I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

One year...

Today marks one year to the day that Carter had the first stage of his "big" surgery at Johns Hopkins.  Little did we know the journey we were about to encounter.  I figured I would write this post the way I intend to tell Carter one day.

To my sweet Carter,
Today is a BIG day for you.  Today marks one year since your “big” surgery at Johns Hopkins.  You have had lots and lots of surgeries, but this was the biggest one yet.  This is the surgery that your pelvis was broken and your bladder put back inside your body.  You had to lay flat on you back and not move anything below your waist for 8 weeks.  You then were put into a cast that went from you toes to your hips. You ended up having two cast like this and had them on the entire summer. You went through 3 very long and intense surgeries. You spent months in the hospital.  You went through so much.  There was a point your Daddy and I were not sure whether you were going to be coming home with us or going home with Jesus.  We hated having to watch you in so much pain.  I promise you that we would not have put you through any of it if we did not know that it would save your life.  Your life here on earth that is.  Carter you were so strong and brave.  I know that both your Daddy and I ask God daily to give us your pain.  We asked Him to take the burden from you and to give it to us.  We would give anything, Carter, to take all of this from you, but God has a bigger plan.  He knows exactly what he is doing.  God made you so strong, stronger than anyone I know. 

 As I look at you today, I am reminded of the day in the hospital last year that I prayed for God to give me a glimpse of what things would look like in a year.  We were so uncertain of so many things.  I just wanted a small glimpse.  God did not grant me that glimpse, but he did tell me things would be ok.  He calmed all of our fears and pulled us closer to Him than we have ever been.  The days that your pain was so unbearable you would shake uncontrollably, God was there.  He was there watching over you.  He knew how strong He made your body and how much pain you could stand.  He was the only one that knew you would be running and jumping today. 
Carter, you are doing absolutely wonderful right now.  You are healthier than you have ever been.  You are so happy and you love life.  Most people that see you today have no clue of what you have been through.  You have more battle wounds and scars than anyone I know and yet, you wake up each morning with a smile on your face.  God has truly blessed you, Carter.  There is nothing in this world that can hold you back.   You did it sweet boy!  You made it through one of the toughest surgeries here on earth!  He did it!  To God be the Glory!!!

A glimpse back this time last year...

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.  He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.  Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.  Psalm 107:28-30
 The past few months...


To GOD be the glory!!!

Making History at Johns Hopkins Hospital

Sweet Carter will now be part of history at Johns Hopkins Childrens Hospital. Born with one of the most severe birth defects still compatible with life he was the 100th Cloacal Exstrophy closure at Johns Hopkins Childrens Hospital. Isn't our God awesome?! To Him be the Glory!!!

To view the article/video visit or from a cell phone

Carter's Story...

This past year, during the mist of all of Carter's surgeries, we had the honor to share Carter's story with Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Although this is Carter's story, we want it to be about something bigger.  We did not share it for Carter.  We shared it to bring more awareness to children with Carter's condition.  In hopes to bring more research and a better quality of life to children like Carter.  With Carter's condition being one of the most severe birth defects still compatible with life, it is a miracle that he is even here.  God has truly blessed Carter.  We hope this video helps you better understand Cloacal Exstrophy.  As always... To God be the Glory!!!

Carter's First Week at The Little Light House...

There are times in life when you just know you are doing something right.  Carter going to the Little Light House is one of those things.  It is the right place for him.  Mississippi is absolutely blessed to have such a wonderful school.  We are blessed Carter is allowed to attend The Little Light House.  He started this past Monday.   He will usually attend 8:30-1:15 Monday - Thursday.  Due to illness he only attended Monday through Wednesday.  Poor Carter was diagnosed with the flu today.  The few days that Carter was able to attend he seemed to do ok.  The first day was a little tough for all of us, but in the end I think he had a great time.  Hopefully, Carter will be well enough to start back next Monday. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and continued prayers for our sweet Carter.  Without them I do not think I would be writing a post about his first day of school!  As always... To God be the Glory!!!
Our sweet boy on his first day of school...
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Our Family 2013

This has not been an easy year, but it has been a year full of blessings.  We wanted to thank everyone for praying for us and supporting us this year.  Enjoy this video of Carter and our family from this past year.  We pray you have a blessed New Year! To God be the Glory!

