patellar subluxation

she’s in the second period of her basketball game saturday morning.  she shoots, right at the buzzer.  she scores.  she falls.  she cries.  i run over.  she’s hurt.  she’s saying she cracked her knee.  some others have rushed over to aide us.  they feel her knee, push it around, see if she can bend her leg.  it all hurts, but they can’t feel anything wrong.  we take a seat.  they give us ice.

she sits out the third period and joins her team for their half-time pep talk.  she reenters the game.  walks the court.  scores a few more shots.  we come home.  we ice it.  josh wraps it with an ace bandage.  she’s slow, but moving.  she’s not complaining, but it hurts.

we get up Sunday and head to church, again with an ace bandage wrapped knee.  after church we head to wendy’s(love getting the kids a kid’s meal which helps fund the dave thomas foundation for adoption), then sam’s club.  we are home for just a short time before we head to volunteer at first glance.  we get home.  she practices her spelling words.  soon after, she’s getting ready for bed.  i help her remove the bandage.  her knee is super swollen.  i have josh look at it.  yes, it doesn’t look so great.  i ask for advice from friends via FB.  they are very helpful.  we decide that in the morning, i’ll take her to the doctor after taking the boys to school.

so this morning, we made our way to a branch of our children’s hospital ER.  they don’t open till 11, but they are sharing the same space as a regular ER so they see us instead.  height, weight, and blood pressure check.  explain what happened.  we’re in a room now.  the RN enters.  we explain again.  they bring ice.    the med student enters.  we explain again.  he checks out both knees.  twisting and turning.  pulling and pushing.  straightening and bending.  she’s making faces like it hurts, but she doesn’t make a sound.  the med student leaves.  he comes back with an attending.  we explain again.  he checks both knees.  same routine as the med student.  they speak words i don’t know.  words i recognize from watching ER ages ago, but i still don’t understand what all they are saying.  they say she needs x-rays.

the x-ray tech comes in.  we explain again.  he wheels in a wheelchair and whisks her away.   they come back.  we wait.  in the midst of the waiting in between visits from each medical professional, we talk.  we try not to think too much about what may be wrong.  we’re not doctors.  we don’t know.  God does.  He’ll give the professionals wisdom(we’ve asked Him).  He’ll reveal what we need to know.  we talk about the other times she was in the hospital.  she tries to tickle my feet, reaching for them as she almost falls off the hospital bed.  she thinks it’s hilarious.  i think it’s annoying.  she tells me i can resist it.  she’s learning new words and new meanings but isn’t yet sure how to properly use them.

the med student and the attending return.  they look at her knee again.  oh yeah,  it all makes sense now that they’ve seen the x-rays.  her knee cap has moved.  this has caused the ligaments to stretch.  this patellar subluxation.  not good, but better than dislocation.   she needs a brace to hold the knee cap in place.  to give the ligaments time to heal.  and she needs crutches.  she needs to keep weight off of her knee.

another nurse comes in.  we explain what happened to her again.  the nurse gets her brace fitted.  she adjusts the crutches and gives her a brief tutorial.  they stroll out of the room to test things out.  she’s doing just fine.  i sign a few papers and grab our coats.  we leave.

several times over those 2 1/2 hours, my eyes welled up with tears.  my thoughts went back to the ending sentence/question of my last blog post.  what if we would have said no?

if we would have said no to our children, who would have been here with her today?  helped her walk?  held her hand?  reminded her that God has a plan and that we need to wait on Him to reveal what’s wrong and how to treat it?






who would have been with her for the past 6 1/2 years?  last summer when she smashed her thumb at the batting cages?




who would have been there six years ago through the trip to the ER, actually two trips, to figure out why she was suddenly having seizures?  for countless neurological visits?  multiple seizures?


who would have been there?

this is why we didn’t say no.


special needs adoption

when i hear the phrase ‘special needs adoption’, even though i know what it means, i immediately think of a situation where a child has a severe mental or physical disability.  and then i think about my kids and the fact that in the adoption world, they were considered special needs.  how did they qualify as special needs?

they are a minority.
they are a sibling group.
they’re old.  or at least one of them was at the time they were placed for adoption.

i know these things. know them.  yet, they still break my heart.

we attended an informational meeting, for our second adoption, a few weeks ago at our local children’s services agency.  they reviewed special needs adoption.  they reminded me that because my children are a combination of two skin colors, they were considered special needs.  they reminded me that because my children have siblings, who were adopted together, they were considered special needs.  they reminded me that my sweet girl, close to being 5 years old when she was put on adoptive status, was considered special needs.

why?  because not many people want to, or are willing to, adopt a child who doesn’t share their same skin color.  because not many people are willing to adopt more than one child at a time (3 kids at once is after all an instant family).  because a 5 year old is too old-too damaged, too exposed, too difficult to parent and love.

the thought that no one would have wanted my girl, because of her age, i can hardly stand.  the thought that no one would have wanted my three loves because they are three loves, i can hardly stand.  the thought that no one would have wanted my three loves because of the color of their skin, i can hardly stand.

God called us to say yes anyway.  and what we said yes to, turned out to be full of special needs that weren’t based on skin color, or age, or multiple children.  instead the effects of abuse and neglect took over.  ADHD became part of our normal language.  epileptic seizures set in.

what if we would have said no?  no because their skin is a different color than ours.  no because of age. no because there are three of them.  what if we would have said no?

it’s crazy hair day at school today, hence the crazy hair!

3rd grade unit 5 religion test study guide

wilbur and i are studying for his religion test.  i’m getting sleepy.  i’m starting to drift off into a light sleep.  not good.  for his test, wilbur needs to be able to answer questions about 10 Bible stories.  we’re going over each one.  he’s telling me what he remembers.



we’re talking through moses and the burning bush.  i’m drifting.  he moves on to the story of jairus’ daughter and how Jesus brought her back to life.  i continue to drift.  so not good.  i begin to tell him that he needs to remember his soccer shoes.  that he should just put them in his bag.  and not to forget his soccer shirt.  he asks me what i’m talking about.  i tell him i don’t know and ask him to tell me about jairus’ daughter.  he tells me he already did and now he’s on to the next story already.  oops!  tired parenting.

whatever way her Lord deemed best

“And she took a deep breath and she smiled brave because this is how you answer His call.

You don’t get to make up most of your story. You get to make peace with it.

You don’t get to demand your life, like a given. You get to accept your life, like a gift.

Beginnings and middles, they are only yours to embrace, to unwrap like a gift.

But you get the endings. You always get the endings.

You get the endings and you get to make them a gift back to the Giver.

She told herself that, tucking falling strands behind her ear: Here wasn’t a glory to wrestle, but a grace to receive. Isn’t everything that is good always hard?

What if — she let herself be loved whatever way her Lord deemed best.”

~ann voskamp