Monday, May 28, 2007

The Call

This is a "sign-off" post for the next forty days. I have decided that for a period of forty days, from Memorial day through 07-07-07, I will be fasting from the internet with the exception of checking my email. I'm participating in "The Call", which is a call for Christians to humble themselves to fast and pray for our nation. If you're interested in joining me, check out the website.

Thank you again to all who have prayed for Lucas these past few weeks. He continues to improve steadily each day. The little guy still has a rough couple of weeks ahead as his skin continues to heal, but it truly is healing more and more every time I have to change his bandages. He goes back to the doctor on Friday. I will interrupt my fast to update on his condition for those who are praying for him.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


We are going home with Lucas today!!!! The doctor came this morning and he will be going home within the next couple of hours!!!!! They still have not completely ruled out the need for surgery, but every day, more healing has taken place. I am completely confident that God is healing my baby without surgery. Last night, the very deep burns started to itch, which is such a great sign of healing.

As I talked with a close friend last night about the past two weeks, I couldn't help but realize what a blessing they have been in so many ways. Obviously, Lucas being burned is a horribly tragic thing that I would change in a heartbeat if I could. And I never wanted to leave the other three kids like this. But, it did happen. And given the circumstances, I have been very blessed these past two weeks. God has faithfully stayed by my side. So many times, Lucas has been in pain in the night and absolutely unable to fall asleep. The situation last night is one of many examples. Last night, he had become increasingly itchy and in pain over a course of a few hours. At 2:00AM, he was awake and screaming with no further pain medications available. In despair, I called a friend and we began to pray for him. Mind you, it had been an hour since his last dose of medication and he was screaming and crying out in pain still. We prayed for him and within five minutes, he was still and calm. We continued praying together for another 20 minutes or so and he fell asleep while we were praying. This happened more times in the past two weeks than I can count as my friend and I have prayed in the wee hours of the morning for Lucas to be still and sleep. My faith has seriously been strengthened to see this happen time after time during the night hours! I wish Avery had been here to see it happening. It was truly amazing!

And now we are going home!!!!! Mind you, I am fully prepared for a turbulent couple of days, as there will be much adjustment to take place with all of us. But I'm ready. And I know Lucas is ready. The hospital is so boring. He's in the burn center, which isn't set up for kids at all. So, there's not a lot for him to do. He'll be so happy to be home. And I am so happy to be seeing the other kids again. And sleeping in my own bed again. Next to my husband. With my entire family once again under the same roof. With a deeper security of God's love and faithfulness to fight my battles than I had before. Safe in the knowledge that God is answering my prayers and healing my baby without surgery. God is indeed very good. Very, very good. Always.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Homefront

Well, I've decided that I must simply believe that the three kids at home really are doing okay. Many people from our family and circle of friends have pitched in to help out with them these past two weeks. And I have thoroughly interrogated each of them as to the well being of my three children at home. Every single person has told me that they are doing really good and seem to be very happy and content. My Amharic speaking friends (three) have all assured me that Yosef and Mihret both understand that their family is permanent, that Mom and Dad will indeed come home, etc. Yet I've been so worried about them. But today, it dawned on me that if the kids weren't okay, that at least one person would have let it slip by now! Let's face it- I think I have kids who are content and secure, even the newest additions. And I have to believe that God is holding them safe in the palm of His hand and that when I get home, we'll be able to deal with any issues that may have arisen in our absence.

Even Kaitlyn, my melodramatic little sweetheart seems to be doing okay. She did have an incident on the school bus today though. There is a girl who is periodically mean to Kaitlyn. Today, this girl teased Kaitlyn saying, "Your daddy smokes cigarettes!" Now, this is completely not true, but it hurt Kaitlyn's feelings and she told me that she cried on the bus. She related the story to me in tears as well. Poor baby!

Kaitlyn also reported to me in whispers on the phone so as not to be overheard that Mihret is not obeying Uncle Shane very good. :) When I asked Mihret, she insisted, "No, me very very good. Me tazazgi (basically means "obey) Uncle Shane!" Just in case, we told Shane to give her a "time-out" if she disobeyed! It melts my heart when she tells me, "Mommy, me love you. Yes, very very love. You come home today. Yes?" She's been with me for less than two months, but our hearts belong to each other. She is mine and I am hers. I miss her sweet little hugs so much!

