Friday, March 30, 2012

Self Feeding

We are working on some self feeding. Yay!!!!!

Nathan gets pretty excited about chocolate pudding. It is a good consistency because it is smooth (their preferred texture) but does not slide off the spoon as easy as yogurt. Today he put it to his lips a few times and also really enjoyed stirring his spoon in the pudding, putting his hand in it (which is a big deal for a kid that has as many texture issues as Nathan), painting his nose and his other arm. He had a great time with his chocolate pudding.
Owen enjoys trying to use his spoon but it is harder for him because his arms tighten up a lot. So, we decided to let him try eating Popsicles. This allows him to self feed but he does not have to bend his arms quite as much. He loved the popsicle!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Post from my friend Jennifer's Blog

This is a post from my friend Jennifer's blog. I thought it was so good I wanted to share it (with her permission of course).

My Own Adoption Story..... What???

Some of you are probably reading this and saying WHAT???? I know your parents, you were not adopted. While that is true from an earthly standpoint, there was an adoption that took place just about 10 years ago in a church in GA. An adoption that had far greater value on my eternity than anything else.

It also brought about a greater family, more than I could have ever imagined. Do not get me wrong, the family that I have is great. I love each one of them, but this adoption brought me into a family of brothers and sisters that I could never in a million years be able to count up. Brothers and sisters that would be there to see me through things, prayer, hold my hand, serve with and so on. And as we are adopting, God has been continually reminding me of my adoption story.

This following excerpt was posted by David Platt as he was in China adopting his little girl. I think it captures my story well.

“I am reminded as we go into tomorrow that the initiative for adoption obviously resides with a parent, not with a child. A child does not choose to initiate adoption; instead, a parent chooses to adopt a child. The same is true in spiritual adoption, as well. The Word is clear that in our sin, we were once children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3), alienated from God (Colossians 1:21) and totally unable to save ourselves from our sin in order to become His sons. Talk about special needs. Our minds were blinded (Romans 1:21-23), our emotions were disordered (Romans 1:26-27), our bodies were defiled (Romans 1:24-25), our wills were distorted (Romans 3:10-12), and our relationships were broken (James 4:1-4). We were slaves to sin (John 8:34), lovers of darkness (John 3:20), morally evil (Genesis 8:21), and spiritually lost (Luke 19:10). And the good news of the gospel is that God saw our need and initiated our adoption:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth (Ephesians 1:3-10).

Understanding this biblical foundation of spiritual adoption is critical for understanding the proper motivation for physical adoption. We have a tendency in our day to romanticize adoption, envisaging cute children around the world (both domestically and internationally) just waiting to be adopted. Obviously, they are all cute in their own ways, but they are also needy…and many of their needs are great.”

My needs were great. 10 years ago, I was floundering in a sea of what was next, saddened at the loss of my dear Grandmother, and really just searching for my greater purpose.

So you see, God saw my need and adopted me. I see the need, hear the call and seek out to adopt as well. It is a desire that has been instilled in me for a while now.

He continues on….

As a pastor of a church that is, by God’s grace, captivated by an adoptive culture, I have talked and prayed with countless parents who have fostered and/or adopted children with challenging needs. And the only sustainable motivation for these parents is the glorious reality of the gospel. What do you do when the child you adopted has fetal alcohol syndrome and can’t ever seem to sit still without throwing a tantrum? What happens when that child’s birth mother was addicted to crack cocaine and as a result, he or she has permanent brain damage that affects their behavior for the rest of their life, and in turn their teenage years turn into a living nightmare for you, for them, and for your entire family? What happens when the years that child has spent in an institutional orphanage by themselves causes them to not know how to even begin to receive love, so that every time you try to show love, they resist it? What happens when the child you adopt is dangerous?

Mere altruism will not sustain you in situations like these. Only the gospel will. Because in the gospel, you are reminded on a daily basis that there was a day when you were a child of wrath, filled with evil desires, totally unable to control your sinfulness, and desperately in need of Savior, and God reached down His hand of mercy past the depth of your wickedness in order to adopt you as His own. When there was no initiative to draw you to Him, He initiated a relationship with you. So now, when you see a child with minor or major needs, you reach out to that child, simply because you realize you are that child. I can’t improve here upon the words of my friend, Russell Moore, who wrote a wonderful book called Adopted for Life. He wrote:

Imagine for a moment that you’re adopting a child. As you meet with the social worker in the last stage of the process, you’re told that this 12-year-old has been in and out of psychotherapy since he was three. He persists in burning things, and attempting repeatedly to skin animals alive. He “acts out sexually,” the social worker says, although she doesn’t really fill you in on what that means. She continues with a little family history. This boy’s father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather all had histories of violence, ranging from spousal abuse to serial murder. Each of them ended their own lives. Think for a minute. Would you want this child? If you did adopt him, wouldn’t you watch nervously as he played with your other children? Would you watch him nervously as he looks at the knife on the kitchen table? Would you leave the room as he watched a movie on TV with your daughter, with the lights out?

And then Dr. Moore writes:

Well he’s you. And he’s me. That’s what the Gospel is telling us.

My goal is certainly not to paint a grim picture of adoption, and many children in foster and/or adoption situations are perfectly healthy. But adoption is not easy, and children are indeed needy. It’s important to realize, then, that we adopt not because we are rescuers. No, we adopt because we are the rescued. And in this way, the gospel uniquely portrays, compels, and ultimately sustains adoption.

The journey that Michael and I are on seem to be taking a different path that WE had anticipated. Notice the emphasis on WE. This is not about us, it is about our Dad working. We did indeed thought we had picked a location that we were being lead to, but that indeed may be changing. I hope to be able to let you know in the next couple of weeks where that may be leading us. No worries, we are still adopting, that is not the question, but the question might more so be where. It seems that the government in Russia is taking a harder stance on adoption, which may force the need for a change.

