, after a tough start, she went to sleep in her crib by herself from 1:30 until 5:30. Hurray for a good stretch of sleep for Mom.

Speaking of Mom (aka "me"), me is doing well. I am definitely still recovering from stomach surgery but with the help of Motrin and Percocet, am managing quite well.

From the moment I got out of recovery, things went smoothly. While I did bleed enough to concern the doctor and cause them to start me on some medicine to help with that, there was no "panic" about the bleeding like there was with Elijah. I did get a little sick to my stomach post-surgery and actually threw up! This was very surprising since I haven't thrown up since I was fourteen-years-old! The bad part was, when I felt myself beginning to throw up, the nurses and JB had just left the room. I was feeding Abigail and was left on my own to try and hold a bucket and a baby at the same time. But I managed well and was even able to push the call button and get someone to my room.

Since then, everything has gone great. I did have some intense gas pain as well as some air from having my stomach exposed but otherwise, oh my, I am just thoroughly enjoying recovering at a normal rate and being able to enjoy our little girl (and my boys).

Please continue to pray for a quick passport turnaround. That is all we are waiting for to go back to Turkey!

Finding the groove

Here are the results of the Baby Game we played to guess little Abigail's birth details. Congratulations to Susan (from Hannah's Prayer) for a big win! Kendra (from my church at Eglin) finished second. In third was Samantha (not personally known to me), Rebekah S. (a friend from Eglin), and AD (my sister-in-law). Good job participants.

Our house is doing well. Abigail had her two-day appointment today. She's a little jaundice so we got some blood work done. She has also lost right at about 10% of her body weight so we are hopeful that the milk comes in soon, and she gets her growth on. I had some difficulty with Elijah gaining weight so prayers in this category would be appreciated.

Big brothers are doing well. While Isaac was the one most excited about Abigail's arrival, he has since been the least interested in her presence. Elijah comes and sits on my bed and talks to her. When JB asked her this morning about his sister he said, "She looked at me!" in response to Abigail looking over and "smiling" at him yesterday. But Isaac has no interest in interacting with her right now. We think he may be a bit jealous so we are trying to give him some extra love and attention during this time. Elijah seems to enjoy spending time with us and his sister at the same time, but Isaac would prefer not.

Right now, both boys and Papa are at the movies. They took the boys to see Rio which was playing at the Base theater. I'm anxious to see how they react to a movie other than Cars.

Lastly, some people have been emailing me about baby gifts or needs. I truly have no needs. We are incredibly blessed and taken care of and have everything we need for baby. If you decide that you still want to send something, I have registered at Target for a few decorative items which are a bit more feminine in nature. We also would always welcome a gift to Because of Isaac in Abigial's name. Thanks everyone!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lest I forget to share ...

Elijah, when first meeting Abigail in the hospital, walked up to her on JB's lap and pointed to her chin, "There's a chin," he said. And then as he pulled her blanket away he smiled and said, "There's one chin. There's ... two chins. One chin. Two chins!"

Guess he thinks she's chubby. Like he can talk!


While on the operating room table, one of the doctors mentioned she was dating a lifeguard. "Do you have a nanny?" she asked. When I told her I did, she said, "I thought so. My boyfriend said there was a very tall, very pregnant woman at the pool many times a week with a nanny that all the lifeguards were drooling over."

We all had a good laugh later that the topic of conversation while preparing to meet our daughter was our "hot" nanny. :)


Veronica to Elijah: "Are you ready for dinner Elijah?"

Elijah to Veronica: "I sure are."

We are "home"

We are back at the hotel which actually feels a lot more like "home" then anywhere else in Germany right now. I am doing well. Abigail is doing well. I still can't believe how perfectly smoothly everything went. Thank you to the Lord and to everyone for their prayers. I was able to leave by 48 hours. While my milk isn't in quite yet, breastfeeding is going great. My pain is very well managed. My bowels are in working order. All the things that went wrong last time are going right this time. Glorious!

The boys were so excited to see us arrive back at the hotel. Having four other adults really helps me to feel like the boys are being adequately spoiled even when I can't be with them. I can truly see how splitting myself between three will be one of my biggest challenges during the time to come. During Abigail's first feed here at the hotel, Elijah came and laid down next to me on my bed and we watched a cartoon while I fed Abigail. So sweet!

