Feb 28, 2013

Prayers and help for Baby Hannah

Please help this sweet baby Hannah Byker!

Almost exactly 8 months ago, I wrote a blog asking people to help us by praying for and supporting Kenya.  The memories of how people reached out in EXTRAORDINARY ways and the memory of God's miracle for Kenya will be forever etched in my heart.  Now I'm asking all of you incredible prayer warriors again for prayers and support for some fellow missionaries down in Jarabacoa who just had a baby named Hannah, born in the same hospital as Kenya.  I will attach Hannah's story below but she also needs to be medically evacuated to the U.S. and the parents are looking for advice on where to take her for the best treatment as they are currently without health insurance for her.  Please read her story below and leave a comment if you would with any advice/words of knowledge or just to let them know that you are sending up prayers and where.  I know God can do a miracle for Hannah just like He did for Kenya and it is so amazing to see all of the support that is already coming together.  Here's the story from Hannah's mom and dad, Joe and Christen Byker, that was posted on facebook...

Our little daughter Hannah is currently in the NICU at HOMS (Santiago Met. Hospital) in the Dominican Republic. We need to medically evacuate her to the US to get her treatment for a condition that we are still finding out about. If you have ANY connections with good Children's Hospitals (particularly Pediatric surgeons), please let me know ASAP.  Please pray for Hannah's pancreas / liver as the Drs believe there may be a lesion or tumor and pray for the peace of God to reign in this trying time.  Please share this with anyone else you believe may be able to help us find a good place for her to be treated.

 They are considering some of the same hospitals we did - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Shriner's, Devos Children's Hospital.  Please share your words of wisdom and your contact info. if the Byker family can contact you with their questions.  Thank you for your help!!  And please visit this website if you are able to help financially.  Their medical evacuation costs alone are around $28,000 and they need all the help they can get! 

Kristin, Dave and Kenya

Feb 19, 2013

7 months

You wanted to show everyone how you could sit up and wave in your 7 month picture!  And show off your new top front teeth too!

Dear Kenya,

Here I am writing your blog late once again.  It seems like you have grown up so much this month.  Today you kept putting your toy phone up to my ear for me to talk into and seemed like you understood perfectly what you were trying to do.  You impress and surprise me everyday.  It is another snowy Saturday and your daddy is going crazy in the kitchen making pasties to freeze and singing you silly blues songs all about being a yooper and eating pasties (your daddy and I are both real yoopers in our love for pasties).  I was just helping him to peel potatoes but took a break to write you this way overdue blog!  

First things first - this week we celebrated your very first Valentine's Day!  Here we are one year ago on Valentine's Day....

Valentine's Day on the inside..
And here is us on Valentine's Day one year later...

Valentine's Day on the outside!
Crazy what a difference one year can make huh?  Last year I remember writing you a long letter on Valentine's Day all about love and telling how love is a choice you make and an action that you take, and how Daddy showed me love by cleaning up my puke one time long ago.  Whoa baby, if those kinds of actions are what makes true love, your dad has been a love machine this year!!  And I don't mean that in the way it sounds. :)  Cleaning up a little puke is NOTHING compared to what he has done for you and I this year.  He has been there through thick and thin, for better and for worse, high tide or low (like he said in his wedding vows), and shown us what true love is all about - that real love really has nothing to do with romance and everything to do with our actions to serve each other.  This year has been a crazy journey with a rollercoaster of ups and downs but there is no one I would rather have spent it with than you and your dad!  

My two favorite valentines who I love more than anyone else in the world!

 You and I started our Valentine's Day by going to our very first MOPS group, where they talked about LOVE and you got candy and a Valentine kit to make your very own valentine for your dad....

You stuck the stickers on all by yourself!

 I had the idea to hide it on your dad but then we got the idea to send him on a photo scavenger hunt instead with all the photos of your life with you and him together. and clues to why he is the best dad in the world..

