Wow - its been a long time. Lets start with this picture.
This was our first picture with the five of us just two short days after Jaden had come into our home. Isn't he the sweetest.
We quickly settled into having three kids, the kids blended well and just took to each other. As I sit typing tonight I am preparing for a trip to Austin next week and I feel I should write these thoughts down so that I do not forget some of the details as years go on. Soon after Jaden came to our home we had a doctors visit that threw us for a loop... the first of many. Jaden had a skin tag that was to be removed, but when meeting with the specialist in Austin and consulting with some of them we had an MRI done and discovered it was much more than a skin tag. This was the first of many trips to Austin that we would take over the next few months. When receiving the results of the MRI we found out that the skin tag actually had spinal nerve in it, along with a tethered cord that would have to be repaired at the base of his spine. This actually puts him in the category of having Spina Bifida. We were shocked. We did not even know exactly what it meant. All that we know was that this sweet boy who had come into our care only a few months before was in need of major spine surgery and we were the only caregivers he had. So - we moved forward. Jaden had an 8 hour intensive spine surgery followed by spending 5 days at the hospital to monitor him. He did incredible! The doctors were so skilled and we could not have asked for him to be in better hands. I got to spend the days following with him in the hospital room and it was such a sweet bonding time. This little man is a trooper. He responded so well, by day 5 he was sitting and by about 10 days after he was walking again and has only gotten faster since. This picture is one of my favorites. I was reminded daily that God put this precious boy into our trust to care for while we are here. We have been honored to walk through this unknown with him.
So now the follow-ups. Since the surgery Jaden has had multiple follow-up appointments and they have all been nothing but positive. If you could not see the scares you would never know this little mover fits into the Spina Bifida category. So for now - we continue to go every 6 months and have him checked out by all the specialists and we are just praying that he continues to develop and grow without any difficulties. We go Tuesday and I look forward to giving them the paperwork with his new name and finally declaring him as my SON.
I have many fun... and challenging stories to share as we walked through Jaden's time as our foster son. They will come. But for now, we rest in the incredible love our Father has on Jaden and are thankful that we get to be his forever parents and family.
We love you Jaden James Waller.