Merry Christmas..

Merry Christmas!  I can not believe it is already Christmas!  Carter continues to do absolutely wonderful.  We are SO happy to be home for the holidays.  This year was an extremely hard year for our entire family although I have to say that I have never felt closer to God.  Every hospital stay brought us closer to Him and his Grace.  

Have you ever sat down and thought about the night Jesus was born?  I mean really sat down and thought about it.  You have Mary, a virgin about to give birth to a King.  You have Joseph, her husband, who is not the Father of this child searching for a place for them to stay the night.  Did I mention that they had to get up and leave their home, knowing she would soon be giving birth?  She is about to give birth to a King and yet no one has room for her. Reading the night that Jesus was born is like watching a scary movie.  I find myself wanting to shout at the people for turning them away.  "What do you mean there is no room?  Jesus is about to be born!  Jesus our Saviour who was sent from Heaven!  He is about to be born and you do not have room?! Hello!  Stop what you are doing I promise you will not see anything as amazing as what is about to happen!"  Could you imagine turning them away and getting to heaven to find out what you missed out on? I couldn't!  

Have you ever felt God calling you do to something you were not sure you really wanted to do?  Well both Brandon and I have.  For the past several years we have felt God calling us to adopt a child.  We have both given him many excuses of reasons why we could not do it.  I think most of you reading this can completely understand when I say we have been too busy to adopt!  Or maybe it's that WE think we are too busy to adopt.  It has been just like Mary and Joseph knocking on the door asking if there was room to for them in the Inn.  God is knocking on our hearts asking if we have room for an orphan.  Do we say no and keep living the happy life we are living or do we say yes and watch his blessings unfold?  Can you imagine if there would have been room for Mary and Joseph in the Inn?  Can you truly imagine what the people in the Inn would have been able to witness?  Can you imagine how they felt when they were told what they had missed out on?  I do not want to miss out on anything!  We are put on this earth to serve.  Although, I am far far far from perfect and I fall short of God's glory every day, I want to live out the plan God has for me and my family. I want to be his servant the best way I can.  So, if he is calling us to adopt, it is what we will do!  Brandon and I have already picked an adoption agency and started the home study process.  We hope to be done with our home study in February.  We will then just wait for the call!  We are leaving gender, race and the timing up to God.  We know He will place the child he has created for us in our home.  

I would be lying if I said that both of us are not a little (EXTREMELY) scared.  Just like Carter's journey this is a journey that neither one of us planned to be going down.  But, just like Carter's journey this is a journey that we will keep our faith and trust in God through.  I know he has big plans in store for our family and we honestly can not wait to watch them unfold!  We are extremely excited.  So. to anyone that may be hearing a "knock" from God, just think you could be the person turning away or accepting Mary and Joseph to come into the Inn. Do you have room? It is your choice! Merry Christmas from our soon to be growing family!!! As always... To Him be the Glory!

Merry Christmas!

Update and The Little Light House...

It has been a while since my last post.  I apologize for not updating.  We have honestly been just enjoying being at home.  Since my last post, Carter had his cast removed and advanced to a brace.  We were able to remove the brace the day after Thanksgiving and Carter has been on the move since.  His leg is completely healed!  We will see his Orthopedic Doctor again in 6 months for another x-ray.  Carter is healthier right now than he has ever been!  He is absolutely precious and he LOVES life.  He laughs and giggles nearly all day!

We received some BIG and EXCITING news this past Friday.  After a long wait on the waiting list, Carter will be attending The Little Light House in January.  If you have never heard of The Little Light House or just want to check it out, their website is The Little Light House.  The Little Light House will provide Carter with physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and will work on getting him to eat more.  The Little Light House is more than just a developmental school, it is a wonderful ministry.  We are SO excited and can not wait to watch Carter thrive.  He starts January 7th and will attend from 8:30 - 1:30 Monday thru Thursday.  It is going to be a huge transition for both of us, but I know it is for his own good.  He has such a big personality and absolutely loves other kids, I know he will really enjoy it.