Some of you have asked if you can call or skype me. You can definitely try. If I don't answer, it's not a good time, but hearing from you is welcome.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Note from Wendi

Saturday morning was our scheduled c-section. I was supposed to make a quick phone call up to labor and deliveryto make sure that everything was still a go. Under staffed due to a few surprise deliveries, I was told it may not happen that day. Ugh! Needless to say, this made me a bit emotional.

But, everything ended up coming together and by 10:30am, I was changing my clothes and hooked up to an IV and giving blood and preparing to meet our daughter.

They day would go flawlessly. In fact the only glitch was inside my own mind. About thirty minutes before surgery and up until I was strapped down on the table, I really started struggling panic-wise. No one knew but JB, but I was whirling emotionally, answering questions and doing what was asked of me, but mentally spinning. I think, truly, it was fear of recovery. I didn't fear surgery. I feared the moments that followed. I started praying, and by the time the spinal was kicking in, my anxiety was beginng to drop. Praise the Lord.

At 12:44pm I heard the doctor say, "We have clear fluid!" the first sign that things this pregnancy would go entirely different than the last. The next thing I knew, they had pulled down the curtain and I was staring into the face of a screaming and pink and pudgy and little, yes, it was true, girl. Her apgars were 9 and 9! (Quite a bit different than Elijah's 1 and 2.)

JB stayed with Abigail while I went to recovery for about an hour. After that, we were in a room together, and I was feeding her, and she was great, and I felt great, and everything was great. There was a moment or two of concern in regards to my bleeding, but a quick check by my doctor assured the room that I was within the realm of normal and all was still going perfectly.

The forty-eight hours that have followed have been equally wonderful. I have had a few moments where my pain got pretty intense -- mainly the air that gets trapped inside you following a surgery of the abdomen. But overall, things have gone fantastically. Abigail is great. I'm great. JB is great. The boys are great. My parents are great. And we hope to be great together back at the hotel sometime after lunch.

I have had trouble putting pictures on the blog, but you can click here to see most of what we have taken during the last two days. And of course, as I get more rest and our life finds a new normal, I'll be writing tons more about our new addition. THANK YOU for all the mesages and loved from around the world. Blessings everyone!

Abigail meets big bros

Saturday, July 16, 2011

More Abigail Details

This post is from Wendi. I am doing FANTASTIC. I cannot begin to put into words the difference between our first delivery (Elijah) and this delivery (Abigail.) Heck, this one even feels easier than having Isaac. (Bri may beg to differ.) Everything, including breastfeeding, is going wonderfully. Pain is well managed. Baby girl is quite content. Life is grand. More to come ... tomorrow. But here are a few quick details. She was 7 pounds 13 ounces. (Isaac was 7.5 and Elijah was 8.14). She was 21 3/4 inches (I think -- need to doublecheck this). My scarring looked "very good" which is good news for going back for our embryos. For more pictures pronto, visit: Link to Facebook Album.

Welcome Abigail Grace!

Abigail Grace
Born 16 July 2011 at 12:44 p.m.

Everything went fantastic, and my girls are doing great!
More to come soon.


Just a delay we pray

Still at home. Called at 7am and was told it may not be able to happen today. Cried a little. Called back at 8am. They still weren't sure. Labor and Delivery has had trouble finding the staff to do the section. They have the doctors but not the nurses. A call back at 8:30 indicates it is probably a go. As of right now, we are due in at 10:30 and have been told that while we may have to wait to get started due to other women delivering, it should happen today. Please pray that it does. Abigail may be a bit later, but we are still hoping and believing that it will be today. I know most of my world is asleep, but if you could please pray that we can do it today, I would greatly appreciate it.

As for now, I continue to fast food and water. So pray it isn't too long!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Saturday Prayers

I would like to start by praising the Lord that my husband is going to be at the delivery of his daughter. When I messed up our meeting point last night at the airport, JB's eyes were glossy and his face showing panic when we finally found each other nearly an hour later. In the car, he admitted to me that he thought I had gone into labor without him there. He admitted to me something he never said during the previous weeks apart. He admitted that he was so concerned about me going into labor without him being there.

"But you told me it would be okay if you missed it," I said.