And Yosef seriously is getting cuter by the day! He got a new bike for his birthday, which he totally loves. He also got lots of little bike accessories, which he has thoroughly enjoyed. I need to hurry home so I can watch him riding his new bike!

And my little Lucas. He's so sweet, even when he's as grouchy as he's been the past couple of days. He likes checking "his" email. And he's gotten so many nice cards and little packages in the mail. The poor kid had a tragedy happen though, and he doesn't even know it. Carrots is his green bunny that appears in many family photos. He's been a long-time best friend to Lucas and shows signs of extreme love on his stained self. When I say that Carrots is green, I mean that he's neon green and orange. Very bold colors. Yet, evidently, not bold enough, as the hospital laundry service picked him up amidst all of the WHITE hospital linens. And he's gone. We tried to find him, but he's just gone. Avery, the outstanding dad that he is, went on ebay though and found a new Carrots. The only problem is that the new Carrots is just that- NEW! He doesn't show any of the signs of love that the old Carrots showed. He actually has whiskers, he has a bow, his neck isn't smashed down from so many hugs that his head flops around. So we decided to tell Lucas that Carrots had gotten burned in the accident just like him, so we sent him to a special "stuffie" hospital where he would get all fixed up and that he could come back when he was better. We thought this was a very appropriate lie in this situation, as we didn't want him to be brokenhearted over his little Carrots and we knew that he would definitely notice the difference between old and new Carrots. Well, when we explained all of this to Lucas, his response was a very casual and off-handed, "Why didn't we just buy a new Carrots?!"
Dear Friends and Family,

Admittedly, I couldn't write this email earlier this morning when the doctor came to see Lucas, as I was quite heart broken to find out that he will have to stay in the hospital and the possibility of surgery has still not been taken off the table. But, after a few hours of sleep, things look brighter to me! :)

The doctor will come back on Thursday to look at his wounds again. While this morning's news wasn't what I had hoped for (I really wanted us to all go home today!), the news actually is good. The areas of concern are continuing to improve. He's healing quite well. But because of the depth of some of the burns, it is too early for the doctor to know if they will heal completely on their own or if they still might require surgery. So, keep praying! God's healing is much more gentle than surgery!

Also, please pray for Lucas to be able to sleep at night. His sleep is just so very tormented at nighttime. He's only getting a few hours at best each night, which means that's also how much I am sleeping. He's tormented by insane itching (a good sign of healing), pain, bad dreams, etc.

Avery's brother, Shane, is recovering quite well from his emergency surgery last week and is able to take care of the other kids for us. This is such a huge blessing to us to know that even though we can't be with them, at least they are in their own home with just one person caring for them instead of having them in a different house each night. But, with that said, I also feel so blessed by the friends in our life locally, as I have truly not had to worry about them for even a moment. (Not that I haven't worried, but there's no need, as I know God is caring for them)

Also, Avery talked to his boss this morning and since Lucas has to stay in the hospital this week as well, his boss has extended his PAID family leave time by allowing him to take PAID sick days for the rest of this week! And God's people have been so generous in blessing us financially so that we are able to stay here in Chapel Hill and travel home some too without having to worry about the expense of it all. As awful as this accident has been, we have no room to complain. God's blessing and provision and love have flowed with abundance through His people. Mind you, that doesn't mean I haven't complained! But when I'm not feeling exceptionally sleep deprived, I'm overwhelmed by all that God has done on our behalf. I can't say enough how very good God is and how blessed we are to have eyes to see His hand on our lives. Thanks for your prayers and keep praying! Good news coming on Thursday...


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ronald McDonald House

I am so thankful for the Ronald McDonald House. Avery has been sleeping there at night and finally convinced me to take some time out and go rest there. I took a nap and a bath there yesterday. It is so warm and cozy and peaceful. It felt as much like "home" as I could ask for right now. It was much, much better than the sterile, busy hospital. I wish I could take Lucas there. I think there's something healing about being at "home" somewhere.

Today I went there and spent some time talking with a friend on the phone (I miss my friends!). I talked with my friend about how much I miss my kids! And how much Lucas needs to get home as soon as possible. I've called this particular friend more times than I can count this week, especially in the middle of the night when Lucas can't stop crying and there's no more medication that he can take. She listens to me, consoles me, and prays for Lucas and for me. It was good to hear her voice.

