Status

It’s not over yet…

Hey Everyone!

As we settle into life at home again, all the other details of life start to come back into focus.  Just the other day I realized that we had a nice yard outside that is rather enjoyable (not that the boys can enjoy it yet, but they will soon!). We have all greatly appreciated our own beds!!!!!  It has been great to just get in our car and go; no more moving car seats in and out of taxi’s and shuttles.

There was the realization that we had two very overdue books from the library, oops! Also, that bill that was overlooked and not paid, eek!  All things considered, there is very little that was missed while we were away for 19 days with our priorities and focus right where it should be…with Aaron in the hospital helping him to recover.  Our focus needs to stay on things that last for eternity … people and the word of God.  The books and the bills will get worked out and will fade away, thus they are not at the top of the priority list…but did need to be taken care of. Thankfully everyone was very understanding and forgiving.

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We were finally able to give Aaron a real bath and not just a sponge bath.  It was so much fun and he loved it!!!  Aaron likes to stretch out and move his arms and legs and open his hands to extend his fingers; this is wonderful to watch because his first week of life his muscles were so tight and contracted due to the drugs he was exposed to that his arms never left his neck, his hands were in tight fists, his legs were pulled up over his belly, and his feet were tightly flexed.  We are so thankful to our Heavenly Father for how much love He has poured out on Aaron and how He gently brought Aaron through withdrawals.  When it is time to sleep, Aaron needs to be very tightly swaddled so that his hands can’t move.  This is because his nervous system was so overwhelmed from the drugs that he can’t relax without the comforting pressure of being swaddled.  If he is not swaddled he doesn’t settle into sleep and wakes up constantly.  Aaron loves to be talked to and sang to.  My favorite things so far are how he just loves to be in his Daddy’s arms & sleep on Daddy’s chest each evening, and when he is sleeping he will sometimes crack his eyes open and when he sees Ryan or I he closes his eyes and has a big grin!  Oh how dearly we love him!!!!!!

The boys are still coughing, tired, and short of breath.  They did sleep better last night than they had since getting sick!  I can actually say they are getting better!! WHOOHOOO!!!!  Aaron and Ryan are still free of illness and I am all better!  Praise the Lord for healing and keeping us out of the hospital!! Our Father in Heaven is hearing your prayers, thank you for praying for us!!!

Adoption Status Update

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On the day she was discharged, Aaron’s mother signed her consent papers.  This means that she gave her consent to give Aaron to us and terminate her parental rights.  She is still confident in her decision; it was comforting to hear her say to her father that it was all going to be o.k. because she picked a good family.  What she has done for Aaron is very difficult, selfless, loving, and took great courage.  Please continue to pray for her salvation!  Intercede for her that she will find the transforming power of Christ so that she can be free from the darkness of her lifestyle and from her addictions!!  Currently our attorney and her para-legal are diligently searching for a long-term rehab for Aaron’s mother to increase her length of sobriety and hopefully to overcome her addictions.

Since we have brought Aaron home and his mother signed the required legal paperwork, you may be thinking that our adoption is finished.  It is not.  There is still a chance that Aaron wouldn’t get to stay with us… 

Aaron’s birth father is fighting against his birth mother’s decision of adoption and wants to keep Aaron.  Unfortunately, he is not capable of parenting at this time.  He does not have a job, a place to live, or a car and his source of income is selling illegal substances.   We would be glad to see that Aaron’s father could be a Daddy to him and would want Aaron with him if that was the case.  Since it is not, the safest and best option for Aaron is to be with us.  I tell you this, not to speak against Aaron’s father, rather to inform you of the reality of our adoption.  We are broken sinners just like Aaron’s parents; it is by the grace of God, the cleansing blood of Christ, and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit that we are better suited to be Aaron’s parents at this time.  Our hope is that both of Aaron’s parents will be moved by his arrival to make changes in their lives so that they can be an active part of his life in the future.

IMG_3758Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Our battle is not against Aaron’s birth parents but for them.  Our battle is against Satan who wants to hold these people in darkness and addiction while trapping Aaron there too.

