Philadelphia Trip and Back Brace

24 Oct

A few weeks ago Joseph and I made another trip to the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital.  I’m happy to say that the flight was uneventful…that’s always a good thing!

Checking out the cockpit.

Checking out the cockpit.

This trip was extra fun because Aunt Becky (my sister) met us at the airport and stayed with us all week!  We had fun showing her around our regular Philadelphia places –“our” Ronald McDonald House and Shriners Hospital.  Usually when we are by ourselves we don’t venture very far, but with another adult along we got adventuresome.

Shriners Philadelphia October 2015 New Back Brace

Joseph playing with his friend Josie at the RMH.

Joseph playing with his friend Josie at the RMH.

Before we even went to Philadelphia we knew it was going to be a fun trip for several reasons.   One reason came in the form of a phone call.   I received a call from a media person from Shriners asking if we would be willing to be interviewed for a video they’re making!  So, on top of the normal “nerves” of making our connections, finding out if we had a place to stay once we got there, getting a taxi, the actual doctor appointments, etc, we were a little nervous about being interviewed!  It went great and it was actually a blessing to be able to share how far Joseph has come and how the staff there have been the reason for Joseph’s physical “transformation”.

Joseph's turn to be interviewed.

Joseph’s turn to be interviewed.

For the next several days Joseph was videoed (along with lots of other kids who were there) with his doctor, and playing in the playroom.  If I can brag a little, all week I heard the staff telling the camera crew what a funny, friendly kid Joseph is.  That is so encouraging, mostly coming from people who have seen Joseph (and me) at our most stressed out times!

Joseph 2015

Our main reason for going to Philadelphia this time was to get Joseph’s new back braces and so he could get several days of intense therapy.  On Monday we spent the entire day at the hospital in doctor appointments, getting x-rays, being interviewed and having his back braces adjusted.  We got back to the Ronald McDonald House around 7:00.  We were able to ask questions and get some answers, too.

Dr. vanBosse patiently showing Joseph his x-rays and explaining his next couple surgeries that are coming up.

Dr. vanBosse patiently showing Joseph his x-rays and explaining his next couple surgeries that are coming up.

One thing we found out was that Joseph’s back braces DO correct his scoliosis…when he is wearing them. That means that his curve is not “stuck” as severely as we were worried it was.  It also means that he most likely won’t have to have back surgery as soon as we once thought.  (He will still need surgery eventually, but hopefully in years not months from now.)

His nighttime brace corrects his curvature by 30 degrees!  It’s not super comfortable, but he has gotten used to it and doesn’t complain.  (He wears a special padded tank top underneath to keep his skin safe from rubbing.)

NIghttime brace

Nighttime brace

His daytime brace corrects his curvature by 20 degrees.

Daytime brace

Daytime brace

This brace was a bear to get fitted properly!!!  The people in O&P were so, so patient with us!  From Monday through Thursday we went back to them multiple times each day and asked if they could cut, “blow out”, adjust different parts of his brace to make it endurable.  By Thursday evening it was finally comfortable enough for him to not be hurting.  I am so thankful that we just kept going back and asking for them to tweak it, because now we’re not worrying about sores or hurt spots.

Doing homework while he waits.

Doing homework while he waits.

He also went to therapy everyday and worked on walking with a walker.  :)  Believe me, walking with your legs bent at a right angle is NOT easy…I’ve tried several times.  The therapist encouraged us a lot by reminding us that he will one day have straight legs and then it will be much easier. (The casting he had done helped his legs go from 120 degree and 160 degree contractures to about 85 and 80 degrees*.  Getting fixators will help to finish straightening his legs.  We don’t know when he will start that, but probably not for another year or so.)

Patient Aunt Becky made the time at the hospital more exciting and fun.  Plus, because she was with us we were more brave and took a taxi downtown one afternoon/evening.  (The taxi part was a little intense, mostly trying to break down his wheelchair and get it in the trunk and Joseph in the taxi all within the time span of one red light.  –It worked and was worth it!)

The Liberty Bell--a symbol of FREEDOM!

The Liberty Bell–a symbol of FREEDOM!

We were able to incorporate some school in by studying about the Liberty Bell the next few days after we went downtown.  When you see Joseph ask him to give you a few statistics.

A 1800's garden beside the Todd House, downtown Philadelphia. Joseph's favorite part of our adventure that day.

A 1800’s garden beside the Todd House.

