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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Another Piece of the Seizure Puzzle and Some Good News.....

Last Saturday we were exposed to Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease.  It's relatively mild and is similar to chicken pox in that it causes bumps (though only on the hands, feet, and in the mouth) and is something you only get once in your life.  It starts with a fever and then a day or two later, bumps appear on the hands, feet, and mouth.  It occurs mostly in children 10 and under, and mostly in the summer and in the fall.  Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rash with very small blisters on hands, feet, and diaper area; may be tender or painful if pressed
  • Sore throat
  • Ulcers in the throat (including tonsils), mouth, and tongue
Both of my kids had all of the above symptoms.

When Madi seizured, she hadn't had a fever, however, during and after she had a low-grade fever of 101.  I noticed yesterday, when they were taking out her IVs so we could go home, that she had spots on the bottom of her feet.  Today she also has them in her mouth and in her diaper area.  Conner has spots on his hands, feet, and mouth as well.  It's not something you treat but just let it run it's course. 

Come to find out, the two possible complications are dehydration and febrile seizures (  Since Madi was developing a UTI, had just had the MMR vaccine, and was coming down with hand-foot-and-mouth disease, that very well could explain why she had a seizure.  Apparently she is already prone to them, and adding in all of those factors is just kinda like the perfect storm.  Although it stinks, if that is the reason she had the seizure, she most likely will not get them again, or at least not that often (unless we have more perfect storms ;)), which would be really nice.

Please join us in praying that the seizure was caused from all of the above factors and that seizing is now long behind us. 

In good news....

I got about 12 hours of sleep last night!  Ok, ok, that's not really our good news, but it was good news to me.  They aren't too great at letting moms sleep in the hospital, because they feel the need to ask you the same questions over and over and over again, so I was very thankful that I got good sleep last night.  We do have some AMAZING news, though!

 That means we are officially pre-approved in India!!  YEAH!!  I hadn't blogged about this yet, but they had said that the verbage in the homestudy didn't match her paperwork (basically we use different terms for the same form of spina bifida) and they were saying our homestudy needed to be revised.  Our adoption agency e-mailed them, though, saying how it actually did match, and we weren't sure if they would accept the e-mail, or make us revise the paperwork.  Thank God, they accepted it so nothing was delayed!!  Here's the rest of the timeline we are still looking at:

5.  We notify Vathsalya that you received your Article 5 so they can move your dossier through the local authorities to review and send to CARA. At the same time the embassy will forward your Article 5 to CARA. When CARA has both, they will issue your NOC (no objection certificate): takes about one month

6. The court process can begin; Vathsalya and their lawyers handle it from here. Typically there are three court proceedings which occur over a span of about 3-6 months. At the end you’ll get your guardianship court order.

7. Then the orphanage will obtain a passport application appointment and apply for Ramya’s passport: about a month

8. We wait for the passport: about two months

9. Once the passport is received, you can move forward with travel plans to pick her up!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Back in the Hospital

Well, yesterday sure didn't turn out like I thought it would.  I had put Madi down for a nap and was making some calls.  I turned on the baby monitor and shortly after I heard Madi on it.  I thought she had started waking up so I went in to lay by her and put her back to sleep.  She kept fussing and I noticed she was jerking funny and her eyes were making funny movements.  That's when it clicked that she was having a seizure.  I called 911, who transferred me to a different unit.  They dispatched the paramedics and stayed on the line with me.  I was holding Madi against me in my arms and she just kept seizing, and then she threw up on me.  I had her sideways in my arms, so she didn't choke luckily, but I felt so bad for her.

Apparently the paramedics got lost or something, so it took them 17 minutes to get to us.  Poor Madi was seizing the entire time, and continued to until they gave her a shot that stopped it.  That 20 minutes was probably the longest 20 minutes of my entire life.  I did the only thing I could, I tried to keep myself together, held her and talked to her, and wiped her down with a wet washcloth.  After they got Madi stable, they loaded us in the ambulance and headed for Phoenix Children's Hospital.  She slept most of the way, then woke up a bit confused. 