Please join us in praying for Aaron everyday, that God would protect him and set him safely in our family forever.  Also that Aaron’s birth mother and father would turn their hearts to God in repentance and receive His gift of salvation, allowing Him to set them free and transform them completely!

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P.S. Before I finished writing this post, we received sad news.  Aaron’s maternal grandfather had a sudden heart attack and passed away.  One week they said goodbye to Aaron and the next week they said goodbye to their husband, father, and grandfather.  Please pray for God to comfort them, bring them His peace, and strengthen them.  Pray for additional protection and strength for Aaron’s birth mother, that the death of her father would not be a weakness or excuse to sink deeper into her addictions.  Also pray for Aaron’s half-brother that the Lord would bring a strong Christian man into his life to fill the role of father for him.

 

Gallery

Home!!!!!

We’re Home!!! We’re Home!!!!  We’re Home!!!!!!!!!!!

We spent the day after Disney doing laundry, resting, packing, and playing by the pool.

IMG_3690 IMG_3702 IMG_3709I even tried Gator Tail! It was good, no distinct flavor and not weird!!

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Early Monday, we took a cab to the airport and began our journey home. At 19 days old, Aaron has been to Disney World, ridden in cabs, gone on Amusement rides, been hospitalized, recovered from his mom’s substance abuse, was in 3 states in 1 day, and traveled over the U.S. in a plane.  For a little guy, he has had a big life so far!

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During our layover in Denver, I called our pediatrician to get an appointment for the boys that same afternoon.  Riley had developed a full body, bright red, splotchy rash on Sunday.  It wasn’t itchy, Benadryl didn’t help, and even his lips, eyes, and ears were swollen.  Luke coughed almost the entire flight from Florida to Denver.  I have developed a while new level of compassion for families that are traveling.  We were the family that everyone dreads seeing get on the plane…a newborn, a child with a hacking cough, and a child covered & swollen with a bright red rash! What a sight we were!! I’m sure people wondered why we were sharing our germs but we needed to get home.

IMG_3724Once we landed in Gillette, we were super surprised to see our dear friends had drove from Sheridan to see us!! 

Next we went to GG’s house! We really hadn’t eaten all day and she had a perfect lunch ready for us! Here are Aaron’s first moments with his GG!!

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Since we needed to get to our doctor appointment, we couldn’t stay long.  Our next stop…the pediatrician’s office.  After thorough exams and doing blood work on Riley we don’t now much but here is what we do know:

Riley: His rash is likely an allergic reaction to his antibiotic.  He still has a cough and a fever.

Luke: His pneumonia is worse, his oxygen levels are down, and he still has a fever.  In the doctors words, “He has a toe in the door at the hospital.”

So, the boys are on inhalers and we’re pushing fluids and rest.  Now we pray and wait and see.  I am feeling much better, Ryan & Aaron are healthy so far!!

After going to the lab, we finally were home!!!!!!!!!  We were greeted by lovely signs welcoming us home in our drive-way, doorway, and on our fridge.  The love, support, and prayers from all of you have brought us such comfort and joy!!  Aaron slept well his first night at home and was bright eyed this morning!

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We are very grateful for your ongoing prayers!!!  When we’re healthy, we look forward to seeing you all!

 

“Rankin Family, you just adopted a baby boy! Now what are you going to do?” “We’re going to Disney World!”

Hey everyone, sorry for not doing updates the last few days. Our internet connection was so poor that I couldn’t do any posts.

Thursday evening after Aaron was discharged we met with his birth mother and her family. It was a special time and great for Aaron to get pictures with more of his family. Now we know them more and will be able to keep Aaron connected to all the branches of his family. We have great pictures of us all that will be special for Aaron. In order to protect their privacy, I won’t be sharing them here.

On Friday we said our goodbyes to the staff at the Ronald McDonald House.

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This incredible place was our home away from home for 15 days. When we got the call that Aaron had been born, we flew out the next day. We had plane tickets to Orlando but had no idea where we would stay once we landed. We had done our research prior to traveling and knew that there was no hotel within 5 miles of the hotel. Our only hope was Ronald McDonald House, which is next door to the hospital, hopefully they would have room. During our 3 hour layover in Houston was when I called RMH to explain our situation. 5 minutes before boarding the plane I got the call that our application was approved and they had a room for us that night!!!! Thank you Jesus, for taking care of us!!