Joseph’s favorite part of our adventure downtown was going to this little garden.  Maybe it was his favorite because it was quiet and calm.  :)   (We all know HE’s not calm…but he does like those things around him to be calm!)

Friday afternoon we went to the Philadelphia Zoo.  It was a “flying trip” but was super fun.  We’d like to try to go back another time when we have more time.  BUT, word to the wise, just because a taxi will TAKE you somewhere doesn’t necessarily mean that they will PICK YOU BACK UP!  At about 5:00 when the zoo was ready to close it got cloudy and stormy.  We ended up standing outside of the closed zoo calling every taxi service that I had numbers for in a downpour/thunderstorm.  Eventually we DID get one and got back to the RMH in time to dry out some of our stuff before heading to the airport EARLY the next morning.

Joseph and giraffe (Philly zoo)

Joseph and leopard (Philly zoo)

Joseph and peacock (Philly Zoo)

Tiger at Philly ZooTiger over us

We appreciate those who care about Joseph and are following along with his life!  Thanks so much for remembering to pray for him.

adoption design guys jpeg

Here’s our latest fundraiser for Vienna’s adoption!  (I plan to post more about it later, but this is getting long!)  Please buy one!  It’s for a good cause and it has a good message!  Contact me or anyone in my family if you’d like one!!

Adoption t-shirts

Youth Small-Adult X-Large $20.00 ($5.00 shipping if not local)

Adult XXL and up $23.00 ($5.00 shipping if not local)

Design #1 will come in color options: Gray, Navy and Black

Design #2 will come in color options: Royal Blue, Pink and Black

(Both options will have white font)

adoption design girl

Scentsy Online Party Going On!!

27 Sep

If you haven’t heard our adoption story “in a nutshell” here is what I wrote for our HELP BRING VIENNA HOME Online Scentsy Party that my friend Judy is hosting.

 “Several years ago we saw a little boy’s picture and a few sentences about him on a website. Our family started praying for this little boy every day. We started raising money and giving it to the website so that when a family came along for him they wouldn’t have to come up with as much money to adopt him. Well, after praying for him for about a year we decided that WE were his family! About 9 months after starting our adoption we went to Ukraine and JOSEPH IGOR PATTERSON became our son! (Wow, that’s the “easy” version!!)

Fast forward to this past winter/spring. Joseph and I were in Philadelphia getting more medical work done and Darrel was home with all the older kids. Darrel called me one day and said that he really felt like the Lord was wanting us to adopt again. And, I told him I had been feeling the same way, and had been looking at kids on that same website we found Joseph!

We specifically began praying that God would let us adopt a little girl who had arthrogryposis. (That is the same condition that Joseph has.) We waited and prayed. At the end of March we saw a little article about a baby girl named VIENNA. It was heartbreaking. She was found abandoned on the side of a road in a South American country. Totally by herself in a black plastic bag. She was then brought to an orphanage. As soon as we read about her we hoped that she was meant to be part of our family! We asked all the right people, and her country, and have been OKed to begin adopting her!!!

The faster we can raise the money for her to come home the faster we can finish everything and go get her! I appreciate Judy and her great big heart! And I appreciate everyone who is praying for Vienna and helping us bring her home.”

Scentsy Party

If you like good smelling stuff please check out the Scentsy Party!

To Be Loved

21 Sep

 Is it possible to miss someone you haven’t actually met yet?

Vienna looking up


Is it possible to begin to love and have those protective “mama bear” feelings for a little one that you haven’t had the chance to hold or take care of yet?

Vienna full shot outside


These feelings bring back memories of wondering and worrying

(then remembering to pray)

for Joseph when he was still in Ukraine.


There was so much uncertainty.

At one point we were even told that he may actually be in Russ*a.  That would have meant that we couldn’t continue his adoption.  United States citizens had recently been banned from adopting from there!   We had one little picture of him and a two or three sentence profile about him.

We prayed for someone to get him out of his bed,

for someone to feed him

(we didn’t know if his arms bent enough for him to be able to reach his mouth),

for someone to talk to him–human interaction,

for protection from the hurt and awfulness that so often goes on in orphanages.

We mostly prayed for his little heart.  That God would protect his heart from all of the damaging effects of the life he was forced to live.  That God would send someone to share HIS LOVE with Joseph.

And HE DID!!  God did all of these things.  And so much more!

God is healing Joseph’s wounds from the harshness and neglect.

Joseph is learning to genuinely love and care about others.