The first thing they checked was her shunt, since shunt failure can cause seizures.  The cat scan and shunt series all came back normal.  After that they checked her blood and her urine.  Her urine came back that she had a yucky UTI (though she wasn't presenting with a fever or smelly urine, or any indication yet.  We did, though, have a hard time getting her prophylactic antibiotics filled (long story) so she was without antibiotics for a couple days over the weekend).  They were trying to figure out what could have caused the seizure, and such a long one at that, so I let them know Madi had the MMR vaccination on Monday (for India travel).  It was her first MMR shot, so I was worried it may be that.  I was expecting them to say it couldn't be, but so far everyone has agreed that the vaccine could be the cause.  It could also be, though, that a combo of the of the vaccination, the UTI, etc.... could have all worked together to contribute to it.  The admitted us and scheduled an EEG for the morning.  They also started Madi on a stronger antibiotic.  It took a while to get a room and get settled, and of course they bugged us all night, but it was nice to be out of the ER! 

This morning when we got up they took us down for the EEG.  It's now 3:00 and I'm just hearing back on the news from that.  Basically, Madi has some abnormalities in her brain, AKA, some misfirings.  They still really don't know what caused the seizure, but it seems like she does have an underlying tendency towards seizures, so that may have complicated things.  They said she could never have another one again, or she could have one every few years, or it could be something that starts happening often and that we will need to be seen and monitored for.  At this point, no one really knows.  She also developed a fever after the seizure, but didn't have one before, and now it's back up. Her heart rate is still up, though, so they are watching that to see what happens with that. 

Earlier they were saying they were keeping us overnight, but now they are saying that they might be letting us go home.  They are sending us home with something to treat the UTI and also something for me to give her rectally to stop the seizures if she is having them and they are lasting longer than 5 minutes. 

So, that's that.  Not fun, but it's life, and we all made it out safely, thank God.  A big "thank you" to everyone who has been praying for us and letting us know you are here and care.  It means a lot!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

To All Our Prayer Warriers...

A very speciall little girl, Adelaide, and her family, Tony, Jill, and Lucy, need your prayers.  Adelaide is four months old and went in yesterday to have some holes in her heart repaired.  Today she is having some difficulty with recovery and has turned blue and stopped breathing a few times, and they aren't sure why.  Please join us in lifting Adelaide up in prayer.  We know God is always listening!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An Amazing Blessing in the Mail Today

A while back I got a message from my friend saying that she and her hubby liked to donate part of their tax returns in more creative ways.  This year they had decided to donate towards our adoption and another family that they are close with that are adopting.  We were SO excited!  They didn't tell us how much to expect, but we were so thankful for their thoughtfulness, generosity, love, and support.  Well, the check came today and...
(drum roll please)

... it was for $650!!  Ahhhhhhh!  We couldn't be more taken-back and excited!  We are so very, very thankful!  It feels amazing to be so close to our goal.  What a huge blessing!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Come Rejoice With Us!

First, take a quick look at our adoption meter.  Yes, that's right, we are ALMOST FULLY FUNDED!!  This year we got an amazing tax refund and we were able to put it towards the adoption!  We are so excited!  We have two last big fundraisers coming up, and those should be the last ones we need to do!  Praise God!! 

Our garage sale is April 20th and 21st and we have been blessed with many wonderful donations to sell.  We also have a Peter Piper Pizza fundraising event coming up.  With those two fundraisers, we hope to be completely funded. 

Rejoice with us!