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That evening we arrived to a warm, bright smile that showed us our lovely room, the game room, the craft room, the playroom, the laundry, and the kitchen! It was a very wonderful place and provided a great respite away from the hospital, especially for Riley and Luke.

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Amazing volunteers, groups, and businesses donated lunch and dinner each day!! I can’t describe the relief it was to have a home within walking distance to the hospitals so we could easily get to Aaron throughout each day. I didn’t have to figure out what food we were going to eat, where I would get it, and when I would cook it!! All this for free, they suggest a donation of $20 a night but won’t ask for and don’t expect it. We are blessed that family members have donated our amount for staying at RMH. This is a charity we will always support! If there is one near you, please find a way to support them; donate items on their wish list, bring a meal, pay for a meal, or donate financially.

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The RMH’s are not owned by McDonald’s, they are the chosen charity of McDonald’s. McDonald’s donations make up 20% of the donations needed & received. All the rest comes from donations, fundraising, and grants.

They were so great to us that there aren’t words to fully describe it! Then they gave us all passes to Disney World!?!? They felt that since we had come so far and were so close, that we couldn’t miss Disney World.

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Crazy though it seems, considering we were sick and recovering from pneumonia and had a newborn who had just finished detoxing from drugs. The boys really wanted to go and we wanted them to have to this treat after going to the hospital everyday for 2 weeks. Our plan was to just go at our own pace and leave when everyone was ready. It worked; Aaron did great, Riley and Luke got to see and ride just what they wanted, and memories were made.

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Travel Tip!!!
If you have a choice, don’t go to Florida in the summer and during hurricane season. 😉 Thankfully we didn’t experience hurricanes but our day at Disney ended with what felt like a tropical storm!!

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Thank you Ronald McDonald House of Orlando for making our stay so peaceful and comfortable!!

Thank you Heavenly Father for your provision!! For what seemed impossible was possible with God!!!!

15 days later…

Before I begin this post, you need to know where I am as I type. I’m in a bedroom, it’s early morning, all three of my sons and my wonderful husband are sleeping soundly…together…in the same room!!!!!!!

YES!!!! This means we were discharged yesterday afternoon!!!!!!!! Goodbye wonderful hospitals!!

I mentioned in the last post about the hospital where Aaron was born. When Aaron was 7 days old, the staff at Winnie Palmer really wanted all of us to be together. Rather than being separated between the nursery and the waiting area, they wanted brothers to begin bonding with each other. So they arranged for us to be transferred to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital. This would provide us a patient room where we would all be allowed to stay, visit, hold, and just plain be together.

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This move happened on the same day that my mom arrived so now she could hold him!!!!

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Riley and Luke could be with Aaron again and not be apart from each other anymore.

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IMG_3487Everyone couldn’t wait for their turn!

Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital has wonderful staff that are really dedicated to patients, their comfort, and caring for the whole family.

IMG_3562 We received the best care and they were very careful to gently ween Aaron off of the morphine while managing his withdrawals. They really wanted to be sure that Aaron wouldn’t have any need to return to the hospital. Sadly both of these great hospitals know all to well how to treat and care for these babies.
While providing a room for us to be together, Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital also provided a place for Riley and Luke to play so they could take a break from the hospital room.

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IMG_3506The castle has old Disney movies playing in it, the ship is huge, and there are many sound makers too.

Here he is all dressed and ready to go!

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IMG_3629-0Aaron’s first time ever being outside! Freedom!!!!

Thank you Jesus for keeping Aaron safe, for his recovery, and for Your strength!

Thank you to all of you for your prayers that have done so very much!!!

Happy 2 week Birthday, Aaron!!!

Today Aaron is 2 weeks old and he got some great birthday gifts.

First, he got to have his Daddy all day!!

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Second, Wyoming and Florida have given us provisional approval of our adoption so we are free to go home as soon as Aaron gets discharged!!!! We will not have to wait at all after his discharge, thanks to the tenacity and persistence of our attorney.