After we talked, I grabbed my Bible and headed outside where I discovered a beautiful walking trail that winds through the woods. God knows my heart so well. Nothing can calm me the way being surrounded by nature does. I walked for a long time, then sat down with my back leaning on a fallen tree. I pulled out my Bible and read in Psalm 139 about how God goes behind me and ahead of me, that all of my days were known by Him before my life even began, that our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made. I'm still completely and utterly exhausted, but refreshed in my mind, emotions, and spirit.

After I finally came back to the house, a nice hot meal was waiting for me. I ate the best meal I've had since Lucas had his accident. As I bowed my head to thank God, I was truly so very thankful that it brought tears to my eyes. Lord, please bless the women from the local church who prepared that wonderful meal.

Now I'm back at the hospital where Lucas is busy with a very important job given to him by one of the nurses. He has to color and cut out animals for in the garden bulletin board at the end of the hall. It's good to see him taking his job so seriously!

Soon it will be bath time (which equal screaming time), and then bed time. If you're reading this on Saturday, please pray for lots and lots of sleep tonight for both of us.

Also, you can check out a (really poor quality) recording of a worship set Avery and I did at our church a few days before we came to the hospital. The recording has a lot of distortion, but I thought it was cool that Avery made me quasi famous by putting me on his blog! :) Toward the end of the song there is some Amharic that I threw in for Yosef and Mihret who both got ear to ear grins when I started singing. Lord, I miss my kids!

Lucas (Saturday 10:30AM)

As I type this, I am coming off the third sleepless night with Lucas. We were awake until 3:00AM last night. It was 5:30 AM the night before. 2:00AM the night before that. Needless to say, both he and I are absolutely exhausted. His itchiness is excruciating. No official word on the need for surgery yet. I have the option of getting him up at 5AM tomorrow morning for a bath so the doctor can see him and make a call. But I honestly think I'll probably wait until Monday, as the thought of 5AM is enough to make me cry right now! Pray for sleep and relief from itchiness!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Lucas (Wednesday 5:30PM)

Well, last night was a pretty rough night with Lucas. He was just in a lot of pain and his IV came out AGAIN. Thankfully, this time the nurse decided that enough was enough and didn't put it back in. She called the doctor and had him put on all oral medications instead. But, since last night was rough, he was still tired this morning and in a lot of pain. Bathtime was rough this morning. I did do most of the washing/peeling of the burns today, which is important if I'm ever to demonstrate the the hospital staff that I'm capable of caring for him on my own at home.

The really great news is that the one area of concern from yesterday looked completely different today. The doctor didn't come in to see him today, so I don't have a professional medical opinion on this. But to my untrained eye, it looked the same as the other areas that were formerly a concern until yesterday. I'm anxious and excited to hear what the doctor has to say about it, though I don't know when he'll come see him again.

This morning, one of the nurses pretty well summed up Lucas. I dropped Lucas off in the bath room then came back to get his bathrobe for him. While I was doing that, one of the nurses came to tell me that, "The emperor is summoning his queen!" I laughed so hard, as that's exactly what this situation is like!

Lucas was talking to my mom on the phone the other night and he kept asking her to bring him some broccoli and cheese. He was absolutely insistent that she needed to do that. Now, the kid really does like broccoli and cheese. He likes the kind in the little boxes in the frozen food section a lot. But he's not really eating anything right now and what a weird thing to be asking for! So when he hung up, I questioned him on it and discovered that he doesn't really want any broccoli right now. My mom had asked him if she could buy it and leave it in the freezer at our house, but he insisted that she needs to buy him a lot and bring it to the hospital. His reason was that he saw an opportunity (being in the hospital) and decided to try and get my mother to buy him something that he likes. But he is convinced that if she buys it and puts it in the freezer at our house that the other kids will eat it all before he gets home. S0 he wants her to bring it to him for a gift and keep it in the freezer at the hospital so he can take it home when he's released from the hospital!

Since coming to the hospital, I've been with Lucas nearly twenty-four/seven and I can honestly say that I've laughed more than I have in a long time! :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Yosef!!!!