Monday, March 12, 2012

You Are Loved

Conner found this to send to Ramya when we are able to send her gifts, and I just love it.  Ramya, just know, that you are loved!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Recap of Fees Paid, an Estimate of Fees to Come, and an Updated Timeline

Here are the fees we have paid so far in our adoption process:
  • Oasis homestudy application fee- $75
  • Fingerprints (getting them taken)- $35
  • Fingerprints (court fees to process)- $62
  • Adoption Learning Partners adoption videos- $149
  • Dr. Luberto- Physicals- $65
  • Oasis homestudy fee- $1,250
  • Birth certificate copies x 3 (Conner, Madi, and Jamie)- $60
  • Apostles- $36
  • Apostles (yes more ;))- $69
  • Apostles- $6
  • David's birth certificate copy- $15
  • Apostle- $2
  • Department of Homeland Security (i-800a)- $890
  • Apostle- $6
  • WACAP (application fees, agency fees, international processing fees, file maintenance fees, and post placement report transmittal fees)- $16,800
Total paid (there are probably a few more minor charges, but you get the point ;)) thus far: $19,520

Upcoming fees (these are based on Jessica's estimate from WACAP and talking with Oasis):

  • Ramya’s US entry visa fee: $404 paid to US embassy in India
  • Ramya’s visa medical visit fee: typically around $150 paid to MaxMedcenter in India
  • Flights: typically $1,800-$3,000 per person for roundtrip airfare (2,000 x 4 =  $8,000 + 1,000 for Ramya's return trip = $9,000)
  • Lodging, ground transportation, and meals in India: typically $600-$1,200 per person (we are hoping to use timeshare weeks that my aunt and uncle are letting us use, so for now we are not including lodging, $1,500)
  • Post placement services: depends on Oasis’s fees, but typically $300-$600 per report plus mileage for usually two required reports paid to Oasis ($960)
  • US finalization: typically $100-$1,800 depending on your state’s requirements and adoption attorney fees if needed ($250)
  • Misc. fees for passports, court fees in India, etc.... $300
Estimated total: $12,564 (unless we end up needing a hotel)

The good news is that we should be getting a good tax refund, have our fundraiser garage sale coming up (and are getting LOTS of good goodies for it!!), and still have more bracelets to sell.  Oh, and we will be doing a fundraiser at Peter Piper Pizza as well (info to come soon).  Hopefully once that is all said and done, we will be VERY close to our goal!!  YEAH!

I will be updating our "money needed" to reflect our specific current needs.

As for an updated timeline on when we should be able to get her home, here is the remaining process/time estimations:

  • USCIS will send your file to the US embassy in Delhi: takes about 2 weeks
  • The embassy will send you an email asking for your DS230. When you receive this, forward it to me and I will reply to them for you: takes about a week to get the email and I can reply the same day
  • The embassy will issue your Article 5 as their approval for you to move forward: takes about 2 weeks after I reply to the email
  • We notify Vathsalya that you received your Article 5 so they can move your dossier through the local authorities to review and send to CARA. At the same time the embassy will forward your Article 5 to CARA. When CARA has both, they will issue your NOC (no objection certificate): takes about one month
  • The court process can begin; Vathsalya and their lawyers handle it from here. Typically there are three court proceedings which occur over a span of about 3-6 months. At the end you’ll get your guardianship court order.
  • Then the orphanage will obtain a passport application appointment and apply for Ramya’s passport: about a month
  • We wait for the passport: about two months
  • Once the passport is received, you can move forward with travel plans to pick her up!

So that's that!  For now, please be praying for God's protection for Ramya and for our paperwork to move through India much faster than expected.  Thank you for all of your prayers and support!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Check Out How You Can Help Us G.L.O.W (Adoption Fundraiser)

Grow Love for Orphans Worldwide

Our AMAZING friend Kimberly and her family donated 200 of these bracelets to us to sell as a fundraiser to bring Ramya home from India.  Aren't they awesome!?!? 

They are made in the USA, high quality, and most importantly, they glow in the dark!

We are called to love and care for the orphans of the world; God's children. 

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
- James 1:27

Some people choose to adopt domestically, some internationally.  Some choose to donate to help support others adoption, some choose to support organizations that care for children.  It's not about how you choose to help, nor where you are called to help, but instead, it's about doing what God leads you to do... whatever and wherever that may be.  God has lead us to bring home Ramya, but we need your help!  You can G.L.O.W and help us bring Ramya simply by purchasing one of our bracelets. 

