Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 5, 2009

Things have been busy in our household! Mariah has been sick with an ear infection and then RSV. We had to take her to Children's Hopital last Friday where they gave her breathing treatments and sent us home with a nebulizer to do them on our own at home. Thankfully she had been drinking just enough to keep her little body hydrated so she didn't have to be admitted to the hospital. Thankfully she is better and on the mend! She is much happier and feeling better. She definately is relieved that I don't have to suck snot out her nose! :-)

Then on April 2nd, Jacob had his second surgery on his birthmark. Because of Mariah's RSV, one of us had to stay home with her and one of us went to the hopital with Jacob. Trevor went with Jacob. The surgery itself went well however he came out of surgery with a cornial abrasion (scratched eye). Needless to say we were not too happy about that, plus it caused more pain. After the surgery, Trevor had to take him to this eye doctor and have it examined to see how bad it was and how they would treat was minor-treated with ointment. Just to add to Jacob's pain...SO, he has about 15-20 stitches under the skin and approximately 20 above the skin. He will have to have one more. They were unable to take it all this time. Our plastic surgeon is amazing. He wants to take his time to make it look good! After all this is on Jacob's face! Jacob is a trooper and has a HIGH pain tolerance. His face is pretty swollen but that is all part of the game.

Cody has a car! We found him a 1994 Toyota Camry. It is old but a good little cruiser! That is hard to believe that he drives himself now...He doesn't need us as much anymore. But, that is all part of the game, too, huh? They tend to grow up.

As for us, Kim and Trevor, we are good. We are a little tired from all the excitement here at the Bittner household but we know it is all going to get easier now that Mariah is feeling better and Jacob is healing. We pray for Cody as he goes out on the road alone driving and trust God for his protection.

We feel very blessed to have this life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mariah Grace is born

Friday January 16th our daughter was born!!! SHe weighed in at 6lbs. 11 oz. and was 18 1/2 inches long. She is healthy and doing well. She is in foster care until we can go down there. Well, we could go down there but the mom can still change her mind up until court date. (I will let you know when court date is.) We don't want to risk being with her and not being able to bring her home. She was having problems with her formula so she was switched to Lactose Free formula. That is the only problems so far.
If you know that all along we had named her Malaia Grace from the start of this journey. When the social worker told me the name her birth mom had put on her birth certificate, we decided to keep her given first name and add our own middle name. We thought that was special letting her have the name her mom that gave her birth had given her...
We will keep you posted!

Monday, January 19, 2009

January 19, 2009
The journey...
Ok, I know that if you are my facebook friend, I have been teasing you, on purpose :-)
I am going to go back a few months to give you a bit of background.
Jacob, our youngest son, had a fairly large mole on the right side of his nose and we began the process of removal in June. It was advised by doctors because they were concerned for it changing to cancer later. So, it would take 3 surgeries to complete it putting the next one to be over Christmas break. Well, Trevor's job was unionized and we were forced to find our own independant medical insurance in November. We were running into all kinds of problems. His surgery was a preexisting condition and most independant insurances do not allow that. The coverage would be $500 per month for the 3 of us, offering NO coverage at all for Jacob.Resulting in no insurance for him, meaning no surgery coverage. We would have to pay for it out of our pocket. That would be about $20,000.

The cost of an adoption.

We started this long journey of an adoption 2 years ago and keep hitting detour signs. NOT stop signs but detour signs....until recently, so we thought. We have 2 adoption agencies, one in Nebraska and one in Alabama. The cost of an adoption in Alabama is about $20,000. Hmmm, surgery for the child God has already entrusted to us, or adoption. We prayed and prayed about what to do. Feeling led to pull out our profile from Alabama for awhile, making the wait longer, seemed to be what God had laid on our hearts. So, January 9 I tearfully called the social worker in Alabama to tell her what was going on and this was her prayer for us, "We at Lifeline will be praying that God does something amazing so Jacob can have his surgery."

Hold on, I know this is long but it is so amazing!!

Little did we know that the week prior to me calling Lifeline to pull our profile, Christian Services of Oklahoma, who we have had NO dealings with, called our Nebraska social worker and says this,"We have an African American baby due in a few weeks without any families willing to adopt it within our agency. Do you?" Our social worker said that yes she had a few and without telling us, sent our profile down to Oklahoma for viewing. All this had gone on during the time we were praying about what to do with Alabama...Our social worker did not tell us because we have had so many heartbreaks with birth mothers viewing our profile and picking someone else so she didn't want to have to tell us if the birth mother picked someone us. BUT...she picked us!!!
We got the call on the January 13. God totally knew what He was doing by leading us to call Alabama because he was already at work somewhere else! The baby is due to be born somewhere during the week of the 26th but they think she will deliver this week. Then we wait a week to 10 days for them to get a court date to go before the judge to relinguish their rights to us and we go down the Oklahoma. We can be with the baby while the Interstate Compact does all their paper work allowing us to take the baby over state lines and we then head home, as a family of 5! I have to add, as much as I do not like this thought, that the birthmother and father have the time from delivery to the date for court to change their minds and keep the baby. If that happens we have to trust God in that He knew that was how the story was going to end and we may never know why He lead us down this path but our faith still lies in Him to do His will, not ours.

