Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

What a fun night! We took the boys trick-or-treating for their first American Halloween. They were absolutely adorable, so be prepared for the cuteness! But first, an update: Luis is doing great. He is one amazing kid! He has been playing and running around nearly non-stop since we got home from the hospital. He does indeed limit himself and will lay around when he is a bit tired. He has had an inexplicable fever for several days now, but all of his doctor's are aware of it. Samuel and Daniel are handling Luis' sudden "situation" (for lack of better word) very well. We have our occasional bouts of sibling rivalry or outbursts where they are obviously craving attention, but we handle them as they come since they are few and far between. Now onto the pictures!

OK, so this is NOT Samuel's Halloween costume. His school seemingly wanted to make things more complicated by declaring that they would not be celebrating Halloween BUT would be celebrating reading instead THEREFORE students could dress up as a character from their favorite book. Samuel's favorite book happens to be called Baby Jaguar Can, so he went as Diego.

Here is a picture of all of the boys on our doorstep just before hitting the neighborhood. Aren't they cute?!

For most of the week Samuel was convinced he was a Power Ranger, but the package says he is the Transformer "Bumble Bee". Regardless, he is some science-fictiony character with super powers. Superbueno!

Daniel went as Thomas the Train, pretty much against his will. The funny thing is that as much as he didn't want to wear the costume (he kept saying "no quiero Thomas" over and over again), he is the one who picked it out. He didn't cry when we put it on him, but he did throw it on the ground as soon as we would let him take it off.

Arrgh! Luis Angel rocked the pirate look! It was way too cute and he was very proud of his costume. He did great tonight. He got carried around a lot since he wears out easily, but he was really excited to be a part of the festivities.

This is a shot of them getting candy from a neighbor. The twins would stand back about 5-10 feet until they were 100% certain that there were no dogs lurking and ready to attack them, then they would run up and yell "twick-or-tweet". Samuel was fearless and would go up to any house. Daniel would not approach any house that looked too scary. Luis was fine until we approached one house and a man wearing a scary mask came out. He lost it - screaming, real tears, the whole nine yards. From then on we had to be on the lookout for anyone in scary masks.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers for our family. We really appreciate the support that we are getting from all over the country...I should say the world since we have friends in Australia that we met while we were in Colombia who keep up with us too! Thank you again to everyone who takes the time to even read this blog and care about our family. You have no idea how much that means!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chau Hospital!

Luis and I are sitting in his hospital room waiting for Papá to return with the minivan. Troy was here for most of the day, but with our other car because we did not expect to be going home today. It has been quite a week, and we are all ready to return to our normal routine and comfortable surroundings. We never thought we would get to go home this early, but the staff here believes that children heal faster when they are at home and not under constant anxiety from being surrounded by strange people and things - not to mention being poked, prodded and woken up every two hours for meds. [Side note: Luis is singing the "Wow Wow Wubzy" theme song of his own accord. Please see the posted entitled "T.V. Show Ratings" for details.] I am a little bit worried about how we will "keep him safe" while he heals with his brothers at home. I am told he will limit himself. I can't wait to test this theory amongst the chaos that is La Casa de Eisenberger. Troy and I are also trying to figure out how to work out our work schedules until he can go back to Safari Kids in a couple of weeks. As always though, I know it will all work out in the end. [I am not really an unrealistic, overly-optimistic person. I just can't expend too much energy worrying about stuff that will eventually take care of itself, at least to some extent.]

Our next post will be from home!!! Yay!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sleep Deprived, But Making Progress

There is much to be thankful for in our family today! Luis is recovering at a remarkable pace. Overnight he had many of the tubes, I.V.s, etc. removed, so when Troy and I walked into his room at 7:40 AM he was sleeping peacefully on his side, sucking his thumb and hugging his "aika" (a.k.a. blankie). He has slept a better part of the day and has even broken out a smile here and there. Around 1:3o PM they were able to move him straight from Cardiovascular ICU to a regular room where we are all resting comfortably. He even got to eat his much coveted "pollo"-fingers. Right now, he and Papa (who is all he wants right now) are watching Shrek the Third (en Español).