J and Mariel

It is such a joy to hear Joseph pray for some of these very same things for Vienna.  He gets it.  He KNOWS what it was like.  He remembers and has shared some of those memories with us.  It is heartbreaking to think of ANY child being literally ALONE in the world.  To not have people who think they’re extra special.  To be loved.

We’re coming Little One, as fast as we can.


Despite my missing thermometer (I just spent a few hours trying to update it but it has come up missing!…. Agh!  I will have to try again later!)   we are steadily raising money for Vienna’s adoption.  We had a garage sale 2 weekends ago and an online auction.   I’m happy to say that we are $570+ closer to seeing our precious girl.  We are currently in the middle of another COOKIE DOUGH SALE!!!  –This time in Southeast Texas!  If you are local and want to buy or sell any please let us know!!  We are also close to having a t-shirt sale!  I can’t wait to show you what they look like!! (Stay tuned!)  We have some more things in the works that we will share soon.   We are in need of about $9,800 in the next month or so.  Yikes.  Thankfully we have an awesome God who LOVES orphans and wants to see them have FAMILIES.

We are working as diligently as we can and praying for God to provide.


3 Sep SAM_0674

School started!

(Yes, despite the protests, it happened again this year!)

Joseph's first year to be on his feet for a school picture!

Joseph’s first year to be on his feet for a school picture!

Everyone’s settling into their classes.  Homework and earlier bedtimes are happening.  Running around and figuring out who needs which car, and when, is happening.  And, thankfully, smooth transitions for the kids are happening.

It’s time for me to transition too.  :)   Time to get even busier with raising money to get this adorable baby girl home!!!

Vienna full shot outside

One thing I’ve been working on is:

We have a Facebook Sale going on right now!!!

Please go and browse, then share it with your friends!

We are continuing to add to it, so if you’ve looked before you might want to check it out again.  :)  Thank you to the friends who donated to this!!

Also, we are gearing up for a


September 12

8:00 – 4:00


We have a LOT of good stuff that we’ve come across and that friends have donated for this sale!  Please pray that it would go exactly as God would like!!  (That’s safe to say, huh?!!  I typed and deleted several things I would like you to pray about concerning the garage sale–but God knows what needs to happen!!!)

Throw back picture from 2012 when we were holding a garage sale for Joseph!!!  ("Igor" back then!)

Throw back picture from 2012 when we were holding a garage sale for Joseph!!! (“Igor” back then!)

We are also getting ready to make more cookie dough.  If you are in the S.E. Texas area or Bolivar Peninsula area and would be willing to take orders (and then make sure your orders get delivered after we make it) please let me know!  I have a flyer/sign up sheet that will make it a snap.  :)  This has the potential to be a great way to make a bunch of dough for Vienna!  I’m excited to see what happens!

Another throw back picture of when we were adopting Joseph!

Another throw back picture of when we were adopting Joseph!

A dear family friend, who is also an author, has given us 15 copies of her book, “Dusting For God’s Fingerprints”.

book 1

 It is a one month Bible study focusing on God’s character and our sacrifice of praise to Him.  When I thanked her for donating the books her response was, “My prayer is it will bless others and help with this amazing journey of bringing your precious girl into your arms!”

And that is one thing I am getting super excited about….getting our precious girl into our arms!!

Pennies Add Up

19 Aug

Did you notice the thermometer on the side of our blog?

It’s new.  :)

We were advised to put one on there, and at first I really didn’t want to.

But, it is an encouragement to me to see how the Lord has provided each step of the way.

I am so thankful for His provision.

Yesterday Joseph found two pennies at the store.  He said, “Aww Mom!  Should I just throw them?  It’s ONLY 2 cents.”   Of course, being the penny pincher that I am, I told him that if we all add our pennies together that it can add up to big things!!  We talked about saving and sharing what we have, even if it’s not much.   Joseph decided he’d keep the pennies and put them in Vienna’s jar.  :)

Sweet boy.

But it doesn’t end there.

Last night we came home from the store.   Darrel had already come home from work and of course I hadn’t told him about the two pennies.  It didn’t seem very noteworthy.  When we walked in the kitchen Darrel had a grin on his face and a heavy bag of CHANGE !  A lady he works with gave us her loose change—over $80!!

Isn’t God just awesome?!!  He cares about the little things.

Like a little boy’s heart and mind.

Teaching him more about real life ways God provides and loves him…and others.

Giving us the opportunity to teach our son about God’s awesome love and care.

He allowed Darrel’s coworker to be a much bigger part of our adoption journey than she can imagine.