On another note, my little Yosef is having a birthday today!!!!!! He is turning 10 years old!!!! Avery and I are leaving the hospital early this afternoon so we can go home for his party. Some of the very nice people here at the hospital have promised to help Lucas out and check in on him while I'm gone. Avery's aunt will be here at 5:30, so he'll only be alone for a few hours.

I talked to Yosef this morning and he is soooooo excited! I need to get some new pictures of him on my blog because he is soooooo incredibly cute. He has a cute little hair cut and is looking happier and happier all the time. Some very dear friends of mine took it upon themselves to completely organize a birthday party for him. All I have to do is arrive. What a huge relief for me! And what a blessing to all of us! Pictures coming soon...

Lucas Monday 10:00AM

Dear Friends and Family,

First, Avery's brother, Shane, made it through surgery just fine last night and his recovery is expected to be quite fast.

Second, the doctor came to look at Lucas this morning and the news we got was most encouraging! When the doctor last saw him, he said without question that a couple of areas would definitely need surgery. It was just a question of how large an area would need to be removed and grafted. This morning, all but one of those areas was showing signs of healing on its own though! And the area that isn't starting to heal yet is at a stage where it could go either way. So, the doctor is no longer saying that he definitely needs surgery. Instead, he wants to wait a few more days and see if that one spot does start to heal on its own. So....God is still on the throne! And He is still sovereign to heal! My faith is very much encouraged this morning that God is more than able to heal this without surgery. My heart is very settled that even if he does need surgery that it will still be okay, as God's faithfulness endures forever, with or without surgery. But I really want to see God demonstrate His power to heal in my little son.

I will keep you updated and thank you for your prayers!


Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday (5:00PM)

Update on Avery's brother- He's still in the waiting room of the ER. He's been there for nearly five hours now. The triage people did look at him, determined he has appendicitis, then put him back in the waiting room without so much as giving him pain medication. So we're praying that he will be quickly seen. I feel so bad for him, being so far away from home. But Steve, the pastor at our church, stayed with him up until about 30 minutes ago. Avery's cousin who goes to college about 45 minutes from our house got right in his car and went straight to the hospital when he found out. So, at least Shane isn't alone. And after Steve teaches a seminar, he's going back to the hospital.

Monday (1:00PM)

Well, life in our family seems to be a continual crisis these days! So continual in fact, that the only thing we can do is laugh. It's almost like a comedic movie, except it's actually happening to us! What am I talking about you might ask?

Well, Avery's brother Shane was going to stay with the other three kids through the month of May. Yesterday he started feeling sick in church. By the time I left to come back to the hospital in the afternoon, he was throwing up. Then last night he got a fever. This morning, the pain in his stomach localized to his lower right side. Yea, I know, you don't have to be a genius to know that sounds like apendicitis! Just to clarify, we asked the doctors here and they all said to send him straight to the ER as it sounds like a ruptured apendix to them. Poor kid! Thank God for good friends in our life though. Our pastor, Steve, rushed straight over to our house to take him to the emergency room. I have no news yet.

Lucas is doing pretty good today. He slept all through the night, only needing pain meds once, and not having any fever. It's back up to 101 right now, but he did great in physical therapy this morning. He was actually running! He has another session in about an hour. We'll know tomorrow what the doctor wants to do about surgery.

He was very concerned last night because he realized that the little syringes that he gets his medicine in are made of plastic. He really wanted the nurse to recycle them! What an environmentally friendly kid! :)

He was "really worried" again when he realized how much TV he's been watching. He cried and said, "I'm really worried because I watched TV all day and that's just not healthy and it will make me stupid!" He was so serious. How can I not laugh at this kid?!?!

On another note, I think that I forgot to mention that I got the teaching job that I interviewed for! I found out the day of the accident, so it kind of wasn't so much in the forefront of my mind! Hmmmm....I wonder why?!?! :)

I slept absolutely great last night. I woke up quite a lot to check on Lucas, but when I was asleep, it was really deep, good sleep. I actually feel rested and good today.

I did discover some burns on the poor little guy's head today though. The deal I made with him was that if he would take a nice bath, that I would spike his hair. So when I put the hair gel in and used the blow dryer, he cried out in pain. I looked at his head and sure enough, he has some crusty, oozy burns on the top of it. He's actually had crusty hair there every day, but I thought it was from being so sweaty while he sleeps. They're only minor 2nd degree burns though. He'll be fine. Still, nothing on his face, and that's the thing I'm so very thankful for.

