Friday, August 30, 2013

Update on Adelaide

My sister-in-law posted this on facebook:

Our sweet Adelaide Therese underwent an almost 6 hour open-heart surgery earlier today to correct her tetralogy of fallot and her discontinuous left pulmonary artery, and she is now recovering like a champ. The surgeon told us afterwards that it was one of the most tedious surgeries he has done, but he is confident that things went well. We are forever grateful for all of your love, prayers, and support!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Please pray for my sweet niece Adelaide Therese

Our newest niece, Adelaide Therese, was born on Tuesday afternoon.  We already knew she had a defect concerning her heart, but once she arrived the situation became much more serious than once thought.  She was baptized that evening and given last rites.  She was then transferred to Omaha, Nebraska to undergo the first of many tests to determine which treatment plan to follow.
She will be undergoing open heart surgery tomorrow and I humbly ask for your prayers and sacrifices for her and her family.

Below is the note we received from my brother-in-law this evening.  Thank you in advance for your kindness.

"Just wanted to give you an update.  We had a good day today.  She got a handful of screening tests done today (abdominal ultrasound, brain ultrasound, and an EKG) and from what they understand now it all turned out normal.  We met with the surgeon, and he said the surgery will likely occur around noon/1 o'clock.  He seemed very confident that it would be a successful surgery.  It will take about 4 to 5 hours, she will be under anaesthesia for about 4 hours, she will be 'opened up' for about 3 hours, and on the by-pass and artificial lung for about 1.5 hours.  The main things they are planning on accomplishing are first to correct the discontinuous left pulmonary artery (detach the left pulmonary artery which is currently not attached to the main pulmonary artery (so the oxygenated blood is not getting to her heart from the lungs as it should) and attach it).  Out of the thousands of pediatric heart surgeries he has done, he has done this three other time, but is very confident in the surgery.  This same thing might be occurring on the right pulmonary artery but should have a better idea once they open her up (it is also not as severe as it is on the left).  The second thing on the docket is much more common in babies.  He is going to correct the hole in her heart (i.e., a VSD) which is allowing the oxygenated blood to mix with the non-oxygenated blood.  The heart itself is "squeezing" just fine, it's just sending blood every which way and it's taking the long way around.  They expect this to be a pretty straight forward surgery and the surgeon placed the chances of survival above 99%, but there are many risks from nerve damage, strokes, requiring a permanent pace maker, to her body not taking the blood transfusion blood, and excesses bleeding after they stich her up, etc.  Your prayers for God's will to be done are much appreciated.  It was also very special today because Cacki and I got to hold her for about 10 minutes each...she was so comfortable with us holding her that her blood pressure dropped a little and then the nurse made us put her back in her bed.  She is awfully sweet, we think we'll keep her.

We really wished you all coud have been here for the baptism, but we thought that you all would understand.  Fr. Marzynski baptized her (he is a native Pole, and kept pronouncing her name "Adeline" hopefully it counts).  Some ladies here in town make baptismal gowns out of old wedding dresses specifically for the nicu babies that get baptized, so we were able to get one of those for our Adelaide.  Also, Fr. used a small seashell for the baptism.  He then gave her the anointing of the sick.  It was beautiful in its simplicity.  Here are some pictures of the baptism at St. E's in Lincoln, and some more pictures at the nicu here at the Nebraska Methodist Hospital in Omaha. " 

Friday, August 16, 2013

My idol

 I admire a great many people.  I rank getting to know people as probably my favorite hobby.  When we go the library, I am immediately drawn to the biography section as each life present in the pages I read opens up the door to yet another human being that God created for a reason to lead people to heaven.  To me, that is why each person matters so much.  My mother taught us to say, "What can I learn from you?"

My spiritual life pretty much can be summed up by introducing you to the one person I admire almost more than any other human I've ever met.  I will call her Stacy.  I grew up knowing Stacy in my rural hometown in Kansas.  She was always quick to call out my name when she drove her motorized cart past our home eagerly anticipating my mother being outside as she knew my mother always had time to listen to her stories she told over and over.  Upon glancing at Stacy, you cannot help but be drawn back in disgust.  She slobbers, drools, her hands are in braces which flail about, she smells, her past meals are always present on her mouth or her clothes, and she sweats profusely.  She is visibly Christ crucified.

