Tomorrow Is A Gift
Boast not of tomorrow, for you know not what any day may bring forth.
~ Proverbs Ch:277 Vs:1

Many things we need can wait The child cannot. Now is the time his bones
are being formed, his blood is being made, his mind is being developed.
To him we can-not say tomorrow. His name is today.~Gabriella Minstral

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life.
But those who make their journey home across time & miles,
growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,
are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us
by God's very own hands. ~Author & Friend -Kristi Larson~

Nothing is impossible
if one is meant to do it.

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Toddler Adoption

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The Lie We Love

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In your life, you are the paint, the painter, and the painting. ~Noah Ben Shea

[Age:4months]Our daughter has been diagnosed with a type of Arthrogryposis known as Amyoplasia, affecting only her upper limbs. She was born with shoulders internally rotated, elbows fixed in extension,and flexion contracture of her wrists. At birth, neither elbow could be bent. Range of motion therapy as a newborn saved her tiny muscles from atrophying and offered her some independent elbow flexion at age 6 months. She is now an adult and has never had surgery.We first met Soo(Excellent) Hee (Brilliant) through this photo of her while still residing in her birth country in a babies home.

She received range of motion by a therapist visiting her 3x's weekly in the orphanage. The US doctors believe this saved her small muscles from atrophying. She arrived into America, our home and immediately into our hearts at 10 months of age. SHe is now an active, healthy teen. She has spent 6 years in occupational therapy and has been seen yearly at an Arthrogrypsosis Clinic, as well as at Shriners' Orthopedic Hospital and our Military Medical Center. She has had no surgeries. While she was young, we used many creative ideas toward helping her reach greater independence in her physical development.

Children born with AMC birth defect have a wide range of function and disability. Each case is very individualized. It is hard for doctors to predict a child's function at birth. Our daughter's condition seemed severe at birth, but her function has greatly improved beyond her doctor's expectation. HOPE describes our feelings as her parents. When we adopted her we were told to 'expect the worse, but HOPE for the best.' We did just that. Our daughter is the definition of inspiration and a testimony of what 'God' brings into a child's life and their hidden potential. Please understand, that this page is not designed as a way of boasting about our daughter, and we could only create it with her permission, since its her story we tell. We offer it to those faced with a child born with AMC as a source of hope and inspiration. Each child's ability will be different. All parents can conclude that Arthrogryposis is at its worse at birth. Each child CAN and WILL gain some ability with therapy and possibly surgery. For ALL there is HOPE. We tell our daughter that no one is EVER disabled when they have the love and support of a family that loves & cares about them. The real hopeless, the real disabled, are those without love in this world. To give & receive love is the greatest treasure in this world. And these kids sure can GIVE LOVE!!

These are some ways we approached
her Earliest Challenges:

1.   Extending light switches with strings.
2.   Using a tiny 'shot glass' for early learning on grasping a cup and bringing it to her mouth to drink.
3.   Booster potty seat with steps and ringed handles to use the toilet independently.
4.   Placed her bowl of food on top of a block so it would be a shorter distance from hand to mouth. (Offered a lot of finger foods)
5.   Made homemade play-doah in different consistencies of density and buried treasures inside which she was required to dig out.
6.   Had a box of dress up clothes to encourage self-dressing.
7.   Placed toys on top of tv trays with legs, to encourage her to raise her arms to play.
8.   Purchased a lg. above-ground pool for water therapy.
9.   Bought velcro shoes and applied on clothing for self-dressing.
10. Range-of-motion exercises with music. (manually with her until 13 mos and then through exercise play independently).
11. Built small steps up to sink and bed.
12. Used special scissors (can be bought in craft stores)that were small and after making a cut, they snapped back to position.
13. Had lots of hands on time with scissors, crayons and paper for practice.
14. Used two-handled cups for drinking.
15. Utensils with long handles.
16. Tooth brushes powered by batteries.
17. Step stool in van to climb into own carseat.
18. Long handled brush for bathtime scrubbing, along with spongy bath accessory that produces lather.
19. Manipulative toys that required hand useage and hand & strengthening muscles in arms.
20. Exchange snaps on pants for buttons or velcro.
21. Removed facet & toilet handles and replaced with easier ones.

One of her greatest achievements has been to become a strong swimmer in deep water. The water has been excellent therapy for her upper shoulders and back muscles. She is at the 120% in height on the American Girls Growth Charts and at 75% level for her weight. At 9-years-old, she just hits the 5ft. mark for ht and reached 5'7" at age 14. Like many children affected with AMC she has a keen mind. She skipped kindergarten and did so well in the First Grade that she was one of few nominated to attend a full time muti-age level program taught to students with high I.Q.'s at an accelerated rate of learning. She has remained in this program for the past 3 years, and as a 9 year old is in in the 6th grade for her reading level.
She auditioned and had a principle role in a Microsoft advertisement to be used for a worldwide symposium for a Bill Gates conference. The advertisement proclaimed each individuals 'potential'. She aspires to become a writer . She has an avid love for words and languages. If she could have one wish, she said, at age 9, she would like to live without Arthrogryposis for 1 day. As a teen, she doesn't believe she should waste a wish or prayer on her disability, becoming more aware of others in the world.

*Update 2012: Our daughter begins her Sophomore year at at state university and is double majoring in Psychology and French. She traveled to France as a Junior in HS and sang with a premier choral group in our area. The summer of her Senior HS year she invited her french host sister to our home for 10 days. First year at college she lived in the dorms and other than us bringing up her orthopedic mattress, required no special services. This year she is living off campus in a condo with two friends. Below are a few photos of her as an adult.

CHOSEN - Our Story
Our family's journey into
parenthood through birth
and adoption.

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A child is a gift and
blessing from God
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Our daughter's story
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