He used this to encourage my tired heart and motivate me to get busy.  Just remembering how much God cares about the details of our lives makes me so happy!!  What a wonderful God we serve.

Adoption-wise things are moving along!

We are about halfway through the paperwork that we need to send to Vienna’s country.

We have appointments lined up to do our psychologist visits.  This is a requirement for our whole family.

 At the end of July we had to “readopt” Joseph in the state of Texas.   (I talked about this in my last post.)  We need to send an ORIGINAL birth certificate of Joseph’s (and all our kids) to Vienna’s country…but we cannot get another one from Ukraine, so this was the only solution.  So, $1325 and 10 hours of driving later he is now TWICE our son.  :)

I am working on setting up an online auction, and also sorting stuff for a big garage sale, which we’ll do after we get the kids settled into school.  (They start next week.  Joseph and Meredith will both being moving to different schools and Abbie starts college here in town.  Ellie and Andrew’s schools stay the same as last year.)

A kind Reece’s Rainbow friend is holding an online “party” selling cute kids clothes.  She has offered to give Vienna her commission!  Her company is called Peekaboo Beans.  Please go check them out!  I am so grateful for her generosity.  I pray that the Lord blesses her big for her giving heart.

I love seeing God’s hand in the entire adoption process.  How He works.  How he uses others to encourage and help us, even when we feel unworthy.  Sometimes I get stressed and get my eyes off of Him, but He is faithful to bring me back to His kindness.

As we sat at the dining room table last night sorting change we came to this conclusion:

Pennies Add Up!!


20 Jul

We had our first big fundraiser for Vienna at the beginning of July!

We combined visiting our family and friends in Indiana with making and selling COOKIE DOUGH!  Thank you so much to everyone that bought, sold and made cookie dough!!  Thank you too for the extra donations!

We made $1335 !!

We are in awe at God’s working!  We are so thankful.  It was a little more time consuming than we expected, but I kept telling myself, “This is still easier than a garage sale!  This is still easier than a garage sale!”  haha!  (I have a garage that is filling up with garage sale stuff…and I’m thrilled!  When I do the garage sale I’ll just have to tell myself, “This is less sticky than cookie dough!”)

We had so much fun in Indiana that I failed to take many pictures.  I still have a dinosaur phone, so taking pictures actually requires carrying a camera and using it.  :)  Here are a few that I did manage to take!

Swimming at Uncle Wil's pool

Joseph had a great time playing with his cousins and swimming.  When we came back to Texas and he swam with his physical therapist, he was able to show his therapist some of his new tricks.  (AND, in therapy he decided to take off his arm floaties and swim on his own!!!)  Last year, when his legs were still bent he had such a hard time in the water, although he loved it.  This year, because he is now in a different position, he is able to put his legs out behind and float without tipping backward or forward!

Joseph spent a large part of his time playing Nerf guns with his cousins.  It was fun to watch him get to know his cousins better.  He fit right in.  :)  Wish I’d taken pictures of the hours that they spent in my Mom’s yard playing!

J, A and E 6 Flags

A bunch of our family went to Six Flags in Chicago one day.  Everyone had a good time!  Honestly, it was pretty eye opening to us, as Joseph’s parents.  We are so used to “normal life” with Joseph, and what he’s capable/incapable of doing that we don’t even really remember that there are things he CAN’T do!  It’s just part of our lives.  It’s when we go somewhere like an amusement park we are reminded that some things just aren’t made for nonwalkers/limited arm movement.  At first we were sad, but then once we “got in the groove” and figured out what he COULD do, it was fun!  That kid is way too BRAVE!


After a good time with family and not enough time to do everything we wanted, we came home and got back down to business.  (We actually took our vacation at a good time.  Several people who are helping us with our adoption were out of their offices over the 4th of July holidays.)

We ran into a glitch and have had to hire an attorney to help us with Joseph’s birth certificate.  After a lot of trying to figure things out, and feeling like we were wasting time, we finally found an attorney that will help us get a certificate that is an official recognition of his adoption from the state of Texas.  It is an unexpected big chunk of extra money, but we feel we made the right decision.  Joseph’s birth city/state in Ukraine has been taken over by Russia, so if we were to ever lose his one original birth certificate that we were given at his adoption, we would be in trouble.  There would be no way to get a new one.  So, by getting this official recognition, we should be covered.  Plus, we will now have an official document to send to Vienna’s country.  (That’s what started this whole deal!!)  We will go before a judge in Dallas next week to petition for the certificate.  (We originally thought it would be this week, but that was changed.)