And my wonderful husband admitted that he told me that because there was no point in me worrying about something we could not control. "If you did go into labor, I didn't want you feeling guilty," he explained. "So I pretended it didn't matter." But then he told me that it would have been a dissapointment greater than he was prepared to handle. He was so relieved when he found me at the airport. So relieved that this meant he would get to be there for Abigail's arrival.

And speaking of that arrival ..."

I went in for my pre-op appointment this morning. I am scheduled to return to the hospital early tomorrow/Saturday morning, with a scheduled arrival of baby before lunch.

What a difference going into this delivery with a scheduled c-section instead of an urgent/stat c-section after a day of labor and pushing for three hours produces in me and JB. We kept remarking how different and surreal this whole things feels

For one thing, I've received great encouragement from the doctors, anesthesiologists, and nurses, that all-around, things should go much better for us tomorrow than it did the first time around. I even got a Facebook message from some of the nurses who were by my side back in Eglin for Elijah's birth encouraging me not to fear. The Lord has really helped provide me with peace -- which is something that a month ago I was struggling to find.

In particular, would you pray the following things for me and Abigail tomorrow:

  • Abigail's health

  • My health

  • A perfectly smooth arrival

  • A very fast passport turnaround

We were so blessed when we stopped by the passport office today when the gal in charge volunteered to come in, on a Saturday, to make the sure we didn't lose any time on the paperwork. How wonderful!

The next time you hear from me, baby should be here!

Altogether again

After a very late flight (11:30pm arrival) and not being able to find each other at the airport for almost an hour (due to me breaking away from the plan based on my thinking I had come up with a better plan -- aaaah, life without cell phones), we are finally all back on Ramstein and together as a family.

Daddy brought new cars for the boys "prize" (he's such a softy) and we all just enjoyed snuggling in bed this morning together, celebrating the fact that our time apart has basically come to an end. I'm headed up to Labor & Delivery to do my pre-op "stuff." It will be about 10am tomorrow that we get to finally meet the fifth (sixth counting Scrubby) member of our family. She's almost here!

Speaking of Scrubby, many people have asked how he is doing. He is doing fabulously. He has handled us being away with flying colors. JB gets home at lunchtime to play with him every day and Linda has brought Bonnie over to play with him quite a few times to help us well. She and Shane also watched him early on in this adventure.

Dan and Angelica that have really helped us out during this stretch of time! They have been watching our big pile of spots nearly full-time while we are gone. What a blessing that has been. God always provides. They used to have a big dog and have enjoyed having a part-time one. Oh and on Tuesdays, he hangs out at the house with Hatice while she cleans.

Unfortunately, he has been fighting an ear infection for about two months now. JB takes him to the vet every time he comes back into town, but it is still lingering. The vet and the vet tech did tell us though that they have never met a big dog that handled the vet better than Scrubs! That was nice to hear.

We hope to get to pet "Scrubsy" (as Elijah calls him) very soon. We are in the home stretch! We will be putting a post up on the blog sometime after Abigail's arrival. We estimate the photos will be up sometime in early afternoon to early evening Germany time -- which would make it early morning in the USA. Stay tuned. :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Story time!

Papa reading stories to the boys before bed tonight. We went to the park this morning and the pool before dinner. So fantastic to have my parents here.

It needs my nitrogen

Yes, my husband has a blog. And yes, it is true. Most of the time I have no idea what on earth he is talking about in his blog. It's about permaculture. Which is an abstract thought in and of itself. It's about nature and outdoors and concepts that often go over my head.

But yesterday he wrote about our boys. Well, okay, he was writing about "free manure" but our boys factored in. Not the manure part. But the pee part.

Okay, anyways, here was the part about our boys which I thought was funny. You can read the entire post by clicking here.

This also reminds me of another thing ... My boys are little right now and are just getting potty trained. We can be outside playing and they will have to pee two or three times an hour sometimes. I have taught them that if we are in a natural setting, they can pee in the bushes or behind a tree. Our interaction goes something like this:

"Daddy, I need to go pee-pee!"

"Again? Right now?"



"I want to go pee-pee in the bushes (or on a tree)"

"Okay, which bush needs your nitrogen?"

(yes, :) I actually say that!)