The thing that I am most grateful for, and I don't think grateful even begins to cover it, is the amazing story Luis Angel now has to tell about God's grace and faithfulness. It is no secret that our children were born into real hardship. There is no doubt that God obviously had a larger plan for their lives and our family as a whole. However, what humbles me more than anything is that, according to the surgeon, Luis should not be alive. Dr. Watts believes that with the condition Luis had, he should not have lived as long as he has. However, by the grace of God, the affected coronary artery was very narrow at end that attached to the pulmonary artery and that is what kept his condition from being worse. I do not believe in coincidences, therefore, I know that it is no accident that his coronary artery was so narrow. The fact that God preserved him for this moment, for all of the events leading up to this moment, is just mind-boggling, drive-you-to-your-knees-with-thanks humbling. There really are no words that I could write here to describe how emphatically I feel about all that all five of us have been through to become a family. For those of you who have adopted, I know you get it because your story is similar. For those of you who have not adopted, please know that I mean no disrespect to how you achieved family-hood. Adoption has changed my view of God and the world in which we live in ways in which I never expected. It isn't just parenthood that has done this, but the way in which we were able to become parents.

So, what's next? Well, Dr. Watts thought we may go home as early as Thursday (much to my dismay because that means dealing with two healthy boys and one less healthy boy all under the same roof). We hope that Samuel and Daniel will be able to come visit with Nana S. tomorrow afternoon so they can see that Luis is OK and healing. It will cheer him up some too. I am getting ready to head home for the night, while Troy holds down the fort here at the hospital. Tomorrow night we will switch. The key to hospital survival is sleep. I have no idea how parents of children with long-term illness go through this on a daily basis. Two days in and I feel like I have been hit by a truck.

Monday, October 20, 2008

All is (relatively) Well....

I'm sure Andrea will add more, but just wanted to let everyone know Luis came out of surgery fine. He is gradually getting tubes taken out of him, but when we first saw him there were wires, tubes, and incisions all over his little frame.

I asked him if there was anything he wanted about 30 minutes ago, and he faintly said "pollo"!

I made it home for a few hours, and Nana is doing well with the boys & dogs. Thanks to Amanda and Rico (and the fam) for their help this past weekend, and for my mom who is running the house this week.

Thanks to everyone for the notes and prayers.

Much love,

Troy & Andi

Update #2 - 11:30 AM

Luis is still in the O.R. We were informed that he is still on heart and lung bypass. We are about 3.5 hours in at this point. Thank you to everyone for your prayers and well wishes!

Troy and I are playing Settlers of Catan to pass the time. I have checked in with Tia Amanda and she says Samuel and Daniel are doing fine. Troy's friend Scott stopped by to check on us. His son had open-heart surgery a few years ago performed by the same surgeon that is doing Luis'. It was great to have some company! Thank you again Scott.

Update #1 - 9:30 AM

For those of you who are following along, I was just reminded that this is the best way to distribute information. Luis is in surgery now. They started around 8:00 AM. We arrived at the hospital around 5:15 this morning, and the little man was in excellent spirits. He was absolutely adorable in his hospital gown and socks. He only cried a little when they took him out of the room and he realized we weren't going with him (that was around 6:30 AM). We should be getting our next update shortly. We will keep you all posted!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Latest...

I wanted to post an update about the surgery and family happenings before we head into Monday morning. First though I want to say "Thank You" to everyone who has left comments on the blog, emailed, called, etc...with well wishes and to let us know that our familia is in your prayers. We greatly appreciate the support we are feeling from all over the country.

Troy and I are doing OK. We are both nervous for Monday and ready to have the surgery done and over with. Needless to say, the stress level for both of us has been elevated to "RED" all week. As our friend Rob Wootton assured me though, "you can't prepare, you just make it through." So that is our main goal right now: get through Monday.

We are both off of work all next week in order to be able to care for all three boys, but intend to stay at the hospital with Luis as much as possible. The plan for the week is that the Nieves' (a.k.a. Tia Amanda, Tio Rico, Liana and Ethan) are coming into town for Sunday night. They will be here to wake up with Samuel and Daniel on Monday and will care for them until Nana Shoenfelt arrives from PA Monday afternoon. Nana will be here for the week to be at the beck and call of her grandsons. Then, on Friday Nana Peregory will arrive to pick up where Nana Shoenfelt leaves off. It will be crazy for the boys, but we have explained it to them as best we can. We had Q&A tonight, as we do with all major life events as a family, and Samuel asked great questions that led us to believe that this is not the first time a member of his household has been in the hospital.