Other things I'm really thankful for:

1. Avery's employer gave him 10 days of PAID family leave time. That's right- PAID!!! He won't be able to be at the hospital every single day, but he's able to be here a lot and that is such a blessing to Lucas and to me. It would be so much more difficult if I was by myself.

2. People have poured out their love on our family. People are praying for us. LOTS of people are praying for us. LOTS of emails, phone calls, LOTS of people giving financial help to us, as they understand how expensive it is to have to eat, sleep, live in a hospital. Not to mention we have a two hour drive from home to hospital. Even there though, I'm thankful it's not further.

3. Lucas is in such good spirits. He's such a happy, cute little kid.

4. My other kids have been well cared for and are happy.

5. I have more friends than I realized.

6. The friends I knew I had have drawn so much closer to me to pour out their love on me; to show me God's love.

7. So many people are loving me by loving my children right now. People are remembering the three that are home without their parents right now by sending them little treats. Yesterday in church, my dear friend Donna sat next to them during praise and worship just to be near to them and to reassure them of her love.

8. My dear friends have remembered me and Avery by putting together a care package for us. I don't know what is in it, but it's so heavy that it requires a man to carry it. It will be arriving very shortly for us.

9. My precious friend Ababa took Mihret to her house to wash and rebraid her hair so I wouldn't have to worry about it. And she looks like an adorable princess!

10. My little Kaitlyn and I have had some very sweet quiet moments together since this happened. My Yosef is speaking to me again. My Mihret is precious and funny as ever.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday 7:00AM

Happy Mother's Day! I have to get out of bed now, as I promised the other kids I'd leave the hospital to come take them to church on Mother's Day. I think that Yosef and Mihret probably don't have any concept of this day, but Kaitlyn does and she'll be devastated if I don't make it. I'm soooooo tired! And I hate driving in Raleigh, Carey, Chapel Hill, as I always get lost. God, help me drive this morning!

Lucas had a great day yesterday, but a very rough night. His fever spiked to 104 and has pretty much stayed there all night. I finally convinced them to ask the doctor to give him Motrin instead of Tylenol, as this is what he always takes at home. He hasn't gotten any yet. But at least they finally gave in! The staff here really is great, but nobody can mother like a mother! Honestly, there were several times in the night where I gave serious consideration to giving him some extra Tylenol, as I know I can double the dose and have him still be okay. But I decided against it because I know the staff needs to have an honest evaluation of his condition. Poor kid!

I just want to say that I am so thankful for wireless internet at this hospital! It can be so lonely being in the hospital. But this laptop has been my link to the outside world. It has meant so much to me to be able to lie in bed with Lucas while he's asleep and check my email. I don't always respond, but I'm reading every one of them. Lucas helped respond to some yesterday. He keeps asking me, "Mom,I want to check my emails about my boo boos." Then he wants to respond something to the effect of, "Dear________, I love you and miss you (even if he doesn't even know them). I miss you a lot. Thank you for praying for me. I love you. I hope you have a good day. And a good night too. I hope you have a good time. From: Lucas Benaiah Moore" This kid is so cute and funny that it would be very hard for me to be discouraged.

I'm also so thankful for friends that I can call in the middle of the night when his fever is spiked or when I can't stop crying. Those are the best kinds of friends anybody could ask for. The middle of the night friends.

In a time of crisis, you see how many blessings you have. You see how many people care about you. You see how good God is. It's funny, but I know that if we hadn't have had to walk through the last two years of this adoption with all of it's pain that my perspective of this current situation would be totally different. But in the past two years, I've come to a place of realizing that despite what happens in life, that God's goodness and faithfulness remain the same. And now, as I see my son in so much pain, I know in the deepest recesses of my heart that God's goodness and faithfulness have not changed. It's not even a struggle. I know it beyond anything I've ever known before. And it's because of our adoption journey. God is very good.

Mind you, I really would like for my life to not look like one crisis and drama after another! :)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Lucas (Saturday 6:00PM)

Today, there have only been improvements! Thank you, God! Lucas did so good with his exercises today. He even "ran" a few steps toward the elevator. He bent over to pick up a toy a few times. He made a few baskets with a basketball. This is all very good and very vital stuff as far as future mobility of his arm is concerned. Very good stuff. He really worked hard today and is now completely exhausted. As long as his pain meds are working, he's great. Once they start to wear off, the little guy is suffering. But there's not a very long window between when they wear off and when he can have more.