People has been asking us, what have you been doing in the way of the adoption. Well we have been saving like mad people. We know that our next step is a home study, and regardless of where we are lead to, once that is complete then we will need to be able to make our first payment to the agency. By the grace of God we have met that goal. There will be some fun ways people can get involved coming down the pipe, but in the mean time, please be praying for us as we make this decision.

With Love, Jennifer

Enjoying a rainy day inside

Here are some quick pics of our rainy day inside. This was a fabulous Spring Break Stay-cation day because so far we have not left the house. That NEVER happens. This morning when Logan woke up he asked if we could stay home all day. It was so nice to finally be able to say yes. Nathan and Owen really enjoyed the time inside and were able to do lots of playing/therapy.

We played school this morning and Logan taught the boys all about Space. We also through in lots of OT with coloring Space pictures and popping bubbles and some ST with airplane sounds, reading books and singing, along with voice commands for more bubbles and the presence and absence of sound.

Nathan and Logan enjoyed cooking together on the floor while Nathan worked on prop-sitting.Owen and Logan enjoyed playing the iPad together while Owen worked on prop-sitting.Logan loves playing on the iPad.Nathan taking some time enjoying the jumper. This toy has served all three of our boys well. They wear it out.Owen enjoys looking at himself in the iPhone.Owen enjoying cruising around in his gait trainer.
Owen loves playing with the Tree House.

Nathan going so fast I can only get blurry photos!!

US Space and Rocket Center

As part of our Spring Break Stay-cation we went to the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. Logan absolutely loves going there and this time it was even more special since he just spent the past several weeks doing a Space Unit at School. Russ was able to go with us too!!!
A new addition, at least for us, is a big rock climbing wall. Logan has never climbed a rock wall before but to no surprise he was very interested. (Logan is always climbing any tree he can.) He was really good at climbing and absolutely loved it. He climbed until they told him he had to stop because his hands would be sore. Preston and I have talked about taking him to First Avenue Rocks and I think this is just confirmation that we need to do it.
After going through most of the museum we headed outside for both Logan and Russ to do the Space Shot (Logan of course did the kids version). This is his favorite ride there and he probably road it for about 30 minutes. There were just enough kids that everyone could stay on as much as they wanted.I brought along some bubbles and we did some speech therapy while Logan rode his ride. We all got a little thirsty and Nathan enjoyed drinking out of the big water bottle.

Finally we made it into the big Saturn 5 building. I took the boys out of their stroller and they both enjoyed a lot of time walking around (with my assistance). Owen got into one of the astronaut flight stations with Russ and Logan. He really enjoyed it.
Everyone had the best time. Nathan and Owen were pretty warn out and enjoyed a nap on the ride home.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Break fun!

This week is Logan's spring break. Each day we have plans to do something extra fun. Today we went to Aldridge Garden's and went fishing. Logan had a great time casting his lure. When he was done fishing we took a nice walk around the lake. It was a great way to spend the morning. My brother, Russ, also joined us for the fun.

Nathan and Owen enjoyed being outside this morning.
Tomorrow we are off to Huntsville for the Space and Rocket Center.

Friday, March 16, 2012

What's New with the Hite Family

Preston and Janelle...
Last weekend our parents kept our kids and we headed off to Rome, Georgia. In Rome is a wonderful retreat, Winshape, owned and operated by Truet Cathy (the Owner of Chick-Fil-A). Preston gave me this weekend as a Christmas gift. The amenities were incredible, the food delicious, and the scenery gorgeous. We also were privileged to hear Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn who wrote "For Women Only" and "For Men Only". We had lots of free time to explore the 26,000 acres and 40 miles of hiking trials. We had an incredible time and hope we can get away to Winshape once a year.

As always, Nathan is loving life.
In order to help his legs become straighter he is now sleeping in casts. He does not seem to mind them. He does have one for each leg, though this picture only shows the left.Nathan is working really hard on prop sitting. He is doing really well.Nathan spends some time in his stander a few times a week. This helps him strengthen to be able to stand. He does not mind it at all, especially when he can play with his favorite toy.
Owen is as happy as can be and doing well too. He is really developing in the speech area. He really seems to understand a lot too! It is so nice to see his communication developing so much. Owen is also doing well in his gait trainer now. Owen loves to sit and play his piano. He was sitting nicely until he saw me start taking pictures, then he just wanted to turn into a ham.

Logan is doing very well. He loves school and has particularly enjoyed the unit on Space (see the museum below). He has picked his piece for his piano recital (April 21 at Dawson) and can't wait until next Thursday when he can go to Ms Amy's art class. This week is spring break for him. We are looking forward to some relaxing time at home (and still some therapy for Nathan and Owen). We are also planning on taking a trip to Huntsville to the Space and Rocket Center, a small spring break party for those friends who are in Birmingham next week, and a trip or two to the zoo.

RDS Space Museum

The kindergarten classes at Logan's school held a Space Museum for parents last night. The teachers took the first part of March to teach the kids all about space...and boy do they know a lot. Logan has really enjoyed learning about space and drawing pictures of it. Right now we even have all the planets hanging from the bottom of his top bunk bed.The kids performed two space songs. I was so proud of Logan for singing so well and knowing all the motions to the songs."Mars is close to Earth". Mars is Logan's favorite planet. He plans to go there some day. He also has decided to be an astronaut so he can take the first garage door in to space.

The rocket ship the kids made.
Logan's earth
Using a balloon as the rocket booster to make it fly up the string.
Astronaut Logan

Logan playing in the Sea of Tranquility.
Some more of Logan's space work.
Logan enjoyed showing us a funny moon video.

Logan made space food for us to eat out of playdough.