Third, the doctors have taken him off of morphine so his last dose was at 8 am today!!!!!!!!!!! Praise God!!!!!!!!Wahoooo!! Yippee!!!! Yeehaw!!!!!

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Now we wait 24 hours and watch his withdrawal symptoms and numbers. If the numbers don’t spike or jump over 8, we will be discharged in the morning!!!👏🏼😁🎉😆😀

Luke is very tired from his pneumonia and Riley is feeling worse, he is now having chills. They came to visit Aaron for half the day and went back to our room to rest the rest of the day. Dear Lord protect and heal us!

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Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies

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This was the amazing hospital that Aaron was born in. During his first 6 days of life they took outstanding care of Aaron and me & the boys. The nurses got juice and snacks for the boys. They took time to check on Riley and Luke when I was in the nursery with Aaron and the boys were in the waiting area. They helped the boys make their own badges so they could be like all the hospital staff. Knowing that Aaron was being adopted was so special to them and they made sure we were aware of all his care and included. We came to know many of them and are so thankful that God provided such a loving, friendly place for us to adopt our son.

This hospital made sure Aaron was kept safe from his birth father, the entire hospital is very secure and safe. Everything Aaron needed as his withdrawals began were taken care of quickly and he improved quickly under their care.

On this his 2 week birthday, we remember this wonderful hospital of doctors & nurses who took care of him when he entered this world. Thank you all so very, very, very much!!!! We will remember you always!!!

Daddy’s Here!!!!

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Ryan arrived this afternoon and we couldn’t be happier!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Our family is finally together!!! God has done great things!!!! Even Aaron had to smile!

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The boys and I are no better, no worse. We wear masks to keep our germs to ourselves and Riley & Luke have minimal contact with Aaron. Riley is missing holding his brother, getting bottles, and giving Aaron his pacifier. Now that Ryan is here they will get more sunshine and fresh air which will probably help. Pneumonia is so aggressive though so please continue to pray for God’s healing upon us.

Aaron’s numbers were very scattered throughout the weekend so there hasn’t been a change in his morphine dose since Saturday. Finally today they decided to ween him again. This means if his numbers don’t spike or go over 8 they will stop the morphine tomorrow!!!!!!! I get to stay with Aaron in the hospital tonight and help him through this medication change. That makes me a happy mommy!

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There is another baby that had been exposed to drugs on our same floor of the hospital that needs your prayers too. This baby has been here for 3 weeks and is still getting double the dose of morphine that Aaron is getting. When they try to ween her, her numbers jump over 20 and they have to increase her morphine dose. Her numbers have not been below 16 since she was born. Please pray for God to heal and rescue this tiny baby!!

These birth moms have done an awful thing to their babies and themselves. They are in bondage to their addictions and sin. Please intercede on their behalf for healing, forgiveness, redemption, and salvation. God is the only one who can save them.

God’s Messages

On Sunday we had such wonderful blessings!

To begin the day, my mom had sent a text of her devotional:

“Good morning Mt 7:7 Luke 18: 1-8, 13 “the persistent widow” my devotional for today😊 keep asking keep praying keep seeking love you guys”

It was a good reminder that God wants us to ask; to joyfully and patiently keep asking. I can’t control or change any of the many things happening in our lives right now. I know that we are obeying His call in our lives to adopt Aaron. Obedience and praying without ceasing puts us in the center of God’s will. He has promised to work all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. God cannot lie and He will never fail. Therefore I can have peace and strength in the joy of the Lord that we will be ok, we will get better, this will all pass, and Aaron will be ok.

Around noon on Sunday we met the housekeeper for our room. This dear sister in Christ was sent by the Lord. She prayed over all of us and spoke scripture to me. What a treasure she has been and we are so thankful for her. She is submitting herself to God and He used her to speak His word to us. Our friends name is, Magda. When you pray for us, be sure to thank God for her!!

Family and friends, your prayers have resulted in so much comfort, peace, and strength!!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

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These pictures are from Saturday, when the brothers could still be close to each other.