The infection looks a lot better today, so the antibiotics are doing their job. Also, his arm where there was still some question as to whether it would need a skin graft is much better today now that the infection is healing. The spots on his shoulder and back where he definitely needs a skin graft look more clear today too.

Lucas continues to crack up all of the staff here. He really doesn't understand why everybody laughs at him all the time and he's starting to get annoyed with me. In fact, before he fell asleep a few minutes ago, he scowled at me and told me that I'm not allowed to laugh in his room anymore because I'm not a sick person. I'm just his guest! Of course, this made me laugh yet again, which made him even more mad at me! And just then the oxycodone kicked in and he fell asleep! :)

These are a few of the reasons why I can't stop laughing at him:

Yesterday, his nurse, Derek, had to do a strep culture with one of those long cotton swabs. As Derek pulled the swab out of the package, Lucas started to cry. I asked him what was wrong. His reply...and I quote...."I'm just really worried!" I asked, "Why are you worried?" His response was, "I'm really worried that Derek is going to use that and touch my epiglottis. And if you touch your epiglottis, you'll DIE!" Okay. Who could possibly contain their laughter over a five-year-old even saying the word "epiglottis", much less actually knowing what region of the body the epiglottis can be found in?!

His very strict rule about his room is that the only person who is allowed to sit on, lay on, look at, or breathe near his hospital bed is Mommy. He makes an exception for the doctors and nurses.

The word for yesterday was "placebo." I say this because he decided that by blowing on the capped end of his IV tube in his arm that it could instantly relieve his pain! He would desperately cry out, "Mommy! Quick! Blow on my IV!" I would blow and he would instantly find relief from his pain! If I stopped, the pain immediately returned. I totally cracked up when I looked over at him and saw him blowing on his own IV! He's soooo cute! :)

This morning as we walked down the hall for his bath (probably the most painful part of his day), he asked for juice as we passed the "Juice Room" as he calls it. I told him he could have some after his bath, not wanting the added distraction. As we got to the door to the bath room, he looked at me very seriously and said, "Mom, let's make a deal. You give me juice and I'll take a nice bath. Okay?" His tone and expression were so serious that I couldn't refuse the kid his juice!

The other three kids came to the hospital today. I spent most of my time with Kaitlyn in a private waiting room watching TV with her. I miss them all so much and am trying to give each of them some quality one-on-one time when I do get to see them. It was very nice to just sit quietly with her while she had a snack without the pressure and distraction of being with everybody else. Kaitlyn is such a calming person. She has a very quiet, calming presence about her and this unique ability to sit quietly and just "be." Gosh, that sounds strange! It's hard to describe, but it's a very good quality. She's the kind of person who is therapeutic just to be around when you're alone with her. Mind you, she can completely change personalities at any moment, especially when other people are around. But today, she was very calm and I just enjoyed a little bit of togetherness with her. I've been so worried about her.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend much time with the other two. I carried Mihret around the halls for a few minutes and hugged her. She has a high need for lots of hugs, so I tried to give her that in the little bit of time I had with her. Her braids are getting messy, but I asked my friend Ababa to take Mihret to her house today and wash her hair and re-braid it. So, I'm hoping she was able to do that.

I'm very worried about Yosef. When he first came home, he was very attached to Avery, but I had to work at it. I really looked for ways to meet him in his own world as far as bonding is concerned. I had some friends praying specifically for this. And after a couple of weeks, he started to really come around with me. He became very affectionate with me and we started to bond on an emotional level. It was very good. But we've definitely taken a few steps back. I've seen him twice since the accident and he won't look at me, talk to me, or touch me. He's most sad because he misses Avery so very much. His dad became his hero last July when Avery visited him. And now his little world just got turned upside down. I think that he's so upset about being separated from Avery that he just can't even think about Mom right now. And I'm okay with that. I can't imagine this poor little kid's frame of mind right now. Right now, he just really needs his Dad. If you're reading this, please pray for Yosef especially.