They will look around and say "Hmmmm, I think this one is a good one." And then the nitrogen delivery is made. I love it. My boys love it. And I am pretty sure the plant enjoys it as well.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Here is a link to the obituary of Cheryl Esty. Please take the opportunity to post a message. Even if you didn't know Cheryl personally, I am sure the family would appreciate your prayers and love.

They are here!

So happy! Papa and Grama Di arrived early this morning. Since I couldn't fit both carseats in the car with luggage and grandparents, Isaac came with me and Elijah stayed with Veronica. We are so excited to have them here.

Of course, they arrived at 8am our time. This is 2am Florida time. So the grandparents spent the day trying to avoid falling asleep and fighting some pretty intense jet lag. I'm pretty sure my Dad fell asleep at least two times right in the middle of us having a conversation. Here are the boys trying to keep Papa awake:


I am so excited to have my second piece on the Hannah's Prayer Blog: Held* Please hop over and visit by clicking here. If you missed it, here is the link to the previous piece I had featured on their website. As most of you know, infertility and adoption are my passions, and I am so blessed to be a part of this ministry.

*Held is a blogging outreach of Hannah's Prayer Ministries* and is here to offer support and encouragement to families seeking peace through infertility, pregnancy/infant death or adoption loss, and to provide a resource for our extended families, friends, church communities and larger support networks. If you are a married Christian woman dealing with the heartache of any of these fertility challenges, we also invite you to join us on the Hannah's Prayer Community Forums.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

African Cats

Yesterday, Veronica and I took the boys to go and see African Cats . They definitely did not take to it as well as Cars I & II (the only other movies they have ever seen in a theatre), but theydid seem to enjoy the movie (especially with the help of some M&Ms when a bit of boredom was setting in.)

Veronica and I, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

Watching this movie reminded me of a video I saw on youtube a few years ago. It now has 62 million hits! It was shot in Krueger National Park in South Africa which is where JB and I went on a Safari back in 2007. (Click here for Part I and here for Part II of the animals we got to see while we were there.)

It's a long video but shows how when you work together, you can even defeat the mighty lion! Such a fantastic story!

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's true

Elijah atcually ate THREE of these sandwhiches the other day. They are already eating us out of house and home. Well, Elijah is anyhow.

P.S. I really do LOVE this product. It is perfect for when you are going to be out and are not sure if you will be home in time for lunch or where you can get lunch. Very convenient and simple. A little expensive (especially if one of your children eats 3/4 of the box in one sitting.)

Boys as of late

Elijah has been saying some mighty cute things lately. Two of my favorites recently are: "Silly Eee-yijah!" anytime he does something funny and, "That's delicious!" when he eats something he likes.

Yesterday I went into my room. The boys were jumping from my bed into the pack-n-play and climbing out and doing it again. Not exactly behavior I would condone, but we are a little out of our normal way of life. I asked them what they were doing. Isaac put a hand on his hip and said, "Mommy, I'm playing with my best friend Ewijah." Man! How do you say no to that?

In other news, we will have our last two swimming lessons this week. The boys have done well with it. They don't know how to swim yet, but they are very comfortable in the water and are doing well. They can both float on their backs and stomaches (with help) and will try most everything the teacher suggests. Neither of them want to put their heads under water, but they don't panic if they do. At one point, we practiced dropping a ring on the ground and the kids had to reach under the water to retrieve the ring. As we got deeper and deeper, Elijah figured out a way to slide the ring up his leg and into his hand to avoid the head dippage. Way cute!

Potty training has been completed and finalized while we have been here with Isaac deciding he can now produce #1 and #2 on the potty. How wonderful that I have two little ones completely done just in time to start changing more diapers. I had heard boys were so hard, but I got really lucky with these guys. I think God knew that three in diapers was more than I was bargaining for. Isaac had been afraid of the #2 on the potty and was waiting until he had a diaper on for his nap or bedtime before going. (This got a wee bit frustrating as I knew, as soon as I put ont he diaper, he'd go and I'd have to change him.) I came up witha plan. He does not like pull-ups. (I have no idea why.) So I told him that he was a big boy and he had to either wear underwear or pull-ups to sleep in. No more diapers. He got very upset and said, "I'll go poop on the potty." He then sat down and went! Just like that. And he's basically gone ever since.

