We are moving forward

July 29, 2015 at 10:54 PM by Susanna

Believing that God leads by how He provides, we have been praying, along with our family and friends, that He would give us clear direction about whether J should join our family.

This morning, He sent us an unmistakably clear YES.

He has made it possible.  We are moving ahead to build an addition onto our home so that we can bring J into our family.

In other big news, someone who wishes to remain anonymous has pledged to match, dollar for dollar, all financial gifts that are given to our YouCaring fund, Helping our family build a room for J.

If you would like to share our YouCaring link on social media, here is the direct address for you to copy and paste:

http://www.youcaring.com/joe-and-susanna-musser-397384

 

A big thank you to all who are praying and giving!

 

J with our family during Family Night supper.  Our favorite part of this photo is missing–her laughing face!

Family Night supper

 

 

Advice wanted: Sensory processing disorder and feeding aversion

July 29, 2015 at 10:11 PM by Susanna

NOTE:  The following post was written by Nikki Cochrane, a foster mother living in India.  We are publishing her questions here to help connect her with others who may be able to advise her.

 

Problem:

My youngest, Brianna, is 22 months old and is blind and weighs only 13 lbs. We are sure she has sensory processing disorder. She won’t take anything by mouth at all other than a bottle, and isn’t gaining weight on formula. The problem is, doctors don’t have any understanding of sensory processing disorder here in India.

Yes, we have taken her to several doctors and ruled everything medical out. It seems that everyone agrees it is sensory processing disorder.  However, we have no one here in India who knows how to direct us on making a feeding therapy program. We are doing our best to research what to do.

She has general oral aversions. She screams when we brush her teeth or try giving a massage with an electric toothbrush.  She is also hyper-sensitive to other tactile input; she is overcoming touching different things… she used to scream when we would read tactile books, etc. She is still not great with it but is making improvement. She’s really sensitive to sound and cries when there is any loud noise. She likes to be held but isn’t much of a cuddler.

She doesn’t drink as much as we would like so we are trying to increase the amount she takes in to help her gain weight. We have decided against a feeding tube for now, unless her weight begins to drop.  Just 2 months ago we started mixing things in her formula, and some things she will spit out and refuse to eat and some things in small quantities mixed with the formula she will take. We tried mixing the regular Indian food (rice, dal, curries, fruits) into a bottle and she won’t drink that. If we pour a little bit of that in with formula she will drink it. If we sit with her for 20 minutes we may be able to get 2-3 small spoonfuls of baby food in her, but it is a fight and she screams and cries and spits it out more often than she swallows it. She is 7kg with a BMI of 12.3 and we can’t get her past the 7kg mark on formula alone with the small amount that she drinks. She IS slowly increasing the amount that she can drink which is good.
Her sensory processing disorder affects her gross motor skills as well. She holds her arms and legs close to her body. We actually thought she might have a mild form of cerebral palsy, but that has been ruled out with an MRI. She does have delayed gross motor skills but is improving. It seems that what we thought was high tone is actually her just hugging her arms and legs close to her body as a result of stress in new situations, when things are loud, etc. When she is in bed at night and is relaxed, she is loose.

 

Her History:

Brianna lived in a government orphanage until 17 months old and then came to us. She turns 2 years old next month and has been with us since January. She is blind so it is very likely sensory-related neglect. At the government orphanage she basically laid on the floor or in her crib all day every day. We don’t think there was any trauma but there was certain neglect. She has always taken a bottle of milk fine.

 

Anyone with more questions for Nikki, or experienced advice to pass along to her, please do so in the comments to this blog post so that other parents can also benefit.

Thank you so much to anyone who can help her!

 

 

 

 

A new chapter?

July 22, 2015 at 12:39 AM by Susanna

God has set before our family a new opportunity for ministry, and we have received permission to tell all of you about it.

The short version of the story, and one that preserves necessary confidentiality, is this.

A girl named “J” who has moderate physical disabilities but a good level of independence with the appropriate supports in place, as well as an endearing sense of humor and generous measure of pluck and determination, has spent some time with our family on a respite basis and fit right in from the start.

“J” will need a permanent place to live beginning around Christmas time.   Her family has stated that for many reasons they have gotten counsel on, thought, discussed, and prayed through, they will only consider transferring legal guardianship to our family.

If we can see God providing for us to add a modest first floor handicapped-accessible bedroom and bathroom onto our home over the next several months, “J” will come here and live with our family, and we will be her legal guardians. When she was asked whether she would like to come stay with us for a longer time, “J” lit up and gave an enthusiastic “Yes!”

Our family is unanimous in our own enthusiastic “Yes!” if all necessary supports are in place ahead of time.

The necessities of lift van, adequate nursing care, modifications to our driveway to accommodate the school bus, appropriate educational plan within our school district, and other essential supports have already been satisfactorily addressed, or are in the process of being addressed.  This addition is the final door that would need to open.

Several friends have already offered to donate skilled labor. We are pursuing many avenues toward keeping costs reasonable, and are open to more offers of skilled labor or donated or discounted building materials from those in our area.

Our builder has kindly listed for us the skilled labor that is needed for this project; I’m including that list below.  If you are able to commit to join with others to donate labor or materials to this project over the next several months, please email susanna@theblessingofverity.com.  

We’ve been urged by those close to the situation to put a donate button on our blog for those who desire and are able to help financially toward the building expenses.  It is a YouCaring page titled, Helping our family build a room for J’s special needsI plan to update that page as the addition progresses.

We sincerely thank you in advance for any and all offers of help!

As always, our eyes are on Jesus alone for provision.  The provision He sends will determine for us whether or not He is opening the final door for “J” to join our family.

 

Skilled labor needed for the Musser addition:

~Sketching a preliminary layout; writing a materials list–DONATED by Paul Huizinga

~A tree guy or two, perhaps someone to cut down trees and someone else to haul them away (anyone in our area want free firewood for the taking?)

~Someone to donate what may be needed for the septic system/drain field

~A plumber who is willing to dedicate at least a week total of time

~An electrician who is able to provide the wiring for the addition, about five days of work

~Excavating–DONATED by Jeremiah Eldredge Septic

~A concrete guy who will do the footings and concrete slab

~A mason to lay the cinder block

~A framing crew

~A drywall company

~Someone to insulate

~Someone to install windows and doors

~Someone to install the siding

~Someone to install gutters/downspouts–DONATED

~Roofing (flat rubber roof to allow for second floor in future)

~Interior trim

~Painting–DONATED by Brian Carpenter

~Someone to lay tile

 

 

***LATER NOTE:  There is more information in the comments to this post for those who are interested.***

 

IMAG0330

 

 

By way of reminder:  Susanna will not be reading any unmoderated comments to this blog.  Signed, Joe the imperturbable