Monday, December 31, 2007

Too Funny!

Yes, the Christmas season is almost over but for those who want one last laugh, check out this blog - Jacob and I were cracking up. If you are a Griswold fan, you have to see this!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Update

Yes, we're a bit behind in the Christmas photos but hopefully some of these will suffice. We enjoyed a quiet day (as quiet as a house full of 5 kids can be) with Ken's mom, my parents and my sister. My kids had originally gotten up at 3 am (yes, you read that right!) and I did my best to hustle them back to bed without losing my composure. We've spent the last couple of days trying to put the house back together and visiting with Ken's mom and the kids' friends.
The big news for the week is that Caleb has said his first word! Yes, it is "mama" :) I got my Christmas wish :) I was also able to get most of the glue off his face (he was NOT happy about that one) and we are continually amazed at how good he looks. We've been able to lose the no-no's since he is not putting anything in his mouth and has stopped sucking on his fingers at night. I know they were really bothering him at night so this has been a nice change for him. We gave him some pizza tonight in tiny bits - it is his favorite food and he was sooo excited! He is also walking with just one hand and managed to climb the entire flight of stairs tonight without me knowing it - gotta make sure that gate is up at ALL times.
He loves his new toys, especially anything musical or car related. Ken has always joked that his long fingers were perfect for a concert pianist. We'll have to see!
Praying that each of you have had a wonderful Christmas full of God's blessings. We are overwhelmed by His goodness to us!

Christmas 07

Friday, December 21, 2007

Looking Good!

Stitches came out today! Didn't even have to count to 3 and it was all done. Unfortunately, there is still a bunch of the adhesive that covered the stitches remaining. They cannot pull it off without hurting his skin so it just has to wear off. It is much harder on me I'm sure - he's probably oblivious! Those mama genes that want to scrub a face clean are going crazy!
I've also added the only picture I have of the girls at their Christmas dance recital. It was very chaotic and no flash photography was allowed so this is it. They were cute anyway :)
The last week has been very stressful for all of us. I am planning on spending the next few days just enjoying getting ready for Christmas and preparing our hearts for the celebration of the coming of the Messiah!

Monday, December 17, 2007

A little better everyday

Yesterday we gave Caleb some scrambled eggs, chocolate cake :) and mashed potatoes by hand. It worked! He ate like a champ and I'm sure is a much happier little boy. He did give us a bit of a scare with a bit of a bloody nose when he woke up from his nap but the dr. did not think it was a problem and that he probably just bumped it on his no-no.
The girls had their Christmas dance recital yesterday - I'll post pictures later. It was Sarah's first time dancing on stage and she loved it. Their group was as cute as can be. Anna's dance was so grown up - when did that happen? She did great and it is fun to watch my girls do something that they love.
It is hard to believe that we are only a week out from Christmas. I've still got some shopping to do! Don't expect Christmas cards this year - we'll send you Happy New Years cards instead :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Day at Home

That sweet smile is starting to show through! Could he be any cuter? (sorry for the dirty bib - I didn't realize it until I posted this picture but it is a cute picture of Caleb :) )
My sweet Sarah!

Ken was busy shuttling the older kids around today while I stayed home with Sarah and Caleb. It was nice to have extra cuddle time with my two little ones. Of course Sarah had to be a diva :) and we caught some of Caleb's first smiles today. We are having a bit of struggle with the eating thing. He is only allowed liquids - no spoons, only what I can squeeze through the nipple of his cleft nurser. The problem is that he will not take anything but his milk with Carnation Instant Breakfast in his bottle. Since his repair is good but very tight (due to the width of his cleft), I do not want to risk any fistulas by jumping the gun food wise. And of course this is better than another palate surgery. But it is going to be a long 10 more days watching my little guy want to eat table food and not being able to let him!

Friday, December 14, 2007

More before and after

Cookies and Consequences

Caleb loved his first tastes of my chocolate chip cookies but the mess they made meant a trip to the DREADED bath tub. This was the first bath in all the time we've had him that he did not cry. It was a miracle!

Decorating the Tree

Kid's Christmas Program

Sarah and her buddy, Nate

Anna singing her duet with Britney

Jacob singing his solo

Jacob was part of the "cleaning crew" - comic relief for the evening. Talk about type casting....

With Caleb's surgery I've gotten behind on posting so here are a few photos from the last couple of weeks to keep you up to date with the Weikel household :)

A new smile :)

Before, the morning of the surgery...