But wait, there's more...

On the 14th, we signed the rider for the policy of insurance excluding Jacob, for $500 a month. Sent that off. On the 15th, we got paper work for Cobra continuation insurance. I called them to see if the information on the paperwork is accurate; that it is a continuation of our old insurance, NO exclusions for 18 months, $233.38 per month, and can add an adopted child for no additional cost! So, that means Jacob gets his surgery and he has coverage for $217 less per month than the other policy. SO, we cancelled the other one and jumped right on that one.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the cost of this adoption is $9000 and not $20,000!!!

After I told a sweet friend of mine this story, she said, "For the past 3 weeks, I have been praying that God would WOW your family."

And believe me, He is certainly wowing us! Thanks for enduring this long story but I wanted all of you to read the FULL story. There is so much that has gone on the passed 2 years, but I will spare you all those details. :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Try to imagine

Try to imagine what it would have been like to be a shepherd visiting Jesus at His birth. For just a moment, I want you to pretend that you are reading a letter that one of the shepherds wrote to his brother, Mathias.
This letter was written by Sharon Jaynes. I get a devotion emailed daily from Girlfriends in God and I really enjoyed this and wanted to share.

Dear Mathias:
As I am writing you this letter, my hand is still a bit shaky. I'm not sure it will ever stop. But I must tell you about an incredible experience that happened to Matthew, Simeon, Levi, and me, two weeks ago. As usual, we were watching our sheep on a hillside east of Bethlehem. I was on the night watch and the others were sleeping. There was something unusual about the sky that night. I can't explain it, really. Like heat reflecting off the desert sand, the stars seemed to be jockeying into place, fidgeting and restless in their usual stayed positions. Diamonds danced on the inky backdrop, rather than standing sure and still. Even the sheep seemed to notice the heavenly mirage.
Then it happened. As if a curtain was pulled back, I saw what was stirring the stars....angels! Yes, angels, angels, everywhere. Immediately, the others awoke to the celestial lights, flapping of wings and the resonation of indistinguishable singing.
At first, only one spoke. "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Then, the curtain was drawn back even more and the sky was filled with angels! "Glory to God in the highest!" they sang, "and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests."
The flapping of their wings stirred the air, whipped our hair, and blew our tunics in all directions. Amazingly, the sheep were calm during this majestic occurrence. It was almost as if this were nothing unusual happening. Perhaps this was not the first time they had seen an angel. Who knows? We, on the other hand, were awestruck. Tears streamed down our dusty cheeks. We fell to our knees, marveling at the beauty of heaven displayed before us.
Then quietly and slowly, the curtain returned and the angels were no more. We rose to our feet and began to run in the direction of Bethlehem to see this babe. How did we know where to go?
Mathias, the only way I know how to explain it is to think of my relationship to my sheep. When I am grazing in a field with several of my friends and their flocks, our sheep get all mixed together. Sometimes five different flocks can be mingled together at one time. But as soon as I call to my sheep, they separate from the others and follow me home. They know my voice. Each and every one of them can distinguish the voice of their shepherd and they know whom to follow.
That's how it was that night. It was as if a shepherd had called my name. I knew his voice and he called me out from among all the rest.
Where did we go? To a palace? To a temple? To a stately manor? No, we went to a stable. But isn't that where a shepherd would call his sheep? To a stable?
What did we see? A burning bush like our ancestor, Moses? Writing on the wall? A vision? No. We saw a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger -- just like the angel had said. He didn't speak, but somehow he called our names. He is the Christ, Mathias. The one of which the prophets spoke.
Do you remember the prophet Isaiah's words? "He tends his flock like a shepherd; he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." When I saw the babe (who later his parents told me was named Jesus), I knew this was the one of whom the prophet spoke. And didn't the prophet Micah say the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem? It all makes sense to me now, and yet it is still a mystery.
Why me? Why did God choose to send the angels to announce the Savior's birth to me -- a lowly shepherd? I don't know the answer to that, my friend. All I know is that one starry night, I was a shepherd. And then God spoke my name and I became a sheep. Now, my friend, God is calling your name as well.
I don't know what will become of this baby in the manger, but I do know this...the world will never be the same again -- nor will I.
Shalom, Your brother, the sheep.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Question of the day...

What is the difference between common sense and lack of faith?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Changing Faces of the Bittner Crew

My awesome wife chose to use the black-and-white family photo as our main blog picture. I am pleased with her choice. I really like the pic. Some things have changed though . . . With my new job came a shave; I no longer have the hairy chin of a goat. Cody now has braces on his teeth. Soon, Jacob will not have the birthmark on his nose. He went in yesterday for the first surgery of its removal. He is now relaxing at home, tending to the stitches, and waiting for the swelling to go down. (Thank you for all of the prayers and encouragement given) Kim has also gone through some facial changes. Her eyes have opened wider to the plight of orphans, her nostrils have relaxingly taken in more roses, and her infectious smile has become a near constant fixture.
Welcome to our family blog. Please join us our transformations as we "Walk up Steps with a Yo-Yo" God Bless, Trevor