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  • Ashley

Always Be Thankful

Hello everyone!

Believe it or not, tomorrow is Thanksgiving! Where did October and November go? Seriously though...where did they go? Time is flying by, and to be honest, that is something that has always scared me to death. I guess the only thing we can do is enjoy every minute and be thankful always. Sometimes that is so much easier said than done though...

Well, in regards to the adoption, things are going fairly smoothly. We actually just received an email today from Kelsey at Faith International saying they received the final homestudy report they needed, so this morning she mailed out our homestudy, I-600A immigration form, and the check we wrote to USCIS (Homeland Security). In about two weeks we will receive a letter and email stating that our case is being looked at, and approximately two weeks after that we should receive a letter in the mail telling us where to go get fingerprinted for the second time and what day we have to go. Once that's sent to USCIS, we will be approved within two to three weeks. Once approved, we are on the waiting list for "the call." :) That is something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! We are now working on applying for grants and still fundraising.

I have also been very lucky to have been in contact with four different couples who are planning on or considering taking this journey through Faith International and their Japan program. One couple is from Canada, and the other three are from all over America. I know I am so thankful to the three women who spoke to us about the Japan program through Faith International over the summer, and still feel connected to them. It has been such an honor to inspire these couples to adopt through Faith. I truly feel a connection with each family and consider myself friends with them. We can help each other through this crazy journey...we will completely understand what we are all going through, and sometimes that is all we need. We just need someone to listen and understand. We are truly blessed to have several close friends and family members to help us through this, but to also have others who have walked in our shoes or who will walk in our shoes, is amazing as well. Maybe someday we can arrange for our children to cool would that be?

When it comes to family issues, Stormy has been feeling well overall. His kidney values came back a little higher a couple weeks ago, so we added more fluids and they have come back down some, which is good. His gall bladder is looking better and his adrenal tumor has not grown at all, so that is all great news! Unfortunately, we usually take one step forward and two steps back. His right back ankle became swollen last week after running and playing outside and he began limping. He has weak hind legs because of his kidneys and adrenal tumor and his arthritis, so we assumed he twisted it. When it did not get better after a couple days, we took him in to get an x-ray thinking he may have fractured it. It is not fractured. The doctor said it looks like swelling, which could be from an injury or sprain, but what he noticed was arthritis in his ankle joint, along with some bone deterioration. That could indicate severe arthritis or osteoporosis, or it could be a bone infection or the worst, bone cancer. The only way to know for sure is to do a biopsy. But that is scary because he has to be sedated, and with his kidneys being weak, that is not safe. So we are debating on what to do. We are hoping it is just an infection that we can get cleared up or arthritis. We think we are going to have some fluid drawn out of it to see if there is any bacteria found. If so, then hopefully we can assume it is an infection. He did get a cut on his right back foot two weeks ago when he was in the barn with me, so it is not too far fetched that it could be infection. I am hoping and praying with everything I have that it is not cancer. I'm not sure I can handle everything he already has going on along with cancer too. This is truly killing me. I am emotionally and mentally exhausted and poor Vince tries so hard to help me feel better, but there is just nothing anyone can do or say. I love this boy with my whole heart and soul and this is destroying me. I have never felt pain like this. Boy, am I a downer right now. Sorry about that. :( On top of all of this, we have three close family members fighting three different types of cancer also. Two of which were diagnosed in the last two months. I'm not sure how much more I can handle without breaking. I'm not looking for pity; in fact, I hate pity, but in order to draw strength I am asking for positive thoughts and prayers. I'm hoping that will help us all get through this. Thank you!

So this Thanksgiving I am trying to be thankful. I am thankful for my friends and family and that my boy, Stormy and Jackie girl are both still with us. I am hoping and praying they will both be here for Christmas, along with our sick relatives, and that they will all be here for many more holidays after that. I am also thankful for the new people and friends we have found while on this journey. And I am thankful we are on this journey at is an amazing journey to be on! No matter what is thrown at us, we are trying to be thankful always for what we do have. We hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving with family and friends, and we are praying for comfort for those missing someone this year. We truly do understand.

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