Thursday afternoon, 2 days after surgery

We're home! Sorry I didn't post to the blog while in the hospital - I had some more important things to attend to :) Caleb's surgery went remarkably well. He fell asleep in my arms in the preop room and has recovered very well. So far no fistulas (little holes) so we are holding out hope that we won't have another surgery for another year or so. He is drinking his bottles but isn't too happy about not getting his solid food. His big brown eyes just stare at you longingly as you eat - its enough to make anyone feel guilty! We had great nurses and a wonderful roommate (hi Riley!). We feel so very blessed by the whole experience. It could have been so much worse and it isn't fun to watch your little person hurt. But the nursing staff did a great job with his pain management and taking care of us. I sure don't want to have to do it again (and I'm sure Caleb doesn't either!) but we are convinced that God continues to just put his hand on our little guy. Thank you so much for all the prayers. They were felt and appreciated and answered! Continue to pray for his healing and for the adjustment of the rest of the kids. It hasn't been easy to have Mom away for 3 nights and poor Ken has been running crazy. We're all ready for a little bit less chaos in our home!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This is it!

In just a few short hours Caleb will be going into surgery to repair his lip, palate and put in ear tubes. I have wrestled with some sadness at my little boy never looking the same again and knowing that he is going to be in quite a bit of pain the next few days. Please keep us in your prayers and I'll leave you one last time with the sweet smile that we fell in love with!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas Tree Time

Is this the angel for the top of the tree?

Yes, we still get a live tree every year! We did our annual "Great Tree Hunt" last night. It only took a few looks and the perfect tree (we hope!) was found.

He's A Trooper!

Today was the day I have been dreading - preop bloodwork time. After some prayer and two sticks, they were able to get the 4 vials they needed! We were both happy when that was over :)
Caleb continues to grow and play. It is so much fun to watch him interact with his brothers and sisters. Just thought I'd share some of the photos from today...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

God's in the Details

One of the difficulties in cleft surgery is coordinating all the specialists involved since we are doing things out of order by not attending the cleft clinic first. 90% of all cleft kids end up needing ear tubes so a trip to the ent is a preop necessity. The problem that we were going to have was that Caleb is not the first case of the day - his surgery is at noon - and most ents don't like to do tubes any other time than first case (8am). The cranio facial dr recommended a particular ent who MIGHT consider it - we would have to call and see. I called yesterday and they agreed to see us today. So after I scrambled to find somewhere for the other kids to go (thank you Jennifer!!!), I headed out to this dr appt in No. VA, near the hospital. Well, we got there 30 minutes early (no traffic - yeah!) and were seen immediately. After a quick exam, he said that yes Caleb needs tubes and he would be able to do it. That was it. We were out of there before our appt was even scheduled! I just sat in the car, blown away at how quickly all of this has happened and how it has all fallen into place. There is no explanation other than God has this all figured out. We're just along for the ride. And what a ride it is :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving at the Weikels

Jacob helping Ken stuff the turkey

Kendra, aka Calamity Jane, outshooting her nephews (or at least trying!)

Caleb's first Thanksgiving!

Fall colors before the storm

It was a quiet one this year with just us, my parents and my sister. It was kind of nice to just hang out for the day. Ken brined and grilled the turkey - if you've never tried it this way you gotta!! It was the best turkey ever! Anna was sick in the morning so some of us missed Thanksgiving service at church. A bit of a bummer since that is one of my favorite services of the year and we usually miss it since we are often out of town. The girls and I snuggled up and watched the parade on TV and Caleb got a pre-meal nap so all was not lost. Hope that you and yours had a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


