In the midst of the various viruses our kids seem to be fighting, we had a "cease fire" over the weekend. Friends of ours from Michigan arrived Friday night for their long-awaited weekend to Niagara! We wondered if the visit would ever happen since both Rachel and Janneke seem to be going from virus to virus since the end of August. But, we had a pocket of time over the weekend: two nights of peace, two days filled with laughter and new memories, and no noticeable signs of illness. Thanks for the great visit, Eric and Kim!
Crazy part is, soon after our friends left for home, Sophia came down with a cold, and both Rachel and Janneke were upset throughout Sunday night.
One thing struck me from the weekend's adventure: Our kids need permission to deal with their conflicting emotions about being siblings to Rachel and Janneke. It's after visits with family and friends with kids the same age as ours that specifically Emily seems to notice the differences in her sisters and our family. She sees the two year olds running around, and tries to piece that together with her three year old sister who can't eat or roll over. Her comment: I like it (special needs) and I don't like it.
We did have a wonderful time visiting Niagara Falls and going on the Maid of the Mist (first time!). Sophia said she would never go on that boat again in a million years. She doesn't like getting wet. Our friends' kids commented on the power of the water being evident of God's incredible power. Amen to that.
We hired a respite worker (thanks, Ashley!) to care for Rachel and Janneke while we did the touring Saturday. And there again, Em and Soph were reminded that we were different - not complete - with part of our family missing. And they don't like that. As much as we want to give the older two a break away from home, they love to be with the six of us - not in parts.
In the next couple of weeks, there are a number of appointments scheduled for both Rachel and Janneke. One of the weeks, I am in three different cities! Concerns rest on the fact that Rachel is not growing - in length and in weight. Bloodwork is recommended to check various levels (such as protein), but with no visible veins, I am not looking forward to watching the techs needle-poke Rachel up and down the arms. I am hopeful we can learn more about how to better our care for both girls. We'll keep you posted.