As for recent happenings, there are so many funny/cute/silly/sweet things that happen every day that I really need to start writing them down. The highlights include Samuel's kindergarten performance on Thursday which was the cutest thing I have ever seen - despite Luis' attempts to be a thunder-stealer (by mimicking the classes motions). Daniel and Luis are learning many new songs, including the ABC song and will randomly sing "E-I-E-I-O" which they have learned at the Y. Luis was surprisingly well-behaved at his pre-op appointments on Thursday - I am always stunned at how different they are when they fly solo. Samuel's newest phrase is "one minute" while holding up five fingers. Luis says "hmm, let me see..." when he is working on a puzzle or something and can't figure it out right away. Daniel said "yummy indeed" while eating a fruit roll up the other day proving that he truly is a Mama's boy to the very core. All in all, we are amazed on a daily basis by the progress they have made despite all of the obstacles thrown in their path. God is amazingly faithful.

I will have a full update as soon as possible early this week. Thank you again for your prayers and support.

Friday, October 10, 2008


We have a surgery date for Luis Angel - Monday, October 20 at 7:30 AM.

We met with the surgeon, Dr. Watts, on Thursday. He went over the condition that Luis has, the procedure he will undergo and the risks involved. All in all, it was a very daunting appointment (despite the twins doing their best to be as cute as possible). Fortunately, both of us still have time available to take off from work. The challenge will be coordinating our schedules so that one of us can be at the hospital with Luis while the other of us is at home with Samuel and Daniel. We have no family in the area, so we are pretty much on an island - or at least that is how it feels. We will keep all of you posted as more details become available.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Va Al Acampar...(or something like that)

In the tradition of our family trying new things, we took the boys camping this weekend. It was our annual trip to Crabtree Falls in Virginia. This was our 5th year (technically 6th year for the trip, but we missed in 2005 because Troy was studying for the P.E. exam). The trip was a great success, and the boys had a great time - which was a big relief considering how afraid of everything the twins are. Other than a few scrapes, an upset stomach, and tossing toys into the "river", our biggest challenge was making sure they didn't wiggle their way out of their sleeping bags at night (temperatures were in the 40s). Since I'm exhausted, I will get right to the photos.

A family of five requires a big tent. Compared to our old tent, this is a McMansion! It was so wonderful to 1) be able to spread out, fit all of our gear and have room to boot, and 2) be able to stand up - I could barely touch the top.

Papa helping Daniel pick out rocks to throw. The campground was a boy's paradise. There were mucho rocks, dirt, leaves, etc... for the boys to play with.

Another favorite passtime, especially for Luis, was petting baby Luke. He would say "Mama, Papa, quiero tocar" (I want to touch...). Then he would look at us like "Look, I am petting the baby and I am not afraid." Good job, Luis! But Luke is a human, not a dog.

We got to do a little bit of hiking, as much as little legs could take as least. We tried a new trail this year that had this cool suspended bridge. We didn't get very far before we passed a group of Boy Scouts warning us of a Yellow Jacket hive ahead. With three kids and baby in tow, it was better safe than sorry.

We also hiked a bit of the falls. This is a fairly strenuous hike, so we didn't hike up very far. I did have a "yay me!" moment - I carried Daniel (who was begging to take a nap) back down the trail. A couple of years ago, I could barely handle this hike, but thanks to my 5k training in the spring and chasing three boys since the summer, I am in much better shape now. Hooray!

This one was too cute to not put on the blog. Side note: A lens fell out of Daniel's glasses and we couldn't find it anywhere. They are being fixed.

The McNabbs (Andy, Bonnie and baby Luke)! We usually camp with the Turners (Brian, Kristin and their son Eliott) too, but they were unable to make it this year because Kristin is expecting baby #2 and is not feeling so great these days. I hope they have a girl - our mini-vacation is becoming overrun with testosterone.

What would camping be without S'mores? Roasting marshmallows was a hit with Samuel (the twins are too little). That might be why he woke up in the middle of the night crying. His stomach hurt so badly, most likely from the marshmallows, s'mores, and hot chocolate that we let him gorge on.

Note the glob of marshmallow. Priceless.

I made Luis eat his sitting down because he is always dropping his food.

It was a great, but tiring weekend. The boys were totally wired by the time we got home, but crashed hard when we put them to bed. We can't wait to go camping again, but I quickly realized we need to figure out how to go with less gear!