But, despite all of the upheaval, the three kids are doing good. They're back at their own house now. Albeit, they are being cared for by strangers. But just a few weeks ago, we were strangers too. At least they have the stability of home right now. Avery's mom and brother are with them. Tomorrow, Avery's mom has to leave, but his brother is staying until the end of May. My parents will be at the house all next week to help out. Shane, Avery's brother, is such a God-send right now. I am so thankful that my kids will have the stability of one person during this time. Many, many people have stepped up to the plate with offers to take care of the kids. And I will definitely be calling on some of them to give Shane a break from time to time. But it's so good to know that Shane will be their constant right now. He's very good with kids, so I know they'll be alright. And Yosef will have a man around, which is really important to him.

Alright. I need to make some phone calls. Thanks for all of your prayers and support.

Friday, May 11, 2007


At this point, we will be at the hospital until at least sometime around May 23. So, here is a mass response to emails asking for his address to send cards to. The baby is sleeping peacefully tonight. We can feel the prayers of so many. God has been very good to us. Today was not how I would have chosen to spend a day, but there were many blessings today. God's love and concern for us is so tangible. Even in this, God is very good. In the Bible, it is written that even when bad things happen, God can turn them around and make them work together for good. God is always all about redeeming broken situations, broken hearts, broken lives. This is yet one more opportunity to see God redeem something horrible and make beauty out of brokenness. I know I wouldn't have this perspective if it weren't for the prayers of so many. Thank you all!

Lucas Moore - Room 5405
C/O NC Jaycee Burn Center
UNC Hospitals
101 Manning Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

How It Happened

I realized earlier when I started getting emails asking how Lucas got burned that I never actually said. He was burned with hot cooking oil. I had deep fried some perogies (potato filled pastry that is deep fried or sauteed) for supper on Wednesday night and Lucas and Mihret stood on a little picnic table next to the stove to watch. I told them to get down so they wouldn't get burned. Mihret got down and ran off. Lucas got down and somehow (I don't know exactly how) the pan of hot oil got tipped over on top of him. He screamed and all pandemonium broke out with screaming in Amharic and English. It was definitely not good! I have never freaked out before when my kids have been hurt. I've always been very good about being calm on the outside and systematically dealing with stuff in the moment and saving my "falling apart" until later. But when I saw my son standing there with his skin hanging off his arms, I really lost it and I started screaming too. So when I started screaming, the other kids started screaming. I got his clothes off and put him in the sink where I rinsed him with cold water to cool him down. Then I wrapped him in a clean sheet and called 911. I gave them the location, details, etc. but it evidently wasn't the order they wanted it in. So they began asking me all of these same questions in a different order. Then they started asking whether he was breathing. Mind you, he was screaming his head off! Then they were confused about our address and which county we live in. At that point I decided that I was wasting valuable time talking on the phone and put him in the van. Our next door neighbor stayed with the other kids and I took him to the ER myself. The ER was absolutely great. They had pain meds and an IV ready before I even got him laid down on the bed. They were wonderful from start to finish. The RN attending to him was so good that she clocked out at the end of her shift, but stayed right with us until the ambulance from the burn center arrived. She was such a blessing to me. She was very loving and calm to me and extremely attentive to Lucas and did not allow him to suffer pain. She was very on top of giving him the pain medication. The burn center has been wonderful as well. They have really taken such good care of him. The recreational therapist helped keep him happy during his very painful bath today and has even scheduled to come in on Saturday and Sunday, her days off, to help with his bath to make it easier for him.

When the accident first happened, it was hard to find a spot on his body that wasn't red. And his hair was covered with oil. But there isn't a single spot of burn on his face or head. There isn't even a speck of splatter burn on his face. And most of the red spots on his body diminished by the next day. Only 11% of his body was estimated to be burned the morning after it happened. Thank God, he was wearing jeans, which protected his legs. He has a little bit of first degree burn on his hip, going around to the front. But it goes no further than that.

Okay. I must be finished. I have a cute little boy lying next to me who wants nothing more than to hold my hand. Please pray for our other three kids. I am very worried about all three of them.

Lucas (Friday 4:00PM)

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you all for your prayers, phone calls, emails, and visits. It's true that in times of crisis, you find out how many people really care about you. There are people in several countries all around the world praying for this little guy and he's even expecting a phone call later from a little boy who heard about Lucas and is calling because he was burned badly last year in a campfire. God has been very good to our family. What the enemy means for our harm, God always uses for good for those who love Him. And my little Lucas definitely loves God!

