Friday, January 15, 2010

Day Fourteen, Gift Fourteen

I am two weeks into my challenge and I've had one of the most emotional and miraculous days of my life.  I'm quite emotional still although I've had several hours to process the events of the day.  It is 1 am and still I am unable to sleep as I am choked up by the amazing experiences of this one fourteen.  I will try to express to you in writing what I experienced, although I don't know if I have the words to adequate paint the portrait that I saw.

I started out the morning with low energy and as I wrote my blog I really started to wonder if readers were losing interest.  The hits have been quite a bit lower, however, I have the subscription service now and that makes it so people get the posts without showing a "hit". I wondered if my mom, my biggest fan was the only one left reading out there but figured the whole process has been so theraputic that it really didn't matter either way and did my posting.

I continued about my day and was experiencing several withdrawl symptoms...fatigue and headaches especially.  I know I'm suppose to do my PT three times a day for at least thirty minutes but I became overwhelmed just taking a shower.  I had the house to myself for a couple of hours and just sighed at the clutter of toys that had overtaken the whole downstairs.  Overall, just feeling a little down.  I tried to think about some of the positive changes that have happened in the past two weeks...

  • I have gone from sleeping approximately 20 hours per day to about 12.
  • I have gone from complete bed rest to exercising about one hour per day.
  • I feel a positive energy that is completely building up by the minute and bringing me closer to God and my family.
    • I have been able to take back over the duties of the household finances and grocery shopping.
      • I have been able to come off of two medications.
        • I am coming to grips with the worst case scenario of my diagnosis and preparing for that while simultaniously keeping all hope that God will provide miracles.
          • My friend whose husband lost his job...her sister got a job that I sent the very next day...we worked on her budget for two hours Wed night and I was able to help her find enough money to be OK without his income!
            • I also helped a friend switch her major at college to a degree that would pay three times as much but not take any more time to graduate!
              • I've gone from being house bound to getting out for my appointments and sometimes getting out just to give my gift.
                • I have made new friends and met new people through this blog.
                  • I have even put on make-up a few days.
                    • I have lost some weight.
                      • I feel completely and totally that I am doing everything I am suppose to right at this moment in time, that I am good enough and I am proud of myself...which has never happened before, sadly, my perfectionism has always got in the way of me feeling like what I am doing is good enough.
                        • My mom jumped on board and started the challenge with me on Day One and it's only brought us closer...which I didn't think was even possible!
                          • I am so thankful, happy, overwhelmed with the kindness still in this world even though the last few months could have put me in a state of severe depression and hopelessness.
                            Thank you Lord for giving me these 15 gifts over the past two weeks.

                            I got a call mid morning from one of my respite providers that there were no hours left to pay her and my other provider as we had miscalculated and run out!  I was in a bit of a panic as they had already worked the hours and both of them are under financial stress in this econonmy.  So first, I checked our budget and was able to pay them cash if necessary as a last resort.  Second, I emailed my adoption worked, the one in an earlier blog that I gave the coaster to...she is the one who approves and places the hours.  When she had been here, I broke down crying and gave her the full details of my diagnosis, which I'm not posting purposefully here as I want to main focus of the blog to be about giving.  I told her I was fearful that the state may come and take my children away due to my inability to care for them.  I explained that Tim or a respite provider was here at all times in case I was too weak or tired, etc, to handle their special needs.  She comforted me and told me that I am their mom, it doesn't matter if they are adopted.  They absolutely can not be taken away because I'm sick.  She also said that she thought I should start the process of getting more respite hours due to the severity of the situation.  I asked her, how is this possible?  I currently get 50 hours per week of help but this is one on one with the child, so if I am ill and I have providers working with two of the children at a time it is only 25 hours and goes pretty quick.  She said I'd have to start with a doctors note.

                            Now it took me over 4 months to get the first set of hours due to the severity of the state budget deficit and the long time frames at the state level.  I really didn't think there was any chance of getting more hours but I decided to pursue it and ask the Dr for a note.  However, because I was so overwhelmed at my appointment on Wednesday, I totally forgot to ask him.  She emailed me quite quickly that she had gotten her supervisors approval and the hours were now "in the system".  I went to do the timesheets for the providers when the agency informed me that my hours had been increased from 50 a week for both special children to 70 a week!

                            At first I was excited, then I realized, there had to be a mistake.  I couldn't stand the dishonest feeling.  Within minutes I emailed my adoption worker again to inform her that she had put in the wrong number of hours and it should have been 20 less per week.  That's when the first miracle happened, she emailed me back saying that she had in fact been able to get the extra hours approved and in less than a weeks time without a doctors note!  Honestly, I'm stunned.  I've been working with them for three years and nothing ever works like that.  It was a God thing, He obviously put it in her heart to go above and beyond to request the hours and for the supervisor to be moved enough to approve it.  With the supervisor never meeting us or being in our home, I'm just so overwhelmed with disbelief.  This is going to make all the difference in the world especially following the new diagnosis from yesterday of degenerative disc disease which is going to require significant hours of therapy a week...hours I didn't know how I was going to do.  It was difficult for me to hold back the tears of joy for the next couple hours.  When I emailed her thanking her over and over she simply wrote back to stay as healthy as possible because your family loves and needs you...