As a result of a tramatic birth and lack of oxygen, Stacy suffered severe brain damage.  Due to her disabled state, her parents abandoned her and she was given to the state to take care of.  She was passed from home to home in her youth.  She was raped by several of the workers in one facility that left her with an STD that she still suffers from.  So, let's back up a moment. She was abandoned by her parents due to circumstances outside of her control.  She has never learned to walk and has been wheelchair bound her WHOLE life.  I believe she is in her forties now.  On top of that, she was raped.  The sufferings she endures daily due to that incident leave me often without words.  She lives alone in an apartment about a block from my childhood home.  Once in the winter, her wheelchair had tipped over just outside her apartment and had to wait hours for somebody to come help her.  She called my mother often for assistance as she depends upon everybody for everything.  She has normal menstrual cycles, gets the flu and throws up, and suffers numerous other womanly issues just like everybody else except the fact she can't take care of any of it.  When I was home this past summer, my mother informed me that Stacy was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy.

To me, we all have to earn heaven.  To me, Stacy has set the bar so high and the athlete that I am following.  We all have to run the same race.  God loves us all the same and wants us all to be with HIM.  You see, she is doing her sufferings on this side of heaven.  I have known nothing but love my whole life.  God blessed me with great parents, a happy and holy home, and great siblings.  I grew up in their love only to meet John and continue to know God's love so strongly through him and our children.  She has had none of that.  Even though her body is "deformed", most of her mind is perfect.  She mentions to my mother often about wanting to find somebody to spend her life with.  She has never known the love of anybody especially as a woman, the love of a man.  EVER.

So for me, if she has already suffered so much, I say to myself, "Lindsay, you better get going."  You better start picking the hard road now if she is already on lap 2,000,000,000 and you are only on lap 50.  The saints understood this concept perfectly.  They knew that the road of suffering was the ONLY way to go while on earth.  They would look at Stacy and know that she was the one truly blessed not us "normal" people who have life "easy."  We really need a return to the old phrase of "Offer it up." I recently finished Fr. Emil Kapaun's story.  I was love sick for a week about the heroism of this man.  He understood this concept perfectly.  When the guards were taking him off to die and the fellow prisoners were crying, he told them

"You're sorry for me?  I am going to be with Jesus Christ.  And that is what I have worked  for all my life.  And you say you're sorry for me?  You should be happy for me.  I'm going where I've always wanted to go."

I came across three quotes this week that have stuck with me.

"What we suffer should be our own secret, this silence is pleasing to the Heart of Jesus."-Ven. Mother Barat

"All that We Do without Offering it to God is Wasted."  St. John Vianney

and the words right before we receive Our Lord in Communion, the priest says quietly,

"May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life."
"May the Blood of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.

I loved especially these last words as what more shall we want here, but to be kept safe for eternal life.  I do know that sufferings keep us safe as Christ has shown us by His own example.  I do not understand the cross, but I do know that is the road we are to desire.

Please help me to get it right.  Stacy has it right not the world that blasts me to seek perfection in the opposite direction.  Help me to desire to be like HER.  I am mindful of her a lot and because of her fine example and the grace of God, I am often motivated to pick the hard road.  If she can endure a lifetime of that intensity of suffering, I can certainly strive to endure what God has so simply chosen for me today.

As always, I continue to encourage all to choose the hard road.  Do not be afraid of the interior resistance you find.  Our fallen nature is draw back and scorn the hard life.  Our souls long for it and need it.  Unlike Stacy, most of us are at least afforded a companion while suffering.  That is why Stacy is all the more heroic to me.  God asked the additional gift of her to be alone while carrying her heavenly cross.

I know I will be jealous of her on the other side.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Yesterday, I was picking up a few new titles from Barnes and Noble.  One of them being a copy of "Little Women."  The cashier mentioned to me that she had recently visited the home in Massachusetts.  She told me how tiny the home was and she wondered how the hoop skirts ever fit up the staircase.  My heart skipped a little bit at the thought of showing our girls this home.  I hope we can go together someday.  Honestly, I hope we can do about a billion things together someday.  It occurs to me on a daily basis how much I want to show them, tell them, and experience life's big and little pleasures with them.  Time just seems to slip from us way too fast.