We are finished with our part of the home study and are waiting for the final draft.  (She is actually holding off in completing it so we can get Joseph’s birth certificate back first.)  I have started working on our dossier a little, but I can’t do much because everything is dated, and nothing can be more than a few months old when we send it to Vienna’s country.  I’m getting a little antsy.  :)

Thursday, Joseph and I head back to Philadelphia for a check up.  We are excited to show everyone all he has learned to do since April.  He can’t wait to ask the doctor if he can move his braces a few notches straighter, since his legs have stretched out more!!  I will try to remember to post his improvements when we come home.  From the numbers his therapist gave us last month, his leg contractures have lessened by quite a lot!!  (That’s a good thing!!)

As always, we really appreciate your prayers.  We are encouraged in many ways.  God is faithful.  He has faithfully reminded us almost daily WHY we have decided to adopt again.  Even when things aren’t easy it’s worth it.

He brings people into our lives out of the blue. (We’ve had random conversations with other adopting parents…like Darrel’s dentist who we saw at Hamburger Depot one day.)

He reminds us to read His Word and be encouraged by His promises.  He reminds us to keep our focus on HIM and the ETERNAL.

He encourages us with books and movies.

(If you have not seen the movie “The Drop Box” I totally recommend watching it.)

We are encouraged because Vienna is our daughter.  God loves her.  We love her.  It is the right thing to do.  We WANT to adopt her and we know God wants us to.

Oh, and guess what!  I’ve now been married to this man for half of my life.  Hard to believe!


Swimming, Graduating, Bikes and Mustaches

5 Jun

So much has happened in the past couple weeks!

Where to begin!  There have been many challenges and many exciting things happen.

Since coming home from Philadelphia in April Joseph’s been getting some heavy duty therapy.  His favorite therapy days are swim days!  He’s getting brave…and wild!   One month of stretching and therapy has decreased Joseph’s leg contractures by about 10 degrees! (That’s a good thing!  His legs are not as bent as they were after his last sugery!)  His hips are more flexible too!  He is seeing results and that inspires him to  work hard.  One of his favorite things to say in therapy is, “I’ve got this!”  (A close second favorite saying is, “Be careful of the little fellows!” -talking about his feet/toes which are still suffering from messed up nerves. Today he said, “Be careful Horse-Feathers.”  Silly kid likes to entertain!)


Abbie graduated from High School last Friday night.  My mom and two of my sisters were able to come and stay for a week! It was so much fun having them here.  My sisters enjoyed their first “Rodeo Graduation” with all the hollering and noise you’d expect in a rodeo arena.  (My mom knew what to expect, she and my dad were at Andrew’s graduation two years ago!)



Meredith graduated from Jr. High and turned another year older last week.  It was a happy/sad graduation.  She went to a charter school here in our town and her small class all became very close.  Meredith and her friends will be going to different high schools next year.  I’m so thankful for the positive three years Meredith had at Vista.



On the last day of school Joseph had a big surprise!  A group called Longview Ambucs gave Joseph a new bike that has hand pedals!  He has been on it every day, several times a day, since then.  Today after therapy we went to a park that has a walking trail.  He rode his bike for over a mile!  SAM_0557

(Joseph with the couple who delivered his bike to our house!)

Also, Joseph was promoted to 4th grade.


They grow up so quickly!  ;)


Yesterday we all went to another town and everyone except Joseph was fingerprinted for our homestudy. I love being able to check things off of our list!!  Next week we all go to the doctor’s for physicals. Then the week after that our social worker will come to our house for the house inspection and personal interviews.  It is awesome to see how God is providing as we need to pay for things!  I am so thankful.


I have often heard from those adopting that things start to break and other “trials” come up when they commit to adopt.  We experienced that when we adopted Joseph, and we are experiencing it this time, too.  We are trusting God and know that just because something is hard doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it!  We appreciate your prayers.  –On the positive side, we will be getting a new air conditioner next week, our van has a new something-or-other, Ellie will soon be wisdom toothless, and Darrel will have 2 fixed (or pulled!) teeth…and God is good no matter what!  I am resting in that truth!!!

Back to School Three Weeks Before School’s Out

12 May

There was a time when I made this crazy statement:

I’d NEVER homeschool Joseph!

Guess what we’ve been doing for more than half of this school year!  :)  YEP.  Doing school from home/the hospital/Ronald McDonald House.  And, it’s not been too bad.

