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

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...

Did I Hear Him Right?!?!

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
"Did I hear him right or was it just wishful dreaming?" This is what I thought when Carter's Neurosurgeon told us we could come see him again in JUNE when we see all of his other Doctor's!!! Woo Hoo! A Break, a big long break!  It is exactly what Brandon and I have been praying for.  Sweet Carter needs it, and so do we.  I was so happy I could have skipped out of Johns Hopkins Hospital today, and well... maybe I did.

Carter's appointment went great.  His incision looks wonderful. I will need to continue to keep it covered for at least another 2 weeks.  Carter's walking has dramatically improved.  He had just started walking again by himself from his last surgery in March.  When he would take a step, he would not bend his knees and his legs looked extremely tight.  Since having his cord untethered, he is bending his knees and walking so much better.  Carter will need to have another MRI with sedation in about 3 months which we will do at home and send up here. Other than the MRI, Carter SHOULD have no other medical procedures until June.  Ecstatic is and understatement!

Thank you all SO much for all of the prayers for not only Carter, but our entire family.  Please continue to pray.  Pray for Carter's incision to continue to heal and for him to remain infection free.  Pray for Carter's legs as they continue to build strength and for his body as it continues to heal.  Your prayers, text, messages and phone calls are truly what has gotten us through this year.  We would not be where we are today without them.  Thank you! As always... To God be the Glory!!!

One of Carter's favorite things to do while in Baltimore is ride around the Inner Harbor in his stroller and look at everything.  Yesterday, we took him for a stroll, and he loved every minute of it!
Look Birds!

Watching the airplanes...

Great Things He has Done...

Whew! What a relief! Carter's surgery went great.  His incision is smaller than what was expected.  He has already started wiggling both of his legs and feet.  He will need to remain flat for the next 48 hours, but he can lay on his back, his stomach or his sides.  He just has to stay flat.  The reason he has to stay flat is to maintain his spinal fluid and to allow his incision to heal.  After he lays flat for 48 hours we will work on getting him up out of bed and pain control.  Depending on how he does, depends on how long he will have to stay in the hospital.  We do not expect to be here any longer than 7 days.  We are praying he will continue to do exceptionally well and we will be home sooner than 7 days.

Watching Carter go through hospital stays will never get easier, although everything about this hospitalization has been close to wonderful.  The PICU was full so instead of canceling Carter's surgery they placed him on Intermediate Care Service. Which basically means he is on a regular monitored floor, but his nurse only has one patient.  It was such a God thing.  Just thinking about having to go back through the PICU doors made Brandon and I both sick.  Another thing we were dreading was the wait time from the time he would get out of surgery until the time the PICU had him stable enough for us to see him.  Since he did not have to go to the PICU, we were immediately able to see him after surgery and we were able to be by his side when he woke up.  I know it is just a small thing, but it made all three of us feel so much better!

There really is no sweeter name than the name of Jesus.  I am not sure why but his presence is so much more evident when we are in the hospital.  Each hospitalization makes us realize just how blessed we are.  Just how blessed we are to have been chosen to be Carter's parents.  He has held us up when our legs have not been able to.  He has held our eyes open when we no longer could.  He has given us strength through the unimaginable.  He has given Carter the soul of a fighter.  He has been by Carter's side this entire time and we give Him all of the Glory!  Please continue for Carter. Pray that he will tolerate laying flat for the next 48 hours.  For his pain to stay managed and for complete healing.  We are excited to see what God has in store for Carter's future.  Great things He has done!  To God be the Glory!!! 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18

Carter's Second Spinal Surgery...

Carter has been doing absolutely wonderful the past few weeks!!! He has been out and about more than ever and has loved every minute of it.  He is COMPLETELY off all of his pain and sedation medications, and he even took a few steps without his walker yesterday!  We are SO proud of him.  We honestly had no idea if he would be able to walk without his walker again.  He is very determined and we serve a mighty God!  His legs are still weak and he still has a long way to go, but each step is a step in the right direction.  God's glory has taken over our lives, especially in the past few weeks. It has been so nice for all of us to be home and get back into a somewhat normal routine.  

Unfortunately, we will be returning to Baltimore, Monday.  Carter will be having spinal surgery on Wednesday.  This will be his second spinal surgery.  We should only be at Johns Hopkins Hospital for a week.  Carter will have to go to the PICU for a few days after surgery and he will need to lay on his stomach for a few days.  He will have a 6-8 week recovery at home from the surgery.  This will be Carter's second spinal surgery.  The first spinal surgery was performed when Carter was 6 months old.  He had to have a lot of "work" done then, and the surgery was extremely painful for him.  We are praying since he will not need to have as much work done this time, it will not be as painful.  Especially since we finally have him off of all of the pain and sedation medications from his last surgery in March.  

This surgery should only consist of untethering Carter's spinal cord.  We are praying for a successful and uncomplicated spinal surgery.  With any spinal surgery there is a chance of nerve damage, which could prevent Carter from walking again.  Although, if Carter did not have the surgery, over time he would for sure have nerve damage that would prevent him from walking and could even cause neurological damage.  We have a lot of faith that God will guide Carter's surgeons hands and even if the outcome is not what we want, we will continue to give God all of the praise.  We know that God has a huge purpose for Carter's life.  We are just fortunate enough to be part of it!  Thank you SO much for all of your prayers for our family.  We honestly appreciate each and every one of them!!! As always... To God be the Glory!!!

Carter's first High School Football Game...
 Carter had his first "boy" accident. He feel at the park trying to run with his walker.  He didn't stay down long!
 He has done A LOT of climbing!!!
A LOT of singing and dancing...

 I said A LOT :)...

I do not think I have ever been so happy for him to pull out every toy he owns...
A little playing in the fountain...
A LOT of playing at the park...

A few picnics in the backyard with ALOT of singing...
A TON of walking around the driveway...

Most of all Carter took his first steps since his last surgery in March! 
Lord we are AMAZED by you...

Oh Lord we are AMAZED by you...