We laugh that he is making up for lost time now. He is going all the time. In fact, between the two boys and the potty, I feel like wearing diapers would be easier somedays. Between the time I met Jenny at the pool the other day at 11am and the time we left the BX at 1:30, we had visited public bathrooms NINE times. (Thank goodness Veronica was with me to break up the monotony a bit.) At one point, I had both boys going #2 in the bathroom in the BX at the same time. They were in stalls across from each other, and I stood in the middle holding their underwear and shorts (since they don't want to leave those on AT ALL while they go.) It was very crowded, and I couldn't lock their doors so I kept having to tell people, "Sorry! There's a little boy in there." At Chili's later that night, we took four separate visits. That's a lot of public restrooms. Especially considering I'm visiting them more frequently as of late as well.

Oh and speaking of public restrooms, Elijah likes me to "Move" when he is doing his business. (In contrast to Isaac who requests, but I do not acquiesce, me sitting on the floor right next to him.) But I have learned, with Elijah especially, not to step too far away in the future. He got down at the pool and locked himself into the stall. When he couldn't figure out how to open it, I got a brilliant idea. I would send Isaac under the stall to help him get out. When I told this to JB later he said, "Why wouldn't you just send Elijah out under the stall door?" Ha! I didn't even think of that! Not to mention that fact that sending Isaac under could have left me with both boys stuck in the bathroom. Thank goodness Elijah eventually figured out how to turn the latch back into an open position.

Overall, the boys have done incredibly well here in Germany. It's true that kids are more resilient than we adults. They talk about our home in Turkey. Whether they understand or not, I don't know, but they know that we'll go back after Abigail is born. In the car the other day Elijah said all-of-a-sudden, "Mommy, I miss Scrubsy." So do I! We are excited to get home in a few weeks. I'm excited for them to return to their "normal" life and for me to do the same!

***I've updated my books and movies watch in Germany page. Check out the new inclusions by clicking here. (Recently added items are in red.)

And here is a fun video of the boys:

Sunday, July 10, 2011


How did we choose this little gal's name?

We were sure that we wanted to do a Bible name. But what Bible name to choose? There are a lot more choices for male Bible names. Female Bible names are slim-pickin'.

We had a few names that made our short list. One was Rebecca. But Rebecca and Isaac was a major love story in the Bible. That just seemed wrong to give Isaac's sister the name of his Biblical wife. So Rebecah was out.

Another favorte was Lydia, who, ironically, was the first Turkish convert under Paul. We thought that was quite appropriate and would be quite fitting. But in the end, we just couldn't fall in love with the name Lydia.

And then there was Abigail.

So why Abigail? Well, it was one of the only girl names we actually both liked and agreed upon. Secondly, the name Abigail means: "Father's Joy." We thought that was very fitting -- especially considering the fact that JB and I never thought we'd have one child. To have three, and now, to have a girl after our two boys, is a surprisemiracle/gift beyond our wildest imagination.

Thirdly, the story of Abigail comes from the Old Testament and was quite intriguing. Abigail was married to Nabal. As King David and his men were traveling in the area, they heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep. David sent ten young men to speak to Nabal requesting some sustenance.

The young men went to Nabal and spoke the words commanded by David, but Nabal’s response was quite rude.

Shocked by Nabal's response, David began making plans to attack Nabal. It was true that he and his men had watched out for Nabal’s shepherds, keeping them safe, and not allowing anyone to steal the sheep. Normally, sharing food with your protectors would be considered the right thing to do, even if you had not asked for their help.

A servant of Nabal quickly ran and told Abigail what had happened; she knew she must act quickly or all of them would be killed by morning. She quickly took a selection of gifts to meet David. When Abigail saw David and his men, she immediately got off her donkey, and fell on her face before David, and bowed down to the ground and begged David to accept her offering.

Abigail was truly a wise woman. By her quick actions and her humble spirit in speaking to David, she was able to avert tragedy for her household.

Nabal had no idea what had transpired, as he was holding a feast in his house, and was very drunk. In the morning, however, Abigail told Nabal all of the things she had done. A strange thing happened next; the Bible says that when Abigail told Nabal these things, his heart died within him, and he became like stone. About ten days later the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.