Last June Joseph had an evaluation done at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.  It was actually a “second opinion” after we had been told several times that there was nothing that we could do to straighten Joseph’s legs…and FOR SURE walking was out of the question.  We were told that he was fairly independent and mobile in the position he was in, so we should just wait and see if his scoliosis worsened then we could look into getting him a back brace or surgery.  That just didn’t seem good enough.  Darrel and I were just not ready to say, “Ok, let’s just do nothing.”  Joseph wasn’t either.

Before we went to Philadelphia we were told by several parents, and saw on many blogs, that there was a doctor that could do amazing things for kids with Arthrogryposis.   In June we met him and his team.  When he saw Joseph he was a little taken back.  Later on down the road I overheard this doctor tell another medical person that Joseph had the most extreme combined contractures in all of his lower joints that he has ever seen!  (Not particularly something any parent would want to hear!)  That was the first time he saw Joseph.

The last time he saw Joseph, after months of casting his legs, and several surgeries (some little ones and one big one) he told us, “When I first met Joseph I didn’t know where to start!  Now when I look at him I know what needs to be done next!”  (This IS something that any parent would want to hear!)

All that to say, Joseph and I have done a LOT of school work together this year.  We were in Philadelphia almost as much as we were home.  I watched him memorize the multiplication facts 1 – 12.  –He’s a rock star!  Seriously, he’s GOOD.  We did a BUNCH of reading.  We did a few more “projects” than either of us would have preferred.  And we both learned a little more patience.  I think.

I’ve learned that sometimes those things that I just really think I can’t do…or don’t want to do…are actually not so impossible after all.  God can even make them enjoyable, if we let Him.  Joseph’s verse he would repeat over and over when he was getting his legs stretched and recasted  was:

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

Joseph strong man

As we start to wade through adoption paperwork for Vienna I am reminded of this verse quite often.  Seriously, when I had to find the ADDRESSES and DATES for everywhere Darrel and I have lived since we were eighteen years old I was crying out to the Lord.  Even those little “summer stays” between all of our training for missions.  CrAzY!!!   Darrel has moved 24 times and I have moved 20!!!  But, it is SOOO worth the work and I would do it all day if I had to, to get Vienna home!  (Oh wait, I DID do it all day!)  :)

I am thankful that God “lets” us do things we don’t think we want to do.  Like homeschooling.  I am also thankful that Joseph was able to go back to school this week, three weeks before the end of the school year to be with his friends and teachers before summer break.  :)

*Disclaimer:  During our time at Shriners Joseph had a tutor who helped us 2 hours each week and while we’ve been home but not able to go to school he has had a tutor who comes 4 hours a week…so I was getting some direction!  I am thankful that our school worked so nicely with us by giving me the work we needed to do!!

We Are Adopting Again!!!

7 May


We’re super excited that we have been approved to

begin the process of adopting “Vienna”!

Please be in prayer as we do all of the necessary

paperwork and begin raising money to bring her home as quickly as possible!!

I am hoping to have the chance to give you more details soon.

I debated whether to wait to share her picture when I have more time, but I just couldn’t go to bed until I posted her picture!!

Isn’t she just adorable?

We Are Here! We Are Here!

5 May

Remember this picture?

(No, probably not because I didn’t either until I got on here!)

 It’s the last picture I posted before I took an unintentional “little” break from posting on this blog almost 2 years ago.

Joseph was so little and compact with his feet permanently wrapped around him.

A cuddly little ball of wiggly boy.

And lastly, SCHOOL!  Joseph and I have been doing school each weekday since about March.  He is starting to READ and is really good at Math.  Ok, honestly, he USUALLY does school at the table, but last Thursday we were having a big tree cut down in our yard, so he did school work and watched the guys work.

A lot has happened in almost two years.

 THIS is just one of the exciting things that Joseph has been working hard to do!

First pair of shoes See those legs?!!  Notice what position they’re in?!

See those awesome SHOES?  (Joseph’s first pair of shoes ever!!)

After about 4 months of serial castings, 1st surgery

(getting his casts changed two times a week for months, each time stretching his muscles!)

and 8 different tendon releases,

and really painful “bilateral femoral osteotomy” surgery on both legs,

and a CRAAZY cast for 6 more weeks

cow casts

plus weeks and weeks away from home,

I am happy to say, Joseph is on his way to having straighter legs

and like he told his new physical therapist today,

 his goal is to one day WALK!

Not only has Joseph been changing physically,

but he is changing and growing in every other way possible!

What a journey the past 2 1/2 years have been.

 What a privilege it is to see God heal the heart and body of our son.


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