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Thursday, September 27, 2012


This quilt came in the mail right after we got the phone call that Antonio had had 2 back to back seizures up in Minnesota where he was visiting his cousin and we had to come get him right away.  He had been seizure free until we left for Uganda this summer, but since we brought Esther home he has had seizures more frequently than ever before.  This quilt was made by one of the prayer warriors who had prayed for years for Esther to find a family and each square represents a different family who had prayed for her as well.  What a sweet kiss from Jesus to remind me of how He takes what was meant for evil and flips it around for good.  Were it not for what Antonio has been through we would never have considered Esther.

So Brad and I had a hot date driving 10 hours in one day, (and God's great provision is that the couple who watched our children while we were in Uganda "just so happened" to be back from Arizona and were able to hold down the fort) which we had just done the week before when we went on vacation to northern Minnesota with my family.  Brad was the rock star who packed out the van for all of us.  There were no laundry facilities available so when we returned 6 days later there was a mountain of campfire-scented laundry that threatened to take over the house, but we conquered that beast eventually!

These girls lined up at each bathroom stop in order of who took the longest to get their potty business done.

And sleeping in log cabins is just sheer fun.

Antonio is supposed to go down to neurology at the Children's Hospital here, which is quite convenient since Esther has her 24 hour EEG with them today.  Antonio is the kid who is always up before anyone else in the house, praying and reading his Bible.  He is the first to pray for any situation and has an intense hunger and thirst for righteousness.

I asked Gabriel to strike a "boss" pose, and I like the look that says, "I will not be intimidated."  Gabriel  looks out for his younger siblings and can have us all laughing hysterically one minute and then throw out a comment that reminds us how deep this young man of God is.  

Little man Ari has been through it this last month as well, from a nasty staph infection to a virus that caused such painful sores inside his mouth he wouldn't even swallow his spit.  He has been a feverish, limp little thing for a while now, but he's turning the corner.

And then there's little Miss Esther who is making great strides.  She can't communicate to me that she needs to go, but I take her to the potty enough that we are having much success in this area.  She also has had these laughing spells recently that crack us up.  They've been after her physical and occupational therapy sessions, so I don't know if the vestibular system is linked to the limbic system, but all that spinning and rocking and twirling seems to unlock something in her emotional center.  We haven't had any major meltdowns lately, but she still wakes up funky after her long afternoon naps so I am curious if the EEG will show seizure activity during her sleep.

Each one of the children adds something so unique to the family.  I have lost any definition of "normal" a long time ago and continually ask God for His perspective on each child.   He knows the number of hairs on each one of their sweet heads and He alone knows what goes on inside each one.

Dominic was practicing his "pitiful face" because he said it helps him sell more Boy Scout popcorn.  Sometimes I ask the kids, "Do you want to be pitiful or do you want to be powerful?"  I had a dream the other night that someone had broken into our house and had trashed the place.  I thought, "This was a terrorist," because the only purpose was to instill fear.  Nothing was actually stolen. Then I read Mark 3:27 in the NLT: "Let me illustrate this further.  Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods?  Only someone even stronger---someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house."  Yeah, that's right!  Jesus kicked satan's rear on the Cross and it's His Kingdom that is advancing and taking over.  We can't be intimidated when we know the strength of our Defender and Protector, the power of our Healer, the intimacy of our Friend, and the joy of our Bridegroom King. We are safe in His hand that is tattooed with our names! 


Jenay said...

Thanks for sharing your life on this blog. It is an inspiration and encouragement to live and love wildly. Jesus is just using you and this blog big time...keep it up PLEASE!!!!

Megan Pearce said...

the definition of normal Jenny is boring. I love seeing you updates on each of your wonderfully unique children

Alyssa T said...

Love your last paragraph, Mrs. Groothuis. So true. Thanks for the encouragement! You guys are a blessing. :)

Elizabeth said...

Your updates are such an encouragement! I am so appreciative of your family's representation of the Kingdom!

I'm sorry to hear of Antonio's increased seizures and Ari being so miserable. I hope you will find some hopeful info at the appt for Antonio.

I'm the Elizabeth who's parents adopted from the same children's home in Liberia as your first adoption. You received my updates when I worked at a children's home in Taiwan for a time. I wanted to say hello and I also wanted to let you know that my mom sent an e-mail to you recently, but it was sent to an old personal e-mail address that I'm not sure you use anymore, so I sent a copy to your administrative e-mail add. for your yahoo group. Then I thought that you might not check that anymore since you've switched to blogging so now I'm bugging you here! :o)
(FYI, though I'm using my blog to comment, unfortunately it is not current)