When David heard that Nabal had died, he rejoiced in the Lord that God had turned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head. He was so impressed by the beauty and wisdom of Abigail that he proposed to Abigail, to take her as his wife.

Abigail was married to a very wicked man, and yet her humility was very evident. She acted quickly to save her household from destruction, and then, when Nabal was sober, she told him everything she had done.

In the end, JB and I thought that the meaning of this name in combination with the strengh of character and woman Abigail was fit what we hope this little girl grows up to be. In addition, we really hoped we could find an Old Testament first name and New Testament last name as we had with the boys: Isaac John & Elijah Luke. Grace is not a name in the NT, but it is very present even if not technically a person. So that seemed to work well. We love the name Grace, and if we didn't have a niece who had already claimed it, we would have had it be her first name, even if it wasn't Old Testament.

While obviously a name is just a name, we think that our boys names really fit them. We know Abigail is a very popular name, but we decided that didn't matter. We wanted it to be our daughter's name. Isaac was the long promised son of Abraham and Sarah just as our Isaac was the son we waited so long for. In the Bible, Elijah symbolizes passion and there is no doub that our little Elijah embodies that name. We do hope to avoid calling her "Abby" for as long as she will allow it just as we have avoided shortening our boys' names. Obviously, some day, she may decide otherwise, but until then, we are in charge.

We can only hope that our Abigail lives up to her Biblical name.

A Welcome Diversion

God is so faithful. I was dreading Joan leaving. I was dreading the "dead days" inbetween her departure and the arrival of my parents next week. I was grieving how long we had to be away from JB. It felt like forever. I know it wasn't. I knew it would pass. But I wanted it to be in the past already. I've been in Germany nearly two months, and I'm so ready to go home.

I got word this past week that, most likely, I won't have a passport for Abigail in time to go home with JB and the boys at the end of July. That news stung. (And I'm still praying for a "miracle.")But good news abounded. First, they moved my c-section date up. This allowed JB to move his return to Germany up. Small blessings but big deal to me.

And then, another great treat. I have known Jenny W.L. for decades. Since she was a very small girl. Our connections run on many layers. She lived next to Joan and Roy in Palm Aire. I used to babysit for Jenny and her brother Daniel. Jenny's mom, Jan, worked with my Mom -- both of them employees for Roy at Doormark. Jenny attended Fort Lauderdale Christian School with me. Our families know each other well.

Jenny now lives with her husband Ryan and two daughters: Hannah (4) and Caroline (2), in Stuttgart, Germany -- about two hours from here. Her husband works for the military as a civilian contractor. They like to come to Ramstein every now and then to get a little taste of America. Weeks ago, we had tentatively set a date. Jenny wanted to know, as the date drew closer if it was too much for us to handle. The answer was a resounding, "No!" It was instead a welcome diversion to a weekend otherwise wide-open with missing Turkey and family and JB and America.

So Saturday afternoon, Jenny and the fam arrived on Base. We had a wonderful day! We started with a swim in the Ramstein pool. Then we went to lunch at the BX. We followed that with naps, a trip to the park, and dinner at Chili's. They then spent the night in our spacious TLF and are now on their way back to Stuttgart.

Even better was that her girls and my boys played WONDERFULLY together. Every time we got in our car and they in their van to go somewhere else, Elijah would ask, "Where are my friends?" Relatively next-to-no toddler squabbles. Just fun play. It was wonderful. It was good for the boys to have some other kids to play with. It was good for me to get to talk to some other adults. And it was just plain awesome to have our weekend zip by a little faster than it otherwise would have ... my last weekend with only two children.

Here are a few pictures from this great weekend:

Ryan is a very hands-on dad. He and JB would have gotten along great. Here he is reading a book to all four of our little tykes.

While we waited for our table to be ready at Chili's, a grassy field helped pass some time.

We made a tent with a blanket over the dining room table. They loved this and all played under here so well.

Here is an attempt at a snapshot of our dinner at Chili's. The only chaotic part of dinner was the fact that my boys had to go to the bathroom four times during the meal. (Veronica was back at home. She is under the weather.) This meant me doing multiple potty breaks. At least it was only four times. Between 9am and 11am during our pool/BX visit, there were NINE separate bathroom stops. Egads!

PLaying so well together with the Thomas train set.

The girls loved the big slides at Donnelly Park on Base.