After contemplating for awhile what to write, I figured I'd just list out the things I"m thankful for and acknowledge to whom I am thankful.
*I am thankful that the Creator of the Universe loves me, sent His son to die for me and is faithful. If I've learned anything this year, it is that God is faithful. Whether it was during our dark days of waiting, the frustrating days of homeschooling 4 (now 5!) kids, the joys of prayers answered, God has been faithful. He has proven himself over and over again. I am grateful to be able to rest in His faithfulness.
*I am thankful for my soulmate, my support, my best friend, Ken. After being married 15 years this year, I can honestly say that it is so much better now than it has ever been. I can't imagine another man who I'd rather spend my life with!
*I am thankful for my children. To think that there are 5 people in my home, each with a unique personality, each with a character and purpose, created by God - wow. To think that we are responsible for their training can be daunting at times but to be able to participate in their lives and to watch God work in them is such an honor.
*I am thankful for having been raised in Christian homes. Our parents have been nothing short of supportive of us, even if they think that we're a bit hairbrained sometimes. Their prayer support and hands on support mean the world to us!
*I am thankful for a church home and a body of believers who are not only supportive but also willing to walk along side us. Their encouraging and sometimes tough words are a treasure. The fun we have is icing on the cake!
*I am thankful that God has given us a purpose in life and that He doesn't let us stay where we are. He has pushed and prodded us out of our comfort zone over the years. It has often been painful. But the blessings have been enormous. When I think of what we would have missed out on if we had said no to His promptings - well it makes me sad to think about it. To think that we almost did not listen to His call to adopt again and to adopt special needs... Watching Him work in Caleb almost takes my breath away at times. I can't imagine having missed that.
*I am thankful for our country. I think every American should spend time outside of our country. Especially those who gripe and complain the loudest. Because, with all our faults, this is still one of the best places in the world to live. I have such a respect for what we have after being places that just don't have these things. Not that other countries and cultures aren't rich and wonderful. They are and I have found wonderful people in all the places we have visited. But we have soooo much to be thankful for here and I just think that so many people take these things for granted.
*I am thankful for you. For those who I call friend who I may not ever meet in person but who's support and friendship in the cyber world have been a balm to my spirit. Thank you!
So, on this day, I say thank you to God for his blessings. I feel overwhelmed by His goodness. The words of one of my favorite hymns keeps playing through my head, "Great is thy faithfulness, oh God my Father. There is no shadow of turning with thee. Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not. As thou has been, thou forever wilt be." May your heart be full of thanksgiving and your soul be anchored in Him!

He's a Bruiser!

Ok, not really. But when I took Jacob to the drs today we had Caleb weighed. He has gained almost 2 pounds!!!! He is 17lbs 12 oz - he was 16 lbs just a week ago! We are so excited about his weight - keep on eating little buddy!!
Good news - no strep for Jacob, just a sore throat (although I'm sure it feels like more than "just a sore throat" for him).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We have a date!

The drs called today and Caleb is scheduled for his lip and palate surgery on December 11! I'm a bit shocked at how quickly they are able to get him in but I believe it is due to the width of his cleft and obvious size issues. We now have to coordinate with an ent who can do the ear tubes on that date but are hopeful that we'll be able to get this done as well.
Tonight at dinner we saw a side of Caleb we've only gotten glimpses of so far. He was the true ham! He would do something silly and then pause, waiting for everyone's laughter and response. He has already found his "baby of the family" niche! He even smiled a couple of times during his bath (in between the tears) which is a huge leap forward. Who knows, he might even like the water by summer :)
It is still hard to fathom how far he has come in just 3 weeks. I was going through adoption paperwork tonight and saw all his photos taken for visas, adoption decress, etc. He was just not a happy little boy. Now he grins all the time and loves all the attention. It is just mind boggling the difference!
Please pray for Jacob - he's feeling under the weather. Hoping it isn't strep and that he doesn't share. Now that we have this surgery date, I almost feel like putting Caleb in a little bubble! I don't like seeing any of my kids sick :(

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Jacob!!!!

Birthday Wish!

Living Life Large!!!

Ready, Set.....


Grandpa and Caleb - spectators :)

My Jacob is 10 years old today! Double digits already! He had is party last night at the gym where he takes gymnastics. I think they had fun despite the restrictions put on them (they couldn't doing anything upside down - not easy for some of the kids who have taken gymnastics for years!).
There are so many things that amaze us about Jacob. He is certainly an extrovert. His first performance was at just a couple of weeks old (he was Baby Jesus and Ken was Joseph) and he has craved the stage ever since. He has also had a servant's spirit about him. He loves people, no matter what their age. God has given him such a neat package of gifts - we can't wait to see how He uses them!!
We are so proud of you Jacob and are excited that we have a 10 year old in the house!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dr. Update