                            Well, that was just the beginning....Justin and Jamie's physical therapist came for her normal appointment and I laid on the gymnastics mat in our homemade sensory room adoring Justin's eyelashes and chatting with her.  I've become so close to all of my children's therapists that it's like having a close friend over.  We bragged about how handsome and smart he is, etc...I was still choked up about the hours, not knowing how or why God gave me such a gift and for the adoption worker doing something like this without even being asked...I was in awe.  That's when the therapist let me know that she was taking Jamie out with her cane to walk the terrain and some hills outside.  She's working on using her cane to identify changes in the ground and to run and walk outside.

                            While on their walk, the therapist was chased down by a neighbor at the end of the street.  He is a stocky, Hispanic man probably in his late 30's or early 40's and has an eight year old daughter.  We have only ever spoken once and that was almost two years ago.  Someone had almost hit his daughter running the stop sign right next to his house and he had come to talk to my husband, who is a Police Sergeant in our town.  Other than that I know nothing of this man other than he really goes all out with his Christmas decorations.  Well, he literally chased my therapist down and he had a large stick.  He explained that it was a cactus stick and that his grandmother had been blind.  He said that it was her very favorite stick and he wanted Jamie to have it....hold on while I get another tissue.  He ceremoniously bowed his head holding the stick horizontally and handed it to the therapist.  He obviously thought she was me as we have not seen each other in some time and are of similar age.  She didn't want to ruin the moment so she graciously accepted the gift.  He had tears in his eyes and was very emotional. 

                            She came through the door with this beautiful stick and told me the story...she too had tears in her eyes. At this point I was just so overwhelmed with gratitude.  I wanted to run down to the house and hug him but I was still in pajamas and not looking well at all.  I'm positive he knows nothing of my challenge or gift giving, nor of my illness. On top of all that, I was a blubbering idiot and wanted to compose myself. It gave me faith that my there are compassionate people in the world and my "forever" children will be taken care of after I am gone.  I thought about how long he must have had that stick and just losing my father recently, I know how important those few things are. Again, I can't describe how it feels that he gave something that priceless to my Jamie.
                            The therapist said, "It's all this gift giving you are doing..."  I was shocked, "You are reading my blog???"  She said she was and that she was blessed every time she came to our, people are reading it!
                            So, minutes later, one of my friends comes to drop off her meal for dinner.  She tells me how she couldn't tear herself away from my blog this morning..."You are reading it too?"  I asked shocked...she told me how much she was enjoying it.  I just started crying right then and there, I told her about the cactus stick, I told her about the extra hours.  It was just too much for me to contain.

                            The second Tim came in from work he asked if I was alright and I nodded.  I honestly felt if I even spoke I would start sobbing...with a joy and deep gratitude I don't know I've ever experienced before.  He came closer and said, "You don't look good, I'm worried..."  It's true, my skin is all broken out, I have horrendous bags under my eyes and I'm pale for me...on top of this, I wasn't smiling.  He pressured me to tell him "what happened" and I said that I couldn't, I was a wreck.  He let it go, I thank him for that.  I went and did one hour of strength training...I hated every minute...but I did it.  I was overwhelmed.  How am I going to tell him what happened without breaking down sobbing?  I don't want him to think I'm a lunatic that can't handle a little good news for once!  And I certainly didn't want to be asked if I was "starting my period" again this week... 

                            He allowed me to sit in silence, mulling over my day for hours while he got the kids in bed and cleaned up and then he got face to face and said, "I'll wait until you're ready."  I thought I was never going to be ready so I told him I'd blurt it out really fast and he started laughing.  I started with telling him about the hours, he was so stunned and agreed that it could only be a God intervention.  As I tried to tell him the next thing I broke down sobbing. Between sobs I told him about the cactus stick. My Tim always rises to the occasion...not only did he not think I was a lunatic but he held me as we sobbed together.  He was as moved by it as I was...I can't even sleep I'm so deeply touched by this sincere gift of the heart.

                            As for my gift, after watching the news my mom called and said we should do something to help the people of Haiti and I told her I totally agree.  You are able to very simply do a donation through your cell phone as a text message.  I did this for my gift today.  If you feel at all inspired to help, I'm including the information.  You text a number and code and the donation will be added to your phone bill.  There are two reputable places that I am sure that the money is going to donates $5 and the other donates $ is so simple...and if you think that little bit can't help you are wrong!  The red cross has gotten over 5 million dollars in donations in several days through texting only!!!  The other program is at over 1 million...this is serious money.  So if you feel led to give this as your gift today, this is how you do it::

                            • Grab your cell phone like you are doing a text message
                            • In the phone number section dial 90999 ($10 donation)
                            • In the phone number section dial 501501 ($5 donation)
                            • In the message section type the word "Haiti ($10 donation)
                            • In the message section type the word "Yele" ($5 donation)
                            • You will get a confirmation text sent back to you and you will see the charge added to your next cell phone bill
                            For more information on the impact of this gift vist

                            Please do not donate to any other sources without verifying their validity!  I have verified both of these sources in several places.

                            Please remember to leave your comments so I know that I know someone, out there in cyber space is actually reading this.  If you don't know how to leave a comment, just click the little link that says "comment" right below the post and write it there.  It will be emailed to me and then I will publish it on the can leave your name or do it anonymously.

                            Thank you for sharing in my miracle day, I hope you have a blessed and giving day!