Whew! It's good to be home. I'm not always sure why it is soooo tiring to work at a conference, but it is! I'm sure it doesn't help that I have to work around a feeding schedule instead of going to sleep, but I'm not complaining! It is good to be home though!
I prayed before going to the conference that God would use my time there as He wanted. That my words would be encouraging to someone, that I might help bless someone if they were struggling or overwhelmed and that I might be of help to someone that needed it. What I didn't ask for was to be blessed in return. Isn't God good to have done that for me?!
I had asked for prayers for Eliana and she did great! She is such a sweet little girl who just loves people! She loves to smile, laugh and talk with people. If given the choice of playing with a toy - any toy or looking at a person, she will choose the person every time. I love how social and interactive she is with people.
She did not eat well with her bottle however. I'm not sure if she was distracted or overstimulated or something else? She had one night when we were back in the room when she was clearly hungry, trying to eat, but kept pulling away from the bottle. I'm not sure if she was hurting??? It's clear that "something" was wrong. It's so hard when you can't just "fix" things for your children. I'm sure that is something that all of us can understand and relate to.
We kept Eliana with us at the booth most of the time. We brought her feeding pump and set it up there as well. It definitely drew attention! I had people come over to talk with me that had also experienced having a child on a feeding pump and one that was getting ready to go on one. Funny the "clubs" we never want to belong to and yet find comfort from others that have journeyed on that same path.
I also met several Moms of children with Down syndrome. These moms were very encouraging to talk to as they shared their stories of the blessing of their special child. It does help to hear that it isn't the "doom" that you often hear about and that there is much joy instead. It doesn't mean it isn't hard, but that there are many rewards as well. I also met a Mom that is newly on the journey too with an 8mo old. She lives fairly close to me and is planning to use the same curriculum. I'm hoping she will join our local FIAR homeschool group.
I talked with a number of people this week-end about FIAR (Five in a Row - our curriculum that I was selling) and homeschooling in general. I remember how overwhelming it was starting out and how blessed I felt at finding FIAR at the beginning of our schooling. It is a very gentle, relational and fun way to school. It has been a great fit for our family. I think it will be wonderful for Eliana when she is ready for it too. I am humbled that God continues to use my words to encourage others. I am thankful that He is able to use me as confirmed by people telling me that my words were a blessing to them. Isn't He good to use each of us to minister to others?! I love being a part of the body of Christ!
I was also blessed to see a sweet friend that I only see once a year or so. We hadn't seen each other for a year and caught up quickly. She is a mom of 6 as well and has been diagnosed with stomach cancer. She is undergoing tests. Please pray for Dee Dee. She is a godly woman that loves the Lord and is praising Him in the midst of this trial. Her dh has started a blog about their journey. I'll come back and post it later.
Please also pray for another dear friend Maggi. She has been in the hospital for 5 weeks now. She was rushed in one day when her body was undergoing organ failure. It was thought to be meningitis but I'm not sure if this was confirmed. For a while it didn't look as though she would make it. Thankfully, she is recovering though she has also lost her legs below the knees. She is still in the hospital undergoing therapy and has a long road ahead of her. Through all of this, she and her dh have praised God for His goodness. I know that they would love your prayers as well.
I'll have to type more later and try to post some new photos as well. It's late and although I was able to catch up on some missed sleep today, I'm still tired. One last praise. My children at home had fun with their grandparents. I'm so glad that they had this time together. We were sad to see them leave this morning and look forward to their next visit!
PS Thank you for your prayers!!! God has been so good to answer them. Eliana's face is improving. It is still red and dry/peeling. It looked much better over the last couple of days - MUCH!!! We were able to keep her tube in for 5 days!!! I think that must be a record since her surgery. She tried to pull it out many, many times - but we were able to catch it before it was pulled out. I also retaped her tube several times and this seemed to help too.
Tonight putting in the tube was one of the best times yet! It was a fairly quick one and she only cried for a short time. Thank you God!