Just wanted to give you a quick update on Caleb's dr appt. It all went well today and we should hear on Monday if they are able to work us in before the holidays. We really liked Dr. Baker and his office staff. They are trying hard to work with us and we appreciate it! He confirmed that Caleb's cleft is pretty wide and will probably require at least one extra surgery but the plan is to do the initial repair of both the lip and palate at the same time.
One of the funniest things of the day was when we walked back into the waiting room after seeing the dr. Who was sitting there but my friend Jen and her son Ben!! Ben is from Caleb's orphanage and they left China the day we got there. We joked (well, I'm sure we'd love for this to happen) that we'd love for them to schedule the boys' surgeries at the same time so we could hang out in the hospital together :) Time will tell if that happens or not!
I kind of got teary eyed tonight just watching Caleb play with Ken and the girls. Here he was, belly laughing and having a great time. The contrast to what his life had been and what it is now just hits me sometimes. I see God's hand on this little guy and am blown away by it. We see more and more of his personality emerging as the days go by. He loves to be tossed in the air and dipped low. He likes music and has crawled all over the house. He is no longer the sad little boy, left in his crib to cry and be labeled as weak. He is our Caleb, growing stronger everyday and we are blessed beyond words to get to watch it all!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Play time

Just thought you'd like to see the boy in action. These were actually take on Monday and he has improved his motor skills even since then. I'm afraid that we'll see his first steps sooner than later at this rate (Sorry, but I'm kind of enjoying the not wildly mobile stage - I guess it is because he is kid #5!)

Scrap that, there is something not working right with video uploads tonight (could be user issues but I won't admit to that just yet :) ) so you'll just have to stare at that cute photo and imagine his sweet sounds and digging through the box with his sisters!

Praise the Lord, Time to Celebrate!!!!

Some of you who have been following my blog for awhile know about one of my best friends, Dawn and her husband Gareth. They have been struggling through their second adoption from Guatemala and have been in PGN (the stage for Guatemalen approval) for 9 months tomorrow. Well, they found out tonight that THEY ARE OUT OF PGN AND HAVE BEEN APPROVED!!!!! They are hoping to travel before the end of the year to bring Nicolas home! We could not be more excited for them and she found out tonight during our Women on Mission meeting. We were all bawling. It is so true that after suffering and struggle, the joy is oh so much sweeter. Celebrate with me tonight in joy for them and pray for little Nicolas as God prepares his little heart for his new Mommy, Daddy, sister and brother!!!!

Oh, and if you haven't listened this week, check out Focus on the Family and Family Life Today, both Christian radio shows. The focus this week is on adoption and orphan care. I about bawled my eyes out tonight with the segment on birth moms. If you aren't sure about when they come on in your area, you can listen to old broadcasts online at and
But beware, it was this week last year that similar segments on these two shows gave Ken the push to say yes to another adoption. God just might change a heart or two ;)

Lots of Firsts

First Chick-fil-A

First Chocolate Chip Pancake - YUMMY!!!

First bottle with Mamaw Weikel :)

We've had lots of firsts with Caleb this week! His first official Chick-fil-A meal was breakfast Monday morning - of course he loved it :) He had his first flu shot on Tuesday :( Probably one of the funnier ones was his "accident" in Target. We were looking at some new shoes (since he only had one pair that fit) and Anna mentioned the puddle at my feet. Sure enough, he had peed out the side of the diaper all over the Baby Bjorn and his clothes and shoes. Of course the diaper was dry... All I could think of while cleaning up his little mess off the floor was the little boy who just squatted at breakfast and peed on the floor of the 5 star hotel! His grandparents did nothing about it!! Gotta love split pants. And here I was, sopping up pee. Yep, back in America now (thankfully on that one)!
I suspect that he has done more crawling and exploring the last 3 days than he has done his entire lifetime. He is learning how to play. I know that may sound odd but he really didn't know what to do with toys when we first gave them to him. Now he is figuring it all out and was even laughing at his reflection in the refrigerator yesterday. He continues to eat enormous amounts of food. He put away 2 slices of pizza yesterday for lunch alone! I think he eats more than Sarah!!
Tomorrow morning is our dr visit with the cranio-facial dr. We are anxious for this one and are anticipating them scheduling his surgery soon. We've been told that there is a good chance that we could get in before Christmas or shortly thereafter. We are hoping for more answers after tomorrow about scheduling and treatment options.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More pictures

I've tried all morning to get the links to our photobucket to work and it just isn't happening for some reason. So instead I've posted it into the body of the blog. I apologize for not labeling or flipping photos. I started doing it this morning as well and it was taking so long for just one that it would take a year to fix the 500+ pictures I took. If you have a specific question about something, leave a comment and I'll respond. As I get time, I'll go in and try to label some of them.
Jacob and Sarah were up at 4:30 (a definite improvement over 3am!), Anna slept until 6:15 and Caleb is still sleeping (7am!!!). Hopefully we're turning the corner on this sleep thing! Caleb has his first dr appt today to our family dr. I can't wait to see how much weight he has gained in a week!


Photobucket Album