Taking children anywhere presents its obvious challenges especially when I am largely pregnant.  I am often motivated by what we will see together and how I will be grateful for that time together.  I do mentally prepare myself for outings expecting lots of fits, several bathroom trips, ungrateful moments when I seem to be working so hard for them to have fun.  The rewards always trump the difficulties.  I love watching their faces watch things.  I love watching their hands look at things and my very favorite is when they find something and can't wait to show me.  I often see them mouth, "Mama" and then look around to find me to show me their new discovery.

 He thought it looked like it was from the Lord of the Rings.

Both John and I are acutely aware of our short time with them.  I recently had a conversation with a friend about the daily motherings.  She confided that she usually wakes up with a sense of dread for each day.  I tried to reassure her how normal her feelings were and of course, I too, even though I love my time with them feel that heavy weight most mornings.  The loneliness, the monotony, the decisions, the indecisions all present so many challenges each day.  I am able to see beyond that and have the foresight to know what I want 80 years from now.  With that, I am motivated to do the daily requirements.  I read yesterday that most of us have the WILL to win, but few of us have the WILL to PREPARE to win.  Each day, we stand at our post preparing ultimately for heaven. I am largely motivated by the time and effort we put into their spiritual formation and the forming of their consciences that take daily preparation and attention.

I want to have raised my own children.  I want to have been the one that was there day after day answering all of life's questions big and small.  I want to be the one they see each day and hope they find security that mom is at her post waiting to help them, laugh with them, pray for them.  I want to be the one who lays Damaris down each day for her nap and then comes to get her every afternoon. I want to be the one who takes them for a walk after lunch to stroll through the neighborhoods before nap time. I want to be the one who shows them about mothering and being a wife.  I hope to show them all of life's beauties each day be it an incredible museum, a beautiful sunset, how to cook an marvelous dinner to surprise John, how to pray, how to apologize and admit when I was wrong and to be the one who sits by their side when they aren't feeling well on the couch.  John and I often comment how well our own mothers took care of us when we were sick.   I want to show them how to use the phone or answer the door.  I was dropping Lillie off at an event and I watched her hold the door for a handicap child walking in with his walker.  I want to be the one who sees those things so I can tell her how very proud I am of her.  I love picking them up from events and arriving early just so I can watch them mingle with their friends only to delight at seeing that I've pulled up and hear, "Hi MOM!!!"

I have made myself sit through seemingly mundane events because I want to be there and experience life with them at its fullest.  I know I will be glad we took the time.  My mom said it perfectly yesterday, "You daily put their needs above your own.  What a beautiful gift you've given to them."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What a boy!

I know that I am overly repetitive about this child. I am behind on blogging as my time has been spent elsewhere preparing for the arrival of our newest in about six weeks.  I always tell myself, "Just write something, anything...even if it is one sentence."  So, I need to get back on track.

 Dominic has spent this week at Camp Gargano.  He has had the time of his life learning to be a soldier for Christ.  The day is structured very rigorous and he arrives home tired, muddy, and full of wonderful tales Doug Barry has challenged these young boys to do and to be.  He talked non-stop yesterday detailing every story Mr. Barry shared with them about growing in virtue and living your faith not just in the Church, but everywhere you go.
Dominic and John going on their traditional Friday night dates.  They went to a Saltdogs game and Dominic caught a baseball, a hotdog, and they were on the Jumbo-Tron.  

Before Shower.  I love how he stood bewildered.  He asked if I would take his picture before he jumped in the shower and after.

Sometimes, he still is so unbelievably innocent that I can hardly believe it.  We were leaving the library one day and passed a bookshelf full of books and videos they were selling.  He found a movie that was his favorite when he was very small.  He grabbed it to show me and commented on how he still loved that movie.

After shower.
Having him be gone these few hours each morning this week has left me very pensive. I am so accustomed to them always being with me and such a part of my day and our comings and goings.  I told my mom tonight that I miss him already and he is still living in our home.

He has been a pleasure to raise.