We are selling these for any donation to our adoption fund (with a minimum suggested donation of $5 each).  Shipping for two costs about $0.60.  Please consider sharing our fundraiser with your family, friends, coworkers, and Church congregation.

If we can sell each bracelet for $5, after the cost of shipping, we can earn over $800 for our adoption!!!!!!

All the bracelets are size medium, 7.5 inches.  Here is how it looks on Conner...

And on me...

And on David...

To order, please e-mail me at and include your name, the quantity you would like, your address, and how you would like to pay (check, paypal, cash, etc...).


Thank you to all of our friends and family who helped us with our fundraiser!!
  • Carolyn (1)
  • Kimberly (2)
  • Frank and Nanette (4)
  • Sarah (1)
  • Grandma and Grandpa V (2)
  • Kathy (aka mom and grams) (20)
  • Leslie (2)
  • Evelyn (2)
  • Danette (1)
  • Me and David (2)
  • Jimmy (1)
  • My Mom (1)
  • Church Members (20)
  • David (1)
  • Sue (8)
  • Anna (4)
  • Nicole (2)
  • Fundraiser Party (30)- Total unknown so far!

Total Raised: $596.40
Bracelets Sold: 104

And there's more, but I lost count with what went to Church :)

What a Nice Surprise and on the Perfect Day!!

Look what came in the mail today, just in time for Ramya's birthday...

That, my friends, is our i-800 provisional approval!  A i-800 is...

To determine the child's eligibility for classification as a Convention adoptee. The petition is filed by the U.S. Citizen prospective adoptive parent to finalize the immigration process of a child who habitually resides in a Convention country.

... and basically it means that our paperwork can start getting processed in India!  YEAH!  We still have a long road ahead of us (possibly 8 months to 12 months), but we are getting closer!!

Dear Ramya,


Today is a day of mixed emotions for me, and I am sure it is for you too.  One one hand, I am so thankful that this will be your last birthday without knowing your family (or at least, I pray it is!!!).  On the other hand, I am sad that you are celebrating without us.  I wish that we could be there, or at least send you a gift.  I hope that they are celebrating you today and the amazing little girl that you are.  I hope that they are letting you know how very loved you are.  In honor of your birthday, we are going to the store to buy books to donate to the orphanage in your name.  We will work on getting them translated to the language they speak at your orphanage, though I know that they also speak English to you there a bit.  We plan to bring them with us when we come to bring you home.  We hope that you have a special birthday and we pray that you will be celebrating the next one at home with us.  Five years without a family is five years too long, but we are doing everything to make sure this is your last year alone.  We love you VERY much and cannot wait to bring you home!!


Mommy, Daddy, Conner, and Madi

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Our Latest Purchase For Madi

We had gotten Madi a potty seat so we can cath her on the potty...

... but needed handles so that she could stabilize herself.  Today we bought her these...

... in hopes that it will help.  We will keep you updated!!!
Thank you again to everyone who purchase through Madi's Amazon link.  It helps us buy all of the "extras" that insurance won't cover, and we really appreciate you!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

A change in the fundraising amount we need!

(It's a good change!!)

When we first estimated our adoption fees, we were told by WACAP, our adoption agency, that we would need a lawyer in the US. In India adoption is not finalized when you leave like it is most Countries, so there is usually more work involved in the adoption.  When you adopt from India, you leave with the child in your guardianship and on a travel visa, versus leaving with them adopted.  Anyhow, after talking with Oasis, our homestudy agency, as well as a few local moms who have adopted internationally, it turns out we shouldn't need a lawyer!  This will save us a big chunk of the remaining  money that we thought we would need!!!  So, for now, I am taking that off of our goal, and I am really hoping it can stay off.  YEAH for being one step closer!!!  I am going to go through all the money we should need to be finished saving, and will post a more detailed update soon :)