Here was how it all started with the first photo clue of your dad when he got "pregnant" with you :)
 I forgot to get pictures along the way or his pile of treasures at the end, but I did get this picture of the aftermath...

After the scavenger hunt, we went out to Bilbo's for heart shaped pizza!  Your mommy and daddy spent our very first Valentine's Day eating heart shaped pizza at Bilbo's 10 years ago our first year dating and were so excited to be in Kalamazoo again so you could spend your first Valentine's Day doing the same with us! 

You were pretty excited to eat heart shaped pizza...

You weren't sure what to think about it at first, but once you tried it you just couldn't stop gobbling it up!

After dinner, we went out to Bob Evans for our favorite $3 chocolate peanut butter brownie hot fudge sundae dessert!  We agreed not to let you try it but Dad gave in to give you a taste...

After one taste you couldn't get enough and SCREAMED at the top of your lungs for more.  Mind you that you can scream pretty loud now so we were paying our bill and leaving Bob Evans pretty quick after that.  I think your dad learned his lesson and we decided to wait til your first birthday for your next dessert.  Oh and I forgot to mention your dad got me a beautiful bouquet of daisies which are my favorite flower.  All in all, it was the best first Valentine's Day for you that we could've asked for.

You've done quite a bit more traveling this month, including lots of trips to Grand Rapids where we've gotten in visits with your Auntie Lisa, your cousins Asher, Abram, and Zoe, our cousin Beth Wiersma, and friend Erin.  I am grateful for all of the people who help us and hang out with us in Grand Rapids to make for fun days even with all mommy's doctor appointments!
Always a fun time playing in Grand Rapids - you and Zoe had an apple eating party and Abram and Asher always make you giggle!

You are still a very well traveled baby making your way all around Michigan - here you having a "girls day" with Auntie Melissa in Battle Creek... 

Playing in Auntie Melissa's glasses while waiting to eat at Applebee's
Taking a nap in the dressing room at Macy's - these girls days are hard work!!
You also went to visit Lansing for the first time.  We got treated to some yummy PF Chang's and showered with gifts by mommy's friends Marie and Ellen.

Eating out at mommy's favorite Chinese restaurant
Maya loves you so much and brought you tons of new books that we love reading already!

We spent the rest of the day in Lansing having a pizza party and hanging out with some of mommy's favorite cousins, the Foley family...

We've also had some more visitors here this month including your Grandma Bradshaw and Beatriz Jacinto who is studying now at WMU...

She loves your kisses!
Visiting and spinning letters with your Great Grandma Meints
 We also started going to "Baby Talk" play group at the library... here you are sharing your toys with your new friends (I think you should learn to crawl or walk soon so they can share with you too)

And here are some photos of you with your best friend and total OBSESSION, Santa dog!  You can never get enough of her and she always makes you giggle (as you can see on this video)...

Santa is always spinning you in circles in your jumperoo!

Tying for second place after Santa, your other obsessions are our cell phone and computer!  It kinda scares daddy and I how much you already love technology!   And here are another handful of photos of you at 7 months old... (just cause they're too cute to pass up)

And now, some sad news... I believe this might be your last photo in a headband.  It seems you have decided to retire from your headband modeling career as you now rip them off your head in about .2 seconds.  It was fun while it lasted I guess... I may have to enlist some of your cousins to model them for me now... (Ana Leah perhaps?)

A few other pieces of news from your seventh month....

Santa had an accident this month and hurt her "dew claw" - dad said they were going to amputate and I thought he meant her whole leg so you and I were home praying all night that daddy wouldn't bring home a 3 legged Santa dog.  We were so happy when she came home with all four legs!

Your grandpa and grandma are back in Mexico so it's just you and me now at home.  And while it's a little harder and busier and I definitely appreciated all the help I've had over these past months, it also feels good to finally feel like a mom, all on my own, for very the first time.  

You still hate to sleep.  I'm wondering if we will ever get a good night's sleep again?

And last but not least... 
  We fall more and more in love with you everyday.

Love always,
Your mama