God has truly blessed our family.  His timing is always perfect.  If The Little Light House would have had a spot open 6 months ago Carter would not have been healthy enough to go and may have missed out on the opportunity all together.  Carter continues to amaze us with his bright personality and his love of life.  Nearly every time we meet someone new, they mention how happy and bright his personality is.  He has been through more than most of us will ever go through, and yet, he still wakes up with a smile on his face everyday.  Carter's personality has really started shining through and I have to say he is extremely silly.  He loves to make everyone laugh.

Thank you for all of your prayers and continued prayers for our sweet Carter.  Please keep them coming!  Pray that Carter's health continues to improve and for the transition we are all about to encounter.  As always... To Him be the Glory!!!

Riding a horse at his friend Garon's Birthday party!
In Canton, MS looking at Christmas lights!  He as on the move the entire time, so most of my pictures are blurry!
Climbing under the Christmas displays! :)  I said he was ALL little boy!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Captain Carter!  

Due to rain, Carter went Trick or Treating on the 30th.  He was a pirate with a peg leg.  I made his wagon into a pirate ship and he absolutely LOVED it!  Today Carter had a follow up appointment with his Orthopedic Doctor.  He has to wear his cast for 2 more weeks and then we will switch to a brace!  We are extremely happy.  It was absolutely wonderful to get to see Carter have so much fun Trick or Treating!  God has truly blessed us!  To Him be the Glory!!!

Here are Carter's costumes over the past few years.  It is crazy how much he has grown!!!

Our little bitty Cowboy.  We bought the costume at Build A Bear workshop!

Our sweet puppy dog!

Last year's Bob the Tomato!

Can't Catch A "Break"

Whew! Now that we are somewhat caught up on sleep, I will update on our adventurous past few days.  Things had been going great since my last update.  We were able to take Carter to the fair here in Jackson and to Mitchell Farms.  He ran, played, laughed and truly had a wonderful time.  Things had been going absolutely wonderful.  That was until Monday night. Carter walked across our living room and like most 3 year olds he tripped over his foot and fell down.  He hit his knee first and it immediately became extremely swollen.  He would scream every time I sat him down on his bottom or tried to stand him up.  I knew something was not right.  We were told after his "big" surgery in March that he was at risk for fractures and dislocation of his hip and knee joints, due to how atrophied (weak and loss of muscle) his legs had become. With this in mind we headed to the Blair E. Batson Emergency Room.  When we arrived it was packed!  Thankfully, they looked at Carter and realized they needed to get him to the back.  A few hours later X-rays confirmed that he had fractured his femur.  We were admitted to the hospital and Carter went to surgery only a few hours later.  His femur was reset and put into a cast.  Thankfully, we only had to stay in the hospital one night. 

We hoped that we would be told that this was just a little boy accident and Carter hit his leg just the right way to break it.  Unfortunately, we were reminded of how all of Carter's medical conditions have taken a toll on his body.  Carter has Osteoporosis in his legs and pelvis.  It is due to all of his nutrition going to keeping him alive instead of his bones.  He will continue to be at risk for fractures and joint dislocations until his body can catch up.  Carter is basically an active 3 year old trapped in an elderly body.  We are praying that his leg will heal correctly and in a timely manner.  We know his cast will need to remain on for at least the next 6 weeks and then he will have to wear a brace.  The best treatment for Carter's leg and for the osteoporosis is Vitamin D, Calcium and for him to bare weight on his legs.  This is going to be a bit tricky.  He needs to walk to heal everything, but he is still at high risk for breaking more bones.  We are just going to pray really hard he will not break anything else!  

This was not something we were expecting to happen, but we know that God has a perfect plan.  We are extremely thankful that his Orthopedic Doctor here in Jackson will be able to communicate with his Orthopedic Doctor at Johns Hopkins to come up with the best plan for Carter.  We will return to the hospital Wednesday to make sure his bone is healing.  Please continue to pray for Carter.  Pray for his leg to heal correctly and in a timely manner.  Pray he does not break any more bones and for his nutrition to be able to catch up.  Thank you for all of your prayers and continued prayers for our sweet Carter.  We honestly could not make it without them!  As always... To Him be the Glory!!!
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Romans 12:12

Having a GREAT time at Mitchell Farms...
 Picking out a "ball" :)...

That's a BREAK!!!

Keeping him occupied...