Lucas is on antibiotics for cellulitis (infection) and will be having surgery tentatively set for Wednesday of next week. Some of the burns on his arms are clearly too deep to heal without skin grafts and are infected. The good news is that when he leaves, we'll know for sure that he's good to go. His spirits are much better today than yesterday. Despite having a fever, he's been very good today. He was very cooperative in his physical therapy and is doing well with mobility. And he has completely stolen the hearts of the staff here at the hospital! They all think he's the most hilarious thing they've ever seen! :)

Thank you all so much for your love and concern.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

U[pdate On Lucas

Dear Family and Friends,
The good news is that a lot of the red areas on Lucas's body have cleared up today. Also, his head and face are not burned at all. His right arm, shoulder, most of his back, and his left foot/ankle are 2nd degree burns and they still haven't determined how deep a few areas are as to classify them as 3rd degree. He is sleeping on me as i type following a pretty rough morning. We are asking God to protect him from the pain when he wakes up. The doctor said this morning that in one week they will evaluate to see if he can be cared for at home. In six weeks, they will evaluate how well it is healing to decide whether surgery is needed. That will depend largely on How well he's fighting infection. They have already started physical therapy to promote healing, fight infection and swelling, etc and it is quite painful. So, please pray specifically for the little guy. He thinks it is so cool that people all over the world are praying for him! He's been totally cracking up the doctors and nuses.:)

Pray For Lucas

Dear Family and Friends,

As some of you already know, our 5 year old son Lucas was burned quite badly last night. He is in the UNC Burn Center at Chapel Hill near Raleigh. We will know more later today after the doctor sees him. At first estimate, we were told that he had 2nd and some 3rd degree burns on 20 percent of his body. They have since downgraded it to 11 percent. Praise God, his face head, and neck did not receive any burns. Please pray that infection does not set in and we are also asking God for there to be no scaring. We're also asking that you pray for our other kids, as it was quite a bad situation with lots of screaming and Amharic flying around when it happened as we were all trying to know what to do. Avery was at the store when it happened and I left the other three kids with a neighbor without sayin goodbye to them or anything. I definitely think it was too soon to leave Yosef and Mihret overnight, but God will be faithful to them. They are in the good hands of a very dear friend right now and I know she will watch over them as her own. I will keep you updated.

Thank you,

Monday, May 07, 2007

Bird-Catching Officially Banned!

That's right. I have had to officially ban the catching of birds. At least temporarily. On Friday, Yosef caught another bird. But this time, it squirmed out of his hands and got loose inside our house! He wasn't really sure what to do with his freedom once he got it. He didn't fly out the open door as I was hoping. He just kept filtering around the living room landing on chairs, toys, sofa, books, blankets, etc. Each time he landed, I had three kids take a dive at him which caused him to fly away (of course!) as objects crashed to the ground with them! Finally, Yosef managed to get hold of the stunned little thing and I told him that he had to release it and not catch any more birds. Now they've taken up learning to do flips on the trampoline that our neighbors just gave them. Lord, please no broken bones! :)

On another note, Yosef cracked me up this morning. We were in the van and a song came on the radio about being "hungry" for God. I wasn't really noticing the song though. Yosef kept telling me "She is hungry, Mom?" as he laughed. I looked around and saw no hungry women. I didn't see any full women either! I didn't see anybody at all, but he kept insisting that "She is hungry?!" It was sort of an exclamation and sort of a question of disbelief. Then he started laughing about the hungry woman. Suddenly I realized that he was referring to the woman singing the song. Evidently, that's not a concept that translates culturally! :)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Interview Accomplished!

Whew! I sure am glad that yesterday is over and done with! The interview went very well. They didn't offer me the job yesterday, but I am pretty confident that they will call soon to do so. The prayers of many are appreciated! As nervous as I was, it really was fine. And the reality is sinking in that in just a little over 2 months, my days as a stay-at-home mom will be coming to an end! I am really seriously so sad over this! I have so enjoyed this time with my children. And I'm so thankful that Yosef and Mihret got home in time to spend a few months with me before they start school in the fall. Note: As I got dressed in my pale yellow dress shirt and black tailored business suit, my children all agreed that I looked like I was wearing men's clothing! Ahhh!!!! Not what I wanted to hear! :)